Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year and Exchange Dolls

Thanks to those who commented to my previous post. We always have such a great time at our Holiday party. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate so it will continue next month so those who weren't present can exchange. Hope everyone had a glorious New Year. We canceled our party and stayed home because my MIL has Pneumonia. Fortunately it was only a mild case caught early and she is on her way to a full recovery. Here's hoping 2009 will be a healthier year!
I am going to post pics of the Exchange dolls I received in the past 2 years. This year and last I was the lucky recipient of Maria's dolls. She makes the most fabulous dolls and her sculpts are just amazing. The doll she did last year (from Sherry Goshon's free elf pattern) makes me smile. She sculpted the head of course. She is wearing a fur trimmed cape and is skiing on icicles. Here she is with and without her cloak.
This year we used Judi Ward's free "Sisters" pattern and again I drew Maria's name! Here is the adorable doll with those awesome clay shoes she made, front and back.

Last year I also exchanged with my other dolls club, the SewSew. I made the accordian fold book for Colleen and I received this breathtaking doll from Evelyn. She is so beautiful, she brought me to tears!

Here is a pic of the entire doll I made for this year's swap. Thanks Judi for a really sweet pattern. Some of the ladies couldn't attend the meeting due to weather, so there will be a few more swaps this month.

I brought muffins to our little holiday party. I try to make them healthy and sugar free as my DH has to watch his sugar. I was asked for the recipe, so here it is!

Fruit Muffins
2 Cups flour preferably white whole wheat or half white half whole wheat
1 Tablespoon baking powder (if you want to make your own,for one teaspoon baking powder mix 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. One Tablespoon = 3 teaspoons)
1/3 c ground flax seed (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
10 oz can pineapple crushed or chunk in its own juice
Milk or Orange Juice
1 c. blueberries (can also substitute apple, pear or peaches chopped in 1/4" cubes)
3 Tablespoons canola or light olive oil or 4 oz unsweetened applesauce
2 Tablespoons sugar (optional)
1/2 teasp vanilla, lemon, orange or almond extract
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon or orange rind (optional)
1 teasp spice such as cinnamon, cardoman, ginger, alspice, nutmeg, or chai spice (optional)
1/2 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 375d. Prepare regular size muffin tin by spraying with no stick spray or lining with cupcake papers.
Mix together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, flax seed, salt, spices).
Drain the pineapple very well and set aside juice in a 2 c measuring cup. Add Orange Juice or Milk to equal 1 cup. Add apple sauce or oil, egg and extract and beat lightly with a fork. Stir pineapple and blueberries into flour then add liquid ingredients and stir just until all dry ingredients are moist. Spoon into muffin tins (should make 12). Sprinkle nuts over tops. Bake for 20 -25 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and remove from pan and place on cooling rack. Enjoy!

Last but not least, I have finally decided on a domain name and have created a website. Please take a peek, Thanks!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Doll Club Christmas Exchange

Friday we had our doll club Holiday Party and doll exchange. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating so half the members were unable to come. They will exchange dolls next month. We used the free "Sisters" or Napkin doll pattern by Judi Ward. What a joy it was to see all the interpretations! All were wonderful! Here are some pics. Dolls are by Maria, Margaret, Janice, Mary, Stephanie.
First pic is Janice with her doll made by Margaret. I've included a closeup - a little out of focus - of the face that Mary hand embroidered. Amazing! Next is Mary who received Janice's doll dressed in beautiful fabrics. Check out the shoes! Margaret is holding the doll I made. Jane is holding the doll she received made by Margaret. We had a wonderful time and it ended all too soon! Hope you all have a wonderful Holiday. Can't wait to get together again in January. I received Maria's beautiful doll with the awesome clay sculpted shoes. Jane's doll was received by Maria. Jane is a new dollmaker who didn't quite finish her but what she did have done was perfect! Should have a pic next year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Finally took the leap!

Well, I finally opened and Etsy shop. I have listed 4 dolls and this afternoon will list some purses for sale. Hope you take a look.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New Dolls for Christmas Exchanges

I am lucky enough to belong to two wonderful doll clubs. I do everything I can to avoid missing meetings because it is so wonderful to spend the time with these exeptionnally talented and giving people. That also means I have to make two swap dolls for our holiday exchanges. Of course I can't show you pics of the dolls yet, but I can show parts. One of the clubs decided to make the "Napkin" doll - an exceptional free pattern offered by Judi Ward. I had lots of fun with this pattern and was determined to make her great shoes from a piece of hot pink "patent Leather" fabric I had in my stash. Colleen gave me these awesome irridescent papers and I used a dark pink one for the contrast on the shoes. And here is a pic of her face. I made her crown from lace, ric-rac, wire and beads.

