For a Sweet Little Girl

When I first saw a picture of this vintage card in Jenny B. Harris's Allsorts blog, I felt so inspired. Look how adorable.

Photos courtesy of Jenny b. Harris

So I bought a vintage red doll trunk off ebay. Luckily, it's in great condition and it was very inexpensive.

I made a doll for my 5 1/2 year old and the doll fits perfectly inside.

My daughter asked for braided loops and glittery red shoes. She also requested a black velvet dress. As I mentioned in a previous post, her name is Noelle.

This will be the doll that my middle daughter will learn to sew for, just like my older daughter's Marie doll. The trunk will be able to hold the clothes and Noelle.

I can't wait to see my daughter's expression on Christmas morning. I think she'll be pleased.


High on a Hill Was a Lonely Goatherd

Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo

(Mystery project solved!)

My childhood was not full of traditions. It just wasn't how we were raised.

But one of the few family traditions we did have was watching the annual TV airing of The Sound of Music.* My parents, sisters and I loved/love that movie. I think even my brother likes it more than he cares to admit.

Like many fans, my absolute favorite scene and song in the movie was/is "The Lonely Goatherd". Who can resist singing along? What child didn't dream of being one of the von Trapp family children, maneuvering the marionettes with Maria, singing and yodeling away? Those amazing puppets! That fantastic set! Brilliant!

Not surprisingly, my girls love the movie, the soundtrack, and "The Lonely Goatherd", too. They go nuts when the song comes on, interlocking elbows and swinging each other around. They sing and yodel words that oftentimes mimic the actual lyrics.

I thought what better present for my girls than a few marionettes of their own so that they can re-enact that scene over and over again here at home?

Obviously, there is no way I could ever come close to recreating the masterpieces created by Bil Baird. Not in this lifetime. So, I went with very simple and used some cloth, wool and bits of string and came up with these two little ones.

I aimed for "resemble" rather than replicate. Much easier that way. My "little girl in a pale pink coat" also looks less curvy, more young...modest :)

I am so excited about this project because this is JUST THE BEGINNING. Think of all the things the girls and I can make! A collapsible stage made out of a tri-fold display board (cover it with paper or paint? fabric or felt? adorn it with trims?)! Background scenery drawn by the girls using pastels and butcher paper! Playsilks for the curtains! More puppets! A few more marionettes! My brain is on overdrive!

I have a different cloth doll body in mind for making the "Mama" (a more floppy version so that one can control her head). Perhaps we'll make the "Men on a road with a load to tote" hand puppets out of wool felt. Maybe my husband can stand in for the "Men drinking beer with the foam afloat".

And I've been having fun playing with these little marionettes in the meantime, making them dance around the floor (I had to make sure they work!), testing out which control would work best for the girls (they are temporarily stringed up right now as my husband and I fine-tune/sand the real controls). I've been joined by my youngest who has been also testing out an inexpensive goat marionette I bought for Christmas so there are three marionettes to start with (no fighting! everyone gets one!). My older two daughters have no idea about this project.

Still, even the goat is a placeholder, until I/we can make the goat marionettes, too. Knowing my girls, they'll want to start with the baby goat...who wouldn't.

I am so excited about this project. Seriously excited. I think it will be something to pull out on a rainy day, something we can revisit year after year. I know the girls will have fun. I just know it.

(Her eyes don't glow and aren't as bright as these pictures depict.They are a deep turquoise/blue...not bright/blinding aqua :(. One of my New Year's resolutions will be to improve my photography skills! I wish you could see her in person.)

*For several years, my parents conned us kids into believing that the movie ended when the children went to bed (after singing "So Long, Farewell"). I was stunned...absolutely stunned when I discovered that the movie kept going for long after that scene.

Summary of Clues 1 - 6

Here is a summary of the clues and a few additional hints.

1. I used this fabric for part of her outfit.

2. I used this felt to make a little hat.

3. I used this yarn for hair. Hint: for both.

4. Here is the hat. Hint: for him.

5. She has little black flats and he has little tan shoes.

6. I made her a pale pink coat.

Hope that helps!


Clue #6

I meant to post the next clue yesterday. Unfortunately, we were without internet access due to home renovations. So sorry! Here is Clue #6.

Yesterday, while our new floor was being installed in our family room, I finally completed sewing the last bit of clothing for her. I made a coat.

One of the many things I love about this project is that I was able to recycle various scraps of clothing, felt, and bits of yarn. Yesterday, I was able to reuse the sleeve of a soft, pale pink sleeper that my girls' all wore in their infancy. I had it stored away, trying to decide what to do with it and then this project came along. I love when that happens.

Anyways, I keep waiting for bright sunshine to take a few pictures. It only seems sunny when the kids are around (and I don't want them to see their gifts!). Right now, the sky is dark, the house is darker...which of course means I'll be all alone for one hour and I have the perfect chance to snap some photos. I'll have to give it a try. This may be my only chance!


Clue #5

I just completed hand-sewing a pair of black shoes out of wool felt for her. They are ordinary little flats. Nothing fancy.

I also finished up a pair of plain, tan shoes for him.

I'll be back on Monday with another Clue...if needed :^)


My Creative Space - A Christmas Doll

Meet Noelle. She was almost a "Clara", but my daughter settled on Noelle. She is a Christmas doll that I am finishing up for my 5-year old.

I'll take more photos of her once the rain and dark clouds have left the Bay Area. Right now, our house is so dark!

Next time I take photos, I'll remove her lined hooded cape to show her cute little hairstyle. It was requested by my daughter (the hairstyle), as was the black velvet dress and red sparkly shoes.

Note to self...sewing with velvet is not fun. At all! I ended up doing a lot of hand-sewing because the lint factor was driving me nuts.

My daughter is so excited about this doll. Of course, she hasn't seen her yet, but she asks about her daily. And everytime "The First Noel" comes on the radio, she screams, "Mom, just like my Christmas doll!"

I'll post more photos of Noelle later this week/early next week.

And I'll reveal the next clue by Friday!!! I'm putting together a little box of treats for the first person to guess correctly. Keep guessing!


Clue #4 and a Scary Tree

We're all moved into our new house! It will take weeks (months!) to really settle in here, but I have my sewing space set up so its functional, allowing me to finish up several Christmas presents. Once the holidays are over, I'll work on that space a little more.

The picture above is Clue #4. It's the hat. I need to clean up the edges a litle, but its otherwise done.

I'm working hard on this project and should have a few more clues later this week. Hopefully, I'll be all done with this gift by early next week (Monday/Tuesday) for the grand reveal :). Stay tuned and keep guessing!

On a totally different note, look at this Christmas tree!

Yes, those are blue LED lights. My husband took the younger girls on an errand run yesterday and they picked up a new strand of lights for our Christmas tree. We're going with a small tree this year and its currently perched up on the entertainment center in the darkest corner of the room (we desperately need more lights in this house!). He said the girls wanted blue lights so he bought them. However, they turn the tree BLACK! It looks absolutely dreadful in person. He tried to sell it to the kids ("The tree looks RAD!") but they don't like it. At all. We left it up last night just to laugh at it but I'm about to head to the store to buy some white lights. And then we'll actually decorate the tree.