Tuesday, January 23, 2007


I've always loved that word. I should look up it's roots.

Thanks everyone, for the nice comments on yesterday's projects. If you are thinking about re-covering something like this, I can't tell you how quick it is. I did that box in just a couple hours. Becca, it would definitely be easier with spray adhesive, but be careful with that stuff. My lungs have become so sensitive to things that spray out of cans! I tend to be really leary of those things now!

Anyway, getting back to the word Hiatus...that's what I need to do. I'm going to drop out of my virtual world for a while. I've been thinking about this for a while. I just need to do some prioritizing. Earl and I are taking classes together this semester and I really need to do some organizing so that my life doesn't do a complete nose dive! I am just planning on limiting all internet time. I'll check in in a few weeks. Geez, this is harder than I thought it would be. I keep sitting here watching the cursur blink! How do I say good-bye and tell you guys how much I appreciate you without coming off as a giant ego? Anyway, I'm dumb. Keep on blogging, I'll try to check in with your blogs when I can.
Monday, January 22, 2007

How cute is this?

So, I've had this "train case" for about five years. I'm sure you've seen these in the department stores around Christmas. This one was full of makeup. I needed something for my sewing supplies next to my bed and I decided to repurpose this case. I was inspired by the photos that Helene shared from a book she owns. This was a really fun and easy project. I just removed the white, cardboard liners that were already in there and "reupholstered" them by hot glueing everything into place. I did add padding to the panel under the lid so I could use it as a pin cushion. I love that cute print with the little girls. It was a fat quarter and it's a pretty large repeat so after doing that top piece there wasn't much usable fabric left. The yellow fabric is a tiny yellow gingham and the black edging inside the compartments is chenille stems!

Now that the inside is so cute, I want to do something fun to the outside! I did cut out some of the little girls from the red fabric. I was thinking about a black glossy paint and decoupaging the girls randomly. Any further ideas?

In doll news, my $1.50 American Girl is going to a new home this week. I finished up her outfit and wanted to share with you how cute she turned out.
The print on her dress is a thirties-like print of cute white puppies. The puppy looks like the American Girl dog, Coconut. I even made a necklace for her that says PUPPY LOVE. Dannielle probably recognizes the hair ribbon! I just love the white, pink, red grouping since it's right before Valentine's Day. As a girl, I thought pink and red were just beautiful together even though other people told me they didn't go together. The design of the dress was inspired by the kinds of dresses we wore back in the early 70's.
I'm sending her to Sandy's little girl and I am so thrilled that this doll is going to get played with! I thought about selling her on ebay, but I don't want her to go to an adult collector- I want her to have a little girl again. Remember Jessie on Toy Story 2? Wasn't that so sad that she ended up in a dark carton? This little girl came to me with frizzy, girl-cut hair, green glitter nails and toenails and eyeliner all over her pretty eyes. She's going to a new home now and she is just about as "new" as I could make her. Abby, I hope you think up a great name for her and that the two of you will have lots of adventures together!
P.S. Dannielle, do you see Hitty in the background? She has really taken to "Bindy" as we call her. They are sitting together again here at my office right now!
Saturday, January 20, 2007

Hey, I got tagged too!

I love being tagged for memes because it means that someone was thinking of me! This time it was Dannielle at Princess Nimble-Thimble. Thank you!

Here's the deal: People who get tagged need to write a blog post of 6 weird things about them as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you are tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

Of course, you know there can be nothing weird about me! LOL! But I'll try.....

  1. Hitty travels with me and when I can I like to pose her and take her picture. (My husband thinks this is really, really weird.)
  2. I like my eggs over easy because I love to sop up the yolks with toast. I only know one other person who likes their eggs this way and that is Eric.
  3. My first husband was 21 years my senior and my second husband is 10.5 years my junior.
  4. I have beautifully shaped feet with high arches and pretty little toes, but I have a raging case of toenail fungus. I think I got it as a lesson in vanity!
  5. My arms are completely hairless. When I was little they were very bumpy. The doctors didn't know what to think of it. Now they are smooth, but have no hair. And guess what? My son Eric has the same arms!
  6. I have a really cobbled together family. I have adopted family, half family and step family galore, but until I met my brother Dean, the only people I ever knew that shared blood with me were my children. My sweet brother Jonathan who was adopted like me, doesn't know any of his biological family. I am a big proponent of adoption, but the world does not take into account just how "alone" the adopted child can feel.
Okay, that's it. I don't think they're really very weird at all. Hmmm, the thing is how do you define weird? One person's weird is another person's normal! Anyway, this has been fun. I'm not sure if I can think of six people who haven't already been tagged! Let's say Amanda at Stuffed, Amanda at Zhinkadinkadoo, Lyn at Molly Chicken, Jenny at Allsorts, Hillary at Wee Wonderfuls and Sandy at For Reluctant Entertainers. Happy Meme-ing!
Monday, January 15, 2007

Meet Hitty Joy Raikes!

