September 3, 2012

Big To Do List

I had a pretty ambitious to do list going into this weekend, and althought I got through some of the items.. pretty much none of it was housework. Maybe I'll make up for that today or maybe not. It's been a beautiful last weekend of summer.
I've been stocking up my shops for the Christmas rush, making some more bead knitted cuffs that have been selling like crazy at work. I hope they'll be the thing everyone wants this Christmas but I just never know. I do know I love making them, choosing bead varieties and colours and finally knitting it all together watching the texture come alive. I just want to eat it's so yummy looking at the end. So here's a pic of some of the new stuff I added to my Jewelry and Accessories Shop.

I've also been playing with Kumihimo, it's a Japanese Braiding technique. I started right in with the beads of course, I never seem begin at the beginning. As a result I definitely need more practice. I have one piece that I turned into a necklace for myself, (see the piece on the bottom right of the picture). I hope to play some more with this in the coming weeks. I've seen some wonderful work at craftshows over the summer and I am intrigued.

I have also been playing with some paper clay this weekend and going a little batty! I had birds and bats on the brain I guess. So here's where I'm at with them. I like the way the birds are turning out so will likely make some more of those. The bats were fun but the wings were a pain. My paper clay was kind of hard, I had to really condition it to bring it back to a workable state.

I had also hoped to work on my Evil Queen Sculpt but my apartment is still to warm to work with Polymer clay.
So left on the to do list? So many things, some shop admin stuff, cleaning, laundry, ironing, and working on a new cloth doll pattern. As long as I don't look at my book or out the window I should be fine! LOL

August 13, 2012

Exciting News!

My patterns are now available on DollMakers Journey. I've been buying my doll making supplies and patterns there for years and I'm so very excited to tell you that they have picked up my doll patterns. Today is the first day and I've already had a sale. I couldn't be happier! YAY!
Thank you so much to Mary Ann at DollmakersJourney for the encouragement and faith in me and my work! It's such a thrill! I must say I think my mom is my little angel looking out for me!

July 2, 2012

My long weekend project a Knitted Beaded Cuff

I was looking for a small project to try this weekend and I came across a beaded cuff that someone had made. I used to knit these with wire years and years ago and sold a few but it's now become very popular. I guess I was just way ahead of my time. I started playing with some beads and thread at work on my lunch break, loading up the thread with beads and then crocheting it. I found the needle too small for the work and didn't really like the effect. A friend stopped by to see what I was doing in my little crafty corner and wanted me to do one for her in oranges.
I stopped by the bead store on my way home and decided to knit it this time. My progress photos follow with a little description.

My supplies, a variety of beads, large hole beading needle, embroidery floss and size 0 knitting needles. (mine are a little overworked... not too straight are they?) I thread the beads onto the floss in a somewhat random pattern. You need to have about 45 inches of beads strung before you begin knitting. This is tedious to say the least.

Then I cast on 10 stitches. I wanted a wider cuff but you can use as many as you like. I used the pearl stitch only. This causes all the beads to stay on one side. I pearl three or four rows before I add the beads.
I begin sliding beads on every pearl stitch for the next row, sometimes in twos or threes. The bigger beads just one per stitch. Push them up against the work so you don't have them wandering around to the back of the piece. The pattern is basically pearl one row with beads, then pearl the next without beads.

You can see I'm making some progress. The above pictures show the work from and back as I progress.

As I moved further along, I wrapped the string of beads and thread around a paper towel tube to keep this manageable. I noticed I was running out of floss and thought my bead supply wouldn't be enough to finish. So I decided to transfer the beads to a new piece of floss and add some more beads.
I use a long big hole beading needle for this. I threaded the old end of the floss through the needle and the new piece of floss on the other end of the needle. Then I started transferring beads to the new thread. I also added a few more beads.

Transferring the beads to the new floss string along the beading needle.