The other doll club decided to use the pattern I developed for my witches but with a flat face. I feel like I rail-roaded them into using this pattern, but they said they really liked it. Can't wait to see what they do with it! I also made a Sugar Plum Fairy with the pattern for the exchange. Here is a pic of her face. I made the eyelashed from a piece of black organza though I don't think you can really see them in this pic.

I also made 2 witches for some very dear friends. One is a Dream Witch dressed in blues and blacks and embellished with lots of stars.
The other is a "Haute Couture" witch - dressed in her own eclectic style. Her hair is felted on and made from Lama hair given to me by Colleen. I twisted clumps together with angelina fibers to make the "locks". It took me hours but I think it was well worth it!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Three Done - One to Go

Today I finished the Spring Witch. Now the only one I have left is the Summer Witch. I am going to think about her for awhile. It is so cold here, I can't seem to think of things summer. Here she is in her tree.
I think she looks very sweet and I seem to be on a green kick lately. Maybe because I am debating on what shade of green to paint my bedroom! All the trims - the leaves and the trim on her skirt came from I also colored the lace flowers and trims with the silk and rayon dyes from there. They are so easy to use and I love the colors. I wanted her to look a little etheral and pale.

Since I get lots of question about how I do my faces, I put together this little mosaic. I tried to get a pic at each step, but the ones I took of the sculpting were too blurry to print. Though the colors in the pics are different, it is the same head. In the end, I did make her eyes and lips a little longer than those drawn features. She definetly looks better with her hair and warts.

Thanks to all of you who commented on my new Mermaid. I'm thinking of doing her in another colorway. I have quite a few of those wonderful burnout sheers in my stash but that will have to wait until I finish an EGA project I have been working on - and missed the deadline! It is a stumpwork piece that I just love so I really do want to finish it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Soprana Finished

Thanks for all the comments on the beginnings of Soprana. Thanks too for the hints and tips about the Shiva Paint Sticks. I think they have finally stopped rubbing off!
I also want to send BIG congrats to my friend Allie. Her quilt, Crazy for Flowers, won a second place in the Embellished Category. You can see her quilt here Just scroll down.
I have finished New Soprana as she is another class sample. She went rather quickly I think because she has no legs and no armature except a piece of 12g aluminum in her tail. None of the embellishments use a sewing machine. I restrung the beaded trim because every other fringe had a red bead in it and I didn't like the red. I did the same thing on the original Soprana. I also doubled the fringe so it had more coverage so I didn't have enough left for the new doll so another reason to restring to redistribute it better.

I did the headband a little differently too. I had these great Puau shell pieces a friend sent me from Australia and I was actually able to drill a hole in them. After I got all the shells on her headband, I added some Gold Micro beads-thanks Tery! I also had some of these silver shells so on they went. I only had these three cloisonne fish left so that's all she got. I found the cloisonne starfish in my stash so she has a pet starfish and the blown glass fish went back in the box for now. It is very fragile. I painted the shell on her necklace with Krylon 14K gold pen. Love this pen. I looked for gold leaf at Michael's and AC Moore, but neither store had any. I'm going to try another location. Maybe they will have some though the pen worked really well.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

New Mermaid Progress

A few days ago I played with my Shiva Paint sticks and my Prang Crayons to get a base fabric for the body and arms of my mermaid. Here are the samples I did. I inked up a stamp with the paint using a brayer, I did rubbings of a stamp with the Paint Sticks and also the crayons (the bright lime green and blue are the crayons) and also stenciled with some sequin waste. This fabric was part of my hand-dyeds. After playing, I decided on my course of action. The original fabric is again a batik. I stenciled, rubbed and doodled with Jacquard Halo Green, Shiva Paint Sticks and Krylon Gold Leafing Pen. Then I added highlights with Pearl-ex Pigment powders in Interference Green, Blue, Gold and Super Copper. I really like using the Prang Crayons but they don't have any metallics and I forgot I had Crayola Metallics. Oh well, next time! I really like how the fabric turned out but the Paint sticks, after 3 days, still rub off a bit and still smell. I'm hoping that will go away with time. The original fabric on Soprana was a batik with the Sequin waste stencil and 14K Gold Spray Paint. Looked OK but the spray paint made it very stiff.

