Friday, November 12, 2010

flime ties

Wow. How did it get to be November 12th already?

I've updated the shop with two new mermaids and my photographer extraodinaire reshot my first two dolls. Go take a look!

For your viewing entertainment here is another lovely model captured during the latest photo shoot.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

sneak peek

Here she is!

I'm trying to get some better pictures before I list her in the shop. I have also finished another one and need pictures of her as well. I'm pretty happy with my final pattern; it's easy to put together and she feels like the right size. The only thing I'm still fiddling with are the eyes. I haven't come up with what I think is the "right" look yet but it's getting there.

Here's a view of the back so you can see all that hair. Wowsers.

Just to remind you, this is where I started with this one.

The only part I re-used was the tail and that even got adjusted a bit at the top. No comparison, right?

All in all, this is a "yay"!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

new stuff - photos coming soon

Well, I got my new sewing machine and, man, it is a cute one. Better than that, it sews! It sews without skipping stitches!

I completely took apart the denim/linen mermaid and re-did her. I changed out the denim for a printed cotton and changed out the whole body top pattern, slimmed down the tail a bit where it connects to the body and generally changed how I put the whole thing together. It was a lot easier once I figured it out. I was really making it hard on myself the way I was doing things before.

I've gone back to using the yarn I like for the hair (here). I pretty much hate that yarn for anything but mermaid hair but it's perfect for that.

I'll get some pictures of her and my new lovely sewing machine and put those up soon. I'm still re-thinking some elements on her face so she's not quite finished but she's getting close!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Well that was fun.

I was able to cut out several pieces for more than one doll and started sewing them up. Started but didn't finish because my lousy sewing machine, which I recently spent over $100 to fix, doesn't work anymore. It sewed about 3 stitches then promptly quit catching stitches. Oh how I wish I had never given up my trusty old Singer which my parents gave me sometime in the late 60's. That was a workhorse that only sewed a straight stitch - frontward and backward. That's all it did but it did it consistently.

I am totally fed up with the one I currently have so I got online and ordered this little beauty. It's been shipped and now I'm just sitting here waiting for it to show up. I can hardly wait to have a sewing machine I don't want to curse out when I use it!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

mermaids past and present

Well, I went through and took some pictures of the mermaids I made for my daughter when she was quite a bit younger and thought I'd post them here.

This is the very first one

and a closeup of her face

She was made with some beautiful velveteen fabric, a lovely co-ordinating brocade for the tail plus some odds and ends of lace and velvet for trimming. I used this great yarn for her hair. My daughter loved her and then started requesting more! Following are the others all lined up

As you can see, I had some difficulty with their faces. On each one I learned something new.

Here is the first with the last one I made.

As you can see, she is quite a bit larger than the original ones. I have come to the conclusion that she is a little too big. I also have a tendency to over stuff them and make them a little less cuddly because of that. The latest one is also over-engineered and I don't like the shape of the head. I'm going to stick with the head shape of the first ones. I *do* like using rhinestones for the eyes and I love the extra full head of hair. Those are things I will continue going forward. I have now completely taken the latest one apart and she's ready to be remade. I'm going to work on that over the next couple of days and will hopefully have something to show for my labors! Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

inspired again

it's taken a while but i'm inspired again. when my daughter was little i used to make mermaid dolls for her. i made quite a few since she would give me orders for the type she wanted. along the way i kept trying new ways of doing them since there were always "issues" with them in one way or another. i started with a basic doll pattern which my mother used to make me a "gretel" doll (from hansel and gretel) which she got from an old better homes and garden booklet. i created my own tail pattern to replace the feet but everything else was pretty much as the pattern was made.

zoom forward several years - i decided i wanted to making these mermaid dolls and then selling them. i really liked doing them but there are only so many you can have hanging around. in order to do that i realized i really needed to come up with my own pattern since it didn't seem quite right to sell based off someone else's pattern. i managed to get one done which i was quite pleased with (see her here) for a friend at work. she ordered it for her little girl as a christmas present.

one of the things i realized was i really needed to simplify the pattern. it was a lot of work; work i don't think i would be willing to do for a large number of these dolls. the take-away from this was i won't worry about making the head swivel, the arms articulate (maybe - still not sure on that one), possibly reduce the size and not make the bend in the tail too narrow (makes it hard to stuff properly and it tends to get floppy). even though it takes almost an entire skein of yarn and a long time i really love having a full head of hair. don't like skimpy haired dolls - especially mermaid dolls since they are so oo-la-la to begin with.

so, the inspiration. what brought it on? this woman. she is amazing. it was really something seeing her journey in doll-making and the different stages she went through (is still going through?). she made me want to get back in there and try and do something with the mermaids in my head. get them out of my head on in the world.

i'm going to try and keep a running post on what i've got going on and the different things i'll be trying in developing the body style i think will work best for me.

i hope you'll come along with me on this new endeavor.

Monday, August 30, 2010


i·ro·ny    [ahy-ruh-nee] –noun

1. the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning.

what irony abounds when the defacto leaders (glenn beck, sarah palin) of the most uncivil bunch of people this nation has seen in a long time call for a return to civility.

