Monday, August 31, 2015

Rag Bag Diva

I belong to a very creative group on Facebook, the Rag Bag Gals, who use lots of recycled and vintage materials.  I love old lace, doilies, embroideries and have been collecting pieces to use on my dolls.  I finally got one done!  These ladies also demo'd using tea (it seems we all fixated on the Hibiscus) to dye the fabrics so I tried some though I started out with rose hips, no pink there so added some Procion Fuscia and got great results.  I dyed vintage eyelet fabric, lace, and trims.  The color difference based on the fiber content was amazing and I loved them all.   I am also trying to create a new pattern so of course I needed another sample.  I still don't have the shape of the face exact and can't seem to put my hands on the original pattern but I'll get it to my liking next I am sure!  So enough babble, here is her story.  I have named her Rag Bag Diva and she is holding a bag made from an old cotton runner with a crocheted edge dyed with Hibiscus tea from Panera (did this while I was away in Carlisle Pa this weekend!) Who knew?????  That fabic and the lace in her bag were finds this weekend at an Antiques Market.  Her hat is a doily from my mother's Hope chest that I stiffened then added wire to the edge.  She is also holding an ankle bracelet with my Dad's initials my Mother wore while he was overseas in WW II.  Her shoes are from an Ultra Suede remnant I purchased years ago at the now defunct Fabric Outlet of PA (I am broken hearted!!!)  I made them in my hotel room-had to go outside to hammer in the eyelets!  Her hair is from a skein of yarn I got a few years ago at the Punk Rock Market in Trenton.  Crocheted a large swatch, hit it with Victorian Velvet Distress stain, let it dry, ironed it and unraveled then made her wig.  Her bloomers are from overdyed sheer curtains from my Parent's house.  They started as cream/yellow but after hitting the rose hip/fuschia water, turned a lovely shade of faded old rose.  Pic of the dying results is at the end. Forgot I did a doily too.  I think it is too big for the hat though!

Friday, August 21, 2015

New Doll

For the past week or so I have been creating a doll for a friend.  While cleaning out her Mother's home after her parent's death, she found some fabric from her Mother's Wedding Gown and of course thought I would love it.  She was right.  It actually wasn't fabric but rather a slip made to wear under the dress.  It was a medium weight satin with some beautiful lace trim.  Her Grandmother had made the dress and I thought it would be a nice gesture to make a doll in her mother's image.  Well, after lots of angst, it is finally done.  I had a picture to work from, of her mother from the waist up sitting posing and that is what I had to go by.  Hope I guessed right!  Will find out tonight as I am gifting her the doll.  Here are some pics in progress and the finished doll as well as the picture she was based on.
 The gown looks white, but the fabric is ivory.  Those probably aren't her flowers as years ago pics were taken before the wedding at a studio, but just in case.  Just realized I forgot the wedding band!

Progress shots.  I made her legs jointed so she could sit.  I also made a chair and a stand incase Diane doesn't want her to sit.  The major problems were the weight of the fabric and the condition it was in.  It appears someone had washed and pressed it but wrinkles don't iron out of Satin without adding more sizing and that will discolor over time.  There were some spots and also frayed areas I had to work around.  The fabric was also a bit heavy-good thing the dress was fairly simple.

That is all the inprogress shots I took.  Love how the shoes came out though I have no idea what they looked like.  This was a surprise for my friend so I couldn't ask her!


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Day With Dolls 2015

What a day!!!!  It is so exhilirating to spend the day with a group of people with the same passion!  Above is pictured (top row L2R) Maria Quinones, Diane Kearney, Colleen Athens, Heather Brunner, Susan Ratti, seated, me, Linda Holsteadter, Diane Ignatowitz (forgive my spelling ladies!) from the former Garden State Doll Artisans doll club.  Miss that club but life got in the way it seems.  It was wonderful to be together again.  Heather and Maria gave wonderful tutorials and Colleen holds a mean mic!  A big thank you to  the 3D Doll Club of Mt. Vernon for all their hard work -  especially Gwen Jackson and Doris Sutton

Following are pictures of some of the great dolls from the gallery.  I tried to get the name tags in as much as a I could.  There are also pics from the doll contest, Mini Me.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Doings in my Garden

I have a small garden - two 4' x 8' raised beds.  I planted late-beginning of June and purchased the plants at a local farm.  I bought all  heirloom to make sure no GMOs and he said he didn't spray with any insecticides.  We used organic soil to fill the beds.  Next year, going to move the garden away from the tent garage and satellite dish (Huge old kind not in service except as an eyesore and topic of conversation) where it will get more sun.  I planted 4 eggplant, 2 cucumber, 2 sweet potato, 4 yukon gold potato, 2 san marzano hybrid tomatos, 4 pepper plants, and 8 heirloom tomatoes including Box Car Willie, Jersey Boy, and two others I never heard of.  So far they have all been great though right now lots of green slowly turning red.  About a dozen eggplant but none ready to pic, some hot peppers and cherry peppers but the red bells are slowly turning red hopefully before they rot! and lots of Cukes!  Forgot to put in Zucchini, next year.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

More about "The Emporer's New Clothes-His Vision"

I almost didn't enter this year's Hoffman Challenge.  My MIL Helen passed away in December 2014 at the age of 98 (she used to say she was getting old!)  She lived with us for almost 10 years until her Dementia got too bad for us to deal with on a 24 hr basis.  Around the same time, my Mother started to decline.  She was in Hopice since October, 2014 and sadly passed away in January at the age of 94. My siblings and I decided the best thing to do with my Father, who also has Dementia, was put him into an assisted living and sell his house. This was a hard decision - they had the house built in 1963 and lived there for 52 years.  As we were  cleaning out the house and disposing of their beautiful possessions, I kept looking at this one statue my mother had.  It was a colorful happy emporer. I started him the end of June, we went on vacation for a week the beginning of July so ready or not when I got home, he had to be mailed!  I think my Mother was watching over my shoulder.  He won Second Place. (you can see previous posts for his pics)  He is also perched on a base from her collection.  Thanks Mother.