Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook




I'm participating in this after seeing it on Tracy's blog recently and thought it was a lovely idea. If you want to participate you can go to The Simple Woman's Daybook.




FOR TODAY 31st of March 2009.




Outside my window.... Warm Autumn sunshine, the children and I just returned from a walk.




I am thinking.... Its lunchtime, thank goodness I got up early this morning and had bread baked before the children rose.




I am thankful for... God's constant loving care of me and my family.




From the learning rooms... English, Faith and Life, General Knowledge, colours and numbers (thats the children, not me!)




From the kitchen... Home made bread and tomato relish.




I am wearing.. Plain home clothes, long skirt and top.




I am creating... an embroidery, a table runner and a waldorf doll (not all at the same time, though!)




I am going... to try and produce some embroidery patterns to sell.




I am reading.. The "Little House Series", I'm on the Caroline Years at the moment.




I am hoping... For too many things to write here, "hope springs eternal".




I am hearing... The chooks clucking softly and the children chattering to one another as they go about their work.




Around the house... things are looking good, we had the carpets cleaned yesterday and what a difference it makes.




One of my favourite things... is to be with my family when we are all happy and well and all seems right with the world.




A few plans for the rest of the week... Homeschooler's group pet day where my son's rat will make an appearance, the usual homeschooling and home maintenance and hopefully time for sewing and designing.




Here is a picture thought I am sharing.. Its at the top, sorry I couldn't move it. Its a painting my Mother gave me for my 10th birthday. It was painted by a very talented artist friend of hers, a Mrs. Jan Barry.




Thursday, March 26, 2009

Time to pick up old threads


My doll sales at Etsy have steeply declined; that is to say, I haven't had a sale in weeks. Its been getting me down quite a bit as I feel the dolls I'm making now are the best I've ever done and I really don't want to lower my prices as they are already low. Some other dollmakers seem to be booming.

Anyhow... in my mopey state I decided to refocus. I hadn't embroidered for some time so I picked up the needle and hoop again. I went through all my designs (of which there are plenty that are still just on paper) and I picked out Mr. Brown. Poor Mr Brown has been flat shades of grey for so long I simply had to do something about it. This is a sneak peek and I must say I'm loving stitching all over again.
I'm also knitting possibly the smallest thing I've ever knitted for this project.
Must put in a reminder for the GIVEAWAY!





Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Boy doll.


Here is the little lad who has been keeping me away. Don't you love his hair?! I'll definately be using the raw mohair again. It took a long time to sew in little pieces all over his head, but so worth it! He is looking for a new home, check out the shop if you're interested.
























Monday, March 23, 2009

Hello

Just thought I'd check in and say hi, its a good thing I haven't been here much because it means I've been working! I've been making my first boy doll, hopefully he'll be ready to go in the shop tomorrow, tonight he is having a scarf knitted.
It is lovely and quiet here, even husband has hit the hay early after a busy day of shopping, gardening, housework and childrearing. Tomorrow he gets to bring home the company car for the first time. Hooray! The children and I can use the family car during the day now, we will be able to do so much more.
Don't forget the giveaway ends on the 1st of April!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Crafty Mamas swap

Thankyou Tas! So many little buttons and ribbons, she even included a fabric book for the new baby.
These are my favourite, crocheted flowers, just gorgeous.
I also received a little package from Stokesay mohair Farm today, some beautifully soft mohair I intend to use on dolls. So, its been a good day for me so far :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

GIVEAWAY!



Just for the fun of it, leave a comment to go in the draw to win this little velvet waldorf pouch doll. She stands 9 inches tall and has long ash blonde mohair hair. I'll use my random generator (my son) to pick a name from a hat. Winner will be drawn on the 1st of April. (I know its April Fool's day but its an easy date for me to remember!) Good luck!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How to make a knitted pouch doll




These are rough instructions, if you can knit you should be fine.


You will need:
small square of tricot

small square of lining

crochet cotton or string

clean carded wool

embroidery thread

1 50g ball of yarn

1. Make the head first. I will not give instructions for this here as there are some really good photo tutorials here and here. I also highly recomment the book "Making Waldorf Dolls" by Maricristin Sealey, it is an excellent resource for dollmakers. For this project you will want a small head, about the size of a golf ball or slightly larger. Leave a little fabric and wool beneath the neck of the head so that when you sew the head to the body it is firm, not floppy.

2. Embroider in the doll's facial features by taking the needle in through the back of the head and out the front. The back of the head will be covered so the thread showing doesn't matter.

3. Now knit a square measuring approximately 7 inches x 7 inches. You can knit in garter or stockinette stitch, whatever you prefer. I use 8 ply yarn on 3 & 3/4 sized needles. You want a tight knit to prevent your stuffing from poking through. Knit another square identical to the first. Join them together on 3 sides, right sides together, then turn right side out. Leave the top edge open for now. Stuff your pouch with carded wool, not too much or your doll will be very fat!
Insert the head into the top opening and pin in place. Sew up either side of the head firmly. Then, sew around the neck, joining it to the body with matching cotton thread. Sew around twice and check that the head will stay in firmly.

