what happened to June?!

wow- I just realized that I will have gone a month without posting a new doll. What a crazy month! It is not that I haven’t been working.

Sage (my intern) and I have been working on a big pile of girls. We’ve got ten going. When I get home from Paris, these are going to get finished up. I also was working on a project that is one of those fun things that I can’t tell you about quite yet… actually, just having a project that I can’t mention is a thrill in itself! And, of course, there has been all my Paris prep. I am making myself a few new skirts and shirts. Hopefully I will actually finish them before we leave tomorrow.

If you are interested, here is the google map I am making with all the interesting suggestions people have made. I sure I won’t get to everything, but I have a lot to choose from.

And the garden is thriving. I’ve got my tomatoes in, using my containers, but this year I tried lining them with corrugated cardboard before stretching the t-shirts. So far, so good.

I am growing Carbons, Pink Brandywine, Copia, Bonny Best, Opalka, and Isis Candy.

Well, see you in Paris!

prizes! and some other doings.

woohoo! I won Crystal’s giveaway and my prize arrived in the mail today!


love this little detail-


Crystal is my good friend and fellow member of Boston Handmade. Thanks Crystal! This sweet little pair will live in my studio and keep me company while I work.

Several people asked me about the dyes I use. Firstly let me say that I am no dyeing expert. I am pretty bad at it and almost always end up with splotchy fabric… well unless that is what I want. Then I get a solid color. I know this going into the project so I try not to be too focused on a perfect result. I use Cushing dyes- an acid dye for wool.

Other stuff I’ve been doing.

It was a sad day today- after listening to Science Friday and watching the video, I knew that my tomatoes were infected with late blight. I pulled them all up today. Ah well, I got a pretty good crop and will look forward to next year.

Over the weekend, I redid the faces on two dolls- ones that many commenters said looked sad. At the time (last month), I couldn’t really see it. Now, with fresh eyes, I decided I needed to change them.


Old Face


New Face


Old Face


New Face

tomato tutorial- making containers

I want to grow tomatoes this year. I want to have a LOT of tomatoes instead of a few very precious and expensive ones from the farmers market. Unfortunately I live in an old house with toxic soil around it- not unusual in New England urban and suburban areas. The soil has years of lead paint scrapings, car fumes (more lead) and who knows what. It is not soil anyone would want to grow edibles in. The solution is raised beds or containers. I am going to try to write a tutorial about how I planted my tomatoes based on the excellent suggestions of Bella Dia.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I have a house full of stuff. That makes me reluctant to go out and buy more stuff- like containers to grow tomatoes in. Here is how I made my own, hopefully biodegradable, containers and got my tomatoes started.

material list-

an old cotton T-shirt, size X-Large

some garden fencing that was stuck up in the rafters of the garage, already starting on the biodegrading part- ie rusty.

compost from my compost pile

commercial potting soil

tomato plant

Step 1: Cut the label out of the shirt since it is probably not cotton and wouldn’t decompose.

Step 2: Make a circle shape out of the wire fencing. Mine is about 16 inches across.

Step 3: Place in the garden and push the wire prongs into the soil.

Step 4: Put the t-shirt into the circle, collar edge down. Stretch the bottom edge of the shirt around the top of the fencing. I didn’t worry about weeds underneath- whatever was there will be dead soon.

Now there is a “pot”!

Step 5: Fill it half way with compost or other clean filler dirt, like all last years window boxes that you are replanting. I used compost from my compost pile. Push and stretch out the sides of the t-shirt as you add dirt.

Step 6: Center the tomato plant on top of the compost. Loosen up the root ball.

Step 7: Use the commercial potting soil to fill in around the plant and up to an inch or so from the top. Yes, you are burying 6 inches of stem and leaves. Trust me, that is a good thing. Water thoroughly.

Step 8: Wait 2 months. Hopefully, tomatoes!

I’ve got 4 done. One more to go.