Ben is away and the house is quiet.

I am enjoying the morning light in the new studio room. And playing with fall colors.



After another trip to the thrift store that failed to produce any more wool in the right color for doll skin, I decided it was time to try dyeing some. Have you ever noticed that if you go to the thrift store, looking for something in particular, you can never find it. I try for the open-minded approach but at this point, most of the great bargains are just going to cause storage problems when I get home. I look for wool skin tones and stripes. I don’t find them but somehow still come home with a bag… ahem, see above.

So, time to do some dyeing. I love it when all the dye goes into the fabric and the water turns clear- there is something very satisfying about that somehow. Lookin’ good!


another studio update

I am actually working in the room now. The move got to a certain point of trying to get things arranged, and I realized I had to start working in the space to know where things should be. The result is that the room doesn’t look great but I am essentially moved and back to work. I will probably do a blog studio tour in a month or so when things have settled a bit.

The desk area-

This is working pretty well, although I have been rearranging the drawers as I try to find my tools. I moved my sewing machine off the desk and onto a smaller desk. The big desk will be my main work area now.

The shelf above my desk is still rather empty. I haven’t brought any of the dolls that were on the attic studio shelf down yet.

And I have to work more on the wool storage bins. They still seem disorganized, but what can I do? It is so hard to decide what is the right way to organize. Color? Material? (wool, cashmere, etc) Size of the fabric pieces?

On another topic- I will be in the Columbia, SC area around Labor Day. Does anyone know of any not-to-be-missed crafty goodness in the area?

this week

the studio is coming along-

doesn’t really look much better then a week ago, but things seem much more in control. These photos were from this morning-

My desk- see- I’ve got some dolls going!

And this is the fun part- I’ve been organizing my threads.

All those colors make me so happy.

I have my next tiny world pincushion class this Thursday. I have had a request to hold another Tiny World pincushion class in October. If I scheduled a class for October 17, would anyone be interested? Email me if you are- I will need 3 more people to make it a go (min. of 5).

studio report

this morning-

Looks pretty bad. Getting the shelf and some bulletin boards up have helped a lot and this evening things are looking a bit better. I actually spent the afternoon working on a doll.  I need to get some creative work done and I think that working in the space will help with the set up.


somehow that title from yesterday- getting there- seems like it is laughing at me today. No more wide open spaces-

In the middle of the day yesterday it all seemed so sad. I was pulling down the old studio, packing things enough to be ready for the boys that were scheduled to move it downstairs. Now I am feeling overwhelmed with the challenge of making it workable again. It is probably a good thing that I am going away for a bit. Hopefully, when I get back, I will be able to approach the room with fresh eyes and ideas.

I am not sure if I will be back to post before I leave on Sunday, so it might be quiet around here for a week or more. Then again, who knows!

getting there

the continuing saga of the studio…

On Monday afternoon I declared the fixing up part of the project finished.

On Tuesday morning we started rearranging furniture. I live in the kind of environment where gridlock was a serious worry. By the end of the day though, some serious obstacles had been moved out of the room and the main pieces of studio furniture were in.

This is the room on Tuesday morning-

Futon sofa on the right. Blanket box under the left-hand window. File cabinet. That is what needed to go out.

Doors closed and doors opened. Nice closet. I didn’t repaint the closet, but I washed the walls and ceiling. Can you see how fantastic the door looks with the frosted glass? Still lots of tools and supplies in the room.

And, here is the room this morning (Wednesday).

From the hall-

Flat file and two desks in place- sort of. I bought the flat file back in March. I am planning to organize all my various threads in it. The large desk is now down from the (old) studio. The small desk was one that my son used for years.

I found the perfect storage rack on Craigslist. It is deep- 24″- metal and, it has wheels!

The file cabinet is still in the room- well at least the shell of it. The drawers are now in the attic. I will work around it until it can be carried up by someone other then me or Ben.

And here is what the door looks like from the hall, when it is closed-

I am going to hire a few hours of heavy lifting tomorrow and hopefully get most of the bins, books, babies, bolts of cloth, bobbins, buttons, bobbles… and all the other letters of the alphabet, downstairs. Then the reorganization. Hopefully, I will get back to serious work in the first week of August. My middle son is coming home from the west coast tomorrow and will be working as my intern until he goes back to school in Minnesota in a month or so. Oh, and in the midst of all this, I am going to Orlando, Florida next week to help my sister-in-law at CHA

Okay, deep breaths!

moving forward- studio project

The reason I have not been making any dolls, or to say that another way, how I have been dealing with my creative dry spell, is that I have been focusing on getting the soon-to-be-studio room done. I told myself that I would not install the air conditioner in my attic studio and that would keep me focused on the downstairs room- it’s working. I am really almost finished.

The walls are done. The trim is done. The closet door is done. I got a little sidetracked and painted the bookcase.

I am now working on the room door, which you can see on the table. I have taken out the 2 upper panels and will be replacing them with frosted glass. This part of the project has been a challenge.