Here she is all together though her head is just pinned on. Her Tail has been through 2 incarnations - 3 if you count the original layered combo. She likes this one best and so do I. I REALLY wanted to use that sequined lace. Now to start on the embellishments. Still haven't quite decided on the layers for her fluke. I bought that fish about 4 years ago when I decided I wanted to make another Soprana. The fish the original is holding I purchased at a bead show for $5! the gentleman who made it was just starting to learn how to blow glass and it was the only fish with a hole down the center and not through the mouth. Wish I had purchased more than just one! I was him at subsequent shows and he had more, but they had quadruppled in price. Guess he realized how good they were.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Doll - Old Pattern

I am going to teach a class next March at the City Quilter in NYC. I am really excited about teaching in the city. I will be doing "One Kiss Is Not Enough" and I needed a sample doll so I made a new one. I acquired the dress fabric last year at Joann's. It is embroidered and was sold in with the curtain fabrics. I gave her pink shoes and it was hard not to give her pink hair too! I must be the slowest dollmaker around - I have made this pattern before but it still took me about 5 days to make her.

Now I am working on a mermaid for a workshop for one of my doll clubs this month. It is a techniques workshop and I am going to recreate the techniques I used on Soprana, She Sleeps With the Fishes. This was the first mermaid I ever made and she was adapted from a Patti Culea pattern that appeared in a 2002 issue of Soft Dolls and Animals - I modified the head and tail. I really had alot of fun with her though at the time I was told I overembellished her - I didn't think so. The new mermaid will be my own design but I'll use the same techniques - stencil on the bodice and sides of the head, layering fabrics for the tail, gold leaf on the fluke, heat treated layers of fabric for the hair and other embellishments among others. I am going to change the colors a bit but I am still going to use that cool black lace with the blue and green sequins. I got that online REALLLLLLY cheap years ago. I have enough left for another tail. She was one of the first dolls I sold and one of my favorites. She has such a sweet expression.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Winter Tree Witch

First, thanks to all who commented on my Witches. I am having fun with these and plan on doing "Seasons of the Witch".
We had snow Monday! This inspired me to work on my Winter Witch. I admit, the body was done since I had first planned to use it for the Autumn Witch, but didn't like the blues. It worked perfect for this little lady.
Again, inspired by Colleen, I freemotioned her overskirt and underskirt with swirleys. I wanted her overskirt to look like a star. I also used markers to color the stripes and stars on her arms and legs. Her hat and shoes are this odd fabric I had in my stash - it is like patent leather only very thin and has a plastic coating over it. I think one of our doll club members got a bunch of different stuff from Annie Hesse when she moved from Connecticut to Kentucky. I'm probably way wrong but I'm glad I got to use it though it was hard to get the soles of the shoes to stick! Again, she is made from all stuff in my stash. Her bodice and collar were a large lace motif also a gift from a former doll club member, Bunny Goode. I really love this motif though the beads are only glued on and tend to fall off. I added dark highlights to the yarn for her hair after I wrapped it on a loom with an ink pad! Worked great. Now on to my list of things I HAVE to do then I can start on the spring and summer Witches.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Second Witch done!

I finished the second witch. I probably wouldn't have made her if I wasn't experimenting with the face. She didn't suit "Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful" because she was a bit on the youthful side but I thought she would be perfect on a body like the one I did for the Rag Doll Swap. Here are closeups of DHMBIB - full face and profile.

The second witch is an Autumn Tree Witch. I used only materials and embellishments from my stash. I even collected the branch while walking Diamond. First a close-up of the face, then her in her perch. I want to tweak the profile a little bit around the mouth, but I already have finished a body for a Winter Tree Witch. Who says witches are only for Halloween???? I really like to make variations of the same doll -a personal challenge!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just in time for Halloween

I have a very dear friend, Colleen ( made the most wonderful "Halloweenies". Check them out on her blog. She sculpted a face and made a mold. Wish she would impart some of that talent with me! Oh Well. In her honor and at her nudging I decided to make a witch or two. Here is the first one - "Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful". She was great fun and I did another head that's sitting waiting. I think I like the green hair the best. I used inks and aloe gel to paint the stripes on her corset - the fabric started as deep navy and ecru. The aloe gel kept the ink where I wanted it and it dried very soft. I saw this demoed at the Harrisburg quilt show. It worked great though I only did the purple stripes. I used orange marker for the orange ones.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

New Class At Doll Street Dreamers!

