Category Archives: Craft

Alice in Wonderland

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Alice in Wonderland

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I have been wanting to create ‘Alice’ for a while now.  I felt this doll (once made-under and repainted) had just the right look.  Then I had to figure out how to make the dress and shoes.

I’m no seamstress so it was more a case of ‘work it out as I go’.  I had some old lace that had been hanging around for a while that I thought would go just right for Alice’s apron.

The shoes are always my biggest nightmare but having cut down an old pair of Bratz high heels I then sculpted with paper clay and Modpodge to create these little Mary-janes which don’t look too bad (hopefully with practice they will get better).

She is now in my Etsy store and hopefully an Alice in Wonderland fan out there will want her for sitting on a shelf (or for playing with)!

 

Oogoo and Molding for dolls shoes

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Oogoo and Molding for dolls shoes

Since starting my journey of repainting Bratz dolls I have come across a problem that many other doll make-under artists have found…. what to do about shoes!  The ones they come with generally have really high heels and just don’t go with the whole make-under, more childlike tone we are aiming for, so this leaves a few options:

  1. look online to buy secondhand Bratz shoes which you can sometimes buy in bulk (although usually there will be a combination of high heels and maybe one or two pairs of sneakers/flip-flops thrown in). This can also work out a bit expensive when you are trying to keep the whole upcycling costs down.
  2. You can do a conversion job on the high heel Bratz dolls – there are various tutorials out there and some makers have done an amazing job.  I particularly like some of the boots I have seen out there and spent almost an entire Saturday with cardboard, felt and glue trying to make my own version.  Needless to say, I was not very happy with the end result and don’t think, with the amount of time it took, that it is cost effective for me.  Here is the result by the way (this doll is still going through ‘transition’ at the moment as I am going to try and dye the pink hair if I can):

    Bratz doll with home-made 'conversion' boots

    Bratz doll with home-made ‘conversion’ boots

  3. Make boots out of ‘oogoo’ which is a mixture of silicone caulk that you would use around the bath or shower and an equal amount of corn flour and some acrylic paint for colour.  I have tried this a few times with varying amounts of success.  As you will see in the picture – the doll on the right has the original oogoo boots I made and they are pretty ugly.  The doll on the left is how they looked after I had carved them down with a crafting knife (a little better I think):

    Original oogoo boots

    Original oogoo boots

  4. My latest option which I am in the process of doing so not sure whether it will be a success or not is making a silicon mold which I will then use to fill up with hot glue and hopefully then be able to paint. The first mold I made with oogoo ie; the silcone mixed with corn flour I tried late at night after covering the feet I was taking the mold from with petroleum jelly, pushing the oogoo right into the hole where the legs attach to the feet and then went to bed.  I got up the next day full of excitement only to find that as I pulled the the shoe out of the mold the delicate bit inside the foot just broke off and I was back to square one!

So now after further, extensive research, I have made molds out of pure silicone and am hoping (and praying) that when I pull these off in a couple of hours time, I shall be triumphant at last and will be able to cast my own little flat Bratz shoes (please keep everything crossed for me)! Its hard to believe that something so small can cause so much pain.

Silicone mold for Bratz shoes

Silicone mold for Bratz shoes

On a more positive note I have spent a little bit of time this week on trying to improve my photography as it is so essential to any kind of online selling so here is a little before and after picture of the latest dolls:

Before and after dolls

Before and after dolls

Some boho chic for my Gum Leaf Girls

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Some boho chic for my Gum Leaf Girls

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Give me some pretty cotton and some lace scraps and I can’t help but want to make some summer dresses for my Gum Leaf Dolls (more of which here).  Of course I was working into the wee hours and had Dexter re-runs on for company (not exactly the best tv to go to bed on).

I wanted to show you the little jackets I made from the recycled items of woollen clothes I bought from the op shop (about 3 years ago now).

