Thursday, December 31, 2009

We know that there is more than one kind of doll.....

But this is one of the best..........Who are you going to kiss at midnight?
Cheers to ALL of you and Best Wishes for a most fruitful and Happy New Year!
The Creative Doll Blog - Michelle and Kathi

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Emilie Claire - Diary Entry

Sarah said “YES!” Everything is a whirlwind! The engagement announcement made tonight at the party before we went to the ball. I am to be her Maid of Honor and the wedding will be late this summer. I met James Ian tonight, Dear Diary, and he is more handsome than I imagined. He is tall, though not as tall as William is. He has dark hair and his eyes are the summer sky! I was so shy when I met him I could barely look up. He laughs readily, dances divinely and his attention to me was the subject of conjecture. I was so happy tonight; I did not want it to end. Mother and Father are here and we are having a grand time visiting the fair and old acquaintances. Tomorrow we go on a picnic. I cannot wait. E~C

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Did Santa fulfill your Dolly Dreams??
Heartfelt Merry Christmas from Kathi and Michelle

Plus I have to include my own 3 dolls......

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Emilie Claire - Chapter 14

The day of the ball has arrived and Emilie Claire has dressed. She is sweet in her white tulle gown. She wears her tiara and earrings. The other accessories in her parure are a necklace and two bracelets and a broach. Mother will not allow her to wear all the jewelry at her age. The pieces remain nestled in their velvet box at home and in a safe.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Need a Last Minute Gift for your Doll Making Friend?

If you have a doll making friend that you need to buy for...let them choose their own gift by giving them a Doll Artist's Workshop/minidolls.com Gift Certificate. They will be delivered within hours right to their e-mail inbox. So no need to paying shipping or rush to the mall!!
p.s. Kathi and I have not forgotten about you our there....It has just been insanely busy...the Christmas Crunch!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

T is for the trust the pilgrims had so many years ago
H is for the harvest the settlers learnt to grow
A is for America, the land in which we live
N is for nature and beauty which she gives
K is for kindness, gentle words, thoughtful deeds
S is for smiles, the sunshine everyone needs
G is for gratitude... our blessings big and small
I is for ideas, letting wisdom grow tall
V is for voices, singing, laughing, always caring
I is for Indians, who taught them about sharing
N is for neighbors, across the street, over the sea
G is for giving of myself to make a better me
by Judith.A. Lindberg

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bleuette...so Cute!


Hello, Bleuette Fans-

In an effort to expand the pattern line I am working with Nada Christensen to make patterns for her wonderful 4 ½” Bleuette. She has the cutest little composition body. (Other heads are available as well. See http://www.nadachristensen.com/bleuette.html)

To get you started I have created a pattern for her undergarments and shoes and some small stockings. You can add tucks or trim the legs to make them shorter. Inspiration for this pattern derived from the original Nous Habillons Bleuette pattern from August 1916. I have created the pattern anew but tried to keep the integrity of the original.
With the second pattern, Bleuette can play at school or jumping rope with her friends. Inspired by the original pattern for Bleuette published October 1920, I have created the jumper shown originally called Robe Sans Manches or Dress without sleeves. I have been true to the original depiction and have even included directions for making her sweet jump rope.

Patterns and fabrics are available from Michelle at The Doll Artist’s Workshop, http://www.minidolls.com or form Nada Christensen. See her website for show schedules near you.

Have Fun! Kathi

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Next Generation...

I am thrilled that my daughter Natalie, 3-1/2 is showing and interest in dolls. She currently has an Ariel doll that she can bring in the tub with her. Long flowing red hair that we can comb and braid. So I figured that this would be the Christmas that I can get her a Barbie. I had a Barbie when I was a little girl that my Mom and Grandma sewed clothed for. I used to love dressing and redressing her in all her outfits. Originally I was a bit hesitant to buy her a Barbie considering the body image is so distorted. I actually started to look for the chubby version of Barbie. But I do not think they make them anymore. I thought Emme was going to be a Robert Tonner doll. But they are kind of expensive, not really a play doll for a little girl. I started on the Mattel sight and was HORRIFIED at how barbie looks, how she is dressed. OK...is Barbie a Hooker? I do not want my daughter to want to wear bippy tops and mini skirts like her Barbie. This picture is the sweet looking one.
After further searching I found this one. It is Twilight Bella Swan Barbie. I do not know who the character is...but at least she looks kind of normal, even though the jeans are skin tight.
I then went to look for Barbie patterns. They do not make them like they used to. And the clothes they have for sale are once again HORRIFYING! So I trudged over to Ebay. Just 1 vintage Barbie pattern was going to $7 plus shipping. Then I found this wonderful CD of vintage Barbie patterns that are classic and I know with styling I can make them modern. I am soooo excited!! I think I will have more fun than she will for a while. But I plan on teaching her how to sew so she can make her own fashions.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Emilie Claire Diary Entry


