Fleur - A Big Little Doll Tour - Day 2

December 18, 2014

Today's stop on the Big Little Doll Tour we are visiting Aimee, who lives in the South Island of New Zealand with her Husband and gorgeous wee girl.

Aimee makes all sorts of clothing for her little girl, but a doll was something a little bit different from her regular sewing.  She created an absolutely beautiful doll and has kindly donated her to be gifted to a child this Christmas.  You can enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post.  Don't worry!  She also made another for her sweet little girl, who helped choose her delicious pink alpaca hair   :)

Be sure to stop by and check out Aimee's take on my doll pattern on her blog Small Steps Big Noises - right here.






The tour continues tomorrow...

Wed   Jenny @ Mend and Make New 
          Kara @ Kara McMurray
Thu   Aimee @ Small Steps Big Noises
Fri     Leanne @ Paper Moon
          Sarah @ Squiggling About
Sat     Christine @ Beanniequilts
Sat     Imogen @ Imogen Eve


GET FLEUR WITH 15% OFF, NOW THROUGH SATURDAY!

Purchase the pattern as a gift for a crafty friend, or make your own Fleur doll for Christmas!
Use the code FLEUR15 at checkout to receive the discount.
Click HERE to get Fleur with 15% off

To enter the giveaway for Aimee's beautiful doll, all you have to do is nominate a child you know and why.  There are other options for some extra entries too! Use the rafflecopter below to enter (sometimes it takes a second or two to load) or pop over to my Facebook page and enter there.  We would love it if you would share it with your friends as well.  Good luck! xx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open internationally, however as the giveaway closes quite close to Christmas it will likely only reach a NZ residence in time - however we are happy to post internationally if you are happy for it to arrive whenever it does :)




Fleur - A Big Little Doll Tour - and GIVEAWAY!

December 17, 2014

Over the last few weeks a wonderful team of ladies from around New Zealand and the world have been lovingly sewing some special dolls.  These ladies with varying sewing skills and experience have been helping me test my doll pattern to ensure everything was perfect and they have done such an amazing job.  The pattern is now it is ready for you to sew your own doll!

I thought you might like to take a peek at their lovely dolls before they are gifted to their little ones for christmas, so without further ado, let me start by introducing you to two very special dolls made by two very talented ladies!

Firstly meet "Giselle" who was lovingly crafted by Jenny of Mend and Make New.  Jenny is a bit of a sewing superstar so I was delighted when she volunteered to test my pattern.  Isn't Giselle just adorable!  You can see more pics and read all about her on Jenny's blog here.

Here is "Emma", crafted by Kara of Kara McMurray.  You may remember this post from a long time ago about the special crochet blanket I started making with my Gran?  Well it turns out Kara was the lady who so beautifully joined it all together for me!  Such a wonderful small world.   See and read more about "Emma" here.

Thanks so much ladies for helping me test my new Fleur Doll Pattern.  They did such a wonderful job don't you think?!

The tour continues tomorrow...

Wed   Jenny @ Mend and Make New 
          Kara @ Kara McMurray
Thu   Aimee @ Small Steps Big Noises
Fri     Leanne @ Paper Moon
          Sarah @ Squiggling About
Sat     Christine @ Beanniequilts
Sat     Imogen @ Imogen Eve


GET FLEUR WITH 15% OFF, NOW THROUGH SATURDAY!

Purchase the pattern as a gift for a crafty friend, or make your own Fleur doll for Christmas!
Use the code FLEUR15 at checkout to receive the discount.
Click HERE to get Fleur with 15% off

Also, in other exciting news, Aimee from Small Steps Big Noises has lovingly made another doll valued at $250 which she is gifting to a deserving child this Christmas!  All you have to do is nominate a child you know to receive this special doll and tell us why.   There are options for some extra entries too!  Use the rafflecopter below to enter (sometimes it takes a second or two to load) or pop over to my Facebook page and enter there.  Good luck!   xx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open internationally, however as the giveaway closes quite close to Christmas it will likely only reach a NZ residence in time - however we are happy to post internationally if you are happy for it to arrive whenever it does :)


Introducing Fleur - 15% off this week

December 15, 2014

I'm so excited to share with you the release of Fleur my very first doll pattern!  A beautiful and sweet vintage-style cloth doll with hand stitched features, who can be made from entirely natural materials.  She has taken three or four years to put together... and I am so proud of her :)

She has a braided/plaited hair style, wears a sweet kimono crossover dress with matching French knickers, and little shoes.   Fleur is a modified vintage pattern - I don't claim to have designed her, simply given her some tweaks here and there.  My work lies in the detailed instructions and tutorials for her construction, facial features, hair and of course clothes!

