Archive for April, 2009

Janet’s Blog

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Our oldest daughter, Janet, finally created a blog.  She has a wonderful store on eBay where she sells children's clothing. 
Janet's profile page Rats.  Forgot to format the photo so I could write next to it.  Anyway, this is Janet.  I'm adding a link to her blog, and there you can click on the link to go to her eBay store.  Her blog and store are called Kloset2Koset.  Pretty clever.

RodinsAdam Many of you know how I love Allerton Park near Monticello, Illinois.  Rodin's Adam is shown here and is one of many fabulous art pieces tucked away amongst the estate.  Mr. Allerton loved art and traveled the world collecting.  He loved sharing his collection and in his Will left Allerton to the University of Illinois.

My dream is to someday live close enough to Allerton that I can be active at the park and become a docent.


This is a sneak peak at a project I did for Bernina.  The project will be in a future Through the Needle magazine.  Bernina is my favorite sewing machine company.  And, as far as I'm concerned, for any free motion machine work, Bernina's are the only machines that will hold up for hours and hours. 

But, back to the project.  I got the idea when I was in Bendigo and saw a friend working on a quilt block.  She had used a mailing tube and covered it with fabric that could be unrolled.  This tucked the quilt block she was working on inside when it was rolled up. 

Sorry, are you confused?   You'll just have to wait until the project is in the magazine. 

As you can see, I had to use a fairy theme.  It was also fun choosing floral fabrics for the appliqued "garden".  The fairies face and arms will be a new rubber stamp that Ready Stamps, a division of the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation will make for me.  Don't forget, by buying my rubber stamps you are helping very special people be more independent.

Social Networks

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

My friend, Kandy Scott, invited me to join Facebook today.  I'd been throwing around the idea of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.  Facebook seems to be the more popular, but since she invited me that is the one I joined.  Oh, and don't forget .ning.  So much to research, so little time.
Before I go further into social networks I want to share a photo of the doll I made in elinor peace bailey's class near Melbourne, FL.  elinor and I were teaching at a symposium and I decided to take her class.  I made the doll for my granddaughter, Kieran.   I wish I could have been there when she opened the box.  She and I talked on the phone and she loves the doll.

If you ever get a chance to take a class with elinor, do it.  She is such a fun person to be around. 

The hair on my doll was from some hair scrunchies from Claire's Accessories.  Claire's is a fabulous store geared to the teen market.  We doll makers can find all kinds of stuff for our dolls.

elinor and I were taken to Claire's near Orlando, FL by our friends Judi and Karen.  It was there that I found the great scrunchies that I used for the hair.

I also found the two toned green leg warmers at Claire's.  They were actually a pair of socks and I turned them into leg warmers.

The skirt is made from cheap, glitzy fabrics and her upper arms are yoyo's.  Fun, easy and fabulous project.


Many of you know we had an amazing doll cruise this year.  Soft Dolls and Animals (magazine) sponsored a cruise every 3rd year.  This year elinor peace bailey, Barbara Willis, Gail Wilson and I were the teachers.  The idea was to have Gail design a pattern and we interpreted it according to our ways.

This doll is Judy Brown's version of my interpretation of Gails pattern.  Judy does the most amazing dolls.  I loved the doll she made for my Creative Cloth Doll Beading book.

I'll be sharing more photo's in an article I'm doing for the magazine.

My goal is to update this blog at least once a week.  Keep tuned for more exciting news!

Okay.  Back to social networks.  Why join them?  It is one way of keeping in touch with friends and family.  It is also another way of sharing what you've been up to recently.  Similar to blogging, actually.

One of the benefits of the social network vs. a blog, is people can find you.  If you want to be found, that is.  Me?  I'd love to connect with doll makers who have moved on.  Or, some of my college friends.  Also, family who I've lost touched with.  I have a huge family.  Some of my cousins were lost in Vietnam and I've lost touch with their families.  And, there's the high school and college friend that I'd love to find. 

Much to think about when joining. 

My next post will be more doll related.

Valley of the Dolls!

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

This past weekend I was up in the Los Angeles area with the Valley of the Dolls.  Talk about a fun time, and eat!  Oh, my goodness!  This group knows how to feed you.
Kathleen hosted the workshop in her amazing studio.  This woman is a talented seamstress.  She makes tutu's for ballerina's. 
Behind her head you can see a picture of a ballerina.  I'm mad at myself for not taking pictures of some of the tutu's Kathleen had just finished.
She's going to teach a workshop on making doll sized tutu's.  I'm hoping I can go up.  I'd love to learn.

