Monday, April 29, 2013

That's Better!

I've been meaning to get to organizing this weaving and craft storage room for quite some time now, but I'd walk into the room, look around not knowing where to begin, and walk back out again in disgust.

top two shelves

Part of the problem was that I just didn't have enough storage to organize the room the way I would like. I solved that yesterday by going out and buying 3 more packages of wire cube shelving and 15 "banker's boxes".

bottom three shelves

I had been using an assortment of baskets that admittedly looked prettier, but these sturdy cardboard boxes are a little bigger, more uniform, and much more practical --- not to mention less expensive to buy in quantity.

If you're interested in what's IN those boxes click the pictures and it will take you on through to my Flickr account where I've "labelled" the boxes with what is stored in them. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Next Generation

This is my six year old granddaughter, Kaylen. She comes from a long line of knitters. Of course you know that I knit. I have also taught both of my daughters to knit, as my mother had taught me.

She's knitting!

Knitting is a legacy that has been passed from mother to daughter for many generations in my family. My grandmother, aunt, great-grandmother, great aunt, great-great-grandmother, .... and so on were all knitters, and now Kaylen knits too!

Six rows of ten stitches.

Kaylen was first handed knitting needles and shown how to make the knit stitch when she was only three years old. Curiosity satisfied for the time being she never continued, but now, barely turned six years old, Kaylen is enthusiastically taking up the hobby. Her first project is a scarf for her constant companion, a stuffy named "Lambie". So far she has knit six full rows of ten stitches.

Yay! The legacy continues!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

So Much For the Nap!

I guess when I told Serenity and Neelie to go play ---

Can't  Catch Me

--- I should have been more specific, ---

So Much for Penny's Nap

--- and ruled out Penny's room ---

Hide and Seek

--- when I had just put her down for her afternoon nap.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Nappy Choo Restringing Tutorial

 Penny, my Nappy Choo Dong Dong, was getting a bit loose and wobbly. Afraid to tackle restringing her on my own I looked high and low on the Internet and could not find anything to guide me through the process. I eventually figured the process out on my own. To save other Nappy Choo owners from the same fruitless search I decided to photograph the entire process and offer it as a free tutorial here on my blog, and also in the Nappy Choo group on Flickr.

I hope this proves helpful to those who much tackle restringing a Nappy Choo or any other doll that is strung in a similar manner.


First remove the S-hook and the head. Remove the smaller s-hooks from the feet and remove the legs. Pull the tensioning string from the body.

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Helpful tools to have: Long pieces of strong, narrow ribbon or string. A long needle, a crochet hook, and pliers of some sort.

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Nappy Choo restringing diagram

Study the diagram before beginning so that you have an idea of what you will be trying to accomplish.

ONE continuous loop goes through both legs and the centre of it goes up to the S-hook. A second continuous loop goes through both arms.

Nappy Choo restringing diagram

Pass one end of the ribbon through your new tensioning string which has been tied in a knot (use the old string as a length guide). Thread both ends of the ribbon into your long needle and pass it up through one leg hole and out the dolls neck.

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Drag the ribbon up through the doll pulling the new tensioning thread along with it.

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Leave the first ribbon sticking out of the doll's neck. Thread a second length of ribbon through the loop still hanging from the first leg hole.

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Using the crochet hook, reach inside the second leg hole and grab a loop of the leg tensioning string. Thread it onto a third piece of ribbon.

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Now use your long needle to pass the ribbon ends through all the pieces of each leg. 

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Pull on the ribbon of first one leg, and then the other, pulling the tensioning string out far enough to rehook the foot.

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Thread the first piece of ribbon through the hole in the head and pull until the centre of the leg tensioning string appears. Reattach the hook and pull it up high enough that when you turn it sideways it straddles the slot at the back of the head and does not disappear back into the body.

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Now remove the hands and arms and thread a newly tied piece of tensioning string through the body from shoulder to shoulder trying to have the knot end up in the body.

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Using the long needle thread the arms back onto the ribbon and use the ribbon to pull the elastic through each arm one at a time, and reattach the hand.

