Friday, August 1, 2014

Today is my mom's birthday

I feel blessed that she is still with us.  She has been "sick" for about 3 years now and it has made me realize that living for the here and now is a very important thing.

Here's a picture from our vacation.  It was just beautiful.  This was a lake at the end of our hike.

I try to focus on the positive (and not think about the negative) -- like the fact that when we returned home our car that was parked at the airport was hit!  Expenses just seem to mount....  What can you do?  Dwelling on it just makes your life shorter!

Smile and enjoy the day!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Took a short (much needed vacation)....

Feeling refreshed and revitalized.  Took a short vacation to Colorado.  Beautiful!  Gorgeous really.  Did some hiking, white water rafting, overall enjoyment!  Nice to get away.  Our eldest daughter was able to join us so it was a pseudo family vacation (missed having my youngest -- so the cookie crumbles)

I got back to a gorgeous dress made for my girl (it's an Alice -- version).... from Petite Pampelmousse

Love those dresses....

The girly girl, the hipster and the tomboy....

(Petite Pampelmousse, Cangaway, TTYA)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Ok, I'm really sour this morning.  I woke up to an email that a doll I had sold never made it to its destination.

I sold it on Ebay.  It was shipped through the Ebay Global Shipping program.  --  What this is (for those that don't know) -- you ship the doll to a US location, the shipping company fills out the customs forms and sends it tracked to its destination.  The buyer pays for this service (it's gotta be expensive).

Now, if it isn't bad enough with the Ebay fees (even on shipping) -- to not have something turn up at its destination is a reflection on me (no matter what Ebay says). -- Their whole thing is "well, you're not responsible -- the package shows tracked to the shipping center -- that's all you are responsible for."

I feel terrible.  The buyer (was upset -- understandably) -- asking me why I didn't send via USPS (post office) -- I tried to explain that I have no control over how it's sent once I checked that box on the listing.  

Ebay, being Global, is a very efficient system -- and I pay the fees -- but there's been some grumblings about this Global shipping system and now I'm beginning to see why.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Back to the proverbial drawing board

After scouring several stores;  I couldn't find the flowers I had started using.  Depressing I suppose -- undaunted, I went through my "stash" and found a better candidate....  Should have used this to begin with.  It entailed the removal of each petal (painstaking).

I'm using about 6 different flowers in the purple, pink, white ranges.

Here's a closer look, it is coming together just as I had wanted it.

Here are the flowers stitched on....

I've put all the flowers on one panel....

But as in my other first attempt I want to add some beads.  Now with this color scheme, I think maybe pearls or lavender might be nice....

It takes a Loonnnngggg time to complete a panel (again much longer than I thought) -- this one was probably longer because I had to "pick" the flowers (off the stems) -- then "pick" -- choose the color way -- then arrange -- then sew....

Friday, July 11, 2014

My Dior progress....

Although it doesn't look like any progress...

In order to pin to a dress form I needed one that mimic'd the Blythe body -- no gots.

I improvised using a Dritz form and I had to destuff it and rework to get the right dimensions.

From there, I pinned the front panel on.  The problem I'm having is the flowers.  I bought them a while back and it seems no one carries them any longer :(

Now, I'm not sure if I want to rework with other flowers, spread out the flowers,  or leave as is.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

flower crown?

I'm not even sure if it has another name.  When my daughter was little, we had an au pair from Germany.  I remember her weaving flowers to make my daughter a little crown.  My daughter so loved it.  It was the cutest thing.

I made this "crown" with ribbon.  It's painted and gathered and flowers are added on top.  It ties behind the head.  It is part of a Birthday gift for a forum member.  In the past, I haven't posted the things I've made -- but unfortunately, neither have the recipients and I have no photos.  :)

Hope she likes it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Yet another thrift store find.

This had a flower appliqué and some embroidery (green leaf).

This is a 2 piece set.  A top and skirt.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My Grail doll (preparation)

I saw this "trunk" in a local store.  I decided to use it for my future grail doll.  (still saving up).

I cut out travel labels and glued them on (should have left well enough alone) -- I decided to try using a decoupage product (after the fact) -- nearly ruined it entirely.  (live and learn :) )


I got my mom to help me and we made a cushion... (of sorts).  I used a paper template to get the size right.

This is what it looked like completed:

It has batting inside it (and it is quite puffy).  It has a single piece of batting.  The outside corners are stitched and then I sewed (by machine) the interior rectangle.  This was actually harder to do than I initially thought it would be (always the case -- almost never do I say "Oh that was easier than I thought it would be").

So then I did the final fitting and it fit (I breathed a sigh of relief).  I made a template traced it onto the fabric.  Allowed for seams.  Used the tracing as the stitch lines.

