February News

I haven’t had any finished pieces in a while but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working. I have spent so much time cutting and more cutting. I have cut out girls, lady pillow dolls, kitties, dogs, owls, and I can’t remember what else! Finally I am moving forward to sewing and finishing. First up, lady pillow dolls.

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And then I’m excited to make some dogs in removable clothing.

2-5-wip - 2 The main event that I am planning and working for is the Smithsonian Craft Show, April 24 – 28. I am so excited to be going back to Washington DC! I had such an amazing time last year.

I don’t have any other shows on the schedule as of now, but I’ve applied to several so hopefully I will have some in the Fall.

I have no teaching scheduled but if you’d like to organize something, let me know. My schedule is mostly open. I am happy to teach to small groups (4 minimum) at my house in the Boston area.

That’s all the news for now and hopefully I’ll be back soon with finished ladies!

lots and lots of WIPs

My etsy shop is bare and I am trying to get my inventory back up before show season. I’ve started working on many, many new pieces. Step one, cut out the parts. With the tattooed dolls this means the pieces that need to be dyed- the “skin” parts.

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I cut and cut and kept cutting. I now have a LOT of bodies, ready for the next step- dyeing.

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After I have these all dyed, then I cut out all the other pieces. Then construction starts.

Next I pulled out all my bins of wool and my fish pattern-

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and now there are 29 fish cut out and ready to move forward.

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And I am moving forward on foxes, already sewn. I’m stuffing them and next come the faces.

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And I’m sewing up some pugs. Yep, I’m all over the place. That’s why nothing is getting finished but things are moving forward all over the place. Hopefully something will get done this week.

coming next-

I pulled out my partially finished dolls and have them spread out on every surface of my studio right now. Dolls ahead!

Ladies on the desk-

Foxes and more ladies on the table-

Men on the ironing board-

and not quite sure what behind the sewing machine.

And, I have to confess, this isn’t even everything. I have other bins with partially started projects including dogs, kitties, lumberjacks, fish… time to get to work and find out who some of these characters are!

so much going on

First- HAPPY BIRTHDAY PETER!

Now, to business- I continue to be in the mood for cutting out so I am piling up the zip-lock bags.

This basket holds 12 bags of fox. I pulled out my bin of orange wool and basically cut up anything that was big enough. Then, when I was done and had moved on the the next thing, I found one more sweater. It’s in the fox basket, waiting for me to get back to these.

And dogs. I never got to fully play with the pattern when I first drew it up. Now I’ve done some modifications (different varieties) and am in the midst of cutting out a bunch. That meant pulling out all the stripes-

And all the wool that seemed like “dog”.

I also cut out some more Lumberjacks and also some new design wool men- I will keep it a surprise. You know, in case it turns out to be a big flop. I am having a great time, pulling out all the bins and enjoying all the fabrics. Of course my studio looks like a bomb went off but I will get it all back in place soon enough.

I got my box of samples back from that book project I contributed to. I’d sent these off a year ago! I’m happy to have them home again.

Let me see. What else do I have to report? I will be in Brooklyn for the Renegade Craft Fair on June 23 and 24. It is in a new venue- Williamsburg Waterfront. I am so excited to be participating again this year!

I applied to be in the San Francisco Renegade show in July. I’ve got my fingers crossed. Flying across country to do a show is a bit scary but I’d love to try!

I’ve been kept away from my studio for more time than I’d like by too much computer-based business but it always needs to be done. The Land of Nod work was keeping me busy last week and is moving forward. So much going on!

Last thing- I have decided that I’d like to try hiring someone to help with my sewing. I’m thinking that I’d start with just 1/2 day per week and see how it goes. If you are local to me and are interested, shoot me an email- mimik@pobox.com. I’ll be putting signs up at some local fabric stores. Not sure how else to find the right person. The latest Craftypod interview with Lorna’s Laces gave me the last little push that I needed (I’d been thinking about it all week!) to explore hiring someone.

