Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Little Tiny Elven Flower Pots

I was so inspired by Bella Dia's beautiful button bouquets, I rounded up my little elves last night and we tried our hand at our own. Sorry for yet another awful photo. It's just so dang dark around here!

Carmen and I added little wire spirals to ours. Nice for holding a photo or a placecard. I still need to add some fabric to the empty spools. My favorite is the itty bitty yellow spool. Also, we didn't have wooden spools which is what Cassi used. Also, I didn't have floral tape and stupid Walmart was out so I bought a roll of green crepe paper which I ended up liking better. The color is a brighter green so it has a more cute cottage-y look.

The sad part is that my little elves are not as eager as they used to be for crafting with Mom. Carmen was gracious, Max was fairly willing, but easily distracted and Eric pretty much had to be bribed with chocolate. *sigh* Well, that's the way of it, I suppose. I sure am going to enjoy having grandchildren!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Crafts, Cats, Dolls- Life is Good!

Since I've been a very bad blog poster lately, I will give you this as an apology:

Funny Pictures
moar funny pictures

Doesn't that more than make up for my absence? I am one busy lady! On the 19th I had a great day in Pleasanton with my best friend, Sandra. We went to a craft show at her local fairgrounds. Lots of glittery goodness! I fell in love with this awesome tree! Pink AND glittery! Awesome! After the craft fair, Sandra wooped me at Scrabble and I cried all the way back to Sacramento.

We had a great Thanksgiving at my brother and sister-in-law's. I spent the day cleaning my work area at home and then we left and ate turkey and all the yummy extras and then on Friday...I opened up my one-woman doll factory! By Sunday night this is what I had accomplished:
(Not a very good pic- sorry about that- they are much cuter in real life!) So now I am working on getting everyone dressed so I can put them in my shop. I will post here when that time comes- hopefully very, very soon!

In other news, the wonderful Yahoo group, Edith Flack Ackley Dolls, that I've been a part of for five years, is hosting an Ebay auction! It is called "Dollies for St. Jude" and it will be three days only. December 7th, 8th and 9th. If you type in "Dollies for St. Jude" in the Ebay search window on the 7th, it should take you to all the dolls listed. We are all super excited about this and there are some awfully cute Edith Flack Ackley dolls being created just for this special event. 100% of the proceeds will go to St. Jude Research Hospital. I am working on getting a button made for my sidebar that will have the info. (Edited: The image below is click-able. It will take you to the group's home page. Big thanks to Josephine, group moderator, for all the help!) This is what my friend, Margaret made. Cute, huh? Like I said, I'm busy! But loving it!

Edith Flack Ackley Dolls

I am wishing all of you good busy-ness too! Hugs to all!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Let the Elven Fun Begin!

I had such fun Saturday! I gathered up everything "crafty" that I could think of in the house and then I organized it all and created a "Christmas Crafting Center" in our dining room. A basket full of embellishments... and a fun Christmas Tree project. I'm sure you know the one- straight pins and a variety of sequins. Eventually the whole tree will be covered. This is a fun activity to do when you don't have any ideas! It sort of "primes the pump"...

...table and shelving unit ready for Elven action... and books to inspire...

...even shelf labels to help little Elves stay organized!
I found more inspiration online. Diane at CraftyPod posted this wonderful tutorial that I think my kids will enjoy doing. Plus I have lots of craft book with good ideas. One other thing that I added was a large container full of cardboard pieces, gift boxes, tins and empty cardboard tubes. These are all things that can be transformed into gifts with some elven imagination.
I really love that my kids are old enough now that they don't require so much adult supervision that I have to keep this stuff locked up! There has already been some activity too!
In other news, I am missing my little Max. He is on his Sixth Grade camping trip. He will be back Friday and then I can start breathing again!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Farewell, Miss Emily

Gosh, I'm really going to miss her. I don't know if it was the dress fabric in those yummy fall colors or her pretty hair style made of mohair, but I was getting really attached to Emily. She's excited though. She is on her way to Iowa where she will be a gift for my customer's granddaughter! Emily hoped that she might get a girl, but she was still pretty amazed when she got the news!

