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.