Once that was done, I removed the beading needle and started the next new row with my new floss string.
When the cuff reached five inches I ended with three rows with no beads and tied off.
I sewed on the clasp and wove the loose ends in.
and voila!

 If my friend doesn't like it I'll keep this beauty for myself!!

June 30, 2012

Needle Felted Work by Jolene Klassen

My needle felting guru Jolene has been working for 9 months on a commission and has finally finished and delivered it. In the below photo he his 99% complete.
Photo by Bob Holliday
Despite the problems that life has thrown her way she has managed to find the time to endlessly stick a needle into a bundle of wool fibres and create this wonderful creature "Trek". Here he is with the actual Trek.

Yes, I'm in awe too! The earliest photos I have of this creation is before his fur and while he is getting his ears and lower jaw.


And these, Jolene tells me she is working  is on positioning of the ears and decided to rework them. The nose needed to be reduced in size. "Luckily in needle felting that is easy to do."
In the last photo...  “Well, how do I look?”  A silly pose, we just gotta have fun!  I made a new set of front legs, these came out a bit too long.

June 25, 2012

Sorry I've been out of touch

Since my mom's passing, I've been so busy closing up her apartment and sorting through the bits and pieces of her life. I'd thought that once that was all done, life would get back to normal. Unfortunately my normal was sharing the day to day with my mom. So everyday since the busyness of all that comes with re-renting her apartment, I'm trying to rediscover who I am without my mom. I thought I had a pretty good idea, but I had no idea how much the things I did with her touched every part of my life.

I now need to figure out a new routine. I am finding the usual schedule of phone calls and dinners, what I watch on tv and when is all affected. I have been living with the tv off most days and just sorting through stuff or reading a book is what I do most. I grieve in the weirdest places. shopping for plants, groceries, going to the library, the bank. I try to do all of them and sometimes have to leave the store. I'm sure these things will pass as I suck it up and try to get past it. But mostly lately, I've been avoiding. I think I don't necessarily need a routine, maybe no routine is best for me right now. I'll do it what and when I feel like it.

I know this is a sad post, but it's where I am right now. It's only my studio to be sorted out now. I got a lot of my mom's crafty stuff, so although I've sorted through the bits I would like to keep, I need to find a home for them. I hope once that is done I'll feel creative again.
I started a doll about three weeks ago, thoughts  from the Snow White and the Huntsman movie, that I hope to get back to soon and will post some pics.
Thanks for bearing with me. I really do appreciate all your kind messages, it's only now I've found the courage to rejoin the world. I really miss my mom.
Thank You!

May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day... update on my mom...

So many of you have expressed your sadness about my mom's illness that I thought I'd let you know.

My mom passed away this morning. She suffered a major heart attach on Friday around 2pm. We didn't know this at first and we called 911 because of her pain and confusion. It was only after blood tests at Trillium Hospital that we discovered it. She was diagnosed with bone cancer only a few weeks ago after a visit first to Urgent care, subsequent Dr.s appts., trips to Emergency, bone scans, blood tests and several transfusions. I wish the system worked better in Ontario so we could have gotten the help we needed sooner without the frustration of so many painful trips. We had just begun seeing an oncologist and had another transfusion when we had this happen.