Shipping cloth dolls is always a little funny. I mean, it's not breakable so not much is required in the way of packaging. Most of the time, I just wrap it in tissue, drop it in a box and send it on it's way. But that never seemed "special" enough and that's why I tried my hand at box making for Daisy and Rose. The problem with that is the time involved! Plus, it's not impervious to damage by the mail service (Sorry Dannielle!). I think I have found the perfect solution! Check this out:

It's just a piece of cardboard with scrapbooking paper glued to it! Then I cut two slits where I ran a ribbon to tie around Emily's waist which will hold her in place. It's 12" x 12" which was a little short, but that's the size of the paper and it fit in sideways nice and snug so it won't rattle. Since this is my first, I learned a lot, of course. First- go to Dollar Tree and stock up on lots of scrapbooking paper! This is a darling paper, but maybe not the best choice for Emily. It will be good to have a selection on hand. Second- get double stick tape to avoid glue hassles. Third-stock up on floral ribbon. It's cheaper and perfect for this application.

Anyway, I'm really happy with this solution, but after she was gone, I wished I had glued a landscape picture of Iowa on the inside of Emily's box. That would have been nice for her to look at, don't you think? (I'm fine, really!)
Monday, November 05, 2007

My Girl Josephine

Some people have a gift for encouragement. My friend Josephine is like that. I think we met on the Vintage Cloth Dollmaking group on Yahoo. And then we both showed up at the Edith Flack Ackley group. Despite health problems and family problems, she has always made time to be one of my best cheerleaders. If you've been a reader here for a while, I am sure you have seen her sweet comments. We also email each other often and now we are co-moderators on the EFA group. Anyway, she really surprised me last week with an envelope full of goodies. Just look at all this!

The craft books are great! Lots of groovy fun there to inspire me. I really love the angora one from the fifties. Do you see the fabrics? Feedsacks! I really love this one below. It's a gorgeous print and it's a nice big piece. I think I know what I'll be using it for too, but that's for the next post!

Such amazing colors!

But my favorite goodies are the glass buttons and hankies. They look amazing! Here's the crazy part- Josephine bought the buttons at one antique fair and the hankies at another and it wasn't till she was at home and just happened to see them together that she realized what a great match they were. So beautiful!
Well, something about the fine weave of the hankerchiefs and the beautiful glass buttons made me think of Bluette. Now, if you are not familiar with Bleuette, here is a great article that explains them. I have lost cloth doll friends to Bleuette so I think a warning is in order. These are adorable dolls who beg to be dressed. If this is an area of weakness for you, you might not want to investigate any further!

One friend who is all about cloth dolls, but has room in her heart for others is Judi Ward. Judi can recreate any doll in cloth. She has created a pattern to make jointed cloth Bleuettes, which is an amazing feat, but she also made this pattern that I am crazy about:
This is her Bleuette Manikin pattern and it's free! What a darling little doll! Oh lordy! There are two options for the hands- I love the full finger hand and look at those knees! She is only about eleven inches tall like the original Bleuettes which I think is amazing.

Even more amazing is the fact that someone has gone through all the trouble of scanning hundreds of the original Bleuette sewing patterns and making them available for free. The site is The Bleu Door and it is a wealth of Bleuette information.

I am not going to join the Bleu cult, but I am going to make this manikin. Mainly because I can see it needs a perfect little outfit made from those hankies and buttons. My goal at this point is to shoot for Valentines's Day cuz I'm plenty busy right now! A sweet Valentine just for me!
Thank you so much, Josephine! I love all of it, but I think you can see which items have me totally enchanted!
Friday, November 02, 2007

A-Haunting We Did Go!

In my neighborhood, we never outgrow Halloween!
Hope you all had spooktacular fun!