Suitcase Dolls and Shed time….

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Today is about finishing off the trio of little girls that have been waiting patiently at Shedquarters.  Emily, Gracie and Francesca, have all picked their little matching suitcases, and these have now been turned into their little rooms with a view.

As you can see Emily…..IMG_4245

…….has picked a plain aqua blue case, that really matches her clothes.

Gracie and Francesca have picked out pretty vintage patterns, that match theirs too..

So finally, these little girls can now officially look for their new forever homes, where they can make new friends, create happy memories and enjoy some great adventures.

I will be writing up the patterns soon for the slouch beret and little toque hats, and adding these onto the blog, should you be interested 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone 🙂

TTFN

Lxx

Francesca…….Frannie to her friends!

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Over the last few weeks I have been working on three Waldorf inspired dolls, and you have seen each one slowly develop.  The morning sunshine and bright freshness of spring is a wonderful time to experiment with colour, and despite the neutral tones of Francesca’s dress, there is something really quite sweet and vintage looking when mixed with soft pink and mauve.

This year, I made the decision to name each doll, as they were made, alphabetically.  Not only did this remind me of how many little dolls I had made, it also meant that I would look at names that did not instantly come to mind.  Now I have to admit, I haven’t done this completely alone,  my lovely friends on Facebook have helped me no end, with some wonderful suggestions for each of the letters, and there will certainly be some that I will use on the next alphabet cycle!

The names seem to add even more character, and help to develop the stories that bounce around in my head, whilst making each little doll.  These little stories, I hope will form part of the ‘Suitcase’ package at some point, when I have worked out the best way to include them.

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So here we are with Francesca…….Frannie to her friends!

Francesca is an Italian female given name, derived from the Latin male name Franciscus meaning ‘the Frenchman’ It is widely used in most Romance languages, including Italian, French and Catalan, and place of origin is Italy.

This seems a terribly grown up name for a little girl, that has such a sense of adventure, gets into quite a pickle with her curly hair and whose favourite past time is reading comics and eating iced gems!  So to her friends she is indeed Frannie.

As with all of my dolls, they are completely handmade by me and inspired by the very natural nature of Waldorf ideology. Waldorf education promotes the idea of surrounding your child with natural materials, that speak closely to the soul, with colours that are soothing. The characterful nature of the dolls encourage imaginative play, building bonds for years to come.  Frannie is no exception.  I have used beautiful super wash pure wool for her body, crocheted on a smaller hook to ensure longevity of shape and stuffed with brushed and carded sheeps wool. I knitted her dress from Drops Delight 4ply, which I have to say was a joy to use and blocked really well. Her little hood/bonnet was knitted with Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.

The hood/bonnet is a really easy little make, and would be a great ‘learn to knit’ project for kids and doll lovers of any age! The tendency when learning to knit is often to make a scarf. Personally I think this takes too long.  It may be just my impatience, but I think when learning a new thing, whatever, that may be, a ‘quick’ result is much more encouraging.

As a blank canvas this little hood has many possibilities.

The Hood

I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino but any double knit yarn would do 🙂

A pair of 2.75mm & 3mm needles

3mm crochet hook ( if you want a crochet edge)

Using 2.75mm needles Cast On 68 stitches

Work 4 rows in garter stitch

Change to 3mm needles and work garter stitch for a further 24 rows.

Finishing…..

You can either simply cast off all stitches, fold the knitted in piece in half and sew down the back seam or cast off edge.   This is probably the easiest option for beginners. Or you can do what I did and ….

Knit 34 stitches, hold the 2 needles side by side ( each with 34 sts on them ), and do what is called a 3 needle cast off ( there are many video tutorials on this technique over on YouTube)

As an edge I simply took a 3mm crochet hook and did 1sc 1ch around the entire bottom edge of the bonnet.  You can then attach either a ribbon or chain stitch tie on each corner and embellish with flowers, buttons or embroidery…..the choice is yours 🙂

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Frannie seems to have made the decision on which suitcase she would like to have.  This pretty case from Sass & Belle does seem to be a good match, so this afternoons project will be to create her little bedroom.

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Hope you all have a lovely day, full of sunshine and giggles

L xx

 

 

Mondays….

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I must be a little bit odd, because I actually quite like Mondays! I tend to think that a Monday heralds the start of a new week, and is full of hope and promise.  The things that didn’t get done last week, either no longer seem relevant or can be scheduled in for this week.

Mondays are the start of something different.  A tentative foray into something new perhaps.  The little deer above was a happy Monday find. On a drive around the Isle of Arran, some months ago, we happened upon this little creature wandering along the beach. I don’t think I had ever seen a deer taking a stroll among the rock pools before…..Mondays….anything can happen!

The plan this week ( Monday….always starts with a plan), is to get the little Suitcase Dolls finished.

I love creating these funny little characters, and have got some beautiful Sass & Belle suitcases waiting for mini bunting, and other bits and bobs, that will match them perfectly. Each of the suitcases has a little window, and the window inserts are photographs of local places that are particularly special, for one reason or another.

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It may be, like the one above, that the light on that particular morning was just so pretty, or the actual place has a meaning.  I am hoping to include some notes on the places featured in the little windows next……work in progress!

