Thursday, November 23, 2017

My Dear Violet

If you have a love of all things crafty and you are wondering what to do with those bits of scrap, and strings, and things. Maybe you will like to attempt  to make a doll like, My Dear Violet. Now to begin with I don't have any pictures of the makings for her head, which I do apologize for. It was something I was making one day, that I wasn't at all satisfied with, so I had set it aside where it had languished in various locations in my shop for months.

Well yesterday I saw the sad little head, lying there in a corner, and decided it was high time I got to it and finished her. As all of my creations evolve as I go, usually, I thought this time I would determine what she would be by the yarn that I found for her hair. Now as I have a rather large stash of yarns, I was not limited in my choices. I have my daughter to thank for this, and also my dearly departed mother in-law, Maryann, who tho she has passed away, still remains near to my heart. Both of them loved, and the former still loves, all thing yarny and sheepish, and tho I don't knit, I too love the soft fluffy feel of a delightful ball of yarn.
First of all I assembled what I call my kit. This is an array of materials I feel I will need for my project. In this case I was drawn to contrasting colors of yellows and purple's, and you will soon see why.
 I found a bit of wire, a couple of old bamboo chopsticks, a couple of plastic beads, and a used up spool to be just the thing to make the body for Violet, and proceeded to make it along the same lines as I did my Spool Gypsy's, only using the bamboo chopsticks instead of cording.
 Then I looked through my yarn stash and found this lovely purple hand-spun fat yarn. It was just perfect for my needs and really determined my color palette.
 I stitched it carefully in place, making a halo around her head like that of an old-time monk only cuter. I knew I was going to make her a bonnet so I didn't bother covering her entire head with my precious yarn.
 Instead, I cut a 5" circle of fabric, basted and gathered it 1/4 " from the edge, stuffed a bit of polyfil under it, and sewed it down over the yarn.
The spool and bamboo was easy to drill with my husbands small battery powered drill. He is good that way about sharing it with me. It just took a trip to his garage to get it done. At this point I got tired of stopping at each stage to take pictures. A fault of mine, I know. I just so want to get on with the project, and I get so involved I forget to stop and record the steps.
Here is My Dear Violet completed. Like my Spool Gypsies I gave her wool felt boots, this time purple in color tho, instead of black.
None of the things I used had to be purchased, as I was fortunate to have everything I needed right in my stash of goodies. All those years of hoarding up left over scraps of things really paid off.
 Even her eyes are some tiny green glass beads that were leftovers from a Christmas project years ago.
 As you can see from this view, I was able to put on some tiny ribbon to hide my stitches on her bonnet. It is actually from a lovely ball of deliciousness made in Italy and distributed by Cascade Yarns. It is called Malizia. The minute I saw it, it was love at first sight, and I had to have a couple of balls of it. Now I am so glad that I had it, for it was perfect for Violets bonnet, and trim for her outfit.
 Even some scraps of sheer flat ribbon came in handy. I stitched it up and it made the perfect pantaloons for Violet. I have made her blush tho showing you her undergarment. She is a very modest personage.
I think the thing I love the most about this project is how quickly it came together, and because she is small, just under 10" in length, it took very little fabric to complete. I would tell you her skirt lengths and such but since spools are of different sizes, I will leave it to you to determine those things. Just like the Spool Gypsy's I used a bit of cord for her arms, but not liking the bright green look of it I sewed a small scrap of the ribbon yarn over it, to make it look more like she might be wearing long gloves. After all My Dear Violet is a lady of refinement.
 I was equally delighted to remember that in my collection of fake flowers were some Violets, which lets face it, the Violet fabric was the inspiration for Violets name, as well as the purple yarn for her hair. She is a lover of all things violet.

A light dusting of blush for her cheeks and face and My Dear Violet was ready for the garden party.
Here she sits waiting for her cup of tea, and holding her violet blossom very carefully in her lap.
She is such a sweet doll and also a homage I pay to my grandmothers sister, Violet, seen here in this picture, who was one of my favorite grt. aunts. In fact this little doll reminds me of her, as she was always cheerful and full of smiles whenever I saw her.

Now I shall have to get with it and make the other sisters as they were all named for flowers too. My grandma was Lillie, her eldest sister was Rosa, whom we all called Rosie. The other of the four sisters was Daisy. They had a brother too, but his name wasn't so floral nor whimsical, it was just Lemuel Russell, which always reminded me of a name you would call a horse or a mule. I never knew him, as he moved away to California when I was but a wee child.
I think, My Dear Violet, also looks like my grt. grandmother, whose name was Flossie Jane, and was above all others my very favorite person. I loved going to her house. She was the funnest sweetest grt. grandma a girl could ever have. She died too young at 75, but I will always remember her cheerfulness and love of adventure, as well as that plate of rabbit she had on her kitchen table, that my twin sister and I at three years of age enjoyed so hugely. But as I believe I have told that story before, I will desist from telling it again.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Another Little Sheep

Here I am again with another little sheep. I was in deep discussions with my sister about the last one and had to agree with her that it really did look more like a boy sheep, which is why I renamed my first sheep, Hammish. Since in this pasture the sheep are liberated, Hammish will keep the last name of Ewe. I then decided I had better make a nice girl sheep, even tho the process is rather time consuming. There are 22 little pieces to deal with and I almost stopped at one sheep because of it. You have 18 pieces of fabric, 2 pieces of felt, and 2 little round felt eyeballs. All of which must be carefully measured, cut, and sewn together. Not to mention stuffing. However, I couldn't leave Hammish in limbo all alone in the pasture, so thus was born a new sheep, which I named Beulah Ewe. A fitting companion for Hammish, if I do say so myself.

Here is sweet Beulah Ewe, she is a real scrappy sheep, and won't take much sitting down. She really had me in stitches most of this morning.

I had such small leftovers of my Mary Engelbright fabrics, that I had to find another type of fabric to complete her legs. Beulah was pretty jazzed about it, and helped me pick out just the right one.
 She is so sunny and delightful, seeing her hanging around cheers me up no end. Beulah loves flowers and can always be seen covered in them.
I just love my little sheep, and my sister does too. She thinks I should make a whole flock of them. I'm not so sure?! My fingers will have to recover first. Working with things this small got my fingers pricked by the needles. Yes  I did mean needles. This time to make things go faster I threaded up needles for each leg, the body, the ears, tail, and head. That way once I had sewn and stuffed them, I was able to quickly assemble the sheep and finish stitching it all together, without constantly re-threading, knotting, and clipping for each tiny piece.
Even from the back Beulah looks so cute, and I am very happy with how both of my sheep turned out. I even remembered to pre-mark the hooves this time. YAY!!!
Here is the whole gang, hanging out on a 8" x 10" sheet of paper, which gives you some idea as to their size. However their exact sizes are; the mice 3", the cat 3 3/4" x 3 3/4" and the sheep 5". Just the perfect size to hang on my Christmas tree.

So what shall I make next...a chicken...a cow...a pig?!   ...hmmm...