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I was very happy with the result – the lovely trims I bought last Saturday at the girls’ day out we had to Gail B’s sale (just wish I’d bought more in different colours now but I was trying to be good)!

Enjoy the fashion show:-P1000087P1000088

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Gum Leaf Dolls and the Tree Change Zeitgeist

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Say ‘hi’ to my Gum Leaf Dolls – the obsession which has kept me busy into the wee small hours since losing my day job a few weeks ago.

For anyone who hasn’t heard (and I believe there may still be a few out there) a new phenomenon hit the airwaves earlier this year … Tree Change Dolls by Sonia Singh an artist and mother of little girls living in Tasmania. She started removing the face paint from discarded Bratz dolls – a bit like this one:
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As well as removing the face paint, she would also work on restoring and untangling the hair (which believe me is no mean feat, it takes me over an hour usually to get all the knots and tangles out).

This is how they look at this stage:

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Now it’s a blank canvas and for me the fun part of painting on new features and seeing a new personality emerge. I like seeing the transformation into a more natural child-like look of dolls who enjoy playing in the outside world, climbing trees and camping.  A world that seems to becoming less and less accessible to children today and like Sonia I feel it is about creating the kind of doll I would have loved playing with myself as a child.

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This is the ‘after’ photo of the Bratz doll above

Sonia has been generous with her knowledge and has a number of Youtube videos that help others do what she does and a quick look on Etsy will show how many are having a go themselves. I think as so many are wanting Sonia’s dolls and they sell out within seconds, there is no problem in others jumping on the proverbial band-wagon as each artist has their own unique style.

So far, so good but what a shock I got when I started reading some of the reactions on Tumblr as well as other internet haunts to the Tree Change explosion. It never occurred to me that some could get so incensed and inflamed about, what to me, was a fairly innocent and harmless hobby. There are those however, who are vehemently opposed and see them as an abomination and the ruining of a perfectly good doll.  Not only that but they seem to see it as some kind of political statement.  I can only say that from my own point of view, it is not about making a political point but just taking a toy that has been discarded, cleaning it up and giving it a new look and a new lease of life.  If you like your Bratz dolls to look as they did when they left the factory, absolutely fine – keep them that way.  If you prefer the Tree Change look, surely that’s fine too – each to their own, live and let live etc. etc. and really I think there are far more pressing issues in the world to get worked up about. Let me know where you stand on the issue and in the meantime here are a few more before and after pics.

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Scrappy Drawstring Bags (great for presents)!

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Batik fabric drawstring bag

Batik fabric drawstring bag

Seeing as I had some rather lovely batik fabric left over – I decided to make some drawstring bags. Having made one, and enjoyed it so much, it seemed only natural that I should make a few more! There is something really satisfying about these little bags. For one, they are very easy (and I’m not just saying that)… and for another thing, they make fantastic presents to give to friends and family. I think it is fair to say that once you have made one, subsequent bags can be made within a couple of hours. P.S – its also a great way of using up small pieces of batting. 2014-09-06 11.30.34 2014-09-05 15.50.27

Naruto update

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Progress!

Progress!

Its moving rather slowly (a bit too slow for my son’s liking) but I thought I would share where I am up to on the Naruto quilt. As I have been making it up as I go along, I haven’t quite decided how much bigger to make it but I think it will need another couple of borders so I will try and get enthused again so hopefully ready in time for his birthday in March (hmmm i guess that’s not too far away is it?)

Baby Boy Quilt

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I am feeling a bit guilty for being away from the blog for so long! It’s a bit like when you haven’t phoned a friend for a long time and you know you should have done and the longer it goes, the harder it gets.

I got this fabric a few months ago when a local patchwork shop was closing down and I just couldn’t resist it. Well the baby I started making it for is too big for it now… but luckily another baby boy has come along in the mean time so he will now be getting this one!

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I decided to keep it really simple and make it out of six blocks.