4. Knit a little pixie hat for your doll. Cast on 30 - 40 stitches (depending on the size of head). Knit 2 rows of rib stitch (knit 1, purl 1, repeat to end of row). Then knit in garter or stockinette until the hat will reach the top of the doll's head. Then start to decrease gradually so that you end up with about 5 stitches left on the needle. Cast off. Join, right sides together so the top of the hat meets in a little point. Turn right side out and fit onto head. Sew on firmly with cotton thread.

5. You can leave the doll as is, or, to give the illusion of little wing - like arms run a gathering stitch with yarn from one side of the body and right around. Pull until you have the right tension.

6. Give the doll to a toddler and watch their face light up!


Note: I'm no expert at knitting, being self taught. If these instructions don't make sense or you need clarification please let me know so I can improve my online teaching skills!




Monday, March 16, 2009

Knitted pouch doll

Another one finished and listed in the shop.
I made one for my daughter ages ago and she still loves it, so thought I'd make one to sell. The organic merino wool is so beautiful to knit with, and being stuffed with wool she is so cuddly too.

Genevieve take two


Here are a couple of outdoor pics, a bit better than lastnight. She is in the shop now.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Genevieve

I just finished her and everyone here is in bed, so I'm here to show and tell. The photo is not good (its late), the colours are so washed out. She has a babydoll top with velveteen pants. She is 11 inches tall. She will be in my Etsy shop tomorrow after a proper photo shoot.
Now I'd better get myself off to bed.
Goodnight!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy day

Can you tell I'm still reading the Little House series? I made this pretty vintage nightie for dd, I thought of Little House straight away when I saw the pattern at the op shop. I then scored the pretty rose fabric for $2 a metre on a clearance table. The buttons actually cost more than the nightie! Little shadow had to be in the photo too!

So, why is it a happy day? RAIN! We've had a good drenching this morning and there is water in the tank again, which means we can plant some vegetable seeds again.
Also, our old hot water system died on the very same day we received our government bonus, which paid for the new one we've had installed. Thankyou God for being so good to us!

Have a wonderful day, and if your day isn't going well, do something creative, I guarantee it will help!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gorgeous outfit

Had to share once I saw this little outfit at Heather's blog its so lovely, I'd love for my girls to have some outfits like that (not sure about the white t-shirt though, it wouldn't be white for long). I've been off sewing for the kids for a while as I find dressmaking so challenging, but I'm itching to get back into it now. I'm attempting a pretty vintage nightie first. One thing that dollmaking has taught me is just how much you can improve when you work at something. I'm too inclined to give things away if I find them hard.
I'll have to start getting my Crafty Mamas swap ready, its a fun one this month - fill a jar with crafty goodness. I've got a few ideas!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It feels like Autumn

The bread is in the oven and a pot of pumpkin soup is bubbling away on the stove. The day is mild and overcast. The garden is recovering from the heat and some bulbs are shooting. Husband has the week off and has taken the boy on a camping/fishing trip to the Otways for a couple of days, they will have a great time.

My pregnancy is progressing well (21 weeks) and baby is moving around a great deal. The 20 week scan showed a very normal and active baby, thanks to God.

While the men are away I endeavour to organise a clean the house and hope to have enough time for dollmaking as well. I'm currently making a knitted pouch doll and a small waldorf doll.
In the interest of beautfiying our home a little I'm also on the lookout for a pattern for a table runner or small table quilt. Our home is very functional but not at all beautiful and I would like to start changing that to reflect our personalities and make our home cosy.

Have a lovely Autumn day!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Moist carrot cake

This is the only carrot cake recipe I use. I make it in the food processor, so its really quick too.
My kids like to eat it plain, but the icing is beautiful too.

1 cup plain flour 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda (bicarb) 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar 2 eggs
5 tablespoons oil (I use olive oil) 1 cup grated carrot
400g crushed pineapple, drained 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
You can also add some sultanas if you like.

Process all ingredients together then stir in pineapple. Pour into greased and lined round or square tin and bake at 175 degrees celsius for 35 - 40 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

Cream cheese topping:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 tablespoons cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence 250 grams icing sugar

Beat well together, add a little milk if too thick. Spread on cool cake.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Plum Jam

This is such a basic recipe and works for apricots as well as all sorts of plums.
We have eaten one jar already (in only a few days) and given another away, its lovely jam.

6 lb 8 oz fruit (whole if small enough, chopped if large)
18 fl oz water
6 lb 8 oz sugar

Put all ingredients in the pot, simmer until thickened. Put into hot, sterlised jars and seal.
Halve or quarter the recipe if you want to make a smaller amount.

Couldn't be much easier than that could it?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A new hobby?

I just love the Little House series, there is so much in them to inspire.

No, no, not a new hobby - I'm simply Expanding my Skills. (Just don't tell my husband I'll probably be buying more wool from now on!)


Monday, March 2, 2009

Ahem.. (clears throat), I've found the problem. I had somehow changed the text colour to white on an already white background. How embarrassing!

Something fishy.....

So I've come here today to find the text from my posts has mysteriously vanished! Hmm, what a challenge to my inexperienced computer brain. Must do some investigation......

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Molly!


Here is my latest doll, now in the shop.
I'm really happy with her - she is so cute!