Thursday, November 10, 2011

All the dolls come marching in ...

I'm way behind. Again. Little e was supposed to start preschool in September, but after 3 weeks of having to go back and get her, we cancelled. She is now at home. Her naps are random and only recently has she started to do crafting while I attempt sewing and doll-making ... So ... it goes slowly. However, over the past several months, I've managed to finish up and squeak out a few dolls. Nothing to sell; just for my girls.

Ruby Scarlett is the toddler doll I started on last year, right before the holidays. She sat on my table, bald and unfinished, until the summer, when I finally finished her up, dressed her in her own clothes (she was borrowing a pair of overalls that had belonged to one of my childhood dolls), and gave her to Little e for her July birthday (she turned 2). Little e seems to prefer to think of her as a for-sale doll, only hugging her occasionally. Thus, she traveled with us to the midwest for the July vacation and birthday parties, and then went back to her perch on the sewing table. She smiles at me every day. I just love that little face! :) Sometimes Big E gets her down and plays with her. I know that someday, Little e will appreciate her more.

Maddie is the other I made for Little e's birthday, also rejected. Harumph. She is just too attached to her tiny baby to love any other dolls fully ... for now. Maddie was fun to make and from the Toys to Sew book pattern. I braided her hair so she didn't look goofy like Jessie does. Big E made her a dress, but I still haven't gotten back to making any clothes for her. All in good time, right?

I also made a teeny lavender doll for Little e's birthday. She is super soft, made with cotton velour and loads of soft, wool and mohair yarns. She has quite the headful of hair! I added a tiny lavender sachet when I stuffed her, so when you cuddle and squeeze her tummy, she smells delightful. She was a huge hit initially, but now is sleeping in Little e's bed or in the tiny laundry basket most of the time.

My awesome chocolate plum girl sold ... and shipped off to North Pole, Alaska, of all places! We like to think she went to live with Santa and Mrs. Claus and all the elves! In reality, she is tucked away in a closet until Christmas, when she will become the property of a five-year-old girl. I hope she will be well-loved! I miss seeing her smiling face on my sewing table. She was there for so long that my table feels empty! I think that Little e misses her most, though. She really loved *that* doll ...

I'm working on another doll right now, in hopes of making two for the girls for Christmas. And maybe a couple tiny elfin girls, too. Dreaming of making teddy bears again, too, since it's been over 20 years and now Big E loves bears. We'll see how much I get done. Little Miss Whiney just woke up!

Friday, August 26, 2011

It was inevitable ...

So little e carried both dolls to the bus stop to show Big E. And suddenly, the magic happened and she was overcome with love for the doll she had previously rejected. Of course. It's only natural. So Big E was very upset and little e clung to Baby Violet, and Baby Rachel (often known as Tiny Baby) was completely ignored.

It only took about an hour to make the second outfit, so here they are, the Tiny Twins, dressed in their matching olive jersey tops and their cute little baby pants. Baby Violet has longer pants (though if you pulled them up a bit, they'd be more like bloomers) and Baby Rachel is wearing shorter baby bloomers.

I think both are super cute and I'm so excited about the pattern. There might be a lot more coming ... who knows!

When the kids are away, Mom will play

I might actually be able to start posting again! Hooray! Big E started kindergarten this week. Little e is actually napping a true nap for a change. As I was putting her to bed, I looked at the tiny doll nearby and I decided that today would be a doll clothes day. We have two of these tiny baby dolls, about 8 inches from head to toe. Big E got hers from Santa at age 2, but once little e got to be about a year or a year and a half, that became HER doll. Big E is fine with that most days. We bought little e a second doll of about the same size (a tad leaner), but she is no longer madly in love with this one.

The second doll came in a boyish onesie, which is good because she named it after her baby boy cousin that she was infatuated with. However, as all dolls go in this house, Baby Finn became Baby Violet with a simple change of clothes. Big E has really loved her lately, and these dolls have absolutely no changes of clothes. The dolls are sold, but there are no extra clothes. Thus, I've put my Waldorf doll book to use ... the clothes in there are so extremely simple, yet so cute, and so easy to put on and take off the dolls. The girls have loved them.

Today, then, I looked at Baby Violet and thought she would look particularly cute in an olive jersey top and some puffy baby pants in a coordinating fabric. The outfit is actually the opposite of what my Chocolate Plum Waldorf Doll is wearing ... She's over on Etsy, if you want to take a peek. (She is hoping that someone will give her a home someday. The sewing table is fun, but ... She longs to be held and snuggled and loved. Enough about her, though.)

Little e is still asleep, and Baby Violet has a whole new outfit. Big E is going to be so excited after school today! Yay, Mommy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fairies and such

We are very fairy-friendly in this house, so it's not unusual to find a little winged friend flying around. I have made some new ones lately and just felt like a fairy post was due.

Pansy Fairy is based on a picture in a book that Miss E got from a friend when she turned 2. She was falling asleep at night with the book pressed up against her tummy, hugging the fairy, so I figured a tiny stuffed version might be better.

I thought a proper Tooth Fairy was in order, too, since Miss E just recently turned 5. Her dentist says she will most likely lose her first tooth in the next six months or so, so we needed to be prepared! She is Pansy Fairy's little sister, in case you wondered, and both live in Miss E's new dollhouse. On the roof, where fairies like to sleep.

And, for Easter (they don't know this yet!), Miss E and Little e are getting some Baby Carrots. I think they are way too cute!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Esty site is live!

plushalicious is in business!

YAY! Yes, I finally got my Etsy site up and running the other night, and made my first sale to a stranger! Woot! Thank you, mammalove, for buying my sweet little Bunny Love in Blue!

