May, 2015

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The Girl Who Wanted To Happily Wander

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I love to go a-wanderingvalflip
Along the mountain track
And as I go, I love to sing
My knapsack on my back

Valerie, val-dera
Valerie, val-dera
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha ha
Valerie, Val-dera
My knapsack on my back…

The chorus is actually “Valderi”, but O.L.D.’s name is “Valerie” and we both love that song, so…Meet the “Happy Wanderer,” Valerie! You can see her adoption page HERE.


My niece Sophie was the model for our Hazel Twigg logo.

I come from a very talented family. When trying to think of an idea for the next O.L.D., I recalled a recently made short indie film that my brother Dennis had written and directed for a family film festival. The rules were that everyone working on the film had to be related, but one outsider. The film was called, “The Girl Who Wanted To Do Something Big”and it won!


Valerie wears a tiny heart-shaped locket with photos of two sweethearts side by side.

Besides my brother writing and directing, it starred his gorgeous daughter Alexandra, her future husband Curtis, my niece Sophie, and her adorable little brother J.P. My sister-in-law Suzanne narrated it with her lovely English voice, my brother Kenny produced it, my Mom played the ukelele for the credits….and there were more! So many more. Besides being talented, my family’s very large.

I loved the style and charm of the film. It had a vintage 30s era feel to it, so I decided the next O.L.D. would be loosely based on the film. I was going to make a suitcase. A nifty cardboard one with stickers. But first! She would need a lot of clothes to fill that suitcase with. I got to work.

The girl on the left is pre-Hazel Twigg. What can I say? I like her in brown. It must be those brown tin eyes…

I didn’t have fabric like that used for Alexandra’s dress, but I had red! So I made Valerie a red dress with matching hat. And I added pleats like the ones on Alexandra’s dress on another dress for Valerie.

This particular mold of a doll is somewhat rare – to me, at least! In all my years of collecting, this is only the second time I’ve seen her. She’s unmarked and unknown.

cloche turban pattern

I based the red hat on this old pattern. So many more to try!

I soon got so carried away making clothes for Valerie that I ran out of time to make the suitcase! So we contented ourselves with a “Wandering Stick” instead.


A coat, two hats, four dresses…no wonder I ran out of time! And I wanted to make so much more…

Ah, well. Let us hope that once she gets to her destination, she stays put.

Speaking of destinations, guess where May Flowers went? You guessed it! Probably. Most likely. Colorado and Michelle E.! The battles continue and I fiercely love and root for all my warriors…Thank you, Michelle!

And with that, I leave you! Happy Wednesday, you’re my favorite!

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What Do April Showers Bring…?

I hand-stitched every one of those flowers onto that dress. It was fun, but tricky what with my snaggy fingers, all those petals, and thread mixing together in one task.

It’s rare that I know WEEKS in advance what an O.L.D. (Once-Loved Doll) is going to wear, but with this girl, such is the case. The MINUTE I decided to create “April Showers”, May Flowers became a twinkle in my eye. I had to wait for the right month, of course. And now it’s here…

Thusly begins the adoption page for O.L.D. No. 00041, MAY FLOWERS! You can see her adoption page HERE.

Turns out, there’s a lot of showers in May as well! I had a heck of a time getting any decent photographs of her, given my sophisticated photography set up (daylight and my choice of two curtains), but One Does What One Can. Then we got a tornado warning, so I stopped…(all was fine).


THIEF! Ahem.

When I told The Mayor my idea several weeks back, she mentioned a magazine cover that had a dress very like the one I was describing, so I looked. HMPF! Someone stole my idea in advance! Clearly, there’s nothing new under the sun.

I had previously chosen another girl for May Flowers, but had a fiasco with her face (don’t ask! But her turn will come. I had to move on, knowing it would take some time to make this dress). Therefore this May, aka 18″ Anne Shirley, stepped in. You might recognize her face. I used the 21″ models of this same mold for previous O.L.D.s, the Katniss Everdeen and Effie Trinket types. I LOVE Annes!

These roses here. Red on red, I know. But they turned out well and were easy to do.

