So sidetracked….

On WOYWW day I saw the coolest dress form, altered in a spectacular way, by Bella.  I urge you to go see hers cause mine is a very poor imitation.  OK, well not really an imitation except in the sense that it is also a dress form, sort of.  I just loved hers but of course I had not full size dress form, and no place to put one even if I did make it.  But it got me wondering if it would be possible to create a 3D dress form out of cardstock.

Funnily enough, the other day, while hunting for something completely unrelated (possibly loom band stuff, I can’t quite recall how I got there, and by there I mean a Pinterest board) I had seen a cardboard necklace display that now leapt into my mind as a possible solution. I had to hunt for it, and never did find the Pinterest board, but the photo here looks just like what I remember.  Problem is, there wasn’t then, nor now, an actual template.  DOH! The first step was to grab my curvy ruler and draw one out.  I could see the shape well enough to get close.


The proportions aren’t quite the same for mine but they are close enough.  Mine is made of a sheet of quite stiff A4 card, but what you see above is actually my attempt to create half of the form on an A4 sheet so I could make a bigger one at some point, and figure out how to alter it so it can lay flush against the wall.

I was really in to it, and my camera batteries were dead, and DH had unplugged the charger so he could plug-in the back-up disk so I could only sneak a few shots before the darn thing died totally. But here it is.  No sense of perspective, really, but the box=pleat skirt is folded from two 6 x 12 strips of scrapbooking paper, to give you and idea.


The wings were cut on the Cricut in black then lined with a soft green glitter adhesive sheet – I thought the colour went well with the green from the London A to Z pages that I decoupaged over the form. The little house reminded me of olde-worlde London terrace blocks but are actually one of my Zetti stamps – the one where I split the stamp, removing the eyes that were originally part of it.

Th gears are tin foil, adhered to cardboard and alcohol inked.  It’s an X-cut set.  The stand is an old candlestick. Poor thing, she is very flat-chested, but making 3D paper boobies was completely beyond me.

You can see the back is laced and the skirt is attached to the inside core of a roll of glue dots.  I always save them, so handy.


Overall I am happy with it – for what it is.  Considering I made it from stuff I had kicking around, I think it is looking good so far.  I feel like it needs something else – a quote or some text, maybe, or an actual necklace or maybe flowers??  Not sure, but that seems to be a trend – I am riddled with indecision lately, never sure which way to go with things.  I might just shuttle it aside for now and look over to it for a bit and see if I get inspired.  Maybe tidy up my office AGAIN – that always reveals stuff that is hidden or buried and often I get an idea when I unearth it.  Well see.

I’ve had a go and taking my drawn template and making it digital, but am struggling to make those curvy lines look smooth.  but if I get it to the point I think it’s OK, I’ll add it.  I might just add the hand drawn one, warts and all, or re-draw it cleaner.  Or maybe just keep looking. surely there must be a template put there for download….




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Making Dolls

My spirit of endeavor is strong!  But I have discovered a few things – the last Last Doll made with my MIL was a problem due to not getting the right cover fabric.  Well, I discovered that large, long sleeved tee-shirts from Primark in a nice apricot-y colour work perfectly for this (although I find sewing stretchy fabric fiendishly difficult.)  And at £2.50 each in the largest size they are an economical solution, cheaper even than the cost of the raw fabric from the fabric store!  Also, the dolls can wear 3 YO clothing – I got a pair of jammies at ASDA this AM that fit perfectly and cost me less in time and money than fabric would have done.

BUT the stretch tee-shirt fabric is quite tricky to do the facial features on as the paint and Sharpie tends to skim  the grooves.  Still I think it works well enough. I found a few anime Eyes Photoshop brushes and spent a lot of time with DD sorting out exactly which eyes she wanted, and which hair style, then converting those to things I could actually do.  She still needs one arm finishing and sewing on, and the hair glued in place, and trimmed, but more or less DONE!

