Saturday, February 28, 2009

And The Winner Is...........

Drum roll please....................

TA DA! JOYCE MCFARLAND, YOU ARE THE LUCKY WINNER OF THE CARD SLEEVE GIVEAWAY. I have your address from your email and will ship out your card sleeve on Monday. Congratulations!


Friday, February 27, 2009

Swap Received, and a new Private Swap in the works

Unfortunately, my voice has decided that it's on vacation until further notice. I can try to speak but it's raspy at best and if I push it, a coughing fit ensues. So, I am slightly mute today (I'm sure my hubby is thrilled to have the break! lol). When I get excited about an idea I have or something I see, I tend to go on and on about it. My wonderful hubby tries really hard to listen to it all but after a few minutes of my 100 mph rambling, you can see his eyes start to glaze over. :)

I went to the mailbox today and waiting for me was a gorgeous little ATC from Jill Lowell (BeingJulia)! for the Faeries, gnomes and whimsy ATC swap. I love, love, love it! There were 2 partners for this swap and Jill was one of them. I haven't received the other one yet but I'll share it when I do. Thanks, Jill!

On Swap-bot's home page they have a series of thumbnail pictures of things that members have made for swaps. The other day I saw a Dotee that caught my eye so I clicked the picture to find out who had made it. It was made by Emily and her swap-bot name is raggydolly . I contacted her and asked if she'd be interested in doing a private swap for a dotee doll. She replied right away and said she'd love to and asked me to choose a theme. I have been wanting to do a gnome girl dotee for awhile so I thought I'd mention it to Emily. We're still working out the details, but I'm very excited about this swap. Thanks so much, Emily!

That's all I have for now, unless any of you can tell me if anyone has invented a vacuum for your nose yet...... I could really use one! Did I mention I HATE being sick? lol

More Later,

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ogling Owlies Swap Finished

I finally finished the Ogling Owlie for the swap! I had to oversee some homework completion tonight so while my son worked on his Math homework, I finished up my owl. I will pack him up tomorrow and mail him on Saturday along with the Itty Bitty Dotee Doll in Spring Colors.

I thought I was getting better but turns out that I no longer have a voice. I can squeek really well or whisper but I can't talk now. My throat isn't as sore as it was this morning but my voice simply threw in the towel. I'm hoping 8 hours of sleep and resting it will give my voice the courage to come back. We shall see. Speaking of 8 hours of sleep, it's time to get started on it!
Goodnight world!

Monkey Business, Visit from a Snowlet and a Neglected Dotee

Hello World!

I'm starting to feel slightly better. My head is much clearer but my throat is still not feeling good. But, progress nonetheless. I hadn't made anything for days in the studio because I couldn't stay sitting very long since the creeping crud got ahold of me, so I was determined to make something yesterday, anything. I had checked out some books at the library and one of those books was "Cute Dolls" by Aranzi Aronzo. It has the cutest patterns in it for the characters that he draws. I fell in love with "Munkey". (Did you think I couldn't spell when you read the title of this post?) The character's name is Munkey with the U. Anyway, I just thought he was adorable so I decided to make him for my studio. The pattern said to use jersey knit but I didn't want to because I hate working with fabrics that stretch. So, I went with my favorite and easiest to work with (still under the weather and all) and went with felt. I can't tell you how much joy this silly little guy brings me when I look at him!

Do you see that adorable little owl with Munkey?? Isn't he the sweetest? He came to live with me today all the way from NV. After a very draining evening yesterday and dragging when I got out of bed this morning, it was such a wonderful surprise to find this adorable little owl in my mailbox! The owl is crocheted by Bean Paulson and is for a swap on swap-bot for Owl Stuffies. He came in the cutest little sheer bag with a note attached.

I carefully opened the bag to find this adorable owl or snowlet as Bean called it and a tiny little owl magnet tucked inside..

He is now proudly displayed on my shelf right above my main workspace in my studio! Thanks so much, Bean!

