Category Archives: doll making

Doing better today

“You start with good thoughts, good intentions, prayers,” Clayton says when I ask how they begin each planting season. “Once you begin the seasonal cycle, taking care of the earth, it should be on your mind every day. You complete the process. It becomes a responsibility for taking care of the earth. So each day you have to be aware of what you started and where you want to take it.”

~The Earth Knows My Name; Food, Culture, and Sustainability in the Gardens of Ethnic Americans, by Patricia Klindienst

This quote spoke to me this morning when I read it. I believe it’s as true for growing children as it is for growing gardens.

Today went a lot smoother then yesterday, thank goodness. We are enjoying the kind of weather that I never knew as a child; sunny warm days with lots of snow still left on the ground.
I eaves dropped on an amusing convesation the children were having about their baby dolls and how they needed “baby milk” for them, not goat’s milk, because “baby milk” will keep them well.

I started work on a little spring flower fairy.

The only shadow over the day was the fact that my littlest love is having a really rough time. He’s cutting his first set of molars and he’s awfully uncomfortable. He’s feeling so out of sorts that he keeps falling down and hitting his head. Poor little guy, he’s being so brave and strong about it. Neither him, nor I seem to be able to get any rest though. He’s up and down all night and nursing all the times in-between. Being close to me seems to be a comfort, so I’m keeping him in slings for the most part when he’s tired. That way he can at least occasionally squeeze in a little cat nap.


I can’t believe I forgot!

I can’t believe that I never posted pictures of this. I think this is probably my favorite present of all time. This is the doll that Iain made me for my birthday. It was his idea, his design and completely made entirely by him and him alone. I really love her.

And while I’m talking about Iain, here is a poem that he wrote for Elijah a couple of months back.

Elijah eats his ice cream
and then he goes to bed.

There he lies a dreamin’
while the darkness fled.



This is the newest member of our ever growing doll family. She was designed by and for Elijah. The request I got was as follows; a girl doll in a fuzzy purple and pink dress, with blue eyes like Elijah, no nose (I have no idea why my children are so against noses these days… weird) and lots and lots of golden curly hair. I may well have gone a bit overboard on the last request!

She isn’t quite done yet. I still need to pink her checks. Since this picture was taken I’ve braided her hair into pigtails. I’m going to make her a pink jumper with purple trim and a matching hat.

I made her body out of purple cotton stretch velvet, so it always looks like she is dressed. I the past Elijah’s dolls have had a nasty habit of misplacing their clothes.

And yes, Iain is already designing his next doll. “Well, you made Elijah one!!” Never mind that I promised to make one for Elijah because he was upset about the knot doll that I let Iain design at Christmas time. Oye. Luckily, Galen isn’t that articulate yet…

It’s sounding like Iain’s is going to be a boy, with dreadlocks and rainbow sweater, named Clove.

Did I mention that Elijah has a pen pal now too? He’s now writing to a little friend in Canada. They are going to send pictures and short notes written by mommies. For his first letter he decided to send a picture of Violet. I thought it turned out really well!

On the back he asked me to write “This is my doll Violet.” It was very important that the note be written in purple so that the little boy knows that’s his favorite color! He wrote his name underneath.



I finished Elijah’s doll, but I still need to make all of her clothes.

I’d say I’m about a third of the way done Steve’s Valentine’s Day gift. I should really be much further along by now. I just got to a step that is somewhat tedious and while normally I wouldn’t mind I haven’t been in the right head space for it lately. I like to be able to make things with loving intention. Forcing myself to work on it when I’m having trouble paying attention just seems wrong, so I’ve been putting it off. I’ve been regressing health-wise lately and I’ve forgotten how much of an impact that has on my work.

We are having some cold weather here now, though not nearly as cold as in some parts of the country I’m told. Over the weekend I found that Galen suddenly didn’t have anything for his feet. He has some thin socks, but all of his booties where suddenly either lost or dirty, too small or in need of repair. So on Sunday I knitted him a pair of thick socks. I’ve got a second pair on needles now (I’m about to turn the heel on the first sock).

I have a lot of work to do. I haven’t started the boys’ Valentine’s presents yet. Galen’s first birthday is exactly a week after Valentine’s day. I have his present planned out, but I’m still in the gathering supplies phase. I still want to make him some slippers as well. And my parents are coming for a couple of days in this time. I guess I’ll be rather busy for a couple of weeks!


Random little things….

Note: This is a post from last week. I was having trouble with the photos so I never published it. Steve seems to have things working again, so here you go…

We’ve been busy lately. Everyone had a cold, now we are busy getting back into the swing of things, picking up with the school work where we left off before the holidays.

