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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Sunday-Someplace-Else (Child’s Own Studio)

I’ve held on to this link for a while, from back when I was deep in the throes of doll-making for DD.  She picked out various Anime characters for me to use for the faces of the dolls, and in searching for doll-making based on kid’s ideas, I found Child’s Own Studio.  I loved the idea but it wasn’t really helpful for MY needs at the time.  Still, I thought it was a genius idea.  Looking at the site it seems like she may have a backlog to work thru, but it might be worth bookmarking if you fancy the idea.  Or if you sew, maybe looking at the drawing/result duos might give you some ideas for interpreting your own child’s drawing as a toy.

One of my favorites is this one:

and this one! What kid wouldn’t love a soft toy that was so clearly made real from their own drawing?

Check out both the site and the Flickr photo stream for loads of example.  They are all perfectly rendered from the drawings, IMHO and too much fun!


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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.


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…..

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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.

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Somehow, possibly all the cleaning, I’ve managed to wreck my wrist. Which means not too much on the crafting front (and the typing front, ouch) for a day or two. Not great timing (ouch) so I can’t share my project with the stamped heads (ouch) cause it isn’t done yet, and I still have a load of WOYWW desks to visit.  I’ll do them in small batches, I think (ouch)

Actually, I’ve been checking and a fair few of the comments I posted have not appeared. I’m in no shape to check all of them to try to figure out what the parameters of the problem are, but I am getting seriously narked off at the problems I have been having. At least the last time I got an error report telling me they weren’t posted (ouch) but now I just type and type and they seem to go into a big black hole. Grrrrrr.

Instead here is one of my all time favourite projects – a couple of little pose-able dolls covered with scrappy paper and holding a photo banner (ouch). The idea was I could change the photos as time went by but getting decent photos of my camera-shy teens is proving difficult (ouch) so two or three years on they remain the same.

Still love them.  Covering the boy version about did my head in, however, as it is covered with little tiny pieces overlapped over the whole surface (ouch), so you can see why I did a more painted and less paper covered version for the girl doll!

I need some Nurofen….maybe the PLUS version……




Ages ago I did my very first YouTube “video,” of a paper bag book that I made for Scrapbook Inspirations, because the step by steps were far too many to photograph for the magazine.  Since then I have done a “helper” video, for some people who could not get their heads around the original instructions, and then, once I got the new iMovie, a better quality version that incorporated the helper steps.  Between the three, they have over 20,000 hits.  And that stuns me. 

Considering I don’t do live action videos, just sort of animated slideshows, that people look at them (and I have approaching 400 subscribers) still makes me happy.  I love the teaching aspect of the internet, and the fact that so many people are so willing to share, for free, things they have learned – I’ve learned loads for You Tube, from blogs, from forums like UKScrappers, and from people at crops – is amazing.

My DS is something of a video editing whiz-kid – not scrapbooking, you understand, but Call of Duty montages where people document amazing “kills” or unique shots.  I look at what he does with the raw gameplay footage, how he melds all the clips and adds effects and sound, and I think I should be hiring him to do videos for me LOL!  Not entirely sure that editing a scrapbooking video would be very exciting for him, but you never know. But we had an interesting discussion over the weekend.  He and a mate sat down and, over a few hours of gameplay, figured out the exact spot to reliably make a shot that will take out a recently-spawned adversary (ok, if you DON’T have a teenage son you may have NO IDEA what I am on about, but bear with me – there is a point I am circling back around to!) and  where they have no way to defend themselves, and one of the first things he said was (here is the point)  that a) it wasn’t fair that only some people knew this info and could exploit it and b) that he wanted to do a video that shared the info so EVERYONE could learn how to capitalize on the glitch.  He felt that leveled the playing field a bit.

It surprised me.  I thought he might be inclined to simply use this info to his advantage (which seems the natural teen-as-center-of-the-universe sort of thing to do) but instead he thought sharing the info was a better choice.

I hope that people always share freely on the internet.  The capacity for both teaching and learning is huge and it would be a shame to see that lost.

And now, back to doll making – yes, I KNOW I said the last one was the LAST ONE. but somehow, DD talked me in to making another LAST ONE, so I best get on with it.  The best I can hope for is to delay the next LAST ONE for as long as possible….


2 More Dolls

Just quickly today as I have guests stopping by!

Here is the Keep Calm doll – the wings are leftovers from a layout I did for SI using similar wings on a photo of DD – I had to do a second set for a step-by-step so it seemed silly not to make use of them! I just took the sticky gem wings and attached them to clear acetate and cut them out with a little tab which attaches to the back of the body.

The other is one that says Just Say No To Hats – they don’t suit me but I am occasionally tempted, especially when there is a wedding coming up!

I think two more will sort the window space!

Off to clean up a bit – my scraproom is a disaster after all this creating and as it is scrappers coming to visit my reputation is on the line!