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Dolls House sized Travel Home

Well, it seems quite a while since I made anything or wrote on this blog, but here’s a fantastic little free make in the hope that you’ll forgive my non-posting.

I’ve spent a long time making dolls and trying to ‘up my game’ I figured I’d like a nice way to package dolls I sold. I’ve been looking for boxes for quite a while, then I came up with this little idea.

A little traveling home for my mini crochet dolls. It fits dolls just under 6″, so that’s dolls house dolls and some of Beth Webbers smaller dolls, plus some of the ball-jointed dolls that I’ve been looking longingly at recently.

It’s a long set of instructions and all the items I used were bought at my local Hobbycraft (I think that might be Hobby Lobby in the USA)

Firstly, you will need:

1 x A6 craft essentials storage box

12″ x 12″ scrapbook paper (for wallpaper, so look for small patterns)

A4 sized foam board

Piece of 1/8″ diameter wooden dowel

Bead with a large eye

Thin piece of ribbon or embroidery thread

sewing needle with an eye large enough for the ribbon or thread and thin enough to fit through the bead. I used a cross stitch needle.

Pritstick, Tacky Glue, double sided tape

Sellotape

Pencil

Scalpel

Cutting mat

Ruler

Pliers

Gorilla Glue

Small bit of water.

Step 1 – The Wallpaper

Cut a piece of 12″x12″ scrapbook paper to 16.5cm x 22cm

Along the 22cm edge measure in 5cm from each side and fold in, this should make a folded piece that fits perfectly into the A6 box.

Use Tacky glue, Prit-stick or Double sided tape to stick into place.

Make sure you add glue to the corners, no one likes the peeling wallpaper look!fullsizeoutput_198b.jpeg

Step 2 – The Bed

With Foam Board, cut the following pieces:

1 x 7cm x 16cm piece for the top

2 x 4cm x 7cm pieces for the bed ends

2 x 4cm x 15cm pieces for the sidesfullsizeoutput_198a.jpeg

Glue the short ends to the bed first, then the long sides. Glue the sides to the front of the bed, not the edges. Secure with sellotape.fullsizeoutput_1989.jpeg

SAFETY WARNING! 

When using scalpels and glues, remove kids and pets from the working area, keep scalpels closed and glue lids on. My cat recently sat on a mould filled with epoxy and ended up with a plastic butt!fullsizeoutput_1988.jpeg

The bed cover. Cut a piece of 12″x12″ scrapbook paper to 25cm x 16cmfullsizeoutput_1987.jpeg

Then cut a 4.5cm corner out of each corner of that piece. fullsizeoutput_1986.jpegFold the sides over and glue into place. Secure the edge with clear sellotape if you think you need to.fullsizeoutput_1985.jpegfullsizeoutput_1984.jpeg

Step 3 – The Centre Panel

Cut a piece of Foam Board 17cm x 5cm

Cut a piece of the scrapbook paper 17cm x 10.5cm.fullsizeoutput_1983.jpeg

Along the 10.5cm edge mark 5cm from both edges and fold in, this leaves 1/2 a centimetre space for the edge of the foam board.fullsizeoutput_1982.jpeg

Fold the paper over the foam board and glue in place.fullsizeoutput_1981.jpeg

Place the bed into the box then slide in the panel making sure the bed has a comfortable fit to pull in and out once the panel has been glued in place. fullsizeoutput_1980.jpegMark the panel position with a pencil then remove the bed and panel, fullsizeoutput_197f.jpegGlue between the panel markings and glue the panel in place. Check the bed still fits, but remove the bed until the glue has dried.

fullsizeoutput_1978.jpegLEAVE TO DRYfullsizeoutput_197a.jpeg

Step 4 – The Wardrobe

Using a 1/8″ diameter piece of wooden dowel you need to cut a piece that will fit across the wardrobe space. For me the size was 4.3cm, but you need to measure your own dowel, however, it should be around the same size.fullsizeoutput_197b.jpeg

I cut the dowel with a scalpel knife, then snapped the piece off with pliers.fullsizeoutput_1979.jpeg

Use a good glue to fix the dowel in place. I use Gorilla Glue and am beginning to swear by Gorilla Glue products. fullsizeoutput_197d.jpegThis glue activates with water. fullsizeoutput_197e.jpegSo I dipped the dowel in water, then added a tiny drop to each end of the dowel. The glue expands when dry, so you only need a tiny amount.fullsizeoutput_197c.jpeg

Push the dowel in place. If you’ve measured it long enough it should fit snuggly and not need holding in place.

Put the bed into its space to stop the dowel from pushing the panel out.fullsizeoutput_196d.jpeg

LEAVE TO SET

Step 5 – The Bed Pull (Optional Step)

I used a glass bead with a medium sized hole and a cross stitch needle.

