Creating a new doll

Yesterday I began making a soft doll. Usually I love making creatures such as owls and bats, every now and then I really like to try new things. I am really bad at following patterns and so I usually just make it up as I go. I started by cutting out her basic body parts and making sure they are all the right size to go together. 

Next, I made her face. I sewed on the blue of her eyes using an old satin nightgown that I no longer fit into sadly, but thought it had a nice shimmer to it that would enhance her eyes. I made my first mistake by trying to use a fancy decorative stitch on two delicate materials and ended up ripping a hole in her face, so I had to redo it. This time I used a simple zig zag stitch that worked well. I then stitched her nose and stitched the outline of her lips. I painted her lips and after they were dry I stitched the outline again or a bit of definition. 

Next I sewed her head to her body and some how got the wrong sides sewn together. It was okay though since I managed to find a way to correct the problem. I then sewed together her legs and arms and I got the body put together. Though she doesn’t look like much now, today I get to do the fun part, give her a personality. Using embellisments I am looking foward to seeing who she will be as her personality begins to shine through. 

Sometimes with my creations, they turn out great and sometimes not so great. The important thing I believe is learning from mistakes, using your imagination and having fun. Just because it does not turn out perfect, does not mean it is not wonderful. Sometimes it’s those imperfections that truly make something unique and wonderful. Never give up!Image

Marketing, it is overwhelming!

Okay, well I really want to make my Etsy shop successful and to do that, I need traffic and marketing. I got some amazing tips and ideas from Ultimate Guide: 7 Ways to Increase Traffic to your Etsy Shop | Handmadeology. Their is so much information and great ways to get started. 

I have been posting pictures of my creations as I finish them on FB for a couple of months now, but that is mostly sharing with friends. Of course they are going to “like” them. The first thing I am going to try is Twitter. I got an account last night and put the link on my toolbar so I will remember to go their. I also set up an account on Scoop. it and Linked. There are so many more sites out there, but it is overwhelming. So, for the next few days I am going to work just on those three sites until I get to know them and get used to them. 

I highly recommend this article I placed the link for because she explains how they work and why you should do it. She gives a 5-10-5 rule that I want to learn to live by. Though I do not totally get it yet, I know that I will figure it out and I will be successful! Good luck!

My Studio ( or lack of one)

Oh how I dream of someday having an art studio! A bedroom, a basement, a storage shed! Anything really where I can keep everything together and find everything. I dream of those studios you see in magazines where all the furniture match, everything has a place and easily accessible.

Currently, we are renting a small duplex. Because of my husbands work we now we will be moving sometime soon and so we just rented a small inexpensive and yet safe place with a good school district. We have been here a year now and I am longing for the day we can move into a more permant home and really make it our own.  When we move again, we know that we will be at the next location for at least 5 years so then I will find us a home where I can have some space of my own.

Here is my currant situation. I have a 3 bedroom duplex and 3 kids. The two bedrooms have the boys in bunk beds and my daughter in her own room. My “studio” consists of a small desk with sewing machine on top but the drawers are full of envelopes, stamps, etc so not usable for my sewing. My fabric is stored in totes in the garage, my embroidery thread is stored in a wood box in my room and my sewing tools are separated into see thru totes and then stored inside a large antique trunk also in my bedroom. My dinning table is currently a disaster. It was my cutting mat and my rulers on top of it, one basket full of my pins and scissors and rotary cutters. My sewing machine thread is in a sew through tote currently under the dinner table along with one tote with most used colors of embroidery thread.

Yesterday, I re-organized my fabrics. Along time ago in a land far away (Idaho) I had a 5 bedroom home, one of those rooms was my studio. I had my fabrics nicely organized on shelves. When we moved to Texas we had to move fast! My husbands promotion gave us 10 days to get from Idaho to Texas and with 3 kids and a dog, it was a 3 day drive! I had to pack FAST! Anyway, my fabric got thrown into totes. For the last several months I have been struggling to find the right fabrics, so yesterday I took 3 hours and organized them buy color and season. Hopefully that will make it a bit easier and more fun to find what I am looking for.

Meanwhile, I shall continue to dream of having a beautiful studio again some day ( hopfully soon). Image

Adventures in Felting

For a while now I have been seeing books on Felted creations. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to try to learn this interesting technique. I bought a book, felting and needles and I excitedly got home and got to work. I watched you tube videos and read the book I bought and it looked so easy!

It’s not so easy! Fun, oh yes! I love the feel of the felt roving, love the colors and I love being able to puncture it with sharp little needles. It takes a long time and patience to do it though. It’s a time consuming hobby and I love it! I only wish I could do it! It is so hard! The people on the YouTube videos and the books, they make it look so easy, but it really is not, at least for me. I have trouble making perfect ball shapes and I know it’s my own completely uncoordinated fault.  

I must keep practicing and I know that I will eventually “figure it out”. I really want to but it’s so easy to get discouraged. However I have used the felting to make a mustache for one of my creations and today, I finished my bat by adding a felted tail onto the back of him. They did turn out cute but I just don’t know how long they will be able to stay attatached since it is so easy for them to pull apart. 

I decided to make a simply cupcake that was in the book I bought and it turned out pretty good, only looks like some type of tart. I am not sure what kind due to the color choices I made, I suppose it is a lime tart with a chocolate drop on top. How I made it was putting the yellow felting inside a mini cupcake tart and felting it inside as a kind of mold. Then I added a dab of green felt to give it some color and to practice attaching another color. I thought it needed a little something else so I added a tiny brown ball as a chocolate drop. Then, I took it out, of the metal tin and using hot glue to add the mini cupcake liner. It turned out pretty cute. 

Here are some lessons I have learned the hard way…

1. When felting into a metal tin…the needles WILL break if push it all the way to the bottom. The bottoms of the needles will make a snapping sound and then you must remove the broken needles from the creation because they have tiny barb’s on them and they WILL hurt someone. 

2. It takes a long time to felt the shape, be patient and eventually it will work. 

3. It takes practice! I wish I could go take a class somewhere and have someone personally help me, but YouTube videos are a great help. 

4. Do not pull on the felting to soon to see if it’s attached all the way, because it will come off and you will have to start again. 

I have a feeling it is well with the practice and hopefully, in time I will start to “get it”. 

Good luck! If you have any tips for me, I would greatly appreciate it!Image