Monday, December 19, 2011

Sea Spirit

I used my pin doll pattern that I designed to make a Christmas Ornament. She is called Sea Spirit. I used lace, silver lined beads, and eyelash yarn to embellish her. I used watercolor pencils and prismacolor pencils for her facial coloring.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Molly Monkey or what I have been up to lately

I haven't posted in a few weeks but thought you might want to see what I have been up to while I wasn't posting. I have been making these adorable Molly Monkey dolls for all the little tykes on my holiday gift list this year and probably having way too much fun making them! Larissa Holland so kindly posted her free pattern for Molly Monkey on her blog. She has a lot of other wonderful patterns that she sells also so take a peek when you get a chance. If you want to download the Molly Monkey pattern by Larissa Holland you can click here to get to her blog
Happy crafting!

Monday, November 28, 2011

What I did on Black Friday

Black Friday seems to be the official start of shopping for the holiday season. I never went out shopping before last year on Black Friday because I thought it was too filled with commercialism. Well last year I woke up at a unheard of hour and trundled myself to the mall during a snowstorm and hate to admit it but I became rather wrapped up in the fun of it all and had quite a good time actually. I even saved a ton of money on the deals I ran into. Admittedly I spent more than I probably should have but I probably was not the only person in the mall that did that. I thought about going to the mall on Black Friday this year but just well wasn't as enthused as I was last year. So, I decided to try to make our holiday a little more homespun this year and have started making gifts for family and friends. These are some placemats that I have been working on to give as gifts. I hope the recipients will enjoy them!
For more ideas on home-made holiday gift making look at Colleen Babcock's website where she posted several links to different gift making tutorials
You can also find a nice tutorial on how to make a felt ornament along with several other homemade ornament ideas on A Creative Dreamer's Blog by clicking here Happy crafting!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Blushing Bride

I went to deliver the wedding cake topper to my friend Annie and her daughter Anastasia at their bakery Man in the Moon Bake Shoppe & Cafe in King Ferry, NY last Thursday. As you can see by the photo they seem a little pleased with the topper. While I was there Annie sent me home with some of her amazing cheesecake samplers for my husband Bob who doesn't have to follow a gluten free diet. He loved them! She even sent me home with some absolutely delicious gluten free cookies and muffin samples. So if you are looking for a gluten friendly bake shoppe for delicious baked goods, good coffee and tea, and warm friendly service check out Man in the Moon Bake Shoppe & Cafe at 982 State Route 34B in King Ferry, NY.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Wedding Day

Miss Pretty Kitty and Mr. Honey Bear are all set for their big wedding day! The only last minute detail left is their glasses. Good thing because the wedding is this weekend!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Happy Couple

Mr. Honey Bear's tuxedo is finally done! That was quite a challenge since I have never designed and created clothing for a male doll before. He is wearing the fourth tuxedo jacket I made. The other three are in the dead tuxedo pile. Now I am off to embellish!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Miss Pretty Kitty in her wedding dress

Miss Pretty Kitty in her wedding dress. All she needs is her veil and flowers. Now its time to work on Honey Bears tuxedo!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wedding Cake Topper

I am in the process of making a wedding cake topper for my friend Annie's daughter's wedding. I thought I might share what I have come up with so far. As you can see the bride is Miss Pretty Kitty and the groom is Mr. Honey Bear. He is wearing his dressy high top sneakers for the wedding! I am sorry Annie but I couldn't bring myself to give Miss Pretty Kitty sneakers to wear with a beautiful tea length gown so I gave her dainty little white flats to wear. Today I will work on costuming the pair.

Monday, October 31, 2011


I have been preparing to share my needle sculpting techniques on a pin doll pattern I designed with the ADU doll club that I belong to in Ottawa and thought you might enjoy this needle sculpting tutorial that I am posting today.

Step One: Marking the Face

To start off, make sure you have a very firmly stuffed head. Try to make sure you have stuffing filling out the nose. You can mold the head with your hands to get the shape of head that you find pleasing.

For the placement of features many books on drawing the figure and portrait painting are good resources for facial feature placement. For a more childlike face, which I am working on here today, you want to place the eyes on a horizontal line that is at the halfway point of the face. The eye width should be the same distance as the space between both eyes. Since I generally work on small doll heads I use a regular sharp pencil to mark the needle sculpting points. Many doll artists use fade away marking pens but I find them to spread too wide to give me the exact points I need to work on a small head. The pencil marks can be later incorporated into the coloring and shading of the face. When I make a mistake in marking I just erase the mark even though it often leaves a messy smudge. I have been told that you can use scotch tape to remove this smudge but have not tried this technique yet. In this particular example I am using a fine woven muslin that I hand dyed. These needle sculpting techniques can also be utilized on other cloths used for doll skin such as doe suede.

