Saturday, February 23, 2013

Another Swap, Another Prayer Flag

As I thought about starting a third round of the Prayer Flag Swap on Craftster this week, I was inspired to make a new prayer flag...FOR MYSELF!  This is the only one I have that I actually made myself. It started with a tutorial I saw online at The Decorated House for fabric flowers; I've made simple coiled fabric flowers before, but hers have a couple of extra layers that make them look extra special. I highly recommend Donna's flower tutorial, but...once I got started crafting my prayer flag, I was in too much of a hurry to follow her directions (I'm really bad at following directions!) so my flowers ended up being my usual simple coils of fabric, with the exception of the larger one in the center which has a barely-visible layer of lace.  Then I added some other simple flowers, and heart-shaped buttons, and it all suggested the word "grow" to me.  Here's how it all came together:

I think the word "grow" is especially appropriate at this time of year, as Easter is approaching, and Spring is getting closer. I like having this word to think about and to consider how I can apply it to my life.

The Prayer Flag Round 3 swap is now open for sign-ups on Craftster.  We would love to have YOU join us!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for my Photo Backdrop for Dolls in the Shoebox Makeover Challenge on Craftster. My shoebox came in second place! The winner was the Borrower's Box, which was made to look like tiny people lived in it and collected things from their larger hosts to use as furnishings--it's really cute and I knew it would be hard to beat! I will just have to try again...and it happens that the next challenge, Bookworms, coincides perfectly with a project I just made for a Craftster swap! I can't show it to you yet, because my partner (in England) hasn't received it yet, but when she does I will reveal it here and enter it in the March Craftster challenge.

In the meantime, I have a couple of things I'm working on, and I will post them here soon.  I'm trying not to let this blog be taken over by doll-related posts, but that's very difficult, because I am rather obsessed with all things "Blythe" right now! I am dividing my time between my two blogs and my various interests, so I may not post here several times a week as I did last year, but posting here once or twice a week is my current goal.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Tiny Books

Last week I ventured away from sewing to try my hand at bookmaking...TINY bookmaking, to be precise.  These are perfect little dollhouse props, and they look incredibly realistic.

I found the covers on Jim's Dollhouse Pages (Jim also has a ton of other things you can print out.)  I printed them onto card stock, then glued them to pretty book-related scrapbook paper so the inside of the covers would look nice.

After the glue was dry, I cut them out with my X-acto knife.

To make the pages, I used an old dictionary I got at the local library.  (People donate used books and the library sells them, $1 for hardbacks and 50 cents for paperbacks.  I've gotten some amazing books that way!  A few of them are too good to craft with, and I save them for photo props.)

I measured the covers and cut the book pages just a little smaller.  Working in stacks of 10 sheets, I sewed them along the folded edge so the pages wouldn't fall out after gluing.

When I had enough of the page sections sewn to fit perfectly into the fold of the cover, I put a heavy line of glue in the cover and pressed the pages in place.

To keep everything from shifting while drying, I used a mini-clothespin.  (The bobbin is there so you can see how small the book is!)

And there you have them--books fit for a dolly! Now to make a bookcase...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Don't Forget to Vote!

Voting has just opened for the Shoebox Makeover Challenge on Craftster, and I urge you all to vote!  There are seven very interesting submissions in this community-wide challenge; it's worth a visit just to be inspired by the imaginative ways craftsters have transformed plain cardboard boxes into objects both useful and decorative.  You will recognize my Photo Backdrop for Dolls there.

If you are not a member of Craftster yet, signing up is quick and easy.  Do it!  Then you can vote for your favorite shoebox makeover!  Click HERE to go to the voting page.  Voting closes on February 19, 2013.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Inkjet Printing on Fabric

After my previous post in which I showed how I made doll "stuffies", a reader asked what kind of fabric I used. It is a commercial product which I ordered online, called Inkjet Fabric Sheets.  If you click on that link, you will see that the packaging has changed since I bought the product (pictured below) two years ago, but it's the same item.

It is just cotton fabric stuck to paper.  You feed it into your inkjet computer printer and print your image as if you were printing on paper.  After printing, you peel off the paper and--voila!--you have printed your picture onto fabric.  It is no different than printing on paper, except that it costs more (the cost of the product plus shipping makes it around $1.50 per sheet).

You can get the exact same result by ironing freezer paper to white fabric. There are several on-line tutorials explaining the process, such as the one at Craftionary.  It would be a little more work, but I'm sure it would be cheaper.  I hope you make something amazing!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Doll for a Doll

I made some uber-cute fabric doll stuffies for my swap partner in a recent swap on Blythe Kingdom.  This idea could be used to make a "mini-me" for any toy, and it would surely delight a child to receive a mini-me of him- or herself!

The theme of the swap was "Dolls for our Dolls".  While browsing on Pinterest, I saw a picture of a Blythe holding a small copy of herself and I knew that was what I needed to do for this swap!  Read on to see how I did it.

First, I made two dresses that would be part of the swap package and put them on two of my dolls.  I photographed each doll, front and back, standing against a white background.  I wanted to put white hair on one mini doll (to match one big doll my partner has) but none of my Blythe's have white hair, so I put a white hat on Candy for the pictures.

On my computer, I edited and re-sized the photos until they would be right for the mini doll.  Then I printed the photos onto white fabric.  (I used commercially prepared fabric that was already stuck onto paper so it would feed into the printer easily, because I had that on hand.  Applying freezer paper to fabric yourself should work just as well.)

After peeling off the paper, I traced around the outline of the doll with pencil to mark my sewing line on the reverse side of the fabric .

All sewed!  I left an opening on top of her head for turning; the hair will be covering that up later.

Here she is, turned right-side out...

 ...and here she is stuffed and ready for hair.

I sewed the hair on by hand.  It was a learn-as-you-go process!  The one thing I was not happy with, was the way the white hat still shows around her neck.  If I did this again, I would use yarn to match the doll's actual hair color (as I did with the orange-haired Penny).

My favorite thing about these mini dolls is that they are complete on the back too!

I am very happy with how these mini dolls turned out, and my swap partner is thrilled with what I sent her! I wouldn't have tried this without the "push" the swap gave me.  That's what I like most about craft swaps!