Snowdrop Flower Doll

I decided that I wanted to try making bendy dolls for a swap group that I’m in. It was a bit more involved than I thought it was going to be, but I have managed, with a little guidance from some other crafters.

I started by searching for pictures of Snowdrop flowers to get a better idea of how they should look and see better detail.  We won’t have snowdrops here for some time yet.

They are so delicate, it is a wonder that they are able to survive in the cold.Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 12.04.45 AM

I bought some bendy doll bases from an online seller and patiently, okay, impatiently waited for them to arrive. I couldn’t start making dress patterns or really anything until they got here.

Made of wool felt, linen thread, cotton embroidery floss, a seed pearl, and a cotton pipe cleaner, cotton cording, and of course the wooden bases which were wrapped in wool and needle felted to add some softness to the hard body.  A little bit of tacky glue holds on her hat.

Everything was made from drafting my own patterns for the clothes and flower.  The first dress I made has a neck that’s just a little too wide, but this one came out perfect. :)

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Happy New Year!

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Yin and Yang Mittens

A few years ago, on Ravelry, I found a pattern for crocheted Yin and Yang mittens.  I made a set of mittens for Bennett out of some lovely Malibrigo yarn, and Etienne has now outgrown them, so it was time for some new pairs.

Etienne’s favorite colors are purple and red and he went with purple when asked what color mittens he’d like. So I went on a yarn hunt.  I found Cloverhill Yarn Shop fairly easily and I kick myself for not venturing out sooner.  The ladies there were very helpful and the yarns were amazing.

I settled on some hand dyed  Ewe So Wooly Worsted Superwash Merino from Tempting Ewe Yarns… soooo yummy! The color is a variegated purple titled “Dark Crystal.”

The resulting mittens…

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I did make some slight changes to the pattern this time around.  I made the finger section one round longer, the thumb one stitch wider, and the cuts longer for sleeve/coat overlap.

He was very happy with his new purple mittens!

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I feel like I made the join on the inside of the thumb and at the cuffs much better this time, and the second mitten was better than the first.

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They’ve already seen a trip outside to play.

Peek-a-Boo!

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The next pair is for Bennett, now 6, so the size needs to be bumped up a couple of stitches. They’ll be pink.

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Applesauce and Window Stars

On Wednesday I received my first delivery from Hometown Harvest, a CSA type of delivery service for local or regional fruits, vegetables, and other goods.  I was quite pleased with what I received, which included ten pounds of seconds apples from Hollabaugh Bros. in Pennsylvania.

Today was the first “normal” day we’ve had, with all the snow this week, so once Bennett was off to school and we were home again, I started on the apple sauce.   For seconds, I was impressed with the quality. I only had a tiny bit that needed to be cut away! I’ve had more loss from grocery stores apples.

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After cooking and processing the apples through my Kitchen Aid, running the pulp through a second time, I ended up with 3 pint-and-a-half jars, 2 quarts, and another half a quart which was put in the fridge for immediate consumption.

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The applesauce was fairly thick, and while I left enough head space, I had 2 jars siphon.  they still sealed, but with lots of bubbles.

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While I was filling jars, the sun came out and cast rainbows all over my kitchen from the prisms hanging in the window. DSCN8874

 

My other kitchen window was looking so bare, especially with the bright white snow outside.  I pulled out the kite paper I’d bought before the holidays and made my first window star.  I had a couple of hiccups with gluing on the wrong sides of a couple of pieces, but once it dried and I could put it up in the Window, it looked quite nice.

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Happy New Year!

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Rainbow Dolphin

It’s been… years.  Gracious.  So much has happened in the lapsed time since my last post, it would be difficult to cover all the triumphs and heartbreak.   I have a bit more time on my hands since graduating college and my kiddos are getting bigger, which also affords me more creating time.  I’m hoping to be able to revive this blog as a way to share my current projects and happenings.

About a month ago, someone asked if anyone would be able to make a rainbow dolphin for her daughter.  It was the only thing she’d asked for for Christmas.  I’d offered to make it for her and the journey into piecing the fleece began.

The pattern base was from Funky Friends Factory, Dizzy Dolphin.  I’d made several of these before, so I wasn’t new to the pattern.  I was, however, new to changing the pattern to be more of a paper pieced type, so I could piece together a rainbow that lined up all 3 body pieces.  That was quite a challenge and I went through a couple of line alterations to make the body work with the tail and nose pieces.

Here is the resulting Rainbow Dolphin for little Phoenix.