I have arrived! We are having the most wonderful time planning all of our upcoming events. I showed my gown to Sarah. The airing and steaming will bring it to life after the unpacking from the journey. Sarah’s dress is a sweet shade of blue. The dress is perfect match to her eyes. I dream of the sparkles as I waltz in the candle light. Mother has allowed me to bring my tiara and diamond earrings.
I met William for the first time today. He is handsome and charming. He brought news of James Ina’s delay, so I was unable to meet him. William assures Sarah James will be here and in time for the ball. James is required home, as his father had taken ill. It is not too serious I understand, he has a late winter cold but is on the mend. E~C

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thank you for the great responses!

Dear All,
All I can say is “WOW!” There seems to be a great amount of interest in the paper doll project. First off, there was no contest as such where one wins a prize or anything. There were not enough completed projects by the deadline date to submit to the magazine, let alone win a prize. I thought I’d write about it while I am working on other things so we could share the experience. I have it folded up and haven’t removed it from the box. It really is quite amateur. The pictures might show it to better advantage than the real doll deserves. However, it was fun and I learned a lot.
I have not learned how to answer you each privately so I want you to know I am trying. I write many of the articles and Michelle does both post and write, so please forgive me any bad manners. I do read the posts and I do not take them for granted. I need to learn how to respond. So many things to do with so little time, or maybe I poorly manage my time. I am a “housewife with a hobby!”
Dear Pattyjo, “Are you crazy?” Hahahahaha kit this paper doll! Truly, I would not know where to begin and I believe I would have to get permissions from so many places. I am VERY flattered. If you ever need to do a similar project, I will gladly write and chat with you along the way. Let me know if you decide to try, I will be your biggest cheerleader.
Dear Wanna, Your words are high praise indeed. I have also enjoyed all the things you have done. I especially have a love affair with your Mother Goose. She is delightful and your story telling keeps a smile on my face. The collaboration with Michelle is a good one. I have to admit she drags me through it all. I would not have thought to do a blog, or share these things if not for her. She’s the one behind me doing patterns, and painting fabrics, and well about a half dozen other things. She makes me think!
Dear Judy, I am so sorry, I think I might have confused you. I visited the internet with a search on “Brick Wall” and there borrowed a copy. Likewise, the gate, I think my search was something like “garden gate”, or English Garden. Therefore, I borrowed the pictures I found and imported or inserted the pictures into my Microsoft Publisher program and sized them from there. Once I sized the items correctly for my project, I printed them on 81/2” X 11” photographic paper (matte) and began working from there. Another thing you can do for your American Girl is take the picture of your doll with a white background, import them into your picture program, I use Adobe Photoshop Elements 7, then you can erase the background of your doll, and drag her into the picture you want to use and size it right there. It is not quite that easy, but with a little practice, you can get much better at it. Try it.
Dear UK Jane, Thank you for your nice comments. The fur is synthetic fur trim one buys here in the USA at the fabric store. I did trim it up a bit, as I wanted the shape of the fur to “fall down” or have a rounded look. You could probably make any of the faux furs available work for you.
Thanks again for your posts and comments. Michelle and I really appreciate the support and sharing. I’ll be answering as often as I can. Now it is time to get back to work. Have a great day! Kathi

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Chapter 13 - The Evening Wear

Emilie has a new ball gown for the events of the summer. The gown pictured is from a La Petite Modele fashion that Louise Hedrick adapted to fit the Ultimate Fashion Doll by Alice Leverett. (www.justalice.com) I made this gown in a class at the UFDC headquarters in Kansas City. The articles are so sweet I wanted to include them in Emilie's story. Swiss cotton tulle, silk ribbon and pearls make this gown a confection. D├ęcolletage is low as were evening gowns of the mid to late 1860's. (There is a lilac cape to match not shown) Alice Leverett also created a wonderful accessory kit that I have not completed. (Who doesn’t have an unfinished project in the workroom? I know you do!) The kit includes the dance card (completely filled in with dances from a real antique dance card) a lace handkerchief, glove case, silk evening gloves, a keepsake box, silk evening slippers and a feather fan. (To purchase the pattern please contact Louise, lhstudio@worldnet.att.net)
Kathi

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The paper doll

The rules of the project allowed that we were able to make some minor changes to the paper doll itself. We could change arm position or make small adjustments but were to use this doll’s face in unchanged form. The only change I made to the doll was shorten her hair about 1/8” on both sides and I would like to have eliminated her undergarments as the bustier limits the neckline. I printed the figure on cardstock and painted her skin and features. The shoes, painted in flesh leaving the leaving the undergarments white.

