Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lace is Finished!

I finished 22" of lace this morning! I spent 74 hours on it. Also, the smocking I made for the next outfit. I should have smocked in a different color because the light green is too light to show the white contrast. Live and learn. I'm going to make the smocking into a pinafore and use the darker green as the dress. I'm going to make a little hat and shoes out of the darker green, too. I'll do a feather stitch in white on the dress, hat, and shoes (maybe). I have ideas for three more outfits, too, and I'm hoping to get them done next week, but it will probably take at least two weeks. I can't wait to get that money and buy lace books!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I'm dyeing fabric today. I've done two shades of periwinkle and two shades of chartreuse. I get so inspired watching the fabric change in the dye bath. When I start, I don't know what I'll make with them, but then as I watch over them, the inspiration floods in. Each batch takes 50 minutes, and I do two batches at a time. Next is coral pink. Hopefully I can do sky blue today as well. Ill post a photo in this post tonight And I finished my smocking. I need one of those wash out blue pens!

Update: The pink SO did not work out. I stopped for the day. I like these colors. I'll do four batches tomorrow and four batches on Friday. Then I'll have a collection of all my colors. And there are three new dyes I need, too. At least three. Maybe four. First I need money!

Update 2: I was up in the middle of the night and dyed four more batches. Six more batches to do, after I get some more salt. Probably not today. These are sage green and sky blue.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Outfits of Days Gone By...


I finished a piece of smocking on blue mini gingham this weekend. I out white points on the hem and did embroidery on them. Then I put in a whipped running stitch around the cuffs, collar, and the pointed side of the hem. I'm really happy with it. I sized it for my doll, whose arm fell off this morning. I'm not loving her today. I'm working on a new piece of smocking on a piece of lawn which I have dyed a pale green. The actual name is yucca green. I'm going to do the smocking all in white, and then either do a hem stitch (easy) or a hand stitches scalloped edge (probably more trouble than it's worth). Knowing me, I'll probably do the more complicated hem. I'll decide after the smocking is finished. This piece is for a 14" Kish. I need money for lace books!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Far far away from ideal, but I'm happy to have finished. Well, except for the hair and costume--those are easy. I'm starting to like her.

My Struggles

I think it's important to talk about mental illness. There is such a stigma attached to it, and a general feeling (that I pick up on, at least), that's it's not real. My mental illness is a huge factor in my life. It prevents me from leaving the house, from accomplishing simple tasks, from keeping a steady job, from meeting simple obligations. I put some pressure on myself yesterday to work on my doll, and I completely shut down. Today I have residual stress and anxiety that prevents me from going to lace class, and I won't be able to go to lace club tonight. I should just get over it? If only it were that simple. I've tried to get over this since I was eight. Partly, I'm sure, it was worsened by being the wrong sex. Certainly it was aggravated by being raised by an alcoholic. It was at the very worse when I left home for college, when I would have done anything to get away from home. Today is a real struggle. I woke up in the middle of the night and did a little work on my doll. In the light of the day, I found faults, of course. I undid the work, and will try to work it again today. I have so much pain about these dolls, but I'm compelled to make them. Or one. I second guess what sort of doll I should be making. But these things are normal for doll makers. I guess the only thing different for me is my reaction to set backs. A set back can paralyze me for days, so that I am unable to do anything. Right now, the only thing that consistently brings me joy and soothes me is lace making, but without the dolls, there is no application for it. I do have a rescue drug, and I will take it today. I call it The Big Pill. It has terrible side effects, but nothing brings me back to reality like this pill. So I will take it, and hopefully I can get my cooking done today. Two batches of beans, salad fixings, dinner. I'll be in the kitchen all day. I wish I could be at the lace pillow. Maybe I can squeeze some work in.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sunday, July 1, 2012


I had a good day today. Set out to finish the clay portion of my doll and assemble the body. And I did it! If I can beat my fears tomorrow I can attach the head and move on to costuming. The work could take as little as thirty minutes, but I will probably fret about it all day. There are lots of imperfections, and I am ok with that. Really! It's my first one in this style. I've decided that individual fingers are not necessary and detract from the rest of the doll. This first one goes to my best friend, so it's ok for it to be less than perfect. Really! I'm trying to convince myself! The next hands will be mitt style. For the wig, I'm going to mold a wig cap from buckram. I will cover it in satin stitch in embroidery floss and then attach lengths of embroidery floss coils to that. Then I can embroider flowers onto that for decoration. These dolls are in one third scale, but I'm also interested in direct sculpting some dolls in one sixth scale. I finally bought the Katherine Dewey book on sculpting small figures. Maybe I can learn to use super sculpey without covering it in filth. I would sew the clothes onto these dolls if they even happen. I bought two, no three, other books on this paycheck. First, a book on the Danish lace Tonder. I have a really good Danish friend who told me how to say Tonder! Next, I bought a book on Dresden lace, a beautiful white work embroidery style. Last, a book on Nineteenth century embroidery. I can't wait to get all these books! I am a book freak! Lace is going well. I'm working on growing a callus on my pinning finger. It was too sore to work today, and tomorrow, well, I'm stretching that thirty minute project into an all day affair. Still, I should do a little lace to keep up my callus building. I feel good!