Thursday, June 30, 2016

Fabric Beads Tutorial

I am currently involved in a fabric bead swap on FaceBook with  the Rag Bag Gals group.  I have started making my beads - some using ribbon trims, felt and beads.  Following is a brief tutorial on how I make the basic bead.  After I reach this step, I start embellishing with beads.

First, I pick out my trim.  The piece I am using is actually three pieces of metallic ribbon sewed together and it is a scrap.  Don't remember what I initially used it for, but I did save the excess.  I then cut felt measuring against the ribbon to determine the length of the bead.  I then wrap this around a metal Knitting needle (I like size 8, 9 or 10) to determine the width.  I cut felt to this length and width for a basic barrel type bead.  For a contoured bead, I elongated the felt and cut it in a modified triangle.

Next, I wrap the felt around the needle and pin in place then sew it.  You could also use glue but I find the glue at times becomes hard to sew through when adding additional embellishments.

At this point I measure and fit the ribbon around the felt.  I like the gather the edges so all the felt is hidden and found the ribbon was too narrow for the barrel bead, so I added some additional ribbon to the edges.  I usually like to fold in the raw edge, but on the barrel, I didn't leave enough so I left the raw edge.  Make sure you have enough ribbon to overlap so there is no felt showing.  If there is, add a piece of ribbon over the raw edges.  

Here are the beads sewed and the edges gathered.  Pull the gathers tight to the needle.  Now they are ready for embellishing.  I recommend you keep them on the needle when you do this so you don't sew the center channel closed.  The bead on the right is not as round as I would have liked.  Next one I will make the piece of felt longer so there are more wraps.
Here is a view of the beads from the top so you can see the opening.

Hope you found this little tutorial Helpful.  I used ribbon for my bead covering but you can use the same technique with fabric too.
Here are some of my finished beads.  The bead in the center was not done with this technique.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Working on new Book

I have been in a fabric page swap on FaceBook/Rag Bag Gals group.  The subject of the pages was Ancient Ancestors.  The swap was completed and now I am putting the pages together in a book.  I decided I wanted to do a piano hinge type of binding but the found a bunch of 3" pieces of 3/8" dowels on my work table left over from all those dolls I did.
Here are the completed "beads".  I taped a piece of 24g wire to the dowel making small loops at the top and bottom then covered it around with sticky back cotton fabric tape I purchased years ago but never used.  I painted them, wrapped them in gold cord, then glued on some printed tissue paper.  The fabric bits to the right of the wire spool are selvage edges I cut off cotton fabrics.  I am going to use this to tie the book pages together. the beads are 3" each, the book edge is 7" so I joined two together at the center with jump rings.  You could also use one long dowel.

Next was to prepare the pages.  The pages are 7"  on the binding edge so I sewed the selvage tape 1/2" from the top and bottom, the at the 2" and 4" Marks. I marked the pages with pins as shown to make sure they were all straight.   I cut the selfage strings about 10" long.  They are whipped stitched around the tie centers to the pins marks on the binding edge of each page so there are two strings hanging at each pin.

Here is a page with the strings sewed on.  You could also use ribbons twine, cords- something strong and stable.   One string is to tie the page to the page in front, the other to tie the page to the page in bakc. After I sewed the ties to all the pages, I tied the strings around the beads.

To start tying the pages together, Place two side by side - I put them between my knees. Take a sting from each page and crisscross it-overlap them.  Lay one of the beads over the criss cross and tie using a square knot.  Don't make it too tight, you want some wiggle room.  Grab another page and tie it the same way.  Continue until all the pages are tied together.

Here are two pages together. and all of the pages

Next is to create your covers.  I cut chipboard 7 3/4" x 5 1/2"-a little larger than the pages.  I wrapped the front of the chipboard with velvet upolstery fabric and embellished with chipboard cutouts I treated with gold paint, Ultra Thick Embossing enamel, water color paint and Gilders Paste to look like metal.  The cameo center was a flea market find.

I did the same for the back cover.  I wanted to have a clasp, so I planned that out and used a decorative bronze pin You will need to add ties, only single ones, to the binding edge.  I suggest you do that before you glue on the endpaper on the inside of the covers.  Once your covers are done, tie them in place!
In lieu of the beads I created you could also use pony beads or buttons to hold the pages together. Here are examples.

On my finished book, I cut the ties short and frayed them.  Here are pics of my bound book.  I threaded thin chain through the loops on the top and bottom of the beads and also through the jump rings in the center.  I hung some charms. at the top and sides.

Front cover and Binding, below is the front clasp.

Long Time No Post!

In my defense, I have been busy.  My husband had a knee replacement early January and I needed to be chauffeur and all-around Slave while he was recouperating!  I did get some doll making in though.  Since He couldn't (and still can't) climb stairs, my studio became my sanctuary.  I have been going wild with my new "Recycle, Reuse, ReDiscover" dolls using vintage fabrics, laces, doilies, dresser scarves, etc.  Here is a group shot.  Missing are Rag Bag Gal, Victorian Lace and Frida as a child.  Shot includes some older ones, but they are all from the same pattern/design  They are L to R:  Very Chanel (notice her purse!), Market Dat, My Mommy Made This, Puppy Love, Style of her Own, Mod Chic, Hippie Chis, Alice Is that You? and Red Queen in Cowboy Boots.  Seated are In her Own Words and Miss America.  Very Chanel and the Red Queen are the same dress fabric - I painted the roses red! then had to make one with pink roses plus I had dyed the leg fabric dark grey and black stripes and didn't like how it looked with the red roses - needed black and red striped legs.

