Thursday, December 22, 2011

Second and Third Dolls, Finished!

     The girls dolls and their outfits are finished!  (Well, except for the snaps, which I have to go get tomorrow.)  Anna's doll is on the left and Abriel's is on the right.  I am SOOOOOOOOO glad to have these done.  I think worrying if I was going to have them completed on time for Christmas was giving me insomnia.  Never, never, ever again will I try to make so many things in December.  This really has taught me a lesson about not waiting until the last minute to do things. 


I am glad I undertook to make these dolls, even though it wasn't the easiest thing I've ever done.  I know they will like them, and that they are special, even with their flaws. 
     I also love the fact that they smell like lanolin.  It kind of gives them a real baby smell. 
     My special doll as a child was a cloth doll.  Not a Waldorf doll, but hand made and very cute. Her name was Sally. When I held her, she felt real to me, and I would swear she could change expressions.  I think a part of me really thought she was real.  I would never lay her down in an uncomfortable position, and I made sure everyone else treated her with respect as well.  I think my younger brothers secretly resented the status that my sister's doll, John, and Sally had.
     The first time I saw a Waldorf doll, (years before I had kids) I knew that I had to have one because it reminded me of Sally. 

Anna's doll from the side.  Her hair looks red here, but it's actually three colors combined; brunet, blond, and brown.

I designed the sleeper pattern for Samuel's and Abriel's dolls.  It's makes them so soft and "baby" like.   

All of the dolls have bottoms and belly buttons.

The doll dress is made with the pattern that came with the doll pattern, and it's cute, but it doesn't look like something a baby would wear.  I will probably make her a sleeper as well, AFTER Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Making Waldorf Dolls

     I am making all the kids a Waldorf doll for Christmas, and I have finally completed one doll and outfit.  Isn't he cute? The other two dolls are finished now as well, but I haven't finished their clothes yet.  This one is Samuel's, and of course it is a little boy doll.  He got to be the Guinna pig, since I know Samuel won't care how he looks as much as the girls will care how their dolls look.
    Making the dolls turned out to be quite a bit more challenging than I thought it would be.  I think I partly brought that on my self, since I chose Joy's "Baby Companion" pattern, which she says is her most difficult pattern.  Considering I've never made a Waldorf doll before, and am not very experienced at sewing, I probably should have started with something simpler.  I guess I like a challenge.  Either that, or I am crazy.
     The hardest part was stuffing it.  It's not like most stuffed toys, where you just keep adding filling until it feels right.  With a Waldorf doll, you have to shape it before you stuff it, so it's hard to determine how much wool will fill it out, but not be too much. All three doll have a different "feel" to them, since I couldn't stuff them all the same, but I guess that is what it means to be handmade.  I know one thing for sure now; a pre-made Waldorf doll is worth every penny. 
     I put a little wool heart into each of the dolls, and even though you can't see it, I know it's there, and I think it makes it more special. 

     Crocheting the wig was the one thing I though for sure would be a breeze, and still turned out to be a lot harder, or at least more tedious than I anticipated.  I can probably crochet a little bennie cap in my sleep, but keeping all the mohair strands separate was slow and tedious.  This is definitely a labor intensive way to make a wig, but the end result is very cool.  As you can see, when I was working on it, it looked like a little bowl of hair, and then sewed on, it really looks like real hair, and can be combed and styled too. 

     Sewing the arms and legs on was absolutely maddening, and you can see they're not perfect, but he feels soft and snugly, and he is very cute.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wooden Play Stove

       I have finally finished one (just one!) of all the toys I am making the kids this year.  This is a wooden play stove for the twins. 
     My husband helped me a lot on the construction of it, but the design is all mine.  I like working with wood, as somehow it is less stressful than sewing. 

     Dave saves everything, which drives me crazy most of the time, but with this project his pack rat tendencies really paid off.  The counter of the stove, (which makes the whole stove look awesome!) was  from the left over piece of counter we had after cutting out the hole for our sink when we remodeled the kitchen.   I have to admit, I was for throwing it away, but Dave said he wanted to keep it.  Now I'm glad he did. 

     The shelf brackets are little Red Bellied Woodpeckers.  I thought it added a cute and unique touch.  I still need to add cup hooks underneath the shelf, so that they can hang the little oven mitts I made.  So, maybe I'm not completely finished.

     I love the oven door.  It has a frosted plexiglass window, and magnetic closures to help keep the door shut.  We still need to attach chains to keep the kids from breaking the door by sitting on it.  Hopefully if it doesn't open all the way, it won't be such a tempting little seat for our boy who loves seats.
    All in all I am very pleased with the way it turned out, and I think the kids will love it!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Our Island Story Lapbook, part 3

     Here is the Henry II and Richard I page of our lapbook.  It has a map of the holy land, a crusades mini book, picture of a crusaders cross, and Planta genista, from which the Plantagenets derived their name.  There is also a picture showing all of Henry II's eight children.   Richard I never married or had children.
     Here is the mini book opened out.

First Snow

     It has been unusually warm for the past few weeks, so when the first little snow flakes we've see this year were spotted, the kids were ecstatic.  They were all shouting, "It's snowing, it's snowing!" and rushing to get on their snow gear.  There still wasn't a speck of snow that had actually stuck, but we still tugged on snow pants and mittens.  By the time they were all ready to go out side, it had stopped snowing.  They all sat down on the side walk and looked mournful.  Every once in awhile Samuel or Abriel would come up to the door and say, "It's not snowing."  Slightly accusationally, like it was my fault it was no longer snowing.  I made them stay outside a little longer, since I had gone through the effort to get them dressed, and said a prayer asking for God to send a little snow for three disappointed kids.  A few minutes later it started snowing again; at first just a few flakes, then it really started coming down. 
     It was too warm for it to stick much, but it was enough for the kids to play in and have fun.  Samuel spent most of the time trying to catch a snowflake on his tongue.
      Abriel just kept trying to eat it...

      Anna made snow angels on the little bit that coated our deck.  It doesn't take a lot of snow to amuse children.
     Of course after all that snow, (Well, after all that playing in the snow.) everyone need some hot chocolate to warm up.