Saturday, December 31, 2011

"Amity" pattern sale!

Today I started updating my Amity pattern, adding photos and details with the intention of converting and adding it to my e-pattern selection. That means the dozen or so original Amity patterns I have left will be discounted while supplies last. This pattern has been selling for $10 plus postage, but the discounted price is $7 plus postage (which is, or was - who knows what the rate is now) 84 cents to ship to US addresses). Here's a link to my pattern page, which will have the discounted price built into the PayPal button there. Just scroll down until you see this yellow pattern cover.

Amity is one of my earlier patterns, copyright 2003. She's about 21 inches tall, and is suitable for all skill levels. This is also a doll that would be appropriate for gentle play. Her clothing (dress, bloomers) are removable. She holds a little dolly, which is also included in this pattern. Here's a link to my Amity page on my website.

Revamping the pattern probably means I'll need to start another of these dolls today so I can photograph some steps in the process. That's ok, because I've wanted to make another of these dolls for quite some time.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Snowman for Debbie

We had a wonderful Christmas celebration yesterday, the first time we have hosted the family dinner and gift exchange in Astoria.

It's been a busy sewing month for me, so while I put up the tree, I left the rest of the holiday decorations in the attic (probably for the best, as some are fragile and tempting to toddlers).
I managed to finish my sister's snowman about 10:30 p.m. Christmas Eve. The pattern/kit is one by Gail Wilson. I bought several of her patterns last year, and the is the first one I've made. I haven't finished my brother and sis-in-law's project, but as they're skiing in central Oregon, I have a few more days.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a very happy holiday season.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Solstice Blessings

Today is Winter Solstice, something I've never observed, but I really like the idea. The solstice happens at the same instant for all of us, everywhere on Earth. But our clocks say different times. This year, the December solstice takes place on Wednesday, December 21 at 11:30 p.m. CST.

What is a solstice? The earliest humans knew that the sun’s path across the sky, the length of daylight, and the location of the sunrise and sunset all shifted in a regular way throughout the year. They built monuments, such as Stonehenge, to follow the sun’s yearly progress.

I did a little reading today, and this site talked about the multicultural aspects of this day:

Winter Solstice also known as Yule, Christmas, and Saturnalia, occurs in mid December. It celebrates the birth of the new Solar year and the beginning of Winter. The Goddess manifests as the Great Mother and the God as the Sun Child. The God also appears as Santa Claus and Old Man Winter. Colors are Red, Green, and White. This is a festival of inner renewal.

Strengthen bonds with family and friends by visiting and/or exchanging gifts and greetings. Decorate your home with lights, greens, and holiday colors. Bless your home with a Yule wreath on your front door and sprigs of mistletoe inside. Take up a collection of food and/or clothing at your Yule gathering and give what you collected to a social service agency to distribute to the needy. Place sunflower seeds outside for wild birds to feast upon. Greet the Sun at dawn on Solstice morning by ringing bells. Do magic for a more peaceful planet.

Solstice Sun, Shining Bright!
Shortest Day & Longest Night.
Solstice Wish of Hope & Cheer:
Peace on Earth, throughout the Year!

Here's a LINK to Yule Crafts. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Play Day

I had a wonderful day today, making felt ornaments with a couple of friends. This is something we've been talking about for a couple years, but just couldn't fit it into our schedules. Here is Julie (left), getting ready to work her blanket stitch mojo on her deer ornament.

I've been collecting felt/ornament ideas for a couple years, printing them and sticking them in a folder on my desk. It was very relaxing, cutting and stitching while listening to Christmas music. Here is Danielle (right), very focused on cutting out a freezer paper pattern piece. She made the lovely tree ornament. She's a wonderful quilter and dollmaker. I made the owl, and we each made a mitten ornie as well. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Frankensanta Finished

I finally finished Frankensanta this evening. Repairing his face with paperclay worked quite well, and I'm glad I tried it. I don't think he'd survive another trauma, though.

