Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Two out of 3 ain't bad

Well the world didn't really cooperate today. I couldn't sleep last night so ended up awake until almost 4. Hubby had to be up by 5 for work. Oldest (still at home any ways) had to be up at 6 for school, and then when I went to get the youngest up at 7 he was sick.  Slight fever, stuffy nose, and sore throat. :-( Poor kiddo. So I gave him some medicine and sent him back to bed. I wasn't far for my own bed and napped until about 11.  Not a great way to start the day, but well I needed the sleep. (Of course there is a good chance I won't sleep tonight either, but...c'est la vie. *shrugs*)

 BUT even with that, I was rather productive today!
The Twilight Sparkle outfit is now 100% complete!  I painted the cutie mark on the skirt, as well as the argyle print on her leg warmers.

While this picture doesn't show the buttons, I have sewn them on.  She got 3 vintage mother of pearl buttons down the front.

I am just thrilled with how her outfit came together and turned out!

I also got the Pinkie Pie outfit about 90% finished. I sewed the turquoise knit bolero jacket today, gave the big heart a light coat of pink paint to bring the color to the shade I wanted.

I also hand painted her balloon cutie mark today too! I LOVE her balloons!  They are just adorable!

All that's left is to make her boots.  That's on tomorrow's agenda!

While I started out these outfits less than enthused about creating them. I am so glad that I did!  They were a bit of a unique challenge, but they have turned out even better than I anticipated!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tutorial Tuesday

Howdy friends!, So yesterday I had big plans for getting both Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie finished up today.  That didn't happen. :-(  
Ever have one of those days were nothing seems to fall into place.
That was me today.  I did at least manage to get the pattern made and pieces cut for Pinkie Pie's turquoise bolero jacket.  So as long as the world chooses to cooperate with me tomorrow I *should* be able to get them finished.

Since sewing wasn't an option today, I decided to turn to working with some paper goods.  Ages ago I found a little tutorial online for making miniature books and journals and such.  I have sadly long since lost the link, but I basically remembered the process. So while I was making up a couple journals for my 1/4 scale gang I decided to make up a tutorial for the method and technique I use. I hope you enjoy!


  • Standard sheet of copier paper with a grid drawn on. Each rectangle should measure 2" wide by 1.5" tall. (an 8.5"x11" sheet should yield 28 rectangles)
  • In-scale scrap book paper or wrapping paper
  • Cardboard (such as from recycled cereal boxes)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Stapler & Staples
  • Washi Tape (optional)

1. Cut apart the grid of rectangles & stack into sets of 5. (You should end up with 3 extras. Either set these aside to use with your next page of papers or add one to 3 of the sets.)

These will become the pages in the journal. (called a FOLIO) Fold one of each pile in half  to give a reference for stapling. Once the pages are lined up neatly add a staple to the center of each stack.

 2.Fold each stack in half with the smooth side of the staple on the outside.

Do this for all 5 stacks. We now have the folios all set for 5 journals. (If you choose to make books, you can stack 2 or more and add a layer of glue along the stapled spines. If doing this add a couple of binder clips to your supply list and clamp the inserts together while they dry so the pages are nice and tight!)

3.Now it's time to get started on the cover. Cut 2 rectangles from the cardboard. These should measure 1" x 1.5". (They will be the size of the pages once they have been folded in half.)

4.Ok sorry I missed a step when I was taking pictures. I took my cardboard cover pieces and traced them onto the back of my preferred cover paper.  This isn't necessary unless you are trying to line up an image (in this case a shoe) or a word. Other wise, spread a thin layer of glue over the paper in an area about 1/2 an inch larger than the 2 cover boards.  

5.Position the 2 cover boards onto the freshly glued paper. Be sure to leave a small space between the 2 cover boards for the spine of the pages.  IF you are doing more than one stack of pages be sure to measure the stack and leave that much room plus a little extra so the cover folds neatly over the pages.
While the glue is still wet trim off the corners of the paper to help create neat edges.

6.Fold over the edges to completely encase the edges of the cardboard. Add a little extra glue if yours started to dry.

Set this aside to dry for a few minutes.

7.On the outside sheet of the folio, trim off a tiny sliver at an angle from both the front and back pages.

Cut 2 "End Papers" from either scrapbooking paper, cardstock, or washi tape that are just a bit smaller than the 1"x1.5" cover pieces we made.

8.I prefer to use a brush for this next step as I think I have better control of the glue.