The pictures here have been taken since just prior to Christmas. She was a beautiful woman at 82. She was to celebrate her next month. We are amazed that she survived the heart attack and had no idea when exactly it happened as she was in such constant pain. She was admitted to Trillium late Friday night and we have been with her constantly since then.
I'm so happy that she is not suffering any longer and could really use some sleep. I've been dunking my eyes in Tim's alot over the past couple of days. My sisters and I were with her when she died at 4:04am this morning. She had a DNR request that we honoured. We knew the future would only include more pain. Bone cancer is vicious and we did not want her to suffer. She was so strong.
The people at Trillium and the paramedics were amazing and once they discovered the heart attack they found us a room in the ER. about 12 hours after arriving they found a room for us in the Oncology department, the cancer facilty there was very warm and welcoming and almost hotel like. They let us stay 24 hours a day and made us comfortable with blankets, a place to sleep if we could and we could have as many family members as could come. We spilled out into a family room with television and internet so we could get in touch with the people we needed to. My sister and her husband in Regina made it in time, they arrived yesterday at noon. Their kids unfortunately, were writing exams. All the rest of the family were in and out, all of us telling her how proud we were of her, her strength, which she passed on to us, her values, her love of good friends, laughter and food. We shared memories, laughed and cried alot.
We are in the midst of arrangements but know that her wish was to be cremated and buried with my father and celebrations will be held in Port Colborne but we will be going to settle the details tomorrow.
We have family arriving from out of province so it won't likely be until the end of the week.
I'm going to miss my mom so much, she understood my creativity, if she found it weird, she was very vocal about it not being her thing. She will be in my head .... always. She will share my joy in discovering new things and be happy I've found such wonderful friends like you! Thank you again for adding her to your prayers, it has helped and will help as I continue to live with her loss.
Thank you! God Bless... Hug your mom and tell her you love her today! and everyday!
Happy Mother's Day.

May 7, 2012

Cassie Ballerina Jointed Cloth Doll Pattern

Well, it's been a really rough month or so for me. My mom has been diagnosed with bone cancer and almost every second of my time is full. I did manage to get the last of my edits done on the Ballerina Art Doll Cassie and she's now live and posted in my etsy shop.

I'll be busy now taking care of mom. She's in a lot of pain and needs my help. So I'll be out of touch for a while. I'm going to miss her sooo much that I'm taking every second to be with her. My sisters are a wonderful help to mom too so I'm not on my own in this. I thank God everyday for what I'm so lucky to have. A little more time.

Hug the ones you love and tell them everyday that you love them.

April 11, 2012

Finished Cassie this morning

I finally added the last bit of lace to Cassie's panties and have listed her in my etsy shop. The pattern is nearly finished as well. I need to do another wig and show the process better. I wish I had taken more photos the first time. Oh well... soon!

April 10, 2012

Finally finished my first Ballerina

I've had a crazy couple of months. My mom is not feeling well, at 82 she's done something to aggravate her back. She's got severe arthritis and can hardly stand to move. Lots of trips to urgent care while her doc was on holidays. In the middle of that she had pain in her mouth and had to have a trip to the Dentist. So needless to say there hasn't been a lot of time to play.
She's on some pain meds now and we're hoping they can help her recover a bit.
My sister came in from Regina on Good Friday so I have some more hourly help too. And it's so wonderful to see her. We have been playing with puppets. She's a school teacher, special needs highschool. Although we usually make a project she can teach her kids, this time the puppet is for her friends. They're HUGE Sask. Riders fans. CFL Football for those who don't know. Anyway her puppet is the 13th man....

Sorry no pics...
I gave her the pattern for my puppet and she went crazy! The puppet was done in a few hours.

While she did that, I needle felted some hair on my blue ballerina. And with a beaded organza flower for her hair she is now complete.
I listed her in my etsy shop this morning. I hope to play some more this week, as I took some vacation to help mom and spend some time with my sister. Tomorrow we're off to see the Hunger Games again!! Love the movie and the books!

March 24, 2012

Update on Cassie

Ok, so I haven't quite finished the pattern yet but Cassie is done and I couldn't wait! I have my friend Jolene proofing the pattern for me and she's had a few suggestions so I've a bit of work left to do on it before I list either of them in my store. But here she is.
Cassie giving me a little attitude about the pictures taking so long. It's too bad the swarovski crystals don't show as much bling in the photos but they really make her tutu sparkle!

I've also been working on my ballerina from an earlier post. She still needs ears and hair... more tomorrow if all goes well. Why or why do I always forget to do the ears!!??

