Friday, March 25, 2022

In Regards to My Falling Down:

    One dark night I went down when I snoozed a few moments at 3 am on the toilet.  I’ve never done that before, fallen asleep on the toilet.  I do take good sleepy time drugs.  So I didn't realize my legs were numb until I attempted to stand and then I crumbled to the floor like a wet towel.  I woke up enough to pull my head back so I gently positioned it on the wall instead of smacking it there.  In this small room, between the porcelain god, the tub, a close wall and a strategically placed bathroom scale that gave me a small bruise on my knee I contorted about until I could wake my legs and then walk back to bed an immediately fell back to sleep.  Like I said.  Good drugs.  Nothing was hurt but my pride, but only for a moment as I later found the whole experience quite comical.

     It was just a week later, eight days actually but who is really counting here?  There was a kitchen rug episode in which a rug that had existed, or at least an ancestor had been there, more than 20 years, unexpectedly became a villain.  While in a rush to put a bowl in the sink and go about my business I tripped andI flew head first like a bat out of hell for the lower cupboards in front of the sink.  I pulled back my head in time that it didn’t hit a thing so I only fell on that sinister, now folded fake piece of carpeting.  But the bowl made it safely into the sink just fine, flying like a duck on the wing.  And the 4” by 8” rug was pulled from the kitchen immediately after Craig helped me up.  There’s nothing like a man hearing a crash in the next room rushing to save the day!  My hero!  That must have been the end of last year as D-I-L Alisha bought me a cushy padded mat that sticks to the floor with tapered edges, so I’m good in the kitchen now.   It’s more comfy to dance on while I’m at the sink, too. 

     The next time I fell was while I was painting a border on the dining room walls just after enlarging the room 2 feet.  Yes, 2 feet.  Craig’s mom had a table that was huge, but still Craig insisted it go in our miniscule dining room because he grew up with it.  And it is a fine table.  Just enormous.  Without the 2 leaves.  We couldn’t back up to get out of our chairs as they were already pressed against the wall!  So one day I casually said (in a I’m-kidding-but-no-not-really-voice) that when we move my studio to the basement and before Son Shawn expands his space into the room adjacent to the dining area we should move this wall 2 feet and enlarge the dining room.  He loves me very much and after measuring and calculating and tapping on walls as all Tim the Tool Man men do, he said that he could.  I knew he absolutely could as I believe my man can do anything, like jack up our house 4 feet and build a basement, where my said studio was promised, and turned out to be just awesome. That’s another story for another time. 

     Well, impatient Craig started removing the wall before I was even packed to move the studio and he started asking me move my things so he could work.  Anywhoo, Craig, he likes to leave his tools in the room until it’s done, which meant moving the two tables (Yes two.  One was his grandmothers that we used before his mother’s that arrived 5 years ago and he said Nanny’s table was “too good for the barn or the basement” and so for 5 years it sat at the far end of the gi-hugic table up smashed between the wall and the afore mentioned Mother’s table in our  room.)  Anywhoo (again!) so I needed to move his circular saw that was where I needed to sit on a stool to hand paint a leaf border just above the chair rail.  The saw was heavy so I just rotated it so I wouldn’t have my leg up against anything dangerous while I was distracted painting.  You may have noticed I’m a klutz and an accident waiting to happen so I was trying to be cautious.  I didn’t notice that this 7-inch-stick-out-handle-looking-thing stuck out.  It was black. Over dark burgundy carpet.  While I had my glasses off because I was hand painting details.  So I stood up slowly to pay attention to the sore knee then tried to scoot backwards so as to not spill the paint I had sensibly sat on my stool when said handle reached out and grabbed my leg and knocked me on my behind.  I slammed into a corner of the Grandmother Clock dead center between my shoulder blades.  I didn’t break the clock glass and the hit was placed just the right way between my shoulders and missed my spine, fortunately, where I had back surgery a year ago.  I’m still protective of my little surgery spot.  The clock chimes made a colossal racket for a couple jiffies while  I was a wee bit dazed and I just sat there, being glad that I had started carrying my cell phone on me at all times as Brian insisted about 7 years ago, and so I pondered whether  I needed to call anyone.  Shawn worked evenings and Craig was at the church for worship team rehearsal which is 15 minutes away in Galena. So I sat quietly and I looked up when Shawn came around the corner from the stairs and into the kitchen.  He had the night off for no apparent reason but to rescue his mommy.  As a good son he flew across the floor to make sure I wasn’t dead yet.  I actually said, “I’m not dead yet.”  (We’re serious Monty Python fans.)  So he helped me up.   Again, no injuries, not even a sore spot between my shoulders.  This happened less than a month ago. 

