Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Eliza Jane

So here is Eliza Jane, Bethany Bunny's younger cousin. She is a smaller version of my old fashioned bunny pattern, made again from a recycled wool sweater that I felted. I love making these!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Boughs of Holly

I just finished a couple of new Holly Pixies this weekend. I love the vintage look of this fabric!
And I've finished another snow pixie as well and added them both to the shop.

These are probably the last pixies for the year since I want to try and make at least one more bunny and crow girl before my last show this weekend. After that I'll need to concentrate on cookie making. Heaven forbid that even one type of Christmas cookie not make it onto the cookie platter! There might be a revolt! :) So look for a cookie recipe next time! Yum.....

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fa La La

Some little seasonal elves visited me today!

We're starting to get in the spirit around here! And, as we do every December 1st, we pulled down our vast collection of Christmas books so I'm happily perusing all the old favorites. Of course they are all kids books...well except Dickens ...because I just can't resist a great kid's book! ( Actually I have a hard time resisting books in general) I had to start with Big Susan by Elizabeth Orton Jones which, since its main characters are dollhouse dolls, is at the top of my list.

This is such a sweet story about love and the power of imagination and if you have children... or are just a big doll lover like me... I highly recommend it.
I promise to share some of my other favorites in the days to come, but in the meantime I'd love to know, what are your favorite Holiday/Christmas books?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Catching up!

Wow I have so much to cover today! I have been incredibly busy with commissions...never a bad thing!...and I've let some stuff pile up here. So let's see if I can get a little caught up!

First I was given this lovely blog award:

It means “This blog invests and believes in ‘proximity’[meaning that blogging makes us 'close' - being close through proxy].”
I like that! Thanks so much Teaching Handwork!

Second I've been tagged twice! First by Alteredevents and then by Archetypal Theater with the "seven little known things about yourself" tag. Now I've done this one a couple of times already but since I have lots of new readers perhaps it's time again, So...

1. I'm named after Cinderella...yes really!
2. I don't eat mammals but it really doesn't bother me if other people do.
3. On the subject of food,since reading Barbara Kingsolver's marvelous book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle", I've really gotten into eating as locally as possible. We grow a garden, belong to 2 CSAs (community sponsored agriculture) with local farmers, and are weekly visitors to the nearby farmers market. I even trade dolls for food!
4. I'm a country girl at heart but I feel totally in love with Paris and felt more at home there then I have ever felt in a city...including the one I live in now.
5. I've recently become a huge fan of cello music...and if you want to hear something really cool listen to the bluegrass band Crooked Still . Cello and bluegrass , who would have thought it!

6. I'm terribly shy! I'm good at hiding it, but art shows where I have to stand there and sell my wares are torture for me.
7. I don't ever pass on tags...it goes along with my incredible shyness so I am always the weak link in these things!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hide and Go Seek...and New Dolls

I've got a big show tomorrow and I've made several new pieces that I'm just dying to share! But first, I promised to tell you about the promo game that the NaturalKids team is starting on Monday...actually I think Rebecca does a better job of explaining than I could, so if you go here you can read all the details. So go...read...but come back!

Okay, so you're back now and ready to see my new pieces? Great! The first is Bethany Bunny. Ever since I started felting sweaters I've been thinking of turning some of that nummy felt ...yes I said Nummy...into an old fashioned stuffed animal. The kind that I always wished I had as a kid. So I messed around trying to find a pattern and as usual ended up making my own. I just love her!
The jointing buttons are wooden and made by Jenn over at The Button Shop. Her outfit has shell buttons up the back and is removable and she can stand on her own too!! I made her tail from angora yarn for a little touch of real bunny :)

And this is a doll that arrived full blown in my head about a week ago and just would not let me rest until I had made her! Sheesh, I love crows but this one was driving me crazy...meet Sylvia the crow girl. She is of course holding some shiny objects in her hand...er...wing. Once I got her started she flew... so to speak...together and I'm already planning on some cousins and siblings for her...crows do like to flock. Soon I'll have my own storytelling of crows!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Autumn Reverie

We went to the mountains last weekend to hang with dear friends, enjoy some rockin' music, and of course visit my favorite fabric shop. The drive up was breathtaking...

