Friday, December 23, 2011

What a thrill!

Just found out this morning my dolls were prize winners in a Male Doll challenge.  I was looking for variations that I could do to make my soon to be released Santa Pattern more versitile.  Then the Friends of Cloth Dolls announced a Male doll challenge and that was just the impetus I needed.  Jules H. G. Trilby and Ignotus Peverell were born.  Jules took first and Ignotus second in the advanced category.  Jules has lots of grunge board (by tim Holtz from the Minis and Elements collections here  The sprocket monocle is also from tim holtz sprocket collection.  The "watch", and gears trim on the hat were cut with Sizzix dies also from the Tim Holtz Alterations line.  His cutaway wool men's suiting jacket is lined in black satin.  His pants are green wool crepe and his boots are leather.

The other version of this pattern is Ignotus Peverell  though he did turn out looking alot like Dumbledore. 
All faces are cloth over cloth and have set in eyes.  Directions will be given for making eyes with wooden beads (Jules and Ignotus have wooden eyes) and purchased flat back plastic as in the Santa's face.  All the hair is needle felted in place and is loose locks.  Santa and Jules are from my good friend Colleen, (I dyed Jules).  Ignotus is cut from a skin of  Kidassia Goat I purchased from Dollmakersjourney.  If you would like to see more pics of my dolls, click here

Many thanks to those who voted for my creations, to the generous vendors for their donated prizes, and to Paul from the Dollnet who did all the hard work!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fall to Winter Library Display

Our doll club meets in at the Neptune, NJ  Library.  At our October meeting, the librarian asked if we could bring her dolls to do a Fall to Winter display.  We brought the dolls to our November meeting and here are the pics of the fabulous window she did.  The theme is Imagination and it is very fitting.
Doll in the far corner by
Maria Quinones from a
Judy Ward Patern.
Sitting doll by me from a Patti
Culea pattern, Santa also mine from
new pattern, doll in front by
Margaret Fretz I think a Bunny
Goode pattern.
Window Center Doll with red hair by Jane Tedesco
Bunny Goode Pattern, Sitting Indian by me, pattern
Appeared in Doll Crafting and Costuming. Pumpkin
Head by Diane Kearney

Doll on far right by Jane Tedesco, Judy Ward Pattern,
Crow and scarecrow by Diane Kearney
Small Doll in front an original by
Mary Klawetter, Directly behind
her is an original by Maria
Quinones, doll in corner is mine
from Bees Knees pattern.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Last of the Twelve Days

I finished all the tags.  They were fun to work on and tried lots new techniques.  Day 11 included Shrink Plastic dipped in UTEE.  I did stars which worked OK except for one that curled and I couldn't flatten it out.  I had better control when I shrank it first then melted UTEE on it.  This card is almost all recycled.  The background paper is glossy stock from an old card (had to try a few before I found one with the right finish to accept the alcolhol inks), the Santa is cut from a card and the words are printed on recycled cardstock. The snowflakes on the bottom were also cut from an old card.  Day 12 was over the top!  Tim used a repro frozen charlotte (small broken porcelin doll) on his.  I was a bit more conservative.  He also used his tissue paper which I don't have but created my own with white tissue and stamping with a reflections stamp and archival ink on the dull side.  Worked great though I need to get some black - I used coffee colored ink.

I also revisited a few cards I wasn't happy with.  Day 10 needed a little pop so I added red perfect pearls mica powder to the ornament and that made a big difference.  Day 3 I changed the "charm" on the bottom to a smaller facet so it isn't so overpowering.  Like it better.  Now that these are done - I need to get to work finishing my regular cards and making an ornament for our doll club meeting on Friday for our ornament exchange.  We are working with clothes pins as a base.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day s 9 and 10 Cards

Day 9 left I love the background technique on this card and have used it many times - mostly with clear EP on printed paper then adding inks. I wanted the background to look like faded old wallpaper so I used a Perfect medium pen and added some area around the stamp. I stamped in old paper then inked with Iced Spruce. After the last layer of clear EP, I crumpled and then went over the whole thing with vintage Photo and Tea stain, then ironed it smooth with the EP side on the craft sheet. I bought that die for my Christmas cards and this is the layout I am using. I also just got the tattered doily and had to fit it in!  Day 10 is done too.  Love making those little charms.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Days 7 and 8 of the 12 Tags of Christmas

Love the tags Tim posted - the soft look of day 7 and of course the Steampunk style of tag 8.  Here are my cards.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

More Cards

Day 6 was working with metal tape which is LOVE to do!  I had some extra backgrounds from day 1 and decided to use one of my newer dies - a Christmas Tree - on the cards. 

