Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I laid out Cookie to do her the next day and then, even though it was 5 o'clock and the roast was in the oven, I quickly put her together. Only when I started to attach her head, did I see that I had put her limbs in the body sleeve backwards! And she needs her eyebrows!That leaves me something do today!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I cannot believe I am getting this close to painting! Someone has to put the color on these faces I love so much so I guess it might as well be me. I am tying to use as little color as possible and I see the  photo I got too much darkness in the corners of Cookie's mouth ( the top photo). In a bright light it looked right but under normal lighting the corners add their own shadows and take the color over the top. Cookie is about the biggest doll I can get from an American company at 26 inches tall. The Chinese are offering a knock-off copy of Cookie that about 5 inches smaller but the mouth is the same. I have won auctions on eBay but so far none of those dolls have arrived. They claim their dolls are bases on Sandy Faber's  doll named Tatum Noel but Bountiful Baby has also made a knock off of him.
Underneath is Pumkin, also from BB, which I got for $8.00 plus postage by taking one of their 2nd quality heads only. I have two sets of limbs yet from my original eBay order so I am glad to be able to buy just heads. Today I found a good combination of doing what needed to be done on the dolls and being able to rest in the recliner and crochet. I read the other night that dolls sent in for the cuddle therapy program need to have a blanket so I have started to crochet blankets to take a break from pocket peace pals.
It is almost seven in the evening and I cannot see what I am typing. Will put in corrections in the morning.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

It is a good thing I am not preparing for a big family gathering for Easter. I was so tired and full of pains that the only thing that felt good was sitting in the recliner in the studio and making pocket peace dolls. So the day gave me four of them. You can see I have a new color for the ruffles. It looks almost as if their petticoats are showing. I am in kind of a rut with my colors. Only running out of the face color forced me to change that one. I did try to use blue for the blouse and then I realized that was the perfect color for jeans and if I ever make any more boys I will need it for that so I went back to using yellow.

 Finished this doll, Crystal, with the week. I was surprised how grumpy I found her expression when she was a whole doll and not just a head. I just kept staring at her and wondering why she seemed so unhappy after reaching completion. I wondered why I had bought her and then I remembered I had been able to buy just her head to finish off the set off limbs I still had from the original big package of heads and limbs from Liz on eBay. I hope someone will be attracted to her mood of introspection. She seems to be thinking seriously about a very serious subject.

I then wondered if Candy would have the same effect - getting grimmer as she was completed. So I put her together even though her body sleeve was not right. She has full length arms and legs and the body had the ties down much lower. In order to make her fit her body I tied her legs on just above the knees and her arms at the elbows. Through it all she kept her smile and I really enjoyed cuddling her and then later looking up to see her looking at me with her smile. That put me in such a good mood I began to collect the Easter rabbits from various displays. I put the two girls in matching sleepers with the hope that Candy would sweeten Crystal. I was surprised that the Steif tiger insisted on being in on all the fun.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I had planned to use a photo of twins and by the time I got to the photo set-up there was a third doll. I had planned to work on the dollies today but got pulled off center by the world and its people so that I spent the day making pocket peace pals because I really needed the peace working on them brings me.
I am surprised how many tiny jobs the dollies involve. And how much they need that is missing from my life. Today I wanted to redo the bodies for the two new dolls Crystal and Candy. I only had pink thread on the sewing machine but the bodies (old ones -cheap - from China) were white. Werner asked if he could bring me anything from the drugstore so I asked for white thread. They sent him home with nylon thread because it is transparent (and slips and slides through the machine so all the tensions go out of whack). Once I had in my mind the use of white thread I could not make myself resew the bodies with pink and that destroyed my only whiff of peace. Dumb I know but I seem stuck with this person.

With the house clean and my soul at rest I started painting the two  heads I have on hand. My big question for today is whether this much color is sufficient for the lips. I have been looking at  lips painted on dollies and see too much color and too much red. I have even googled children's faces.
If you look very closely you can see in the right hand corner of the right eye I have the eyelashes in. They are only clamped in between the eye and eye socket but went in fairly easily. Next job is to glue them in place. I am debating what kind of glue to use.  .  .
Hm, in this photo one eyebrow looks a lot higher than the other. I am hoping it is only the result of camera angle. Will brighter lips draw the attention from this goof?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