Add a thin even coating of glue to the back cover cardboard and then press in one of the trimmed outer pages. Make sure the folio is centered before gluing in place.

9.Follow up with the End Paper.  Brush more glue going almost to the edges of the cover on top of the trimmed page we just glued down.
Repeat on the other side of the book, so that both the front and back covers are glued in place and the page folio is glued in place.

At this point your handmade 1/4 scale journal is finished. You can set it aside to dry. I often will place single journals under a stack of books or something flat and heavy to help it cure flat.
 If you would like to decorate your cover with washi tape, I recommend doing that after Step 6. Once the scrapbook paper has been folded over you can add a strip of tape either along the spine so it shows up on either side of the cover or on the ends. Be aware that many washi tapes are sheer, so they might not look good over colored or patterned papers.  If so then cover the book with white paper and allow the washi tape to be the decoration.
Cut a strip that is long enough to wrap over the edges and to the inside of the cover. Then proceed as told in step 7!

If you make any journals using this little tutorial, I would LOVE to see them!
Have fun. :-)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Swirly, Twirly Pinky Pie

I completed the last piece of sewing needed for yesterday's Twilight Sparkle (TS) outfit, her leg warmers.  Tomorrow I will add the buttons on the front and paint on her cutie mark on her skirt as well as the argyle design on her leg warmers.  But by the end of the day TS should be all finished!                    

I gotta say I just love how her outfit turned out!  It's super cute on it's own, but is a pretty faithful representation of the character.

  Next on my agenda was Pinkie Pie! (PP)
I had originally planned to make a shirt and skirt for PP as well, but once I got started, well it just didn't sit right.  So I revamped my plans, adjusted my patterns and made some on the fly decisions.

Had a couple minor issues, (Sewing bias tape around small scale corners and curves is not easy! :-( And yeah accidentally sewing the skirt portion on backwards the first time was a bit of a drag! lol) but I persevered and Pinkie Pie is almost done as well.

              I even got so far as to paint the big heart on the bodice of her top.  I custom mixed a pinkie lavender shade that nearly matches the satin skirt portion too!

I'm not entirely happy with the heart so I think tomorrow I will add just a light layer of shimmer.

While that is drying I will get started on the turquoise bolero jacket she wears and her boots.

Those boots are going to be interesting, as there are no patterns out there (at least not in AG scale) for similar boots, so I'm going to take an existing pattern for a plain boot and customize them!  
Wish me luck!!!
Once her boots are finished all that will be left for PP will be her cutie mark on her skirt. :-)  And then it's back to tackling AppleJack!   

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Moving forward when I last left you I was working on a cowgirl hat for an 18" American Girl doll.  I have given up on making my own and broke down and bought a tan one from ebay that I will customize.  The patterns I was using just were not working out no matter what I did to them.  Some times you have to know when something is beyond your talents and abilities.

Needless to say that put me in a funk for a couple of days.  Today I decided to set Applejack aside and decided to work on one of the other characters.  Twilight Sparkle.
She's a cutie!  I found the perfect pattern for her top and set to working on it this morning.  I will be honest, I was having a hard time getting into this commission, but Twilight Sparkles' outfit just seemed to flow together, so I am feeling more motivated.

Not counting the breaks and FB game playing I did, the top only took a couple of hours and the puffed sleeves actually went together really easily. (I am not a fan of sleeves! LOL)
 I made a little bow that goes at the neckline which I adore!

The last piece I finished today was the pleated skirt.  I went pretty simple here and just hemmed a long rectangle of the deep purple cotton.  Then I figured out where I wanted my pleats, pinned and ironed them in place.  Sewed a couple of hems (shortened the skirt a couple of times to get the look I wanted) and then it was all done.
The skirt will get a hand painted 'Cutie Mark' tomorrow.  I will be making hand painted leg warmers as well to go atop some premade black flats.Oh and the top will get a couple of buttons down the front as well!

Hopefully tomorrow I will have this outfit finished and move on to either Pinkie Pie or head back to Apple Jack!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What's on my Desk Wednesday

 This is what's currently on my desk. (aside from a mess of other things that I would prefer to ignore! LOL)

Looks kind of odd, doesn't it? If it helps this is only part of the project.  It's a cowboy hat brim. :-)  

A few years back I was approached about doing a custom outfit for an American Girl doll. Due to circumstances beyond my control the order fell through and never happened.

Before New Years I was contacted by the original customer asking if I could still make the outfit. 
 Needless to say I needed a reminder.  She sent me this adorable picture and I remembered right away. It's Applejack from the My Little Pony cartoon Equestria girls.

