And the grumpy Mum award goes to....

                                                                     Image from here


The little one kept me up half the night (teething), the house is a chaotic mess and I'm not the only one who's moody. Ah, well - it can only get better from here right?

Another custom order completed

I really enjoy the challenge of a custom order. Matching requested colours, combining my style with the customer's style.

This one is for a little girl with big blue eyes. The cute fabric for her dress is from Retro Mummy.
I have to tell you about the hair. The customer requested a "deep honey" colour which was somewhat challenging to find. At The Craft Circle I found this handspun wool that has the most gorgeous  
warm, earthy tones of brown and gold. It suits the doll's warm skin most beautifully.

Alright, enough gushing about dolls!
On the home front I've had 2 sick children this week so not a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to next week doing Easter crafts and preparation. Easter is such a special time, I love the closing of Lent, the beautiful Masses of Holy Week and the joyous celebration of Our Lord's resurrection.

Have a great weekend!

The Craft Circle

I heard about The Craft Circle from another doll maker recently and was naturally very keen to check it out. The shop is run by Juliette and is situated in Kingsville. She has all sorts of natural materials (the fleece selection is to die for!) for doll making, felting and knitting as well as hand made items.  She is a really lovely person to talk to and I was very impressed when she pulled out a mat and basket full of hand made toys for my daughter to play with while I browsed all the lovelies. If you're in the western suburbs of Melbourne it's well worth a visit, Juliette is happy to order in anything she doesn't have in stock.

Lil' Max!

Girls can't have all the fun all the time! A little companion for Mim or a play doll for a boy.
I got some lovely red chenille and made overalls for him, then handstitched the wool felt detail.

He has a pair of flannelette play pants too.

And a good mop of hair. He'll be in my Etsy shop tomorrow, today I feel too lazy!

It's great to see Lil' Mims gaining popularity with custom orders coming in. I'm keeping quite busy with little faces and outfits these days!

Crafty Mamas get together

There were only a few of us but we had a great day. We met at Nat's quaint and lovely home where she has an upstairs room devoted to sewing (yes, we were jealous!)
Above you can see Nat and Claire hard at work on their dolls.

Zofia and I marvelled at Nat's beautiful sewing machine- computerized and so quiet and smooth.

Nat took to doll making like a duck to water.

Claire made a doll for her eagerly awaiting daughter.

We all determined it was a lot of fun and something to definitely do again.
Many thanks to Paul for his enthusiastic help with the children, he did a brilliant job.

Ooh, wow, thanks!

99 followers, how cool is that?! I wonder who number 100 will be?...

Thanks for following!

I'll be back with photos of tomorrow's Crafty Mamas get together. I'm also running a series of interviews with crafty women in business - very exciting, so stay tuned!

Kitchen Tips

How many times have you gone to the fridge to use the tomato paste only to find some unwanted fuzzies on top because you haven't used any for a while? I wasted a lot of tomato paste until I came across this tip:

After opening your jar and using the tomato paste pour a layer of olive oil on top and evenly distribute. Replace the lid. The next time you use the tomato paste there will be a layer of solidified oil that is white, don't worry - it's only oil, just use the paste as normal. Do this after each use. Tomato paste lasts for absolutely ages in the fridge using this trick.

Funny things happen while you're away...

The garden was fairly dry when we left but apparently Melbourne had a lot of rain and we've come back to a jungle - like backyard complete with giant zucchinis. The one at the front weighed in at 2.9 kilograms!!  Unfortunately they're not really edible at this size (I've tried!)

I'm working on a few things at the moment. Actually, I just want to plonk myself in front of the sewing machine after my week away, but there is so much else that needs my attention! I'm hoping to finish off a new doll this week, start on a custom order and organise myself for the Crafty Mamas get together on Friday where I'll be teaching doll making for the first time (gulp).

Better get back to it.....

Sigh. We're back.

I must admit, I'm not all that thrilled to be home.