I took this as a before picture showing how too fat the body sleeve was for this doll in spite of his little fat arms and legs to go with his fat cheeks. I planned to take a tummy tuck starting in the crotch and going to the chin. I did it with more creases than I liked but as I ignored them. But then I discovered the length of fabric from chin to chest was too long so I started a tuck row from arm to arm to shorten that. With that corrected I could see that there was way too much fabric in the arms too! At that point I gave up and decided the best thing I could do was to make the tucks all around with the machine and start over with the limbs taken off the body sleeve while I worked. So it is back to square 1 1/2 with this one. I think these body sleeves were designed by persons selling stuffing also. There is at least twice as much in this doll as the size needs.
 It is amazing that my old eyes let me goof even with hand-sewing. I am hoping that with morning light I can do a better job with the machine.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

This morning my learning experience was to put the glass (really acrylic) eyes into a head. I tried about an hour to get the first one in Crystal (on the right) until I figured out my knife was not sharp enough to cut a good line in the vinyl around the socket holder. Using one of our new steak knives I got a larger hole and was finally able to get one eye in. I wondered if all the eyes would be this hard and could I really do it. After lunch the second eye did itself and it slid in perfectly. When the mail was opened there was a package with Candie's eyes so I felt the universe was telling me to get with the program and I was able to get both eyes in place easily. It was not as easy as it looked on the video tutorial but I was able to get them in place and fairly evenly. I like looking at these two faces to note how differently they make me feel. I do prefer smiles!

While shopping for groceries Werner got the fabric softener so Blaze and I had beauty session brushing her hair. I fussed with her hair a long time, not wanting to follow the style others used in her advertising (pigtails on top of her head) but finding it too thin to do much else. Tomorrow we will try a shot of the new style if it comes out good. Today I found all the work with the dolls involved so much gathering together things out of the household. Slowly but surely I am getting the implements I will need for others.  

Friday, March 27, 2015

Another photo of today's efforts while Werner makes dinner. I need more time to make a well of fabric and to figure out how to turn off the italics. One goal down and one for tomorrow.

I suppose one could say this artistic. I learned how to draw hair on the head of a dolly instead of rooting mohair. As I read about dolls I find more people either allergic to the mohair or find their hands cannot stand the pressure of pushing the rooting tool through vinyl. Also the people at cuddle therapy want their dolls without wigs or hairy hair so I have to find a solution to all these bald dollies. Today I want to add more hair but before I ruin the job, I wanted to show you.
Also I have been looking at videos by Ana Brandt who photographs babies and new moms and she wraps her subjects in loosely knitted fabrics so clothes are not distracting from the child. I tried making a knitted piece using the loom I got in winter but the yarn jumped off the pegs too easily. I got out my biggest crochet hook (one I had bought years ago to crochet stripes of muslin for outdoor cushions) and it creates a marvelous look with thin yarn - almost a netted effect.
This looks more like meringue than yarn but you can know that I am having fun. No pocket peace pals today.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

One glance at the floor and you can see the bamboo rugs came a day early and we were able to get them down today. We had fears we could not move the metal shelf but we were able to scoot it the 1 1/2 inches it needed. Below you can see how the rugs fit around the shelves. 
Afterwards I was so tired I felt I did not have the energy to breath. I came in, not for food at noon, but Tylenol. I was in such pain I forgot this stuff does not help with fibro. I had hoped the pain was plain old muscle screams but it wasn't Still I am delighted with the changes in the way the floor looks for only $150. including shipping. It feels secure under shoes and bare feet.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I had put off working on reborns because I knew I needed to sew up the fronts of both body sleeves. The question was, do I sew it by hand or get out the machine?  You can see my decision and where the hour went while I got it unstuck. Over the years evidently the oil had solidified so the needle would not go up and down. By forcing it I finally got it to go. Then I spent a 1/2 hour getting the tension set right. I started to sew on the body before it was 100% fixed and with the first seam in the doeskin I found it was perfect for that heavier fabric.  In minutes I was done with the machine and wondered if I had saved any time. . .
I think I should name this doll The Teacher as I learned so much from her. One, I found a new yarn combination that I really like, the lavender I used for the 'lace' on the blouse is a big roll so there is plenty for others,  and I found out here that a smaller, one row wide ruffle on the skirt will hold her upright. May she help the person who receives her find new better ways to do what has to be done.
It was supposed to rain yesterday so I taped all the wires higher on the walls so that if water did leak in they would not be lying in the puddles. I woke to a beautiful sunny day and I was discombobulated all day. This peace pal was a pal and the only thing I accomplished.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Here you can see the two smaller versions of the pocket peace pals. I see from the photograph that I also like the sewn-on eyes! Good news for when I run out of eyes. Yes, the little ones make up slightly more quickly but it is the decorating that takes time and that is about the same for both sizes. Yesterday Facebook would let me look at the pictures without joining so finally I was able to see individual dolls and several of them were the smaller versions. That helped me assess what I was doing. None of their dolls have long hair! All are short (like the boy's hair here). The little girl's hair looks also short but that is because it is tied back. Here is the website: so you can see more dolls!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Yesterday, thanks to Harmony's visit in person and Mary Sue's by computer I learned about pocket dolls done like the peace pals only much smaller. However, again I could find no pattern for one or even photos. So like the Little Red Hen today I did my own. In the back row are two of the seven inch tall peace pals as I have been doing them this week. Then with the slimmer tan wool I started one with 16 stitches in the head circle instead of 24 and I ended up with a doll about half as big. It also goes a lot faster to make the little ones! I am tempted to try more tomorrow. I am feeling a bit conventional by my ease of reaching for the same yarns over and over when I have by my chair a bushel various yarns. I printed out one of Mary Sue's photos to study and she has lots of variations in yarn sizes and colors. Somehow the shock of what I have done by moving my studio into the garage studio is touching me. Still I feel very good out there even though yesterday I slipped on one of the rugs and banged my knee on the cement floor so I walk funny again. Amazon is promising the new bamboo rugs by Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Since the dolly blog was taken over by news of the move I am putting these up as my "work." See the new ruffle on the multi-colored skirt? That doll stands alone even with her hands in her pockets. The girl in the pink skirt is standing on the pin for balance. Each time I vow to use another yarn for the hair, because this yarn leaves the tiny hairs all over the place, but it does look the best. The girl in pink looks as if she needs some adornment but her making got squeezed in the moving fiasco.

