Saturday, April 19, 2014

Meet "Egg Muffs" Series Of Dolls



The "Egg Muff's" are a fun loving group of dolls that love to sneak around and maybe, every once in awhile, drop in unexpectedly. Toni E. Hawk and her brother, Tom A. Hawk, are the most fun loving of the group. You might find them peeking around a corner, peeking over the windowsill, peeking through a keyhole in a door, or sneaking into your room. You just never know. Sometimes you might just catch a glimpse of their eyes and hair as they try to sneak a peek. If you listen carefully, you might even hear them laughing, even chuckling away. Sometimes you might even catch them doing a little jig. You just never know what they may do. They love to laugh. They love to have fun. But, most of all they love to play hide and peek! No, not hide and seek! Hide and peek!


Toni E. Hawk and Tom A. Hawk are twins. She might seem shy and well-mannered, but she is anything but. She is highly intelligent and loves a good joke. She isn't afraid of taking on her twin brother, Tom A. Hawk, or his best friend, Spike A Peek. In fact, Toni E. Hawk actually comes up with the best thought out practical jokes around which makes her just a little bit intimidating to the other member's of the Egg Muff Series. However, when everyone gets to laughing at Toni E. Hawk's latest gag everyone soon forgets how intimidated they are by her intelligence.

Tom A. Hawk is anything but shy and well-mannered. He, too, is highly intelligent and loves a good joke and isn't afraid of taking on his twin sister, Toni E. Hawk, or his best friend, Spike A Peek. Unlike his sister, however, his intelligence isn't intimidating at all. In fact, Tom A Hawk does an exceptional job of hiding his intelligence while showcasing his wit, his charm, and his good looks. The girls just can't resist a charming, good looking, bit of a devil in him type of guy with a tomahawk hairdo.


Spike A Peek is actually the most rambunctious of the Egg Muffs and, generally, the least level headed. He always lets the fun get the better of him and finds that, more often then not, he's in the "Muff House" (the Egg Muff Series version of a doghouse) being "muffed!" This is also known as a "time-out!" Spike A Peek doesn't use his "time-out" and being "muffed" wisely. He uses it as an opportunity to think up his next prank. The one he's going to play on Tom A. Hawk.

Nancy Dew Drop is actually the most well behaved of the Egg Muffs and, generally, the most level headed. Sometimes, even Nancy lets the fun get the better of her and you might just hear her giggling in the background. Just listen for a sweet "tee-hee-hee" and that will be Nancy Dew Drop.



Thursday, April 17, 2014

One Of My Favorite Floral Arrangements


I've made hundreds of silk floral arrangements over the years and have to admit that some come out better than others. Some work out some don't. Some are just stunning color wise and some end up being re-done.  Some I don't like and some I just love.

The above is one of the latter. I created this floral arrangement several years ago and it has to be one of my favorites.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Time For Spring and Candy Dish Containers


I just love creating silk floral arrangements in all sorts of containers. I might use a basket, a metal container, a typical floral basin, glass vases, wooden crates, etc. Just about anything. So, when someone in the family asked me if I wanted a white milk glass candy dish they were throwing away I said - sure!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sometimes Saving A Few Items Is Worth It


I'm sure I'm not the only crafter that gets asked a lot if I want something before a family member or friend of a family member throws anything out that could be used for my crafts or is a craft supply.

Friday, April 11, 2014

I LOVE Surprise Packages In The Mail



Nothing puts a smile on my face quicker than getting a "surprise" package in the mail from my "baby" sister.  So, the other day when my sister called and asked if I got her package I said with a huge smile on my face - WHAT PACKAGE.  DID YOU SEND ME SOMETHING.

She, of course, said she did but wouldn't tell me right away what it was.  Siblings do have to torture each other this way for a little while before spilling the beans. So, she tortured me for a few minutes before she said it was some of her hand spun alpaca yarn.

I was thrilled to hear this as I, of course, had been dropping little hints or should say BIG hints for months now that some of her alpaca yarn would be put to good use in my house.  My sister had added some of her hand spun alpaca yarns to her Rock Garden Alpaca Fiber Etsy shop and I had my eye on several that I thought would be perfect for doll hair, woodland beards, Santa hair and beards, etc.

So, when she said she had sent a package of some of her yarns I was thrilled and could hardly wait for the mail to come.  When the package came it was filled with a wonderful assortment of Navajo plyed yarns that my sister had hand spun from her own Rock Garden Alpaca fibers.

