Monday, May 28, 2012

The Zen of Lace Making

Ive been struggling for a week with my lacing, and it's felt like a chore. But today, finally, I sit down at my pillow and feel wonderful again. I love lacemaking, but when I'm making so many mistakes, it gets really discouraging. I don't need to be perfect, well, maybe a little bit, but I certainly need to know what I'm doing and where the threads are going. So I'm back to my happy place. Also, I just want to say that my dad fought in Vietman and lost many friends there. My thoughts are with him today, whether I talk to him or not. He has retired comfortably and lives in a virtual paradise, where he sits by the pool all day and reads books.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

My Pattern Pieces Are Gone!

Somewhere in my last half-scale doll making adventure, I lost the important pattern pieces to my favorite basic pattern, so no sewing for me today. Plus I'm waiting for the doll pattern before making my own pattern. So this means all lace, all the time. And that's ok. I'm a little behind anyway. Plus I LOVE it, and I'm learning bobbin flippin'!

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Project for Tomorrow

I want to make a dress for the doll I probably won't make for another month. Since I know she's half scale, I can decrease my child's pattern by 50%! I'm going to get the pattern ready tomorrow. I also want to do a bunch a lace. I also want to read a book about macrobiotics. And I want to cook some nice macrobiotic food. So much to do for someone without a job. Oh! And I might cut up my bolt of batiste!

Lace Crisis Resolved!

I finally figured out where my lace was going wrong!

Step one for the big doll

You may accuse me of jumping to another project without finishing the first one, and I'm fine with that. I'm starting my big doll and here is the very first step:

I've got sizes for everything from children's sizing charts. I even know the foot size. I'm going to build an armature in wire, fill with batting, cover with a thin layer of apoxie sculpt, and make the final exterior in paper clay. I'm so excited about this doll!

I just ordered the Material Kid from this page:
I want my doll body to look like this, and it's been a long time since I made up this pattern. I'll make it up and pick and choose which parts I want.

We're all happy together!

I pet the cat three times today and heard her quiet purr. Then I pet the dog's belly when she came up to me being sweet. That's enough of an accomplishment for today!

But wait! There's more!

I feel like working on my dolls again, partly because the lace is pissing me off. I may not work on it again until my Tuesday lace class.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lace Disaster

I've taken a Xanax, made some tea, and now I'm sitting down one last time to make this hexagonal corner work.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Half Scale Dolls

I've always dreamed of making half scale dolls, and when I started this most recent quest, I was persuaded by two persuasive people, both of whom I really respect, to make smaller dolls. That was a run-on sentence. I like the idea of working in half scale. You can have half scale smocking, half scale stitches, half scale lace. Well, stitches and lace can only be small and not half scale, but I can do small. I want to make a bigger doll. Maybe even needle-sculpt the face. Himstedt made big dolls. Why can't I?

Saturday, May 19, 2012


I registered for my first woodworking class yesterday! I am so excited about learning to work with wood. I want to make lace pillows and bobbins! The class goes from 5:00 to 10:20 once a week for the Fall semester at Austin Community College. I'm already practicing staying up late. I usually pass out around 8:00, lol.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lace 12

I finished this one today:

I didn't put in the ruler for perspective, but I promise it's small. Far from perfect. eh.

I contacted the local lace club and was invited on a field trip to a town about an hour and a half from here. Of course I went. We went to a Czech museum, a quilt museum, a Wendish museum, and a great yarn store. I didn't get home until 6:30! I also found out about a weekly lace class for $3 a class. Doesn't seem like enough money! I went on Tuesday and had a great time. I'm so happy I have a place to go to work on lace.

I'm not happy with my doll right now and I'm still thinking about sewing for Kish dolls. Now I fret over whether I should sew for my favorite Kish, which isn't the popular one, or for the jointed popular doll that everyone loves right now. There could be a market for the older Kish, but there's definitely one for the newer Kish. I need to make some money and it doesn't look like it's coming from my doll making efforts.

Right now I think it's enough to make doll clothes. Before I felt this horrible longing to make my own dolls, and hopefully sell them. I've tried this for six months and I still don't have a finished doll. It's been a very painful process as well. I'm just about ready to pack it up.

Friday, May 11, 2012


OK. Reset. Back to my doll. I put ears on and when they dry, I will continue with covering the head in fabric and coloring the face. I'll make an inner head today.

"Talking" to Rhissanna made me realize that Kish isn't what I really want to sew for. I want to sew for my own dolls. That's the whole point of all this.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

16" Kish

Today I really want to just sew for my old 16" Kishes. I don't know if this is just a reaction to getting close on my own doll. I have my Kishes out and they're so beautiful. The best doll ever made.

Lace Schedule...

...I'm throwing it out. Let the lace finish when it will!

I really like the one I'm working on. Plus, it has an element I need practice on, but not so many that it's discouraging. It's a good pattern.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Practice Coloring

Well, I jumped a little hurdle. I've been so worried about coloring my doll faces, and I finally got out my stuff and practiced a little. The effect I want is a very pale coloring on very pale fabrics, both for the bodies and the clothing. The eyebrows got out of hand, and there is a stray mark on the forehead, but otherwise, this is very close to my vision. I'm afraid of coloring eyebrows. erg.

I still need to make ears.


So many ups and downs with this doll I'm getting dizzy! So often I see how apparently effortlessly artists make their dolls, but I suffer and trudge along through every step. And yet I am compelled to keep going. If it takes a year, I will finish this doll. It's competing right now with lace. Lace is less risky and, I have to admit, a bit more fun. But the whole point of my lace is to make it into clothing for my dolls. This weekend, however, I started comtenplating the idea of sewing for Kish's 16" dolls. I've always thought that doll was the ideal. I don't really like the new articulated 14" dolls, although I did sew for them for several months. I felt this pain because I wasn't sewing for my OWN dolls. But would I feel the same sewing for the 16" girls? My brain is a flurry of emotions lately.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Lace 11

Ugh. I'm a day late on this one. I probably could have finished it today--only two more repeats--but I couldn't stand looking at it anymore. I spent more time working on my doll this week, which is a good thing. I just didn't take the time I needed with my lace. Oh well. A new week starts today.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Finally a Little Progress

I actually did what I said I would! I stuffed the body and put together the stand. I bled on the lower left arm so it's too wet to sew on right now. I need a new needle that doesn't make me bleed!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Piecy Parts

I've finally finished the sewing for the first doll. It took me forever to get fingers that would turn, and even though these are turned, they look pretty miserable with the tucks in the fabric. Hopefully I can do something with it when I stuff them. I used to be able to make the tiniest fingers. I don't know where my skills went.

Maybe by this evening I'll have the parts stuffed and assembled? I'll try to work on it as intensely as possible.