Author Archives: Cindy Rice

About Cindy Rice

My wonderful husband, my beautiful daughter, and I live in northeastern Illinois with our sweet chihuahua boy. For as long as I can remember I have loved dolls and making things. I got my first Barbie when I was only three years old! My mom sewed for my Barbie dolls and taught me how to use her sewing machine when I was only seven. I cannot believe she let me near that needle, but she did. Not having enough money for my clothes habit in high school and college led me to start sewing all of my own clothes. There were so many fabric stores around back then and fabric was so inexpensive. I would wait for the 99 cent pattern sale and go crazy. Sewing for myself continued well into my 30’s. (I even made my wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses.) Shortly after I got married I left my full time graphic design position and started designing cross stitch patterns. I called my company “The Lilac Studio” and sold my botanical patterns at trade shows, through distributors which sold to retail shops, and mail order. My most popular pattern, “A Bouquet of Pansies” sold 5000 copies and won a J&P Coats Golden Needle Award! I was also featured in various cross stitch magazines and designed special projects for the magazines. When my daughter was born I didn’t have the time needed to cross stitch and design patterns all day long so I let my pattern design business slip away. And then I started discovering dolls again and I now had an excuse to start buying them. The only problem was that they were for my daughter and not for me. I soon discovered all of the adult collectors out there and decided I would be one of them. I started small at first, collecting Mattel Kelly dolls. Soon I collected over 100 Kelly dolls! After Kelly, I discovered Helen Kish’s Riley and Tonner’s Ann Estelle. I have since learned to knit doll sweaters and love an excuse to knit so most of my doll outfits include a sweater and/or hat. I love creating miniature outfits for dolls and enjoy sharing them with others. Currently I create doll ensembles for the Kish Chrysalis series (I love Bethany), Dianna Effner's Little Darlings, and Wilde Imagination's teeny tiny Amelia. I am adding a Bo Bergemann Designer Dream Doll to my collection soon and so look forward to costuming her!

This Week

Hello to you!  I hope you are staying healthy, happy, and busy… at home.  I’ve been finding that it really isn’t hard to fill the days spent at home.  My daily, or almost daily, activities are feeding/walking the dog(s), walking me, exercises to keep my back pain free, meditating, cooking/baking, chores, more puppy playtime.  And then if I still have energy I will get some knitting or doll ensemble creating accomplished.

I finished the cardigan that I’ve been working on for the Kaye Wiggs MSD girls this week.   The embroidery needed to be finished and then the underarm seam sewn up.  I like to leave it open in case I want to add some embroidery to the sleeves.  Lastly, I added white pearl buttons.

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 I can’t decide what to make for the ensemble’s headpiece.  Thinking about that…  I have some pastel rosy colored rayon knit for the panties and thigh highs.  I could sew those next while I am deciding on a headband, hair ties, or a hat.  Sorry about the harsh lighting on the photos.  It has been really dark outside.  I had a halogen floor lamp lighting up my work.  The lamp doesn’t produce the prettiest photos.

My daughter and I started a joint coloring project last week.  Now, she is busy, busy, busy with online classes, so I finished it up today.  I titled it “Rainbows of Hope”.  We all need lots of that these days, don’t we?  I noticed one of my neighbors had a large sign with the word ‘hope’ in her front window too.  We are all in this together.

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Earlier today I looked through my stuffed animal and felt books.  I snapped a few photos of the pages that grabbed my attention.  I thought I’d share them with you.

These felt cuties would be perfect little toys for our dolls.  They are tiny and flat-ish to easily slide under a dolly arm.  The ‘Mushroom Girl’ is my favorite.

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‘Tis the season for lots of little birdies.

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‘Tis NOT the season for Christmas, but some of these can be made appropriate for springtime or get a head start on Christmas making.

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This book contains more tiny felt animals.  My favorite project is the bunny rabbit wearing a dress.

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I am drawn to “Sew Me, Love Me” because it uses recycled materials… and they have clothes to make for them.  What fun to make an animal with its own wardrobe, and using bits of your old things too!

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The following are needle felting books.  The pieces are adorable, don’t you think?

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‘Little Miss Crafty’!  Do you see yourself in her?

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My girls saw ‘Little Miss Crafty’ and want me to make them each a dolly of their own.  Maybe a tiny rag doll with floppy arms and legs–one that is huggable.  Wouldn’t that be sweet?