Fleur is suitable for someone who has used a sewing machine before, and has an interest in creating a magical doll for someone they love.  She is not a whip-it-up-in-an-evening project, rather she can be easily achieved in little pockets over time... nap times, evenings and spare 10 minutes here and there.

GET FLEUR WITH 15% OFF, NOW THROUGH SUNDAY!

Purchase the pattern as a gift for a crafty friend, or make your own Fleur doll for Christmas!
Use the code FLEUR15 at checkout to receive the discount.

I simply can't wait to share her with you.  I hope she fills you with as much joy as she does me.

Starting tomorrow we will be taking a wee tour of all the dolls made by the wonderful group of ladies who helped me test this pattern.  I'm sure you are going to love meeting some new bloggers and seeing their beautiful work.  There will also be a wonderful GIVEAWAY for a lovely doll for a little girl starting tomorrow, so be sure to stop by and check it out.

xx

Tadpoles

December 11, 2014


We moved into our "treehouse" in winter over two years ago, planning in spring to welcome some chickens into our lives.  A little bit of rural life within our rainforest location felt so exciting and comforting and right.  Alas, spring came and went with a necessary overseas trip, and some broken limbs requiring lots of care so our beloved chickens were on the back burner.

During the following autumn my honey drew up some marvellous plans for a chicken coop, with the intention of building it as a winter project.  Alas, this year his winter was spent caring for me and lovingly parenting our little girl - a much higher priority wouldn't you say?  So although somewhat disappointing not to have our egg laying girls with us yet, I'm learning that good things happen in their own good time.  Hopefully next spring everything might fall into place :)

Saying that, I was still hankering for a little bit of "life" about the place, when I had a sudden revelation.  Frogs!  We have some resident green and gold bell frogs in the "jungle" part of our property already so introducing a few more wouldn't exactly be a big deal...

Anyway, long story short, a very exciting, much anticipated parcel arrived in the post!. Live tadpoles!  Oooh fun.  Our little girl has been chattering constantly about legs and tails, and feeds them frozen spinach after she finishes her dinner each night.

Simple fun.

Xx






Elephant Dress

December 01, 2014

You might have noticed that someone is sporting a full arm cast.  Which brings it to five broken bones (three accidents) in a year.  I know.  We can barely believe it.  This last one she simply rolled off the sofa and managed to break both bones and displace them requiring an urgent trip to Starship hospital for manipulation under anaesthetic.  This happened a while ago and we are nearing the end of this broken arm journey, thank goodness.

Luckily, it wasn't nearly as much of an impact on her life as her leg was, and after a few days she was running around like nothing had happened and barely noticed the cast.  Except of course when changing her clothes - which does happen multiple times per day as the whim takes her :)

As it happened I started sewing her this dress months ago in autumn, however,  it was abandoned when the sickness set in.  Remembering how it had button openings and even elastic loop buttons under the arms as well, it seemed to be the perfect "broken arm dress"!   With just the pockets needing to be sewn on to complete it, I hit the sewing machine for the first time in absolute months.  Ten very long minutes later it was done, mama took a nap and we had a dress that would go on easily!

Elephants are still her animal of choice hence the little free form embroidery I did ages ago on the pockets.  She calls all elephants "Heffalumps" after Winnie the pooh - too sweet.  Thank goodness it was an instant hit!  She chose the little bunny buttons which she found in my button jar.  I based the dress off a vintage pattern adjusting the length to fit.

Now, just need to figure out how to keep sand in the sand pit and out of the cast :)

Xx

A Very Special Doll - Pattern Testers Required

November 20, 2014

Meet Fleur, the little lady who has been keeping me company these last few weeks.  She gives the appearance of being quite prim and proper but she loves to sneak into the garden and have her feet in the dirt.  Strawberries are a favourite, although we do have to remind her to only pick the red ones!  Her little hands are just the right size to help wind the new pea shoots onto the trellis so they can grow tall and strong.

