Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I am getting slack again with the posting. I have been getting an application together for my work. Two years ago I was poisoned by teflon and my doctor told me to destress my self so I stepped down from my job to an easier less stressful job. so now I am feeling better and I have reapplied for the old job. Twenty pages of application later and it is done and submitted. Now I just have to wait too hear how I went. the competition is quite fierce.
I did have some time yesterday to work on the costume for My Doll. I need to name her but I don't think she is inclined as yet to share that with me. Once she has her hair I will have a better idea. I am smocking the plastron for a dress for her based on an 1880's Bru outfit. I smocked a piece of batiste and I am making it up as I go as too the smocking. I took a day off from the smocking today to read the latest book by my favorite author J. D Robb Salvation in Death. It is the 26th book in a murder series. It is set in the future and the main character is a homicide detective. some laughs, romance and sex tied up in a murder mystery thriller type book.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

As you all know I did a workshop with Susie McMahon of Tasmania. In the workshop she supplied the doll body pattern and I sculpted the head from scratch. Well from foil and paperclay actually. In this photo I have got her in her stockings made from finger bandage and her combinations. These are the underwear people wore before 1885. More clothing to come. I've just smocked a piece of batiste for her dress. I'll be getting to that shortly.
I've had Jessica here today while Bronwyn took Caitlin to the movies. She is like a little tornado. All the dolls and teddy bears have to be pulled out and cuddled. I have put my bear with a smocked dress somewhere and she wanted that one of course. She has gone home now and I am trying to recover.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day

I hope you have all had a wonderful day. Our house is peaceful again. All the kids have gone home. No1 son proposed to his beloved last week so there was a lot of discussion on wedding etc. We have not met her parents yet and are planning that for the New Year. They are professionals and we are aging hippies. Should be interesting.
Greg has really improved on the gift giving front. He gave me one of those bobbin winding thingy's which I had been thinking I could really use one of them. A pendant he bought purple and silver always a hit with me, a pendant he made of crystals and wood which looks like a little paintbrush and a tool box for my bits and bobs great gifts. I also got a great bag from my daughter. which GD1 told me about weeks ago and then said Don't tell Nan it's a surprise. A hippy shirt some chocolates and a cupcake carrying thingy which is pretty great. Troy bought me the new Enya CD and Matt sponsored a Women's health program in my name with OxFam. all great presents.
Anyway, On my Vintage Cloth Doll Yahoo group there has been a lot of discussion on sugar cookies (In Australian they are biscuits and what they call biscuits we call scones).... Oh yes biscuits. I thought I would give you my family's favorite cookie recipe.
No 2 son nearly died from E-Coli Food poisoning in 2000 and for a long time he was allergic to just about every thing. Wheat, Dairy Eggs, Soy, Peanuts etc etc... so I dug into my MIL's old recipes and found this recipe which is yummy and easy and has no eggs and can be made very successfully with gluten free flour and vegetable margarine. It makes lots.

1 cup butter or margarine
4 cups plain flour/flour substitute
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup milk or water (Milk is better can be soy milk or whatever)
1 teaspoon BiCarb Soda
1 tablespoon hot water.

Rub the butter into the flour (like when you make pastry)
Over low heat Dissolve the sugar in the milk then bring to the boil stirring all the time. As soon as it boils turn off the heat.
Dissolve the BiCarb in the hot water and add to the hot milk and sugar. It will foam up. Tip it straight into the flour/Butter mix
Mix together thoroughly. It will be really runny but as it cools it thickens up. Leave it too cool and then roll it out like pastry and cut into shapes. sprinkle with sugar and put on trays and Bake at 180 degrees C 375 F.

When using the gluten free flour I found that if I added a pinch of mixed spice to each cup of the flour used it tasted like real flour. I also didn't use Guar Gum I substituted some of the gluten free flour usually about 1 tablespoon for the equivalent of tapioca flour. the guar gum is a laxative and Troy couldn't tolerate it.