Thread the ribbon (or embroidery thread) through the needle, then thread the needle through the bead eye. If it’s a tight fit you could use pliers to help pull the needle through, but don’t break the bead doing this.fullsizeoutput_196a.jpeg

Tie a knot on the ribbon to stop the bead falling off and cut the ribbon long enough to hang nicely from the underside of the bed (about 2inches).fullsizeoutput_196e.jpeg

Glue in place under the bed, add some clear sellotape to keep in place while it dries.fullsizeoutput_1969.jpeg

Step 6 – The Shelves

Cut two pieces of foam board 4cm x 4.5cm

Cut two pieces of scrapbook paper 4.5cm x 8.5cm

Measure along the 8.5cm edge and mark 4cm from each edge, leaving the 1/2cm gap.

fullsizeoutput_1968.jpegFold in and glue around the foam board shelves.

fullsizeoutput_196c.jpegAgain, you need a nice tight fit, so you will most likely need to trim a slither from the edge of the shelves to fit.

fullsizeoutput_196b.jpegOnce they fit nicely, glue in place.

fullsizeoutput_1966.jpegDecorate as required.

I made some coat hangers from Polymer Clay and jewellery wire to hang the dolls spare dresses on and she has a shelf for spare underwear and shoes.

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I’m also making a quilt and pillow for the bed but as you can see, she’s going to have a great time in her little travel house.

Hope you enjoy this little tutorial.

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As I said, I bought all of the supplies from Hobbycraft. I’ll be at my local store on the 13th September running a six week quilting and patchwork workshop. At the time of writing this there are a few spaces left, it’s a small group and if anyone has been to one of my workshops you know that I make sure everyone has a great time and makes something wonderful. No experience necessary but if you’ve got experience still consider coming and see what new things you can learn.

Other news, I went to London in July for the New Designers exhibition, that was really great. I also got accepted for the craft council website and of course, I graduated with a BA(hons) in textile art and crafts. By far though the best news was coming winning first prize for wool innovation from the Worshipful Company of Woolmen. Good things must be ahead!

Let me know in the comments how you are all doing, send some crafting and doll making love and let me know what you’ve been making.fullsizeoutput_1964.jpeg

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(Knitted) Quilts of Hope Square 1

For those who have come here from Ravelry, welcome. I encourage you to read my other posts on this blog about the Quilts of Hope project and what we are trying to do.

Being a yarnie and having many yarnie friends I felt a project that only used sewing was just not on. I want to welcome several craftpeople to the project and so, here is the first of several (hopefully) knitted squares for a (knitted) Quilt of Hope.

It’s a simple stocking stitch square with a garter stitch edge, something rather easy to start with. The finished square should measure 4.5 inches. I kept it quite small because I get frustrated knitting plain squares and wanted something beginners could make without getting bored.

If you are making squares for the project (and I really, REALLY, hope you do) please add a note as to whether they are acrylic, wool or one of the many other fancy yarns. This helps with sewing up and washing later.

One project that could benefit from knitted and crochet blankets is the Salvation Army human trafficking unit, who help relocate people rescued from slavery in the UK, Yep, we don’t often think about slavery as a modern day problem, but there are people caught in slavery in the UK, yes, even in Yorkshire.

I was listening to one woman who helps with the relocation of rescued people. Sometimes they’re alone, sometimes in a small group, sometimes with children. They may have a journey through the night, across the country, several hours long.

The people might not speak English, they’ve learnt not to trust, and don’t fully understand what is happening to them. Imagine travelling being that person, in a country you don’t know. I imagined blankets to help through the car journey, maybe with heart patterns on some of the squares (the heart is a bit like a universal symbol). It might help break down the language barrier and at least be a comfort on the journey.

So without further ado, Quilt of Hope, knit square 1

With DK yarn and 4mm needles, Cast on 24 stitches

1-4) knit

5) knit

6) knit 3, Purl to the last 3 stitches, Knit 3

Repeat rows 5 & 6 up to row 30

31-34) knit

Cast off

All done


This is an easy square to get you started with more squares to follow.

If you are in the Leeds area, we will be meeting on Thursday 20th October at Costa coffee shop, Crown Point, Leeds. It’s two doors down from Hobbycraft.

We will meet at 1.30pm till 3.30pm and will be hand sewing squares, knitting and crocheting squares. Come when you can, leave when you need to.

No experience necessary!

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Artwork is Work

This morning I received an email
Hello Joy, 

This morning during Social Services prayers I took the opportunity to ask my colleagues to judge the entries in the logo competition. 

I am delighted to be able to let you know that one of your designs has been chosen and will be the logo for the SAFE Summer School of Arts. 

Unfortunately there is no prize but we will make sure that your name is mentioned. 

Congratulations, 

With best wishes,

NAME REMOVED!, 

Learning Disability Inclusion Development Manager.