I was so happy.  I showed it to my husband.  He said "looks like a coffin"......... (thanks!).

Monday, July 7, 2014

Scamming --Solution

I came up with a solution to a lot of the scamming that seems to be happening in the doll community. This morning, I contacted PayPal and emailed them with a "pitch" on an idea that would solve this problem.

It seems that PayPal works (for the most part) to help prevent some of the scamming.  The problem occurs when people pay for things (even with PayPal) over an extended period.  Let's say layaway (or layby) for 3 months.

You make your payments.  If at the end of the payments you don't open a dispute within a specified period (not sure if that's 30, 45 or 60 days) then you can't make a claim.  If you are within the time frame, you can only dispute the last payment that was made -- as the other payments are outside of the timeframe.

My idea -- I call -- PayPal Payments -- costs the buyer a little money (some percentage of the payment) -- but both the buyer and seller enter into a time agreement.  So, let's say in the above example, 3 months.  The money goes to the seller's account but can't be removed until the end of the time.  If the deal goes south, the buyer can make a claim on the entire amount.  If the deal goes through, the money is released.

It would solve a lot of this ridiculous scamming -- as it is now,  is up to other buyers to report these sellers.

Ok.  Steps off soapbox.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Back to dyeing.

I've been experimenting with some dyeing.  

This is a "gray/green" mossy kind of color....

Here are 3 separate green colored dyes, that I will mix and match to get 6 different colors.

Those are test strips of wool (the white stringy looking things)

Here's the dye pot:

After the cook/boil stage, there's the ice bath.

Here's the wet product:

I'm calling it forest fantasy....

tag: Gnome Dome Dye 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Wishing everyone a Happy and safe 4th!

Happy 4th of July.  Hope it is a safe holiday for everyone.

I had NO red white or blue outfits! (shame)

I did make another dress from my thrift store finds.  This was originally a napkin.  I still need to put the buttons on.

Her underskirt was a pillow case (a machine embroidered trim).

It has a simple button closure

I'll close the dress with 4 simple buttons
(I've made the button loops)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Facebook page!

My wonderful daughter has helped me with yet another project I've been wanting to tackle.  A facebook page dedicated to my Dollutional designs.

I can't wait to update photos, do some giveaways, have some fun with it.

I would love it if you'd click on my page and "like" it!  My goal is to get to 100 likes in a month!  Please help me get there.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Craziest thing just happened to me.... Paypal twilight zone.

I got home from having some ice cream.  I got an email that I had received money $180 from Paypal....
I wasn't due any money from Paypal.  I called them.  It turns out a lady had accidentally put in my email (she bought something from me earlier) -- (My item was $20)...  They had me issue her a refund...  Somehow I got panicked.  I thought she probably doesn't even know.

Then when I messaged her, I realized she had messaged me.... She must have been so freaked out ... I'm always so nervous about sending money electronically (yeah, I'm old).  I guess if worse came to worse she'd have to dispute the amount and Paypal would issue her a refund (probably would have taken a month).

Inspired by the Dior video

Some one posted this on Facebook.  I had seen it before, but somehow I was mesmerized by it.

I decided to use some lycra mesh and add some already made fabric flowers to see what I could come up with.

I can't get over the painstaking individual cutting and stamping of each flower.  This gives you a whole new appreciation for the process.

I didn't have the fancy table so I had to improvise.  I used a piece of cardboard.  I cut the shapes I wanted.  Mounted the mesh and started arranging the flowers.

Here's a peek at the work in progress.  I want to also add beads to mine and "change it up" so it's not a direct copy of there's (not like I could -- make a copy-- the skills are amazing).

So, mine is similar "in spirit".

Here's the front panel with the flowers sewn on (but not yet beaded)

The one in the video looks like they used a very think cotton voile as the "base" of the dress....

I've run out of flowers and don't know if I can find more....

Monday, June 30, 2014


My daughter helped with the design (and execution) -- I explained what I wanted.

So here's my packaging "toppers"

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Thrift store finds

A couple weeks ago I went to a thrift store.  I bought some things.  I've been repurposing them for Blythe.

My first project was a little mink collar.  I made that into a stole.

Next was a linen dress... that started as a napkin...

I did a "cut as you go" deal and made up the particulars as I went a long (long or short sleeves, collar or not, etc.)  I still need to add buttons. But I'm no seamstress, so I was happy with the results.

Here's a close-up.  

I've sewn the skirt closed in the back and left the bodice to be closed with some buttons (Or I could use snaps)....

Friday, June 27, 2014

New shape

I mentioned making a new mold....  It was inspired by Disney's Oswald.

I'm going to call it Kawaii rabbit!

I think it is adorable.

Here's a peek.
 It's a work in progress...

tag: Gnome Dome

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Here kitty kitty

So this will be my Kawaii Kitty Helmet...