Quite worryingly DD has ALREADY mentioned that maybe we can make ANOTHER one in the summer holidays.  Yes, Bev, the question of are they for me or her may seem an obvious one, but I promise if you heard the cursing I do while in the middle of the process that question would be answered – I also discovered that leaving the really tricky bits, like the fingered-hands, to my MIL last time was a mistake! I struggled a LOT with this, to the point she almost ended up with paddle hands, thumb only.  How you are meant to add a 1/4 inch seam allowance to a pattern that has less than then between the fingers I have no idea! How MIL managed it is a mystery to me.


Treetop Angel

This is harking back a fair few years – at least 10 – and I’ve certainly shared it on UKS before, but it when I saw Carmen’s post on It’s a Creative World, and her comment on my WOYWW, it felt like a good time to share it again. I love Carmen’s angels – it would have been fab to have a whole set of family angels when we were all a bit younger (and dare I say thinner?)

This is not a very good photo, but I hope you will get the idea – I took this photo (in 2001!) of the angel on a layout, and I don’t have a good photo – that I can find anyway –  of just the angel standing free.

UPDATE: Now that we have dragged all the stuff out of the garage and set up the tree, I can share a much better photo of the angel! As you can see, it looks great for being 12 years old and getting dragged out, packed away, and dragged out again year after year!

Here is what I did to make my customized treetop angel:

1.  Take a photo of your child.  DD was in just  knickers so there was no distracting clothing to cover up.

2.  Enlarge the photo to whatever size you think appropriate.  This was done waaaay before digital photography, so I took the photo then took it to the copy centre and had the image enlarged to about 10 inches.  Today I would have probably printed it at home on photo paper.

3.  Cut out the figure. Laminate it and cut out leaving a thin border so the lamination stays closed.

4. Dress the figure.  The way I did it was to cut out a duplicate of the body and use it as a pattern for the “body suit” which I cut out of sticky-backed glittery vinyl.  I know you can get this from Hobby Craft, their own brand. I added a little silver braid at the neckline, just to smarten it up.

5. To make it a “tree topper” I fashioned a cone shape from a piece of acetate (I think it was actually a laser printer transparency) and glued it to the BACK of the figure, before adding the skirt. A covered kitchen roll tube would also work – you just need something to allow you to put it on the top of the tree.

6. I hot glued the wings to the back and twisted a little starry halo from wire garland and left a straight bit off the circle.  I hot glued this to the back of the head.

7.  I made the shimmery skirt by cutting a piece of sheer, starry fabric  to the length I needed for my figure then sewed on a little edging to the bottom and then turned over the top edge, stitched it down and gathered it to fit.  I sewed up the seam in the back then hot glued it to the figure, OVER the acetate cone, adding the silver braid over the join.

And there you have it!  A very sweet little personalized tree topper.  I had always intended to take a photo of DS and turn him into a Nutcracker or Toy Soldier, to minimize any potential sibling rivalry, but once it was clear he didn’t really care (and actually disliked the idea)  I gave it up.

On years DD kicks up a fuss and insists that the tree needs a star on the top, the cone allows me to stand the angel up on the mantle and still have it on show.


Doll (finally) done!

If you found your way here from WOYWW, this is what you will be here to see:

The lovely Jasmine, in her leopard-spot jammies, sitting pretty in the chair, awaiting DDs return home from school.  Here is a close-up of her face:

and a look at the character she is meant to be based on:

She is the 2nd doll named Jasmine, although I am hoping for some success in convincing DD to change the original Jasmine’s name to something else, as she is an M&S big rag doll and a name like, oh, Emily, fits her MUCH better.

On the home front, DH is in the car, heading towards Heathrow with the in-laws.  A bit of a giggle, but when we were discussing travel arrangements, and I asked DH if he would drop them off or put them in a cab, as there was some question as to whether he would have to go in to London today.  FIL quipped “Best drop us off – you don’t want to leave anything to chance…”  Overall it has been a good trip – we always enjoy seeing them and it happens far too infrequently.  I am 100% sure Jasmine would have been still sitting naked with paddle hands rather than fingers and those diva-ish jammies had MIL not been around to help out!