I could have stayed. For good.

That's me half way up a sand dune, full of energy, breathing that gorgeous fresh air blowing right off the ocean.

What a stunningly beautiful place.

Going away from home has added fuel to the fire. We feel suffocated in the suburbs, we don't want to bring our children up here. We're racking our brains as to how we can afford to get back to the country. We need open space, fresh air and clean land. We'll get there somehow, God willing.

Bye for now!

I'm sorry to say I'll be away for the next week, relaxing in our favourite coastal town - sigh, such is life!

See you all when I get back.

God bless, keep well!

New baby knot dolls

I've been making some more baby knot dolls, they are so cute and soft. I think I'll enjoy making these as winter sets in, the wool warms your hands while the little face warms your heart.

The burgundy striped baby is already in my Etsy shop, which is surprisingly well stocked at the moment (well, for me it is anyway!)
And the blue spotted one already has a new owner.......

                                   The all important chomp test................  approved!

Out of the woodwork all ye lurkers!!!

Gill had a post some time ago now about the fact that so many would visit her blog yet so few would bother to leave a comment. There are many reasons for this happening - people don't have time to comment, they're not interested enought to comment, they don't care enough to comment....

So, for today I would love for you who lurk here to stop and introduce yourselves. Whenever I get a comment from an unfamiliar blogger I go to check out their blog too. Even if you're visiting for the first time today, a quick Hi! would make my day.

And thanks so much to those who do comment here regularly, you make me feel it's all worth it :)

Giveaway on Magic Onion

A beautiful blanket giveaway from TLC Blankets and Things. These blankets are so cute, I think it's about my turn to win something!!
Go take a look at  The Magic Onions to enter.

Yoghurt cheese or spread

As promised, this is how to make yoghurt cheese or spread from your home made yoghurt (see last post).

You need a piece of muslin (I think it's known as cheesecloth elsewhere), a rubber band, and a bowl or roundish container.

Place the muslin in a double layer over the bowl and secure around the rim with a rubber band. Spoon in the yoghurt. Place on a plate (the muslin takes up a lot of liquid). Stick it in the fridge. The length of time you leave it for is up to you. If you want it spread consistency a few hours will do it. If you want it thicker you can leave it overnight.
When it's really thick you can roll it into balls, coat with herbs, paprika and the like and keep in good olive oil in the fridge.
You can use it to spread on bread (home made of course!!) then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
You can use it in place of sour cream, make a dip - the uses are only limited by your imagination.

That's even easier than making the yoghurt, right?

Could be Goldilocks?

                                                       New Lil' Mim doll in the shop now.

She has all the usual Lil' Mim features.

Ain't she cute?

Doll making tips

I certainly don't consider myself an authority on making dolls, but here are a few tips that experience (and repetition) have taught me:

* Wash your hands thoroughly before starting. This may seem obvious but even the natural oil from your skin can affect your skin fabric, remember - your doll will have been held a lot before she is completed!

* Use quality materials. Costly, yes. Worth it? Yes! This includes your threads.

* Use small stitches. Whether you hand or machine stitch your dolls you don't want them coming apart at the seams.

* I like to keep all my work tidy, even the parts that won't be seen. It helps to develop quality workmanship and good habits.

* When embroidering facial features don't pull the thread tight, just let it sit comfortably on the surface - no puckers.

* I use doubled quilting thread for sewing on limbs It's particularly important when making dolls for children that the doll is strong.

* Sink stitches back into the body when finishing for tidiness.

* If your dolls legs and body are one piece, double or triple stitch the groin area, as it's vulnerable to coming apart or ripping.

* For corners (around hands, feet, etc) use the stitch, stitch, turn method.

* Don't rush! Enjoy the process and take time to be careful. As you become more practiced you will also get faster.

Hope you find something helpful there!

Make do and make a start

I thought I'd share with you a little reality check today. It is easy for us to imagine that people we see on social media, on websites...