Wednesday, December 21, 2011

White Trash

 I actually started a cooking blog, somewhere.  

Making White Trash candy in Arkansas is pleasurable on all kinds of levels.
 However, the people I'm giving it to, I want to understand that the name
 is a whole 'Tongue in Cheek' kind of thing, 
So I made this tag 

and I'm hot-gluing it onto a  peg 
(that's a clothes pin to you) and clipping it to the cellophane bag.
And, if you're on my Christmas present list, you're getting a bag of this

For recipe, see here.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dollmakers on Thursday: Christmas is coming!

Ok, so...
There's no Dollmakers on Thursday this week, 
because Christmas is about a week away 
and you should see my 
Not Done Yet list....

However, here is a Christmas card, 
from me to you.
 Whoever you are.
Just print and fold. 
And, to you 
(whoever you are)
Please have a wonderful time,
 be happy, 
be sweet,
be safe.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Marie

Ok, this isn't a picture of a Marie

. This is an Infanta

 Miss Possum, of Plush Possum Studio found her for me 
and she looked so sweet in this portrait 
I really wanted her on my Fairy Tree  for Christmas.


I printed her skirt on fabric
 (freezer  paper and inkjet  printer technique. 
I'll add one of the many fine tutorials as soon as I get a link)
then I gave her wings and ribbons and roses 
and glued her to a peg.

And now she's on my tree and I'm going to make some more!

Here. Make some yourself!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dollmakers on Thursday: The Christmas Fairy

Us British, we're a secular lot. After all the drama with Henry VIII and the beheading, burnings, civil war and Guy Fawlkes, we've decided to just tone the whole thing down. We rarely talk about religion because it's not polite and, on the whole, we're pretty benevolent towards whatever it is eases your spirit.

So, what does that have to do with dolls, I hear you asking? (well, I don't obviously, I'm behind a keyboard in Arkansas and you are...wherever you are... And your mic's turned off)

When the Christmas Tree made it to England and became popular, it was crowned with an angel. The Empire of Victoria wasn't comfortable with that kind of thing and so the angel was quickly replaced with a fairy.

The fairy remains at the top of the Christmas Tree to this day. She's had many incarnations, sometimes she looks more angelic and sometimes she's a ballerina with wings, but she's always up there. 
That most famous of fairy artists, Cecily Mary Barker
depicted one in her Flower Fairy series,
her painting portraying a fairy doll 
that was just the prettiest ever.

And if you really want one, 
R John Wright, a highly respected and influential doll maker
has been busy on just that.

R John Wright's dolls are made of warm and tactile wool felt, 
with sweet faces and beautifully sewn accessories.

She's lovely but she may be too big for your Christmas Tree 
(or my pocket money).
How about something smaller?

When I was a kid and went to Woolworths 
they had the best Christmas Tree fairies. 
Like this

How I wanted one of these!

This fairy I found at the very lucky 
She made quite a haul of vintage Christmas goodies 
and this cute little thing was among them.

The other commonly available shape was this posing winged Ballerina fairy.

Nope. Didn't get one of these either.

 I was unable to persuade any grown up that had the money 
that I REALLY REALLY wanted one. 
I think that's a big part of why I make dolls now...

Now, with the Internet (I love it!)
there's all kinds of  fairies 
for all kinds of Christmases.

These are made by 
Wendy on Mulberry Musings. She's a girl after my own heart, with her 
whimsical Christmas Marie Antoinettes.
You can find them here, 
along with all sorts of delicious Rococo images, on her Etsy.

Or how about this sweet and pensive fairy, 
by Meenamorey of Deviant Art?

If you want to make your own, there's a tutorial here.

All very British so far.

 How about an American fairy, styled for Christmas?
This Candy Cane sweetie is by AmandaKathryn, on Deviant Art.

 I featured another of her dolls here on Steampunk Fairies.

I always have fairies on my tree.
 In fact,, the Christmas baubles come off on Twelth Night 
and the fairies remain on display all year.
A Christmas tree is a magical creation, full of sparkle and glitter,  
holding hopes and promises of delight.

Of course it should have fairies!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Look what I did!

No, no, I'm not expecting  it to actually sell!
But I got it there

Yay me!

