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Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Happy holidays, everyone! This is Mr Happy Christmas Tree. He’s an original art toy I made by hand from my own design and pattern. I used a blanket stitch and some embroidery floss to hand sew on all his ornaments and his gold star.

His ornaments go all the way around. He’s made from fleece. I attached a knot of green yarn “hair” to the top of his head. He’s been given as a gift, and is overseeing Christmas from his new home, where I hope he will be loved and bring some cheer.

We opened presents this morning. After our first day of holiday shopping, where my mom and I came home with only wrapping paper, we were pretty sure we were the most inept shoppers ever. However, we mustered some courage, and headed out again. We were proud of ourselves to just come home with something! We usually don’t participate in the shopping part of Christmas, but my dad was feeling nostalgic for some presents.

Then, I went Christmas shopping with G.B. too, where I did my best to give gift suggestions at Dick’s Sporting Goods. This may not seem funny to you, but really, it is to me. Not only do I have difficultly even saying “Dick’s Sporting Goods” without getting completely tongue-tied, but I have absolutely no knowledge of anything sports-related. Still, I think I did okay.

G.B. took me to a bike shop and got me this pretty red bike helmet for Christmas. The owner helped adjust it to my head, because, of course, I was fumbling trying to figure out how to do anything with it. He helped to snap it under my chin when I got confused about that also, which he found amusing. But, hey, now I know! 🙂

I went for a ride this morning. This guy was very excited about the opportunity to bolt out the back door while I was taking my bike out. This is an new game here. You catch one kitty, and the other runs out. That’s the warm-up part of my exercising. Then I picked up my little dog friend along my way again. Fortunately, he took himself home this time when a bigger dog barked at him. As sweet as he is, I worry about his running here and there while I’m riding.

Well, I need to go make some apple crisp for dessert tonight. Have a great holiday!

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Kitty Doll Dress Inspiration

We’ve been updating our online doll gallery all this week, and I’ve been pouring over the April Cornell online catalog, getting some inspiration for kitty doll dresses.

I can’t help but think how I’d love to make clothes like these for a little girl, if I had one. All the details are amazing, pin tucks, lace, embroidery.

Over the years, I’ve accumulated a lot of things like toy and clothing patterns, and partially done projects of my own, that I’ve thought about making for my own children, should I have them someday. These make me feel inspired. I’ve saved a lot of things from my own childhood, not just out of nostalgia, but out of a desire to share them with my own kids. These dresses have that kind of nostalgic feel to them. They remind me of my own childhood for some reason.

There used to be an April Cornell store near here, and I loved to go in and study all the clever combinations of fabrics she has. I’m glad to see her clothing, accessories, and home decor are available online.

I’m going to be experimenting with little girl dresses in miniature for now. Max and I are talking over the details of our collaborating on some jointed cloth-and-clay folk art dolls. It should be fun.
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Sock Kitty!

I love Sock Kitty! I also miss Sock Kitty because he is a birthday gift for a friend.

Sock Kitty is made from a sock stuffed with Polyfil. His eyes, nose, and hearts are polar fleece, embellished by hand with embroidery floss in a blanket stitch. I used embroidery floss to hand stitch his whiskers and his smile too. His ears are lined with cotton batik fabric.

Sock Kitty is nice and squishy. His paws even have little toes I sewed with upholstery thread.

He is a perpetually happy cat. I am going to have to make him a sibling to keep for myself, a twin perhaps.

In other news, I am tossing around the idea of collaborating with Max on some folk art cat dolls, the dressed and jointed kind with the sculpted faces. I’ve been spreading myself too thin for a long time, and I think if we put our efforts in the same direction, we both might be more productive. Collectively, we have at least three doll sizes, and some possible variations as to type of critter. We are terribly behind with a backlog of dolls waiting to go on our website right now. So, that is the first thing to resolve.

Over the past year, I spent a lot of time trying to have a separate business from our family business, in large part to accommodate someone else’s desire for me to have a separate income, but that has been like trying to spin twice as many plates in the air as I was already spinning. The end result was only that I had to neglect one business to spend time trying to get the other off the ground. All in all, I only got more behind and more scattered, and then we all ended up behind. Now I need to get us all back on track. My desire to please other people gets me in trouble sometimes, and really, as I’m sure we all know…if you need to knock yourself out to please someone else, it never turns out to be worth it. Please yourself, and surround yourself with people who appreciate you for who you are and who want you to be happy.

On a lighter note, is anyone else already hitting the Halloween candy? I am! Naughty 😉
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Lucy has a new friend

It’s a big day for Lovely Lucy. She has a new little girlfriend to share her secrets with.

Meet Linda. Linda is very much like Lucy, only she is her own person, um, doll. She has quilted golden ponytails, and a candy-stripe dress of red and pink and green.

He stockings are deep red with white polka dots. Her bottom is weighted with Poly-Pellets so she can sit nicely. She is stuffed with poly-fil.

Linda’s outfit is decorated with ribbon trims, Rick Rack, and machine appliquéd fabric. I re-embroidered her trims by hand with embroidery floss. So, she is extra special.

Her gold boots are topped with striped ribbon and machine appliquéd fabric buttons. She has no loose or removable parts. Linda is meant to be displayed as art and she is also meant to be loved. I wanted her to be able to withstand some play, and so she is made of 100% cotton quilting fabrics and some rayon that I fused to an additional layer of cotton sheeting for durability. I prewashed her fabrics so they wouldn’t shrink later if she needs to be gently spot cleaned and set flat to air dry.

She is signed and dated below her hairline on the back of her neck.

Linda and Lucy are approximately 10 1/4 inches tall when seated, and approximately 18 1/2 inches long when lying down.

Many hours and a lot of work went into making Linda. She is meant to be of heirloom quality, and to be saved and cherished by a new friend, whether adult or child. She is a wonderful listener and she is very good at keeping secrets. She is also very patient and kind.

Linda will be visiting my other dolls and toys over on Etsy to see what they are up to soon.