I also decided to make my first pillbox hat for May’s “street clothes” outfit. Awhile back, my lovely and loved sister-in-law Suzanne sent me a care package full of this and that. Amongst the treasures were these pretty little shabby fabric roses. I adored them! I used them very sparingly (is this doll “Suzanne rose”-worthy?). None of the previous O.L.D.s have them. It was longer ago than that. I frequently desired to make my own, but couldn’t figure out how. Turns out there’s this thing called the In-ter-net. Voila! I found an excellent, clear-cute site HERE. People make necklaces and attach them to barrettes and all sorts of things with them.

I modified mine a little, turning the fabric twice so there were never any raw edges and sewing them with a needle and thread rather than using glue because I’m funny that way.

Here’s the wrap inspiration.

Why aren’t hats with veils more common? It would be much cheaper than a facelift! Hmm….

Speaking of flowers and May, a belated THANK YOU to the Secret Fairy who put that beautiful pot of flowers onto my porch! SO PRETTY. And also, a thank you to Fairy Jennifer for all the recent treasures, including many of the flowers used for this dress.

Here is May’s before picture. She was in very decent shape. All her fingers and toes…but her dress was tattered and you can’t tell, but she was desperate for a bath…

Fairies are coming out of the woodwork! Another Fairy, Cindy we shall call her, came by with lace curtains and informed me that she always keeps an eye out for things she thinks I could use. I AM BLESSED.

Francie & Ginger are making their way to….Colorado and Michelle! Thank you, Michelle! Hope you truck in some sand for these bathing beauties…

And with that, I leave you! Happy Tuesday, you’re my favorite.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe older I get the more I believe: Age Is But A Number. Because decades separate these two girls, but when Francie walked through the door, Gidget instantly took to her and that was IT. They had to be together! And it had been raining all week. The entire household was in the mood for some sunshine, real or imagined…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThus begins the description for O.L.D. (Once-Loved Doll) No. 40! and 40.5. You can see Francie and Gidget’s adoption page HERE.

It just goes to show you: if you find a bit of fabric that appeals to you even if you have no idea what you would ever use it for, buy it. I found this lovely, stretchy teal fabric recently at a thrift store. I adore the color, it’s very similar to the color of my bedroom walls. I was thinking maybe someday I’d make a stewardess outfit, but then with summer on it’s way, and the near-constant rain and chilly weather going on from a winter that just won’t go.

Here are some inspiration photos:


Truth be told, I eagerly long for winter to get here again and look at the little green leaves just sprouting on the trees and fervently wish for them to change color and fall off again. I even much prefer making winterish clothes for dolls. However! I can see the appeal of summer. Plus, it makes me appreciate winter that much more.


Gidget is missing her hat and shoes and socks – although I don’t know if she ever had the shoes and socks. Because she has shoes molded directly onto her feet.

Francie is a 14″ composition doll with tin eyes in quite lovely shape. Gidget is a 1957 Colgate Palmolive Fab advertising doll. Her wig is a mess! And guess what? It’s really, really TOUGH. In trying to “tame” it, I spritzed it with water, took a HOT iron, and SSSSSSSSSssssSSSSS!!!! Nope! Still messy! Good thing there’s such a thing as hats and swimming caps, is all I can say…


My first even doll sandals! They’re gold leather and were a cinch to do. Maybe summer’s not so bad after all….




I’m showing Francie above with the basket I purchased for this very purpose at the Target dollar section because there’s no good image of it on their adoption page. Wish I’d bought more of those baskets! The possibilities with them are endless. I added the flower.


Here are Francie and Gidget in their “street” clothes.

I missed a week last week because sewing for two, no matter what the size, takes time. Also, I had some spring things to do. But mostly I’m working very hard on finally, finally finishing the book. If you drive by my house at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning and see a light on in my teal-walled bedroom, you’ll know I’m hard at work. *So close*

In the meantime, Jill Sparrow swash-buckled her way to…Colorado and Michelle E.! This should curb her of her pirating ways. I’m no geography expert, but I’m pretty sure there are no oceans in Colorado. Hopefully Michelle remembers to lock up her rum….

And with that, I leave you! Happy Wednesday, you’re my favorite!