When I was taking pictures of the owl to share it occured to me that I had never photographed or shared the pink and purple themed Dotee that I received weeks ago! GASP! I am so terribly sorry! It just completely slipped my mind. So, now she is getting the proper attention that she deserves....

Introducing the Pink and Purple Themed Dotee from a swap-bot swap sent to me by Keri Gortz. I thought she was very sweet!

For each swap we send, we are supposed to send along with it the name of the swap, our real name and our swap-bot screen name. I usually just jot down a note saying hello and then include that info in there as well. When I received this little Dotee Doll, she had a pouch sewn into the back of the doll and in that pouch was a wee little card with all of the info on it. Great idea! I used that idea for the sewn atc I recently made for a swap but I don't think I'll use it for the Dotee Dolls. Anyway, Thank you Keri! As I stated in your feedback, I love her and I'm sorry that it took me so long to share her here.

Well, now I'm off to do some Mom type things, ugh. Hack, cough, wheeze........ I hate being sick!

More later...


Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Sorry for the no show the last few days. I am battling a sinus cold and it's aweful! I'm not a good sick person! I can't just lay in bed all day! But, when I get up and move around I'm light headed and shakey. Ugh. I won't be on again until I start to feel somewhat human again. I may have to extend the giveaway, hopefully not, we'll see. Shuffling back to bed now.... more another day..


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Card Sleeve and A Giveaway!!!!

I sat down tonight to design a card sleeve. (A card sleeve?? What the heck is a card sleeve?) A card sleeve is a cute little pretty to hold a giftcard or a school ID or a bus pass or that credit card you keep meaning to pay off.. whatever. The first design I came up with was this...

It was cute and all but it just wasn't what I was invisioning! I knew I had to try again.. SO, I came up with this...

Now I love it! It's a little more rigid, the gift card or whatever you stick in there is visable, the design is cute, the stitches look neater. I'm liking this design so I'll be coming up with more looks for it. Owls are of course on the planning table, girls, shrooms, gnomes, you know, my favs! I will be adding this one to my ETSY SHOP (minus the pictured gift card)tomorrow so feel free to run over there and snatch it up! You can also contact me through this blog and request one too. I'm flexible like that!

Okay, okay, so what's the deal with this giveaway I spoke of, right? Well..... since I think the first attempt at the card sleeve is still super cute, I thought I would do a giveaway here on the blog with it! It's all felt and will hold anywhere from 1-7 credit card type cards in it! (Pictured Starbucks Card not Included) How do you get it???? Just leave me a comment on this post and I'll throw your name into a hat for it. That simple! So take a minute, say hello and you could win!! Please make sure to leave a way for me to reach you should you win so I can find out where to mail the card sleeve. My youngest daughter will do the honors of drawing a name from the hat on February 28th!

Oh, and keep checking back because I have a contest in the making too! Who doesn't love a contest, right? The prize will be awesome and it'll require some work on your part, but it'll be worth it!!! Check back in like..... oh..... March. Okay, off I go, back to work!

More Later..


Ogling Owlies Swap WIP

I just LOVE owls! Because of this, I am a sucker for every handmade owl swap that pops up! I just finished and mailed one and now I've signed up for two more! Addict I tell ya! Anyway, this owl swap was to be based on your partners color preferences. So, when I found out who my partner was going to be, I checked out her profile and she had several colors listed as her current favorites but I chose Olive Green and Brown from the list for her Owlie! I drew up a pattern which is very similar to my last owl (it is different if you look really close) and cut out the pieces. For this one, I decided to do a little stitching on it, more so than the last one. It's gonna add hours and hours onto the making time for it, but who cares? Here's where I'm at with it so far..

