Sunday, December 23, 2018

Be a Light

This holiday season, be an angel to someone in need... a light in the darkness...

...and may the Light shine on all you do!

Merry Christmas, and God bless us, every one!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Veteran's Day 2018

100 years ago this Veteran's Day, armistice was declared and WWI came to an end.

Remember those who gave their lives for our freedom; who lived to return to nightmares of combat; and all who stand for liberty and justice for ALL.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Sweet Ami

Sweet Ami's...sweet friends.  I want to share with you a new doll pattern.  She is worked in worsted weight yarn with a size D hook.  The crochet is seamless, with the legs crocheted together into the torso, and the arms crocheted to the body at the shoulders.  The head is separate and jointed to a neck stub that will let you move your doll's head around.

Sweet Ami has embroidered eyes, using a simple technique that give you something of a Manga look.

Sweet Ami stands 9 1/2 inches tall, and has a simple to make wig cap that can be modified by your imagination into just about any hairstyle; and use just about any yarn, once you see how the wig is constructed.

Sweet Ami also has some simple wardrobe pieces, based on a simply constructed camisole:

So without further ado, here is the pattern for  Sweet Ami's.

Make a sweet friend for yourself, or someone special in your life, and enjoy the crochet!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Disaster Relief for Hurricane Florence

Robert and Survivor.  Photo by Andrew Carter for The News and Observer.  Read their story here.

One of the faces of suffering and endurance to come out of Hurricane Florence, now inundating the Carolina's and other states in her relentless path.

Please donate to the Red Cross, or other disaster relief organizations.  These folks are going to need all of our help to get their lives back from this catastrophic storm.

Thank you for your generosity.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The joy of dollmaking

August has flown by, and I have immersed myself in dollmaking.  Jessica Doering's Eva pattern, freely available on Ravelry, once again proves to be a dollmakers dream canvas.

Grace and Faith


Faith: the evidence of things not seen.
Hope: the anticipation of future good.
Grace: love freely given


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Crochet Magic

Yesterday, I wasn't feeling very well.  Summer stomach flu, or something like that.  So I dug around for some simple yarn (Knit Picks Brava Worsted), and pulled out one of my favorite patterns:  Jessica Doering's Eva Pattern , freely available on Ravelry.  By the end of the day, I had a new friend!

Meet Lillian.  Fortunately, I had a dress left over from making these dolls last fall that fit her perfectly, and the color was perfect as well!

There is something magical about turning a string and a hook into a new friend.  Turning strings into things is my superpower...what is yours?

Monday, July 23, 2018

Homes for dolls

These guys went to Comfort Cases via a group in Maryland that had a special toy drive for them.

If you are like me, you probably have far more dolls around your home than there is room for.  So where to find a home for all these dolls?

I have been exploring this conundrum.  Of course, you can sell them if you like.  Sometimes I do, but I'm just not a salesman.  Every year several of my dolls go to my parents church for their annual Christmas bazaar (they even have started asking my Dad if I will have dolls for the bazarr!).   Other possibilities exist in your community:  your church, your local hospital, shelters for women and children, nursing homes for the elderly.  There are also some online possibilities:

1.  Comfort Cases.  They put together supplies and a toy in a backpack for children entering the Foster Care system; for as they say, a garbage bag should NOT be a child's backpack.  They recently held a special drive for immigrant children taken from their parents at the border and entering the Foster Care system, which is how I heard of this (from a good Facebook/Flickr friend), but they provide this caring for all children entering the program.

2. Cancer Kickin' Critters.  In their own words ' Cancer Kickin' Critters is a nonprofit created by a kid to bring comfort to children in the hospital fighting cancer.'  I love this, and will be donating to this group as well.  They are on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for all you social media savvy types:  

Facebook:  Cancer Kickin' Critters
Instagram:  CancerKickinCritters
Twitter:  @CKCritters

I would love to hear of any organizations that you donate to or would recommend.  We can make the world a better place, one handmade doll at a time :-)

Monday, July 2, 2018

Whoever welcomes a child like this...

"Whoever welcomes a child like this in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me...And whoever shall cause one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it were better for him that an ass' millstone were hanged on his neck and that he were thrown into the sea." Mark 9:36-37, 42.

In an effort to channel my anger and frustration regarding the treatment of immigrant families and their children at our border, I reworked a previous pattern of mine; changing the body shape, making the head a bit smaller, and creating a new wardrobe.  The pattern, Whoever Welcomes a Child Like This  is freely available here on my blog.

If you make one of these dolls, please keep in mind that all children are deserving of our love and protection.

puffed sleeve dress, ropers, brimmed sunhat and cat hat
dolls in many colors :-)

These dolls measure 3 1/2 inches when worked in size 10 crochet cotton and a size 6 steel hook.  The clothing is worked in size 20 crochet cotton and a size 9 steel hook.  If this seems a bit tiny and daunting, try working the doll in sportweight yarn and a size B hook, and the clothing in size 10 cotton and a size 6 steel hook.  Full disclosure:  I haven't tried this yet, but am pretty sure it would work :-)

Update 7-6-2018!

I have an additonal pattern of four more outfits for Whoever Welcomes a Child!

Enjoy making your own child, for a special child in your life :-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Write your congressmen

Senator Donnelly, Senator Young, Congressman Carson,

I am appalled, and morally outraged, at the treatment of immigrant families on our southern border, by the government of the United States of America. Have you, have we, forgotten that we are a nation of immigrants?

Ripping children from their parents, placing them in cages with nothing but a blanket. No toy or joy or comfort for their fears. This is the grossest of child abuse, and would be prosecuted as such in the United States of America, if the child were 'one of us.'

This administration is filled with men who are fond of quoting the Bible to justify their actions. Let us look at quotations that would be better guides to our behavior:

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this:‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-32

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” 1 John 4:20

I have always been proud to be an American; until now. I am ashamed; we should all be ashamed. We have become a nation of Christians in name only. Christ would weep at what we have become.

YOU must work to stop this. NOW.

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


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 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.  

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!