Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Amelie Finished!

I am so tickled; I finished my Amelie doll last night, putting the final touches on her Doc Marten's boot's shoelaces and finishing her garden gnome.

I was really intimidated at first  by the shoes. I have never done boots before and didn't really know where to start. I was just going to do little ballet flats for her, but in the movie she wears the boots and I wanted to be as authentic as possible. So I took the plunge and after several trials and errors, came up with these. Aren't the little tongues funny? And anyone who has seen the movie knows that Amelie isn't complete without her father's garden gnome. My version is a little finger puppet!

My favorite part of making a doll is always painting the face. I usually just jump in and see what personality emerges. But with Amelie, I needed to make sure several features were present: her big black doe eyes, and her little pursed, humble smile. I sketched it out beforehand to get the feel, and I'm sorry to say the final product wasn't quite as good as the sketch, but I think it's quite nice after all.

For her little outfit, I wanted a pretty red skirt, and I've been dying to use this pretty, wide, red lingerie lace I bought at a thrift store. Instead of an A-line skirt, I went with a pencil skirt with a ruffle. And for her top, I used a fabric with the reds, blues, and greens of the movie, and I even think the pattern has a bit of French flair to it. 

Complete with her little green sweater (with blue button), I think she turned out quite nice! Now maybe, just maybe, I can stop obsessing and watch a different movie.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Itching for Spring and Latest Project

The weather this week in Boise has been beautiful, sunny and in the 40s-50s, despite rain being forecast for the whole week. Today it looks like the forecasts will come true, but Blake and I enjoyed lots of time playing in the backyard in the spring-like weather this week. I saw some early signs of spring: a lady bug curled up in a dead leaf on my raspberry bushes, and some tiny green spikes pushing through the dirt in my tiger lily patch. It's January, for goodness sake! But still it sent a little thrill through me to know spring will arrive someday. Blake enjoyed bouncing on the trampoline, and running his Percy train up and down the apple tree trunk, perfectly content to be running around on gray grass.

I've also been feeling more inspired this week, and have gotten to work in earnest on a doll I've had in mind for quite a while. It is Amelie from the eponymous French movie. I had wrestled for quite a while on what direction to go with her hair (yarn, thread, paint, felt, etc.) since her hair is so iconic to her look. I finally implemented a 3 dimensional felt method, which I have to say I am very proud of.  I am also excited about the little tiny sweater I crocheted for her in the pretty deep green color that is all over the movie.

(Side view of the doll. Here, the "wig" is just pinned to her head.) I'll post more as I progress. I plan to paint her face soon, which is my absolute favorite part, and to make her pretty little red skirt today. I also have to figure out what to do for shoes...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fabulous Tutorial and Fabric Finds

Need a new dress, but strapped for cash? Well, if you have an old tee shirt, a bit of yardage, and some scraps here or there, Alexis from My Mama Made It can show you how to make one. Isn't it fantastic? See her beautiful tutorial for step by step instructions with TONS of helpful pictures.

I've been doing a lot of thrift store scouring lately with some fantastic results in the fabric finds department. Here are just a few in browns that looks so pretty together. The first one is just a brown cotton, but with a teeny tiny, old-fashioned little flower pattern on it. The second is a pretty buttery brown vinyl (I see some little brown doll boots in my future!). And the third is a pretty brown corduroy with teal and purple daisies. The print on this one is a little large for doll clothes, so I'm not sure what it will become. Any suggestions?

Speaking of fabric, you know about Spoonflower.com, right? It is an amazing site where you can make your own custom fabric. Or browse and buy other's custom made fabric. My sister Shannon and I made the fabric for my tiny dollhouses using Spoonflower, which was such a fun project. Anyway, this week, Spoonflower is having a toile contest. Here is my favorite, the Alice in Wonderland Toile by Star Primm. Check out the other contenders here. Which on is your favorite?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Craft Room Triumph

Another New Year's resolution I had been harboring was to get my craft room in order for once and for all (or at least until the next time it's a mess) so I can spend more time crafting and less time looking for the right fabric. I'm thrilled to announce that I have accomplished it, and only half way into January, too! One of my most proud accomplishments is organizing my fabric. To do this, I took all the drawers, crates, totes and piles I had in my craft room and dumped them into my living room into a really appalling pile.

Then I spent the afternoon sorting the fabric by type, size, and color, and putting them back in their crates and bins, and drawers with labels so that this kind of mayhem would never befall my living room again. Since then, I keep finding myself sneaking peaks into the fabric drawers, they are that pretty!

And here are a few shots of the finished product:

This is my old crusty sewing table with my little clear plastic shelves and pretty jars of notions. (You can see in the mirror's reflection my newest addition to my craft room: a dedicated scrapbooking desk!) And the next photo is of my fabric dresser. Above it is my bulletin/inspirations board, and beside it is Blake's little vintage rocking chair where he reads and colors while I work sometimes.

Phew! Time to relish a job well done.

Check out some more amazing craft rooms at Etsy.com's blog, The Storque!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Year, More Blogging

I am getting serious about this blogging thing! 2010 is the year.

We're already off to a good start: 5 dolls sold to the creative director of a Toy Museum in South Korea! Not a bad start. I sure miss their pretty little faces, though.

This is also the year that Blake turns two. Yikes! It is just over a month away and we are already getting a feel for what it will be like, what with the leather sofa etching and dinner-time melt downs. But I'll be darned if he isn't still a little snuggle bug. All of the sweet kisses and hair pats make it easier to withstand the torrents in between.