I have been scolded for spending TOO MUCH time on a swap. "Why put that much time into something you're not getting paid for?" "Why do that when you probably aren't going to get something as nice in the swap?" Why? I'll tell you why.. Yes, it's true, in a swap I'm not paid for my hard work and yes, sometimes what I receive wasn't worked on as hard as mine. HOWEVER, it's still something made by me, with my name attached to it! I cannot just slap something together for sale or for a swap and put my name on it! I just can't. I have a lot of pride in the things I make. No, I'm not the best at everything I make but I can promise you that I do MY VERY BEST when making it! Things that don't measure up to my standards never leave the studio. Period. (NOTE TO SWAPBOT USERS: I don't expect perfection in a received swap. I do expect you to do YOUR best and take some time to make it nice. I can tell who does and who doesn't. Regardless of skill level.)
Okay, off of my soapbox now.. lol.
Stay tuned for the VERY FIRST, SUPER DUPER, TOTALLY AWESOME GIVEAWAY here on the blog!! Whoo hoo, giveaway, giveaway, giveaway!!!!!!!
More Later...

Yep, You Guessed It.... Dotee Dolls....

I have quite a few Dotee Swaps coming up and I decided to get a jump on a few of them which didn't require peeking at my partner's profiles for colors, etc. So, here are 3 beautiful ladies who are still in progress..... I'll show you the finished pics as I finish them... These are for the Easter Dotee Swap, Group: Pink Theme Swap and Group: Yellow Theme Swap......

Don't you just love, love, love the fabric?????? It's flannel that I bought at Joann's when it was 50% off! I just think they're yummy!

Okay, off to draw out a pattern for another Owl Swap!!! I just got assigned a partner and now I can look at her profile to figure out what colors my new owl will be... More later...


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Group: Itty Bitty Dotee Doll Swap

I recently signed up for an Itty Bitty Dotee doll swap for one of the groups I belong to on Swap-bot.  I was reading the terms and saw that this Dotee was to be in spring colors.  Since it had nothing to do with profiles or partner likes/dislikes.. I went ahead and made her.  I have no idea who my partner will be but here is what I'll be sending as soon as a partner is assigned.
She is itty bitty indeed!  She measures 2.5 inches from her hanger to the tip of her little tail!

Dotee Dotee Dotee

You know....... I think I need to check myself into rehab so I can kick my Dotee addiction. Truthfully, I don't even really make Dotees. I make my own dolls and then just add the tail to make them "Dotees". Regardless, I can't stop making them! I sign up for almost every dotee doll swap that comes up in Swap-bot! When there aren't enough in the main pool to sign up for, I go hunting in the various groups I belong to and see if they are running any! My fav things to make and swap are Owl Stuffies, Gnome things, Dotee Dolls and ATCs. I really hope this swap thing is a phase or I may never have a life again! All I do is swaps, swaps and more swaps. Family members are concerned. I get asked all the time if I'm still going to make stuff to sell... customers are concerned and email asking me if I've stop making dollhouse miniatures all together.. So, here's my answers... To my loving family... YES, I will be making stuff to sell but for right this minute, swaps are a lot of fun for me and I'm taking a tiny little break so I can do them. To my wonderful miniature collectors... NO, I have not stopped making dollhouse miniatures! I am just on a bit of a break as I enjoy making A LOT of different things and after a solid year of nothing but minis, I needed to explore some other areas again. I guess I'm still trying to find my balance.

Back to my latest addiction..... Dotee Doll Swaps..... I completed 2 Dotees today and will be shipping them out today as well.

The first one is a St. Patrick's Day Dotee for a swap on Swap-bot. She will be going to live with Carole very soon! (UPDATE! FEEDBACK RECEIVED>>> Hi Moriah....Got my (cutest ever) St Patricks Dotee doll today, and yes she brought a smile with do great work. I used to live in EsteroFL. and recently got a new puppy whose name is Estero, call her "Stero" for short)

The second is a group swap for a Purple Dotee Doll.. This pretty in purple and pigtails Dotee will be going off to live with Dana. (UPDATE! FEEDBACK RECEIVED>> What a lovely Dotee! She is so cute! I love her! Thank you so much!! :D)
Now I'm off to find something to eat for lunch before my stomach tries to eat itself! Then I'll see what kinda thing I can get into next! More later....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nightmare Before Christmas ATC Swap Finished

Wow, what a productive day! Aside from some drama from the teenager this evening, it was a great day! I feel like I got a ton accomplished! This is wonderful after my three days of reading 100 blogs and vlogs and mags and whatever instead of making my own art!