Tutorial and giveaway: Christmas Garland

You know this thing is only days away, right?
No, I'm not ready yet, either,
but to help you,
 is offering a garland tutorial 

and two  hand crafted garlands on her blog.

Hurry! Pop on over there and sign up!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dollmakers on Thursday: The Father Christmas Figure

Why Father Christmas? 

 Partly because I'm British and Educated Middle Class (it's a burden, I know). There was a terse comment in a British magazine that said you could tell if someone was middle class because they called the chap in the red suit and boots with a sack of toys 'Father Christmas' and not Santa Claus or Santa. 
They were being snarky, too...

Either way, this seems the time to embrace a doll that is universally accepted by everyone who celebrates this season.  He is welcome in all forms, from the young and lusty giant that is the The Ghost of Christmas Present'

 to a jolly old elf shamelessly touting soda.

(You will have to mentally apply your own image here.
 I'm not fighting Coca Cola for copyright))

Here are some inspiring artist made dolls

Father Christmas William Bezek

This splendid fellow is, unfortunately, sold. 
And I'm not surprised. He's a dear.  
For more on how he was made, thee's some information here.
For more works by 
William Bezek, 
see his Etsy shop here, and for 
new works and 
general all round inspiration, see his blog, here.
There's a pretty AMAZING door wreath, 
which I've featured here.

You want something more rustic, more Prim? 
How about a Santa Claus stump doll?

This glorious chap is made by the very talented 
Bethann Scott at The Stitch Fiddler

if you want something very glamorous, 
how about these by Cynthia Finnerty.

A green one in scalamandre silk

And this one. I, personally, have a weakness
 for  Father Christmases who looks like 

One more?

Have you been good?
I hope so. 
Apparently. he makes this list and checks it twice!
I mean, how does he have the time?
It's Christmas!

Do you, maybe, prefer cloth dolls,

 and Santas you can hug?

Do you like your Father Christmases 
to induce a warm smile

or a chuckle?

How about cloth Santas you can make?

and treasure for years?

These are all made by the wonderfully talented Deanna Hogan 
The patterns for these are all available here. 
or on Deanna's Etsy,

if you're not sure what kind of Father Christmas you like, 
there's literally a line up here. 
Papa Noel

To a Victorian Santa

How about a traditional Santa, for your 19th Century mantel display? 
These, made to traditional German methods by Two Sisters Studios, 
look like you found them in a locked chest of memories in your Great Aunt's attic.

These are some of my favourites.
 If you have your own, 
feel free to add to your comments.
 I'd love to see.

I have an ulterior motive for posting these.
Crafters who are anxious about making their own dolls
 will often venture out into making a Santa for Christmas decor.
 It's a doll everyone can make with confidence.
If you make a Santa, I'd love to see.
 If you make a Santa and decide you enjoyed it, 
branch out into other dolls. 
I'll hold your hand.
 I promise!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Gift Wrap in a Tin. The Tutorial

Welcome to those of you directed from Gaslight and Gilt.

I thought I'd better describe this process as best I can.  Please be aware that there are abundant opportunities for puns here, so, whenever I can, I will make one. See?

. This is how to make a small decorated tin can, sealed up, with an object of your choice inside.
The recipient will need a tin opener, or, if you're crafty, this can be made with a ring pull can, for instant access. Obviously, this kind of gift wrap isn't for people who shouldn't be around sharp metal.
You know, small children, my uncle, your brother-in-law..

It is only suitable for small items, as the size of tin you can use is dependent on the size of base disc you can find. It might be an idea to check out the sizes of chilled  biscuit (UK) dough or croissants or biscuits (US)
 I use the silver discs on the top of a frozen juice tube, so my tins are all rather small..

Tin with ring pull lid
Tin. Just a tin can

And the loose lid from one of these.

You need one of these

The brands all seem pretty similar. When you open a frozen juice, one of the lids just pops off, That's the one you want. If you can pry the cardboard out of the other end, more power to you. That gives you two bases.

Test the disc base against the tin. 
You need it to be an exact fit. 
Do this in Tesco's or Wal*Mart if need be. 
It will give people something to stare at...