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A little bit of sashing around the blocks and using up all the offcuts for the outer border and this is how it turned out:
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I am just waiting for it to come back from my quilting lady, Natalie who will be quilting a kite design in pale aqua all over it – can’t wait to see it and I will show you how it turns out.

Super Sweet Blogging Award

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super-sweet-bloggingI have been awfully slack of late but just wanted to say a big thankyou to Rainbow Junkie for nominating me for the Super Sweet Blogging Award which was a Super Sweet thing to do! For those of you who don’t know Ms Rainbow has a lovely colourful blog on crochet as well as many other colourful things – go have a look at what she’s been up to!

THE RULES:

Copy & Paste This Whole Post and Replace All Your Information — who awarded you, for example.

(I am presuming that the important bit to copy is this below.)

Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated you. (Done)
Answer 5 Super Sweet questions. (See below)
Include the Super Sweet Blogging Award in your blog post. (Done)
Nominate a baker’s dozen (13) other deserving bloggers. (See below)
Notify your Super Sweet nominees on their blog. (I will!)

THE 5 SUPER SWEET QUESTIONS:

1 – Cookies or Cake? Cake!

2 – Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla!

3 – Favorite Sweet Treat? Milk chocolate

4 – When Do You Crave Sweet Things The Most? Any time after lunch!

5 – Sweet Nick Name? Never really had one although I do get called “Crafty” from time to time these days lol!

And here’s my Baker’s Dozen:

My Home Makes
Projects by Mtetar
SusieDDesigns
Gippsland Granny
Creative Pixie
California Pixie (A special thanks to California Pixie for being the inspiration for Terrarium experiment)! You can see her fabulous creation here
Deep in the Heart of Textiles
Occasional Crafter
Schmoozelfleugen
Ruthie Quilts and Quilts!
Kirsten Jane
Pretty Lady Baby
Nice Piece of Work

And just to be really “sweet” I wanted to share with you the gorgeous crocheted slippers I ordered from the Super sweet Jill Goldberg (Nice Piece of Work) above!

Crochet slippers from Etsy store - Jam Tarts

Crochet slippers from Etsy store – Jam Tarts

Terrarium time!

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I don’t know why exactly but I had a strong urge to make a terrarium today! I’m not particularly known for my horticultural skills but having seen some rather lovely examples on Pinterest, I decided it was time to give it a bit of a go. I went to the local Dollar King and bought myself a small fish bowl, a little bag of stones and I was all set.

And here is the result:

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The plants were all bits and pieces I got from our own garden and I’m hoping the sedum will grow and spread out a little but all in all I was pretty happy with it. I think actually I want to make some more!
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On another flowery topic, I was given the task of pricing up some items for the upcoming market at the Pioneer Church. I was given two enormous soup mugs and rather than just stick a price on them and hope that they sell I decided to play with some artificial flowers that had been sitting there doing nothing to see if we could jazz them up a bit. Here they are post jazzing!
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So there we have it, I have been absent for so long (and have missed my little blog and bloggy friends) but as Spring is definitely under way in this part of the world, I thought it might not be a bad idea to do something sufficiently Springy!

The Portsea Retreat

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I wanted to share some photos from a recent retreat I went on down at sunny Portsea on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. It is an old school camp that was set up in the 1940’s for under-priveleged children so that they could have a sea-side holiday and various health checks from doctors and dentists while they were there. These days it is hired out to various groups and although accommodation is somewhat basic, it is a great opportunity for crafty ladies to get together and create (with the added advantage of not having to cook or wash up all weekend!! Yay).

A hive of industry

A hive of industry

Some 'mad cow' friends

Some ‘mad cow’ friends


While I was there I had the chance to set up a mini-shop and and the Bali Pop (jelly rolls) were selling like hot cakes!
The Crafty Pioneer mini-shop

The Crafty Pioneer mini-shop

A couple of ladies were so keen to put the purchases to good use that they made up there jelly rolls and had a quilt top within a couple of hours!

Speedy jelly roll quilt!

Speedy jelly roll quilt!