The leaves were past their "peak" but that's when I think they're the best, I love the darker hues. I took all these shots from the car, but it was all so lovely that I couldn't take a bad picture. The light was filtering through the trees casting a golden glow, the sky was cobalt blue, and the leaves were falling in a slow motion dance. It was simply magical.

It's a very busy time of year here at the Nest. The holidays seem to collide head on with all the biggest art shows and of course all the end of term school stuff...it's enough to make one's head spin! But lots of new designs are getting made so look for new dolls to be introduced next week! I'm also participating in a fun discount promo with the NaturalKids Team that starts Monday and I'll have more info posted on that this Friday. Lots to look forward to and in the meantime I'll leave you with another autumn snapshot...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

This just keeps going through my head....

"Oh what a beautiful Morning
Oh what a beautiful day,
I've got a wonderful feeling ,
Everything's going my way..."

yep...yes we can and yes we did....

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Haunting We will Go...

So once again much fun was had on Halloween this year.
There was the carving of the pumpkin by our in house master pumpkin carver...teen boys are always SO thrilled to have their picture taken...

The Traditional dinner of brains and bloody worms...

accompanied of course with toasted pumpkin seeds...

We get an heirloom pumpkin from a local farmer every year so we can eat the yummy insides....
by the way, have you noticed that all canned pumpkin comes in 15oz. cans now a days?And all my old recipes that call for a can mean a 16oz can so I save the extra cooked pumpkin in frozen 1oz. packages...
This is a huge pot but of course it cooks down a lot!

Living on a dead end street means we don't get many trick-or-treaters but we decorate the place up and have a grand old time visiting with the neighbors. I hope your Halloween was loads of fun too!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy All Hallows

This is Jinx, the All Hallow's Eve fairy, who is responsible for making sure the gates to Fairyland stay open on that special night.

Since my life is insane these days I thought I'd go ahead and wish everyone a happy All Hallow's, Halloween, and my favorite, Samhain. Samhain Blessings to all. May your ancestors & loved-ones who have gone on, find peace with you this night, and may the Samhain Flame cleanse you of your pain of loss. I've always found the Samhain festival to be very healing and even if you follow a different path, I wish you peace and healing as well.
...and for all you little haunts, gouhlies , and super heros...happy treating with only fun tricks!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Little Prince and friends...

As you've probably realized by now, I'm a huge fan of children's literature, so the opportunity to recreate a character from one of my favorites is always a pleasure ... challenging sometimes, but that's supposed to be good for me! And I am really pleased with how this little guy turned out. Although there are some things that I would do differently next time, that's all part of the process. I love it that people ask me to make dolls that I might not have even tried on my own, first because they often are a challenge and second because I usually surprise myself with the end result. I made these two last week for another commission, Anne of Green Gables and Pam from "The Office". An unlikely pairing to say the least!

And here's a Little Mermaid I made awhile back....

So now that I've done mermaids, Alice, Pippi, Anne, The Prince and several Fairy Tale and Nursery Rhyme characters...not to mention Pam... who do you think I should try next?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

Autumn Winds, Fae, and Poetic Ramblings...

Yesterday I saw the wind in his cloak of green and gold,
he looked at me with childish eyes though his face was wrinkled and old.
He called the leaves to dance with him in their dresses of crimson bright,
and they followed behind with maidenly pride in the waning Autumn light.

A bit of verse I wrote when I was 11. I guess I have been seeing fae all my life. And the winds have always been my favorites...

Here's my last Fall fairy for this year...maybe. I actually have one more in mind but as she is a very complicated piece she may not see realization until I have more time. Autumn IS my favorite season, I can't seem to help being drawn to all it's denizens. This is Queen Maeve with her attendant leaf pixies...and a pumpkin...just because!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Little bit of Witchery

Five Little Witches

Five little witches on a Halloween night
Made a very, very spooky sight.
The first witch danced on her tippy tiptoes.
The second witch tumbled and bumped her nose.
The third witch flew high up in the air.
The fourth witch combed her fuzzy hair.
The fifth witch sang a Halloween song.
Five witches played the whole night long!
- Anonymous

Okay I only have two little witches , but they are very little...

And here's another witch poem, one of my favorites...