The Salvation Army, Social Services


The Salvation Army have a large group of members with disabilities who choose to become SAFE members (Salvation Army Fellowship of Endeavour) and as a member of the Salvation Army with a disability I paid my yearly £5 to be a member of this group.

Recently a call was put out for someone to design their logo for the SAFE summer school of arts, where SAFE members do arty things like play a brass instrument or sing in a choir (maybe other arty things are included, but I’m not sure).

No prize or reward was mentioned, but since I’m always moaning that church doesn’t include non-music arts I felt obliged to enter. Hooray I won and here is the design which had to be based on the theme, “I am found”.


See! All that debt I’m occurring at Uni is paying off.

I’m glad I won, but it brings me back to the age old question, Is it right for an artist to work for free?

Yes, I know in my last post I spoke about an embroiderers gift to the church in the form of altar cloths, but you only need to type a Google search for Bible and fair wage to see what God thinks. A job well done is deserving of a fair wage.

It’s one of those difficult questions, when is it right to work for free and work for money?

Back in May, Sainsubury’s in Camden got into bother for putting an advert in the paper asking for a budding artist to design and paint their staff canteen. The reward? Getting your work recognised, (by Who, the staff at the checkout?), something to start off your career and build your reputation.

Artists responded with a similar advert asking for a well-stocked supermarket to volunteer to stock artists kitchens with food to build their reputations.


Two years earlier a similar story circled the Internet of a big bucks company asking artists to apply for a ‘competition’ and at least the winner got a flight to Vegas.


Now, before any of you get cross with me, I know the competition didn’t offer a prize, I know it wasn’t a paid job and I know that I didn’t have to enter if I didn’t want to.

All valid points, but hear me out.

Do you think a Christian composer of worship music works for free? No, that’s why every church has to pay for a music license. Worship composers get commissions on their work.

Our church regularly plays short videos made by visual artists during their services, some I expect are ‘borrowed’ from the Internet, but the creator of the video won’t be seeing credit or commission for their work. They won’t be receiving a little cheque at the end of the year because yet again we’ve watched the little heart logo video on Sunday.

Even a preacher gets a fair wage, and rightly so.

What really bugs me is that I spent several hours designing a logo for free, to be used by a Christian charity that has a bit of money, for a weeks holiday which I can’t afford. 

Maybe I should talk more on this blog about living in poverty. About having the government take away my disability payments (although I went to court Tuesday and have won my disability payments back without the judge even needing to see me). 

I should talk about what it’s like to not even have enough money to pay for the meal at church (which is made for the poor of the community) or how hard I laughed when watching a documentary three nights ago on how Londoners are paying for expensive bone broth (bovril to you and me) as a snack, when I’m having a mug of chicken bovril as my evening meal. 

Or how I spent most of yesterday afternoon in bed because hunger is easier to manage when your asleep.

But don’t worry, because the folks who can pay for a holiday will be able to be more blessed because I’ve worked for free.

I feel like sending a photo of my empty fridge and cupboards as a thank you response.

But you’re right, no prize was offered… Because visual arts isn’t valued in the church.

Last week, whilst designing a future pattern I was in the Leeds Parish Church, it was a nice visit and I had a free cup of tea, which they had no idea how much that was needed and appreciated. More about that visit in another post I think.

There are some beautiful textiles in the church but as I walked around I caught an image which just sums up how I often feel the church, especially the Salvation Army, considers designers and artists. Opposite the huge organ, which is one of the first things I noticed when I walked in the door, was a large wooden cabinet and behind that was a piece of artwork, well, let me just show you the photo…


I’m sure the people who spent time painting whatever is behind the cabinet are feeling very proud that their offering to the church has been so well received.
1. Artists advert to supermarkets. http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/sainsburys-asked-artists-free-work-so-artists-asked-sainsburys-free-food-171529
2. Artists response to call out for free work because they dig his style. http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/meet-hero-designer-who-publicly-shamed-showtime-asking-him-work-free-159579

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The Ultimate Sock Doll

Several years ago I first came across sock monkeys, they were crudely made animals made from left over socks and a great recycling use of those odd socks we find in the washing machine.

Then the explosion happened and suddenly they were everywhere.

  
What originally began as an upcycling project became ‘trendy’ and we had an explosion of sock creatures which moved away from upcycling and into money making. 

A quick search of sock monkeys brings up crocheted and knitted monkeys, clay sculpted monkeys, inspired hats and gloves, and even sock monkey make up. The sock monkey above is made, not out of old socks, but machine knitted as a product in its own right.

If you’ve not noticed, one of my loves are dolls, so when I first arrived at the knitting and crochet archives this little beauty was the first thing I noticed.

  

What a gorgeous looking doll, bit Greek looking? 40s, 50s era? 

