Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Make Magic


I am still completely enchanted with making these sweet bendy dolls from Emilie Lefler's video tutorials.   The dolls are so easy to make, and she shares so many imaginative variations.

I have a vision of my Christmas tree covered in these lovely fairies, so I added a jump ring to the head of the doll when inserting the floral wire, then made a hanging hook from 20 gauge jewelry wire using a wire-wrapping jig purchased from Michael's.  The doll in the middle I forgot to add the jump ring, so I just inserted one into her hand (I do my hands more like Salley Mavor's Felt Folk).

I have made several more dolls:

A Coral Reef mermaid for my friend Joyce...

Midnight Magic...

Spring Dreams...

Country Girl...

And Sweet Ann.

The last two dolls are dressable!  In my next post I hope to have some basic wardrobe patterns for anyone who would like to try their hand at a dressable bendy doll.  I use size 8 perle cotton, and a size 9 steel hook...small but manageable for most, I hope!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Innocent joys


Dollmaking is one of life's innocent joys.  As the doll takes shape within your hands, there is no room in your mind for negative thoughts.  Time slows down; the focus is on the creative magic taking place before you.  Whether you are crocheting, sewing, knitting, sculpting, or simply wrapping wire with floss, the doll is taking shape before your eyes, with a piece of your soul wound around it.


These dolls are derived and inspired by a series of YouTube tutorials by Emilie Lefler.  She has 60 tutorials, from 9 to 19 minutes in length, where she shows you how to create some truly beautiful dolls from bead, floral wire, floss, and flower petals.

The first tutorial shows you how to make the basic doll.  The only thing I do differently from Emilie when making the dolls is to wrap the end of the wire at the hands and feet, instead of securing with hot glue.  In fact, I don't use any hot glue in the making of the doll body (a bit when doing the hair, though).  Instead, I bury the beginning of the floss when wrapping the doll, then at the end insert the floss tail into a tapestry needle and run it into the dolls body for an inch or sew and cut off, as in the image below.


Also, my dolls are shorter, since I bend up the bottom of the leg about and inch or so to wrap all around the foot and then up the leg.


These lovely dolls are easy to make; I've used flower petals, fabric circles, and crochet to make their outfits.  Some of them are remove-able (the crochet one's) others are not.  After each doll is complete there is such a feeling of sweet accomplishment and joy.  Giving the dolls away shares this joy with others.


Here is a fun way to create a stand for  your doll, which can be embellished or not to your heart's content.  Using wood plaques or wooden disks or coasters, glue a small wooden spool to the disk.  Make sure the hole in the spool is large enough to accommodate one foot of your doll.  After the glue dries, decorate your stand as you like.  The top one I just added buttons and ribbon roses randomly, the one on the left is a birch disk (from Michaels) with a wooden drawer knob masquerading as a mushroom, and the one on the right rather more elaborate with a crocheted doily and flowers glued down.


One dainty foot fits into the spool, and holds the doll in place :-)


Three dolls on one stand!


And a sweet Emerald doll for my sister's birthday :-)

Create a space for joy and make a doll.


Friday, April 27, 2018

Sapphire: 2000-2018


Our sweet Sapphire; gone home to God.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tiny cottage for tiny dolls


If you have a family of tiny dolls, they must be in need of a home!  What I wanted to do was purchase one of those cute CD storage containers that look like a house...I made a dollhouse out of one of these several years ago  (See this post).  Sadly, they don't seem to be made anymore...what to do?

Well, since I hoard boxes (to my husbands dismay), I decided to see what could be done with a single box and some craft sticks collecting dust in my stash of craft goodies.

Here is a photo tutorial on Flickr on making this dollhouse, for the 2 1/2 inch Bendy dolls I've been making:

Fairy cottage tutorial

And here are the steps in a nutshell


And here we are at home :-)


What can you make today!

Monday, April 16, 2018

First camping trip of the year!


We snuck in an overnight camping trip to Brown County state park this last week.  The weather was dry and in the 70's (as I write this Monday afternoon it is snowing!).  We had a wonderful time, in the most beautiful of our state parks.

