Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Yes Deer!

Yesterday my hubby came rushing in the house. "Quick, come here! I don't care what you're doing you gotta see this!". Now, you'd think this is something that never happens. Honestly, it happens almost EVERY day in our back yard. Now, in his defense, I must say it is usually 6:00 a.m. or so when we see them, but this was 3pm. We had two deer wandering around in the heat looking for a cool place to rest. They decided to lounge in our backyard for about an hour. They are not afraid of us in the least. This is the reason we no longer can have a garden. There is a herd of about 17-20 that live in the woods across the street from us. We always have deer wandering through to the little creek that runs along the back of our property.

This is when I wish I had a bit of a better camera. I was standing on the back deck taking these pictures. This is no more than 50 ft away. They lounged around until the sky started to get dark as we had a rainstorm moving in. Then off they went to go find shelter and the rest of the herd.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Busy, busy

Ok, this is a long one! hang on and here we go......

Well, I've survived watching two little ones. It was interesting to see the differences between them since they are only 7 days apart in age. One likes to sit up and play with toys, the other likes to lay and play and wants to crawl. They both smiled endlessly which was just pure joy! I've been busy sewing, crocheting etc. I got my three Toni's all together for their first photo shoot. The Redhead is one I recently purchased off Ebay and was quite upset because I discovered that the head had been repainted and filled with oil (I'm assuming to lubricate the eyes) and the poor doll was constantly leaking oil out of her eyes and neck. I had to take her completely apart and clean the heck out of her head to remove all the oil. the original blonde wig was in such bad shape that it just disintegrated in my hands. She now has a pretty red wig and looks beautiful.
The blonde is my childhood doll that I had recently found and cleaned up to her present splendor. She is dressed in a lovely lemon-yellow crocheted dress and collar that I got in a RRswap. I crocheted the matching socks. The brunette doll is a Tonner Toni which is no longer being made. she is modeling some new undies that I also received in the swap.
The full crinoline slip, pink polka dot panties, crocheted socks and the hat are what I made to give away in the swap.

I Made this darling Bleuette size ballet outfit for another swap I did. It was a Birth Year swap. we had to use a pattern from our birth year or if there wasn't any for that year, back up by a decade and choose a pattern. There was none for my year, so I backed up and found the darling ballet tutu pattern. The panties, hat and ballet slippers are my own patterns. I ended up making myself a ballet outfit also because My little girl was heartbroken that I was giving it away and she wouldn't be able to pretend she was in the ballet. Isn't she just precious. this is my new bleuette that I just bought from a friend this past week. I've named her Philomene after one of my grandmothers.

This is my second new bleuette. I put her together this week. I had been slowly buying the parts to put together. I bought the head around Christmas time. I bought the body a few weeks ago. I bought the wig last week so I was finally able to assemble her. I've NEVER spent so much on a doll wig before but I had a certain vision of what I wanted her to look like stuck in my brain and I wasn't going to be happy until I had achieved that. Now, I'm happy I spent the extra money for the special wig. She's exactly as I pictured. She is named Claudia.

I even managed to take two days to 'clean' my sewing room. It was for two reasons, first, my wonderful hubby is going to install a new ceiling fan for me and I had to be able to move my sewing machine out of the way (it sits right in the middle of the room). and secondly, I had to get a bit more organized. I'm trying to get organized and it seems that if I take a day or two here and there I'm finally able to get a grip on stuff and there's sortof a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm actually getting organized nicely now.

I am now working on another half dozen more puppies. I have ladies patiently waiting for their new doggies. I'm so glad that the puppies are so popular. They really are darling.

ok, I'm off to shower, dress and sew...........aw, maybe just sew, I can always shower later......

