Saturday, February 11, 2017

Char-ity Update

Well I have committed myself!  I will be joining in the Chair-ity event to raise funds for the local library.  Here is the chair that I picked.

 Chair I purchased at a thrift store.

The chair is not crooked, but is on uneven ground.  It is scraped and has house paint on it but is really solidly built.  At first I thought I would try a technique called vinegar painting.  Vinegar painting is sort of like paste paper in that you use tools and brushes to make a textured design on the wood.  However it maybe to expensive to finish the chair this way.

Upholstered seat.

The seat covering is in bad shape.  I haven't figured out what type of decoration to do for the seat cushion.  My first thought was needlepoint.

Needlepoint I made for a seat cushion in the craft room.

 I love the pattern and colors I used for this cushion!  Made out of wool yarn this embroidery is very strong and wears well.  Another thought is to use sails cloth and do a whitework design using Mountmellick embroidery.  Before I decide on the seat embroidery I have to refinish the chair to make sure the embroidery works with the chair finish.

Closeup of chair back.

Another closeup showing carved design.

Plant next to chair.  Lots of rain has caused this jade plant to bloom early.

Closeup of jade plant flowers.

We will see how the chair comes out, it is due the end of March and it will need a sealer on it and I don't want the chair smelly.  So I really have to get started this week!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Today I have been trying to decide whether to enter the Chair-ity event at our local library.  The event is quite a challenge, decorating a chair to represent a book isn't easy I've been brainstorming but have come up with few design ideas.  One idea is to decorate the chair with paper cutouts and include a book on paper cutting.  The idea I like best is to needlepoint a cushion for the chair and include a book on needle point.  Whatever I decide I defiantly need to find a chair first! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Linen Bag for the 2017 County Fair

I couldn't make anything today because I cut my hand cleaning a can, to make into a pincushion.  So instead I will show the linen bag I made for the 2017 Fair.  

 Linen bag with Brazilian embroidery.

The bag started off as something to make out of some scraps of linen that were left over.  The bag's finished size is 5.5 x 7 inches and is made of unbleached linen.  I also made a satin bag to be a lining.  Putting the linen fabric in a hoop I couched a blue cording with a darker blue thread in the shape of a heart.  Then I embroidered pink Brazilian roses surrounded by simple leaves and white fantasy flower on long stems.  

 Close-up of Brazilian embroidery.

After hand sewing the linen and satin bags I used small hidden stitches to secure the satin bag inside the linen bag.

 Close-up of hand made button. 

The bag was cute but a little dull so I decided to make a closure for the bag using a button.  Taking a small scrap of linen I embroidered matching Brazilian roses using two strands of floss and a small needle.  Then cutting a circle around the embroidery I ran small stitches along the edge of the circle.  Next I pulled the thread to make the circle into a yo-yo.  Before tightening the circle too much I placed a plastic ring inside.  Making sure the design was centered on the ring I secured the yo-yo with a couple of back stitches.  

Using felt I sewed a circle on the button back.  Then I needle wove a loop on the back of the button and sewed it to the bag.  A simple braid using blue and white floss completed the closure.

I have only a tiny amount of the unbleached linen left and I will use it to make a simple doll.  The bag and doll will make a great gift!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Time to Start Blogging Again?

The last couple of years I have been terrible at blogging projects that I've worked on.  So as a start to a new year I will try to do better.  Just because I haven't posted doesn't mean that I haven't been crafting.  Several projects just never got mentioned or photographed.  One such project I started years ago and now is in the final stages of construction, a pincushion doll!  These dolls were very popular at the beginning of the 20th century.  Back when lace and ribbon work were everywhere.

Pincushion doll.

This pincushion doll was started over five years ago and has been sitting with other projects taking up space.  So about a month ago I started working on her again finally finishing her cylinder shaped body.  The body idea was inspired from several doll pincushion sources in ribbon work books.  I adapted the body making it long and narrower then the books suggested.  The body was sewn by hand out of muslin and then stuffed with fiberfill.  If I ever make another pincushion doll I will use something to flatten the bottom like a piece of cardboard, and add some weight on the bottom to help with the balance.   The doll is 10 inches tall and 12 inches wide.  Using hot glue I took a chenille stem and glued the dolls arms onto it's ends.  Then glued the stem to the dolls recess in the upper torso.  The top of the body was then hot glued into the dolls upper torso too.