I also got a chance to take pics of some of my cards so far.  Only about 50 more to go.  I don't have the rhinestone words for all of them - maybe another 10.  I have a few more trees and teapots.  The houses and the snowflakes in the Joy card are cut from last year's cards. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

New Card Day 4 and 5

I didn't get Day 4 completed yesterday - lots of drying time for the snowman and the background.  Lots of cool things on this card - plastic packaging (from an egg carton!) used for the snowflakes at the top.  The snowman is painted with crackle paint then hightlighted with distress stains.  Got to use another of my bargain finds from last year - the HoHoHo in rhinestones.  Love the colors of this.  I added the silver edging.

Day 5 also has a recycled piece of plastic down the center with Alcohol inks adding color and a process ro remove them via a stamp - in this case I used a large square snowflake.  The background is glitter paper so it sparkles.  The wording was cut from a Sizzix Tim Holz alphabet die, Typeset.  I cut them from white and black and layered so it looked shadowed.  Also go some more of my Christmas cards done but didn't get a chance to take pics yet.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 3 Card

I didn't have all the fun stuff Tim used on his tag, so I improvised!  And of course I made a card instead of a tag.  Now to spend the rest of the afternoon on my regular Christmas cards.  Think I am going to use the layout from yesterday for some of them.  I usually make a wide variety - about 7 or 8 different styles.  I'll post later with ones I am working on using recycled cards.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 2 of Christmas Creations

My version of Tim Holt's 12 days of Christmas Day 2.   I only had 2 of the products he used so I improvised.  Like the way this came out though the colors are off - will get a better pic tomorrow in the daylight.  May use this design on some of my actual cards.  NOTE:  Dec 3 changed the pic so the color is closer to the real card.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Getting ready for the Holidays

I am a great admirer of Tim Holtz and have decided to try and create cards based on his new twelve days of Chistmas tags.  I finished the first one and though the NOEL is a bit hard to read for some reason, I really liked the techniques.  I also got to play with the new dies I have been collecting.  Visit his blog  to see his beautiful work.  I'll have to get a better pic of this in the daylight.  I have started my Christmas cards and doing these tags is giving me ideas.  I am making as much use as possible of the cards I received last year.  Here are some examples.  The stamped image is a Tim Holtz I found in the clearance bin last year.  The words are rhinestones also from clearance (orginally $1 ea!  I paid 10c for quite a variety).  The frames are recycled cards and so are some of the backgrounds.  I have about 25 of my 70 cards done.  I really love recycling!
NOTE:  12-2-2011  I changed the pic of the Noel card.  I added the red rose and took a better pic!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pics of the new Driver in the family

Here are some pics of our Grandson doing one of his favorite things - driving!  And he does pretty good for 18mos!  Here is another pic of him in his Halloween costume behind the wheel of a fire truck.  Lots of buttons for him to play with.  He is such a cutie and growing sooooo fast!

I have been very busy with some new dolls in the works.  And Christmas Cards!  And Thanksgiving (still some leftovers to deal with!).  Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Ours was full of laughter, good friends, and family besides the food which was pretty good if I do say so myself! 
Just an FYI, I have removed the free Steampunk Tutorial for Flirty Flora.  It is now part of the pattern - both e and CD.  If you have the pattern and didn't get a chance to download the tutorial, please email me.  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Beautiful View

15 minutes ago from the balcony of my studio.  I also see this from the window where my computer is. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Hoffman Challenge Fabrics

Monday I received my packet of Hoffman Challlenge fabrics.  I have ordered them for the past few years from Quilt-Kits online and have received exceptional service.  They put together the exact package I like - 1 yd of the challenge fabric and 1/2 yd of each of the coordinates. Thank so much Don and Cindy.  I received an email they were available on Friday, ordered them and had them on Monday!  How is that for service and they were packaged so nicely too.  I like most of the coordinates but really LOVE the blenders (top right stack of 5)-they have pearl highlights and the colors are so pretty.   Now all I need is an idea.  I like to "live" with the fabric for a bit before I dive in.  I usually don't start to make the doll until May unless I get  inspired.