March 11, 2012

Today's WIP On Cassie Ballerina Pattern

oooo, the excitement has built and I've almost completed Cassie. I've drafted her ballet shoes and almost completed her tutu. This is all I will show until the big reveal when I post the doll and pattern for sale on my etsy shop. So excited, she looks so sweet! It may be a while yet until I finish embellishing her and get her pattern completed. So many details and photos to add from where I last left off. Then I probably will need to edit. I'm at 17 pages already with all the photos! Yikes. Glad this is a pdf! You can print the pattern pieces separately if you want to and keep the rest of it on the computer! YAY, Love patterns by email. Instant start! anyway, here are her slippers and the start of her tutu! Stay tuned for the great reveal!

March 10, 2012

More WIP pics on my little Ballerina Cassie

As I work on this one I'm taking careful notes and photos so that I can sell this one as a pattern. The pattern will be loaded with all the little details that go into making a jointed cloth doll. Realistic face painting and shadowing, blushing, fingers toes, turning head, wig, costume and more! I'm a little afraid to say that she's coming along really well. She's got her hair and face on in this pic. She's a real sweetie!

March 4, 2012

New WIP cloth doll

I'm hoping to develop this one into a pattern to sell but at this stage a lot of trial and error.... so I'll show you what I've got so far.
I've done four different heads...
two different bodies...

and have developed my joints...

and sewn it together.

I'm not happy with things yet, and have not soft sculpted the face or anything. I've blown some fingers and know how I need to change the pattern. But I thought you might like to see....

February 20, 2012

Four more layers of tulle

and the tutu has taken on more of the thickness that I wanted. Unfortunately I only had this patterned black and some light blue left in  my stash. So I went with the patterned black. A solid would have been better, but I like it. I've trimmed it all to make a shorter skirt,

 the pattern isn't so distracting when not as much shows beneath the top skirt panel. I still have lots of embellishing that I want to do yet. And don't forget the new head and some point shoes. Hopefully I'll get some more done today.

Happy Family Day to my Canadian friends!


I finally got back in the studio this weekend. It's been a kind of blue winter for me, not inspired enough to get in and do something.

When I got Adele's newsletter a while back I was flabbergated at Vickie Arentz' Swan Lake, well in fact with all her ballerinas and her tutu's were so gorgeous!!

Vickie shows us how to make her tutu's in Adele's newsletter and I've been so intrigued. I have never made a ballerina before and I wanted to try this! Since I haven't been inspired at all this year and my sculpts haven't worked for me either. I decided to try it on a cloth doll.
I found a pattern in Patti Medaris Culea's book, Creative Cloth Doll Couture that I had been wanting to try. More for the knee joints than anything. So I thought why not try it for this Ballerina I wanted to try out.

SO I started the doll. I'm not too fond of the head. For the ballerina I had in mind I wanted a more narrow face. I loved the fingers though, and once wired, found them to be very expressive. Just what you want in a ballerina. Her body is a little thicker than I'd want and her feet will need to be really squeezed into some point shoes but I'm going to go with it for now.

The next day I took on the costume. An body suit in black satin, and then onto lots and lots of pleating for the tutu. I only had enough for four layers of tutu in the teal blue... back to the stash box for more ideas.

Although I have started the rest of the costume, I'm going to go back to the sewing table for a new head and more pleating before I show you more.

Hope you're enjoying? Please visit the links above to download Adele's newsletter and see Vickie's wonderful Swan Lake art doll on etsy!!! Stunning! Really! It will take your breath!!

January 21, 2012

New to my shop!

If you're anything like me you love to have a little collection to choose from when you need a stitch marker for your latest knitting project. Because of this insanity I am offering my stitch markers for sale in my etsy shop in pairs rather than a larger number. After all sometimes it's all in the variety!!
925 Silver plated rings fun charms.

Receive two markers. Not four not six. only two.... feed the need to collect all kinds!!  More to come... my camera ran out of juice!

Making Hematite Star Flower Earrings