Wednesday, December 9, 2015


   I'm still MIA.  It's been a tough year with depression and lack of creativity.  I'd love to show photos of accomplished works but I actually haven't done a thing all year. I'm working on it and hope 2016 will be a much better year.

   That being said I do have a fabulous grandson, Parker Sterling Skeel, now 9 months old and he and his family share our home. We built a MIL suite on the house, moved into it and gave the rest of the house to my son and his wife.  It's a lot more fun than I imagined and having Parker here every single day is great.  His little life does bring me joy. I'm including a pic of happy Parker and his family taken a month or two ago at the Columbus Zoo.
Parker with Mom and Dad (Brian and Alisha)

Monday, October 12, 2015


       Well it's been like forever since I posted and I still have nothing new to show you. My Muse is on sabbatical and I am stagnating here.  Actually I am trying to work on a new design for the Windy City Doll Workshop September 29 - Oct 2, 2016. I just seem to have no momentum. She has a head and torso but I've yet to design her stump (to make her a "stump" doll) and her costume is still in my head. Soon, I keep telling myself. Soon.

Saturday, March 7, 2015


  I  fell in love with a doll by Paula McGee I bought her doll, Pippa Grace Darlington. I never buy dolls but I just adored this one. Her face is my desktop photo still a month after she arrived.   Before buying it I tried one of Paula's patterns. The doll with the black hair below is Calliope and it was a nice pattern to do but didn't thrill me like Pippa. I even traced Paula's face pattern.
 Calliope has little pigtails coming off the top of her head - that's not a beehive hairdo!
    Isn't Pippa wonderful? I think the main difference of why I like Pippa better is the broader face. Funny - I dislike the blue and brown combination on everything else but love it on Pippa! Both are big dolls - about 30 inches in height.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Beaded Neckware

   I've started beading a neck piece to go with a pair of earrings I got at an art show. I'm not an experienced beader but I made it up as I went along. Loads of fun, quite a bit of time. The center of the medallion I found at the same show a year later and I had to have it.
   Next I added medallions to string and create a lovely neck piece. Now I have to figure out how to connect things and make a cord to hang them.

   Sadly, I've been viewing beaded neck wear on Pintrest. OMG! Such fabulous stuff but the sad part is how addicting Pintrest is. I'd heard of it being addicting but never realized the photos can go on forever. I just sit mesmerized and scroll and pin and drool.  
   Meanwhile, when I'm away from the computer I can work on the beaded cord. It's a peyote tube, which means each bead is sewn one by one in a spiral. I couldn't get it to work right so started beading around a piece of IV tubing from the hospital. It works great! I could probably pull the tube out now that it's a couple inches long but we'll see. I hope it works out because I'm flying by the seat of my pants being inexperienced and all.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


       Craftsy is an online shop that offers patterns, supplies and free tutorials for things ranging from basic crafts to how to create couture costuming and now you can buy my digital patterns online at Craftsy. Just click on the link to the left or go to Craftsy and search for Skeelhaven.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cloth Marrotte and Merabella Mermaid

         A Marrotte is a jester scepter, or basically a head on a stick. Several in a vase make a great display!
        A Cloth Marrotte is simply a cloth head on a stick. But these are not so simple. These are whimsical, detailed faces with ornate head dresses to finish them off. Tradition holds that whoever had the Marrotte must entertain with a story or song, then pass the Marrotte on to the next person. This is a great family and party game.

        The Cloth Marrotte begins on Doll Street October 25th.  I hope to see you in class!
        Merabella Mermaid is a beautiful cloth doll with lots of bead work to embellish her bodice and waist as well as her tail. Details include needle sculpting a pretty face and torso, articulated fingers and her wild hair as well as detailing her face with color. Detailed beading instructions are also part of the online workshop.
       Merabella Mermaid begins November 15th at Joggles. Come and play with me!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hey Doll Face

     Does creating doll faces befuddle you? I'll be teaching one of my most popular workshops at Doll Street beginning November 8 and it's called "Hey Doll Face." 

     This workshop focuses on facial anatomy for precise feature location, needle sculpting a pretty face and then coloring that face with pens and pencils - no paint! An added bonus is how to wig a doll and add real hair lashes and brows. 

     Additional techniques include sewing and stuffing the head well, and how to complete a cloth over cloth finish so there is no visible center seam on the face. 

     This is a fun class full of tips and techniques and I hope you'll join me!