Sunday, October 04, 2015

Making Stuff

I've put aside this little lady to work on two more La Catrinas.

  Of course, I am doing everything differently on the Catrinas and am having to solve new problems.  I made the heads differently, slightly larger, and made a new pattern for the body, which ended up being a little too small for the head size, so have to make another pattern and try again.

Since the new Catrinas were being difficult, I decided to work on the box for a tiny jointed doll finished last week.  I used  lace for wallpaper, glued a plastic embellishment on the box, painted the entire thing, gave her a little rug that doesn't show, painted a wooden bead for a vase and used some tiny flowers I had left from an Etsy order,  used a tiny block for a table, and took the face off an old watch I paid $3 for at a flea market and used it for a wall clock.  
 She is almost 3 1/2 " tall

I truly admire those miniaturists who make realistic items to scale for doll houses and miniature displays, but this was a fun little project that didn't  need to be exact and only required me to search through all my stash of stuff.

Here are the tiny flowers from Julie Collings' Etsy shop.  I ordered them last year for a project and still have some left.  Last year it took some courage for me to slip a few out of the packaging because it is so charming.  I love these tiny millinery flowers!  It may be time to order more.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Five Finishes

This September has been a busy one, 
but I've still managed to spend a lot of time in the studio!

Finishes for September.
 Oops, I forgot to include the tiny witch!  
Six Finishes.

All of these guys (and the tiny witch)
are going downstairs.

My favorite is Maude, the witch.
Her hat may come off after Halloween,
and the broom may be replaced with
a Thanksgiving menu...
or something.

She looks a proper housewife to me,
and surely she would have a pumpkin pie in the works.

Anyway, she may stick around longer 
and join the Autumn gals,
who are eager to make an appearance.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Where Did the Week Go?

Getting dressed can be painful!

I absolutely love this blog--

This is the best fashion show ever.

Maggie Rudy's world fascinates me.
You can take a tour of her studio
or buy one of her children's books.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

This & That

The past two weeks have been unusually busy.  Appointment with ophthalmologist and new glasses (and I'm going to have to go back), meetings, a little office work and lunches with Amelia, and an appointment with Kelly for hearing aids!  

Both Fee and I realized we had to do something about our difficulty hearing.  His hearing loss is much more severe, but my high frequency hearing loss has made deciphering some speech difficult.  Now, we can both hear a conversation without saying, "Would you please repeat that?" so frequently.   Both of us are delighted!  

When not on the road, I've been upstairs in the studio playing with cloth and clay.  The house?  Well, housework has not been a priority.

 Percy Pumpkin
is finished!
From the bottom of the stand 
to the tip of his punkin' head,
Percy is 10" tall.

And a little witch
The witch is 4 " tall,
but with the blocks, the total is 7 1/2" 

I've been having trouble with my camera,
and the pics aren't very good.
But my Halloween Eccentrics are coming along!

Back to the studio
and WIPs....

And it is officially Fall, ya'll! 

Monday, September 21, 2015

La Calavera Catrina

and her beloved cat.
 La Calavera Catrina (the (Dapper Skeleton)
is a frequent symbol during Dias de los Muertos,
and so I think she is fitting for Halloween.

La Catrina has a paper clay head and a cloth body.

I'm staying busy in the studio-- a pleasant change!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Musings

We had some rain last night, and it is much cooler this morning.  I'm grateful for the rain and eager for the prospect of cooler weather.  

I'm still working on a couple of Eccentrics for Halloween.  I have finished this scholarly little pumpkin head.  Magnus is only about 6" tall, but full of enthusiasm.  His school uniform includes shorts and suspenders, although the suspenders have fallen to the side.
 He has a little plastic ring sewn on his back
so that I can hang him downstairs
when October arrives.

I purchased the tiny book last year, 
but it was too small for the Eccentric witch I had in mind.
She preferred her little dog, anyway.
Which was fine with Magnus,
who loves a little bedtime reading.
My Reading:  Still trying to catch up on reviews over at A Garden Carried in the Pocket.  One fun book lately was The Spiritglass Charade by Colleen Gleason.  Perfect for the approach to Halloween as it has spiritualism and vampires and Bram Stoker's sister and Sherlock Holmes' niece investigating dastardly crimes.  Light, fun, YA novel--I enjoyed it.  Review is in progress.