It is a yummy biscuit like this but I've also rolled it into sausages and then cut it and I've rolled it out and spread it with Nutella and then rolled it up like a swiss roll and chilled it and then cut it. I've added nuts or choc chips and I've made it with brown sugar instead of white and 3 teaspoons of dried ginger. I've also added grated lemon zest and currants and then iced them. I've cut them out with my gingerbread people cutters and made it into a myriad or shapes.
I am going to copy this and some of my son's favourite recipes and laminate them and put them in a folder for them for a wedding present.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I like Tuesday. It is not Monday. Monday can be depressing if it is the start of my work week. I never want to go to work. Sometimes my weekend starts on a Monday and I like that. My work week lasts for 7 days and then I have 3, 4 or 5 days off. Depending on where I am in my roster.
I have not had time to work on Misty today. She is keeping me company here in the library. I Also have to start on Penelope ( the other doll I sculpted) I at least want to get her in some underwear.
Yesterday Greg moved the spare bed into Matt's old room and the book shelves Matt decided he didn't want into the Library. Except for one set that didn't fit and are still in the spare bedroom. I am going to put all the books and folders I have in my studio in there and then I will have space for the boxes of lace, ribbon etc that are on the floor and all over the place.
We are debating moving the lounge into the library and buying a new one or just buying new cushions for the lounge and Greg restoring the antique cedar day bed we have in the roof of the shed. Greg also moved 20 boxes of books into the library and about the same of magazines. I think I will have a cull. Troy will take all the science fiction I don't want and Bronwyn keeps dumping Op Shop romances on me. So I think I will go through them and then take them to my friend who has a secondhand shop. I have been meaning to go and see her at her shop for ages. Over Christmas will be the time to cull and then I right size in here.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Here's a photo of Misty. I smocked her dress and knitted her shrug out of 3 ply. Her hair is a hand knotted wig ALA Susie McMahon. I am really looking forward to her book.
I still have too make her shoes and socks but Christmas and work are getting in the way of what I really want too do. Matt and Troy are all moved into their new place. We are having discussions on how to reorganize the house. that should probably b organize cause it has never been very organized.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Days Happy Days

Peter Murray has a song on his latest album called Happy Days are coming my way. It's a happy day here. Matt and Troy have finally found a place to move in too. So the last of my chicks is flying out of the nest. Wait while I wipe a little tear away. Tears of sheer joy. Much as we love our children we really loved having the house to ourselves when Matt was away with the Army. So there's no rush for him too move out but I have been bringing home boxes for him and Greg is hiring a truck on Thursday. But there is no pressure.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Vintage Dolls

Vintage dolls are my new interest. I slipped off to Adelaide today to have a look at a vintage doll. He is an interesting boy. He has a paper maiche head. His body is cloth, his legs are cotton, his body and arms seem to be of a fairly loose muslin type fabric and he has a silky fabric underwear type garment sewn on. He has plaster of paris type hands. Which are fairly badly damaged. He is wearing leather boots.
She has a paper miache head. cloth body stuffed with sawdust I think. She has Poland stamped on her leg. any clues to age etc gratefully received.
I have to finish the challenge piece for one of my groups for tomorrow night. I am working on a smocked dress for my little doll I did with Susie and knitting her a shrug. I am not sure about the colour of the dress so I might make another one if I don't like this one when it is finished.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Here it is Tuesday the 9th of December. I am not sure where this whole year went. I am finishing off the legs for the second doll I made with Susie. Her legs were too fat for her body so Susie redrew the legs for me before she went and I sewed them up tonight. They are stuffed and ready too sew on. I am going too make her clothes removable. I have a pattern for some underwear and I am going to at least get her dressed in that. Greg is going to make me a stand tomorrow so she can stand up on the mantel with the other girls. I am going to leave Misty (which is what I have decide my Moxie doll is telling me she is named) sitting down. But the other girl needs to stand up. I am going to get her head on before I go to bed so must go.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Again

What happened? While I wasn't looking a full week went. Part of the week I went to work. Monday, I went to the Embroiderers Guild meeting and then to work. Tuesday Work. Wednesday, ah I have happy memories of Wednesday. I have been trying to get ready for the long awaited Susie McMahon Workshop. I was fairly ready. I made sure everybody else was ready. I toddled off to pick up Susie at the airport. I was thinking I need a Hi Susie sign but didn't get around to that. Firstly I dropped in to see R. and from there just had to walk into the art shop and pick up the paint etc for Susie's workshop. Yes well. it wasn't ready and even though most of it was on the shelf I had to argue with the shop person who insisted it was out of stock. Anyway I had to leave. I was late to the airport but Susie's plane was late anyway so I had to hang around for a few minutes. I saw Susie straight off she was the only one who got off the plane wearing a cloth doll.
The workshop was wonderful. Susie who stayed with us was lovely. The classes were fantastic. I achieved more than I expected and I am so happy with the results. I took advantage of having the teacher at my mercy and made two dolls. the workshop doll and I sculpted one as well. They are both lovely. I took Susie to the art shop. We did the two day workshop at Hetties Patch. On Saturday we went to Strathalbyn and looked through some shops and then went to Lorell Lehman's lovely doll shop Not All Faeries are Beautiful. Today Susie was our guest at The Cloth Doll Club of SA's Christmas meeting. Susie was lovely and we have decided to have her back next year after her book is out.
The top photo is the doll I sculpted with Susie's guidance. The second photo is my version of Moxie. She isn't finished yet, Duh. The little girl in the red dress was a gift to me from Susie. Yay for me I love her. She has pride of place at the moment on the mantel piece her name is Hannah. I must finish my girls. I must clean up my sewing room. I have misplaced a large box of lace and I want it for finishing the dolls. I want to get them done. then I will finish ...... the list is too long I can't decide. Something.