Place one dot on the eye line at the inner corner of each eye and on the outer corner of each eye. Remember to make the width of each eye the same distance as the width that each eye is apart from each other.

Next place a small dot where each nostril should be. The nose should be placed half way on the face between the eye line and the chin.

Next place a small dot where the outer corner of each side of the mouth will be. The mouth line should be half way between the nose and the chin. The corners of the mouth should be placed on that horizontal mouth line. They should be vertically aligned with the center point of each eye. Sometimes I may move these points just a touch closer to each other than that for a more pleasing effect.

If you are adding ears to your needle sculpted head you will need to make placement dots for those. You need to make one placement dot on the eye line and one placement dot at the nose line on each side of the head.

Step Two: Preparing to Needle Sculpt

I generally use nymo thread in a color slightly lighter than the “skin” fabric but many dollmakers do not prefer to use this thread because it is multi-ply and can tangle while you are working with it. You can use silamide, strong carpet thread, or strong craft thread.

Thread your needle, I usually use John James Darners (number 7 or 9). For a larger head you will need longer needles. I have used long doll sculpting needles but they often are too thick and leave too large holes so when using them I will use the long needle to get to where I want to be and then switch to a darner to do the actual needle sculpting. I have been told that milliners needles are better for this but have yet to try them.

Use a single thread always when needle sculpting. DO NOT double your thread in the needle. Make a knot on one end and bring the needle from inside the neck part of the head into the back of the head. Make a tacking stitch so that the knot doesn't pull through

Step Three: Sculpting the Nose

Make sure you have enough stuffing in the nose area so you have a firm nose to work with. Bring the needle into one of the nostrils. Take a small stitch and then bring it to the back of the head. Do not pull tightly, just a little tug, then take a tacking stitch at the back of the head.

Do the same to the other nostril. You may want to repeat the process twice on each side to make a nice indentation in the nostrils.

Step Four: Starting to sculpt the eyes

Bring the needle from the back of the head to the front of the head in the corner of one eye. Take a small stitch and bring it back to the back of the head. Do not pull to tightly. Just give it a little tug. Take a tacking stitch at the back of the head.

Do the same process for the inner corner of the other eye. Repeat the process twice for each eye.

Step Five: Sculpting the Eyes and Mouth

Make sure your cheeks are firmly stuffed. Bring the needle from the back of the head to the front of the head in one corner of the mouth.

Take a small stitch and then run the needle under stuffing in the cheek and out of the face at the outer corner of the eye. This is where you want to give a good little tug to develop a nice smile and nice cheek.

Take a small stitch at the outer corner of the eye and bring the needle to the back of the head. Give the thread a bit of a good tug and take a tacking stitch at the back of the head.

This will give a nice shape to the cheek and to the eye.

Repeat the process for the other eye. Repeat the process for both eyes and cheeks twice.

Step Six: Giving Shape to the Head

Bring the needle from the back of the head to the side where you placed a mark for the ear at the eye line. Take a small stitch.

Bring the needle to the other side of the head at the mark for the ear at the eye line. Take a small stitch.

Go back and forth a few times until you have a nice shape to the face then go to the back of the head and take a tacking stitch. Run the needle back and forth in the back of the head a few times until you feel the thread is secure before you cut the thread off.

If you are not adding ears you are all set to start adding details to your face with watercolor pencils, pastels, or what ever art supplies you use to add color and depth to your needle sculpted faces!





Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I made this pin doll with a Halloween color scheme. I used eyelash yarn for her hair and black bat lace for her bodice.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Eating Apples

A beautiful stag has been visiting our apple tree to eat apples and I finally was able to get a picture of him that I thought you might enjoy.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pin Dolls

These are the pin dolls that I designed and will be sharing how to make at the October meeting for the doll club that I belong to in Ottawa. I will be showing doll club members how to use a special template that I designed to insure correct placement of facial features every time. The pin dolls can also be made into ornaments. I am looking forward to our next doll club meeting. It should be a lot of fun!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Watercolor Journal

I bought a book called "Artist's Journal Workshop" by Cathy Johnson and was so inspired that I decided to start a watercolor journal last week. Instead of painting a page a day I chose to paint a little bit each day. Now I just need to keep motivated to continue painting every day!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dragonfly Marie

I had the good fortune to attend Andrea Melione's, aka Eraser Queen's, Altered Women Workshop at the Art For All conference in Rochester last June. IT WAS WONDERFUL! I had so much fun that I asked Andrea if it was alright to share some of what I learned at her workshop with my doll making club in Ottawa, All Dolled Up. Being the generous and sharing artist that she is she gave me the okay. I will be presenting the Gothic Arch and Artist Trading Card program this Sunday in Ottawa and made the Dragonfly Marie to prepare for the program. You can see an article on the Altered Women workshop in the ArtTrader Magazine issue 12 which is free to download at and you can check out Andrea's website at

Wishing Everyone a Wonderful New Year!