I have not decorated it as yet... Here it is "in the nude" (A lot of "things" will be done to it after this stage before it is ready to "go")

I'm happy with the process.  This is my second kitty helmet.  My first I made as a lark for one of my girls.

I'll share with you tomorrow the other shape I've been working on.

Tag:  Gnome Dome

Monday, June 23, 2014

What's in a name?

Everything!  When my daughter was here, we ordered labels.  They arrived.  I'm very happy with them.  Very cute.

I chose the sheep as all the domes are wool.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

My dying paid off

I look at this Gnome Dome WIP and I think "I'm glad I dyed that myself".

I was looking for a pink that was more of a Raspberry or Watermelon shade...  I went through my stash and found nothing.

I decided to dye some.

As I look at this dome, I'm very satisfied with the color.  Just what I wanted!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Continuing to experiment with some leaves.

Some autumn leaves and an ivy leaf...

tag: Gnome Dome

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Making Domes and Working on some new molds....

I've planned out the Domes I want to make, so I need to have the right colors....

This dye makes the cotton candy blue wool that I'll need for a sky background.

Boil, boil, boil.... stir, stir, stir....

dye's all absorbed, shock with ice cubes....

Remove, rinse, allow to dry....

I have 2 ideas I'd like to execute (it's always easier said than done).  So, I've been experimenting.  I was recently inspired by Oswald during a recent trip to Disney.  More to come.

(My shoulder trouble won't make this easy ;) )

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Dying to show you my latest

Here's the first mix of dye....

Looks like yucky cough syrup I had as a child!

I toned it down with some yellow.....  Then added orange to the dye pot.

You can just make out the orange on the edges... Looking for an autumn look.

The dye is absorbed and the ice is added.... (you can really see the orange "appearing")

Here's the wet roving... just "out of the pot"

This is the fluffy dried version.  Very autumn.

Here's a needle felted maple leaf WIP.

Want to do some oak leaves and a hanging acorn for a dome....

tag: Gnome Dome

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Went to Dr. this morning (emergency visit)

Good new is they know what's wrong...  Bad news is they think it's a torn rotator cuff (shoulder socket thingy).

We started with anti - inflamatories and pain meds.  Next step cortizone injections and possibly surgery????  Uggh.

All I kept thinking was I won't be able to experiment with making stuff now... UGGGhhhh.

Monday, June 9, 2014

I dug out an old jewelry chest I wanted to convert into an armoire

I bought this a few years back, but never used it.  It sat idle in my office.  It was a little short for my porcelain Agnes doll.  I think it is the perfect height for Blythe or any doll that is around that size....

I'm trying to see if it is deep enough to hold a hanger -- if so, I'll convert it to a rod on each side.  One side for casual, one for dressy....  Drawers for accessories and shoes.  Done.

My Lady Vic's hair and the armoire are almost the same cherry red.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Ice bath and drying

After a nice Ice bath....

And some drying time....

tag: Gnome Dome

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Working quickly....

So as not to felt the wool.  I don't want to stress the wool in this stage...  So there's some boiling but not too much and there's cooling -- but not too rapidly....

That's a summer green!  The dye has pulled into the wool...  I'm going to be making some more domes this coming week and I want to make sure I have just the colors I want, so I went through my stash and anything I don't have, I'll be "making".

tag: Gnome Dome

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My newest girl...

Here she is in all her de-boxed glory.  Hair washed!  She's in street clothes.  I made her a new "Cat Hat"...

It's an experiment I was doing (made the same way as the gnome dome) -- I'm not sure which is harder to make.  ;)

Here she is just "chillaxing"....

Monday, June 2, 2014

Who knew?

Got my newest doll in the mail.  She came lightening quick.  She looked so lovely (in the box).

I left her there for a couple days.

I took her out today...

(like breaking into Fort Knox)...  I think they have Barbie beat with tape and twist ties and small plastic bags.  Who knew?

I wanted to dress her in Street clothes (as the stock fashions -- the ones I have seen -- sort of lack ... well quality... )  Easy enough solve.  

But when I took her out, her hair.... (It is very thick... but has something in it???  It feels like it was dipped in something greasy??  And the doll needs a hair cut???  It is all wrangly and tangly.  The ends are all different lengths (as if they used one length of saran and did all parts of the head -- which they probably did -- then whatever length that it ended up -- presto done!

I don't want to be a complainer (but I'm going to be).  Even Barbie or any lesser priced doll can get it right.  Wake up Takara.  When the fake dolls have better hair, that's a wake up call..

I actually like this photo as she looks like she's got wet hair (it's just greasy and stringy)

I couldn't even capture the back accurately (it looks much better in the photo)