He's got a vest I need to place on him and fasten closed, and he needs a spot of glue or two in various places to hold down his cap. I don't really like his bland expression, but I'm going to have to live with it. Oh, wait ~ I guess I don't have to live with it - Barb (the doll's owner) does!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Father Christmas & Sled

Here is this year's Santa doll, made for the ER Christmas Party & Auction. "Father Christmas & Sled" is designed by Dana Thompson (Country Harvest), copyright 1998.

I reduced the pattern to 83%, so he's about 20 inches tall. Not only did I prefer that smaller size, but it I also wanted to use a  sled I had on hand and needed the doll to be of a more appropriate scale.

His coat is made from a wool blend felt. His beard, hair, and mustache are Tibetan lamb. I used Timeless Treasures woven fabric for his body.

I like how he turned out, and hope the winner of the auction does, too.

Friday, December 16, 2011

First Quilted Project

I'm very excited to have just finished my first quilting attempt - a table runner for my mother-in-law for Christmas, made from one charm pack ("Curio," made by basicgrey for Moda). As basic as this project is, I'm still pleased with how it turned out. Most of my points match, and the overall piece lays flat.

This was also the first time I used my walking foot. I need a little more practice with that.

My mother-in-law doesn't have a computer, but no one tell her what she's getting!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A little more progress on Frankensanta

I've been adding bits of paperclay to the damaged Santa head, and finally got to the point I could do a little sanding today.

You can't tell in these photos, but the bottom part of the head remains glue and clay free so I can sew it back on the body. In theory, anyway.

I tried to maintain the shape of the original head as much as possible - goofy as it was.

I was able to apply a couple coats of flesh-colored paint, too. It's a bit lighter than the body/hands, but I think it'll be ok. After I sew the head to the body, I'll peel away the masking tape and hope what's underneath avoided any contact with clay and paint.

The cable guy comes tomorrow to replace the cable box in my studio. I always worry that strangers will think I'm weird when they enter my creative space. I wonder if it would help to tuck the headless Santa body out of site?

Sunday, December 4, 2011


A couple years ago, one of my Santas came back to me after a little run in with a dog. In need of complex plastic surgery, I put the project off for a long time. I decided to begin reconstruction procedures today, while the base of my auction Santa (previous post) dries.

After decapitation, I did my best to sew all the tears closed. Some of the fabric was in pretty bad shape, and obviously, most of the beard and mustache are missing (Tibetan lamb on the hide must have been too tempting for the doggy).

After taping the hat and hair out of the way, I painted on a good layer of white tacky glue.
Next came a base layer of paperclay. I deliberately avoided the bottom of the head where it will be sewn to the body.

Here's what this Santa looked like new. I adapted "Cyrus the Summer Santa," a pattern by Rusty Needle Originals by Two Jays:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Santa Sneak Preview

I thought I'd add a sneak preview of this year's Santa doll. A photo of the finished doll won't go up until after the party/auction, but I will tell you which pattern I'm using. It's "Father Christmas & Sled" by Country Harvest (copyright 1998) and Dana Thompson is the designer. The pattern makes a 30-inch doll, but I reduced it so my Santa will be about 20 inches tall.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sally #3

Here's Sally #3, done except for her hat and chemise. I had to use an alternate location to photograph her, as there's a grandchild napping in the photo room. This doll's hair is made from alpaca roving - and it sure had a different feel than the camel. The overall fiber length seemed shorter, and obviously it wasn't as coarse.
She's a little washed out in the photo, but I'll take better ones when I have access to my photo room, lights and backdrop. And now that I've uploaded this photo, I can see that the angle of the camera was wrong - it makes it look like she has really long arms. They actually come to about mid-thigh, maybe a tad lower. Ok, so maybe they are a bit long.

The annual Santa doll for the ER auction is about 3/4 done. I know I'll be able to get him done this weekend.