The bridal garment is an advertisement for I. Magnin in the 1940’s. (I cannot remember the exact date.) I loved the picture. The foundation of card was covered with silk, and then chiffon, with some punched paper flowers filling out the stream of flowers across the bodice front. Small velvet flowers are her bouquet. The veil is a removable hat, like a tent card, with silk illusion streaming over her shoulders.

The high style 40’s gown with fur is a photograph from “Fashion Design in the Movies”. (I would love to give you all the specifics but my book is currently packed up, how frustrating.) I also used cardstock as the base for the gown construction. I chose a beautiful silk and metallic jacquard, but the layers needed enhancement. I tried a different technique by tracing all the layers onto the cardstock and cut them out. I covered each layer with fabric and glued it on the previous layer creating some dimension and shadowing for the folds of the skirt. The fur portions were set aside, and then covered with faux fur fabric and glued in place. I trimmed the fur sections to appear like the original gown.

The necklace is glued gems onto cardstock cut into the shape of the original necklace in the photograph. Place the necklace on the paper doll just like a 2 dimensional paper doll accessory. My model is ready for her fashion shoot.

She stands along side her Rolls and is ready for her picture.

Kathi R. Mendenhall, IGMA Artisan, La Petite Belle Patterns
minipatterns.com

Saturday, October 3, 2009

3-D Paper Doll

The box development
The paper doll project seen here is my production of what was an intriguing idea as a group project. Mixed media art has been one of my interests and though I have created some dimensional art in my watercolor classes, I had never tried this. The project gave me the incentive to try a “new to me” art. Being within my scope of interest and I took the challenge.

The appeal for me was to create fashion that was glamorous and feminine. I thought I would like to make a model on a fashion shoot where I could take great license with scenes and eras of style. The garden setting was timeless and I felt I could change eras, styles, and props on the model to go with any fashion. I searched the internet and found some interesting pictures that I borrowed for the project including this old garden gate in England. I have to tell you, most of the results are serendipitous as I did not have to manipulate the photographs much to get the look I was trying to achieve.
The participants in the project used the same box pattern and the same paper doll. I set to work on my idea by creating the box. After borrowing the pictures, sizing them correctly, I printed the pictures several times. The inside garden is made of three garden photographs cut apart and layered in a very traditional 3-D decoupage method. (I used scrapbook spacers instead of silicone for the dimension.) The gate took the most time, sizing it first, printing it, doing a little painting on it, and then cutting out the background. I think I spent a couple of days at this.
The brick wall was “created” in Microsoft® Publisher. I printed off the sidewalls and some gavel yard I found on the internet, too. I learned many new things while trying this challenge. While searching the internet I found a picture of an antique Roll Royce, it appeared perfect as a prop. This sets my mind to may new ideas or my model’s photo site.

Finally, I had to cover the box outside. The idea of a Vogue Magazine cover as it is a fashion shoot came to mind. I had seen a movie called “Cover Girl” and found the photo of it in a book. I told you, this was real serendipity. I got really luck on many occasions. In the same book, a movie fashion designer compendium was the two-page spread of the models that cover the outside. I added ribbon to tie it closed and the box project was complete.
This is quite an amateur project and I learned a lot. I would do quite a few different things should I try this again. Overall, it was a great exercise. I will present the doll and her clothes in the next installment.
Kathi minipatterns.com

Monday, September 28, 2009

Just 'cause the are CUTE!

Sometimes you just need some cute! Just to make you smile...Don't you want to go play now?
Michelle minidolls.com

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cathy Hanson Bru (6”)

I was thrilled when I was able to buy a Cathy Hansen 6” Bru. She is so wonderfully executed and I love her “little” body. When I received her I thought she would be a more petite scale. But I have to say working with her is a dream. Though she is 6” tall her body scale is more childlike and solid. She is not chubby; nor as lithe as some 6” small dolls. To repeat, she is a dream to dress. I have attempted to make some patterns for her, but this year has caught me at a loss. I hope to continue next year adding more patterns and a new way to display her. (Is there any real new way? I don’t know, either way it will be new to me to create.) Cathy has been a great associate in developing my patterns and her style is not one I can emulate. She has a knack for fabric and trims and her taste is exquisite. To see and learn more about Cathy’s dolls you can visit her website: http://www.dollsbycathy.com/

When developing patterns for a new (to me) doll, I usually begin with a good set of undergarments. In pattern 7500 ($5.00) I developed a traditional pair of pantalets with a tuck and gathered lace edging, a slip that is close to the body with matching trims, a pair of socks with lace cuffs and she holds her set of stays. (They do fit her.) The little slippers are copied from an antique pair in Theriault’s auction catalog named The Way They Wore. If you have this catalog they are on page 81.