I live in an old house- built 1890. I have this crazy feeling of responsibility not to damage it. And, btw, I hope that whoever put that first coat of paint over the varnish on all the trim in the house is now suffering in craft-purgatory. Back to my project though. It is scary to cut something that has been there for so long. And, I couldn’t find any information about the right way to do it. The old guy (Mr. Know-it-All) at the glass store told me- just don’t do it. Your door will fall apart. The carpenter guy friend said- no problem! Just hack it apart and deal! I’ve got really big clamps! Hmm. Neither way made sense to me. I thought it out and and explained my thinking to Ben. He thought my way would work. So, yesterday, I cut. Now I am so excited. I am ready to order the glass. Yippee! I am hoping to post some photos of how I did it in the next few days- since I couldn’t find any info out there and maybe someone else is curious.

So I will finish painting the door- so many steps with drying inbetween. Then there are little touch up places. And that patch on the ceiling.  And, I have to get rid of most of that stuff that is in the room- the futon, the file cabinet, etc. Then a massive clean-up. And lastly moving my stuff downstairs. It all takes longer then I think it will- but no surprise there!

All this has fitted in between my afternoon computer class- which I will post about tomorrow. It has been a very busy 2 weeks!

July update

geesh, it’s July already. How did that happen?

Scheduled for this month-

7/6- 7/17 I will be spending every afternoon taking a class in Adobe Suite– stay tuned for vast improvements or total meltdown in my web presence.

7/11- Boston Handmade Marketplace in Union Square, Somerville. Click through for all the info.

7/26- 7/31- I will be in Orlando, Florida at the CHA show, helping my sister-in-law. I have no idea what this will be like. I may not have a minute to spare, or then again, maybe I will. Suggestions for interesting places and possible meet-ups would be great.

I seem to have misplaced my creative juice, muse, mojo, juju, whatever you want to call it. I have one doll finished that I haven’t photographed yet- I will sometime when it stops raining.

I’ve been working on the room-

It moves forward. My daughter is coming home for a visit at the end of July and that needs to be my deadline- hmm, I seem to  make these deadlines all the time- otherwise, I am not sure where she will sleep. I have covered up any possible sleeping surfaces with stuff out of this room.

I have also been doing some dyeing and over-dyeing, hoping to get inspired again.

It has been fun. And positive in several ways- mostly it fills the need to create and so keeps me from the funk that I fall into when I do not. It keeps me from going to the thrift shop and buying more woolies- which is not so bad except that since I am going to be moving my studio, I shouldn’t be bringing more stuff into it right now. And, I am taking fabrics that I won’t use-ie yuck colors or previous dyeing mistakes or just boring- and turning them into something terrific. And, that red on the left- I used some old dye that I picked up somewhere… did someone give it to me or was it from an estate sale? The box cost 15 cents and the illustration style makes me think 40’s at the latest. Maybe later I will post pictures. Anyway, such fun using up the old stuff.

other goings on

I had breakfast with Lilla this morning. It is such fun to spend an hour or two with someone who speaks the same language- you know, art and the internet and all. No explaining. We blabbed about our families, then moved on to show-and-tell. First me-

Then Lilla- she had all kinds of goodies from the artists she represents-

A wonderful way to start the day!

I’ve got plans for my long weekend. No, I will not be relaxing in a beach chair. I will be planting my tomatoes, making containers this way again. I might experiment with some wool sweaters- the cotton started to disintegrate very quickly although that didn’t actually cause any problems. I will be planting the following varieties- one plant of each- noted for my records.


-Bush Goliath

-La Roma



-Washington Cherry

And, I am hoping to make some major progress on my studio/former bedroom project. As of today, all the walls and baseboards are primed. The windows are close to being ready to prime… as you’ve probably noticed, I get overly obsessed with details and it makes getting a project like this finished practically impossible.

Lastly, in the best of all possible worlds, I will make myself some summer clothes. A skirt, shirt, jumper? We’ll see. I’ve got the fabric… that is the easy part!

girls in progress

Have I mentioned that I have an intern working for me now? She is helping me cut and stuff. And, knowing that she is going to be with me for an afternoon gets me organized. We are working on girls. And I went a bit nuts… I just got so excited about all the ideas in my head and the colors in my shelves- I now have 15 dolls in progress- Yikes! And there is still a few more in my head… but I am ignoring them until I get some of these done.

Right now, they are in many stages- from all sewed together, with face and hair (just need to do the dress and all those little extras) to cut out in a pile.

After they are cut out, I put the pieces for each doll into an individual ziplock bag. I also put any other fabric I am planning on using for that doll into the bag. As I sew the parts and stuff them, they stay together in their bags until the doll is all together and ready to be dressed. At that point, I like to look at them sitting around the studio. In the photo below, you can see one doll that is mostly finished and then all the plastic bags.

Hopefully I will have some finished girls to show you soon.