June 14, 2012
I made this doll blanket, by hand, for a child who loves turtles and all sorts of little forest creatures. The redwork designs come from a wonderful coloring book by Diane Gaspas called “Forest Animals.” Dover publishes many coloring books for children that may be used for a wide variety of personal projects/gifts. However, because these coloring pages are copyrighted and are not in the public domain, they should never be used for profit or be misrepresented as belonging to another company or individual other than Dover or Diane Gaspas. I specifically chose these designs by Dover because the company is sponsoring a craft contest in 2012 based upon the development of handmade crafts/personal art projects using their products. You may read more about the contest rules here if you wish.
You can see here that I traced the design in pencil and then stretched the muslin between a wooden hoop before working the threads into the design.
I decided to introduce just a bit of applique into the turtle’s shell.
Here I have worked a few red seed beads into the wild fruits hanging above my turtle’s head.
I trimmed the doll blanket in a red rick-rack. I thought it would add to the old-fashioned look of the blanket. I also rotated my muslin squares with plaid and printed squares. These had no red touches originally so I stitched some red threads into the plaid designs in order to blend my bold red colors with the neutral creams, tans, and whites of my overall color palette.
This sweet little mouse may also be found in the pages of the same coloring book along with the bees, moth and snail that are stitched into the redwork designs.
Above is the final project ready for someone very special that I have in mind.
April 10, 2012
Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins. Embroidery is most often recommended for caps, hats, coats, blankets, dress shirts, denim, stockings, and golf shirts. Embroidery is available with a wide variety of thread or yarn color.
A characteristic of embroidery is that the basic techniques or stitches of the earliest work—chain stitch, buttonhole or blanket stitch, running stitch, satin stitch, cross stitch—remain the fundamental techniques of hand embroidery today.
Embroidery Links: 2smock * Armenian Embroidery * BellaOnline: Embroidery *Berlin Embroidery * Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery * Celtic Cross Stitch * Chatelaine Designs * Clara Fitzgerald’s Needlecraft Notes * Crazy Quilt Embroidery * Embroidery * Embroidery Methods Guide * Embroidery articles *Ethnic Fiber Art , LLC *Flickr: Embroidered Art * Flickr: Embroidered Motifs * Flickr: Embroidery * Flickr: Embroidery and Science * Flickr: Seam / Couture – Embroidery * Island Ireland: Mountmellick Embroidery *JMD Designs * Jacqui McDonald Hand Embroidery Jean Fletcher’s Stumpwork * Johanna’s Needlework Stitches * Jos Hendriks Embroidery * Kalocsa Embroidery * Mary Corbet’s Needle ‘N Thread * Needlecrafter.com * Pin Tangle * Pretty Impressive Stuff: Rissa’s Pieces * Russian Punch Embroidery * Sew in Love * The Embroidery Site * Vera Stoll Hardanger Design * Victorian Embroidery and Crafts * Vinciolo’s Les Singvliers Et Novveaux Povrtraicts (1587) * Waterrose Handcrafted Obsession * XQ Silk Hand Embroidery * Young Embroiderers *
Embroidered Dolls: Shino Suzuki * Pocket Dolls * the littlest things * Saints * Bette Kelly * Narrative Symbols * Jacque Davis * Seams Possible * Dolls from Kyrgyzstan * My Little Sweat Shop * Easter Stuffies * mixed media art dolls * Mimi Kirchner * Shy little doll – redwork * not voo-doo * Traditional Palestinian Doll * Neta Amir * Lesley of Leilalou * Not Grandmother’s Embroidery *
April 3, 2012
The differences have to do with the number of pattern components and the way these are used in the doll design.
In two dimensional designs, there are most frequently only two flat surfaces to work with: a front and a back side of the doll. However, some doll patterns like these do include an additional boot. This boot or shoe will be a pattern that is two dimensional as well, having only a front side and a back side. Now given that these patterns have only two sides, it is not correct to assume that your doll will not “look” three dimensional. However, those who have little experience in making dolls will assume this is what it means when the pattern is labeled as such. Dolls always take on a 3D quality when they are stuffed. The proportions of a two dimensional doll pattern are very specific to the eventual appearance of a rag doll. This in turn makes the stuffing of a rag doll, an art form in and of itself. This you will quickly determine on your own after having stuffed a doll incorrectly. Hence, the random affectation from somewhere in the classroom, “Teacher, my doll looks funny.”
A three dimensional pattern eliminates much of the guess work or “experience necessary” when stuffing a doll. These patterns must be constructed in a particular order and the the darts must always be lined up in order for the doll artist to have success with them. This is because the compensation for inexperience comes in the manipulation of components within the design. Neither pattern type is necessarily superior, these are merely options given according to the skills and preferences of those artists using them. In other words, three dimensional doll patterns do not necessarily make more attractive dolls or are not more valuable to doll collectors because of their number of parts.
There are, in fact, many highly valued rag dolls in museum collections that are constructed from simple, two dimensional patterns. I enjoy working with both types of patterns. Students, most usually do not. This is because a three dimensional pattern “looks” more intimidating prior to it’s assembly.
March 29, 2012
Aunt Marlene brought to her birthday dinner some interesting treasure. She asked if I could use any of this doll treasure before it was to be donated to Good Will. “Of course!” I said. “There are endless possibilities in designing dolls, cards etc… around discarded, unwanted and seemingly useless trinkets.”
- A bracelet is usually just the perfect size for a doll necklace.
- Small wooden beads can always be restrung into something appealing.
- A tiny book can be added to a doll ensemble in order to enhance it’s overall appearance.
- A rustic metal bird? This is bound to find it’s way into a decorative art journal somewhere!
- A small enamel portrait is perfect for a colonial doll trimming.
- This feather pin reminds me of something Native American, I’m not sure how I will use it in the end.
- An old rhinestone pin is collectable an should be preserved in a jewelry stash or perhaps clipped to a keep sake.
- Tiny brass angels may be added to artsy Christmas cards.
- This is one of two, enamel “Art Nouveau” pins that would make splendid accent pins on a flapper doll or a Boudoir Doll.
- One of three heart pins in this photograph is this white and brass enamel pin. These always look attractive under a doll’s collar.
- I love this little bird made from feathers. My daughters think this is the ugliest pin. However, I think this pin has the most unusual design potential. Sometimes the ugliest jewelry, if used differently, can become the most attractive.
- One of two enamel angel pins in this discarded heap.
- This leather iris pin is going onto something really special and I can’t wait to share it with my readers.
- A pewter angel pin.
- A large button covered with an attractive dove design. Doll crafters can always make these kinds of buttons or pins themselves and these are an affordable alternative to purchasing jewelry when trimming dolls.
- A little brass angel pin. This one was designed for a lapel.
- This is my favorite angel among the bunch.
- A fanciful heart. It looks like something from the 1990s.
- These are pins sold in churches for charity. I’m not sure what I will do with it yet.
- Obviously this panda must be used to dress up another panda.
- Another enamel angel.
- The second “Art Nouveau” pin amongst this new “treasure.” I can’t wait to use it.
- These brass hearts are just the right size for a doll. I will use them in a very traditional way, at the top of a doll collar.
- And last but not least the Worry Dolls. These would be cute on a ‘Get Well’ card or on an ethnic doll.
This newly acquired, “old” pocket watch, pin now belongs to Agnus.
This strange bee/butterfly, hybrid, insect pin is being incorporated into the costume of my latest doll. It came with the pin collection you see above. It was also the least appreciated between my daughters. However, it has great design potential. I will be posting the new rag doll soon along with a free pattern.