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Studio and Early Summer Tidbits

In my studio today I spent the day finishing the embroidery on Gracie’s sweater, putting the finishing touches on her crocheted cap, and thinking about the little accessories that will accompany this ensemble.

rose trellis 168

gracie 231

I’m not sure if I like this wig on Gracie.  She has always worn the darker blonde wig and looked cute in it.  Although I think she looks more carefree and summery with the light blonde curls, I’m still not sure.  What do you think?

beauty in blue 609

A few posts ago, I promised to take some photos to show you what is in my studio display cabinet.  I have this little collection (my daughter’s) of blown glass animals (and a lone heart) that I keep in here.  A couple pieces are ornaments and some pieces we found at a resale shop.  The little vintage poodle is one of the three items I have that belonged to my grandmother (my dad’s mother) who passed away before I was born.  I don’t have any memories of her, but I remember these types of things being around my grandpa’s house when I was young.  This poodle most likely was part of this set that I pinned on Pinterest.  I think I mentioned the potted tulips before; my husband brought them back from Holland.

glass animals 179

pink poodle 184

I found this needlework that I had made for my grandparents at my parent’s house.  At first, I didn’t remember it, but then the memories of  it started coming back to me.  I must have embroidered it in grade school as it is a bit . . . hmm, messy?  Look how my grandfather framed it; now scroll down and look at the back!  He was a very frugal man, and used what he had on hand.  I love that about him.

childhood needlework 175

needlework back 177

Outside things are looking very, very lush, and green.  When we returned from Florida we had some cute clover patches growing in our lawn.  I kiddingly mentioned to my husband that we should leave them for the bees.  Well, he did just that!  (I can only imagine how nutty our neighbors think we are.)  When I am out walking I see a couple of hives set up, so I am sure the bees appreciate us growing the clover for them; they need all the help they can get these days.  Not sure how long we should let it get though.

clover patch 206

clover 201

Our easy peasy rosebushes are blooming, as are the violas.

red roses 194

violas 190

These teen tiny biennials were here when we moved into our house 8 years ago.  They keep reseeding, and will bloom during their second season.  I don’t know what kind of flower they are, but they smell like carnations or pinks.

tiny blossoms 217

Our lavender blossomed hostas are getting ready to bloom.

hostas 188

I’ve never noticed acorns at this early stage before.  Aren’t they tiny!

tiny acorns 211

And last, but not least, a few apples growing on our apple tree.  They are about the size of  small limes.

tiny apples 216

We had a rare low humidity day today, just wonderful; I kept the windows open all day long.  Tomorrow, however, a change is coming—storms followed by a cold front.  The weather is never boring here in northern Illinois.

I hope you all had an equally beautiful day.  Thanks for visiting.  Bye for now.

It’s May!

It’s May, but it doesn’t feel like it around here.  We are on day 6 of dreary, dark, usually rainy weather.  Ugh, ugh, ugh!  Really, I am so very tired of it.  When it is so dreary day upon day, it takes a real mental workout just to get out of bed in the morning.

One thing that I’ve started doing in the last few days is to count my blessings (and I have many) before I get up, so I can get up on the right side versus the wrong side of the bed.  It makes all the difference to get out of bed with a grateful heart rather than a “woe is me” feeling inside.

Once I get up, this is how I start my mornings on these dark days–30 minutes of blue light (and a cup of coffee or tea 🙂 ).  The blue light really make all the difference in how I sleep at night (as long as I remember to stay off of the computer a couple of hours before bedtime).


Just to show you how dreary it’s been… I think this was taken on Thursday or Friday.


In addition to the clouds, we’ve been getting lots of rain too.  A mallard couple thought that our pool cover was a pond and flew right in yesterday.  The feral cat was on the deck, the dog was barking at them, and they didn’t care; they stayed awhile and swam around.


One of the blessings that I took note of on Saturday morning was the sunshine we got at 5:00 pm on Friday.  I know, not much, but I’ll take what I can get.  I made sure my BJD resin dolls were out of the sunlight and opened the curtains in my sewing room.  It was so nice and warm!


Unfortunately, my last doll outfits (the one I just finished for Sugar) and the one I’ve been working on all week are in blue.  Couldn’t I pick something in yellow?  It is really hard to work with blue when it is dreary.  I think I will look at the weather forecast the next time I want to make something in blue.  lol

garden of blues 221

Here are some photos from the last time I took a sunshine-y walk (last Monday).  The violets were blooming; I love violets!



Even dandelions are pretty (I think so anyway).


These teeny tiny purple flowers bloom in large patches in the grass this time of year.  They look like a carpet of purple.  Does anyone know what they are?  They are super duper tiny; you can see that they make the dandelion appear huge.


We are supposed to have a very nice week, so that is what I am counting on, but I am aware that you cannot count on the weather, so I had better prepare myself… just in case.

In & Out of the Studio

How’s the first week of this new season going for you?  It started out pretty nice for us, but it is rapidly going downhill—cloudy, rainy, cool cold today.  Oh, and it will get worse as the week progresses; snow flurries are predicted.  Happy spring!

I had two outfits to pack up and mail on Monday.  Thought I’d show you how I wrap up my outfits in case you are curious.  It’s no big production, just the way I package right now.  I put my Amelia Thimble and Pukipuki sets into a small box.  This way the hat will not get crushed, which is especially important for the crocheted brimmed hats.  I sew the pieces onto card stock like how the first Barbie® clothes were packaged.  I use plastic envelopes for mailing these little boxes.  They can be mailed first class as they only way a few ounces.

packing puki's dress 455

I don’t use a box for the larger doll ensembles; they aren’t needed with the Priority boxes I use.  First, I put all of the accessory pieces is small zipper bags, wrap the knitwear in tissue paper, stuff the sewn dress with tissue to keep it from getting wrinkled.  All of these pieces fit in a larger zippered bag.  I then wrap the bag in tissue; you can see the package below.  I used to use ribbon to tie the package, but ran out one day.  I got the “brilliant” (ha ha) idea to use coordinating or matching yarn from the ensemble to tie up the package.  The yarn can then be reused for hair bows or whatever other creative purpose my customers can think of.  I print out a little thank you note card with a photo of the ensemble, its title, and month/year made to include with the ensemble for future reference.  I use brown paper to wrap up this package and into a Priority box it goes.

packing 457

Outside of my studio I found this tiny clump of crocuses that naturalized a few feet away from the main grouping of crocuses.

crocuses 460

On Monday this was what a few of my dolls were wearing.

gracie millie sugar 429

I still had my husband’s macro lens on my camera, so took a few more close up shots of the orchids in the bay window.

orchids 462

orchids 464

orchids 474

orchids 479

orchids 489

And,… that was how the beginning of my first week of spring went.  How was yours?

Oops, forgot to mention that Jpop will have a few Gracie elves and humans for sale on Thursday night.  Here’s the link:  Extra Gracie BJDs.  Also, I think, but not positive, that you will need an account with them, so I’d make one ahead of time if you don’t have one.  I imagine that these will get sold in seconds, so good luck.