I agreed and we set a price. (She also asked me to make 2 additional 'ponies', but more about those later)
I set about searching for the  perfect pattern pieces to recreate a similar outfit.  I found most of them pretty easily on my favorite pattern site: Pixie Faire
They have a huge collection of patterns for not only American Girl dolls, but about 20 other dolls!  (some which will work perfect for BJDS!  Ellowyne Wilde patterns fit Minifees perfectly and BFC Ink patterns fit JID dolls with very little alteration!)

Anyways, back to the hat.  I found a cowboy hat pattern, the problem I found was that the crown of the hat was made up of SEVEN identical parts!!!! Now I get that they did that to make it easier to sew, but it looked, well, it looked like it was sewn from lots of pieces.  I wasn't really happy with it.  So I started doing a bit more internet sleuthing and found a pattern for a cowboy hat for a small bear that used a single piece to form the circumference of the crown.  Much better than the 7 pieces used in the other pattern. So I printed it out and set to resizing it to fit the American Girl heads.  I *think* I have it figured out! LOL
Next up was the brim.  That's what I am working on now in the first picture.
After talking with my customer we decided to go with a solid firm shaped brim as opposed to one with a wire sewn in for shaping.  So I cut 2 matching pieces and lined them with cardstock. Once I get the crown done, the brim piece that is currently solid will get trimmed and the center pieces adhered to the inside layer of the crown (before it gets a lining).  Then the other brim piece will get glued in place and shaped while it is still wet so the glue will cure in the shape I want.
While I can freely admit that I am having a hard time getting motivated to do much these days, this is for sure an interesting project and should turn out really neat once it's done!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

I've gone to the dogs!!!!

I love finding things that aren't designed for dolls and being able to repurpose them.  Today's find I am sharing are some adorable Christmas Tree Ornaments I found at a local craft shop.

Aren't these little pooches just adorable?  They are perfectly sized for 1/4 scale dolls. (Adult dolls that range from 15-19")  The 'breeds' I found were from left to right: Lab Mix, Yellow Lab, Newfoundland and a Maltese. I think last year I found a few different breeds as well, but they are packed and I can't recall what they were.

Since they are so perfect for the 1/4 scale I have decided to make up some doggy accessories and will be offering them in my shop shortly!

I started with the Maltese as I thought she was just so cute. She got a permanent pink collar with silver heart tag.  She will also come with a matching pink leash that is the perfect length for strutting around town.

She is pictured here sitting in the lap of my JID girl Mari.

All of the dogs will come with that permanent collar with choice of collar color as well as tag shape, either Silver Round or Silver Heart.

In addition to the collar and leash, each pooch will arrive with full food and water dishes. (I mean every new puppy needs food and water!)

I also found in my stash some elastic cording that made the PERFECT chew toys!!!

I am considering adding a pet bed to the grouping as well, but am not entirely sure about that.  Any one have any suggestions?
Right now as the sets stand each listing will run $15 plus shipping.  They will be more expensive if I add a bed, but I might also just offer those as add-ons. *shrugs*

I hope to have these listed by the end of the week!  (Once I do, I'll come back and add a link!)

On the left is Ethan Richardson.  He owns a small hobby farm just outside of town and can be found at the weekly Farmer's Market.  He recently adopted this adorable Newfoundland puppy, but hasn't quite come up with a name for him.  On the right is Mari. She and Ethan recently started dating after meeting at the Farmer's Market.  Mari is currently fostering the adorable Maltese while she waits for her forever home! <3 p="">
Ethan is a Wilde Imagination Rufus Rutter and Mari is an Iplehouse JID Tatiana

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Wigs...from yarn

So, wigs from first thought when I heard folks were making wigs from yarn was Raggedy Ann, certainly not what I wanted for any of my dolls.  But then I saw the end results and was totally confused.  How on Earth were these magicians turning regular cheap scratchy  yarn into soft luscious locks?  I mean the colors looked like the hair came from the yarn but there had to be some shenanigans going on right?

