the girl news

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These girls are slow! This photo above was my desk yesterday morning. The 4 little girls all currently have something to wear but…

These girls are a re-designed pattern. That means that I am making new patterns for all the clothing. It ends up being a slow and sometimes frustrating process. Some of the clothing that the girls are currently wearing will have to be remade or at least fixed since they don’t fit quite right. I was hoping to have something finished by the end of this past week but that didn’t happen. I am going to move on to some other dolls for a while and maybe get back to these friends after the holiday season. I want to do them right, not just get them done. So, back to the shelf and being patient!

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and some more Mimi news

I haven’t been spending much time here because I haven’t finished anything! That is very frustrating but I figured I’d check in anyway. I have been busy and distracted. This is where I am with the girls-

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There are maybe 5 more that are stuffed and put together but no faces or hair yet. And then a bunch more, sewed but not assembled. All the girls are currently patiently waiting because I am working on ornament prototypes for West Elm Holiday 2016 (yes already!). Hopefully I will be back to the girls soon.

So, speaking of ornaments, my 2015 line for West Elm is now available. These final designs ended up pretty far from my original designs but that’s the way it works with licensing. There is a racoon couple and a fox couple. It is always a fascinating process.

The other things that have kept me busy or have proved to be distracting? We got a new car to replace our 1997 Honda Civic, probably about time. We are now a Prius family. I went down to New York for Columbus Day weekend and saw Ronnie Burkett’s amazing puppets. Also went to some museums. I think my next post will be things I took photos of at the Met. Work is being done on the house, some of which is to repair damage from last winter. Hopefully it will all be done before winter comes again! It is tough to concentrate on my work with the noise and interruptions. And, the chiropractor. Yeah, my back is messed up again. So, probably too much information. On the inspiring side of life, we’ve been watching the Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries which are great fun and fantastic costumes. I’ve listened to all the audio versions of the books and the shows are obviously not the same but lots of fun anyway. (well, yes, I think the books are better- am I a snob?!)

Fall is in full swing and the weather and fall colors have been great. I love Autumn.

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what I’ve been working on

I have been wanting to get back to making some girl dolls for quite a while. There always seems to be something else that makes it to the top of the “what’s next” list though. Back last winter, I pulled out various patterns of mine and experimented with making some in cotton. I came up with nothing that satisfied me and everything went into a shopping bag and got stuck in a corner.

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I recently emptied that bag back onto my work table and have gone back to work, this time using wool. Much better!

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I am working on tweaking my original girl pattern and also making a little girl design. These are the 2 I am currently moving forward on.

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Next, as I sorted through my fabrics for a variety of skin shades, I found I was low on the peachy colors. I had a range of pinks, but they were too pinky-pink for my taste. So, time for the dye pots.

I had 4 shades of pink that I was aiming to tone down and/or get closer to a peach flesh color-

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I pulled out my dyes and picked a variety. I usually use Cushing Dye for wool but I also did 2 tests with Rit. This was what I got out of a morning’s work-

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The bottom row, second from the left is the 4 original, un-dyed fabrics. I experimented with- Cushing Apricot, Aqualon Yellow, Tan, Nugget Gold, Maize, Orange (2 times since one was too bright), Lemon, and Rit Tan and Taupe. From my samples, I was able to make some educated guesses about what would work. I was very happy with the results! I put a swatch of the original color with the new, over-dyed color.

9-26-dyes - 1 (1)The one that says 3 (left most) is the subtlest. I used Rit Taupe and it just toned the color down a bit. #2 was Cushing Aqualon Yellow. #1 and #4 Cushing Maize. I am really pleased with my results! I had an excellent dyeing day; well, except when the towel caught on fire… but yeah, not too much damage ;-)

Now, time to start cutting out some girls!

Orange Houndstooth Kitty

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Well, this kitty was a challenge. This houndstooth wool looked so perfectly kitty in the abstract but it ended up being very hard to make into a sweet-faced girl. The scale of the pattern drowned out the face details. I had to re-work it a number of times before I was satisfied.

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Her coat is a nice teal-green linen- in a former life, my mom’s porch linen tablecloth. Love that.

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