I have also offered a new and simple dress of batiste and lace which caught my eye in an antique auction as well. Keep your eyes open at the auctions and in the antique shops, something there is bound to catch your eye. The elegant simplicity I thought would be a wonderful start for the 6” cabinet doll line of patterns. The hat shown with the dress did not suit my taste so I found another for inspiration. The shoe pattern is from an historical pattern but improvisation was necessary to make it fit.

The dress construction method is more 20th century as this tiny doll needed finished seams. It is lined rather than rather than the lining and dress fabrics as one and overcast the edges. I like the super finished inside on a doll such as this. The lining method gives the garment strength for the dressing and undressing. However, both methods are successful with this pattern. It fits very well and is La Petite Belle Pattern 7501. ($7.00)

Both patterns and fabrics can be purchased at the Doll Artist’s Workshop by clicking here:Cabinet Doll Pattern
Kathi

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A project to Share

While we are waiting for me to finish up on some other items, new patterns, and deadlines, I thought I would share something I am doing now. The goal here is to share with you the steps to making this miniature room. I like Victorian rooms with all the knick knacks and bric-a-brac around, but don’t think I would like to clean or dust the rooms. I also like the bare necessities of a minimalist’s room, but think it is not too homey or inviting. I like my friends and my comfort. So, I think I am an “in-the-middle-est.” Yes, I think that suits me fine. I really like having my things but don’t mind them all not being out at the same time. It’s kind of like sensory overload. Since my house is for sale and I have to keep it clean ALL the time, I like having a project I can work on, and put away, but also one that I can change out as I please.
Today I am sharing just such a project. At last I am able to work on it in earnest. I have been collecting and finishing the interior additions for quite some time, but never seem to get to the box itself. What you are seeing today is the box parts, open and closed, and a snippet of the wall paper being used for the “room.” (A room I can close up and put away, protected, or display when I want. Cool!)
The paper is from Itty Bitty and I purchased it at the Miniature Cottage. Currently, the box is painted on the outside with black and primed on the inside with white. My friend, Judy, is going to sand and paper it for me. Why am I not doing the work, you ask? Because I am no good at it! I don’t want to ruin it before I have a chance to enjoy it. I’ll have more opportunities to error as I go along. (Grin) So, we’ll see it again when Judy returns it to me.
The problem I need to solve is what I want on the outside. The goal is to decoupage it. But, do I decoupage a whole scene or bits and pieces of antique things? What about dresses and patterns, but what periods? Any ideas are greatly appreciated, but you can’t be hurt if I don’t do what you suggest. Hopefully, buy the time I get it back I will know the answer and have the supplies. Then there is shelving and flooring, but I am getting ahead of myself. Construction is not my greatest gift.
So, hang in there while I take you through my journey for the sewing room. There’s a great deal more to come.
Kathi

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Make a Miniature Purse!

Supplies
Set of Laser Cut purse handles (minidolls.com has them)
Small print or solid for purse body
Silk thread for “piping”
Scissors
Glue

Directions
1. Center the pattern design you like on the purse pattern and mark it. (In your mind or with a pin)
2. Turn the fabric to the wrong side and spread glue along the back of the cotton fabric. Allow to completely dry. This will keep the fabric together and it will not fray.
3. Trace the pattern to the fabric to the wrong side of the fabric, or over the glue with a pencil. Having a circle template helps keep the pattern centered and the circle round.
4. The sample uses the handles in their original form, but they can be painted and lacquered (nail polish, acrylic paints with spray sealer) or gilded or stained a different color. Use your imagination.
5. Glue the handle to the purse fabric on the wrong side, following the diagram. 6. Clip the curves showing inside the handle, and glue them over to the wrong side or inside of the purse.
7. Complete both handles the same way. 8. With a small amount of glue on the edges, place the purses together wrong side to wrong side. Allow to dry.
9. Place a small amount of glue along the outside edge and cover the edge with a silk thread, or small braid. (I used a twisted silk thread.) Trim away excess at the handles and you have a purse that opens and closes.
10.Place a hankie edge sticking out for more character.
For complete PDF file of tutorial plus added diagrams click here: PDF Tiny Purse

Monday, August 24, 2009

Chapter 12 - Emilie Takes a Trip

The suit of dotted Swiss is lined in pink Swiss batiste is most becoming on Emilie Claire. Emilie Claire is ready for her trip. The porter has taken her trunks and she waits with her personal items for the call to board the train, Lisabeth’s doll safely in her arms.

If you have reviewed the pattern for the original doll, you will see I have changed her jacket. It did not “suit” me. (Sorry I could not help it.) Emilie likes plainer clothes, more tailored and I made it to her wishes. The jacket is elegant in French ribbons and ribbon ties. I placed the purse as a belt purse as her hands are full.