I hope you (maybe) got a spark of inspiration from my books.  Thank you for browsing along with me.  I enjoyed going through them with you.

Northern Illinois is expecting some bad weather tonight.  Please pray for us, or send us positive thoughts, that no one loses their homes or lives or family members.  I don’t know if we humans can take any more bad things happening all at once.

Have a great week–stay safe! ❤

Hello… Spring?!

Hello! ❤

I hope this new week finds you well and not too bored from being stuck inside.  We’ve been alleviating cabin fever as much as possible with walks in our neighborhood and a couple of drives to nowhere.  It’s not very busy in my neighborhood, and when we do walk past someone they are completely on the other side of the road.  Other than to pick up prescriptions at the drive-through and have groceries put into the back of the car I’ve been home for 11 days!  Surreal times!

My husband is able to work from home, and has for almost 2 weeks now.  My daughter had an extra week of spring break and is today starting classes back up online.  Choir is even continuing using Zoom.  She’s still not sure how her two lab courses will be able to continue.  Her professors are still figuring that out.

I want to wish you a “Happy Spring”.  However, this is what we woke up to this morning, not very springlike, but typical for March.  Nevertheless, it is always a shock.

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Even though today is snowy we’ve had some nice days the past couple of weeks.  The crocuses bloomed and the daffodils are on their way.  Gorgeous blue skies, puffy clouds, and pretty sunrises were experienced for quite a few days.

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While doing some of my floor stretches the other day I looked up at my shelf of craft books and felt a spark of inspiration.  I’d like to spend some time going through them again.  Let me know if you’d like to look inside some of them.  I could snap a few pics to show you what they’re about.  Let me know in the comments.  I’d be happy to do that.

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I am plugging along on the embroidery for my newest MSD cardigan.  Here is my progress thus far.  I am taking my time and enjoying the creation of each unique motif.  It is always fun to ‘grow’ my own indoor rose garden.

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I recently completed a pair of socks for my daughter and started another pair.  Sock knitting is repetitive and mindless and helps to quiet my mind while keeping my hands busy.

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I tend to worry… a lot.  In this time of uncertainty it has been a challenge to feel grounded and safe.  I have found comfort in prayer and reading scripture… and knitting, of course.

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I have also found peace with coloring.  My daughter and I printed a couple of flower-y pages from Johanna Basford and got to work with my daughter’s Prismacolor colored pencils.  Johanna has graciously offered these two pages free of charge.

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What about you?  Do you have any go to activities to ease your mind during stressful times?

Sending you all, my friends, warmth and love ❤ and positivity and ‘stay-well’ thoughts.

 

Busy With Dogs and Dolls

Hello!  So much time has gone by between my last post and this one…  I am sorry.

Our new puppy has taken up much of my time. We’ve had Pebbles, our chihuahua puppy, for two months now.  I’ve enjoyed these early days with him very much.  He’s gone on lots of socializing adventures to Home Depot and other stores (including a yarn shop), parks and walks in the neighborhood.  He is a very sweet boy, but a little scared in new places, so this effort while he is still young should make him a happier adult.

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Pebbles is now 7-months old.  Our vet said he is at his adult weight which is about 3-1/2 pounds!  I thought our older dog, also a chihuahua was little at 7-8 pounds.  This guy is even smaller.  So you can get an idea of his size here is a picture of me walking him.  Pebbles walks very nicely on a leash and enjoys going for walks.  He knows when we’ve turned around and are heading home which is when he will pull ahead and get a little excited.

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I try and include a little bit of dolly related making on my daily to do list.  I find that this is the only way for me to get anything accomplished for my dolls.  If I wait for everything else to be done…  well, it never is.  Sometimes I even have some cuddly company while working.

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I recently finished this spring ensemble for my beautiful Kaye Wiggs MSD sized Gracie.  I must say I wish I had a cardigan like Gracie’s!

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I have also started another spring ensemble for the Kaye Wiggs girls.  Last weekend found me seated at my sewing machine, gathering and sewing the skirt onto the bodice.

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During the week I finished the dress up by hand sewing the bodice lining to the waist seam and adding snaps.  The cardigan was knitted and waiting for the dress to be sewn.  Hopefully, either this weekend or next week I will find some time for completing the embroidery on the cardigan.

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I am wishing you all a wonderful weekend.  It is supposed to get into the 60s tomorrow here in northern Illinois!  I hope you are having some beautiful springlike weather also.

Take care–stay healthy, my friends!