Thursday, January 28, 2016

Meet Consuelo

I think you all know by now how much I love, LOVE the tiny porcelain dolls Dana Burton pours and paints. Dana is preparing to travel and give live classes...around the world. She is in great demand around the globe. Anyway, she needed some Guinea Pigs (aka "volunteers") to dress and wig a couple of the dolls she created for some of her live classes - to test out the directions, if the kits contained enough material, how long it took to dress and wig, etc. I immediately signed up.

I just finished Consuelo, one of the GP projects. I thought I'd gotten the majority of the frizzies, but see I need to go back and clean them up a bit. Maybe tomorrow. Here she is! Meet CONSUELO.

Conseulo - Porcelain Doll 5.75 inches high 

I can hardly wait to get my hands on the next doll to wig and dress!! YIKES! I'm addicted!!!

Monday, January 25, 2016

"What the HECK Have I Been Doing Lately?!?"

Yesterday, as I sat watching the Iowa Hawkeye Basketball game (GO, HAWKS!!), followed by the Denver/New England football game (GO BRONCOS! GO PEYTON!), followed by the Carolina/Arizona football game....I asked myself

It seemed like I hadn't accomplished anything. Then it hit me. I HAD been busy - and accomplished quite a bit. Here's the rundown:

1. I received a wonderful SURPRISE package form my sweet friend, Angela of "Wish I Were Stitching". It came all the way from Singapore! Here's what Angela sent:

One of the cutest Christmas cards and some yummy recipes:

A pair of scissors and some needles (Angela - I needed BOTH!)

And the neatest magazine from the UK chock full of great projects and patterns.

Thank you, Angela, for thinking of me and sending these lovelies.

2. Next, I went out to lunch THREE different days to meet three different friends (I rarely go out to lunch). Oh my, what fun catching up with everyone!!

3. I volunteered three different days to help support a local nursing home.

4. I attended a meeting for one of the organizations I belong to.

5. I started a new doll - Consuelo. OK, ladies - this may give you a giggle or two....I spent an entire afternoon playing with Sculpty clay trying to make high heels for her. After four hours (GASP!) of trial and error, here they are, baked to her feet, painted and embellished. TA-DA!!

I know, I know. You're thinking to yourself, "This took her four hours? Is she crazy?" Admittedly, those thoughts crossed my mind, too. And I would say the answer is "Yes" to both questions <G>

Here's Consuelo so far. The metallic trim is really, REALLY difficult to work with. Next, I'll embellish the lacy trim. Lastly will be the wigging and styling her hair.

6.  I've been working away at the Christmas stocking. I was really hitting it hard, as in spending hours and hours in one day working on it, but I found I needed to back off a bit. The joint in my right thumb was begging for a rest.

Managed to finish all the red robe and the mint green diamonds and the mint greens on her vest. Got a good start on the dark green on her robe.

7. Here's a petit point pillow called "The Falcon" that's finished:

8. Last, but not least, I booked my trip to visit my Captain Adorable, daughter and SIL in sunny Singapore!! AUGH! I'm so excited! I leave the end of March and will stay for three weeks. DH is staying home to look after the farm and the dogs. I can't believe I'll be traveling to the other side of the planet....all by myself. Talk about a brave, new me!

So......I guess I HAVE been busy. OH! I have one more thing - February is my third blogiversary. I decided I'm going to have a giveaway each week. Each week I'll select a name and send the winner(s) something I truly cherish or has given me inspiration. Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thoughts, 18 Hours Later....

I want to thank all of you who took the time to make such uplifting and heartfelt comments on my last post. I've received emails and phone calls from dear friends - all of which I cherish. I was touched by all the people who shared some of what they have gone through - and some still going through - I know I'm not alone. And, more importantly, I hope you all know YOU aren't, either. I'm a note or a phone call away.

 My outlook is better and my "New Do" is GREAT!! I love, love it. DH didn't have any idea I was going to get my hair cut and styled yesterday. When I walked through the door he was surprised, but I could tell he approved of the new look. It's not drastic, but it's classic and elegant. I can still pull it back in a ponytail if I want to, or wear it down.

