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A craft stash is for

5 Oct

When you decide at noon that the girls coming to your 10-year-old’s birthday party at 4pm that day need a party favor to take home.

Then you get out the piece of blue fleece left over from making a pillow for cousin Emily last year,

the ribbon from a box of lace that a sweet granny at church gave you when she decided to reduce her stash,

the fiber fill stuffing your friend gave you when it was left over from reupholstering a chair,

googley-eyes left over from a preschool project,

And E6000 glue because glue.

Enlist the help of your minions, and less than 2 hours later, you have blue cuteness.

Just enough time to clean-up the house…or catch a nap before eight 10-year-olds descend upon you en masse.


Baby Talk and Dollies

17 Jan

IMG_5643Baby Dumpling is saying lots of cute things right now.

When she sees someone else eating something she wants, she reaches for it, saying, “num num num num.”

When she’s happy, she toddles all around the house saying, “gabby gabba gabby dagabbada.”

She loves to rock baby dolls.

It is always fun for me to see how each of my children are different and like different things.  That old nature versus nurture debate always interested me.  I definitely think that some things you are born with. Only 2 of my 5 daughters really like playing with baby dolls.  Another prefers puzzles, another is always creating elaborate games and props to go with them, and the other girl is always talking (loudly) about what would you think of this or that?


The dolly that Baby Dumpling is holding is one I made 2 years ago.  We had a big blizzard that trapped us in our house for a week, but we still had electricity.  An unsual occurrence here in southwest Missouri where a big storm is often more ice than snow.

The girlie pies and I made 3 dolls using the Prairie Flowers Doll Pattern & Tutorial from By Hook or by Hand.  It’s a very thorough tutorial with lots of pictures.


We used freezer paper to trace the pattern and ironed it right onto an old sheet to make the doll’s bodies (We were snowed in, I had to use fabric available!)

The sheet turned out to be a mistake in the long run because the fabric has torn across the doll’s arms and legs and at the necks.  What do you all use when you make dolls?  Perhaps the sheet would have been okay had it not already been so old?IMG_5652

I crocheted little caps for the dolls which we tied fringe all the way around to make their hair. I sewed the wigs to the doll’s heads with invisible thread.


Two of the girls chose for me to embroider their doll’s faces and one chose to color the face.   IMG_3356

It was fun to let each girl choose the fabric scraps for her doll’s shoes.  Tamale Pie’s doll is the one with the belly button.  Pumpkin Pie is the one who chose to draw her own face, different from the pattern.  IMG_5686


We used an old American Girl Doll pattern reduced to 70% for the dresses and they look so pretty! (Specifically it is Josephine’s brown dress but with short sleeves.)  They each chose the fabric for their doll’s dress as well, and here is where I had to bite my tongue.  I wanted the switch 2 of the dresses to match the shoes, but the girls didn’t take the shoe color into consideration at all.  I told myself, it’s their doll, let them choose.  But it was hard.IMG_5684

I never mind snow days when we still have electricity to run the internets and the sewing machine!


13 Apr

Sometimes If I just click on tabs on the side of blogs, I end up somewhere cool.

This lady did a blog last year-12 crafts til Christmas and shared what she did.

and she made a PDF file of how to make a Pillow Buddy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love her forever.

and my children will love her forever once I’ve purchased fabric and created these for all of them.

They’ll love me forever also.

Now, do I make them for Easter, Birthdays or Christmas??? (listed in order of nearness in time. Probably Christmas is the only realistic choice–but not the fun choice.)

Finished project!

27 Jul

I forgot to post Mama Bird and her chicky! I actually finished her near Easter. (I won’t lie and say before Easter, though that was the goal.)

You can find a tutorial from Molly Chicken here.

Her arms are too short to do everything.

I know how she feels.

Grandma & Grandpa Dolls

14 Jan

I made these for my parents as a gag gift for Christmas. I got the idea from Angry Chicken.

1. I used the inkjet iron transfer paper, and printed my parents’ faces.
2. Then I drew a gingerbread man type doll body on white muslin. I made the head almost exactly the same size and the pictures I printed. In retrospect, I should have made the head 1/4-1/2 inch bigger than the picture. Then the faces wouldn’t have been so distorted by the stuffing. I DID NOT CUT OUT THE DOLLS YET
3. I colored the clothes directly on the muslin with crayons. Then Put the muslin between paper towels and ironed it to melt the wax out. As you can see, the color stayed. It is easier to color the dolls if you have a page of fine sand paper under the fabric to sort of hold it in place as you color.
4. Repeat step three to get bold colors.
5. I ironed the faces onto the dolls, following the directions for the transfer paper.
6. I layered a plain piece of muslin over the doll drawings, right sides together and sewed all around on the line I had drawn, leaving 1 1/2″ open on one side for turning & stuffing.
7. THen I cut out the dolls, leaving a 1/4 seam allowance all around.
8. I turned the dolls right side out and stuffed them tightly. As you can see from the lumpy dolls, I do not know the finer rules of stuffing. **note to self: Research finer rules of stuffing on one of those fabulous softie making websites I have bookmarked.
9. I whipstitched the opening shut.

Judging by Diva#3’s reaction to the dolls, I need to make her a set so she can play with Grandma every day. She picked up the dolls and laughed with glee and pressed them to her, shouting, “They’re hugging me, they’re hugging me.”

P.S. Grandma and Grandpa got a good laugh Christmas morning, and Grandma says she can use it for a voodoo doll when Grandpa is in the dog house.

Why I make stuff

11 Jan

I have been a little paranoid about posting pix of my kids online. But I have noticed that no one else seems to be worried. And I have to share this darling thing.

I Finished the Piggy!!

14 Oct

I bought the pattern for this cutie from Ana Paula
She has some free patterns too, and they are all marvelous. The most marvelous part is that they are easy. I am not exactly great at crochet. The last pattern I tried was supposed to be doll booties, but they turned out to be flat oval coasters. So, if I can do it, you can do it.

My new idea for Christmas is that I am going to make up a bunch of homemade toys and then let my kids “shop” for each other. In a couple of years, the kids might be able to make nice things for each other. At this point, the best they could do is string necklaces for each other. (which we might just do…what a great idea…)