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!

Turning One and WIP

Hello!  I hope your week is going great!

Thank you for all the comments and votes to help me choose my next doll dress fabric.  Not only did it make my decision super easy, but it also got me excited to start creating it.  I was amazed at how one of the four fabrics was the winner by far.  That was fun!

The floral print on the lower left was the winner.

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I was eager to start sewing , so over the weekend I got the dress completely machine sewed.  Yesterday I hand sewed the lining and added the snaps.

My Little Darling, Lucy, is the first to model this dress for you.  Sorry about her messy hair–she was busy playing with her sisters when I pulled her away for a dress ‘try-on’.  (lol)  I’d like for Gina to try this on too.  I think cool colors may be her thing more than Lucy’s.

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Those blue flowers in the fabric match perfectly to this mohair/silk yarn.  I don’t have many fabrics that match this yarn, so choosing this yarn for the dress’s cardigan didn’t require much thought.  I liked the lilac too, but I’ve been able to use that color more often.

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I used my Light Cardigan pattern for the sweater and knit the cropped version with short sleeves.  It was a very quick knit.  I started it one evening and finished it the next day.

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Today I started embroiding the cardigan.  Since it is darker than the dress I am embroidering the roses in very light shades of blue, violet, and green to balance with the light dress.  I think the light colors of embroidery will keep a summery feel to the sweater.

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More birthday news this week!  Our chihuahua puppy is no longer a puppy.  He turned one on Monday.  We baked a dog friendly pumpkin cake (used our muffin top pan), frosted it with plain yogurt and decorated the top with fresh blueberries.  We sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to him then both dogs enjoyed a little piece of cake which took them 15 seconds to wolf down. 😮

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We couldn’t get the ‘one’ candle to relight (we reuse our candles)–the wick broke off, so had to search for another.  We don’t usually allow our dogs on the table, but this was a special occasion. 🙂

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I’ll keep you updated on the progress of my new ensemble.  It’s moving along nicely.  Yay!

Take care of yourselves, my friends!  Thank you for visiting. ❤

 

Little Bits About Not Much (a.k.a. Rambling)

My goodness it’s been a long time!  Summer is flying by!  Here in northern Illinois it has been hot and sunny pretty much every day and we are loving it.

Yesterday I celebrated another birthday.  It was a beautiful, slightly cooler day, and after a neighborhood walk my husband and daughter and I meandered around the nearby antique mall.  Of course, we all had masks on that I had made for us awhile back. It was quite empty and felt safe to us.  Later on, we had a little Zoom party with my siblings and nieces and nephews.  We all live too far apart to get together and because of the pandemic we have discovered this new way to enjoy each others’ company.  So, that’s something positive about this crazy time.

I purchased a few things because one cannot shop on one’s birthday without picking up some tiny things, right?

My hair has been getting in my eyes and bobby pins have been slipping out.  I remember this type of barrette from when I was younger and they always worked perfectly.  I’m not sure how old these are, but they are already working as I remember them to, and they will go with everything.  I love them!  But, they were NOT 5 cents; I paid $12!  A little pricey, but I will use them all the time, so worth the money.

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I saw this little plaque and remembered I had had one too.  It’s long gone… who knows where.  It true, right?

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I love Holly Hobby, but rarely see anything Holly Hobbie.  I didn’t purchase this, but it was cute, and another truth.

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And, I wanted to purchase this stand for hanging up my little doll hats, but the price wasn’t right.

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These past months of spring and early summer I’ve been knitting socks and a cowl.  My daughter and I dyed some yarn in May and I’ve also purchased some from independent yarn dyers (bright pink sock yearn and peach sock yarn below are from Spun Right Round, the Tizzy and Tangie color ways).  The top sock in the photo below is knit from the middle skein, photo above, and was dyed by me.  The red/yellow skein on the right produced a sock that reminds me of a cheese pizza.  It even has those black corn meal flecks that are sometimes on the bottom of the crust.  (lol!!!)  It made me hungry for pizza while I was knitting it–kind of dangerous.

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I always want to knit what we love to wear and socks are number one.  Cowls come in second place.  The purple yarn that my daughter dyed (purple skein on left) I felt was too pretty to hide on our feet, so it became a simple eyelet cowl.  I know it will get lots of wear.  Do you like my model?  Pebbles is such a good sport and loves to help out whenever he can!

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What else?  Oh, I finally finished up a doll outfit for a friend’s mom’s doll.  I’ve had this doll embarrassingly long, and it’s been weighing on me.  Like that old Nike slogan–“Just Do It”, so I did!  I think I was putting it off because I didn’t have patterns and that takes mind power which is mental work, something I’ve been short of lately.

Toni actually almost fit into a Little Darlings dress that I had made.  I had to lower the armholes and I made the skirt a little longer.  That was easy enough.  The cardigan pattern, however, was a bit of a guess and could now use a little tweaking.  I wished the neckline was up higher and the cardigan all edged in rib stitch, not garter stitch.  It also may be a little too roomy in the width.  But, for a first knit for this doll it looks fine, I think.  I hope my friend thinks so.

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For my next dolly make I am feeling ‘blue’.  The color blue that is; blue is so cool, crisp, and summery.  I pulled out these four fabrics from my stash.  I like them all equally well–after all, I purchased them all, but I cannot decide.  Any opinions?  I asked on my Facebook page and there was a definite winner.  I want to ask you too–in case you don’t see my Facebook page.  Please comment on your favorite.

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Last but not least, I want to share with you a new space in our house.  Well, not new, but newly cleaned and so now newly loved.  We’ve had this little screened in porch since we moved into our house 12 years ago, but never bothered to fix it up.  A couple of months ago I had the carpet cleaner out to clean the cushions for our patio swing and my husband said he wanted to clean the sun porch carpet while it was out.  I did it for him, and thought the sun porch felt nice–no more icky dusty feeling in there.  I got it into my head to fix up this space–little lights, a sisal rug, newly chalk painted wicker chairs, a thrifted wicker table, houseplants and a table top fountain from inside, shells from Florida vacations, driftwood from Lake Michigan’s shoreline.  It was all so simple and inexpensive!  I love this space now and we all use it regularly for relaxing and quiet time and exercise (my daughter).  The view and the sounds are wonderful:  trees, flowers, birds, wind chimes, and water–and no bugs!  I also found out that it’s a nice place to enjoy a good thunderstorm!

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So, that’s my little bits about not much.  My life isn’t too exciting, especially these days.  Perhaps soon I’ll have one of those blue florals sewn into a doll dress.

I hope you all are staying healthy and safe.  Thank you so much for visiting with me today.  Sending hugs to you! ❤