Rainbow Dolphin

Rainbow Dolphin
It was a challenge, but I am very happy with the results! I hope Phoenix has a wonderful, magical Christmas.

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Getting back on the horse, with a dolphin

It’s a new year, in case you missed it.  Life has been super crazy over the last 8 months. Between school, deployments, being a geographical single parent, travel, illness, and a death in the family, I’ve really let my blog fall by the way side…Eek!  I’m resolved to do better this year. With a lighter course load and my husband returning from overseas soon, I should be able to scrounge up some sewing and blogging time.  

This week I did manage to make a sweet little dolphin for a dear friend’s little girl.  She turned 5 yesterday and we had a wonderful time with them yesterday afternoon at the new Children’s Museum of Tacoma.  

Here is the dolphin I made for my friend’s daughter. After some serious thought, she named her Jane.

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Jane was made from the Dizzy Dolphin pattern by Funky Friends Factory. Pauline has some rocking awesome patterns. :)

I have another one all cut out and ready to be sewn. It will be in my shop next week some time. 

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More Blackberry Jam

While Ginger Boy was enjoying his first day of Pre-K, Ginger Baby and myself went blackberry picking.  With the help of my friend, we picked 8 pounds in about an hour.

After running all the berries through my Kitchen Aid to remove the seeds, I had 10 cups of juice and pulp.

I found a recipe on AllRecipe.com.

I altered it a bit since I had slightly different ingredients, but not by much…

  • 1 (1.75 ounce) box of powdered pectin
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 cups blackberry juice
  • 1 green jalapeño pepper, cleaned and minced
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 7 half pint canning jars with lids and rings

Directions

  1. Mix the pectin  with 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl. Stir the blackberry juice, pectin mixture, and minced green jalapeño together in a saucepan; bring the mixture to a boil for 1 full minute. Add the 3 1/2 cups sugar and return to a rolling boil until the sugar has fully dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir while off heat to remove bubbles and foam for about 5 minutes.
  2. Ladle into sterile jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Seal jars in a hot water bath. Refrigerate jelly after seal is broken.

I ended up with 7 half pints.

I really loved the Blackberry Lime that I made last year, so I had to make more! I just used the Blackberry Jalapeño jam recipe and swapped out the pepper for the lime juice.

  • 1 (1.75 ounce) box of powdered pectin
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 cups blackberry juice
  • 1/2 cup of Lime juice (I use bottled)
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 7 half pint canning jars with lids and rings

Directions

  1. Mix the pectin  with 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl. Stir the blackberry juice, pectin mixture, and lime juice together in a saucepan; bring the mixture to a boil for 1 full minute. Add the 3 1/2 cups sugar and return to a rolling boil until the sugar has fully dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir while off heat to remove bubbles and foam for about 5 minutes.
  2. Ladle into sterile jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Seal jars in a hot water bath. Refrigerate jelly after seal is broken.

I ended up with 8 half pints from a full batch and 7 4oz jars from a half batch.  I did have 2 more ounces which I put into another 4oz jar and put in the fridge for immediate use.

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Summer Canning

The blackberries came late this year and have only ripened recently, probably due to the chilly summer we’ve had.  At any rate, I came home with 8 pounds of blackberries!  I froze 3 pounds and proceeded to make up some jam with the rest. I followed the recipe at Coconut & Lime for Blackberry Vanilla Bean Jam, but had to change it up just a bit so that I could use what I had on hand.  I didn’t have any Certo so I just used some regular boxed pectin instead.  I ended up with 10 half pint jars.  They took a good 24 hours to set up, but they did eventually set.

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I do like those wide mouth Kerr Jars.  I’ll have to put them on my list to buy more!

I stopped by the Schilter’s Farm stand and picked up 40 pounds of peaches, taking advantage of a coupon they were running. :)

I made spiced peach jam with some of the peaches with cinnamon and nutmeg, based on SB Canning’s Peach Jam recipe. 9 half pints. 

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The bulk of the peaches I simply canned in light syrup.  There are few things finer than the brilliance of summer peaches in the middle of a gray Washington winter. 

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The peaches had rosy flesh around the pit and it was that which made the syrup turn such a pretty color.

Lastly, I made just a small batch of raspberry jam from some of our You-Pick raspberries from Picha Farms. This lone half pint was what was left over from a cake filling I made for my son’s birthday.  Raspberries are his favorites. :) I used the Raspberry Jam recipe from SB Canning, minus the vanilla.

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I have a bunch more peaches to get to and lots more jars to fill.  I’m hoping to get to tomatoes in the coming weeks.

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