Monday, March 9, 2015

I took photos of the works by Bill Elmore to send to his brother as documentation so I am posting them here before my computer hides them from me.

This needs to be re-shot but I did not want to remove the backing to get the glass off. Bill framed it himself.
This one was in a Christmas show at CityArt in 2004 and I bought it there.

I knew this would happen! The computer hid yesterdays's photos and would not put both days photo in one entry.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

I really wanted to try out another of the Peace Pal dolls but I had absolutely no tan or brown yarn! It is strange how that color evades me. Last night I did go on eBay again and ordered two different balls of tan and light brown but they will take a week to get here. Since they do not want white Peace Pals I decided to try making a rabbit using their pattern. I really have trouble making arms and legs (and even ears!) the same size. I even had to cut off and resew the bib to the overalls to get it in the middle of the chest. I tried to make feet so the bunny could stand alone but it did not (that is why there is a rock behind the rabbit) and the the lumps on the bottom do  not even look like feet. I suspect those will get ripped off tomorrow and I'll  be in the business of designing new feet. Also I do not like the expression on his mouth. . . That may get some alteration also. This little guy took all day to make. I would like to find a way to speed up my construction.
Ah, I got the Bunny-girl to stand up, This time I put rounds of cardboard inside the shoes so the soles would be flatter. Here she is wearing her collar (which covers the weird stitches of her neck!). The blue light of morning gives a wrong color mixture. She is very white.

Here is the addition of a tail and the backside of her new collar. In the morning I undid it and worked that extra collar in with gathers. I wanted the tail to show so I sewed it on the outside. The pattern has NO tail but what's a bunny without a tail?

Finally I made a Peace Pal Doll the right size - 7 inches tall. What you cannot see here are her earrings! I tried knotting her hair and it did not take that much longer to put in each hair in separately. Am thinking of using torn strips of fabric as hair. . .
As I was talking to Harmony on the phone I found out the Sea Ranch knitting group has been making these dolls for a year! I am eager to see how theirs look to check if I am doing it all right. I ran out of tan yarn last night so ordered more on eBay. They have so many other kinds of yarn it is like shopping at a new store. I had a ball . . . of yarn!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