Emilie is so rushed her bonnet ties are slipping. (That is my way of saying yes I noticed the picture is not perfect. We all do our best, do we not?) “Oh, I hear the whistle, the train is coming!” Emilie exclaims. Her parents settle her in and assure her they will follow in a few weeks. “Mind your best manners, Emilie Claire.”

Dear Diary
My hat arrived from the milliner yesterday. I was thrilled to open the box and see how special she made my bonnet. There is a sweet ruffle of lace added to the underside with a small bouquet of flowers peaking out. For my birthday, Father presented me with a new hatpin made with a real pearl. It is a treasure!
I still think of the young man I am to meet. It diverts me! E~C


Kathi

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

UFDC Convention – Day 6 - 3 of 3

Day 6, Friday
We finally arrived at the time everyone has been anxiously waiting, the Convention Banquet. Each year a doll is created especially for the convention. How people are able to create this many dolls is extraordinary. Each one is a handmade beauty.
When everyone arrives at the table we count heads, take tickets, and do a little tiny bit of convention business. My table mates and I share gifts for everyone at the table. (I’ll show you mine in another post.) Each gift is original and fun and really represents the giver in special ways. Perhaps it is a way to share a love of dolls, something representing your area or country, something made by you. It is all great fun to receive 10 separate gifts. It’s like Christmas.
The program was a power point type of presentation with beautiful music, pictures of the people, places, and classes, luncheons of the entire week; a retrospective of dolls, where they started, where they are today and all those in between. The show was nostalgic, emotional and well done. I enjoyed it immensely.
Okay, now I get to say it, the food was GREAT! Dinner was all about fillet and vegetables and potatoes.
The convention doll, Grace, which you see in the photos, was created by an extraordinary artist, Beverly Walter. Beverly began her career in doll making in 1969. She creates one-of-a-kind period ladies. Each piece of porcelain artistry is a combination of porcelain sculptures, add-ons and multiple china paint firings. Her pieces have semi-precious stones applied. The costuming, completed by well known dressmakers, is period correct, meticulously sewn and embellished. I took so many pictures of her work at the special exhibit; I hope to share them with you in future posts.
There is one really serendipitous moment in all of this that I must tell you. I arrived at the special exhibit for my appointed time to photograph and was stopped in my tracks at the beauty of the dolls before me. I started taking pictures like crazy. I could not believe what I was seeing. While photographing I stopped at this small doll, always my favorites, and stared, appreciating all her little details. Her clothing was perfection. She had a chemise a la Reine (the peasant dress style of Marie Antoinette), she was dressed in a Robe a La Francaise, an additional court costume was placed on a mannequin and a wonderful little lace mantle was created for her. I enjoyed at her for a long time. Another thing I noticed is that I had somehow picked out and purchased or even had in my stash at home the same fabrics as this wonderful little wardrobe.
When I opened the box with the little lady in it, I cried. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I had in my hands the doll I was mesmerized by in the exhibit room. Imagine my surprise, when I had fallen in love with, and been photographing the convention doll. She was a secret and hiding in plain sight. And the surprised did not stop there! Within the digital journal of the week we received on Tuesday night are the patterns for this exquisite doll created by Sheryl Williams. I have the patterns, I have the fabric, and I have the doll. Can life be anymore fortuitous? I am so lucky. (And grateful, as now I do not have to envy all the people who have own one of these precious dolls.)

Thus ends my story of the convention. But there is more to tell you and more to show and more inspiration coming. So, hang with us and we will find more things to inspire you. Thank you for all your comments.
Kathi

p.s. This is Kathi's first published Digital Scrapbook page...Bravo Kathi!! Michelle

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

UFDC Convention – Day 6 - 2 of 3

Luncheon
Having completed my class for Mary, I was able to excuse myself and run to stand in line for the luncheon entitled “Girl with a Pearl Earring. Of course we all were wondering about the program and what the souvenir would be. The doll club of Vermont (if this was New Hampshire I will scream as I did not take notes) did the best job at our table favors, prizes (they had something for every person there) and the overall program. My first lunch was proving a delight. And lest you think I like everything I eat and do not complain, that is not so. The sandwich plates were very good, but I was saving myself for some pecan pie. We were in Georgia, right? But, they said they RAN OUT! What! So we got a lemon curd with a raspberry and some whipped cream instead. I like lemon in my tea and, of course, my lemonade, but I am not a fan of lemon pies, lemon bars, lemon tarts, lemon drizzle or icing and other concoctions. At least I got to save those calories. There is a positive. The room was so cold, it made the luncheon uncomfortable. AND I HAD A SWEATER! My poor friend in her sleeveless tank-type dress was positively turning blue.
The speaker was informative talking about the Dutch dolls in painting and in history, really interesting subject. Door prizes were given out and I thought I would get lucky and win a wooden shoe, some were antique, but my ticket number was called and I won a wonderful little doll dress with beautiful smocking on it. I was informed it would fit the doll from the luncheon. Oh, Goody! As the program drew to a close and we shook so badly from the cold, we were at last given our darling little girls from the Boneka Company. (http://homepage.mac.com/boneka/Menu10.html) She is a Dianna Effner sculpt especially for them. My little girl came with a tag, her name is Grietje, (after the character in the movie) and she is Edition 103 / 145. I took the net off her head to release her curls and you can see her here in her darling regional and period costume. She arrived in an unbleached cotton bag; a lovely souvenir for the event. (For a few dollars more I could have purchased her boy – friend. But then we would have to discuss the budget again. And I didn’t want to blow all my good works.
Kathi

