Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Criss/Cross Chicken Scratch

Not much in the way of chicken scratch embroidering but I like just a little around the border of my little quilt project. I like the name "chicken scratch" too. I've always thought that I wanted chickens as well, running around my yard, but for the book "Still Life with Chickens: Starting Over in a House by the Sea" by Catherine Goldhammer. In the book, the author describes, nights of keeping the chickens from freezing and other chicken requirements that convinced me that I'm not a potential poultry farmer. :-) Good book though, about making do with less. I'd like to read it again, come to think of it but I can't seem to find my copy in the house...hmmmm, could be time for a bookshelf go-over/clearing out.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Three Sisters Quilt

I started working on this small quilt sometime last year. I have pulled it out to work on in the evenings and some of the quiet mornings that I have been enjoying lately. I had a heck of a time finding the red/white gingham that I wanted in a border. I had not noticed that gingham is now mostly polyester-ick, printed on one side of the fabric instead of woven and all the various sizes are not available. I say we bring back all-cotton woven gingham in lots of colors and while we are at it we can bring back dotted swiss (as seen in the apron above). :-) By the way, I am extremely happy with all the other fabric with dots that is available now--stocking up for when it is no longer in vogue.
Take Care.

A Little Knit & Purl

Stripes and changing colors, I can do--but switching colors mid-row--uh, uh--I haven't gotten the hang of twisting the yarn when I switch colors.

I had to go back after this doll was done and sew the apron's holes along the sides.

A Little Knit & Purl

Stripes and changing colors, I can do--but switching colors mid-row--uh uh. I tried to knit an apron on a girl doll that I was making and even though I was able to salvage the doll by stitching it up after the fact, it remains one of the many, many things I've yet to learn about knitting. :-)

This is the finished doll, fun, fun to complete--even with the troublesome apron. I put some arms on this one--stitched right onto the front and since I had so much trouble with the apron, I decided to add the doll's hair afterwards by stitching on an extra knitted piece--tucked under her wee hat.

Everyone around here wanted to know how her cheek color was added--makeup with a Q-tip.

Here are both of the wool dolls together.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Toadstool Home

I made this little felt toadstool house for Meg at Christmas.
The very cool pattern for felt toadstools is from the little house by the sea blog.
I finally got a decent photo of this toadstool using a lightbox that Meg and I made out of a cardboard box. Got the idea from a post from Delphine on non dairy diary blog. She linked up to a site that had the lightbox instructions on it. We took a large cardboard box and cut windows in three sides, covering the openings with tissue paper. The main box opening stays open and you line the inside of the box with a piece of posterboard to cover the back wall and floor in a continual sheet. Then shine lights from the sides and top--preferably full spectrum or sunshine and voila--you have better light for photos. Now I want to fiddle with the color of the background, use props, work with the lights a bit more, and use a tripod. Anyone want to see the lightbox? I can post a picture of it.....

Monday, January 19, 2009

Emily's Bakery

Emily and I were busy yesterday baking small apple pies. We made doll-sized snickerdoodle cookies, too, all for Emily's pretend bakery. :-)

We have several good picture books featuring bakeries, like "The Story of Cherry the Pig" by Utako Yamada, "The Bake Shop Ghost" by Jacqueline K. Ogburn, illustrated by Marjorie Priceman, "ella the elegant elephant" and "ella takes the cake" both by Carmela & Steven D'Amico. Reading these together makes you want to open up a bakery all your own. Yummy!

Warming Trend

A little knitting to warm the days. I followed a pattern-mostly for a stick-type doll that was in a Woman's Day magazine back in 1987. I can't believe that I saved the pattern for so long--well maybe I can. I didn't even know how to knit back then. But, I have always had a thing for knitted dollies. I left off the collar that they had on the pattern and made a scarf for the boy shown finished below. The pants were supposed to be reverse-knitted too, showing the "wrong" side of the stockinette stitch but I didn't think I'd like that as well, so I just knitted it up regular. Lucky for me the turned up cap hides a goof-up I knit in the ribbing of the cap. By the time I discovered that I had switched the k1, p1 in one spot on several rows it wasn't worth going back and ripping it out.
Stay warm!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

International Dolls

I found this 18" Ichimatsu doll at a local shop. At first, I was just drawn to her smooth, pale face and childishly hand-stitched kimono. I didn't know anything about this type of doll before I started looking her up on Google. She is an average tourist doll, circa 1930's, probably purchased dressed only in paper clothes--which she still has on underneath. A child was supposed to dress her as she chose after receiving her. She has human hair that looks like it might have been trimmed up a bit by whoever owned her. She has a hollow molded wood composition head and limbs covered in gofun--which is a crushed shell and glue mixture that looks translucent when dry. Her glass eyes are set in before the coatings of gofun are applied and then the layers are cut away to reveal her eyes. She has a surprise in her stomach that one website alluded to--a squeaker. Pushing gently on her abdomen produces an airy squeeeak. Very sweet.

Here is a little bit closer to her face. Some of the fabrics used to create her clothing are disintegrating like the red material just beneath her chest wrap. I don't know how to conserve this, other than to leave it alone.

I wish I could say that I owned this Czech doll--but I don't. :-) It is a picture from a book I found remaindered at a used bookstore called "World Colors Dolls & Dress" by Susan Hedrick & Vilma Matchette. It is a beautiful book published in 1997 featuring dolls, in color, from all over the world with very good descriptions and many picture postcards showing real people wearing similar "folk" dress. It is yummy!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

'Lil Wombat

This is a little softie that Meg crocheted. I added the arms and legs and smart little red bow. I love the brown nose Meg gave him and the wee topknot. He is residing next to my bed in a candle-light that I use in the middle of the night when I am awake. The light is enough for me to read by but not bright enough to awaken J. That is good.
This is a pencil sketch that I did yesterday of the same little dude.

Monday, January 5, 2009

And Now.....

What will this new year's winding road bring? Head up--let's go and see.