What’s Going on Mimi?

It’s summer and it is hot here in Boston. Time for an update.

Things are slow in my studio these days and there is a reason for that. Husband and I will be moving to Chicago next Spring (tentative schedule) now that my 3 kids are all there. It is time for us to sort through all the stuff. We have lived in this house for 34 years and there is a LOT. I am spending less time in my studio and more time culling. Even when I am sewing, my brain is busy thinking about this near future. It has been very distracting. I will be doing the November Paradise City Show, but there is nothing else on the schedule. When the New Year starts, I will probably being packing up my studio. I have no idea at this point when I will be getting back to work but obviously will let everyone know.

Of course now that we will be leaving Boston, I have a bunch of someday items that I want to check off my list. The first one happened this week! We took the ferry to Provincetown and spent a few days. It was so much fun!

Now it’s time to get these kitties dressed. It is very hot here and my studio has got the AC so that will help inspire me 😁

Gather Here reception

There is going to be a little closing reception tomorrow night at Gather Here, 7pm. It was fantastic to have my dolls on display all month. Hope to see you there!

I’ve been taking care of various business this week. One thing on the list- clean the studio. This is mid-day when I was sorting through drawers- the type of project that gets done at the end of the clean-up.

Then, all done. Of course it was nearly dark by then so I have the yellow light affect in these photos.

So many clear surfaces- That won’t last long!

And now I can start messing it up again!

On my desk today

this morning-

and later in the afternoon-

Good thing I have a LOT of pins! This took me basically all day. I now have to sew everything down plus fancy them up with embroidery. I want to have them all done by the end of the week. We shall see.

Over the weekend my neighbor was clearing out some stuff. I grabbed (begged for) this box-

There is silk bias tape- I have never seen that before!

Don’t forget to leave a comment to join the Give-Away!

studio floor

I’m pretty excited about this!

I bought a big piece of Linoleum and put it down on the floor of my studio. My chair rolls around with no obstructions. WooHoo!

It was a fun weekend. First, the new floor. We had a visit from my SIL and SIL and ate delish Middle Eastern food. On Sunday we went to Craft Boston– the kind of show where they have special tags for artists to label items that cost less than $100. I know, I shouldn’t laugh! In between I played with my wool scraps and colors and made some flags and garlands.

All lined up for sewing-

studio pics

The room is looking pretty good and the sun has come out so here are some photos!

The desk. See the little felt girls? Yes, I am working on them. I brought it up here. I am not pressuring myself by having a deadline- just playing with the patterns and seeing where it goes. The idea is that I’m working on the girls in the evenings and doing my other stuff during the day. I’m not really very good at holding myself to that sort of structure but it’s the vague idea.

When I was cleaning last week, I moved things around and made an attempt to dust everything. It is fun to look and touch everything again. The little treasures become invisible if they stay in the same place too long. Here are all my various doll house people. They live in my own childhood dollhouse although these were not the people that lived in the house when I was a kid.

I picked everything up and dusted-

People always comment on my drawers when I post photos. Really, they aren’t full of anything too amazing as you can see-

I spent a little time on my threads and ribbons. Always fun to play- color, texture and storage boxes. Swoon!

My other table- covered in books and magazines that I am slowly paging through and many unfinished projects.

This bureau top was the most obvious change. It was an abandoned mess after the reshuffle in January. I brought another dollhouse down from the attic. I made this one (with my brother-in-law), back when Eleanor was tot. It is very well decorated, inside and out, by 3 children’s drawing and “writing”. I’m using it for my sketchbooks, other small books and other random little things. Do you see the trunk?

And the big picture. Wow- You can see some floor!

Hopefully soon I will even have some finished dolls to post.


studio tidbits

Back at the beginning of the year, I got myself some new storage units for my cotton fabrics. Getting them in place involved moving a lot of stuff around. As is my way, I got the job about 80% finished and then got back to work. Within a day or 2, all the piles that I had to step over to get to my desk became invisible. I’ve spent some time this week cleaning the studio and working to get some of that mess sorted out. I thought I’d show you a few favorite things.

My Sister-in-law gave me this doll trunk. It had been her Mom’s. It sits on a bureau in my studio and is mostly used as a prop for some of my dolls. But, it really is a treasure chest.

Ignore those doll clothes hanging in the window- they are part of something else all together. In the trunk there are clothes that were probably suitable for a child of the 1920’s and earlier.

Sorry about the photos- it has been a grey week with a bit of snow. But look- doll gloves! And hats and jewelery!

And lots of dresses.

Unfortunately, most everything is damaged- probably because children actually played with them. There is a lot of silk in the clothes and silk is prone to rot.

