2020 dolls in review

I do a review every year although sometimes it happens a little late (like this year). What a crazy day- I was a bit reluctant to post this today with the high of the win in Georgia followed by the madness in Washington. But I will do it anyway because who knows what tomorrow will bring. And honestly, maybe posting about a crazy year is best done on a crazy day.

1. Tiny World Pincushion 2, 2. Tiny World Pincushion 1, 3. Tiny World pincushion 3, 4. Tiny World Fairy House pincushion, 5. Tiny World Fairy House pincushion, 6. Cabin in the Woods Tiny World pincushion, 7. Cabin in the Woods Tiny World pincushion, 8. Tiny World pincushion- Camping, 9. tropical island tiny world, 10. tropical island tiny world, 11. Rapunzel in her Tower Tiny World, 12. Rapunzel in her Tower Tiny World, 13. Lighthouse Pincushion, 14. Lighthouse Pincushion, 15. Manor house with Topiary Garden, 16. Manor house with Topiary Garden

I made 16 Tiny Worlds and 81 dolls. This is down quite a bit from other years but, you know, 2020.

I made 6 pugs and 9 hound dogs.

1. Pug in Plaid, 2. Fancy Pug in Aqua, 3. another fancy pug, 4. Pug in Pastels, 5. Pug in a Suit, 6. Tweedy Pug, 7. School girl puppy, 8. B & W dog in a folk dress, 9. Gardener Dog, 10. Mr Detective Dog, 11. Lady Pup goes to the beach, 12. Beach Boy Hound, 13. Another Gardening Dog, 14. Adventure Pup, 15. Herringbone Hound

I made 10 cats, 4 foxes, and 6 fish.

1. White Kitty, 2. Kitty Girl #2, 3. Kitty in Pink, 4. Black and White Kitty in Plaid, 5. Kitty in a mouse dress, 6. Fancy Tuxedo Cat, 7. Herringbone Kitty, 8. Black Kitty girl in Indian print dress, 9. White Kitty in a Party dress, 10. Outdoor Cat, 11. Fox in a Corduroy Jacket, 12. Big Night Out Fox, 13. Fox girl in a Liberty dress, 14. Fox girl in a daisy dress, 15. 2 Red Fish, 16. 2 Blue Fish

I made 7 Swaddled babies and a whole lot of men dolls!

1. Yellow fish and Green fish, 2. Bird Baby, 3. Bird Baby 2, 4. Blue Flower Baby, 5. Night Bird Baby, 6. Another Bird Baby, 7. Butterflies and Flowers Baby, 8. Orange and Green Folk Art Baby, 9. Big Tattooed Man, 10. Man #2- He’s got Skeletons, 11. Blond Tattooed Man Doll, 12. Tattooed man, white hair, 13. Man 5- more skeletons, 14. Pirate with Happy Skeletons, 15. Big Man with red hair, 16. Circus Big Man, 17. Fancy Man, 18. Green Man with Boar Hunt tattoo/toile, 19. Red-Haired Man in a Kilt, 20. Red Kilt and Cherub Tattoos

Above is 9 Tattooed men, 1 Green Man, and 2 men in kilts. Below is 22 Mermen and 5 Lumberjacks.

1. Blue Merman, 2. Green Merman doll, 3. Tropical Merman, 4. Blue Merman 2, 5. Merman with Blue Tail, 6. Merman with Vintage Laura Ashley tail, 7. Big Big Merman, 8. Blond Merman, 9. Blue Merman 3, 10. Red-haired Merman, 11. Merman with Battle Tattoos, 12. Merman 2, 13. Dark Merman with Skeletons, 14. Green Merman, 15. Blue Merman with Octopus(es), 16. Red Tail Merman, 17. Blue Merman, 18. Blue Merman for November, 19. Merman with Octopus Tattoos, 20. Blue Merman 12/1, 21. Merman with Beaded Belt, 22. Blue Merman 3, 23. Lumberjack 1, 24. Lumberjack in a Cowboy Shirt, 25. Blond Lumberjack, 26. Lumberjack in Red Plaid, 27. Big Man Lumberjack

I made a quilt at the start of the year.

I made a lot of masks for family and friends. Oh yes, and 150 scrub caps. I donated 100 caps to health providers (mostly nurses) in the Boston area. Then I sold a bunch on Etsy and donated the money to local causes helping people affected by the pandemic. It relieved some of the stress to feel like I was doing something to help.

I worked on some ornament patterns but my head wasn’t in the right space. This past year I needed meditative creative work, not painfully stretching my cognitive skills! Hopefully this year I can make it happen.

My business was all conducted online this year and I am grateful that I already have an online shop and all the social media set up and didn’t have to worry about that! I have been depending on the Post Office and so thankful that I can mostly get my packages picked up right at my door. This past Fall and up until now, the pressure on the Post Office (political and Covid) has been stressful; I think all my packages made it to their destinations by now? Most have taken at least 2 extra weeks.

So Yikes, what a year. I count my blessing that I have been relatively healthy and so has my family. I am hoping that life can return to a more normal in 2021 although I don’t count on that yet. Lets hear it for a better 2021! I have hope again!

