Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Sleepytime Santa

I finished this year's Santa doll. I don't know if I'll have the time to make another before the holiday this year. This guy's made from my Sleepytime Santa pattern. I'll be taking him to tomorrow's holiday craft fair. 

Monday, December 5, 2022

Newsletter #11: Photographing Your Dolls

 With excerpts from one of the tutorials on this blog, today's newsletter provides some tips for taking better photos of your dolls:


Saturday, December 3, 2022

More Ornaments

I've been working on a few more Christmas ornaments for next week's holiday craft fair. These are based on my Sleepytime Santa doll pattern. I love this pattern, and the white-on-white fabric beards and mustaches (so much more interesting than a solid fabric). I usually add a pin to the back, so they can be worn, but these will be ornaments only. 

Monday, November 28, 2022

Newsletter #10: Quick Note, & Quick Nick

 Made it through the Thanksgiving holiday, and now the prep for Christmas begins. This week I've been working on some Santa ornaments, thinking I may participate in my hospital's upcoming holiday craft fair. 


Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving!

 I have much to for which to be thankful this year. 

Monday, November 21, 2022

Newsletter #9: Dolls, Record Keeping, and Santa

 In today's newsletter, I talk about if/how we track the dolls we've made. I'm also offering a discounted Santa pattern, now through the end of December.


Monday, November 14, 2022

Newsletter #8: Stripes are Tricky!

 In this newsletter, I share a tip to successfully match and sew stripes.


Saturday, November 12, 2022

Life Book 2022 November Lessons


Life Book 2013 pages HERE
or Life Book 2014 HERE
or Life Book 2015 HERE
or Life Book 2016 HERE
or Life Book 2017 HERE
or Life Book 2018 HERE
or Life Book 2019 HERE
or Life Book 2020 HERE
or Life Book 2021 HERE
or Life Book 2022 HERE

Monday, November 7, 2022

Newsletter #7: Crazy Eights and Doll Patterns

This week's newsletter is about work flow, doll design by trial and error, and pattern modification and writing.


Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Enigma: who will she be?

Today I'm working on one of my eight prototypes. This one is made of Windsor Ponte fabric. She has a trapunto-style face. This is the first time I've added ears to a head/face like this. They're a little on the big side, so I'll trim the pattern down a little next time.

Update, November 5:

Update, November 12:
Fabric boots with polymer clay heels

Monday, October 31, 2022

Newsletter #6: Clay over Cloth

 In this newsletter, I talk about the application of clay over cloth dolls.


Sunday, October 30, 2022

Happy Halloween!

It's Halloween eve, and I realize we have no candy - which is unusual, because we usually buy (and eat) early. My Halloween decorations are still in storage in the attic. Where has this month gone?!

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Newsletter #5 - Day of the Dead Doll

 In my 5th newsletter, I talk about my Day of the Dead inspired doll and my new doll stand technique.

More on clay over cloth in my next newsletter!

I hope you'll consider opting in.


Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Newsletter #4: In the Beginning...We Were Beginners

This issue of my newsletter serves as a reminder that we were all beginners at one time, and dolls don't have to be complicated to represent quality, personality, or artistry. 

I hope you'll consider opting in.


Sunday, October 9, 2022

Newsletter #3: Where Are YOU Sewing?

 As I build my email list, I'm creating a series of newsletters. In this issue, I talk about where we sew, whether it's in a dedicated space or communal family area. 

I hope you'll consider opting in.


Saturday, October 1, 2022

Newsletter #2: Video Tutorial Done

 In my second newsletter, I chose to create a video tutorial demonstrating the Ladder Stitch, an indispensable tool when creating cloth dolls. 


Friday, September 30, 2022

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

My First Newsletter

I spent some time today building my first newsletter issue from one of the templates at ConvertKit. It didn't turn out like what I had in mind, but got the job done. I'm sure I'll learn as I go.


For this first newsletter, I wanted to offer a discount to one of my favorite patterns: "Under the Harvest Noon." Hopefully it will entice folks to join my email list. 

Today, or at least until I have to hop on a virtual safety committee meeting for work, I will be working on a video tutorial on the ladder stitch.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Marketing and Making Dolls

As the countdown to retirement begins, I look forward to spending my time sharing the tricks of the trade, freebies, offering virtual and in-person dollmaking classes. 

I've invested in an online course to learn what I need to do to make these things happen. I'll be using an email service provider (ConvertKit) to build my email subscriber list, and I've just sent my first freebie to enable people to join my list. 

Please drop by my opt in and receive a free PDF on the how-tos and advantages of using freezer paper while sewing dolls. 


This tutorial available here on my blog, but I thought it might be a good test to if this list-thing actually works. 

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Trapunto face

I'm excited to be teaching a doll class in the Spring. In addition to a regular face, the students have requested a trapunto-style face. So I'm modifying my new body design to accommodate this new face. Here's my first draft. I inadvertently had the stretch direction of this cotton fabric positioned horizontally, so had to do the same with the face. I'm interested to see how it turns out with the correct vertical stretch direction, or with a knit fabric like craft velour.

Here are five dolls of varying fabrics and stretch direction. The center three have trapunto faces. After sewing and stuffing the round-faced cotton doll (left of the center doll), I modified the trapunto face shape to be more egg-like. The darkest doll in the center is made from Windsor Ponte. I haven't used this fabric before, and there were pros and cons. this fabric is quite thick and a little difficult to paint, but I like how she turned out. the greatest stretch direction of the fabric is horizontal. The one to the right of the center doll is made from doll velour, which is much thinner. Stretch direction is vertical. The dolls on the far right and left have regular sculpted faces. 

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Life Book 2021 October Lessons



This one my granddaughter did, age 12:

Life Book 2013 pages HERE
or Life Book 2014 HERE
or Life Book 2015 HERE
or Life Book 2016 HERE
or Life Book 2017 HERE
or Life Book 2018 HERE
or Life Book 2019 HERE
or Life Book 2020 HERE
or Life Book 2021 HERE

Saturday, July 16, 2022


 It's been awhile since I've added a tutorial, so I thought I'd post some photos of my cloth-over-clay technique:

Super Sculpey:

Pressmold dusted with cornstarch first for easier clay removal (or can spritz the mold with water)

Removed from mold

Face refined

Tacky glue

Apply knit fabric, pouncing into face with stiff, dry paintbrush

Don't stretch fabric, start at the center of the face and work outward

Use tool or fingernail to press cloth into face details to further define

Wrap fabric around to back, trim when glue has dried

Paint with gesso, buff with piece of brown paper grocery bag

Paint with skin tone acrylic paint

Stitch to head