Playing with some new toys

My local bead store recently received the new Sizzix/Vintaj embossing and etching folders.  I had to buy one of each and play with them a bit.  I decided to add some embossing powder but the color came out dark so I covered some of the pieces with white alcohol mixative and some with white paint.  I then added the colored AI to them and then covered the whole front with clear embossing powder.  While the embossing powder was soft, I set in some flat back crystals.  Now I need to read the tutorials to find out how to REALLY do it!  The charms on the left are done on Vintaj blanks.  I really love the etching die the clockface is from.  The tags on the right are brass I ordered from  I thought they were blank tags that were 50% off.  Imagine my surprise when I opened them and discovered they actually said 50% off on them!  Can't see it once it was embossed.  I really like the crisp image from the embossing folder. Easier to fill the crevices with embossing powders but I love the images on the etching folder - it also has a bird cage and bird.  I'm off the the bead store to buy some more blanks so I can play.  These are small - the rectangles are slightly more than 1" in length, the tags are slightly smaller.

Commission Piece completed

My SIL asked me to make a card house for a friend of hers only she didn't want a house, wanted a simple box with pearls and padding.  I hate to admit this - but simple is not in my vocabulary.  I suggested a treasure chest with a tufted top.  I used a premade card box from Michaels, removed the fabric and went to work.  I added batting, covered the bottom with moire taffeta which has a pattern that resembles wood grain.  The top was covered with matching satin and tufted with pearls.  I added some trims and more pearls.  I also recycled the large "knob" by covering it with some trim and surrounding it with flowers.  Hope she likes it.  My SIL did.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Steampunk Tutorial for Flora

WOW!  Thanks s much for the wonderful response to this version of Flora.  I have written a tutorial of how I made her though she is really very true to the original pattern.  If you are interested, you can access the tutorial here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Another Flirty Flora!

OK.  I know I am getting carried away but I am having fun with her.  This time she has gone Steampunk!  I have raved in the past how much I love Ranger products and anything designed by Tim Holtz - especially his inks and Sizzix dies.  They really lend themselves to grunge and Steampunk.  Here is a list of the products I used:
Hat: Purchased hat with Grunge board flourish and keyhole painted with Distress Crackle Tarnished Brass
Face: Glossy Accents hold her eyelashes on!
Parasol: Mini birdcages cut from grunge board, top is a gear from the big gears die
Trim on dress shoulders and boots is leather cut with Irongate die Grunge board wings at her chest. the heart locket is colored with Perfect Medium and Perfect Pearls.
Vintage piece at the waist is held on with chains from the Lace Chain set as are the Lock and key in her hand.
Skirt top layer center is the large gears with smaller gears all around cut from 2 layers of bonded fabric. Middle and bottom layer is stained with Tea Stain and Walnut Stain inks.
The Base is painted with Dabber and the top is embossed with the Gears embossing folder and colored with Tea Dye and Walnut stain inks.
Her boots are painted on with Dabber Espresso and the gold accents are grunge board as are the soles of her shoes. Her legs are striped fabric - Navy and tan.
Here are some more pics.  Back and side view.  A closeup of her boots (really pleased at how these came out) and Her face.  I need a very small watch sprocket to hang from her choker and my wonderful husband has give me some old wind-up watches to deconstruct.  I am sure I will find what I am looking for.  But for now, she is done.  Now to finish a commision piece for a wedding then on to the next new pattern - this one a Male!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Flirty Flora Goes Trick or Treating

