Friday, November 25, 2016

Creative Black Friday 2016

The Friday after Thanksgiving.  Creative Black Friday.  On this day I try make something special for someone; today it was apple gingerbread bars for a dear friend and her oldest daughter :-)  My friend had moved several states away earlier this spring, and this is the first we have seen each other since.  It was great!  The South agrees with her, and our friendship is as deep and true as ever.

After our visit, I began working on these delightful dolls by Hillary Lang.  The pattern is the Make-Along Doll, a very simple and sweet cloth doll with a years worth of wardrobe.  At this point Hillary is at nine patterns and counting up to 12.

The pattern makes a doll 16 inches tall, but this was a bit bigger than I wanted.  It is easy to reduce a pattern, so these dolls, reduced to 60% of the original size, are between 10 and 11 inches tall.  Also, I chose to hand stitch the dolls, instead of machine stitch them.

You notice they are different sizes and proportions.  No change was made to the pattern; this is the result of placing the patterns on the fabric either along the straight grain (parallel to the selvage edge) or on the cross grain (perpendicular to the selvage edge).

Believe it or not, woven fabric has a stretch to it.  If you take your fabric and pull it parallel to the selvage, you will find very little if any stretch.  Pull it perpendicular, and there will be a noticeable stretch to the fabric.   Cloth dolls are stuffed very firmly, and will distort the doll in the direction of maximum stretch.

So, if you want a slender bodied doll, place your doll body pattern pieces perpendicular to the selvage edge.  If you want a shorter and plumper look, place the pieces parallel to the selvage.  There is no right or wrong way, just whatever way you like best!

As you can see, there is a good inch difference in the height of the doll, and the shorter girl has a rounder face and plumper body.  Both are adorable; which do you like best?

I love making patterns from other dollmakers; there is always something new to learn.  Hillary uses a ladder stitch to attach the limbs to the body.  I've used ladder stitching to close openings, but never to attach arms and legs.  I really like the way it looks.  And, she has a unique way of making hair that is worth a try.

So,  I hope your Creative Black Friday was a good one.   A gift of handmade is a gift of your time, a piece of yourself, and a very precious offering.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

You're safe with me

A quiet statement of caring, to remind you that regardless of what the media reports, innumerable acts of kindness occur in our country every day.

Food pantries run by small churches that serve all, without asking their political or religious affiliation.  Groups making items for the homeless as winter sets her sights on us.   Crafters creating scarves for deployed military and caps for premature babies.  Red Cross donations during disasters for people who are perfect strangers to us.

We are not defined by hatefulness.  Wear a safety pin, so all will know they are safe with you.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

A walk in the woods

I see the path in front of me
Curve, and now it's out of sight.
Dusty leaves beneath my feet;
The trees play games with shade and light.

Mostly leafless, then the sun
Flames a tree of brilliant gold
Alone amongst the barren limbs
And rooted in the autumn mold.

Where to find the soul's ease of a walk in the wood in the 13th largest city in the U.S.?   We found such a place at Fort Harrison State Park, on the northeast side of Indianapolis.  Over 1700 acres of undeveloped land, threaded with hiking and biking trails.  

No better way to spend the day.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The morning after

image from pinterest

Somehow, it seems appropriate today...sadly, in five years it may.

Update 11/11/2016:  I've received several negative comments to this post, which isn't troubling except they are from people who do not comment on my blog.  So, I am disabling comments for this post.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The many faces of Raggedy Ann

Clockwise from top:  Annie's by Tanja, Lorraine, Joyce, and me :-)

How many of us had a Raggedy Ann as a child?  I did; she was the classic red-haired urchin with 'I love you' printed on her chest.  Three of my Flickr friends became beguiled by Annie, and I wanted to share their delightful dolls with you.

Annie is a doll with a lot of heart, as you can see from the four above.  Here is a little more information about them:

These beautiful Annies are by Tanja, who is Lenekie on Flickr.  Her dolls are remarkable; take a look at her photostream.  These Annies are from Oh Sew Dollin, who's patterns can be found on Etsy.

Blue-haired LiliAnnie was made by Joyce, aka Dutzie on Flickr, from another Oh Sew Dollin pattern. LiliAnnie is only six inches tall!   Check out Joyce's photostream for more delightful dolls.

This dear little red-head, Esme by name,  was made by Lorraine, aka Balancing Kiwi on Flickr.  She used my Prairie Flowers cloth doll pattern (that you can find on the left sidebar of this blog), and turned her into the most adorable 13 inch Annie :-)  Lorraine has many wonderful dolls on her Flickr photostream.

AnnaBelle is another Prairie Flower Annie; I reduced the pattern to 50%, so she is also a tiny mite at six inches small.  If you reduce the clothing patterns by the same amount, you can create quite a wardrobe for your pocket Annie.

Other delightful designers of Annie's are Maureen Mills of Sweet Meadow Farms, and Cindy's Homespun, both on Etsy.

Dee Powell Annie's made many years ago

Annie can have many faces, but all of them speak to the heart.