I love all the drop-waist dresses. They look like they were all made from the same basic pattern with changes in the necklines. They also look like a child made them- definitely homemade. There are also 4 petticoats but I am not sure how they work with a drop-waist dress.

And a girl/doll needs a coat (or 3), right?

Next little peak- As you know, I have a lot of my Mom’s old fabric and clothes. I’ve cut up lots of it, but some things seem precious and I can’t bear to re-purpose them. This top has been my chair shirt for several years. When I was going through the family photos last summer, I found a picture of my Mom wearing it- I love when that happens! I would guess that this is from the late 60’s.

My studio is looking pretty great right now. If the sun comes out in the next few days, I will try to get some decent photos to show you.

I rewarded myself with a trip to Gather Here (do you live near Boston? If you haven’t been here- go!) and some super fabric- including some of Lizzy House‘s Hello Pilgrim.

Also some super soft corduroy, some Cloud 9 dots and some Lotta Jansdotter. Here it is, all washed, ironed and ready to use.

And last, a snow photo. This has pretty much been it for our winter!

Have a great weekend! My daughter and a friend are going to be here for the weekend- Hurray!


studio reshuffle

It’s that time of year. The studio needs to be cleaned and the Stuff needs reorganizing. I try to figure out what I am actually using and make it easily accessible. I also try to go through all the fabric regularly, getting rid of things I will probably never use. I call this turning the compost. It’s only kind of a joke. I now have three bags of fabric that I’ll be taking to my crafty meet-up next week. Give-away time!

Here are some in progress photos because it’ll be a while before everything settles into place again.

It all started with a large bookcase that needed to be moved out of another room. I always need more shelves so I took out the measuring tape to see if I could fit it into my studio. The reshuffle began! I moved the bureau towards the window (of course there was already something there- out into the hall that stuff went). The bookcase that was already in my room was emptied and moved across to it’s new place by the closet.

It is now filled with books, tea cups and cotton fabrics, mostly toiles and other tattooed people components.

The new (to my room), bigger bookshelf fits perfectly. I’m filling it back up with the books that were in the other bookcase plus other things of course.

Then I decided that I needed a new way to store all my other cotton fabrics. I have been using them a lot more this year and the bins under the table system was just not working. One trip to Ikea later and you can see my new drawers. Here is a better photo-

This is great! I can see all the fabric easily and there are enough baskets to put all kinds of goodies that have been in piles or in bins that I trip over every time I walked through the room.

The plastic drawer bins and the small wooden bookcase on top of the fabric drawers used to be where the bureau is now. Are you confused yet?

I have had this little set of metal drawers sitting on the floor for about 1 1/2 years and I now finally have a place for it. I filled it up with beads, charms, sewing notions I’ve collected for robots and papers for making tiny books.

There are lots of little problems that I haven’t quite figured out yet. An example is my thread rack- I like it where it is but I know it will slide right off at the worst possible moment so I need to figure out how to attach it to something. And then actually do it.

And some real life desk pictures. I started working on some tiny worlds. Then I moved on to something else. Yep, I just piled them up, as much out of the way as I could push them without bothering to put them away. Because I’ll get back to them any minute, right? Okay then.

And that poor tattooed lady. I have a ridiculous number of unfinished dolls in my studio right now. I should try to focus on finishing them up. Somehow it is sad to see them all waiting for me. If I just worked on finishing things I would probably be busy though February at least! It’s good though too- it is an easy way to start in again because a lot of the decisions are already made. So, time to get back to work!


things are moving forward!

On the cleaning up of the workspace-

Hello Floor! I haven’t seen you in a LONG time! I needed to get the clean-up done to make room for other people in the studio.

Kerry came over to help me with the pattern and she took some amazing photos.

The pattern is now basically done. I printed out the second draft before dinner tonight and then spent an hour or so after dinner trying to figure out how to make a small enough pdf to email to my proofreader/testers. I DID IT! Honestly, I was so amazed at my success, I felt like running outside and yelling!  I will spend the next few days posting all the owls, starting now. Here is the star of my pattern-

Tomorrow I am starting with a new intern. It was suppose to be today, but another Nor’easter came through and gifted us with another 12+ inches of snow, so we declared a snowday. Ah well, I needed to finish the pattern anyway.

today’s desk

the owls are piling up as I work on the pattern.

And, we got another 8 inches of snow this morning. I’m glad I don’t need to commute anywhere.

btw- I am trying to figure out a good name for my owl pattern- all suggestions will be considered! And, if I use your idea in any way, I will send you a free pattern when it is done.