These were my most “liked” posts on Instagram this year- always kind of interesting.

Past years- links to other yearly mosaics- 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014.

Last Merman, another Blue

This is the last Merman for now. They’ve been so much fun but now I have to cut out more and get out the dye pots.

And here they are, all together.

I will put this last fellow in my etsy shop soon. The rest are already listed and ready to go!

Greenman 2.0

What a week, what a crazy time we are living in. I am having a very hard time pulling myself away from the news which isn’t helping my anxiety or getting any work done. I think most of us white ladies are trying to figure out ways we can do better and that, for me at least, has involved a lot of reading, listening (mostly on Twitter), and no chiming in of my opinions. As a result I haven’t been posting on the social medias. #Black Lives Matter. I’ve got some things to show you now so I will try to get things back on track.

I made 2 green men dolls in December. One went off to a new home but the other just sat in my shop and every time I looked at it, I could only think that I didn’t like those eyebrows! So, I changed them. I almost never do that- I can think of maybe 2 other times in all my doll-making years? Anyway, I think he looks much better now and he is back in my shop.

I have mostly been working on Lumberjacks.

I will have a finished one to show tomorrow.

Blue Flower Baby

Spring Baby in the midst of a pandemic. I will just keep on working because what else can I do? We are well into Spring here in Boston- daffodils and trees beginning to leaf out. Lots of the green shoots in the garden are cropped at about 4″ high by voracious rabbits. Other plants are not touched. It is good to see the garden come to life as everything else in the world feels like it has stopped.

Bird Baby 2

I decided I needed a creative break from scrub caps and face masks and went back to my partially finished projects from 2 weeks ago.

I am happy to be able to do something that can help in the crisis we are in right now, and also happy to spend some time doing the work I love.

I love this little pouty face.

I have donated 64 scrub caps so far to nurses in the Boston area. My current goal is to make it to 100. I’ve made masks for family and friends. I am actually thrilled to have something useful to do with all the fabric I’ve accumulated over the years. My ulterior motive is that I will use up enough of the fabric that there will be room in my drawers and bins and I can go on a fabric shopping spree when this is over!

Stay well everyone!

Directions for sewing up a scrub mask

These directions are based on 3 friends sewing them up and consulting on shortcuts and clearer explanations. There is a downloadable pdf in this post. We started from this pattern, available on etsy. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you really don’t want to draft your own pattern.

Directions for Scrub Cap

Tools

sewing machine
scissors and/or rotary cutter
pins

Materials for 2 caps

1/2 yard fabric, 44” across
thread to match or contrast
1/4” elastic cut to 3” for each cap

Each cap is made of one side piece and one top piece.

Important notes:

The pattern includes a 1/4” seam allowance.
The background grid is in inches. Each square is 1/2”.

Fabric Layout for 2 caps.

Yes, I do mark out my pattern pieces with Sharpie marker!

Mark each fabric piece-
the center of the side piece (the fold)
the center of the top piece (top round part)
I mark by ironing a small crease. You can also use a fabric marker.

Also mark the end-of-the-tie mark as shown on pattern piece. I do this with a little snip in the seam allowance.

Fold up and press for elastic casing at flat end of Top Piece.

Insert elastic and secure in place with pins or by a few stitches on the ends at the seam allowance.

Sew Top Piece to Side Piece.
Match center marks and pin.
You can pin all the way around and stitch
or
Start at the center pin and match the side seams as you stitch around to the casing. Go back to the center and sew down the other side.

Zigzag or use pinking shears to finish the edges, starting from the end-of-ties mark, all the way around the cap, and back to the end-of-ties mark on the other side.

Fold up the tie section, right-sides together. Sew the end, turn and sew to end-of-ties mark. Clip corner, turn right side out, push out the corner to make a nice angle, press.

If you pull gently on the tie and the main body of the cap, you will see that the seam allowance at the upper edge of the tie, and also the front band, want to fold into place.


The front band will be approx. 3/4” wide with 1/4” folded under. Press the top edge and the front band in place and secure with a few pins.

Top stitch around the top of the cap, the seam allowance pressed down toward the side pice. Sew from the upper edge of the ties, around the Top Piece, and back to the end-of-ties mark.

Zigzag across the top of the front band.

You are finished!

Pattern pieces if you want to draft your own pattern.

Helpful YouTube videos-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Wl15xirkaw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQxeDqqec3U
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rsqM7wQth4&t=140s

Masks and Scrub Caps

My husband has been working from home for 4 1/2 weeks now. I’ve been doing a lot of sewing this past week. I made 28 scrub caps. Then I decided I needed to make masks for family, and my postal workers. I spent a day testing out patterns because I quickly discovered that when it comes to masks, one-size does not fit all. This is the one that fit me best.

Here is a link that has a variety of styles.

I have been consulting with 2 other people about making the scrub caps and we have reworked the directions. I wrote it all up with photos for anyone to use. Here is a link to download a pdf. I will also do a separate blog post of the directions.

I know there is seemingly infinite need for the caps at the Boston hospitals but I assume this is now true anywhere in the country. If you need a place to donate or would like to get a donation, I am happy to have people use the comment section to connect.