Friday, August 27, 2010

pupdate now with more socks

update on the pup. she's fitting in beautifully. the crate is still in the living room but only because we need to replace it with an end table next to the couch. need something to put the lamp on dontchaknow.

we had to use the crate for only a very short time. she has adjusted to the cats quite nicely and vice versa. want proof? ok. here's proof.

what? too far apart? hows this, then.

really? still too far apart? jeez. ok you doubters.

see that ferocious little cat face? she's trying to chew on sophie's paw. she is also partial to sophie's ears. sophie, for her part, likes to flea-bite dinky. *sigh* those two.

jenger is still keeping her distance, although she has, at times, actually rubbed up against our little sophie. no pictures of that rare occurrence. we're just grateful sophie isn't inclined to chase her like prey.

now for the sock portion of this post. i'm trying to get my sock mojo back. i've been putting in time on non-sock related knitting and realized my sock situation is getting desparate. time for socks! going for a pretty basic sock just to get going again. trouble is, i think i need to switch out to my metal needles. these wood ones, beautiful though they may be, are just a little to grabby for me. i'm struggling just to do a round at a time. want to see? ok.

yeah. just the toe getting started and it's taking way too long to get to this part. i'm hoping switching out the needles will help. i'm using stroll kettle-dyed sock yarn in "jay" for the toes and heels. (it looks like they're phasing that particular yarn out but the equivalent yarn is the regular stroll sock yarn.) i'm using this particular yarn because it has some nylon in it and i need that to keep the toes and heels from wearing out too fast. for the body of the sock i'll be using a beautiful handpainted yarn in purples. when i get to that part i'll take a picture.

onward and upward!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

sophie, world. world, sophie.

who's a pretty girl? who's a pretty girl?

Sophie is a pretty girl!

oh, and that crate in the background? doesn't look like we're going to need it. she is such a sweet tempered little girl and seems to be housebroken. it's only been a day so we'll give it more time before deciding for sure.

and just for fun, here's a pic of her in the magic room (good things find their way to her tummy here)

and one of her having her dinner

good dog!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

mother's day - new beginnings

i'm going to have a dog again!

we went to our local shelter (warl) on mother's day and started the search. i didn't know what would happen; would we find a dog right away? how long would the process take?

well, yes, we did find a dog right away. she was in the 3rd section we looked at. such a pretty friendly little girl. she was rooming with another friendly dog, a boy named homer, and we just couldn't quit petting her and looking at her. i meant to make the rounds and check out all the dogs but just couldn't leave her. my husband said "i really like her". so we took her to a little room so we could interact with her without a lot of distractions. so sweet. and SMART. oh yes, i could tell right away that she's a smart girl.

we still have two cats so any dog we bring in will have to be able to co-exist with them. that is a deal breaker. they "cat-tested" her while we were there so we could see how she reacted to a cat.

i always wondered how dogs are "cat-tested". conjures up some interesting imagery to be sure. well, what they do is put a cat in a large cage (or crate) in one of their offices then bring in the dog on a leash. the first thing is to see what the dog does when s/he sees the cat then go from there. our new puppers didn't even notice the cat at first then, when she went over to check the cat out, the cat hissed at her! she ducked her head and kind of backed away. i figure we can work with that.

we pick her up tonight. tonight!

i dreamed about her last night. i dreamed she was sleeping on the bed with us. it was a lovely dream.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

man candy

i'll be frank. this post was prompted by me getting Sherlock Holmes in the mail the other day. i mean, really. robert downey jr and jude law? yummy.

made me think of the man candy movies i have. i present for your viewing pleasure the following:

Silverado - lots of lovely men in their prime, plus let me just say this: "scott glenn in leather pants". it's also a great movie with some wonderful lines
i don't wanna kill you and you don't wanna be dead
i think there's only a couple of guys and this a**hole's one of 'em
you idiot! he's hit everything he's shot at!

the aforementioned Sherlock Holmes - again, robert downey jr and jude law. need i say more?

Ocean's 11 - oh my lord. george clooney, matt damon, brad pitt, andy garcia. seriously.

300 - 1) gerard butler, 2) gerard butler in very little and 3) all those other BNN* men. sigh.

so, what are your favorite man candy movies?
seriously, i wanna know!

*BNN - buff and nearly nekkid

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

i'm all for trying something new

doing something new this year. i'll be participating in my first ever KAL (knit a long) and, boy, is it a doozy. a fully ALL OVER cabled sweater. check it out.

the big question will be what yarn to use.
i'm pretty cheap so i don't want to spend a fortune on yarn. the recommended yarn has crazy good yardage for the price but it is a little rougher wool. i don't want to put all that work into it and have a sweater too scratchy to wear.

i've been wanting to do something like this for a while but always felt a little intimidated by the amount of cabling involved but the sweater does not incorporate any real shaping and it will be done in pieces so i'll be able to transport it more easily.

all in all i think it will be fun and fun is good!