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


sewing machine
scissors and/or rotary cutter

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
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-

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.

This week

Today! It is my blog’s 16th birthday! How crazy is that and even crazier that I remember each year. I have a clear memory of deciding to start/try and what was happening at that time in my life. This blog didn’t start at the very beginning of my doll journey but has documented every doll I’ve made since 2004. I’ve never tried to monetize my blog, except for some Amazon affiliated links and I don’t think I ever made more than about $20 total. But I keep doing it because I think of it as my online record of my art life. And what a crazy, wonderful, and unexpected journey it has been.

It’s been a weird week. I’ve been a bit under the weather and everything is going slower than I would like. Firstly I was cleaning and sorting to switch gears from kitties to tattooed men. I pulled out a pile of sewed up fellows and stuffed up a grouping. Okay, yes, that sounds a little naughty.

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I also spent all of yesterday dyeing body parts, mostly for mermen.

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As you can see, I want to experiment with some non-natural skin colors for these fellows.

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I know I’ve mentioned that I am no expert when it comes to dyeing. I tend to just wing it which often doesn’t work out that well and makes reproducing results very difficult. This time, I went to the RIT website and studied their color formulas (recipes). I picked out ones that looked good to me, bought some new dyes, and I think got much better results! Of course I still had a hard time sticking to the actual recipes and ended up doing a teeny bit of winging it but all in all, I am very happy. So, now I have to sew up all these handsome mermen!

And the quilt is coming along. I am at the very end- putting on the binding.

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Have you watched Next in Fashion on Netflix? I’m loving it- so much talent!

2019 round-up of things

Happy New Year’s Eve! Here is a round-up of the things I made this year!

I made 20 Tiny World pincushions.

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1. Tiny World Pincushion, 2. Tiny World Pincushion, 3. Tiny World Pincushion, 4. Snowy Tiny World Pincushion, 5. Barnyard Tiny World, 6. Night tiny world, 7. Tiny World Pincushion, 8. Tiny World Pincushion, 9. Lighthouse Tiny World pincushion, 10. Lighthouse Tiny World pincushion, 11. Castle pincushion, 12. Bluebell Pincushion, 13. Violet pincushion, 14. Snowy Hill tiny world pincushion, 15. Snowy Hill tiny world pincushion, 16. Tiny World Farm 2, 17. Tiny World Farm 1, 18. Tiny World Pincushion, 19. Tiny World Pincushion, 20. Cabin in the Woods Pincushion

I made 33 tattooed man dolls.

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1. Bald Lumberjack, 2. First doll of the year, 3. January Greenman, 4. Dancing Skeleton Tattoos, 5. Blue eyes, blue kilt, 6. Big Man, Red Kilt, 7. Big Man with Skeleton Horseman, 8. Man with Chinoiserie Tattoos, 9. Sepia Farmer, 10. Circus Man, 11. Big Circus Man, 12. White-haired Tattooed Man, 13. Blond Sailor Man, 14. tattoo man with mustache, 15. Farmer with a Mustache, 16. Tattoos, mustache, fancy hair, 17. Dancing skeleton tattoos, 18. Man with Goddess tattoos, 19. Angel Trumpeting on his chest, 20. Tattooed Man doll

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1. Japanese Merman, 2. Japanese Merman 2, 3. merman 3, 4. Merman 4, 5. merman with bright blue hair, 6. Summer Merman 1, 7. Big Merman 2, 8. Tropical Merman, 9. Merman 4- tropical island tattoos, 10. Merman 5, 11. Big Man Merman, 12. Greenman 1, 13. Greenman 2, 14. Fox with a newspaper, 15. Fox in a Squirrel Dress, 16. Fox in a fancy dress, 17. Bright Fashion Fox, 18. Forest Fox School Girl, 19. Fox Girl in a Fox Dress, 20. French Fox

The men included 3 Greenmen, 11 mermen, 1 lumberjack, 2 men in kilts, and a sailor. Then comes 7 foxes.

19 Big Lady pillow dolls. The last square in the grid is my top 9 post from Instagram. I needed an extra pic to fill out the grid.

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1. Poppy Lady Pillow Doll, 2. Windy Day Lady Pillow Doll, 3. Queen of Hearts Lady Pillow Doll, 4. Summer Garden Lady Pillow Doll, 5. City Birds Lady Pillow Doll, 6. Bird Lady Pillow Doll, 7. Folk Art Lady Pillow Doll, 8. Butterfly Lady, 9. cat lady pillow doll, 10. Bird Lady, 11. Flower Lady, 12. Cat Lady, 13. summer lady- birds and flowers, 14. Birds and Butterfly Lady, 15. Butterfly Lady, 16. Purple and Green, Lady Pillow Doll, 17. Cat Lady, 18. Blue Flower Lady, 19. Sky Lady Pillow Doll, 20. Top Nine

9 dogs and 6 Tattooed Ladies.

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1. Parisian Poodle, 2. Herringbone Dog, 3. School Girl Dog, 4. Pup in a doggie dress, 5. Dog Walker, 6. City Dog in Red Plaid, 7. Garden Lady Dog, 8. Dog Lady with Books, 9. Herringbone Dog, 10. tattoo lady 1, 11. Tattooed Lady 2, 12. Red Haired lady with skeletons, 13. Lady in Red, 14. Lady in Blue, 15. Lady #4

8 kitties and 8 girls.