...hiking the trails...

...chillin' at the campsight...

...looking for signs of spring...


...and finding fairies in unexpected places!


"There is no WiFi in the forest, but the connection is incredible."

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Don't throw that out!


Okay.  There is a decided advantage to never throwing anything away.

Of course, you have to be able to find what you've stashed!

This afternoon I just had to make a couple of bendy dolls.  Several years ago I made dozens of these little dolls from Salley Mavor's Felt Wee Folk book.  Instead of using embroidery floss, I remembered I had a stash of Persian style crewel yarn in a gazillion different colors.  This almost got tossed when cleaning up my workroom a few weeks ago, but I just couldn't trash all those beautiful skeins, even though I had no idea what I might use them for.

Well, they work GREAT for wrapping the pipecleaners, and making the hair :-)


These little dolls are 2 1/2 inches tall, and require just one 12 inch pipecleaner to make them.  The doll on the left has a 20mm diameter head, and the one on the right a 16mm diameter head.  They have acorn caps that I've had for over 10 years, just waiting to be used again :-)

Rose among the Hellebores


Daffodil

Instead of dressing them in felt, I want to crochet some remove-able outfits for them, which is a departure from the book.  And I think they look sweet faceless; what do you think?

So remember...don't throw that out!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Looking for Spring

March has come and gone...it brought the most snow we've had all winter, but the flowers continue to bloom.

I fell in love with Dala horses this month!  A Dala horse is an artifact of Swedish culture: a carved stylized horse with lovely painted details.


These three are from Etsy.  The largest is 6.5 inches from toe to ear, the smallest is 5.0 inches.  Since carving and painting are not my strong suits, I looked around for a crochet pattern for this style of horse.  This is what I found:


The basic horse pattern is for an Icelandic Horse, freely available on Ravelry by K. Godinez.  Here is a direct link to her pattern page:

Icelandic Horse Ragdoll

I tweaked the pattern slightly by adding a stitch to both legs (making them slightly wider) and inserting a thin wooden spool in the bottom of the leg to make them stand a bit better (a piece of dowel rod the appropriate diameter would also work).

I then decorated my horses with crochet flowers, lace, and doilies.

My bead and dowel doll Diane was very happy with the result, so I made her a Swedish inspired outfit to go with her horses :-)


The pinafore is from a pattern for crochet Hitty that you can find on this blog on the left sidebar.  The bonnet is from a pattern designed by Joyce and is available on her Flickr site.  The dress is a fitted waist crochet Hitty dress that you can also find on this blog.  Look for Crochet Hitty on the left sidebar and you should find several outfits to make for this doll.

Here is hoping that spring will decide to come and stay!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Kitties for Hittys...and other tiny dolls


We love cats!  And so does Hitty Twig.  If you knit, Rabbit Hole Knits on Ravelry has two freely available and delightful knit kitties; one of which you see here in grey on the right.  This is the Tiny Window Cat.  There is also a Tiny Parlor Cat.

I do knit, but it is not my strong suit, so I used the inspiration of the Rabbit Hole Knit kitties and created two crochet kitties.  The ones you see in Twig's lap, and the one of the left.

Crochet Kitties for Hitty

So now, you can have a tiny cat for your tiny doll, whether you knit or crochet.  Enjoy!


Thursday, March 1, 2018

A great week!

Last week was a great week!


First, I cleaned up my workroom...the last time was in 2014.  Really, my Mom did raise me to do better than this!

After everything was nice and clean, I made these simple, inexpensive, fun little curio shelves from cardboard boxes.  The perfect place for my little bead and dowel dolls to live :-)


And the girls got some new dresses!  These are based on clothespin angel patterns published several years ago by Leisure Arts


And these are made from size 10 crochet cotton.  The dress is a length of lace from a Leisure Arts pattern; the pattern for the rompers and the cardigan sweater is here:

Twiggie Rompers and Sweater


And finally, more friends in the making, including a Hitty!  Meet Hitty Twig :-)


And patterns for her undies in size 10 crochet cotton:


So listen to your Mother!  Extraordinary things happen, when you clean your work room :-)