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!

busy times

That week flew by. And now a new one begins. Happy Mothers Day!

My tree peony bloomed- always a treat.

We’ve had some crazy weather in the few days since I took the photos- wild thunderstorm, torrential rain and now some very windy weather. The plant is looking a bit tussled today. The flowers rarely last more then a week so I appreciate them while I can.

On Friday night I went to the MassArt Senior Fashion Show: Current 2010.  I was offered complimentary tickets (not sure how I got on that list!)- it is not something I would ordinarily think of going to. Well, it was so much fun! I have never been to anything like it- there was the runway, the models, the collections. I tried to find photos but there wasn’t much. I did find this one of my favorite dress of the evening. I hope I can go next year- it was a blast!

Saturday, doll club. We did needle felting. I will not be changing over to needle felting any time soon. Sorry about no pics- the photos I took were too awful to post.

And today. Working on- gladiator sandals.

Maybe too much fiddly work. Piled on the table are men in progress, paper pattern pieces, fabric marking tools, trims…

And the desk, looking cleaner then usual.

This coming week will focus on finishing those guys and then I’m off to Minneapolis on Thursday for J’s graduation. Life seems to have suddenly shifted to high speed.

studio work

I’ve been working away at some dolls and also my studio. I am see some progress in getting the studio feeling right. Here are a few peaks-

When I decided to move my studio downstairs, I knew I wanted to do this-

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I think of this as my internet connections altar and I posted a fully annotated version here on Flickr. These are all things that I have bought, traded, or been given, from people that I have “met” through the internet. Some of them I have also met in real life. It is a tangible display of the richness that the craft blog world has brought into my life. Sorry- gushing!

This is the pin-up board over my desk-

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So many goodies, including a sweet little monster by Elsita. Yep, right next to one of my Peewee toys.

Today, I hung my ornament dolls from my display shelf. They are now flying over my desk.

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And, some ladies in progress. I thought I’d get one of these finished today but instead got distracted by the organizing/puttering.

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discombobuated

My head is all over the place these days. I am still working on settling into my studio- although I am at the point that when I think of something to change it tends to be an improvement instead of just a reshuffle. I have partially finished projects everywhere.

I am loving the morning light in the studio. Here is some test work for kitty pattern- using different fabrics, reconsidering how I do things, thinking about clothes-

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I’ve got these four Purl girls done and waiting to be dressed-

You see the one with the decorations on her? My little friends from next door came over and decorated a whole lot of my unfinished dolls for me! Scraps and pins.

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More decorated unfinished dolls-

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This one only got a little bit of color. And next to the baby, an unfinished tiny world.

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Here is the pile of fabric that will eventually get dyed for some more tattooed people-

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Yep- these ones. I am working on a tall lady design to go with the more round version.

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And, more wool balls for the workshop next weekend. I need to have some small ones. Last time, several people brought very small cups and I didn’t really have exactly the right thing.

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I actually got the wool balls done today- hurray! One thing off the list!

Wow! What a week!

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am overwhelmed by the response to my Handmade Portrait! I’ve been getting all choked up when I read the comments on the Storque article. And people are entering the giveaway and actually posting it to their blogs. I have to admit that when the wonderful people at Etsy suggested doing a giveaway where people would have to post the video to their blog, I thought- um, No one will want to do that- well, except my husband, but he might have ulterior motives. So again- Thank you for all the internet love. I’ve been floating on it since Wednesday!

A Reminder- To be included in the giveaway drawing, you need to send an email with a link to mimi.kirchner.giveaway@gmail.com once you’ve posted the video on your blog. All the info is here. You can enter anytime up til 5pm ET.

I am trying very hard to pull myself away from the computer and spend some time in my studio and actually get back into the groove of making stuff. There has not been enough of that for the past few months. I am hoping that the major distractions that have kept me away from my desk are now behind me. See you soon with some finished dolls.

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.