Tag Archives: Books

My New Christmas Doll

Happy New Year! Sorry, I know it’s a little late; the days in this new year are already full and flying by. I am trying to catch them before they’re gone…

Big news! I have a new Christmas doll. She is the Ruby Red Fashion Friends 2020 Holiday Stella, and I’ve been wanting her in my collection since I saw her over a year ago. Stella is the holiday doll from 2020, so she is pretty much sold out everywhere, however, she was found for me at FAO Schwarz, and I am so happy she was! She has such a sweet face! I LOVE her!!! She is a most special gift!

I think I was drawn to her because she reminded me of Holly in one of my favorite stories, “Holly and Ivy”. Therefore, I am renaming Stella. She is now Holly. This is a first; I don’t think I’ve ever renamed a doll that has come to me named, but she is definitely Holly.

Maybe for Christmas 2022 Holly will be dressed as Barbara Cooney, the book’s illustrator, envisioned her.

Last year I took some video paging through this book on Christmas night. Here is a link to that video. It’s 1:32 into the video. I first came across this charming story at our local library when my daughter was young. That book was the 1985 version with Barbara Cooney’s illustrations. (This story, text only, was originally published in Ladies’ Home Journal in 1957.)

After checking the book out a few years in a row it had become an absolute favorite of mine. I found the illustrations cozy and charming, and the story heartwarming–perfect for Christmastime. I was thrilled to find the book on Amazon in 2009. “The Story of Holly and Ivy” had been republished in 2006. Now, over 10 years later I still look through, or read, this story every year.

Holly looks so sweet in her Christmas fancies, but I am currently working on something a little more for every day, and warmer, for Holly. I’ll show you soon.

I hope you are starting off the new year healthy and happy. Sending you a big hug for 2022. ūü§ó

The Past Couple of Weeks

Hello! How are you? I hope you are doing well. All is well here with the days flying by at the speed of light.

I have started a couple of new ensembles for the Little Darlings–apple themed. I only have a small stash of apple fabrics, so had to pick from what I have used before, which is fine. I don’t mind using up what I have.

Progress from two weeks ago.

I am making a red sweater coat for the blue fabric and a mohair cardigan in blue (to match those cute little flowers) for the pink. I finished the red first and am glad I tried it on before sewing up the underarm seams and weaving in the ends. Look at how big it is on Alice! Is she shrinking? lol

I’ve heard this happening to knitters–your gauge changes over time. I guess mine did just that. I thought I noticed in my last two cardigans that they seemed a little roomier, but they still fit nice, so I didn’t think twice about it. It really shows up in this style though, and with this type of yarn. I first thought I’d need to find a bigger doll to wear the sweater coat, but then I thought I could save it by ripping out rows. It seems like the biggest size problem is in the length and not so much in the width. I’d think it’d be both. Anyone know why that is?

I’ll be working on these two ensembles this week and hope to have more progress to show you soon.

Other news… I received a couple of embroidery books for my birthday in July. They are both beautiful additions to my library! I love looking at floral embroidery–such beautiful hand made gems that make my heart sing.

If you need bullion stitch inspiration then “A-Z of Embroidered Motifs” is for you. It’s chock full of motifs created with this stitch. This is the stitch I use to create the roses on my cardigans. I have an album created on Flickr that contains all of my floral embroidered pieces in case you’d like to see them.

by Country Bumpkin

There are 28 pages dedicated to bullion roses in this book! In addition to detailed visual instructions for creating bullion stitches there are instructions for other flowers, foods, nursery motifs, animals, and Christmas motifs.

My second book is a newer book titled “Embroidered Country Gardens” by Lorna Bateman.

This book is dedicated to flower gardens using a multitude of embroidery stitches. She also includes instructions for garden gates, archways, baskets, birds, bird feeders, a birdbath, insects, gardening tools, watering can, old-fashioned lady gardener. She has a dozen projects as well as showing you how to build your own embroidered garden. If you love gardens you will find this book inspiring.

We visited the Chicago Botanic Gardens last weekend. It’s so wonderful to be able to visit again. We went once in July and again in August (last weekend). I took a ton of video on this visit and made a little movie in iMovie showcasing the sounds of water there. It’s not complete as we didn’t get to every garden, but it shows some of the water gardens and the relaxing sound found there. If I can figure out how to get it on You Tube I can share it with you. I will let you know.

Did you have a nice weekend? I hope so! It’s hard to believe it’s September! Thank you for visiting.

WordPress has changed their editor, so I apologize in advance for any weird things going on in this post. I have just now learned the bare minimum to get this post made. It’s so hard learning new things…*sigh*

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! ‚̧