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ahhhh, Babies

Oh how I love babies. Our daughter and son-in-law have headed to a lovely tropical vacation so we get to watch our little granddaughter-7months old on the 7th of July. I also am a nanny to my darling nephew-7 months old tomorrow. Yup, that's only 7 days apart (geesh, all these 7's I should play the lottery!LOL). I had them both today and will be watching them both for the rest of the week. It's like having instant twins. Their schedules are just off by about 1/2hr so as soon as one is diapered and fed it's time for the next one. It was just a constant shuffle of baby all day. So much fun. I couldn't resist taking this pic. I got one down for nap and 1/2 hour later down went number 2! I only have one crib so I put one at one end and the other at the opposite end and stretched the blanket across them both. They are both now sitting up and they've discovered each other. So darn cute....It's going to be a fun week!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Francoise walks the Litter

My dear sweet little Francoise needed to walk the litter of Puppies before they are mailed off to their new homes today. Aren't they sweet? They're awful playful though and I think they might be too much for one little girl to handle.

Uh Oh!! I was right. They're starting to play with each other instead of all walking nicely.

Oh dear, all those leashes getting tangled and tripping them up. Even Francoise went down on her little tushie!

This is true Puppy Pandemonium!!

It's ok. The puppies have realized that they can make it all better by giving Francoise wet noses and big sloppy puppy kisses.......

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Free Father's Day Ephemera

I just love a freebee don't you?- especially when it's really great quality! Lisa Vollrath has done it again. A fabulous 16 days of freebees-a new one each day. All you need to do is post a link to her site and you can download a new piece of ephemera to incorporate in your Father's Day artwork or anything else you want to make from it. Some really great stuff. I'll be making my dad a special card and this just makes it easier to really step it up. So, go on over to Ten Two Studios and check it out!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Fripon, or a dog for Bleuette

Wow, I made this adorable little dog this morning for my Francoise. Someone on one of my online doll groups posted a link to the pattern for the perfect sized wire-haired terrier. The creator of the pattern gave permission to use the pattern as anyone wanted. I was so smitten I had to make one for my bleuette. I printed out the pattern and headed to my sewing room. I had all the colors of the felt in my stash! woohoooo! gotta love a good stash! I set to work and in no time at all had one very, very cute little doggie. All I have left to do is put a collar and leash on her. Isn't she cute? I put up this pic of Fripon next to Francoise to show that she is really perfectly sized for the doll. Ahhhhh, another satisfying project........

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Speaking engagements

Well, May was sure a whirlwind of a month. I got to be the honored guest speaker at not one but TWO doll events. So much fun. The first event was a Doll Luncheon in Kirtland, Ohio. It was put on by the 'The Heart of Doll Country' doll club. It was a lovely affair with about 75 people. A very nice auction of lots of dolls, and doll related items. I had a grand time giving my speech: So Many Dolls, So Little Time, My Journey Through Life with Dolls. I took lots of dolls and they filled up two 8foot tables. The really encompassed my life from childhood to present day. I had a great time talking and I have never had such a captured audience. I always expect a little chitchat to go on just because some times something you say will spark a comment between two people. But I have to say, I didn't hear a peep the entire time. It was awesome. I sure did enjoy the experience and recieved many wonderful compliments afterwards.

The very next weekend I repeated the lecture at the 'Think Pink Doll Gala' in Aurora, Ohio. I only took one table full of dolls this time, but still had enough to get my examples across. Again, it was well recieved and I got very wonderful compliments from some women I am in awe of. They are very well known in the doll world and to have them complimenting my dolls was a tremendous honor.

Back to my sewing.......

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My BFF and playtime.

My BFF Kate came in to town May 9th. She drove in from WI to be here for the two speeches I was giving. She is my best friend for sure! Jamesy and I took her to Slyman's. Oh dear godawlmighty. This is the best place in the world to go for Corned Beef. There is no way in the world you can eat a whole sammy. it's got to have at least a pound of shaved, lean corned beef on it. Kate requests to go there just for the pure gastronomic pleasure that is derived from eating there. This is what it looks like:This is just 1/2 of Jamesy's sandwich. ......sigh.....such pleasure in between two slices of bread....sigh........

ok, now that I've wiped the drool from my lips, we did other fun things as well. We spent a day traipsing around Amish country down in Berlin, Charm, and Walnut Creek, Ohio. Lots of great shopping and good food. Again. oh, the agony.....LOL. That evening we took Kate to watch the sunset at Lake Erie. We have a favorite spot which is at the top of a point of a cliff which overlooks a beach. It's just lovely with the trees, and the lake and a perfect vantage point to sit and enjoy a lovely sunset at the lake.