See I did fix her smile! It was fairly easy as all I did was to clip away the extensions. Good that was so easy as the whole day went into finishing the bunny girl.
I got her done in the last minutes of sunshine on my photo table. I didn't even have time to stand her upright so you can see more than the bottoms of her feet. Oh, I just realized I had forgotten to put a rabbit tail on her!  Back to work! More photos tomorrow. Just what you need to look forward to - photos of a crocheted rabbit.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Here is my first attempt at the peace pal doll. She ended up to be 9 inches so I need to curb my spirit of adding just a bit more when crocheting her. Here you can read about the group at: and the doll patterns are there for both boys and girls. I am having no luck finding the parts of the website where they give the patterns to crochet the doll to help you find out how to make these. I did find the section how to knit a doll and there I found out the doll must be under 8 inches. On the boy pattern it states that the dolls must be under 7 inches. Any this means I must curtail myself, actually count the rows and not do the doll by feeling alone.
I hope that by tomorrow I can show you the Easter rabbit girlie. I am making her shoes tonight.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Nothing I can show you! I started on a new Easter rabbit and then I thought I had better check with Mary Rose. She is the only other one at the Coast Highway Art Collective that crochets. I wanted to make sure she would be okay if I made dolls and animals with her medium instead of beads. Not only was she okay with the idea she told me about a group that knits for peace. They make quilts and blankets for children and among other things they make Pocket Pals, tiny dolls to deliver peace and blessing to others. I am very excited about this project and hope to find out more this evening (when I do research) instead of physical work because by then I am worn out and hurt so much.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

I finished the Easter Bunny girl this afternoon. The sun hid behind a bunch of clouds so I could get a shadow-free picture. I made this rabbit from a book of crocheted animals, Annie's Animal Amigurumi to Crochet by Teri Crews,  and now I do not know which one to make next. I started on this on Wednesday, had a day and 1/2 of cleaning that left me in great pain but I was able to work okay today. I may redo the hat. I think the one in the book is better. Or maybe I should make another one with the other idea for a hat. The Easter eggs I made the other week did come in handy as props and to prop her up!

Monday, February 23, 2015

I just realized the other day that Easter will be here in a week and a month. So I had to try out crocheted eggs! Successfully making this one now I have plans for a basket, eggs and a little yellow chick. I get all these great ideas and then lack the time or energy to complete them all. We will see what I can accomplish. 
I did try a second egg but for some unknown reason (I did it Saturday night) I made it bigger when I should have either made it smaller or the same size as the blue one. To me it looked like a duck egg so I  put these ducks with it which really emphasize its wrong size.

Yesterday I worked on my little doll which you can see on my brand new blog at (let me find it again!drat!). After much fussing, here it is.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

I tried out my idea to make a small bird that was not round like a chick. I think I did it though I do not like these eyes!  I may have to make it again just to put better ones in. I was going for little black beady eyes but these are too big and all wrong. I am amazed that I can see the loose thread in the photo! I really need to get my eyes checked.

This is the mouse I made first. I used the mouse-shape (up ended) for the bird. This feels too fat for a mouse but maybe making him fat makes him cuter! The tutorial did not have whiskers on it. I think the shorter whiskers are better and will trim the other side to match today. Also I hope to remember to unravel the yarn in the whiskers. 

One shot of the mouse with the latest turtle with attitude. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The turtle family grew as the day progressed. Actually there were two more than are shown here by sunset. I got too tired to make the face right on the last one so did not take a new photo. I much prefer the sage green I had (a whole cone full) to the bright green. I  had wanted to make a frog from the Hello Dolly book but felt my sage green was not bright enough and that I should get a lime green for the frog. Suddenly the sage green is looking good to me.
I also like the golden shells even though that yarn is roving and rather thick. I only have a tiny roll of it left from the hat, so maybe it is good to give it to the turtles. I love the high humped shell shape but it is not very realistic. . . On YouTube I found a tutorial of a turtle with a highly decorated shell in turquoise, orange, reds, yellows purples but it had the same shape. Hm. . .

Friday, February 20, 2015

While watching You Tube I saw how to make this tiny turtle and in my usual way, had to do it, also.  I am enjoying this phase of craziness. How else would such a tiny turtle come into my life? It would be perfect for a key chain and I have gobs of rings for them left from beading projects. . .
I so easily get enthused about a project and then when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of  making the things I run out of energy to follow my flying heart. By the time I have a new day and its dose of energy, something else has captured my attention.
Maybe the Universe is giving me a message about this, though. Yesterday a package with two balls of green used on the turtle body arrived. I had forgotten I had ordered that weird green. Maybe this is why?
Also in the mail, I had bought a doll on eBay not really knowing its size. It turned out much smaller than I thought so I will not be going down that road! Thankfully I only paid $4. for it so that part feels okay. I am crocheting a body for the body parts. Soon I can show what is keeping me from the turtles! a key chain baby?

Monday, February 16, 2015

The stack of squares for the afghan continue to pile up.  The bluish hues tell you I took the photo before the sun got close enough for a golden shot. I am enjoying seeing how the patches get better as I repeat them. That encourages me. I am at least capable of learning!