SO I started doing a little research and came upon several videos on Youtube.  Including this one.  Holy smokes, was that it? Really, that was it.  I HAD to try it!!!  And well low and behold I had several skeins of yarn in my stash from another project (failed project, half finished project, set aside project....yeah I might have a problem with buying supplies for things I *intend* to do...) So I tried to follow the video, but my yarn just pulled apart, leaving tiny little nubbins, like 1/2" pieces, not good for wig making.  Needless to say I was frustrated and just put the yarn away for other things. (See that's what happens. lol)

But last month, I got a wild hair to try it again.  This time I went and watched more videos, and more videos...then I caught something I had previously missed.  The yarn being used was Acrylic.  I grabbed the yarn I had tried before...100% Cotton.  Hmm could this have been the issue?  I figured it was worth a try.  I grabbed a skein of a pretty burgundy yarn and my thickest curling iron (since I no longer own a flat iron). I followed the tutorial above, cut lengths, tied them onto a thin metal rod and brushed, brushed brushed and brushed some more.

The yarn unraveled, and floofed up, and filled the bristles in the wire brush I was using.  I was still unsure how this pile of fluff would turn into anything resembling hair.  But I figured it wouldn't hurt to keep going.  So after I finished brushing out the entire cluster I yarn I used the curling iron and pulled the yarn through it.

OH EM GEE!!!!  It worked, it really worked!  The once twisted, then fluffy pile of yarn had turned into the smoothest, shiniest "hair" I had seen!  I mean it was gorgeous!  I trimmed the hair from the knot tied on my metal rod and applied glue to the cut end to create a weft.
And then got into making more and more and more. The yarn I had chosen to use came on a small card and held about 20 yards of yarn.  At that point I had no idea how much yarn it would take to create a wig for one of my 16" girls.  After I finished that card of yarn I left it to dry and got to work making a wig cap.  (again you can find loads of tutorials on Youtube for that too)  The following day I got started creating my 2nd ever wig. (The first was a dismal failure!)

I couldn't believe that it had worked! I had unbelievably created a wig that actually looked good AND fit my dolls head! The yarn was so soft and really had a very realistic look and feel to it.

My next thought was to play with a variegated yarn I had in my stash.  And I had had it for EVER, like 15 years I think!  It was a color called Camouflage, that ranges from black, to brown to a couple shades of green.  I bought it eons ago with the intent to crochet a top to wear, needless to say that project NEVER got finished either. lol

SO I set to work creating wefts from this unique color pattern, and it was looking really intriguing! I wanted to try something different wig wise and thought I would give bangs a try.   So after making loads and loads of wefts I set to work making yet another wig cap.  Once the wig cap was dry I got to attaching them to it.  The bangs were a little confusing and I still don't think I quite got the hang of it, but a few hours later the Camouflage wig was finished.  It's...unique. lol  

This wig definitely has a bit of a bee-hive thing going on. I don't love it, but I don't hate it either. *shrugs*I am however, loving the colorway!  The green is actually pretty subtle.  I will be attempting another wig with this yarn in the future as well as using different solid yarns to create a high and low-lighted look.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Welcome 2017

What a crazy year 2016 was, right!  Sadly for the 2nd year in a row I blogged a whole...ONCE! Yikes, not good.  But last year was a pretty wild year for me with lots of ups, downs and changes both big and small.

But I am back with a plan and a mentality this year.  I cannot promise to blog daily, because yeah, I already KNOW that isn't gonna happen.  But I gave the blog a little update, and I'm ready to give it a go.

So if you've stuck around, well I am eternally grateful! =D<3 p="">
For the 1st post of the year I am going to show off not only a new doll I got last year, but my 1st attempt at patterns for her.

This is Mari.  She is an Iplehouse Tatiana. She arrived in late summer and I just fell in love with her.  Her character is still in development, but here's what I know so far.  She's 30, single-ish (she's seeing a lovely fellow who owns a hobby farm outside of town.) and owns a small knick-knack shop.  She sells a little bit of everything from locally made soaps and candles, semi precious stones and shells, to some antiques and collectibles. She's a bit of a magpie and loves shiny things.

 Her parents left town when Mari was just 19 to go live in a commune.  Mari worked doing odd jobs to pay her way and eventually set aside enough money to open Mari's Mercantile.

She's a bit of a free-spirit herself, but is more grounded than anyone would have expected.

Mari was my first doll in this size.  She's a touch bigger than all my other ladies, and for some reason this size hasn't inspired many pattern makers, nor seamstresses who create modern everyday wear. (the formal wear and fantasy realm is well covered though. And beautifully I might add)  So I needed to venture out and attempt to make some patterns of my own.
I took a Barbie lingerie pattern I found for free online and enlarged it. It still needs a little adjustment but all in all I am happy with my first true pattern for this lovely lady!

I hope you will look forward to seeing more from me, Mari and the rest of my 1/4 scale gang!