     And then there was the studio chair incident of 5 days ago.  I was seated, leaning over to pick up a small box, lightweight and all, while sitting on the edge of my studio rolling desk type chair.  I felt myself inching forward, half inching actually.  I didn’t feel like I would take too long to lift that lightweight box before needing to adjust my position when all of a sudden I skated off the chair, slammed to the concrete floor and I smacked my head on the chair’s rounded seat bottom that was abundantly harder than Mt. Rushmore as it suddenly stopped against the shelving behind the chair.  6 days later and I still have a sore spot!  So, son Brian was helping to carry studio supplies to the basement.  He heard the crash and laughed thinking I just knocked over the big stack of boxes on the table.  Well he apologized profusely when he found me on the floor.  He’s a good son.  Both my guys are.  Trapped between the table, a big heavy box and a wooden stool, I couldn’t get up.  Craig appeared with another stack of boxes, he shook his head, then he and Brian each took an elbow and lifted me up.  Besides my head, again I was fine.

     Honestly, I think I have about a dozen Guardian Angels around me ALL THE TIME!  They are not quick enough to keep me from hitting the floor, but they do make it a bit easier by always having someone nearby to pick me up and they keep me from sending a call to my beloved paramedics for a joyous trip to the ER.  Thank God for Guardian Angels!

Friday, March 18, 2022

Dusty Moon Assistant to the Queen of Fae

 

     My newest pattern release Dusty Moon is actually an old pattern created for my local doll club, the Guilded Lilies.  We wanted to design a new pattern book (it was our second or third publication, I’m not sure) and the concept was for multiple people to create a story.  One person would create a chapter, create dolls for her characters, design a pattern to go along with the dolls and then another person would pick up and continue the story until it was complete.  Well the idea was wonderful but I believe only 2 or 3 of us actually added to the story.  There was a magical tree created as well as a beautiful little girl named Teeny in a pinafore, both created by Inez Brasch.  Inez gave those dolls to me but alas, I am in the process of moving my studio back to my ground level entry basement now that I have recovered from back surgery, and I've no clue which box those dolls are in.  I'll post them someday.

       

     Anywhoo, my character was Dusty Moon, assistant to the Queen of Fae.  She is elderly, as she has held the position for a very long time and knows how to best care for the queen.  I made the doll, designed a pattern with the basics for our booklet and recently revised the pattern with all the bells and whistles.

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     Dusty has a sweet elderly face that includes needle felted eyebrows and lashes.  She is a stump doll, so she stands on her own and wears a vest of handmade chenille, which the pattern explains how to create.  The vest includes six interior pockets, each full of necessities including miniature bottles of herbs for healing teas, a spool of thread and a miniature brass mirror.  Dangling from her belt are other basic needs: an assortment of keys, a miniature brass fan that actually folds open and closed, an hourglass and a flask - for medicinal purposes, of course.  On her back Dusty totes a pack full of assorted scrolled documents with decrees from the Queen herself.  Originally Dusty held a 1¼ inch book, but it seems to be packed somewhere with Teeny and the tree.       

     This pattern is available at my Etsy shop as a PDF and at Dollmakers Journey in printed form.  You can purchase my PDF Dusty Moon Pattern here.


You can purchase a paper copy of my Dusty Moon Pattern at Dollmakers Journey.

Monday, February 7, 2022

WIP Friendship Doll


    I've started a piece mostly of my own design. She began with the shape from a free pattern by Jill Mass that you can get at Dollmaker's Journey here. Mine will be about 7 inches with fabrics in a crazy quilt fashion. So far I've added some lace and tulle with a sheer fabric touched with tiny gold dots and I've begun adding beadwork. Maybe I'll add some embroidery later. I'm making this up as I go. She will be stitched to a backing with embroidery stitches and stuffed. I also hope to dangle some larger beads from the bottom. As I am creating I keep getting new ideas so who knows where the embellishing will take me.

This may take me forever, but I need to make 4 for some special friends.

Buttons!!!


I found that I never published this back in May of 2021.

   I used to do button crafts for craft shows. Necklaces, critters with a string of button legs and my favorite button crafts were pins with a collage of buttons and lace with a few beads for embellishments. 

  Even when I began to make dolls I still sold pins with buttons because they were fun to make.  So I ordered pounds of buttons in all sorts of colors.  Then I sorted them by color, putting the buttons in divided embroidery floss boxes dividing shades in to separate compartments.  So I have pounds and pounds of buttons!  But since I love Victorian things I made and sold pins with white buttons the most.

   My white buttons were first divided by buttons with holes and buttons with shanks, which are the little loops on the back so you can't see the thread from the front of the button.  Then I had to divide the buttons by shades of white -- bright white, pail white, shiny white, dull and flat white and then there's the cream buttons that fade into yellow.  Recently I've divided my white buttons even further. Since most buttons came in bulk matching buttons weren't typically together. So, I grouped buttons that match.  Each group went into a little baggie,  whether there were only 2 that matched or a larger bag held 50, and then there were also unmatched buttons.  My favorite bag is for the antique buttons, buttons made of shells and the unusual ones.  I'll be saving that bag to only pull from on special projects.  