I hope you like her- she is a very sweet girl! You know, I read the book Hitty, Her First Hundred Years some time ago and have been wanting my very own Hitty ever since. In Doll World, Hitty is pretty popular. There are many commercial versions available, including a kit by Judith Brown that teaches you how to carve your own and one you can buy already handcarved by artist Jean Lotz. If you search ebay, you can often find one-of-a-kind Hittys for sale, including ones made of cloth! There are many clubs and groups devoted to Hitty. Mine is a Raikes Hitty. She is the only doll that came home with me from the doll show. This is how she looked right out of the box. As you can see, she came with a muslin bag with her name on it so she can travel with me wherever I go. Her face was beautiful as it was, but it was almost too perfect. Also, I wasn't crazy about her hair. Hitty always has two little curls on her forhead. So I decided to do a little carving before doing my painting. This is the original Hitty that inspired the book written in 1927. As you can see, she's lost a lot of her paint over the years, but I still think she has such a sweet face. That was what I wanted for my Hitty Joy. A sweet, simple face.What do you think? I know she really doesn't look anything like the original and yet I am so pleased with her! I think she looks very peaceful and sweet. It was so much fun to paint her! I also antiqued her with faint brown glaze to give her an older look.

When I brought her home I introduced her to all of the "Smalls" which seem to be my favorite kind of doll because I sure have a lot of them! Here she is with Wendy, Audrey, Anna, Amelia and the tiny little Bendy that Dannielle made. Since Josephine asked about my Smalls a while back, I thought I would share a little information now since the family is growing! This pretty little lady is so dear to me! This is an Edith Flack Ackley made for me by Elaine Jackson in a doll swap we did together. This is the doll that looks like my mother! I love her to pieces and she is so delicately and beautifully made! Here, Hitty Joy is borrowing a dress from another dear Small. This is Anna who was made for me in a swap by Cindy Owens. We were attempting to duplicate the look of peg woodens in fabric. She came with lots of extras too, including the yellow dress! Here's a close up of Anna's pretty face. I wish you could touch her because she feels amazing! Cindy did a beautiful job with the gesso and sandpaper.

Here's one more shot of the girls. The one on the far right is the prototype of the doll I sent to Cindy. This one is Amelia. I want to send her to my grandmother Ann who is a wonderful miniaturist, but I'm not satisfied with her yet.Here's a close up of Amelia's face. I want to do a little embellishing on her dress and then I will send her off. It is already apparent that Hitty Joy is the one in charge of these girls! Not in an obnoxious way, but in a kind, no nonsense sort of way! You see, Anna is beautiful, but she's not very smart. Audrey is too pretty for her own good. She's selfish and vain, you see! Amelia is capable enough, but she knows she is not in her own home so she doesn't feel it's her job to create order. Bendy of course, is just a baby! Hitty Joy has lots of plans for furnishing a home for her sisters and who knows what else? I think I better be ready for anything!

But, I think she better be careful of Yoda who believes that he should always be the center of attention!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Getting that old itch again....

Hey, get your mind out of the gutter! LOL! I meant the cloth doll itch. I am trying to remember the last cloth doll I made and I can't! I think it was the brother and sister dolls I made for my step-niece and nephew. I did make those, didn't I, Michelle? How come I can't find a pic of them anywhere? You're going to have to let me know because now I'm feeling a little loopy!

Anyway...what I was trying to say is that I found a pair of doll artists on ebay called Cart Before The Horse and I love their work! You can go look if you'd like. I would love to post a photo of one of their dolls here, but I think that's an internet no-no, so you'll have to follow the link.