We also had much fun making a new doll during the week. She's the Queen Beea. She came from trying to figure out what to do with 143 bees. I needed one bee for a project I was working on. the only pkg I could get my hands on had a gross of bees. now, What on earth to do with 143 bees (remember, I had used one-LOL). My BFF had a great idea for the bees! We made our dolls and here's the Queen Beea! I don't have a picture of Kates. I forgot to take one before she left. She made these fabulous quilted wings for hers. Her Queen had skinny stripes that were more bright yellow. My doll ended up darker. We did a crackle finish on the dolls. Mine crackled hers didn't and I think that's why mine looks darker. the crackle holds the color more. It's amazing how different the two dolls look even though they're basically the same doll. anyway, here's mine:

So, add in the two doll venues and we sure had a full week of fun. We got to see quite a few friends we hadn't seen for a long time. It sure is grand having a very special BFF!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

It's a Spring Fling

I finished my Spring Fling swap and it's packaged and going into the mail. I"m sure the lucky recipient will be very happy. Here is Francoise modeling it. I chose a lovely minty green for this Spring outfit. Doesn't green remind you of spring? Everything so fresh and new! The dress and bonnet are made of a layer of embroidered organza over a dupioni type of fabric with just the sheer for the sleeves and the cap of the bonnet. The dress is trimmed with pale pink organza ribbon that ties in the back and there are three delicate pale pink organza rosebuds at the waist. The bonnet ties are the pale pink organza ribbon with another rose tacked at the sides.

The mint green socks are crocheted from size 80 tatting cotton with a size 12 steel hook. I love to crochet these little socks and I usually use size 8 perle cotton. The tatting cotton is just so much finer and lacey looking so that was more appropriate for this fancy outfit. Isn't this an outfit for a little princess?!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

WOW, what a month!

boy, alot has happened in the last month. Here I thought I was getting back on track into my doll adventures and I sure got derailed fast. My dear ole dad (not very old actually) ended up having an emergency QUADruple bypass. yup, all 4 of those puppies. Two were blocked at 100%, one at 90% and one at 75%. Think about that before you reach for your next piece of cake. They also discovered that he had suffered 2 major heart attacks. He never knew it. They found that he as Neuropathy of the heart. he never felt a thing. it's too bad really, because if he had feeling, they could have caught this at the first heart attack and he wouldn't have gotten to where he is today. They only gave him a 50/50 chance of making it through surgery. Fortunately, he's too dam stubborn to die so after 6 hours of surgery he made it! His heart now functions as 15% and that's the best it will be. He's got other medical problems that complicate things-way too much to go into-suffice it to say, I stayed with them for a while to be sure that everything was going to go smoothly while dad recouperates. I'm now back home and desperately trying to get caught up. I literally dropped everything and got a flight down to be there for surgery. I'll be back to posting as I finish each catch-up project........

Saturday, April 5, 2008

New Uniform for Franciose

Today I finished a Uniform for Francoise. The pattern is by Patti-Ann Stanley. She designed it from an old G-L fashion "Tipperary". Her pattern went together beautifully. Patti-Ann is a wonderfully accomplished seamstress. I had an old lightweight, gray wool skirt that I cut up for the uniform. It's comprised of three pieces. The dress, which has a white sleeveless bodice, wool skirt with pleats and a ribbon 'tie'. The jacket which has 4 pockets and a belt and a very sharp police style hat. Doesn't she look quite snappy!