I finished and reviewed Failing Our Brightest Kids; it was certainly an eye-opener and gave me a lot to think about.

Found this on Facebook:

Have a great weekend, y'all.  

Monday, September 07, 2015

Progress on Halloween Eccentrics and Reading

Made a body for the zombie head in the previous post. 
 Stuck one of the tiny skulls from 
The Bead Shop in N.O. into his hat.  
 Marvin is a dandified zombie,
but he does prefer the outdoors.
 I found the little crow and trick or treat bag
in some stuff I bought last year,
and Marvin was delighted 
with both the companion and the treats.
Marvin is just a touch under 11" tall
including the spool base.

And below is the strange horned creature
from some far-away fantasy forest. 
 Muffletop is only 4" tall --
from the tip of his horn, to the base of the block.
 He, too, prefers to be outside.

I'm working on a few more Halloween Eccentrics at the moment.
A Day of the Dead skull head and a couple of pumpkin heads,
started last year, but left unfinished.

I just finished The Order by A.C. Donaubaur.  An excellent fantasy that depicts a fully realized world and contains interesting characters that come off the page.  I've already reviewed it on my book blog.  High marks for Donaubaur!  If you are a fan of epic fantasy, this may be something you would enjoy.

Still reading Failing Our Brightest Kids which keeps me pondering the successes and failures in education in the countries covered.  No question but that education reform and innovation continues to be a high priority and a touchy subject, not just in the U.S., but in all of the 13 countries examined.

Friday, September 04, 2015

New Fabric and WIPs

I told myself I had plenty of fabric and would not purchase anymore until I'd used up some of my stash.  Of course, I say the same about books, but my good intentions always go out the window when confronted with something I love.

Ft. Worth Fabric Studio offered some irresistible fabrics.  I'm always on the lookout for Halloween fabrics, and the Citrus Notes bundle is full of my favorite orange!

If my heart wasn't already singing, the lovely folks at FWFS included lagniappe , a little note pad and Wyler's Light packet!  Definitely my new fabric source, and I enjoy reading their blog, too.

 Citrus Notes bundle
I don't even want to cut them;
right now, they are just a visual delight.
Instead of tissue paper,
or styrofoam peanuts,
the filler was fabric scraps!
What a good idea!
Oh, this is lagniappe, too!
I can see tons of fabric beads
as a result of this scrappy banquet.

I am in the throes of too many ideas, too many "I want to" possibilities.  After a long summer of inactivity, all of a sudden I'm back in that ADD situation and can't make up my mind about what next.  

Yesterday morning, I worked on some Halloween Eccentrics, sculpting some little monsters, and ignoring the heads that have been waiting for months.  Then I stopped and did some mending on my "studio shirt" because I caught it on something and ripped another ragged hole.  All the time feeling anxiety because there are half a dozen projects I want to try.
 Eccentric Monsters.
Beaver with a horn?
I don't know, but they were fun.
They held my interest for a little while, at least.
Now, they need bodies.

I finished the Ian Fleming letters a while back and truly enjoyed it.  I never would have expected to like the man so much.  Haven't posted my review as it isn't out until Nov., but it will be glowing.
Ready Player One has been on my list for a long time, and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it.  I've reviewed it over at A Garden Carried in the Pocket.  Great fun.
Right now I'm reading Failing Our Brightest Kids, and it is an eye-opener and a sad one in many ways.  As a retired teacher, however, it is of great interest to me.  We are wasting so much potential, and other countries are leaving us behind educationally.  The statistics are disheartening.  

Wednesday, September 02, 2015


you get lucky!  And I did!  I won a Whisper from Penny at Art Journey.    :)   :) 

And Wonder is lovely in appearance and attitude.  She is settling in, getting acquainted right now, but will soon grace the wall in the living room.  
 I love her hair and all of the embroidered details.

 And on her back, her name.

Thanks, so much Penny,
she is a delight!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

New Orleans

We could not have asked for better weather in New Orleans!  Everyone was talking about it because it was so unusual, but the high was 89 with reasonable humidity--wonderful!  Although I walked around while Amelia was in her conference sessions, I didn't buy anything in the Quarter, and when I got tired, went back to the hotel and my Kindle.

