Friday, November 30, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I know it's a bit early but I won't get a chance later as I'm busy getting ready for my move back to Tasmania, so sorry it's been a while since my last post.

We have to be out of the house by 14 December and so I've been packing and trying to catch up with long lost Sydney friends - dolly making has been way down the list of things to do!!

Well spend Christmas and New Year here with family before driving down to Melbourne to catch the ferry to Devonport.

Anyway, this will be my last post till I'm in my new home in January so wishing all of you a wonderful Christmas full of love and of course the best presents ..... and ..... the best start to 2013.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Snow Day!!

It's spring here BUT we had a magical winter snow day.  It doesn't really snow here just the occassional sprinkle of sleet which is the tail end of snow that gets blown towards us from the west.

So Friday was an amazing once in 10 years event when our mountain became covered in snow.  This cold blast was blown up from the Antartic and managed to turn even parts of Queensland slightly white.

These are just a couple of the photos my husband took of the house and garden.  It was a trully beautiful morning - it started about 6am and then by 2.00pm the sun came out and by 5.00pm most of it was gone. But snow fights did happen and snowmen were made!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Three Heads and Two Ideas

Last Christmas I made little stars from fabric and then appliqued faces onto them.  I painted quite a few of these faces and thought I'd make some more for this year for presents ....... I had forgotten how cute they look. 
They gave me an idea for a teddy bear using the painted faces, but I have 3 paperclay heads I'm working on - one for a Queen Anne style doll and the other two were just question marks.  I decided to cut the shoulder plate off the larger head and plan to use it for another teddy bear idea and which ever head I don't use for the Queen Anne will also become teddy bear-ed ........... so watch this space......... I'm just a little excited and hoping my ideas will equal reality!!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Nearly Headless Noddy

Emergency surgery will be performed in the next few days on my little boy's toys.  As you can see Noddy toy is looking more like a giant cloth Pez dispenser (there's an idea for a toy.......) and poor Garfield toy has lost an eye.

They are well and trully loved and have been operated on before but for minor maulings only.

Noddy's head will be re-attached with only a slight scar along the neck and Garfield will need an eye patch ........................ but all of this will happen as soon as I can get Darcy away from them.....he loves them very much and every time I go to pick them up he thinks it's play time and grabs them from me.  (That's his little nose in the corner of the first photo - he's getting ready!!)

I'm going to have needle and thread ready for when he's having one of his power naps!!

Don't ya just love that smile?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Teddy Bear and Cat Making 101

It's been a while since the last time I drew up my own pattern for a teddy bear and I must confess that attempt left me a little embarrassed. But knowing that I needed a cat to complete Sophia so she matched the photo I used for the Maida challenge and wanting to create Baby Bear to complete Goldilocks I searched the net and found two teddy bear makers whose work I just love.

They are Sharie from Sreetzbears ( and Vivianne Galli (  I just love their naive, old fashioned feel so I bought a couple of their patterns and taking some tips I drew up the patterns for Puss and Baby Bear.

Whilst the tips were very helpful it was still a long process for me as dolly making comes a little easier ................. but practice makes perfect so I do intend to make more in the future.  Puss was probably the most challenging as making the gusset for the belly area left me scratching my heard – trying to pin here and pin there didn’t work – it took me ages to work that out – but in the end all I did was flatten out a little the body halves which I had sewn together and then drew an outline of where the edges touched the paper – easy!!

Heads mean gussets through the middle so how do you do this??  Well, I ended up drawing the side head panel and then using a piece of string and marker – running the string along the edge of head I drew up a gusset – measuring to points along the head where I wanted the gusset to match the muzzle and at other points around the head.  The only other question was how wide did I want the gusset – wide for a baby bear shape or really high forehead (again like a baby bear shape).  I chose the wide version as this is what came first (i’ll try the high forehead next time).

Puss’ mohair was already dyed when I purchased it but Baby Bear was a white sassy mohair which I hand dyed using Sharie’s technique.  Very satisfying if you love working with paints.

Anyway hope you like the end results – I must say after several months of trial and lots of error I am very happy with how they both turned out.  Both couples will be listed on my Etsy if you’d like to see more pictures (and sorry about the blurry ones!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Trip to Canberra

Just back from a week in Canberra (our national capital) and did the usual touristy things and ran out of time to do lots of other touristy things (typical!).

I was really keen to get back to the Australian War Memorial - I was there 15 yrs ago and the exhibits are always expanding and improving, so it was wonderful to see what was new.  Photos inside are a bit of a no-no, so respecting this I only took a couple of shots outside.  I'm not one for taking photos anyway, so when I say a couple of shots................. I mean a couple of shots.

These few are of a wonderful statue of Simpson and his Donkey.  My darling decided he wanted to be in the shot as well - he's the one wearing the blue jacket. 