I did make a doll similar to their style and that I can show! This is an angel I made from an Annie Beez Folk Art pattern (it's the third one down). This was my take on it:

Anyway, it's somewhat similar in style. My favorite thing about the Cart Before The Horse dolls is their beautiful faces. Look at their Alice doll. That is one seriously beautiful face! It reminds me of an artist from Italy. A pop artist. Do you know who I mean? Is it Rosetti? I know one of you knows who I'm talking about- help a girl out here! But yeah, I really need to make a cloth doll now.

P.S. Tomorrow I am attending my first doll show ever! Do you think I should take Cissette? Her head needs to be restrung very badly. Do you think there will be a vendor there that would be willing to do it for me?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Congratulations Amanda!

Amanda is going to be getting the Amish Puzzle Ball! That's her name there in my boss's hands. Steve is awfully nice, isn't he? Anyway, I think I have your address, Amanda, but if not, I will email you later day. Okay, back to work!
Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Getting organized

I, like many of you, have been busy de-Christmasing the house. We had a lovely Christmas, but I can't say that I am completely satisfied. The bathroom issue was, of course, a large part of my dissatisfaction (and, no, it's not done yet!). But it was more than that. It was really a lack of planning on my part. I really enjoy making gifts and this year, there were no handmade gifts at all. (By me, anyway. My sister-in-law made me the most beautiful scarf and I think it might be my favorite thing!) I also left out a lot of people that I love and wanted to give things to, but ended up empty handed when the time came. The people that did get gifts, got gift cards. Now, sometimes, a gift card is the best choice, but when you see the recipient all year and know the things they like, you ought to be able to come up with something (purchased or made) that suits them. I'm not on a soapbox here- I'm really just trying to sort out my feelings.

The other area I really messed up with was Christmas cards. I went to all the trouble of addressing the envelopes, writing a family letter and then completely flaking out on the purchase of postage stamps! Gaahhhh! Anyway, I can at least re-use the envelopes next year!

Anyway, as I've packed away my decorations, I've started a list. A big list that I intend to keep here in my computer and edit as the year progresses. I've written down the things that are important for me to do next Christmas, like craft with the kids, make candy and mail cards. I've written down all the people I want to give gifts to so that no one gets a "last minute" anything (or worse, nothing at all!) and I've started listing craft ideas for gifts. When I see a craft online that I think will make a good gift for someone on my list, I add the link to the list. I'm hoping this will help me to craft the Christmas I would like to have next year.

How about you guys? Any tips to share that will help me out?
Monday, January 08, 2007

For you

For one of you, anyway. I've long wanted to do a give-away here and have never felt that I made anything with broad enough appeal to give away. But I think this might do. This is an Amish Puzzle Ball. I made it this weekend specifically to give to you. I will draw a name from the comments on this post on Wednesday morning, 8:30 PST. Then we will get this in the mail for you! I hope you like it. It's very nice to hold in your hand. I have attached a golden thread for hanging, but you can remove it if you prefer.

This is just a general thank you to all of Bloglandia for enriching my life so much! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year!

Joy, joy, joy, joy! Not sure why, but I'm really happy to greet 2007! I hope you all are as well.

We just enjoyed a long weekend full of family and fun. I don't know if I've ever mentioned this before, but my mother was married five times! My dad remarried too! Oh, and my first husband was married before. As a result, I have many "steps" in my life and this was the weekend for visiting with them all! Saturday we had a lovely visit from my stepmother Marian and my stepsister Lindsay with her two little kiddles (darlings!) and stepdaughter Heather slipped in for a quick hello too. Sunday my other stepsister Barbara and her husband dropped in. Yesterday we had a good long visit with my stepdaughter Kelly and her three gorgeous daughters. Whew! So great to get some real "face" time with the people I care about, but don't often get to see.

I did slip away to the thrift store Saturday morning and found an American Girl doll for $1.50! I think this might be the steal of the century! She's a darling doll- they are so appealing. The photos don't do them justice. In person, you can see and feel the quality in these dolls. What will I do with her? I don't know yet! Right now she is having spa therapy. Her previous mommy was pretty zealous with the make up and hair styling! I'll try to post a photo of her soon.

I have no resolutions this year, but I am stealing Amy's idea. This is what she wrote and I found it so moving, I printed it out and have it posted at my desk:
I declare that this is going to be a great year. Really wonderful things are coming for me this year. I'm ready for them. I will recognize them when I see them. I won't push them away with fear or negativity. I will graciously accept all of the good coming my way. And will look for the message that each challenge represents.

I feel ready for good things. Not that 2006 was bad, but 2007 will be even better! That is my wish for all of us!