The Nightmare Before Christmas ATC swap was 2 ATCs to 1 partner. Here are the 2 I came up with.... Using pics from Google to guide me, these are both painted in acrylics on watercolor paper. I still have to seal them, add the backs and print their envies but I won't be doing any of that until tomorrow.

Now I'm off to check my email, clean up my work area and then off to bed! More tomorrow!


Monday, February 16, 2009

Another Swap Finished, on a roll....

Hello everyone!

Today I wrapped up the owls and boxed them up to get them ready to travel to their new owner's house. Then I sat down to decide what I wanted to do for the Fairytale - Nursery Rhyme ATC swap. We had to make 1 ATC for 1 partner. First, I had to figure out which fairytale or nursery rhyme I wanted to do.. After a bit of thought, I decided on Little Red Riding Hood. Next I had to decided what technique I wanted to use to make the ATC.. Did I want to draw it, paint it, collage it, sew it? it..... that sounded like both a challenge and a lot of fun. So, I sat down and took a 2.5 X 3.5 card and traced around the outer edges onto a piece of plain paper. Then I sketched out a design that I wanted to do in fabric applique...

Using that sketch, I set about cutting pieces of felt that I would use in the picture. Then the stitching everything together, layer by layer. I put a card behind my felt "painting" and then another blank piece of felt and sewed all of that together so the ATC would have a bit of stiffness to it. Now the dilema of what to do about my information that is supposed to be included on the back of the card. There were a few ways I could have done it, but I decided to make a little pocket on the back of the ATC and insert a card with my info on it in the pocket.

It took about 4 hours from start to finish, but it was a lot of fun! I hope my partner in the UK likes it! It'll be on it's way tomorrow... (UPDATE! FEEDBACK RECEIVED>>Awesome ATC! It's absolutely wonderful! And the pouch a the back to keep your info in is such a fantastic idea!! Thank you so much!)

Now I'm off to start working on the next swap on the list... a Nightmare Before Christmas ATC.

Hubby is making cornish hens for dinner and my studio is right off of the kitchen! The smell is making me crazy! It's very hard to work when your stomach is growling and your sniffer wants to follow that wonderful aroma!

More later.....


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Owl Stuffie Swap is Finished and Heading out the Door on Tuesday!

I sat down this evening and drew an owl. From that drawing, I made the pattern for the owl stuffie that I had to make for a swap I joined way back when!! The send date is drawing near so I sat in my chair until the stuffie was done...but.... I got a little carried away and made 2 owl stuffies instead of one. So, my lucky partner in the swap will receive two handmade owls!

The larger one is the one I made from my own pattern. I did some applique and some quilting on him/her. The smaller one was made from a pattern in a Japanese craft book that I have. My partner LOVES pink, so I hope she loves pink owls! ;) (UPDATE! FEEDBACK RECEIVED>>> I LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!!!!.They are wonderful!Your original pattern is great. I'm deffinately doing the Happy Dance:) Thanks so much for all your hard work & the extra notebook you've made.The ribbon work on the top was awesome:) It's an all around SWEET package!)

Here they are and now I'm on to other things.. ta ta...

Dotee Update and a new swap

I just remembered that I never posted the finished picture of the Pink and Purple Dotee Doll! I have already shipped her out to her new owner but I realized that I never shared the picture of her with her "face on". I do apologize for that but nonetheless, here she is.. (UPDATE! FEEDBACK RECEIVED>>>Moriah, Oh she is so sweet! I love her....Thank you so much! Lynnie)

Today I worked on 2 ATCs for a swap I signed up for just a few days ago. It's a Fareies, Gnomes and Whimsy ATC swap where we are supposed to make ATCs of the previously mentioned "things". We have 2 partners that we send 1 ATC to, so 2 ATCs. I went with the gnome theme and painted up 2 ATCs featuring my Lollypop Gnome Girls... I apologize for the crappy pictures. The lighting is really bad in here today and I was too lazy to drag out the light box.