Stocking update: After 18 hours of stitching, here's what I've accomplished:

Almost all of her red robe is completed. I also received the few thread colors I had to order...and now I'm thinking I may need more metallic threads, but I'll make that decision after I've stitched in a bit more color.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

More Than a Little Off Topic....

These past few years have been tough for many personal reasons. The sense of loss and the realization of mortality seems to have really resonated with me lately. The one place I can always come to for cheer and smiles is my blog. That's why I feel comfortable sharing with all of you.

Truthfully, I've been in a funk, kind of a fog for several years dealing with my sweet mother's ill health and passing; my dear, gallant step-father's ill health and passing; my daughter moving to the other side of the planet with her family. I'll be stepping into my sixth decade later this year and have been reflecting on my life and how I want to spend the rest of it - where I want to go, what I want to do.

This past week, I feel like I've found my spirit again. I visited a dear friend for a few days and we walked, talked, laughed, ate....and got a makeover at the Lancome counter. I haven't felt this light hearted in a long time. When I drove home, I could feel the muscles in my face hurting from laughing so much. ;0)

I've decided I need an upgrade to a new look - a new me - that reflects who I am and my inner spirit. I've worn my hair the same way for years - long and pulled back into a ponytail at the nape of my neck. I made an appointment with a stylist for next week - YIKES! - hopefully my new do will compliment my face and lifestyle and be easy to maintain.

Audrey Hepburn has always been one of my absolute favorite women. She had a classic style that, in my mind, is timeless. She was also so very beautiful both inside and out. I found this picture and one of her many insightful quotes and wanted to share.

OK, ladies - this now ends my wearing my heart on my sleeve....which I rarely do on my blog. Take care, Stitching Sisters. Here I go... into my day of stitching the Christmas stocking for my granddaughter.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Tale of a Christmas Stocking

I was going to finish the Advent sampler from iStitch designs, but decided I'd better get moving on my sweet step-granddaughter's Christmas stocking if I want to give it to her in 2016, which I do.

I fell in love with this medieval Angel when I saw her, but the canvas was soooooooo expensive, I couldn't bring myself to purchase it.....until I spotted it on eBay for half the price! YIPPEE!

It's a hand painted canvas, 18 count mono, measuring 13.75 x 21 inches. The design is painted by Liz-Goodrich Dillon (signed in the lower right corner) for Susan Roberts Designs.  Isn't she GORGEOUS???

It took me almost two hours to pull all the threads yesterday afternoon - but it was so much fun to see how the colors I chose blended together. I had most of what I needed in DMC Size 5 Pearl Cotton and metallic threads.

I've had many people ask me how long it takes to stitch one of these, so I decided I'm going to keep track of my time, just for grins. Here's how much I was able to accomplish in 1.5 hours:

Glad I got started in January. I need to make sure the stitching is finished by November 1st so I can get it to my favorite professional finisher so she can have it ready in time for Christmas.

OK - now - off to stitch.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Abeille - Steampunk Queen and Smalls SAL

Here's my Smalls December SAL (hosted by Heather) project - mini needlepoint slippers:

I made them from a kit by Joy Perkins at Now to 'finish' finish them.

Just finished Abeille. She's 5 inches high, seated on a trunk. She has definitely been my greatest challenge so far.  Poured and painted by Dana Burton of Miniature Art, dressed and wigged by me.

I upholstered the trunk, then went about putting her skirt on and gluing her to the trunk. Then did embellishments on her skirt and corset. Put together her arms, added sleeves and the 'puffs'. Next was the wigging.

OH. MY. GOSH. Applying and styling her hair was such an interesting process to go through with her already glued to the trunk. I had a bit of a rough time getting the glue on her head 'just right' so I could apply the viscose (hair). The trunk lid was in just the wrong spot. Anyway, worked through that she turned out fine.

Lastly, I made the top hat out of FIMO clay. It took a few runs at that before I finally made one that was the right proportions. Glued it on her head and - voila!

Abeille - seated, 5 inches high

This will be my last doll for awhile, as I've run out.  I'm not stopping - this is just too much fun. Off to stitch!