Measure the tin can around its circumference and from top to bottom in between the two metal rims. Extend the circumference a little, to allow for a neat seam at the back, and open an image document in any software you want/have the same size as your measurements, plus a tad more on the circumference. So. my tin measured 8" by 2.5 ". so I increased the width to 8 anna bit inches. All very scientific

Now make your image. It can be anything you want. I wanted pink and pretty, because my theme for Christmas is Marie Antoinette's Candy Shoppe, interpreted any way I please.

Here is my image..
 You're welcome to use it, if you want it, 
but check the sizeof the image 
against the size of your tin.
 It might need some adjusting.

Assemble all your equipment. The graphic, the clean, empty tin, the gift, the lid and some glue. 

Got all that?

Cut out your tin label.

 Glue it carefully onto the tin, between the two small metal rims. 

Glue it on UPSIDE DOWN. 
In other words,  when you attach the image,  the top of the image 
will be against the side of the tin that still has an end attached. 
See above if my explanation makes no sense at all.
If you're used to decorating tins for pencils or paintbrushes, 
you need to attach this label the other way around
 or you'll have to print out a new one and start again .

 Put in the gift. 
You do have a gift, don't you?

Don;t put in anything alive. 
No scorpion surprises. 
 Because of the glue I'd advise against food. 
Whoever would put food in a tin?

Put in the gift UPSIDE DOWN. 
Pack some kind of decorative packing around it, like tissue paper, if you don't want it to rattle. 
A cupcake liner might be just the right size for your tin and look pretty, too.
Make sure the packing is pushed in, away from where the base will be glued on.
 But packing might not be necessary for some items.

Then, glue on the base. Use a good, non-drippy glue and leave to dry.

Essentially, you're done. 

For a more masculine version, ideal for cuff-links,
 flash drives and pocket chronometers, see my blog here.

I'd like to extend a warm thanks to all those who provided the graphics for the label. 

Thank you to Karen ,of the Graphics Fairy
for the angel wings and the Victorian scraps and cards.
Thank you for everything you do.

Thank you to Plush Possum Studio 
for the background 
and the pretty painting of the Infanta,
 which she sourced specially for me.
Thank you, dear Possum.

Thank you to Valerie B at The Sum Of All Crafts
and thank you  also The Vintage Moth.

This would be a much less interesting internet without you. 
Merry Christmas and happy crafting!
May all your gifts have glitter.


This is linkied! To here, at Brag Monday! My first ever!

And here, Ivy and Elephants Linky Launch party. Go and visit!

Now linkied here, on Project Queen's Blog Hop, Gifts and Ornaments for $10 or less

And to here, at the wonderfully named Rook No.17

Merry Jingle!

 It's getting closer!

Coming Soon: Pretty tin gift wrap tutorial

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible
Meanwhile here is a pretty picture.

Oh my fur and whiskers!

  SUCH a giveaway, my dear bunnies!

Isn't it glorious?

Here is the fab frock!
I've got just the right little shoes and 
a row of pearls.

My Covered Bridge is an amazing blog I was happy to follow.
 She has some pretty wonderful make-overs, 
and pretty amazing tutorials.

Pop on over and say Hi!

To Kristen
 and everyone involved in the giveaway;
 thank you, thank you!

I'm going to look so glam!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I won a giveaway!

I won a giveaway! Yes I did!
I entered this one here, on the wonderful
Trash to Treasure Art's third Blogaversary.

What did I win?
 See here, all beautifully wrapped in sheet music.,
 tied up with seam binding ribbon, all soft and pretty...

Then I opened it and oh! inside were stamps!
Easter stamps including, oh joy of joys, a rabbit!

Now, I'm very much a stamps newbie, 
but I know we're supposed to keep track of the stamps we have,
 so I put these in my little stamp catalogue.
Aren't they gorgeous?

I also stamped an egg for my Easter Tree and put on a bow.
So, I'm not ready for Christmas but I have an early start on Easter.

Thank you, thank you to Lynn at 
for the giveaway and for my stamps.
 Congratulations, too, to the other winners

PS. I need help, being such a  stamp newbie. 
What do I clean stamps with? 
And can anyone suggest an ink pad
 that stamps on pretty much everything?