Saturday, August 8, 2009

UFDC Convention – Day Six

Part One of Three
I was on a waiting list for Mary Zoch’s Wigging Class. (I borrowed the prototype picture, too!) If you have not taken a Mary Zoch class before, you should. She’s wonderful as a teacher, informative, patient and encouraging. Mary allows students to progress at their own speed and also allows them to create whatever they want. This was no different. I loved the class as I learned the techniques and products, but did not have to make a little girl wig. She had prepared the wigging materials and curls for us in advance, so mostly we learned what to do, how to do it, and then were allowed to style the hair our own way. This made the class remarkably fast and I was able to finish. Yea! For me there is nothing worse than taking home another unfinished project. I have enough of those I created without adding more. You do, too. You know who you are.
Kathi R. Mendenhall, IGMA Artisan
La Petite Belle Patterns

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

UFDC Convention – Day 5

Very Quiet
You don’t have to be in a club to be a member of the UFDC. Did you know that? I didn’t at first. You can enroll as a Member at Large. (My friends and I call ourselves the MALcontents!) We meet once a month at Barbara’s house and play dolls and work on projects. We are not large enough to be a club, but we do the outings and shows and things of interest to us. It is fun and relaxing.
So, on Thursday, while those who are members did the annual meeting (and yes anyone can go) I stayed in my room and worked on sewing, reading, resting and playing with my fabrics. At lunchtime I met a friend from dinner on an earlier occasion and we went next door to a traveling exhibit of poster art. The subject of the exhibit was political statements regarding war, racism and the environment. Oi! (I picked that up from Harry Potter.) How depressing. What a waste of $8.00. Well made points in some of them, but really, I was on a nice vacation and had not been away from my house in two years. I was running from depression and didn’t need it here. I know I need to be socially aware, but this was in your face. To get over it we went to the shopping center food mall and had a “cheap” lunch. And I knew it all afternoon. TMI?
When we finished I was back up to the room and having a go at finishing my Saque du Voyage. (Yes the one I ran out of thread on and am currently trying to finish. I bought the thread.) And I took a nap.
I volunteered to be a monitor for the competition room. That was a learning experience, loved it. I got to sit in front of the Dorothy Heizer display. Yes, it was torture to examine some of the work of a modern day artist, who has sadly passed, and learn as much as I could in the 3 ½ hours I was there. I did take pictures and are sharing them today. I had the opportunity to HOLD one a few years back when I was taking a class from George Stuart who has one in his collection. I am jealous.
I will be sharing some of the pictures I took along the way of this blog. There were too many to share with you today. Friday was going to be a busy day so I returned for more reading and squishing into my comfy bed.
Kathi

Sunday, August 2, 2009

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Friday, July 31, 2009

UFDC Report – Day 4 (Still)

Budget Busters
Do you want to see the half dolls I could not live without? I haven’t dressed them yet, but that’ll come. These are created by an artist named Kathy Redmond. I understand she did quite a lot of these slip decorated dolls. To me they are a cross of china head dolls, half dolls and Dresden dolls. They are just wonderful and I had never seen this artist before. When I saw them the first time, I was mesmerized. I just stared at them. But I did walk away.
On Wednesday when they were both still there I did not know what to do. Truly, I loved them both and could not make up my mind. Therefore; I bought both. I do not regret it. And as for the whole budget we talked about, at the end of the week, I only went over 200.00. Not too bad, huh?
Enjoy! (Did I mention the food was great?)
Kathi
p.s. my jealousy is now a serious issue...Michelle

Thursday, July 30, 2009

UFDC Convention – Day 4 revisited

Finished my Papeterie
It seems I have some disbelievers out there! You might not believe that I really completed my Papeterie Project. Michelle wanted a bigger picture for the article and not a borrowed one of the class prototype. So, to kill the proverbial two birds with one stone, I am proving that I finished my little letter box AND have bigger pictures of the project.
Michelle said she was a bit jealous as well.
But here is my completed project.
Kathi