It’s so bright and sunny out this morning. I love how the evergreens look all studded with snow with the light shining down through them. We had lots of fun this morning checking out all of the animal tracks around our house. The delicate little bird and mouse prints make the snow look like lace. We got to follow the prints from a pair of foxes who walked around our house in the night.

Here are some random little crafty things from the last couple of months.

Steve misunderstood what I was looking for and brought me home some roving. I spun it up into a thick and thin yarn and then knitted this one night just for kicks. The colors remind me of play dough when it gets all squished together. I wanted to make a little pouch or something for the kids, but I didn’t have enough yarn so I made an over-sized pot-holder/trivet thing. I felted it for extra insulation.

These were the veggies I knitted for the kids play kitchen.

The gnomes that I tucked in the top of the boys’ stockings.

Iain’s pencil case. I didn’t have enough of any one, or two pieces of felt, so it ended up very patchy and kind of funky as I was half asleep while sewing it.


Rain renewed….

I finished remaking Elijah’s doll “Rain”. I took him apart and washed him really well, put fresh stuffing in and sewed him all back together again.

The boys were playing at being kings and queens yesterday and had laid out their “royal robes” before going to bed. I didn’t have any of Rain’s clothes up here so I tied a silk scarf around him and made up a little costume from it. I secured a band of braided gold yarn around his head and left “Prince Rain” by sleeping Elijah all set to join in on the fun in the morning.

I haven’t taken any current pictures of Rain, but here is one from Christmas morning two years ago, when a very sleepy little boy found a strange new playmate in bed with him. Rain looks mostly the same now. Although I still haven’t been able to get out the stain on his face from when he decided to be naughty and play in a pile of ash. Elijah gave him a thorough scolding and he’s remembered not to do it since, but it seems as though the marks are with him for life. Thankfully, Elijah doesn’t seem to mind. For him it’s only added to his charm as well as won him the nickname of “ash-nose”.



As it turns out after nearly seven years of love and abuse, Iain’s knot doll really couldn’t be saved. I was going to re-make it for him, but the fabric was so worn that there wasn’t actually enough left to sew back together again. He agreed to having me make a new knot doll for him. We went looking for fabric that was similar, but didn’t really come up with anything, so he picked out some that was entirely new. He decided that the doll was going to be a girl named Rose. He found a really soft rose print flannel to use as the main fabric. Then he picked out a heart fabric that reminded him of a blanket he had when he was little. The two fabrics didn’t really go together, so we decided on a third fabric for the contrast and the heart fabric was put aside for making “Rose” a blanket. I’m hoping to be able to make it into a little carrying basket with a pillow and a blanket as a surprise for Christmas.

Iain choose all of the features and details down to the crocheted trim and opting not to actually tie the ends into knots.

As the mother of three boys its very rare that I get called upon to make something “as pretty as possible”, but that was the request with this doll. I did what I could and tried to follow my little designers instructions. He seems happy with the outcome. There is some decorative stitching and such that you can’t really see in the pictures. Now Elijah wants his doll (who also happens to be named Rose, btw) to have trim and roses too! We agreed that I would make him a doll that he designs sometime after the holidays. I’m told that it’s to have a purple velvet dress….I’ve always wanted to make some pretty girl dolls, so something to look forward too…

The fabric is really pretty, very cottage-y. I might make myself an herbal pillow out of what’s leftover!


A new baby! Well…sort of….

I’m in the process of trying to save my children’s dolls. They have to be made safe so that they won’t contaminate the new house or make the children sick. This is easier in some cases then in others!
Two nights ago I remade Elijah’s knot doll. “Baby” was a first Christmas present (four years ago now!) with a patchwork body made out of scraps of flannel with “Elijah” embroidered down the side. He’s every so attached to it and has been without it since we moved. I had to replace it’s head, but the body and hat stayed the same, just needed a good washing and a couple of repairs. I tried to make the face exactly as it was and I think that I came pretty close.
I stayed up until 3 in the morning making it. Then I tucked it into bed beside him. There was so much joy and relief in his face when he found “her” in the morning. I think he was worried he would never see her again. They haven’t been apart since! Everywhere he goes she is in the crook of his arm.
Before I had even gotten out of bed that morning Iain had proposed plans for making her a cradle and set off to find scraps of wood. With that all of our school work for the day was canceled. A new little cradle is in progress as well as a small terry cloth pillow, which Elijah has been sewing with baby laying in his lap. The boys deemed it a day to celebrate and who was I to stand in their way? Throughout the day I took pictures of my glowing boy loving his baby. It was such a delight to see him so full of joy!