I immediately had ideas for using all of it and actually put the gray one shown below (2nd from the right in the 1st row) to use that very day.


I thought it would be perfect for the spiky hair I needed for one of my new dolls - Spike A Peek (pictured below).


I ended up using all the gray yarn for his hair but was thrilled with the way it turned out.  Spiky and perfect.  I hope you would agree.

Of course, my sister's yarn can be used for so many other things that doll hair.  It's perfect for knitting, crocheting, mixed media crafts, fiber arts, needle felting, etc.

She also sells alpaca roving and alpaca fiber carded batts and I've used both for some of my needle felted art dolls like those shown below:


If you get a chance please check out her Rock Garden Alpaca Fiber Etsy shop for all her wonderful alpaca roving and hand spun yarn products.  You won't be disappointed.

Now if she would just send me some of that beautiful black alpaca plyed yarn with the royal blue Kidsilk Haze......

Maybe some of Ivy's beautiful roving plied yarn with the beige Kidsilk haze........

Just kidding "baby" sister...... Or, am I?   Hmmmm......... 

Time To Put The Winter Floral Arrangements Away


Yippee! It's time to put the winter floral decorations away and break out the spring floral decorations.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

How I Made My Dimensions Needle Felted Snowman Kit



When my sister came to visit last year one of our objectives was to learn as much as we could about needle felting and working with roving.

I had bought two mini roving kits from Dimensions. One Dimensions Needlecrafts Needle Felted Character Kit, Snowman for making a snowman (shown above) and Dimensions Needlecrafts Needle Felted Character Kit, Penguin for making a penguin (also shown above) that I thought would be a good introduction into working with the fiber so we started there.

We just wanted to get the feel of the fiber and how easy or hard it would be to work with before we embarked on our free style hand creations and working with the molds we had bought. I took the snowman and my sister took the penguin.

The snowman was a no felting mold necessary kit that came with the wool roving (white, black, orange, and blue), felting needle, felting mat, embroidery needle, thread and step-by-step instructions.  It called for twigs for arms which were not included.

The instructions were easy to follow and warned that the single felting needle was sharp, which it certainly was as evidenced by the two photo's below where it actually drew blood on my finger.  This is definitely not a kit or craft for small children.  The needles are just to sharp and when you prick yourself it really hurts.

Basically, the idea was to form three felted balls for the snowman and felt the three balls together.  To felt the balls you rolled the white roving into a small ball using the guide they provided for their size and kept inserting the single felting needle into the ball until it was firm, round and the size required.  This is accomplished by holding the roving in your fingers and inserting the single felting needle into the roving while trying not to prick yourself or inserting the roving into the felting while rolling the ball on the enclosed foam board.  Again, the objective is to not prick your fingers which is easier said than done.



To felt the balls together you keep inserting the single felting needle through the top ball into the ball below it until the roving is felted together and will not pull apart. It's quite amazing how strong the roving gets and how well weaved it is when you've done this.


The next step was to form the orange carrot nose using the roving provided and trying not to prick yourself. I ended up creating several noses before I got one small enough to fit my snowman's head. Then you position the nose on the face and using the single felting needle gently felt the nose into the white roving of the head.

After this they wanted you to thread the needle and embroidery floss to create the snowman's eyes and mouth. I opted instead to roll tiny balls of the black roving and then gently needle felt them into the head for his eyes and mouth. I thought this would look better than the thread.

Next they wanted you to roll the black felt between your fingers to create two tiny buttons for his chest and then needle felt them into the middle ball. I created three black balls for this and needle felted two into the middle ball for his chest and one in the center of the bottom ball.


The blue ear muffs came next. Again, you rolled the blue roving into a small ball the size shown on the snowman pattern and needle felted them until they were firm. I pricked my fingers several times doing this.

Once they were firm the instructions were to needle felt them into the sides of the head for the ear muffs.


Following this the instructions called for using the enclosed embroidery floss to create the ear muffs band.  I opted instead to roll and needle felt the blue roving until I got a flat band that was long enough for the band. Then I gently needle felted the ends of the band into the top sides of the ear muffs that I had already felted onto his head.

The pattern suggested using twigs for the arms and gluing them to the sides for arms. I opted to use small cinnamon sticks for my snowman's arms and glued them into the sides for arms.


I was pleased with how my needle felted snowman came out.  It didn't look exactly like the Dimensions picture, but it looked good none the less and I was happy with it.