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

UFDC Convention – Day 4

Budget, what budget?
I’m back with some more convention news, kind of like a diary isn’t it. Well, I got to be in Sherrill Williams’s workshop and we made a Papeterie. (French, a little letter desk.) I have borrowed the picture again from the convention to attach to this as the kits were made up and mine looked EXACTLY like Sherrill’s. Well it did! She did the kit and there was no way to fail, and yes, I did finish it, in my room later during my sewing and quiet time. Thank Goodness I scheduled those, too.
On Tuesday evening I had chatted with hubby and we discussed how the money was holding out. “Well, thank you, except well, my friends and I have had really different schedules and I didn’t plan to, but if there is room in the luncheon I would like to go to a paid luncheon and join them on Friday. And I am going back to the National Doll Show tomorrow as I have scheduled time. There were a couple of places I didn’t know about and I want to check them out. And maybe I’ll see if a doll is left. It’s the last day of the show.” I assured him I had enough money to do what I needed and do my tipping when I left, etc. etc.
So, completing my Papeterie workshop I headed down to registration to see if any space was left in the luncheon, called “Girl with the Pearl Earring.” Interesting! The gift was a surprise; no one knew what we were paying for other than lunch. Well, I got into that and reported back to the other members at large from here that I meet once a month.
Quickly, run to my room and catch the bus back to the National Doll Show. It would be closing at 7.00 PM (though we were told it was at 5 PM) Why I worry about such things I will never know but I did have to get back for pictures. My assigned times were 6-6.30 for the competition room and 6:30-7:00 for the Special Exhibits. Once again, I digress. Off to the National Doll Show I went.
I arrived and went to see all the places I missed the first time. OMG! The dolls are still there! Crap now what? That brings us to budget, what budget? No one bought the dolls. I thought it would be easy; I could buy the one that no one wanted and wouldn’t have to make a decision. I still could not decide. “So, “I said, “what’s the price for both?” (Greed, that sin of sins) So, to make a long story short I went over budget but not by a whole lot. (Ring ring, I used the charge card! Someone had to; people’s jobs were at stake. It was my duty as citizen of the United States to keep that money moving!)
I finally sat in the heat and waited 45 minutes outside for the bus. No one was going to even drag me into the hall of temptation. I had broken my budget and had to pay the piper.
I went back to the hotel, charge receipts in my wallet, dolls wrapped in my purse, tee-he, tee-he, big grin on my face and cooled off. I went to supper and met more friends. Friends who understood the trying events of the day, and how easily it is to give in to temptation and truly believing that if those dolls were still there on the last day, it was MEANT TO BE!
I went off to take my pictures, stay tuned. Yes, the food was delicious. I ate the whole hamburger AND the fries. I managed to blow the budget and the diet all in one day. Well, Fiddly-Dee tomorrow is another day.
Stay tuned. Kathi
p.s. by Michelle: Did I tell you I was seriously jealous!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

More about convention soon, but first ......

A comment about Money!
I know, money is a dirty little subject, but I think it isn’t chatted about enough. People who have it are guilty about it, and people with almost enough want to keep their mouths shut and people without much at all don’t want to be shunned. Well, I am in there with the whole group and not the group with piles of it. I knew that going to this convention would place me with ladies (and gentlemen) with far more disposable income than I could imagine. But that did not stop me from going. First it was close enough to drive, and the gas was cheaper than an airplane flight. I checked the room rates, the parking rates, the food rates, and the local taxes, and calculated that it would cost me about a thousand dollars to pay for the room. (I choked, too.) Then I knew I would want to spend about a thousand dollars, at least. That sounds like a lot, but you can spend a thousand dollars really fast at a convention, if you don’t have some rules. Those I am getting to in a minute.
I saved for this convention for TWO, count them, TWO years. I had the money, cash in hand for this trip. I didn’t inherit it; I worked for it and saved the money. Twenty dollars here, fifty dollars there, and I said no to myself several times for things I really wanted to buy. That money went into the fund. You can do it too! I have an acquaintance who loves to go to the guild school every year. (She treats it like a Christmas club account, every month 1/12 of the cost.) (www.IGMA.org). You should pay yourself like you would pay a bill.
Now for some rules to make your money go farther:
  1. Focus your intent – This convention shopping was focused on fabric. I knew I wanted larger pieces to make clothes for my Ultimate Fashion ®. She is 12” tall and to make a dress with a train, I don’t need more than ½ yard of fabric. She has Green eyes, so I wanted the fabric to have green or some color that works well with green. That would restrict me.
  2. Plan your shopping time – I knew I had workshops, meetings, seminars, luncheons and times I was meeting with friends. The showrooms were open only so many hours and one was at another venue. So my shopping time was limited to when a show was open and when I was free. I scheduled shopping into my schedule.
  3. Don’t carry all your money with you each time you shop. If it is early, you don’t want to spend it all in one place, and if you don’t have enough, you can leave a deposit and go get the balance.
  4. Swing around the showroom once or twice. If it is “to die for” buy it, but if there are more choices it will still be there. If it is not, it wasn’t meant to be. (Remember these are ways to be budget minded, not cruel.) Perhaps I am more disciplined. Remember I worked hard to save this money.
  5. Well, there is no five. I would love to have a five, but sometimes, you just have to have some fun and forget the rules. You’ll know when that is.
Now we know, I bought green fabrics and trims and items that go well with greens. I bought them in lots that did not exceed ½ yard and I only shopped for about 4 or 5 hours the entire week. But I did break the rules (Number 5) and bought a whole yard of the dreamiest blue I have ever seen, and a wonderful pink jacquard. Am I nuts, maybe, but I don’t regret a single purchase since I got home. Did I go over my budget, YES I DID! I will tell you more about that coming up.
Kathi
La Petite Belle Patterns
http://www.minipatterns.com