Friday, April 4, 2008

A new appreciation

Wow, sometimes things just come into perspective and give you a whole new appreciation. Now I know why women have babies when they're young. I mean, I'm just middle age, but certainly a ways from 20 something. LOL> anyway, I am now a nanny for my little nephew. 4months old, just a darling little elf always smiling and happy-really a joy to watch. I'm sure you're wondering where this is going to-let me tell you.

Our daughter came into town this week. She works for a very large company and has an important position that keeps her traveling constantly around the world actually. Sometimes this brings her to town to different plants around our state. Anyway, she is the proud new momma of our littlest grandbaby-also 4 months. The babies are exactly 7 days apart in age. She brought baby along for me to watch and have grandma time with (and probably give daddy a breather). For the past three days I have watched 2 four month old babies. OHMYGAWD! how on earth does a mother of twins-or more- do it????? alone????? ohmygawd. I have been so pooped at the end of the day I can hardly move. It's been a cycle of diapers, bottles, pacifiers, juggling from swing, to boucer, to crib, to jumping seat, to boppie, repeat.....one cries, the other one looks at him/her as if to say "what's your problem?", "oh, I see, you need some sypathy", "here, let me help you alert grammy/aunty as to our dissatisfaction","let us cry louder".......

Oh dear, now I know why women are fertile at 20 and not 40!! I have a whole new appreciation for 20 year old mothers..........sigh..........

Monday, March 31, 2008

Tissue Paper Hat

Who'd have thunkit? Ordinary tissue paper can be cut, scrunched, braided and then turned into a lovely hat? The instructions were for a hat for Bleuette and the ladies in a group I belong to were discussing the hows of it. A couple of them gave some great, helpful tips and I added those notes to the instructions. I had just recently made a new spring dress for both of my dolls and decided that a hat would be a lovely touch for a "Springtime in Paris" type of outfit. I grabbed my tissue paper and pulled out the black, white and hot pink and got to work cutting strips and braiding.

I think the most trouble I had was figuring out what to use as a 'hat form'. I sat and twirled around in my chair looking at all the odds and ends in my sewing room (and boy, I've got some odds and a few ends-LOL). I finally spied a paperclay covered styrofoam egg (it was going to be a doll body-don't ask.....)anyway, I held it up next to her head and it looked like it was about the correct size so I covered it in a plastic bag secured with a rubberband. I carefully started glueing the braid to itself. I only put glue along the edge and worked just a small bit at a time to minimize glue slop. I used the quick drying "3 in 1" clear glue. it worked fabulous. I just need to decorate it. the flower is just placed there for the picture. Doesn't it go really good with the darling dress? oh, and here's a picture of her big sister's dress too. Now I"ve got to make her a hat. I guess I better go find a bigger styrofoam egg!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Paczki, ahhh, I love good food.

I've always wanted to try making home-made Paczki. My grandmother was Polish and that was where I learned to love these delicious, delectable, oh so yummy pieces of delight. Paczki (pronounced Poonch-key) are basically little jelly doughnuts. Traditionally they were made on 'Fat Tuesday' to use up the lard and sugar in the house before Lent began. The dough is a heavier, sweet yeast dough that is deep fried and then filled with the jelly/jam of your preference. I made blueberry, raspberry, apricot and pineapple. I sure do love to cook and bake, besides my sewing, cooking is my other passion. There's nothing I'm afraid to try making at least once. That tells me if it's a keeper or forget it cause even the dog won't eat it. LOL. not that I have a dog any more, but you get the idea. If the dear hubby gives it a funny look I know it's bad because he's not a picky man. This Paczki recipe made 48! Holey crap that's alot of jelly doughnuts to eat. I gave a whole lot away!! hahahahahahaha. They did get good reviews so I'll be making them again next year.

Tonight I bought a fresh coconut. I have a killer recipe (it was my great grandmother's) for Fresh Coconut Cake. I'm making that tomorrow. One for our house and one for my brother. Oh dear god I'll never be skinny...........

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Freebies. I love 'em!