The honour rolls are of those who lost their lives and Greg's dad asked us if we could look up his great uncles who died in WW1 and WW2, which we did and were amazed by all the poppies that have been placed beside the names of loved ones lost.

Walking around the outside just amazed me on how well kept the building is - it looks new and not 60 - 70 yrs ago.  I suppose it's a reflection of the respect afforded this memorial.  I've added a link for the AWM so if you're interested have a look - it certainly is worth it.

Elegance in exile: portrait drawings from colonial Australia
We also visited the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery - which had an exhibition called Elegance in Exile ( It was a display of portrait drawings done by convicts transported to penal colonies in Sydney and Tasmania - this was definitely the highlight of the trip for me.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sophia Finished !!

Well She's finished .............. nearly!

I made Sophia for a Maida challange and 1 August is the deadline - cutting it fine?? Sure am!

Pretend she's wearing shoes and her cat isn't something I bought at a market stall - she will have these but you know Father-Time...

Hope you enjoy the photos.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


She looks like she’s takin’ it easy, but Sophia is just waiting for me to finish her hair!  I couldn’t find anything big enough for her to sit comfortably and dry off and even though it makes her look tea cup size she is approx 13 inches and the tea cup is huge and is part of a lovely antique cup and saucer set – little did the original maker know it would be used 150 years later to dry dollies in!

I’m making Sophia for the Maida postcard challenge and I think I’m going to finish on time – hooray!  Dress and knickers are finished, so it’s just shoes and her cat.  Not sure if the cat’s going to be more realistic or more toy ....... I’ll just see where my scissors and thread take me.

Friday, April 27, 2012

North Carolina Cloth Doll

A little while ago I purchase the above pattern from Bradley Justice on ETSY.  Like all patterns I tend to put them away, lose track of them and find them when looking for another pattern ........ hence why it takes me so long to get round to making them!  .......... anyway....... Here is little Martha (my name for this little nearly finished girl). 

The pattern is really enjoyable and comes with a pattern for clothing, which includes underwear and a bonnet.  I have to make little shoes and socks for her and then she will be finished.

Couldn't find a link for Bradley Justice but if you type his name in ETSY you should find him and his patterns.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Some Previous Work

 Not much new dolly making at the moment as we have been madly working in the garden between small amounts of sunshine and large amounts of drenching rain.  For those of you who have been watching the weather in Australia we have not had a summer at all.  We have had constant and I mean constant) rain since November 2011 and we have had no summer.  My state of New South Wales has been covered in floods equalling the size of France so it's alot of flooded communities and dreadful loss of property and livestock, and thank God only a handful of lives lost. 

I know you're probably thinking that the rain would mean lots of time indoors dolly making BUT work takes up the rest of my time, soooooooo ..... dolly making is coming in third. 

I thought I would share with you some previous work made when I was still in Tasmania at Susie McMahon's studio.  Using her Moxy pattern I created these two sisters, the eldest on the back of the rocking horse.  The pattern is a lovely adaptable pattern, and they were both extremely enjoyable to make.  Hope you enjoy looking at them.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Goldilocks Finished

Well it took me a while but I finally finished little Goldilocks.  This is her just before her little adventure into the woods - looking very sure of herself and fearless!  It's been slow and steady with all my dolly making at the moment but at least this little lady is done and dusted!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Family

Dolly making is a bit slow at the moment and it's been raining here in Sydney since October 2011 (hardly a full day of sunshine since then - seriously!! - and it's raining heavily now!), so ......... I thought I'd share with you pictures of my four legged "children".  Don't have any of my own 2 legged variety - just nieces and nephew.  Both were "adopted" when we were living in Tasmania and are just wonderful....... sometimes trying but always wonderful..... and as you can see they do get on.

Mr Darcy is my Cavalier - just turned 5 years old.  Real smoocher, very affectionate, snores like a lumberjack and LOVES his toys - this is Noddy Toy.  He also has Gingerbread Toy, Girlfriend, and Bert.

and Mouse is my Burmese cross cat - I think he's about 8 yrs.  Big beautiful boy!  Happy to sleep in the sun on the balcony.

Love 'em both.

Oh yeah - I'm also married to a Greg!  Wonderful and extremely patient (with me)!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mary and Walter - First Offering for 2012

Mary and her beloved Fox Terrier, Walter, are now finished.  I just absolutely loved painting Walter - I must get my paint brushes out more often!  He has such a shy little face, and just loves snuggling into Mary as she makes him feel safe. 

Friday, January 6, 2012


Christmas and New Year was a very busy family affair but I did manage to finish off a paperclay head using one of those foil armatures I blogged about earlier.  I have in mind a Goldilocks theme ......... but it all depends on what this little girl decides!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Very Happy 2012

Wishing you all a very happy 2012 and may all your resolutions be fun while you're achieving them.

My New Year's Resolution ................. regular blogging and more dolly making!!!!!