Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Latest Desk Doll

So, I've been working on the desk dolls. A few friends have seen the first ones and would love their own. Realistically, I just can't make everyone a doll, at least not using my current method. So, for the last few days I have been trying to make smaller versions (the original dolls are between 4 inches and 5 inches and it takes hours to make the hair). So far I am not as happy with the small versions. It's still taking a bit too long. They're a work in progress.

But here's my latest finished work! I am too happy with this one MyMy, inspired by a great friend of mine.

Check out the side view! I had such fun making the mowhawk!

I'm hoping to post some pictures of the smaller desk prototypes soon and I've been working on a set of crochet earrings.

Thanks for taking a look!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Dolls Are Coming... or Going...or at least a few are

My major project this Summer, other than the nursery...which I will start at some point, hopefully, before the baby gets here... are my crocheted dolls for friends and family.

The logo banner showcases the first one I made in this style. It was done completely freehand (no pattern) and is a self portrait of sorts. She's also naked. Pregnancy has made me take time to reflect on my body and when I was making the doll I didn't want to obscure her heavy belly.

When I decided to make the series of dolls for friends and family, I wanted them to each reflect the person that they were made for and have a practical purpose. Each doll will serve a different function. The first complete two are like the original CraftFro doll in that they are made as desk weights for two friends who are also academics.

Check 'em out alongside Dr. CraftFro herself -
From l to right: CraftFro, Dr. Poly, Dr. Stat

A side view. Look at all that hair!

The dolls are similar in size and are each stuffed with a combination of natural fibers and heavy rocks before being mounted. Each has a wig made of yarn. This was the hardest part of making the dolls. I decided to go for hyper-realism and make the dolls - all based on African American women - have hair that reflects the natural hair of the women who the dolls are made for/after. I spent a few hours on each doll's hair - longer than the forty or so minutes they each took to crochet and stuff. I then accessorized them minimally with earrings and beads that fit the tastes of the women I am giving them to.

Here's a close up of Dr. Poly.

Each of the dolls has eye lashes and ears to hold the earrings. But the body shapes and sizes are different (purposely).

I really enjoy making these and will have plenty more to share in the coming weeks!

Thanks for taking a look,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Embroidery Circle Earrings

I like crocheting with embroidery floss in the Summer. It's light weight and easy to take a long on trips. I usually just make earrings or bracelets.

If you want to make earrings like the ones here, I suggest you learn to crochet a circle in the round with one of these two great tutorials - or .
Here's a peak into my process.
The pictures are done with a green DMC floss. I used a size 1 steel hook.









Next, I added some findings and beads that I had sitting around the house. I sewed them on with a hand needle and regular thread. I connected an earwire with a jump ring and VIOLA!  A pair of earrings I really liked. I decided I didn't care if they curled a little. Notmally, to prevent curlage (is that a word? lol), I would weave in a bit of jewelry wire under my finishing slips stitches. But these were fab without it.



I'll be back soon with photos of the new dolls!

Thanks for coming by,

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Doodling Around

So I haven't had the focus or energy to work on the dolls for the last week. We're still unpacking and I have another project due for work soon. I've taken to reading art journaling and doodling sites and realized that I am quite a doodler and always have been. During long meetings, at conferences, when I'm bored and when I'm feeling anxious - I doodle. I found at least 6 around the new house this weekend.

I took a few photos of them.
Most of them come out like this squiggly paisley-thing. Done in whatever pen or pencil I have handy and in any blank space of paper.

I even broke out my big (11x17) sketch book I usually use for doll designing,  the other night when I couldn't sleep and did something a bit more artsy.

I unpacked some colored pencils and started doodling with those too.
I realized that I hate the regular Crayola colored pencils that I use. They lack pigment and they don't blend well.

Then it hit me. I really miss drawing. Hence, why I started reading the art journal sites. I don't think I want to create anything mixed medium  just yet, but I do want some pens and markers to replace the lackluster tools I currently have. So, I'll be going to the craft store and picking up a few supplies (and not trying to break the bank) to start a new art/doodle journal. I plan to post something soon!

Thanks for stopping through,

Monday, July 5, 2010

"Freehand" Crochet Flower - Mini Tutorial for Beginning Crocheter

Admittedly when I first started crocheting, I had a hard time following patterns. To tell the absolute truth, I still have a little trouble with them. If you're anything like me, don't let your inability to follow patterns stop you from crocheting!!! Once I learned the basic stitches, I often found myself just hooking to hook and seeing what I came up with.

If you want to start crocheting and want to get rid of a bit of the pressure of doing it perfectly - try making this flower. This flower can work as an accent on any number of projects and takes a very short time to make (less than 10 minutes.)

To get started:
If you need to learn the basic stitches, there are a lot of good websites, blogs and videos out there. I think the tutorials at are a great place to start and they even have a super helpful forum if you get stuck.

Follow along with the pictures and REMEMBER don't be uptight about your work. The project is intentionally not precise. Don't be afraid to experiment and try variations.

For the sake of pictures I used a size I hook but normally I would use F or G on a 4 ply worsted weight yarn like the one used here. It makes the flower a bit thinner with teh smaller hook.


Let me know if you make your own!

Check back soon for a crochet thread earring tutorial that's very Summer and even easier to do than this!

Also, more about my other craft hobbies coming soon!

Thanks for stopping by,
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