Hi again,

I had a studio class scheduled to make these Treasure Boxes aka Altered Wooden Cigar Boxes but due to my mother's ill health, I had to cancel. Judi W. at Doll Street Dreamers asked for "gift" classes and I thought these boxes would be PERFECT especially since most of the directions were already written!!! And so did she! So check them out!

October Breast Cancer Awareness Month

About 15 years ago I had a lumpectomy. I was told there was a 90% chance it was malignant. I was very lucky - it turned out to be a benign tumor but as my breast surgeon said it was still cancer and I had to be diligent. I am ever so thankful the outcome was positive. When a very good friend, Victoria Adams Brown asked if I would want to participate in creating an Art Bra for a Calendar, I said of course! That was in 2004. The 2005 Calendar was printed and distributed by Way to Women's Wellness Foundation (also created by Vickie) raised over $50,000 for Breast Cancer Treatment. We did calendars in 2006 and 2007 but by then there were so many other groups also making calendars we decided to turn our attention to another direction - to bring art and joy to Breast Cancer Treatment Centers by creating Crazy quilts for display. I digress, back to the bras. They are currently appearing in various venues. Recently, in Lubbock, Texas. Here is a link to a wonderful article and here is a gallery of pictures taken at the show

Vickie can be best described by work of art above created by Leonie Hartley Hoover (blog here) named "Miss Dynamite", created in Vickie's Honor for the Somerset County’s Designer’s Cup Challenge at the Governor Tawes Library in Crisfield, MD October 29, 2008 from 6 - 8pm..

As for the calendars and subsequent touring displays, I created 5 bras the first year, one the second, and three the third. Unfortunately I only have a few pics .

Here is Hot Flash from the first calendar, 2005.

"The Girls - You can dress them up but you can't take them out just anywhere" Yes, that is really a Bra! This is the bra from the 2006 Calendar.

And "She Comes In Colors" This is the actual calendar pic from the 2007 and last calendar.

If your group would like to have the Bras appear at a show near you, please contact Vickie at Also, Visit her online store Ribbonsmyth for some GREAT embellishments .

More bras and other incredible stuff can be seen at Barbara's blog, Julie's blog , Mary's blog , Willa's blog , Allie's Blog, and while you're at it, check out the Ribbonsmyth blog too.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


I saw this on Judi Wellnitz's blog and thought it looked like fun, so I did it. Here's how- and I copied this from her

The Rules:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search. (Use the advanced search and scroll down and click on Creative Commons License so you use shareable photos!)b. Using only the results on the first page, pick an image.c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.
The Questions:1. What is your first name?

2. What is your favorite food?

3. What high school did you go to?

4. What is your favorite color?

5. Who is your celebrity crush?

6. Favorite drink?

7. Dream vacation?

8. Favorite dessert?

9. What you want to be when you grow up?

10. What do you love most in life?

11. One Word to describe you.

12. Your flickr name.

Answers and Credit for the pics:

1. StephanieChamelaucium uncinatum "Lady Stephanie", 2.Peanut butter cup Peanut Butter Cup Heart, 3.Freehold Santa's Clock, 4. RainbowAn Extreemely Rare Rainbow Zebra, 5. harry Potter nick / harry potter and his juicebox - _MG_3189, 6.Chocolate Milk Shake 59 Diner Chocolate Shake, 7. Road Trip Gatlinburg Road Trip Week of February 15, 2007, 8. Cassata, 9. Accepted I accept all kinds of challenges!, 10. Nature Natureza e Agua / Water and Nature, 11. Unusual Color, 12. Apple Blossom

Harrisburg Quilt Show

I am catching up with my posts. I was able to attend this show on September 5th. My Ms. Peacock was there. I also love to see the other Hoffman dolls since they are all so amazing. Here are some pics. Didn't get to see many of the quilts though! I didn't get there until around 2 pm and had my cousin in law and MIL (92 and kept up with us).

The first pic is the second place doll. I also took a pic of her back which is beaded. Love the ephemeral quality the doll in cream with barefeet and of course the Jester is amazing.

What a wonderful lot of eye candy. I was glad we went - it was a 3 hr ride one way! Worth the expense and my Hubbie got to visit with his cousin and her husband.

Another collection of Hoffman Dolls will be at the Quilt show here in March. Can't wait to see them! I am also excited about the fabric for next year's challenge. You can see it here lots of gold which I love!

They are also teaming with Sulky. How exciting!!! Some changes though--maximum height for the dolls drops from 24" to 20". Mine seem to average around 20-21 so this shouldn't be too much of a problem.