SFM Cloth Dolls with Attitude! NZ

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nativity - new beginnings!

I made this very poor copy of the Nativity, originally designed by Tatiana Ovshinnikova, who does some amazingly beautiful work!  I'd love to learn how she does it!  Anyway, my version was made for my lovely 18 year old Niece Sharon, who has Cerebral Palsy.  She is the youngest of five and all her siblings have now left home, married and are having babies. At home, it's just mum, dad and Sharon now.  Life is moving on.  This Nativity is to remind her that even though family are scattered far and wide, we are still together.  A reminder of new beginnings - especially with new babies in the family, but that just means - more family - and at this time of year, we reach out to families!  So to all our families, I wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and best wishes and blessings for all our families, wherever they are scattered!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

T'was the night after Christmas...........

T'was the night after Xmas...................and Santa was stuffed

Climbing over things made him quite puffed!

He snoozed by the TV.........

He snuggled the dog................. (that was lucky!)

When he finally conked out

He was all partied out!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

More dolls for Strawberry Fare!

Our group has been hard at it trying to get things finished for the Strawberry Fare.
Julie has been cranking out these wonderful Prim Santa's.  Aren't they cute?

Here's another Prim Gardener doll she made and is showing us how she made the mini book for her pocket!

Raelene has been making up these pop up clowns, that she makes each year!  They are very popular with children of all ages!  I'm not sure what I am taking yet.  Better get cracking I think!

Verdigris - a thieving Magpie!

My last Steam Punk Crow - converted into a thieving Magpie called Verdigris!
 Just look what he's collected out of my junk!  Some round shiny rings from my old fella's junk tin! Bits of old chain chain and in his hat is a magnet, holding on his wire propeller! 

 A toe ring for his knee! Bits of copper for his scrawny legs!
  An ancient buckle from my buckle cache,an old zipper from my old fella's pants!
 The old front door key.
 So I painted his hat verdigris green, thinking one day, the copper will corrode to that colour too!
And this is where he snatched it all from!  Caught in the act!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Jem Crow!

The Story goes like this:
THE JACKDAW sat on the Cardinal’s chair!
Bishop and abbot and prior were there;
        Many a monk, and many a friar,
        Many a knight, and many a squire,
With a great many more of lesser degree,—
In sooth, a goodly company;
And they serv’d the Lord Primate on bended knee.
        Never, I ween,
        Was a prouder seen,
Read of in books, or dreamt of in dreams,
Than the Cardinal Lord Archbishop of Rheims!

        In and out
        Through the motley rout,
That little Jackdaw kept hopping about;
        Here and there
        Like a dog in a fair,
        Over comfits and cates,
        And dishes and plates,
Cowl and cope, and rochet and pall,
Mitre and crosier! He hopp’d upon all!
        With a saucy air,
        He perch’d on the chair
Where, in state, the great Lord Cardinal sat,
In the great Lord Cardinal’s great red hat;
        And he peer’d in the face
        Of his Lordship’s Grace,
With a satisfied look, as if he would say,
“We two are the greatest folks here to-day!”
        And the priests, with awe,
        As such freaks they saw,
Said, “The Devil must be in that little Jackdaw!”

The feast was over, the board was clear’d,
The flawns and the custards had all disappear’d,
And six little Singing-boys,—dear little souls!
In nice clean faces, and nice white stoles,
        Came in order due,
        Two by two,
Marching that grand refectory through.
A nice little boy held a golden ewer,
Emboss’d and fill’d with water, as pure
As any that flows between Rheims and Namur,
Which a nice little boy stood ready to catch
In a fine golden hand-basin made to match.
Two nice little boys, rather more grown,
Carried lavender-water and eau-de-Cologne;
And a nice little boy had a nice cake of soap,
Worthy of washing the hands of the Pope.
        One little boy more
        A napkin bore,
Of the best white diaper, fringed with pink,
And a Cardinal’s hat mark’d in “permanent ink.”