I now have three weeks work of crafting projects to catch up on, a crop this week and perhaps one in a couple of weeks, a mountain of laundry to do and not a sunny day in sight, and a nearly full hard disk of backlogged TV to catch up on (I must have two full weeks of Eastenders waiting.)  Oh woe is me.  I should just admit nothing will be “back to normal” (whatever THAT is) till mid-January and give in…..


WOYWW – Well Hello Dolly!

It’s that time again – WOYWW is the place to be every Wednesday.  Do pop in on Julia and see what everyone is doing.

Me?  I TOTALLY have the “spirit of endeavor and improvement” – those of you who popped by LAST week will know what I am talking about.

Crap photo, sorry, but you can see the doll parts from last week have assembled themselves into a nearly done doll.  DD is over the moon.  She is sewn, stuffed, and the needle sculpting is done.  She needs her hair finishing and her face painted.  She has a bra and knickers nearly done and MIL is working on some swanky leopard print jammies.  The other project from last week, which turned into a Stampotique Jacob’s Ladder, with clear mylar strapping so the images were not concealed, is done and in yesterdays post if you are one of those people who have to know “the end of the story.”

In laws leave tomorrow so there will, I hope, be a bit more time for crafting, or there will be once I catch up with a few things I have been putting off for three weeks. I hope to eek out a bit of desk hopping time while MIL packs.  See you on YOUR blog soon…..


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Doll Parts

Progress is being made, slowly, slowly. Weds. was a shopping day but only in the AM, not enough time to get to the fabric store for the thread, the cotton batting and some strapping that I needed for the other project on my desk. Yesterday, all day, was hunting for a couple of things MIL wanted to find while here, and picking up the odd Christmas gift or five. TODAY, I’ve been making curry – somehow, toasting and grinding up spices at 8 AM is not how I like to start my day, but it does need doing. Once all the mess from that is sorted and MIL gets done processing her email, and we get a couple of loads of laundry on, then it doll, doll, doll all day.

Here is where we are now:

That’s her, all stretched out on the kitchen table so you can see she is quite tall.  She still needs all of the needle sculpting and face padding/sculpting and then the skin-cloth (which is basically a whole other doll albeit in fewer pieces) then the face painting and the hair making, and then she is going to need a bra …. if you did look at the original pattern you will see she should have a little cotton nubbins for nipples, which I think I will omit (DD already gasps and hides the boobs from DH, DS  and FIL so while she wanted the doll “like a real girl” I suspect she really wasn’t ready for what that meant!) but I figure we have a few more days work on her before we are even close to being done.

I cannot help but sing along in my head every time I pass her “doll parts” strewn across the kitchen.



WOYWW 3 Nov. 2010 – doll, stamps and a mess

Hope you are all having a happy and productive WOYWW – I have been so busy trying to work on the doll for DD with my MIL that I had to shelve the skull project. I know it will require some concentrated time to assemble and all I have time for at the moment is short bursts, so I am working on another little thing and will get back to te card house next week when the in-laws are gone. I had hoped to crop this weekend but alas it is not to be so.

The designer says the following on her site, regarding the doll:

“If you are a beginner, don’t try this.
Only people who have spirit of endeavor and improvement can make her.”

I’m not sure about the “spirit of endeavor and improvement” but progress has been made.

As to the other little project? Stampotique, of course:

Sorry it’s all a bit dark but it’s that time of year.

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Tuesday-someplace-else (doll making)

DD has wanted a “real doll” for a while now, one that is big, with “real” hands (ie defined fingers rather than mitten-like pseudo-hands) and a real girl shape.

This is what lies beneath (my desk):

with an idea towards becoming this:

Today’s someplace-else is the doll-making site that I love best.  Runo Dollmaker has great patterns, great tips of making anime dolls and indeed cloth dolls of all kinds, and I really, really love her site.  Check it out.