The group had chosen my Penny Cassandra sewing caddy doll for me to teach.  Kathleen wanted hers to be an older lady.  She gave her Penny saggy boobs and jowls.  I can't wait to see the finished doll.

ValleyDollsNoreenLiz Noreen and Liz were busy working on their clothing for their dolls.  Noreen designs toys for a manufacturer and helped me with the construction of one of the lower sections of a doll I'm working on.  It is always fabulous having someone in a class who is knowledgeable with technical stuff.

I stayed with Liz in her lovely home in South Pasadena.  Saturday night she took me to a Chinese massage place.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  After standing on my feet all day it was truly wonderful to have my neck, shoulders, back, hands and feet worked on.  I had forgotten that a Chinese massage is deep tissue massage.  Worth every penny, believe me.

ValleyDollsWackyDoll The second day of a 2-day workshop is always interesting.  I think everyone gets a bit punchy and some of the things that happen are pretty funny.

Like this arrangement.ValleyoftheDollsGroup  I believe this is June's doll.  After turning around and seeing her sitting like this I had to take a photo.

Below is a group photo.  We were missing Noel Wolfman, who couldn't come the 2nd day. 

Because nearly everyone had done pre-work they had most of the doll done.  All they have to do is put the dress on, attach her arms and do her hair.

This is a fun project and not that involved.  But, what was the most fun was being with this extremely talented group.

By the way, I've added another Widget.  This one is some of my favorite music.  Not sure how it will work, so let me know.

Home from OZ

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

I arrived home safely from Sydney after my last class in Canberra.  Diane Leftwich and Alan Tremain had arranged for me to teach from my new book "Creative Cloth Explorations".  Everyone loved the Shiva Paintstiks faces they created, along with other embellishments.
Bonnie and Diane had both broken arms, but they still did what they could.

Alan is an extremely gifted man in the textile arts.  It was terrific sharing ideas with everyone in this talented group.

Working with the Shiva/Markal Paintstiks reminds me of my oil painting days.  But, they are much easier to use.  I'm focusing more of my doll making and fiber arts towards using this fun, and easy medium.FaceUsingShiva2

I've shared this photo before, but this is a body I've colored using the paintstiks.  You can see the way they blend beautifully into the cotton fabric.

The best brushes I've found for this medium are stencil brushes for the larger areas, then small, short bristled brushes for the detail work. 

Many people think this medium is going to be hard to work with, but as the group in Canberra found it is not only easy, but the results are exciting.

Which reminds me, I had to cancel my mini-retreat in Julian at the end of April.  I guess people were a bit turned off since this was what I was teaching.  Hopefully, when I teach this again in Kentucky they'll sign up.  No more workshops in San Diego, I'm afraid.  The rest of 2009 is booked up and 2010 is fast filling up.

Liz Orban, who came to San Diego last December for my other mini-retreat sent a picture of her Aerin.

I love this doll.  Liz did a fabulous job embellishing her Aerin.  We used the embellishing machines and attachments to create Aerins clothing, dyed the silk for her skirt,  dyed part of the body and the silk ribbons, and mostly had a fabulous time.

Thank you, Liz, for sending a photo of your doll.  The colors and everything about this doll is simply fantastic.

Mini-retreats are a good way to spend quality time with teachers/tutors.  I highly recommend them.  They are limited to small numbers.  Never more than 10 people, so you get individual attention.   Plus, it is a terrific way of making new friends.  I know all those who were here in December hope to get together next year.

As you know, I love featuring dolls you make from my books and patterns.  Of course, with my new book on flat stuff, I hope many of you will venture into those pages and send me photos.  Karen Kline sent me a photo of her Mikaela.KarenKlinesMikaela

Karen's doll really reflects what is happening in the teen fashion market in Japan, England and the east coast of America.  I picked up a couple mooks (mixture of books and magazines)today at Barnes & Noble called Gothic & Lolita Bible.  Now, I'm not too keen on their use of "Bible", but these mooks have everything you need to know about this cultural phenomenon.  What I was excited about was the recipe's and patterns inside so teens can make things.

But, I digress.  What I love about Karen's doll is her use of color and the hair she put on her Mikaela.  And, her Lizzy is really outstanding.

Thank you, Karen.

That's it for today.  I'm a bit behind in a project for Bernina so may be quiet for awhile as I hunker down in my studio.  First, I'll need to clear a space so I can work.  In my frenzy of packing in between the cruise and going to Australia my studio looks like someone threw everything into a giant mixer then sprayed stuff all over.  Well, not quite that bad.  But, close.