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I am also working on a couple of little dolly hat patterns at the moment…a knit and a crochet one.  These little hats, will be sized for the little Fuzzpotling Suitcase dolls, but I thought it would be nice to be able to offer a few little simple and free accessory patterns.

Right, I had better get this Monday started…..have a great day all 🙂

TTFN

L xx

 

Sunshine starts…..

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I think I must be one of those annoying ‘morning’ people.  I tend to get up early and love nothing more than a wander along the garden path to the shed, still in Pj’s and clutching a cappuccino in a favourite mug.

The colours always seem to be that much more vibrant first thing and it really makes me want to add a few more touches to the little folk I am working on.

This morning I was greeted with the little faces of Gracie and Francesca.  I tend to make them in three’s,  there is a third…Emily….but her little blond wig is still currently under construction, so she is feeling a little shy this morning!

Faces are what attracts me most to doll making.  There is much to be said for creating little characters out of wool.  It evokes happy childhood memories for me.  I was a bookworm when younger, and still am really.  The stories, which if I am to be honest though keeping their charm, seemed quite dated when I re-read them again to my own children, seem to have stayed, tucked away in my heart somewhere.  The magic that Enid Blyton managed to create for me, with her Tales from the Faraway Tree, linger to this day, and perhaps my happy place of Fuzzpot Lane, in part, started then……who knows.

I also wanted to share some of my holiday adventures with you. Last week, whilst away in North Devon, we happened upon a quite magical and unexpected find, in the form of Broomhill Sculpture Garden.

The Broomhill Art & Sculpture Foundation launched it’s National Sculpture Prize competition in 2009, to provide an exciting challenge for new and emerging UK based sculptors, and these are exhibited in the beautiful setting of Broomhill. The exhibition exemplifies the diverse forms that culture can take, with some having quite serious messages and others simply being fun. You can see much more over on the Broom hill Art page

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I don’t profess to understand art on a deep and intellectual level, I love art for the simple things like colour, texture, light, and shape.  But there is something to be said for faces…

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And there were plenty of them to choose from..

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Broomhill is about art….but it’s also about nature…..but mainly it really is a great day out.  The hotel is unusual, quirky and relaxing, the food is gorgeous and the bar, well enough said really.

After a lovely pint, it was time for a stretch and to make our way home….

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Now, for me, it’s back to making little Emily’s wig!

TTFN xx

Hoppy Easter!

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Hello there…

It’s Easter weekend, and I hope that you are all having a wonderful time.  Easter bunnies are everywhere here at Fuzzpot Lane….with twitchy noses and fluffy tails…who could blame me!

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Merry weather & Earl are bigger bunnies, but the smaller Snuggly Boo whips up in no time and is a bit of a gifting staple at this time of year.

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We have just returned from lovely break in North Devon, and I have to say, I don’t think I have stopped long enough in this pretty picturesque little county before.  I always seem to have been dashing through on the way to Cornwall.

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A walk to Watersmeet on a beautiful sunny morning, really was just the ticket.  The gurgling water, the odd loud splash as Ted took a plunge in water deeper than he imagined, and the inevitable “are we there yet” all added to the memories from childhood.

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The tearoom where the actual waters meet, a welcome rest spot, before the walk back into Lynmouth.

I think you can always get the measure of a place, with a nice cuppa in hand….mind you, someone always seems to stick their nose in…….naughty boy Ted!

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Although I didn’t seem to get much crochet or knitting done this holiday, I did manage to knit up a couple of little frocks for the next trio of Suitcase Dolls.  Once blocked and finished, I will certainly share a sneak peak with you.  I have really enjoyed using some pretty 4 ply sock yarns for these, when I post next I will start adding some more details about the yarns, should anyone be interested.

I am just settling on some names fro the next 3 dolls, and like to have them in mind before I add hair and outfits.  I always think that this gives them quite a bit of personality. I am currently working with these three names …Emily, Francesca and Gracie.

Well, I will love you and leave you for now, and hope to see you again very soon.  Once again, I hope you all have a lovely Easter weekend 🙂

Bye Bye March …Hello April

It only seem like yesterday that we were pulling crackers, and wondering what to do with the left over turkey….and yet here it is….April!

GCSE revision is well underway for Thing 1, and this morning Thing 2 left for archery in wellies and a thermal vest…..it’s the first day of the outdoor archery season.

We will soon be on our first expedition of the year.  It isn’t really an ‘expedition’ in the normal sense….it’s a family holiday….but the packing for any such adventure, at this time of year, can feel fairly epic.

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The great outdoors is called ‘great’ for very good reason, but trying to explain that to teenagers, can be a tad tricky….we have dogs who are always appreciative of it’s greatness, a yearning to explore and a feeling that time is precious, so there!

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Now for the knitter/crocheter, there is always an added level of anxiety when packing for a holiday….not only do you have to make sure that everyone has enough underwear, all of the items needed for either a heatwave, monsoon or arctic wind, but the most pressing concern…….what yarn should I take, and will I have enough?

Nobody is an island…but sometimes a little bit of down time knitting or crocheting is the only way to stay sane.

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So I will be giving a huge amount of thought today, to what yarn I will be packing and what projects I will start…….

Have a great weekend….

TTFN x