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Folding Fabric

 


        That lovely lady sitting in the center of the room is me in "Studio A" of my studio set.  I say set as I have a main room and two small bedrooms.  I moved up to the first floor because I struggle with stairs.  The main room, which I just call the studio once was our living room.  Long story short, we never really used that room.  "Studio A" is what I call part two of my studio.  I finally got almost all the white / clear drawers to line the perimeter.  The drawers hold tons of things, bits and bobs, hair for dolls and polymer clay, and assorted glue products, to name a few.   "Studio B" is the bedroom next door and the walls and closet are full and a little bit over flowing.  I've got loads of yarn, possibly for doll hair.  I hope so, I don't knit or crochet.  I have bins full of chenille stems, pompoms, fabric yoyo's, porcelain doll busts with matching hands, and many projects to make more things to sell at the craft shows I used to travel.

        And then there's fabric.  F-A-B-R-I-C.  If you've ever been to a sewing store and needed to get a pattern out of the gigantic metal cabinets then you can picture two full sized pattern cabinets in my studio and picture them both completely full of fabric.  Plus a row full of floor to ceiling fabric drawers.

       So I've decided to share the wealth.  I am folding every piece of fabric I own.  If it's more than a half a yard I cut it into pieces.  As I fold each piece of fabric I decide if it brings me joy.  If yes, I place it in a white plastic drawer, sorted by color, of course.  If how ever that piece of fabric does not tickle my happy bone it gets put into a box.  The goal is to pack boxes full of fabrics and trims, and other fun things like butterflies (they make great faerie wings!).  The boxes will then be shipped to friends far away and hopefully my doll club would like to receive my treasure boxes.  Then the rest will go to Good Will.  

               My goal is to get rid of one pattern cabinet and at least one set of floor to ceiling white / clear drawers, which don't fit into studio A.  You may be able to see it behind me at the right in the pic above.  I'm stuck right now.  I'm folding blue fabric.  Blue is my favorite color.  When I shop E-Quilter.com, my package always seems to have more blue fabric in it than I remember purchasing.  So most blue fabric gives my joy.  I may have to go through the blue fabric twice!  LOL!!!  I tried to tell myself that after a laundry basket full of blue fabric already folded... well, sort of... that I had folded half of the blue fabric.  Then I found another floor to ceiling stack of drawers full of blue.  Sigh.  

        Let me know if you want a box.  I will assort pieces / colors, add ribbons and trims, bits and bobs and surprises.  The cost to you is the shipping.  It's a free gift, given with love by someone who wants to make the studio functional and far less crowded.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Goodies


       A while back Doll Street had a swap of filling a gallon zip bag with sewing / doll making supplies. Five of us participated, so we each made five bags, getting five in return.  I never got around to sorting the supplies so I could put them away properly. So now is as good a time as any.  This is what my table looks like right now.
      There was some mix up when switching bags around and I only got bags from three people, two of which included two bags from the same participant so I didn't get as much variety but I got more of the same fabric and trim which could prove helpful on a larger doll.   The fabrics vary from earthy batiks to delightful designs that include metallic gold.  I love fabrics with gold so hope I find a project for them soon.  Fabrics with metallic designs seem to have more class than plain fabrics, at least to me.  
       Also on the table are two thick fabric based feathers with embossed leaf details and with color splashes and glitter all in blues and purples.  I have no idea what I will use them for since they are about seven inches long, but I'll know when the right project comes along.  There is a lot of flat lace, mostly about one and a half to two inches wide and I can see those getting used in the fabric book I started a while back.  I put all the existing pages and supplies in a canvas bag and it's around here somewhere, probably on the wall of UFO's.  Fortunately it's not a big wall.  



       There was a two inch tomato pincushion, and I believe that you can't have too many of them.  Pin cushions can be at the work table to insert into a doll pattern, beside the iron to remove the pins with plastic heads so they don't melt while pressing a hot iron over them, beside the sewing machine so I can remove pins one by one as I sew so that I don't break a needle, and with projects that get carried to the family room so I can work on projects and watch Netflix with the family. There's also a need for a pin cushion that may travel to a friends house or a meeting where I can sit and create and still be involved in whatever conversation may be going on. 


Patti Culea's Fabric Book

       I found little bits and bobs like beads, sequins and tiny plastic stars that can be glued on a project which would also be good for my fabric book.  The book started out as Patti Culea's fabric book design and I completed several of her page designs from her patterns while sitting with my friend Jody Miller, who was working on the same pages with me.  As is Jody's style, she worked on more pages at home and completed her Culea Fabric book in no time flat with her personal taste in fabrics and faces and finished her a book that totally reflected her style.  As is my style, I dove right in and accidently did a page upside down.  I worked so hard on beading it that I've decided to include it anyway and to start reshaping more pages so I can have an assortment of shaped pages throughout the book.  I may even design a new cover that would be a little bit larger to cover the assorted shapes.
       So, with all these wonderful goodies I have several projects in mind and would love to dive into them immediately BUT I have a project that I promised months ago that comes first.  As soon as I can clear off my work table I can get back to it.  

Friday, June 19, 2020

Tears

      



       "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

       Revelation 21:4 NIV

      This morning while reading my email this was my daily verse sent by "Bible.com."  I don't often post about my beliefs but this is of complete hope and faith.  I enjoy reading the daily verse and this one hit home.  May it bless your day as well!