 I almost forgot to show you the newest animal from the Hello Kitty crochet book. This is Sugarbunny with his Oreo cookies. He is so fat he has no legs - just feet. I do love the animal eyes. In all my doll-making I have never had them but getting 50 from Amazon keeps me making the beasts just to add the eyes. While making the ears I tried and tried to embroiderer the pink inside and it just did not work. Finally I got the idea of crocheting the patch of pink and sewing that in. That worked great.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The yarn came from Amazon just in time for me to want to do an afghan in the popcorn flower pattern. This stoke of luck made sure that I had enough green (sage green on the cone) to do the whole piece in one color. The yellow cone assures me that that color too will be a match. I have so many different yellows that I could not match them even at my best. I feel so rich with the white cone and its matching greens and yellows. The flower is rather hard to make as it is so tight to get the 8 petals on on the magic circle middle, but I am getting better at the job. I am open to seeing how many squares I can make before I either get tired of them, have too many hand cramps or want to start another dolly.

Yesterday Werner suggested Jenny may want to listen to some music when she is alone in the night. I looked everywhere for my ear-buds. I found the case where they should be but it was empty. So I loaned her my extra headphones. I think she looks happier.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I had these two cones of variegated Sugar N' Cream cotton yarns and some scraps from other multi-colored balls. I often felt slightly guilty for buying these simply because I loved the colors and combinations. For some reason I found them hard to use unless they became potholders. While stumbling around on YouTube I found several patterns for granny squares for afghans. Ah, the variegated yarn would be perfect! So the past two days, in off moments, I have been doing these squares. I think I will have enough for a whole blanket but I am tempted to get some other colors! I am pressing down those thoughts and making myself use up what I have.  I do have a cone of white (it is so cheap) so am thinking of adding some all-white squares to the mix to quiet things down. . .

Monday, February 9, 2015

I have been working (crocheting) on my entry in the May "celebration of home" show at Gualala over this stormy weekend. I have done the Hello Kitty twice. The first one was too big. I am trying to break up the blackness of the strap without giving up and tucking it underneath. I feel I need a hint of it for the realism but I wish I had known that some strollers have a pink belt.
The stroller was delivered by UPS during the storm on Thursday so in the journey from the truck to the house the box got so wet I had to open it to get things inside to drying. That got me jump started with seeing how everything fit together. 
This pillow I had planned to use turned out to be ugly and the flower granny squares, though colorful showed up too amateurish so I redid the pillow with white popcorn flowers. I am very happy with the new flowers. I plan to cover this and put it away but we will see if I get new ideas before May.  

Monday, February 2, 2015

I could not resist showing the label, too. I am getting faster at this or else Mondays are longer than Sundays. I got this hat done today. I enjoyed the touch and heft of the wool and knowing where it came from added to my pleasure.
Also my computer seems to be meeting halfway. I can find the photos and sometimes have the option of making corrections.

Here is a hat made from the wool B. brought me from Iceland last week. On the loom is the next hat made in the other color she brought me. I am getting better with working on the loom (I can say after undoing 5 or 6 earlier versions!). Last night, while watching something else on YouTube, I found a new way to hold the yarn so it does not unwind. I feel quite smart today and it goes faster. I never could knit a round object this completely and evenly without the loom. So these looms are good for children AND old women!
Last Friday I finally got the bloom loom from China via Amazon. It smelled so moldy I threw away the instructions and box. I washed the plastic parts in a Clorox solution and dried them in the sun. Now they are okay. I am eager to try them. That is why last night I was watching tutorials on YouTube. All of this is so much easier on my old eyes. I even noticed that I missed some dusty places around the house that I did not see last week! That is good too!

Friday, January 30, 2015

To be fair and correct I need to show you the newest Hello Kitty. She is smaller than the previous version. This one also has the identifying ribbon by the ear. I am out of white yarn that I want to make a new dolly, too.
Underneath the chair I show the bakery haul. I have been crocheting foodstuffs (am I that hungry on my diet?) along with the butterflies.  Today I want to make new boots for Kitty, the girl. I need that pale yellow yarn now on her feet for Oreo cookies and I think red would be a better color to carry out the bright colors of her clothes and hair.
On this version of Hello Kitty I doubled the threads on the whiskers and feel that looks so much better. Seeing this photo I see how necessary the red boots are. Her feet here look to be part of the bakery stuff!
If this computer program would allow it, I would whack off the top and bottom of the photo to fit the interest area better. No such luck! Time to return to crocheting. I am getting angry with the computer!