Witchcraft was hung, in History,
But History and I
Find all the Witchcraft that we need
Around us, every Day—
- Emily Dickinson

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Charm of Gnomes

Well there doesn't seem to be an official collective noun for a group of Gnomes so please feel free to make up your own if you don't like mine. I thought of saying "A Garden of Gnomes" but those are obviously another branch on the family tree. Any who, here is my

"Charm of Gnomes "

and they are definitely a charming group! While I was trying to get these shots this morning I had a little rascal trying to steal into the shots. Don't be fooled by her nonchalance...

I'm not the least bit interested in what you're doing!

See! Actually Calliope loves that cherry red doll and has been trying to get it since it was made!
And she's fast too!
This last one is for Bea, I took it even before you asked! But Calliope is too fast for my creaky old camera.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Little Gnomes

Here's a peek at a my newest doll design, a sweet little forest gnome. I've got 3 more in various stages awaiting completion in the studio so hopefully I can show you a group shot in a few days. I'm so pleased with how they turned out. They're so sweet, have a really original body design AND you can put your fingers in their arms and use them like puppets. Pretty cool huh? I'm not quite sure how to photograph that though, so far the shots just don't work... any ideas? And I'd love to hear what you think about the design as well. Also check out those buttons! Aren't they wonderful? They're from The Button Shop and I just love them. Thanks Jenn! You'll see more of those on the new dolls too.
Back to work now, I'll post more soon! Lots of toy making to do for Santa!

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Thursday, September 4, 2008


"By the pricking of my thumbs something wicked this way comes..." - William Shakespeare "Macbeth"

"I know of the leafy paths that the witches take
Who come with their crowns of pearl and their spindles of wool,
And their secret smile, out of the depths of the lake..."
- William Butler Yeats "The Withering of the Boughs"

Well not too wicked. Meet Tabitha and Penelope. Two witches who personify the "trick" and "treat" of Halloween. Tabitha is all about the tricks. She can be a terrible nuisance; soaping cars, putting tangle spells on hair, spilling milk, and hiding keys or shoes...but there is one way to avoid her pranks. Because of her great love of pumpkins, she'll never play tricks on a home with a jack-o-lantern outside! On the other hand, Penelope and her cat Poe are MUCH more interested in the treats and love to make all kinds of goodies for the neighborhood kiddies...the yummy kind because Penny is a Good witch! They live together despite their differences and figure between them they have all the Halloween bases covered.

In the spirit of these two I give you some bits of classic witchery that I love...

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

She is neither pink nor pale,
And she never will be all mine;
She learned her hands in a fairy-tale,
And her mouth on a valentine.
She has more hair than she needs;
In the sun 'tis a woe to me!
And her voice is a string of colored beads,
Or steps leading into the sea.
She loves me all that she can,
And her ways to my ways resign;
But she was not made for any man,
And she never will be all mine.

Witches Chant
by William Shakespeare

Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.--
Toad, that under cold stone,
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot!

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire, burn; and cauldron, bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,--
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire, burn; and cauldron, bubble.

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witch's mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse,
Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips,
Finger of birth-strangl'd babe
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,--
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire, burn; and cauldron, bubble.

Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

Unbeliveable as it may seem I knew this second one one by heart at a ridiculously young age. I'm not sure what that says about my upbringing but it certainly was a literary one....

Monday, August 25, 2008

...And here it is!!

Well to start I have to show off this little fellow that I just finished. I was so inspired by the fauns some of the other members of the NaturalKids team made that I had to make my own. This is Timothy Tumnus, great, great, great, great grandson of the famous Mr. Tumnous of Narnia legend. I'm so pleased with how he turned out, he's just so sweet.

And then I thought you might like to see the results of last week's insane remodeling effort. Do I love the new furniture? Oh Hell Yes!! It is so awesome to have a Queen sized bed that I can hardly believe it...and matching furniture? Incredible.

The new guest room is finished, walls painted and furniture moved in. I think it looks pretty inviting!

So now I'm heading into the studio to try and get some serious work done! All kinds of shows are just around the corner. (She said, with a slight edge of panic in her voice!) Stay tuned, I should have some witches to show you soon....

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Grownup Tales...