That's all I have for now... I have to get back to work on the Owl stuffie that I have to send out soon. Ta ta!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy V Day and a New Adventure in Art!

Hello everyone! Did you have a wonderful V day?? I certainly did! With a husband like mine it's kinda hard not to. I have to admit though, everyday with him is V day! Okay, okay, enough gushy stuff! I can finally share what I made my better half for V day! I was really really bad and gave it to him yesterday, BEFORE it was even finished!!!! What's even worse is that it still isn't finished! I have to seal it and add the ribbons and charms. Working on that now....

Anyway... I made him a card and I have to say, it is not as easy as it looks! I used to look at handmade cards and say, and...? It's a card.... Well, let me tell you, it is not JUST A CARD! These people are very talented! My first attempt at a card looked like something my 7 year old would bring home from school! It was not what you might expect to receive from a so called artist! So, I buckled down and really put some thought into it and finally came up with a card I was proud to give to my special guy!
Then I made a little chipboard booklet "thingy" (real technical around here don't ya know) that contained 100 reason why I love my man.. I was so afraid he'd think it was corny but I am happy to announce that he didn't. I think he was touched. He stated that the card was the best card he'd ever received and they both were definately going in his box. (He has a trunk that he keeps everything that means anything to him in.)
So, here are the pics..... (Hope you don't mind that I shared your special gifts honey..)

Okay, enough of the love and gush.....

I am very excited about a new project I started! I have fought painting forever! I have been terrified of painting and just refused to try it! Yes, I paint all the time but I cover stuff with paint, I don't paint pictures! Why? I have never been taught to paint and there was some little nagging voice in my head that said if you can't paint something that looks realistic, then don't paint. (I need to choke that annoying little twit!) Anyway....I decided to get over it and pick up a paint brush and just paint... I pulled out a scrapbook album I have had for an eternity and decided I would make an art journal. This way, if I "screwed up" the artwork, no one would see it but me anyway so who cared? Well, I was so PROUD of the product!!! The scrapbook is covered in fabric, it was solid black and I decided to liven it up so I painted it. I used metallic copper paint as the background and then started painting in some girls. This cover is not finished but this is where I left off and I'm so glad I got over my fear of painting because I love love love these two little girls that appeared on the cover of my journal!! What do you think?

More later....


Friday, February 13, 2009

Too much time looking and not enough time doing...

It's been really ridiculous lately! I have spent countless hours visiting the blogs of other artists, viewing video blogs on Youtube, look at this, look at that... and what have I made to contribute to my own blog or Etsy store? Zippo, zilcho, nada! Unbelieveable! Do you ever do that? Spend so much time looking at everyone else's work that you don't have enough time left to make your own?? It's been 3 days of this craziness! Enough is enough! I have banned myself from reading blogs or searching for anything on Google! I have got to get some work done! I did make some little felt heart brooches for the girls to give to their teachers for Vday and then I decided to give a few to some of our neighbors as well. The girls were very excited about handing them out! We didn't have anything for the hubbies of our women neighbors so the girls drew them some pictures instead... It's the thought, right? Anyway, here's the brooches. We mounted them to some cards I printed from the internet.. I had the sites where I got them but now I can't find it so please excuse my failure to give credit. Just know that I didn't design the Vday cards!

I have mananged to take the time to make a couple things for my hubby for the Big Vday tomorrow though, so I guess I wasn't a complete and total slacker! I'd share pics but he does occassionally read this blog so I can't share anything until after tomorrow.. I put a lot of time into them I hope he doesn't think they're corny! I have to seal his 2nd gift and then embellish it, so I better get my butt away from this stinking computer so I can accomplish something today!



Monday, February 9, 2009

Dotee Dolls, Dotee Dolls and More Dotee Dolls!