I still have at least one more I want to do.  I had dyed some doilies and want to use them similar to Victorian Lace.  Most of these are spoken for and will soon be headed to their new homes.  The rest will go in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Directions for a chair from a wooden box.

I originally posted these directions in 2007 but it seems they went to my old webpage and were deleted when Netscape discontinued their page!  So here is a pic of the chairs.  There is a link on the Tutorials list on the right side of the blog for the directions.  Incase the link doesn't work, here is the link

The larger chair was made for my first pattern, Ragalia.  The beaded chair was made for my newest doll, Frida as a child.

I just finished two dolls using vintage linens.  One is Frida as a child who is bead jointed and who I made the bead chair for.  The second is a stand alone doll, Victorian Lace, made with vintage lace doilies and lace and buttons.  These two are from the "In her Own Style" design (not yet a pattern!) that I created for the alternate 2015 Hoffman Challenge doll.  I am really enjoying this pattern.  I have made quite a few dolls from it, most of them with cloth over clay over cloth faces which I seem to be doing more though I did refine the pattern for the head to be done in cloth only.  Here are pics of the dolls made from this design.  Quite a collection!

This is Frida as a Child reading to her toy Monkey.  She is sitting in the wooden chair above and is bead jointed.  Her face is Cloth over cla over cloth.  Her apron, sleeves and collar are vintage linens.  She is holding a small Photo Album with pics of her as a child.  She also has flowers in her hair which became one of Firda Kahlo's signature looks.

This is Victorian Lace.  She is a stand alone doll.  I was told she is reminiscent of Madonna which didn't thrill me but to each their own.  I think she is a bit Flapper/Steampunk.  Her color and skirt is made from vintage doilies.  The lace on her bodice and sleeves as is the lace on her bloomers is dyed with coffee.  I was going to give her a hat, but decided on a headband with Lace rosettes on the sides.  The buttons on her boots are vintage and purchased at Brimfield.  She has an armature, no beaded joints.

The rest are familiar and have been posted before with their stories, so I am just going to add them here.  Left is Rag Bag Diva (cloth face), Right is My Mommy Made this (Cloth over Clay over Cloth Face).  The picture below is The Bride as a child (COCOC face), Style of Her Own (the original cloth face), and In her own Words (COCOC) who is also bead jointed.  To the Right is Ms America who is also Bead Jointed, Cloth face.  I have one more to make, A Mod/60's girl with white go-go boots!  I already have her cloth face done.  Though she will have a slightly different dress.  I love playing with a pattern and seeing the different dolls that can be created by just changing fabric!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Italian Meat Pies

Made this for a party I attended this weekend and promised I would post the recipe so here it is!  Enjoy!

Italian Meat Pie
Makes 6 Pies
Meat Pie Dough

2 eggs
2 lbs flour
1 pks dry yeast
2 cups milk
¼ c warm water
4 Tbsp Sugar
2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp melted shortening
Disolve yeast in warm water.  Heat milk to just scalding.  Add shorting and sugar and allow to cool.  Add to yeast with salt and eggs.  Mix.  Add flour to form a smooth dough.  Knead 10 minutes.  Place in greased bowl and turn to grease top.  Cover and let rise until double in bulk.  Beat down and let rise again.  Divide into 6 pieces . Note:  I use purchased dough.

Meat Filling

5 lbs pork cut into one inch pieces or partially cooked italian sausage
1 lb of cut up cheese (mozzarella, swiss, provolone) or pastrami, procuitto, hot ham, capacolla

3 lbs of onions partially fried with salt pepper and garlic (optional).

Cheese Mixture
3 lbs ricotta cheese
3 eggs
3 Tbsp water
Salt and pepper

Mix together and set aside.

Hard boil, peel and cut in half 24 eggs.(optional)

Mix meat, onion and cheese mixture together

Roll a piece of the dough out to the size of a large pizza.  Put the filling on half of the dough.  Put about 8 egg halfs on top of filling.  Cover with other half of dough and seal the edges.  Brush the top of the pie with a beaten egg mixed with a few tablespoons of brewed tea.  Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Pierce with a fork to let out air as it bakes.  Bake in a preheated 425d oven for 35 minutes.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Progress on Ghost of Autumn

I am making good progress on Ghost of Autumn.  Thought I found the perfect branch for a stand, but maybe not.  
 I did lots of freemotion leaves some  on tulle, some on shiffon for her clothes, hair and trim.  I created a fabric using die cut chiffon leaves and freemotion stitching for her underskirt, then attached leaves to it and also to her body to create a bodice.  Still can't sew the arms in place until I can finalize her pose.  She needs shoes.
 Her belt is made from twigs and twine.  This is the back side with the twine glued in place.  I wove it through the twigs but wanted to make sure it would stay together.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Ghost of Autumn

I am currently working on a new doll, Ghost of Autumn.  I took a reject head and did a clay/cloth over.  Then I made a body using the one I designed for A Style of her Own.  I made her I natural Southern bell.  I wanted pale leaves all over the body and head so I dyed tissue paper, cut out leaf shapes with my sizzix, stamped them with archival ink then glued them in place with matte medium. I used pencils, pens and pan pastels (a first but liking them for this application!) to color the face.  Now I am off to do some free motion leaves on sheer nylon, tulle, and wash away Solvy.  I should be back on a week!  LOL!