The great Lord Cardinal turns at the sight
Of these nice little boys dress’d all in white:
        From his finger he draws
        His costly turquoise;
And, not thinking at all about little Jackdaws,
        Deposits it straight
        By the side of his plate,
While the nice little boys on his Eminence wait;
Till, when nobody’s dreaming of any such thing,
That little Jackdaw hops off with the ring!
There’s a cry and a shout,
        And a deuce of a rout,
And nobody seems to know what they ’re about,
But the monks have their pockets all turn’d inside out;
        The friars are kneeling,
        And hunting, and feeling
The carpet, the floor, and the walls, and the ceiling.
        The Cardinal drew
        Off each plum-color’d shoe,
And left his red stockings expos’d to the view:
        He peeps, and he feels
        In the toes and the heels;
They turn up the dishes,—they turn up the plates,—
They take up the poker and poke out the grates,
        —They turn up the rugs,
        They examine the mugs:
        But no!—no such thing;
        They can’t find THE RING!
And the Abbot declar’d that, “when nobody twigg’d it,
Some rascal or other had popp’d in and prigg’d it!”

The Cardinal rose with a dignified look,
He call’d for his candle, his bell, and his book:
  In holy anger, and pious grief,
  He solemnly curs’d that rascally thief!
  He curs’d him at board, he curs’d him in bed,
  From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head!
  He curs’d him in sleeping, that every night
  He should dream of the devil, and wake in a fright;
  He curs’d him in eating, he curs’d him in drinking,
  He curs’d him in coughing, in sneezing, in winking;
  He curs’d him in sitting, in standing, in lying;
  He curs’d him in walking, in riding, in flying;
  He curs’d him in living, he curs’d him in dying!
Never was heard such a terrible curse!
        But what gave rise
        To no little surprise,
Nobody seem’d one penny the worse!

        The day was gone,
        The night came on,
The monks and the friars they search’d till dawn;
        When the sacristan saw,
        On crumpled claw,
Come limping a poor little lame Jackdaw.
        No longer gay,
        As on yesterday;
His feathers all seem’d to be turn’d the wrong way;
His pinions droop’d—he could hardly stand,
His head was as bald as the palm of your hand;
        His eye so dim,
        So wasted each limb,
That, heedless of grammar, they all cried,
        “THAT ’S HIM!
That’s the scamp that has done this scandalous thing!
That’s the thief that has got my Lord Cardinal’s Ring!”
        The poor little Jackdaw,
        When the monks he saw,
Feebly gave vent to the ghost of a caw;
And turn’d his bald head, as much as to say,
“Pray, be so good as to walk this way!”
        Slower and slower
        He limp’d on before,
Till they came to the back of the belfry-door,
        Where the first thing they saw,
        Midst the sticks and the straw,
Was the RING, in the nest of that little Jackdaw.

Then the great Lord Cardinal call’d for his book,
And off that terrible curse he took;
        The mute expression
        Serv’d in lieu of confession,
And, being thus coupled with full restitution,
The Jackdaw got plenary absolution!
        —When those words were heard,
        That poor little bird
Was so changed in a moment,’t was really absurd.
        He grew sleek and fat;
        In addition to that,
A fresh crop of feathers came thick as a mat.
        His tail waggled more
        Even than before;
But no longer it wagg’d with an impudent air,
No longer he perch’d on the Cardinal’s chair.
        He hopp’d now about
        With a gait devout;
At matins, at vespers, he never was out;
And, so far from any more pilfering deeds,
He always seem’d telling the Confessor’s beads.

If anyone lied, or if any one swore,
Or slumber’d in pray’r-time and happen’d to snore,
        That good Jackdaw
        Would give a great “Caw!”
As much as to say, “Don’t do so anymore!”
While many remark’d, as his manners they saw,
That they “never had known such a pious Jackdaw!”
        He long liv’d the pride
        Of that country side,
And at last in the odor of sanctity died;
        When, as words were too faint
        His merits to paint,
The Conclave determin’d to make him a Saint;
And on newly-made Saints and Popes, as you know,
It’s the custom, at Rome, new names to bestow,
So they canoniz’d him by the name of Jem Crow!
 The Jackdaw of Rheims By Richard Harris Barham (1788-1845)  
 I loved matching that poem to my bird and just happened to find the right coloured bit of old jewellery to tie it in!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Jo's been preparing for the Strawberry Fare!  Got the dragon's nearly made and someone to look after them!

The porpoises/dolphins are done!

And I've been playing with wool - made a couple of brooches for fun!  

I've got a lot to learn here!  LOL!  Keeps me quiet!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Door Stop - a functional doll!