Close-up of doll.

Next I sewed a small pink satin rectangle to fit around the dolls chest and two larger rectangles for the dress skirt and under skirt.  The underskirt is made of white damask and the outer layer is the same lovely pink satin as the bodice.  To cover her shoulders and arms I simply wrapped a piece of pink ribbon leaving it to flow from the wrists.   On her right shoulder I made a tiny folded rose using a piece of knitting ribbon.  

Now comes the real fun/work of decorating the skirts with ribbon work and ribbon embroidery.   This is where I stopped in order to finish some Christmas stuff.  

Now that we are into 2017 it is time  to get working on Fair entries.  So far I have made a simple hardanger mat and linen bag for the coming Fair.  The linen bag came out very cute and I have planned a matching doll to fit inside it.  

In the last week I have been watching the "Clone Wars" animation to try and make a small doll that appears in the show.  The doll appears in Season 1 episode 20 "Innocents of Ryloth" around 12 minutes in, and Season 2 episode 3 "Children of the Force" nearly 8 minutes in.  It is a very simple doll but the proportions are a bit tricky.  Here is the prototype made out of felt.  I learned a lot making this doll.  The points of the head were difficult at this size, it is tiny).  So I need to improve the pattern before I try again.  The stripes are embroidered which I didn't like.  Next time I will try adding stripes of fabric instead.

Star Wars doll. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Altrusa Mouse Tree

Mice for Altrusa  are being made for this years tree.  Only a few weeks left before they will be needed.  The mice are based on Amelia mouse by Country Bumpkin, the pattern was in Inspiration magazine.  Here is momma mouse.  So far she is the only dressed mouse, but I am working on little beaded vests for some of the smaller mice.

Mamma mouse.

Back of  Mamma mouse.

Mamma mouse and her clan.  The mice range in size from 5" for
mamma mouse and 2.5" for the infant mouse.

Family picture.

 The mice are made out of felt in colors ranging from dark brown to gray,  The eyes are round black beads. So far I have left off the feet and tails.  I'm not sure that they will be seen so why add complications like fitting an outfit around a tail!  The original Amelia mouse wasn't dressed but embroidered with pastel silk ribbons, so that is another possible idea for the mice.  I'm still finishing the other mice and working on the beaded vests.  The vests will be out of felt so that they can hold all the beading.  For the tree top I was designing an angel mouse.  But a clock, out of heavy cardboard, for the tree top with realistic little mice would be cute too.

There is always more to design and make everyday!  So I need to get back to the fun.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Thank Goodness the County Fair is over!

I must admit that the Santa Barbara County Fair wasn't that fun for me this year.  My entries were only small ones but I think they came out nice.  Unfortunately, as usual, some of the entries were lost in the house only to be discovered after the fair.  So there has been a lot of organizing of the craft room which is actually stretches across the entire house right now.


Merdoll took third place at the Santa Barbara County Fair.

Of  my few entries, I liked this doll best.  I'm calling this a  Merdoll, because it lives under the ocean.  It was made using batik fabric in ocean colors.  The doll has only a vestigial nose and the side of the dolls face has gills.

Close up of merdolls face.

No nose.

Side view of  Merdoll, showing hair braids and webbed hand.

Merdoll with baby.

It is hard to see but the Merdoll has a pouch with a tiny baby.  I decided that Merpeople have pouches like seahorses.  The top of the baby's head with a small braid is all that is poking out of the pouch.

Close up of tail.

The tail is supposed to to be whale like.  At first I was going to just have elongated legs with webbed feet.  But Lee suggested whale tail and picked out the fabric.  I think the tail really makes the doll.

Paper cutting entry this year was a Christmas sleigh ride the pattern was made by Alison.

Christmas Scherenschnitte pattern by Alison, took first place at the Fair.

This Christmas paper cutting is 4.5 x 8 inches and I downloaded it from Paper Cuttings by Alison, 

Close up of Christmas cutting.

The people on a sleigh ride while the hidden world of nature is below them. 

I only entered 5 pieces of work this year and I haven't shown the others because they will be gifts.  Next year I am trying for 10 entries and have already started on a basket made from recycled t-shirts.  With a little luck I will make the basket a tutorial.  I hope that everyone will want to enter their fairs next year.  Count Fairs are part of the American culture and it would be a shame to lose the Home Arts.