Real is Better

I have a confession. When I first started making reproduction dolls, I did so without ever seeing the antique dolls I was copying. Pictures of the dolls served as the standard to work from. Boy, did I get some surprises when I finally got to see the dolls in person. It is amazing to do research into a subject, like 17th century embroidery, and study volumes of photographs of antique pieces. … Continue reading

I’m Back and I’m Busy

Last week, for spring break, DH and I took Supergirl (SG) and her parents to Disney World. It was super fun, exhausting and crowded. SG fell in love with Mickey’s new bear friend, Duffy, and collected a few. We had adjoining rooms with her parents, and she chose to sleep in our room. The last time she and I cleaned her bedroom at my house, she wanted to get rid … Continue reading

17th Century Embroidered Smock Complete

Almost 11 months ago I decided to make a fairy costume for my 1870’s French Bru poupee, inspired by this early 17th century drawing by Inigo Jones. The doll stands just over 14″ (36cm) tall and has an articulated wooden body. The first layer of her costume is an embroidered smock, inspired by Janet Arnold’s book, Patterns of Fashion 4. The embroidery pattern was found, last June, on the wonderful Flowers of the Needle … Continue reading

Casket Update

My next step toward making more doll-sized 17th century embroidered caskets is to finish the inside of my first one so that I can make sure all my measurements work. I ordered miniature marbled paper from Jemma Lewis in England. I requested a mainly pink design, specifically a medium warm pink. I had collected silk and silk velvet in a medium coral pink, so I wanted the paper to coordinate. … Continue reading

First World Problems, Episode 2

Don’t you just hate it when two of your leisure-time hobbies conflict? Me too. Here’s the deal. In October, in conjunction with my Cabinet of Curiosities classes, I have the once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to Scotland and England to get a behind-the-scenes look at 17th Century embroideries. And to go to Scotland and England for the first time! But it’s terribly pricy. And, of course, DH would … Continue reading

Cold Feet

Besides my cold feet (and everything else) from the cold weather and my old drafty house, I suffered from emotional cold feet last week after finally getting the silk for my trinket box’s embroidery framed up and ready to stitch. After I had drawn the pattern onto the silk, I tried to attach it to the slate frame, but found that the twill tape that came with the frame was flimsy. … Continue reading

I’ve Been Busy

Sorry I haven’t written recently. I’ve been busy with 21st/17th century pursuits. I finally finished the dimensional drawing of my doll-sized 17th century embroidered casket. Here’s a cool X-ray image showing some of the 161 pieces. It took me about 1 1/2 weeks of working 4-5 hours a day to get this far. The program I used was SketchUp Mark, a free CAD (computer-aided drafting) program. The learning process was slow … Continue reading


Last weekend a doll friend and her husband came for a visit. So, the week before that I cleaned, dusted and reorganized a couple of my doll cabinets. I wanted to share pictures of how nice they look, but I have not mastered photographing big stuff yet. Here’s a fuzzy picture of my big cabinet. It was my grandmother’s china cabinet which my mom had professionally refinished when she inherited … Continue reading

21st and 17th Century Issues

21st Century Issues: My new digital mini table saw came last Saturday. I was upset to find that the box rattled. When I opened it I found bits of broken black plastic inside. A support piece under the table had broken off. So I am waiting for FedEx today to pick up my broken saw. However, checking out the saw and reading the manual made me really happy and itching … Continue reading

Getting Back To It

I’ve been slacking lately.  I took the period between Thanksgiving and New Years to stay busy with stuff other than dolls, sewing, embroidery, and designing my mini casket. And since the New Year, I have been working a lot on the boring, tedious end-of-year accounting work my real job requires. Also, I decided to make myself some new clothes. I’ve started to bore even myself with my EVERY DAY wardrobe of … Continue reading