Suzie and Bobby took us to Boucherie on Tuesday night--and if you ever have a chance when you are in N.O., you really should experience it. Bobby ordered such an assortment dishes that we all shared.   It was all such a delight for the eye, but then the tasting sensation...!  I didn't even have enough sense to take a picture of all of it on display. Check out the menu and drool.  :)

Every place we ate had wonderful food presented so artistically, but Boucherie was in a class by itself.

Wednesday afternoon, Suzie picked us up after school and took us to Magazine St. where the shops cater to a New Orleans crowd mostly, I think.  What fun!  It was so late we only had time for two shops:  Uptown Needle & CraftWorks (and their Facebook page) and The Bead Shop, which was right next door.  Two little shotgun houses side by side.

The pics come from their Facebook pages.
Couldn't resist a few fat quarters
from Uptown Needle and CraftWorks.
Emma and her daughter own the shop
and offer all kinds of classes and lessons.
Oh, to live in N.O. and be able to take
a few classes!
Or beads from 
the Bead Shop

I'm eager to make some Halloween Eccentrics now!  Just look at those skull beads--perfect!  I was so glad Amelia was able to go with us, but we had to hurry because the shops closed at 6:00.  Rush, rush!

Up early Friday morning for the long drive home, but what a wonderful quick trip!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


A busy weekend with a baby shower for a lovely niece and my Baton Rouge daughter Erin in town with Mila and Max.  Wonderful luncheon at Amelia's with the three cousins completely occupied the entire time.  None of my pictures came out, and I don't know why, so that was disappointing, but otherwise, a fun weekend with family.

Today, I will be heading to New Orleans with Amelia, who has a conference to attend.  I'll get to visit with Suzie again; she is already back to school, so we will have to schedule our limited time accordingly.  Since we are staying in the French Quarter, I will be able to occupy my solitary self while Amelia attends the conference.

I think I have almost everything organized and packed or ready to pack.  Plenty of books on my Kindle and a slow cloth ready to begin, so even if I get tired of walking through the Quarter, I won't be bored.  

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Finished at Last

I think she is done.  Sigh of relief over this one.  After abandoning (and disliking her) time after time, I'm fine with her now.  Yesterday, I made a black cat out of a scrap of felted wool to accompany her, but realized quickly that a black cat was too Halloweenish for her summery dress.  While still not completely satisfied with the apron, I was too impatient to give it a third go.  Knowing what I'd do different next time is enough for now.  

So many "what I'd do next time" thoughts about both doll and clothing. One big one-- don't take a heat gun to dry a re-painted face--it will melt the fur used for hair.  

When the cat idea didn't work, I made her a little book for her pocket.  Maybe I will eventually make her a cat, but a marmalade tabby would suit her better, if I ever get around to it.

Since my original concept changed so many times, and she changed from a kind of winter/snow queen to more of a homebody, she has no name, but she loves poetry and herb gardens and butterflies.

I'm loving Ian Fleming's letters!  For someone who had little interest in James Bond, I'm finding myself captivated by the author.  I may have to read one of the Bond novels. :)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

This and That

More playing with scraps,
some machine and hand embroidery,
and beading.

Took the pictures outside on the patio,
so you can see the exposed gravel through the holes.
Because of the layers of fabric, 
felt batting, and backing,
the blanket stitching around the holes
was difficult.
Had to use pliers to pull the needle through
when my fingers gave out.

I finished the skirt 
for the white-haired lady that has waited so long for attention.
Then I made a pattern for the wrap around apron I wanted for her.
The first version wasn't long enough,so I've made a new pattern.

Working on this one now,
but I already know it may need adjustments.

I'm reading The Man with the Golden Typewriter: Ian Fleming's James Bond Letters and enjoying it.  I have never read a single one of the James Bond books and only saw a couple of the films, but Fleming's letters are funny and informative.  My interest in Fleming was aroused several years ago when reading about his work in WWII.

"While working for Britain's Naval Intelligence Division during the Second World War, Fleming was involved in planning Operation Goldeneye and in the planning and oversight of two intelligence units, 30 Assault Unit and T-Force. His wartime service and his career as a journalist provided much of the background, detail and depth of the James Bond novels."  Wikipedia