 Lady of the House

 This is a Doorstop doll I made for a friend.  The request was for something bright and inviting.  Hopefully this Lady is!  She's definitely not the maid!
Lady of the House
 She was made to meet and greet people who come into the home!
Lady of the House
Under her clothing is a plastic milk container with a handle situated under the bustle for easy moving, so she doesn't need to be picked up by the head! 

Lady of the House
This might make a good pattern! What do you think?  I like opportunities to recycle and this is made almost completely from recycled materials!

Lady of the House
Had fun making this one!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Here's a sweet little pixie doll I made today, when I found a head I'd made a few years ago and done nothing with.  Thought I'd stick with the Christmas theme and make her Santa's little helper.

I had been experimenting with head shapes and used beads for the eyes.  It'll be alright for our local Fete on Sunday and also kept me out of the way while my old fella put a new bathroom in!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Making little changes.

Someone from Greece asked me to make a doll for her representing a man who has been drinking.  She called him a Drunker man.  She had bought my Innkeeper pattern to make the doll, but was worried about making the face as she wanted to give it as a gift.  She asked me to make the face for her for a portion of the price it would have cost her for me to make the whole thing, so I agreed, and this is what I came up with, according to her specs.  
 I took this photo and sent it off for her approval.  Happily, she liked what I had done, but she didn't like the blackness inside the mouth and said it made him look sick instead of funny, and could I change it. Even while I coloured it black, I could see it was not right, but sent the pic off anyway expecting her to say she didn't like that head and would I do another. I just wanted to know, so I could get on with it!

When she explained what she wanted I thought I'd have a go at changing it with paint.  So I painted all but the fine edges of the inner mouth with white acrylic, let it dry.  I used watercolour paint in a dark red mixed with a little paynes grey to achieve this more healthy colour in his mouth.  I used the black Gel pen again to draw in the teeth, then painted the inner mouth - not the lips - to give it a finish.

The thing is - like everyone, I am still learning too!  It's one thing to be able to  needlesculpt adequately, but getting the colour right is very important to the overall look of the doll.  I am grateful for the feedback I received and to be able to correct it satisfactorily, as well as to learn from my mistake!


 I have been making some pig pincushions, from my pattern, Pin Happy Pig for the end of year Fete we have here.  I enjoyed putting them together, using different fabrics and embellishments!  Some fabrics cause the pig to be larger and some are smaller, as you can see in the top picture.  Placing the ears wherever you like, for a different look and on one, using crushed velvet gave a different look too!  With that, I had to lay the top fabric on the velet and stitch first, before cutting out, due to the nap moving around!

This is the original Pin Happy Pig I used for my pattern, which you can buy on Etsy. 


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Father Christmas!

Here he is, all finished and looking a lot like old
saint Nick - but cheekier!  His beard is made from a very soft long fur fabric - quite whispy! Vset from cotton print.

Hard to see his dark green cotton pants beneath the coat, which is made from Pann Velvet and a short staple fur.  It took a while to handstitch the fur on.

The coat took longer to make than the whole thing! His bag is well balanced on his back - stuffed with paper to bulk it out and square packing foam, wrapped parcels, with small toys stitched in the opening.

He stands quite firmly in his stretch leatherette boots. 
 I am looking forward to making another one now!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Constructing Santa's Face!

I am making a Santa from my Innkeepers Pattern.  He's got a great body for this, so thought I'd show how I do the face.  I have not included the sculpting, sorry!

Before and again after Needlesculpting, I mark in the features, paint the eye with acrylic white and outline again with Tan or copper gel pen.  In this case, I have raised the eyes.

Here I have added black Gel pen and black pencil to shade the face.  The colour tone is taking on a sickly hue and I am a bit worried about it now, but will carry on!

Next go on the whiskers and hair piece.....

then the beard.  Now he looks like he's crashed the sleigh after too many egg nogs!  POOR SANTA!

I decided to redo his eyes, so painted on more white acrylic and smudged it into the red prismacolour pencil on the shut eye.  I changed the whole look of the eyes and used light brown prismacolour pencil to lighten the face a little.  Not entirely successful as a Jolly Santa.

So I did another face.  This time I did not raise the eyes, but drew them in place with a better effect.
Here they are for comparison!  I can still use the other face, but not as Santa.