Bunny Love in Pink:

Here's my doll:

I'm starting small, but three items is better than none. Maybe someone will decide to buy my beautiful Waldorf doll. Little Miss e will be sad, and so will I in a way, since I've gotten used to having her smiling at me all day and night. She really is beautiful. But I know I will make plenty more, and I need to first finish the wig for Little e's doll, who has also been laying on the table for months now. Before she turns 2 this summer, that's the goal. Only a couple more hours of hand-stitching the hair and she is finished ... plus some clothes!

But good times ... too many things in progress right now, and never enough time to get it all done. But I did make two beautiful little fairies for Miss E's dollhouse for her birthday. She loves them. I'll post those soon. And she got two handmade by mama shirts and a skirt. Second skirt is in the closet, half done. Little e has a dress that is 75% done.

Most importantly, I finally finished the purse for me that was sitting abandoned in the back of the closet for a year and a month. It took a whopping 1.25 hours to finish. Isn't that sad!?! It's gorgeous. I need to post photos, don't I? But now, no time ...

Happy sewing to y'all! And a happy and gorgeous weekend! :)

-------- Added some for-sale photos on August 26 -------------

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

To dye for

A year or more ago, I took our stained and tired white table napkins and turned them a beautiful, deep espresso color. I mistakenly bleached them the next week, so they were a nice light shade of coffee au lait for a long time after that. I re-dyed them at some point, but they were becoming tired again and I was ready for a change.

The girls were thrilled today to find that we now have viciously violet napkins and flour sack towels.

Last week, I tried RIT dye in "purple". Blah at best. It barely covered the brown, making just slightly purplish and barely any darker. I don't know what went wrong; I followed their package instructions as closely as possible. I only used one package of dye, but I didn't think that would matter for the fairly small amount of fabric I had.

Today, I went back to my trusty iDye packets, making sure I used two just in case, and sure enough, I've got a seriously intense purple. Yahoo! I don't know the difference in the two brands, and though my sister has great luck with RIT, I'm sticking with iDye.

I should take a photo, but the girls are interrupting again ...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Retro cooking

I've been doing so much in the kitchen again; not just the normal everyday cooking, but plenty of new, fun things. Today was no exception. As I was falling asleep last night (or attempting to), I was trying to come up with a good Sunday breakfast for the whole family, and finally decided on an old favorite that I hadn't made for years.

This morning, I dug out the recipe card, from a collection by McCall's magazine, dated 1973. This lovely collection, packaged by category and sitting in its original plastic box, was from my grandma's best friend Bea. When Bea passed away, my mom and I inherited many things, including this recipe collection. It always intrigued me. I was probably in junior high, and would sit in front of the box, reading all the gourmet meal suggestions, wondering what I could cook. For some reason, though, I never did cook with my dad. I baked, though, from as early as I can remember, both with my mom and by myself. I remember making this "elaborate" omelet in high school and feeling very fancy. The recipe card suggests it as part of a "Children's Sunday Supper" -- the omelet, whipped cream or ice cream, and hot cocoa. Ah yes, the 1973 version of healthy children's meals?

Once I graduated college and moved to Austin, the recipe collection was something I asked my mom to bring down to me on one of their trips. It sits up on a high cupboard shelf, rarely used, but greatly loved.

I altered the original recipe, doubling the amount of ingredients (except for sugar -- I cut that way back!), added toasted almonds sprinkled on top, and we declared it a hit. It's more of a pancake omelet; a little springier, not fully egg-ish. Spongy, but dry without being too dry. A little difficult to explain, but if you try it, you'll understand!

Here is my version of the retro recipe.

Fresh Apple Omelet
6 T. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
4 eggs, separated
scant 2 T. sugar (based on personal taste)
6 T. milk
2 T. lemon juice
1 large unpared apple, thinly sliced

topping: 2 T. sugar mixed with 1/2 t. cinnamon

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl.
- In medium bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually beat in sugar until stiff peaks form. (I love that the original recipe calls for a rotary beater!)
- In measuring cup or small bowl, beat egg yolks with milk and lemon juice.
- Mix milk mixture into flour mixture in large bowl.
- With spatula or wire whisk, gently fold egg whites into milk and flour batter just until combined.
- Slowly heat a large ovenproof skillet and melt enough butter in it to coat bottom and sides evenly.
- Turn batter into skillet, spreading evenly.
- Arrange apple slices in pattern over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Bake about 10-12 minutes or until top is glazed.
- Serve warm, cut into wedges.

We sprinkled toasted almonds on top, but agreed that walnuts would work well, too. Perhaps next time, we will chop some nuts and mix into the batter before baking. Perhaps add the nuts on top for baking ... Nevertheless, very tasty, and could be rounded out for a nice brunch with a slice of whole wheat toast and additional fresh fruit.


Thursday, January 20, 2011


Every time I get fixated on something new, Miss E follows suit. Case in point: clothespins and laundry. Lots of laundry being done around here, and to entertain the girls the other day, I strung up some yarn around the room and let them play with the mini clothespins Miss E got from Santa. We pulled out some big ones I'd stashed away, too, but they are all so ... cheap ... and the clips were breaking. What's a mom to do? Why, get Googling, of course!

I found new clothespins for sale. The cool, wooden kind like we used to use to hang laundry when I was growing up. But ... when you can find vintage clothespins for the same price or less, well, you buy them. Our 140 pins were delivered today, and Miss E immediately dumped the box on the bedroom floor and started in.

I also have seen many people selling vintage ribbon and trim on old clothespins, wound up to look like dolls. Yes, simple and oh-so-sweet. What a great way to organize all my loose ribbons and trim!

Miss E grabbed the ribbons and trim that she got from YaYa for Christmas (my mom was destashing!), quickly wrapped up some "girls" and is still playing happily with all six of them.

So beautiful, aren't they?