My goodness! It has been a Dotee Doll free for all this weekend in the studio! My daughters love the Dotee Dolls that I make and receive. My oldest daughter has been begging me to be able to make and swap her own Dotee but since Swap-bot users must be 18 or older, I didn't see a way. Then I saw a penpals for kids swap and thought, hey, I could start a Dotee Doll swap for kids! Then my daughters could make a dotee doll and swap it with other kids! Whoo hoo! So, like a nut, I started a swap without having a clue what I was doing! Oh well, hopefully the other friendly swap-botters will guide me.. Anyway, the girls are super excited! They are practicing by making a doll for themselves first. Here is what they have come up with so far... mind you, these are works in progress and yes, I did help them a little bit with the sewing but they designed them. The one on the left is my 7 year old's doll and the one on the right is my 9 year old's doll. The green one is inspired by a Japanese beetle and when finished will look at bit like a green ladybug. ;)

After the girls were off to bed for the night, I started on and finished the "Ugly Fabric Dotee Doll" for a swap I signed up for. I hate that fabric! BUT, I think she came out cute! Sorry for the spoiler if your my partner and read this. (UPDATE! FEEDBACK RECEIVED>>wow i love this dotee she is one of the best i have had and i have about 25. there is nothing ugly about her. you should see the fabric i used, it's covered in big chilli peppers lol. thank you so much it just goes to show how different everyone's tastes really are =) )
I decided to keep my Mardi Gras Dotee from the previous post. I simply can't let her go. So, I dropped out of the swap BEFORE PARTNERS WERE ASSIGNED.

Today I started working on the "Pink and Purple Dotee Doll" for another swap. She is still a work in progress, I need to stitch on her face, but you get the idea....

I'll finish her up first thing tomorrow and then get started on the surprizes I have in store for my wonderful Hubby for V day. Whew! Busy, busy!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Selffishness, Felt Doll Heaven and a Swap Received!

I worked really hard designing a little felt doll today. I figured out how I wanted her to look and then set about drawing up a pattern to make her. You see, she is supposed to be for a swap, but I have to confess, I just don't know if I'll be able to part with her. I signed up for the Mardi Gras Dotee Doll Swap over at The problem is, she has begged and pleaded with me to be able to stay and play with the other dotee dolls in my collection. She doesn't understand why I would want to send her away and quite frankly, I do not know why I would want to either..... Dilemmas. As of right this very second, she will be staying with me.. However, should she misbehave, I will send her out instead. The swap deadline is February 24th so I have a bit to ponder it. I can always make another Mardi Gras Dotee Doll for my partner. This one is just very special to me and I think I'm going to have to be selffish and keep her for myself.. Bad, I know...

A couple of days ago I shared my Matryoshka doll with you and today I have 2 more to share! The middle sized one still needs her button and the tiny one needs her embroidery, shawl and button. These are still WIPs, but I should have them done and ready to add to MY ETSY SHOP tomorrow (Thursday).

I have received my Valentine's Day Dotee Doll from my swap partner, Libby Mackintosh, of London, England. This little Dotee traveled long and far to grace my wall of Dotee Dolls! Thank you Libby!

After an exhausting evening with a stubborn teenager, I think I'm going to retire and start planning another Mardi Gras Dotee Doll.... ;)

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Matryoshka Doll...

I sat down today and drew up a pattern for a Matryoshka Doll and then reduced it to make 3 different sizes. I love these dolls! I have a very small collection of them thanks to my sister-in-law in my studio and thought it would be fun to make some stuffed versions. I was quite happy with the results! I am pleased to introduce Anastasia.....

Anastasia is the largest of the three sizes and is 4.5 inches tall. She is handsewn in red and robin's egg blue felt and is hand embroidered in white cotton thread. It actually pained me to list her in MY ETSY SHOP but I managed to get through it...

I also drew up a cute little pattern for a little Japanese Girl Doll. I also made that pattern in 3 sizes but I haven't started on her yet so you'll have to wait a bit to see those..

Okay, back to work!