Friday, February 26, 2010

More Dolly Donations

I finished the four dolls I started last week for Dolly Donations. I am both less and more pleased with this batch. I keep trying to be critical of my work, but all I can think is that somewhere in Haiti there is a child without a single toy who is not going to notice uneven eyelashes or a slight curve in a seam that is supposed to be straight.

This is my favorite doll this time around. As I was working on him I couldn't decide if he was ugly or cute. I have now definitely decided cute. I really like his features. I have just a tiny bit of the brown fabric I used to make him left. I am thinking about tweaking the way I have been making the dolls in order to get as many as I can out of this last tiny scrap. I think I might be able to do three or four if I do it right.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Want to win a quilt?

Or maybe a pattern? Lila Tueller is at it again. This time she's giving us all a chance to win a quilt (grand prize) or a three pack of Lila's patterns (second and third prizes). I'd love to win any of it! If you would too, post about Lila's giveaway on your blog and leave her a comment with a link to it and why you want to win.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dolly Donations

I know I'm late to the party here, but I just found out about Dolly Donations a few days ago. For those of you who aren't aware, Dolly Donations is collecting handmade dolls for Haitian orphans. There is a goal of 181 dolls and any extra that they receive will be delivered to other needy children in the area, orphans or not.

I don't have much money, but I do have a little bit of time and a whole lot of craft supplies. I pulled every bit of brown fabric I had and cut out two dolls as a start (they want you to make more than one so that no orphan feels singled out for having a doll very different from someone else).

I finished these girls in just one night. With a March 31 deadline I wasn't sure how much I could accomplish, but the pattern is really so simple (I actually made it more difficult and added the socks) that you can do a lot in a little time.

I have since started on four more dolls, two boys and two girls. I have more fabric left too, so depending on how quickly those four finish up I should have plenty of time for even more to be made and shipped to New York before the deadline.

Did I mention that your shipping is tax deductible? And that Dolly Donations has a PDF form to fill out on the blog that will get you a receipt for the fair market value of the dolls you send to deduct that from your taxes too? Check out the blog for the super simple pattern and shipping directions if you'd like to join in!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


My friend Keli works almost exclusively in miniatures. She's incredibly crafty and I am always admiring her patience and the product of that patience. She'll tell you she's just stubborn, but it really is more than that. Anyway, Keli is currently working on a 1:24 scale dollhouse and in that dollhouse is a 1:144 scale dollhouse.

I have only ever worked on one miniature anything. A few years ago, my step-son bought his dad a 1:35 scale model of a tank. A pretty cool gift for a guy who spent his whole childhood building models.

Turns out though, my husband quit the models because he hated the detailed, intricate painting part of it. So he said, "I'll build the tank, but I won't paint it." My step-son said, "I'll paint the tank, but I won't paint the guys." And so the guys fell to me.

I'm posting them for two reasons, the first being that Keli's miniatures had me thinking of them and how hard it was to get detail in such a tiny scale, and how much of an amateur I obviously am. The second reason is that during the move, my husband left the tank where my son could reach it on the very edge of the counter top, thus ensuring its destruction. I just wanted my hard work on these apparently huge army men, to be chronicled somewhere before they were tossed in the trash with the rest of the rubble.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Another Pussycat bag

When I first made Melly & Me's Pussycat bag for my niece my neighbor immediately took me aside and said, "Christmas." It was her sneaky little way of letting me know that her daughter, Grace, had fallen in love.

I started on Grace's bag shortly after. I decided on a white print with stars in different shades of blue and silver glitter and a blue cloud print for the stripes. I finished those, cut out the cat shape, came to the muzzle and did a big pause. A months long pause. I wanted to do navy blue, but the colors that would stand out on a navy muzzle (white and pale blue), wouldn't stand out on the striped kitty part of the bag. Then I thought of completely contrasting it with a yellow star print, but the stripes were visible through the yellow shade I had picked out. I just couldn't decide what to do, so I stopped.

Christmas came and went and I completely forgot about the half finished bag in my sewing room. In late January my neighbor called to invite us all to Grace's birthday party and said, "...and if you wanted to finish that bag..." I felt like such a jerk! I looked at it, and just like it always does, the distance had given me some perspective, and it was suddenly all too clear that I needed to do a silver color to match the glitter on the white stripes.

Perfect! I love how the velvety fabric gives Grace a part of her kitty purse to pet too.

My husband actually picked out the little silver buttons for the eyes. They looked too small though, so I grabbed the blue ones with the depression in them off of the shelf. I took them home hoping that the silvers would fit inside the blues and look just like this. I didn't imagine that it would actually work out that way though. I'm so very glad it did.

Happy birthday to Grace!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Monday Moments: Tuesday Edition

I've spent roughly the past three weeks cheerfully saying goodbyes to everything I hated about the old place. When the breaker would blow because the fan was on in the bedroom and I dared to try to blow my hair dry in the bathroom I'd do a little dance of joy and say, "Never again!" When the neighbors who tried to kill me moved their car specifically to block the driveway when I was trying to get out..."One more week!" When I burnt something on the left rear burner of the electric stove because I forgot, for the millionth time, that the temperature control is broken on it, "I'll be so glad to have my gas stove!" It seemed there were dozens of things to celebrate with the move and I was very caught up in it.

All day yesterday we moved the last few straggling things into the kitchen, then out the back door into our waiting vehicles. Slowly emptying the upstairs, basement, and family room. At about 8:00 my husband and son left me in the kitchen with nothing but the vacuum, a bottle of floor cleaner, and a bottle of vinegar to clean off the counter tops. Alone in the house I started thinking about this blog post and I realized that I needed that little bit of time to myself. I had been so busy thinking about all I was moving away from, that I forgot about what I was moving to.

I now live in a home where the hallway doesn't hold the memory of my son's first steps.

He didn't drink his first bottle, or eat his first solid food, or have his first birthday here either.

For just a minute, I wished that I could stay...