I have been insanely busy lately simply because we decided to buy new bedroom furniture. Now this is a major event for us because we have never owned a new bed in 25 years of marriage and we never buy matching furniture...Everything in our house has a cozy mismatched ... okay picked up from the side of the road and refinished...feel. But the time had come to act! We needed a bed and dresser so we got them...and it made us feel weirdly grownup. I guess since I'm almost 50 I probably need to feel grownup at least upon occasion.
So the furniture was purchased. This set off a chain of work involving moving my son to his new room, painting his old room and turning it into a real guest room...another grownup moment...giving away some of the truly beat up old furniture to the nice college kid next door...who gratefully gave us some of his awesome home brew in exchange...and on and on. The new stuff arrives tomorrow and I will be so thrilled, and so exhausted! Please tell me I'm not the only person who does major remodeling on the spur of the moment?
As you might guess little doll work is getting done in the Nest, but since school starts next week that will definitely change. In the meantime I leave you with a mini of some of the wonderful kid stuff from the NaturalKids Team....

Also if your interested, Rebecca, or Birdie as we call her, has done an interview with me over on her blog In My Cottage Garden. So there's that! Hopefully I'll be back with some new fairies next week...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Attack of the Giant Beetles!!!

I have my nephews visiting this week so not much work is getting done on dolls, but it's a good thing they were here to do some beetle wrangling for me 'cause as you can see we've been infested with giant beetles lately.

Here's a peek at some of the new work in my shop. I re-did this wallet and gave it a really pretty mushroom print lining.

A sweet little fall pixie

Annona, the Fall harvest fairy, with a pumpkin made of recycled sweater felt...Love that stuff!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Trips, Teams, and Tabbies!

Hi all! I just got back from a trip to the mountains, where much fun was had despite my stomach acting out again. ( that darn thing!) I visited Schoolhouse Fabrics and bought some yummy new fabrics that I'll show you soon. But in the meantime I thought I'd let you know some other news....

I am on a wonderful Etsy team called NaturalKids that is made up of some of the nicest people I've ever met; supportive, caring and wonderful artists who all make items for children of natural materials and believe in trying to live in a sustainable and ecominded manner. Well one of our members wrote a terrific article for the Etsy Storque blog and you should go take a peek here. I love all the pictures of kids actually playing with their toys, great stuff.

And speaking of the team, I ordered an early birthday present for myself from FreedomRainbow, one of our members. I Love her shop! It's full of the most unique and charismatic stuffed animals I think I've ever seen, they're simply wonderful! He hasn't arrived yet but Sarah sent me some sneak preview pictures that I just Have to share...

Isn't he adorable?
I'm one of those people who just never get themselves anything unless it's completely practical. It's a depression mentality I seem to have inherited from my Dad. But I was oohing and aahing over Sarah's dolls and my sweet husband said..."well why not?" and I said "you're right, why not?!" and I did! Such decadence!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer Thoughts...

Okay, I admit that Summer is not my favorite time of year. Perhaps if I lived in an area that didn't turn into a sweltering, smog laden, steam bath in the summer I might feel differently, and hopefully one day I can explore that option further, but in the meantime I'm stuck here in the hot and sticky South. That being said, I'm trying to focus on the better side of Summer...thinking positively and all that. So lets see, what can I come up with? Well right at the top of the list are fresh tomatoes...sweet, ripe, juicy, a red globe of culinary perfection. And gardening! I'm one of those eternally optimistic gardeners. No matter my many past experiences of gardens devastated by drought and pests... both of which are higher then average in my area...I still plant anew every Spring. This year has been exceptional so far and I actually have a beautiful garden, lots of veggies and lovely flowers. (Of course this could be a cosmic set up for future failures...but we're thinking positively here so cut that out!) Let's see, what else...Tubing down the river is a summer activity that we all enjoy, and a wonderful way to spend a summer day so that qualifies. Fireflies! I love those little guys, and butterflies and hummingbirds are also very welcome summer visitors. Hmm...I confess to be running out of ideas so I may have to add more in a future post. What's your favorite thing about summer?

This little fairy has been flitting about my garden lately. Her name is Seraphina, which means means fire-winged or burning one, an appropriate moniker for a summer fae, don't you think?

You can find more pictures of Seraphina here!