Of course she loves flowers too, hence her name.  Despite her disposition for being outside in the dirt, when she comes inside her first stop is to make a nice cup of tea for her friends.  There is nothing more civilised than a well made and freshly poured cup of tea she tells me.

Fleur is a 15 inch cloth doll.  She wears a sweet kimono crossover dress with puffed sleeves, trimmed with vintage ricrac.  Underneath she sports a pair of sweet wee French knickers with a tiny bow.  Flours shoes are made of felt, although she only likes to wear them for best:)  Fleur's hair is a braided up-do which was inspired by my great grandma Mabel who used to always wear her hair this way, she was also a keen gardener.



Fleur is my very first cloth doll pattern and I am so proud of her.  The basic doll body pattern itself is a copyright free vintage pattern which I have carefully digitised and modified to accommodate my personal preference.  I don't claim to have created her, just given her a tweak here and there!  My work lies mostly in the comprehensive tutorial for her construction, how to create her facial features, detailed hair instructions and of course her little clothes.



The pattern for Fleur is ready to be tested.  I am looking for both beginner and more experienced sewers to help me with this.  You can fill in the testing application form here if you would like to test her.  She is suitable for someone who has used a sewing machine before and is willing to pay careful attention to details such as lining things up perfectly and taking the time to enjoy making her.  Embroidery experience is not required as everything is covered in the tutorial.  She is not a whip-it-up-in-an-evening project, although there are lots of elements which can be done in a spare fifteen minutes here and there so she does come together nicely.

She will make an utterly magical Christmas gift for a special little one in your life.

If you would like to test her please fill in this form, and you will be notified via email by Friday evening (21st Nov) with an invitation to a private Facebook group.  Testing will take place in four stages: doll body, facial features, hair and clothes.  The entire doll needs to be completed by Monday 8th December which is about two and a half weeks. Please only apply if you can complete within this timeframe.

I truly believe that when it comes to dolls for children, being handmade with love is totally where it is at.  I can't tell you how excited I am to share these delightful dolls with you - I hope they fill you with as much joy as they do me!

xx

A Return to Doll Making

November 19, 2014

I made my first dolls when I was about eight and fell in l.o.v.e with doll making.  They were knitted dolls, a boy and a girl in little winter outfits.  I discovered them recently when my parents delivered the last of my boxes which had been lurking in their garage.

But you know how it goes - sometimes it takes a while to rediscover your passion for something.  A few years ago when our little girl was just a baby I embarked on a doll making journey which gave me so much pleasure - a vintage style cloth doll with embroidered features.  I was in the earlier years of recovering from a severe hand injury and every stitch was a concerted effort.  It was a slow and sometimes painful process, but oh my, when that little doll's personality began to shine through, I proved to myself once again that hand stitching truly is such a wonderful therapy - I could create something beautiful from my heart and with my hands given perseverance and patience.  I was hooked.  You can read about her here.


Since then I have made a bunch of dolls.  A few in a similar style, and also some traditional Waldorf-Steiner dolls which I love for their beautiful simplicity and tactile nature. 

I have played with doll hair - making crochet wigs, stitched hair and even wefted hair (that was a steep learning curve!)  Doll making is something that our little girl loves to be a part of too.  I often find her fossicking in my button jar or choosing wool for hair.  She tells me about the dresses she would like for them and more recently is coming up with wonderful names and stories.  It has been so much fun experimenting and I have learnt so much along the way.





Although I do fully intend to take things easy for the next wee while, dolls for me are a completely different story.  The allure of being able to pick up a wee doll and work for a few minutes here and there is very appealing.  Gently hand stitching facial features in-between little tasks throughout the day, stuffing limbs while watching a little tele in the evening - now that I can do!

After my original blog series on the doll I made, I received a bunch of emails requesting advice and information.  It seems the instructions on vintage doll patterns are notoriously scant, assuming considerable sewing knowledge and experience.  Often less than half a page of the doll body, face, hair and clothes instructions combined!  So over the years I have been making notes of what I have learned along the way.

This has led to the creation of "Fleur", my very first cloth doll tutorial.  She has literally been years in the works, and I am very proud, somewhat nervous, but mostly very excited to share her with you soon...

I'll be looking for pattern testers - so stay tuned!

xx