Both my sister and I felt that the two Dimensions kits were a good introduction into needle felting, getting used to using the needle, and working with roving. Everything came with the kit so there was no need to buy anything else just to give needle felting a try.

As mentioned, my sister needle felted the penguin from the Dimensions Needlecrafts Needle Felted Character Kit, Penguin (also shown above) so she'll have to blog about her experience with that.

If you get a chance please check out my sister's Rock Garden Alpacas Etsy Shop where she sells her alpaca fiber and handmade alpaca fiber products.

Copyright © 2004 - 2019 - All Rights Reserved - Written By Linda Walsh of Linda's Blog. Linda is a doll maker and doll pattern designer.

The Story Behind Our Celia - Art Doll


Early last year my sister-in-law's beloved mother, Celia passed away. Celia was a wonderful, extremely optimistic, loving, and beautiful soul who had a wicked sense of humor and love of life. I would describe her as pure joy and just loved her. When Celia was around the room was filled with gaiety and laughter.

Over the past ten years I have written about Celia and two dolls I made for her. The first doll I wrote about on August 24, 2005 in a Linda's Blog post entitled Celia's Doll. The 2nd doll I wrote about on May 18, 2006 in a Linda's Blog post entitled The Story Behind My "Celia's Wedding Dress" Doll. You may also recall that I have written about Celia's husband, Elmer as a doll he had given me inspired my Elmer's Little Boy doll.  His post is here.

Celia was a member of the Red Hat Society and loved dressing up for their different events so when my sister-in-law asked me to make a doll for her using some of the Red Hat Society hats, gloves, jewelry, pocketbooks, etc. that she and her mother had made or used for her various outfits I was happy to oblige.


I decided that my "Celia's Art Doll" would be a fully wired cloth art doll with an embroidered face and would be seated on a chair.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Janice Nightingale - She's Always There For You! E-Pattern




"Janice Nightingale - She's Always There For You!" is one of the members of the "Nurse Series" of cloth dolls and they are all getting ready for the "Emergency Worldwide Disaster Drill." You see, you can never be prepared enough for a natural disaster or disaster of any nature - even a global one. So, they like nurses all over the world are all getting ready to do whatever is required of their nursing position during the drill. They all took an oath to save lives and that is what they all intend to do. But, they and we all know that their jobs aren't just about saving lives - their jobs also entail caring for the patients, encouraging the patients, and teaching the patients how to care for themselves. Nurses are vital to the health care profession and anyone who has even been in a hospital anywhere in the world knows that hospitals cannot function with nurses. They are the heart and soul of any hospital and heart and soul of the health care profession. So, the nurses are getting ready. I have no doubt they will be. No matter where in the world they are.

"Janice Nightingale - She's Always There For You!" is a 14" Victorian squared bottomed self-standing cloth nurse doll. She has a muslin body and embroidered face with black sunken and satin stitched eyes, brown water colored eyelids, embroidered nose, and an embroidered mouth. Her eyebrows are embroidered as are her eyelashes and she has bright rust blushed cheeks. Her wired reading glasses sit on the lower part of her nose. Janice has a mass of auburn roving wool hair glued all over her head and fastened in a bun in the back. Her nurse's cap is and old-fashioned cap with a red cross on the front and is attached to the top and back of her head. Her slip is lace trimmed and gathered at the waist. Her blue striped nurse's uniform has a long, lace trimmed bodice and is gathered at the lower body. The puffy and full sleeves are gathered at the lined cuffs and shoulders. Her dress bodice is gathered at the neck and a white lined collar surrounds her neck. Her white nurse's apron has a long front bib with lower pockets, gathered neck edge, and snug to her body fit. Her blue wool cape is lined, top stitched along the edges, wrapped around her neck and tied in a knot in the front. Janice is carrying her handy medical bag with a gold strap and red cross.

"Janice Nightingale - She's Always There For You!" is in charge of all the nurses for the worldwide emergency drill. It is a HUGE job - but, Janice is very capable of doing this. You see, she's a seasoned and profession nurse and has, basically, seen it all. Nothing rattles her. She is as calm and cool as a cucumber in the middle of a hurricane as she is standing at the blackboard and teaching. From her years in the field and in the military to her current position at the Red Cross Teaching Hospital there isn't any medical emergency Janice can't handle. Been there - yup! Done that - yup! She's always there and ALWAYS ready to help.