First, big thanks for all the wonderful comments on Flirty Flora.  Like all the new dolls I design, I like to make them over a few times to see how the pattern translates and to make sure I can follow my own directions.  I am really enjoying Flora.  The hardest part of this pattern is stuffing the skinny legs and arms.  This version substitutes a decontructed silk mum for the fabric hair - two of the flower rounds were used for the top of the head.  Her arms and legs were striped with ribbon wrapped around and glued in place.  No worry about matching stripes!  I cut her legs are orange with black ribbon stripes and her arms are black with orange ribbon stripes.  The black and orange fabrics were glittered so I used stickles to glitter the ribbon.  Her headpiece was a pic I deconstructed and stuck in the top of her head.  Cardboard was used for the base - again I forgot to buy more wooden bases.   I also didn't cross her legs and I almost like her pigeon-toed pose better! The pattern will be available on CD from Dollmakers Journey and Designer Doll Patterns.  It will be available as an epattern from Fabric Addictions. So watch these sites for her availablility.  I think she is a versatile pattern and can't wait to see what can be done with her!  Thanks again for all your kind words.

Altered Cigar box

I have a very dear friend who had a birthday and I wanted to make her something.  We had been making flowers with dies, punches and stuff and I thought she could use a place to store them so I altered a cigar box.  This is the lid.  It is covered with embossed, sanded, painted and inked paper.  The plaque in the center is chipboard covered with Metal tape, embossed and painted gold then highlighted with Aztec Gold Gilder's Paste.  The little flower bead at the bottom is the knob to open it.
The sides were ebossed with a swirl design and Inked.  The shell banding is a Martha Stewart punch colored with Gold paint dabbers.  The flowers are also a Martha Stewart punch and inked with Distress Inks.  The corners are covered with more metal tape.
I covered the inside with drawer lining paper that was gifted to me.  It is the perect colors and also scented.  My friend loved the box.  Of course it was a belated gift, but I hope it was worth the wait!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Seasons Book

Covers.  The front has T!m Holtz fragments with
elements from the seasonal pages.  The spine
is covered with lace.  Since each page is a version
of the dress form, I put them in the seasonal
colors on the back cover.
Since I finished the Girly Girls book, I have been wanting to make one of my own design so I set out to make one that was more like an book and not accordian fold but still used the envelopes for the pages.  I came up with this design (second try but still not perfect). I made envelope type pages that could hold tags that would have the name of the season on them since there is no words on each page.  The pages are made from cardstock.  Since there wasn't a flap on the side to form the spine, I added one to each of the pages.  I also made the space between the pages 1/4" so the book would close, but I like my pages chunky!

Each page features a die cut from the T!m Holtz Sewing Room Sizzix Die and "dressed" for the season.
I started with Spring since that is my favorite season.  Flowers are punched whti MS punches as is the robin on the left page.  The flowers are mulburry paper and were a gift from my friend Tery.  The green dress form has an embossed overlay that was done as a test form Flirty Flora's base.  Could also have been another alternative to the modeling paste!

The backgrounds of the summer pages are stamped, embossed then inked.  The left has music, the right lace.  The right dress form is some lovely paper from a stack Once Upon A Time.  The corners are a Sizzix die as are the leaves.  The butterfly is T!m Holtz die, Cuttlebug embossing folder and cut from vellum.  The dress form with wings(T!m Holtz die) was inked then covered with lace and a fabric flower die cut was used for the skirt.  The roses are from Sizzix and Dienamics dies.  The purple butterfly is the new 3 part EK Sucess punch cut from Vellum on a TH fence treated with Crackle.  The smaller butterflies are from graphic45 Steampunk Debutante papers. 
Autumn has punched leaves, the base on the left is the T!m Holtz branch tree.  Rosettes from Sizzix dies as are the pumpkins.  The spray of leaves is the new T!m Holtz strip die.  The dress form on the right is covered with mulberry leaves also a gift from Tery and the twine on it is actually silk unraveled from a jacket.  I just inked the backgrounds a little - the papers are from the Luxery Stack.
Winter pages.  Martha Stewart snowflake punches.  The skirt is one of the new EK Success Quilling punches.  The pine trees are embossed, inked then cut from a T!m Holtz embossing folder.  the pine sprays are a Uchida punch.  The flowers are sizzix die cuts from a sizzix die cut from metallic papers. 
The tags from the book.