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17 fish,

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1. Aqua Cable Fish, 2. Green Plaid Fish, 3. Blue Herringbone fish, 4. Orange plaid fish, 5. Red Fish with spots, 6. Fish- black, white, and yellow, 7. brown plaid fish, 8. fish- black, white, and red, 9. Green Fancy Fish, 10. Bright Fancy Fish, 11. Autumn fish, 12. Autumn fish, 13. Autumn fish, 14. More Autumn Fish, 15. More Autumn Fish, 16. More Autumn Fish, 17. Green Sweater fish, 18. Snowy Owl, 19. Snowy Owl, 20. 2 Gray Owls

and 23 owls.

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1. 2 Gray Owls, 2. grey owl, brown owl, 3. grey owl, brown owl, 4. Brown Plaid Owl, 5. Rusty Scruffy Owl, 6. 70’s Owl, 7. Textured Brown Owl, 8. Serious Brown Owl, 9. Grey Owl 2, 10. Grey Owl 1, 11. Grey Owl, 12. Grey Owl, 13. Grey Owl, 14. Plaid Owl, Fancy Wing, 15. Brown Owl with feathers, 16. Beige and Brown Owl, 17. Russet face Owl, 18. Rusty Brown Owl, 19. Shaggy Owl, 20. Fair Isle Owl

And here is a bigger version of my top 9 that you can actually see. These are the photos on my Instagram that got the most reaction but aren’t necessarily my favorites- faves would definitely have included some of the girl dolls.

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And a quilt!

12-31-review - 1 (1)I am shocked to see that I didn’t make any swaddled babies this year.

Here are some links to my most recent other yearly mosaics- 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014.

Greenman 1

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This Greenman’s tattoos are of a Stag hunt- maybe not the most appropriate imagery for a nature spirit? Oh well, I am going to imagine that the stag escape and lived to a ripe old age.

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I bought some new variegated threads from Sue Spargo and I am having fun trying them out.

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Is there something you’d like?

I am a little at loose ends right now. I have lots of goodies in my shop and I’m not sure what to work on next so I thought I’d do a shout out. Is there something that you have been waiting for me to make? Something you would love to get for a gift for yourself or someone else? Remind me if you’ve asked in the past- I am not good at remembering what people ask for.

If you are not sure about my prices, go check out the shop to get the range. Email me with requests- I will let you know if it’ll be possible!

I got an Oliso iron and I really like it!

This is a story and a review of 2 irons, and the one I’m now using every day!

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I use my iron a lot when I work and I’ve been unhappy with the last few irons I’ve bought. Some of my complaints included the iron taking a long time to warm up to temperature, having no indicator that it is at temperature, turning itself off very quickly, having a small water tank for steaming, controls in awkward positions (one iron I had would constantly turn off because the control was right where my hand went when I picked up the iron!)… I’m sure there were other things that I’ve very happily forgotten. I was contacted last winter by Oliso to ask if I’d be interested in trying out and reviewing their new mini iron. Of course I said yes! I had never actually heard of the brand so I went to check them out. The mini iron wasn’t going to be available for a month or so, so I checked out the full size irons. I was intrigued- Pretty colors and those funny feet!

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Because I was already in the market for a better iron, I decided to spring for the TG1050 Smart Iron. I’ve been using it for 3 months now and I am so happy with it. If you want to see it in action, here is an excellent video review of the iron by Wendi Gratz and she points out all the features that I like too. She has a fancier model but everything she mentions is true on mine too. Every time I put my hand on the handle and those little feet go up, I get a silly thrill- and that is pretty amazing from an iron.

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Now, about the mini iron. Eventually I received it and began using it in my studio. I’d already had my new full-size iron for a while at this point. My mini is a lovely yellow color and about half the size of a regular iron. It comes with a silicone rest to place it on when you are using it. The iron will not stand up like a classic iron in a rest position. The silicone plate rest turns over and it clips onto the iron for storage.

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So what do I think about this cute mini iron? It turns out that this is not a tool I need every day in my studio. I will carry it when I travel though. I can see that it would be very useful when I unpack for shows and there are touch-ups that need to be done. It would also be excellent for travel teaching and if/when I take a class. Some of the reasons it is good for travel are the same as why I won’t be using it everyday in my studio.

-The water tank is very small so the water gets used up very quickly. This seems like a plus for traveling.

-The mini does not have an auto shut-off. It turns out I am very dependent on this feature. I scared myself because I accidentally left it on when an unexpected guest rang the doorbell and I forgot about it. This would not be an issue when using it in my show booth.

-It packs up compactly and the silicon rest snaps right on the ironing plate.

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I think this little guy would be fine for someone who only occasionally uses an iron or, as I’ve noted, as a traveling iron. But, oh how I love my blue smart iron!

fyi- I got my Mini Iron for free to review, but I bought my Smart Iron at JoAnns. Just so you know, the “sale” price at JoAnns was the same price (or a little higher?) as “regular” price, direct from the website, which I didn’t realize when I was shopping.

Ask away if you have any questions. I wasn’t sure what exactly you would want to know!


2 Boy Pups

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I’m back from Providence where I had a terrific weekend. (If I have time, I will do a separate post about it.) I tried to do a blog post from there but wasn’t able to and too distracted to try too hard. So here are a few more pieces that got finished before the show. Two boy dogs-

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The dolls are back in the etsy shop, and I am adding the ones that I hadn’t listed yet. It might take a while!

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