Well the following week I just had to have a closer look. We decided he was certainly machine knitted, but that’s where our information ended. Where others will spend time with a garment working out the makings, I do the same with toys. I sat down and tried to work out how this good looking boy was created.

Knitted in the round, ribbing in places, then it dawned on me. He is the most amazing sock doll I’ve ever seen.

He’s made from 2 socks, probably men sized long socks with long ribbed tops. One sock is grey and the other brown.

Sock 1, the grey sock.

The top of both socks is ribbed, and you can see where the ribbing of the sock becomes the dolls stockings with the start of the grey knit his trousers/shorts. 

You can see a bump around the waist, which I suspect is where the 2 socks are joined, the grey ends and brown begins.

Sock 2 (brown) starts here at the waist band, but the ribbing is folded over to create a skirt or apron (he looks like a boy to me, so I think he’s wearing an apron) This sock continues up to create the jumper/body and the white heal of the brown sock becomes the face.

 The embroidery on the doll is fantastic and really creates a characterful face. It also creates a nice sock top and front button down shirt feature.

  

You can see from the side view where the brown sock ends and is hidden by the hat. 

The hat of course is the heal of the grey sock, folded over to make an interesting brim.

  
   The foot of the brown sock is cut in half to make arms and hands which are stitched to the side of the body.

Even the little hands are stitched to show fingers.

  
The doll is finished with Pom Poms which I think makes him just the sweetest little fellow in the archive.

Out of 2 odd socks only the foot of one sock is left unused (maybe it could make him a little bag) but what an amazing upcycle project, much better than buying a ready made sock money any day.

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Astronaut Pattern – My Little Crochet Doll

You’ve all been very patient and I hope the wait was worth it (blame all the work at Uni).

Finally the next patten has been finished and is ready to make.WP_20150809_002

The astronaut pattern has a jump suit, made with a few rows, but mostly rounds in single crochet (double crochet to us Brits). It has a zip at the back, buttons wouldn’t do for an astronaut.

The boots are worked in BLO, giving the soles a ridged effect similar to the ones used on the moon.

The helmet has a plastic covering to keep oxygen in.WP_20150809_005

But most important, the front panel has working LED lights. Of course, when you’re playing on the dark side of the moon you need some lights to see your way.

I buy my electronics from Kitronic, a UK company. They’re easy to find on line, but Maplins are starting to sell sew-able electronics too (although expensive from them).

If you’re stuck please email me and I’ll see if I can help.

So, finally here is the pattern

MLCD Astronaut – US

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Crayon Play 3 – Making the Gloves

Chalky, what fun!

But I suppose his arms can get in the way.

So what if the crayon wasn’t on the end of a toy foot, but on the end of your fingers?

That’s how I came up with my Crayon Gloves.

A pair of gloves, with a crayon on each tip. No lost crayons, no arms getting in the way. And you don’t need to learn to crochet.

You can find the tutorial here:

Let me know what you think.

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Crayon Play 2 – Chalky the Spider

So, after we finished making crayons I started thinking about what else I could do with crayons.

One major problem with kids and crayons is finding an odd one lost somewhere, treading on dropped crayons is close to stepping on lego.

I wanted a way of keeping the crayons together.

I thought of an apron, with crayons at the bottom, but the practicality of this wasn’t great.

Then I thought of a toy, with each leg holding a crayon.

I bought a mini artist chalk refill pack from the Early learning centre, they do crayon ones too, but didn’t have any in store.

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Then I made Chalky…

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Anyway, the pattern is on Ravelry, but if you’re not on Ravelry (and why not?) here is the pattern.

Chalky the Spider

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E-textiles, Lights in your crafts

This is the first of a few YouTube videos I want to make showing how to put electronics into your craft project. I made it from a crafters point of view because so many tutorials on this subject are written by someone from an electronic background.

This is how to put one LED into your craft project.

You need:

Conductive thread

3 volt battery

Sewable battery holder

LED light

Sewing needle

And obviously the project you want to use.

I hope the video shows you clearly enough, but am always happy to help.

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Makey Make – Polymer Clay Notebook

I know!

I’m thinking the same thing.

Another post in such a short time!

This is the third video and I think I’ll have a break for a short while before I make another one.

This time it’s to make a fabulous Notebook necklace from polymer clay.

It only uses white clay, but has a few tools. If you make jewellery you should have most of the tools needed. You’ll also need a necklace chain if you want to turn it into a necklace. You could even turn it into a ring.

Hope you like it.

 

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Makey Make – Fried egg & bacon

Ah, this is much better.

Making videos is so much quicker than taking photos of every step.

This is a tutorial on another one of my favourites Egg & bacon.

It’s a quick and easy make with a good outcome which people will love.

Hope you enjoy it (excuse the rambling about the dentist)