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 Ta Da! If you tied your strings the right length your baby is no longer all Loosey Goosey.

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 Aww, give your baby a hug for being so brave throughout the whole operation.

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And --- back to playing with baby!

14 of 14

Friday, April 12, 2013

Button and Snap Sewing

I found this interesting YouTube video via the "Perfect Patterns" Yahoo group. It describes a fast, tidy way to sew on buttons and snaps.

Even though I was taught as a young child to sew on buttons (part of a badge requirement in Brownies I believe), and then reviewed the procedure in a high school sewing class, and then again in a college Fashion Design program, I was never shown, nor did it occur to me, to use multiple strands of thread in the needle to accomplish the task in short order!

The only thing I disagree about is the large knot ball the instructor starts with. I was taught, and I believe it is much tidier, to start the thread on the right side of the fabric with several small stitches to secure the start of the thread rather than a blob of a  knot.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

New Shoes for the Tiniest Girls

I originally ordered all four pairs of tiny shoes for Penny,

test crawl

--- but the two pairs of Mary Janes were too big.

everyone gets a pair

Penny's misfortune is Neelie and Serenity's good luck though, as the larger shoes fit Pukifee dolls perfectly.

with a little help from friends

The 25mm sneakers I purchased do fit Nappy Choo nicely, but the tiny, 23mm purple Oxfords fit her even better, perfectly in fact!

new shoes for everyone

They were a free gift from the seller* just for testing the fit on Penny!

perfect fit

Lucky Penny!!

(*no affiliation, just a very happy customer)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Happy Birthday Kenzie!

Another Dress for the Birthday Girl

MH dress, front

I managed to get a second crocheted dress done in time for my granddaughter's fourth birthday, which is today.


I added ribbon, beads, and a crocheted flower to this one.

MH dress, side

I hope she's happy with them.

 MH dress, back

Later today I'll see if I can get a picture of them on her doll, a brand new Ghoulia Yelps, Monster High doll. This one, "Cleo de Nile", is actually mine. I bought her a while back to serve as a size model when I'm making clothes for my two granddaughters' growing collection.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Monster High Fashion

My youngest granddaughter is turning four on Wednesday.

Monster High dress, front

She and her six year old sister have a growing collection of Monster High dolls.

Monster High dress, side

So, on a whim, and in addition to her main birthday present, I crocheted this little dress for her dolls.

Monser High dress, back

It was fun enough to make, so if I have time she might get another in a different colour.

Monday, April 08, 2013


Neelie is hoping that Penny will be her friend.

Wanna Play

With these two shy girls I think it will be a very quiet play group.

Two Shy Girls

Wednesday, April 03, 2013



It's always so nice when a project turns out better than I could have possibly imagined!


This embroidered and beaded, hand knit dress for Minifee is one of them.

knitted and embellished dress

I started off just wanting to knit something mindless, without having to also go to all the usual work I do to design at the same time.


I also didn't feel like being tied to my magnifying light at the time so I wanted a "thick" (for me) project; which means fingering weight yarn rather than the usual laceweight or cobweb weight yarn that I usually do doll clothing in.


So I dug through my small basket of doll clothes patterns by other designers, then rummaged in my limited yarn stash for something to work with. I came up with a ball of beige KnitPicks "Palette" yarn and then without swatching (unusual for me) I set to work knitting Beky Colvin's free pattern: "Free Dress Pattern for Tyler and Ellowyne".

back closure

 It looked pretty blah and ho hum at about the mid way point so as I knit I started considering various ways to add some interest. I went back to my stash thinking I would add a few contrasting stripes along the hem line. The only yarn I had that seemed to work with it was a ball of KnitPicks Chroma that transitioned from beige through greys and black. I chose to gradually transition over to that yarn so that the hem would end in the section of Chroma that was jet black.


It still needed that little spark that takes a project from average to KaZam, so I then added the spray of embroidered white flowers --- which at first looked stark and out of place. Adding in a background of leaves in varied greens and a few buds here and there really helped tie it all together. All it needed at that point was the bit of sparkle provided by a few beads.


It turned out rather well I think!