Friday, July 24, 2009

UFDC Convention – Day Three (Tuesday)

Tuesday was my busiest day! I was up and showered and ready for a workshop given by Alice Leverett. (www.justalice.com) the item we were to make was a Saque du Voyage, see picture. I borrowed her picture from the UFDC site as I have not finished my little luggage yet. (I ran out of thread! Not her fault, mine. I will buy more soon.) The class was great, a moment to catch up, learn a technique and meet new friends. Of all the wonderful color choices I chose black velvet with an olive edging. (I will post a picture when I do finish, which will be soon.)
After class I went to lunch, I really did like a salad at the hotel called, remarkably, Salad Bowl! It had all kinds of fresh spring greens, green beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), candied pecans, carrots, cucumbers and for a small fee a grilled chicken breast. Fresh bread and butter were delivered as a compliment. A tall glass of iced water and I was set.
I had the pleasure of sharing a luncheon conversation with Barbara Marshall of the Toy and Miniature Museum of Kansas City. (http://www.toyandminiaturemuseum.org/) Just speak to the people around you I say, what a rewarding conversation that was. She is delightful.
After lunch I registered to take pictures of the competition showroom and the special exhibits, attended a seminar of the Diversity of All Bisque Dolls, attended a meeting and sat in awe and watched as the items donated to the Bid & Bite auction went to enthusiastic new owners.
Stay tuned for more.
Kathi
P.S. I talked about the food in this one.
Kathi R. Mendenhall, IGMA Artisan
La Petite Belle Patterns
http://www.minipatterns.com

Thursday, July 23, 2009

UFDC Convention (Day Two – Monday)

Well, Monday was a fun day for me. I had not been scheduled for a workshop (though I tried for one) so decided to set off for another show that runs in tandem with the convention. This is called the National Doll Show. A free bus runs between the two venues so there is time to do everything. I met Nada Christensen in the morning and we set off to catch the bus for a fun day shopping.
Most of you know I am not really a doll collector, so I went for fabrics, laces and whatever caught my eye. There were THREE showrooms, all delicious. I purchased fabrics and laces, and oh, my Goodness, a doll caught my eye. I stared at the half dolls so long but was sure it was a mistake. I learned what I could of the maker, Kathy Redmond, and moved on. I was not there to buy dolls; I was there to indulge in fabrics. (But the dolls haunted me.)
I snagged some gorgeous full length laces, and to die for colors in silk. And then I turned a corner, there before me was a booth that sold antique and vintage fabrics. (See the picture) The top fabric is green and black, 1860’s, the sheen doesn’t show, nor the fineness, so beautiful. The second with the dots, is 1830’s, can you believe it? It is VELVET, so fine and soft, feels like air! The third fabric is a vintage sheer gauze floral stripe. (Wonderful for my “large” 12” Ultimate Fashion®) And finally, the white is a dotted net. I longed to find a black one, but snagged the white anyway. I am in love with these fabrics.
Nada (pronounced NAY- duh) bought a wonderful antique milliners shop in 1/12th scale for her sales table at the UFDC convention. We missed our bus, so sat down and ordered lunch, visited and shared stories. We separated when we returned as she needed to finish setting up her sales table and I wanted to work on a sewing project I brought from home.
Later that afternoon, I went to a table hostess meeting, a large opening ceremony where the announcements were made and the finally, the convention sales room opened. You guessed it, on to more fabric and laces. And I did buy more fabrics, from three more vendors, and more trims, and looked at more of the most gorgeous antique and modern dolls I have ever seen. What a wonderful event.
Well, I was spent for the day and needed to chat with hubby and catch some shut eye before classes the next morning.
Stay tuned for more about the convention and exhibits and workshops.
Kathi
P.S. did I mention the food was wonderful?
Kathi R. Mendenhall, IGMA Artisan
La Petite Belle Patterns
http://www.minipatterns.com