Wow, I've been a bit negiligent around here lately. I really need to keep up with this better. anyway, a very talented artist is hosting a great Valentine's freebie-wonderful ephemera to use in your creative ventures. Lisa Vollrath is so extremely talented and generous. She's giving away one a day Feb. 1 thru Feb. 14 at her site. Just click here: Valentine's Freebie.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My new bebe

This is my new Bleuette Francoise. Isn't she beautiful? I am so in love with her green eyes and striking red hair. This was the doll that I traded for-Thank you Pat!!!!! I just got her last weekend and we've been getting to know each other this week. I just finished the lovely knitted snow suit that she is modeling. Its called 'Esquimau'. I purchased the pattern from Inma, who makes the most fabulous knitted items/patterns for Bleuette and Rosette. It was rather easy to knit and I used yarn and trim that I had in my stash. Since I'm not very proficient in knitting I had to look up how to do one thing on the internet. Honestly, isn't the internet fabulous? I was stuck on one stitch and was able to find a fantastic clear, concise video to watch and follow along with. How cool is that??!! And VOILA! I did it!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

FQ challenge

I love a challenge. We have a challenge going on in one of the Bleu groups that I belong to. Anyone that was interested could sign up and they would have an FQ (Fat Quarter) sent to them. We all got the same fabric only in either a light blue or a dark blue. The challenge was to make an outfit for our Bleue from the FQ. This is my entry. Well, my first entry. I've got so much left that I'm going to make a second outfit. The little snowflakes are just the right size for this small doll.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Love Knots

One of my loves besides sewing is crochet. Again, my grandmother taught me when I was very small. I crocheted many, many doilies, edgings on hankies and of course, doll clothes, even small dolls and toys. Lots of crochet. A very generous lady shared her patterns with me for a darling doll nightgown made of Love Knots. This was through my bleuette online group that I belong too. I made it from a scrumtuous peach thread and embroidered the bodice. I then made a matching peach slip from some leftover silk and crocheted some bloomers and a nightcap from another pattern that was donated. Another lady in our group made the outfit also. absolutely beautiful!! She decided to give hers away in a drawing for the ladies in our group who didn't crochet so I decided that two would be even more fun. The nighty was mailed out today and I'm sure that the woman who won mine will love it. Isn't this just darling? so lacey and pretty. Love knots are a bit tricky but as soon as you figure it out, it's quite a fast stitch.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sing with me now....I'm back in the Saddle again......

I know you all know that old song....that's how I feel lately. I've been way too busy for wayyyyyyy too long. What an incredible end to 2007! Whew. My brother and his new wife had their baby on November 30th. A boy. He's a little darling and I'm going to be his Nanny starting the end of this month. That will be loads of fun.

Our daughter and her husband had their first child exactly 7 days later. A little girl. She's the one that's wrapped to look like a little glow worm. She loves to be swaddled. I went to stay with them 4 days before she had the baby. She wanted me to coach her through labor/delivery and then the new parents wanted me to stay and help them settle in to being new parents for the first week. I ended up out of town for almost 2 weeks. It was great fun and the baby is a little doll!
I came home just in time for Christmas. Nothing done-no baking, shopping, wrapping-nothing done...eeeeks..... Whew! Insert Christmas here.....and then.......

The following weekend I drove with my sister-in-law and new baby to New Jersey for my other brother's wedding. It was quite the lovely affair. Did I mention that I got lost in New Jersey. Took a wrong exit (thank you Rand MacNally maps for being really wrong in the worst,worst,worst neighborhood to be wrong in) I had to drive about 15 blocks to find help to get back on the highway. That was maddening. We could see the highway right next to us but couldn't find an entrance to get back on! There was no place that looked safe enough to stop and ask for directions. Even the library had 12 foot cyclone fencing around it!! We finally found a construction crew working on a house and pulled over to ask them for help. Thank the Lord for a really nice construction foreman in New Jersey! So....we made it to the wedding, had a good time and made it home safely.
The hubby and I had a really nice peaceful evening at home for New Years Eve. I've had some time to really rest up and get my dolly mojo back....sing with me.....I'm back in the saddle again...lalalalalala.........