Friday, December 31, 2010

Emma Leigh Addison

Emma Leigh Addison
Emma arrived on the same day as Willa.  Emma is painted by Dianna Effner and is #2 of 6 for Everybody Loves Dolls.  Her dress was made by Janet Wysong (owner of Everybody Loves Dolls) and she has the cutest little underthings. 
Emma Leigh Addison full view

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tag Along Bethany

Tag Along Bethany
Originally uploaded by elizabeth's*whimsies
This is this year's new Bethany, produced by Kish and Company.
She's Piper's (14 inch Chrysalis) little sister. When I first opened up her box, I didn't like her much. I don't like the hard plastic bodies that are being used on these jointed dolls. I also thought her head was too big for her body, and didn't understand why they made the doll in this size when she's only about 3/4" taller than the Bitty Bethanies. And her face is different--why didn't they name her something else?

Anyway, after I made her a new outfit and smoothed her hair out, I like her a lot more. I wish Kish and Co would produce these dolls with a jointed VINYL body. The hard plastic is just unpleasant and irregular and the more you move the joints the looser they get. The faces are still beautiful, though, and the wigs are great quality and the painting is nice. The original outfits are of very good quality, too, although they are not the style I like my dolls dressed in, so I usually store the outfit immediately.

Her outfit is made with Bitty Bethany patterns. I lengthened the skirt very slightly. The jacket pattern is from an Ionker book. and is made from microwale corduroy.

Overall, I'll still buy Kish dolls, but only new faces. I so wish she would go back to the original all-vinyl bodies. Why mess with perfection?


Friday, December 24, 2010

Willa, Hand-Painted by Lana Dobbs

This is my newest Effner Little Darling.  She's hand-painted by Lana Dobbs and is just amazing!  Even her little fingernails and toenails are painted.  I have to make her a unique outfit, since she's borrowed Zoe's, but I couldn't resist photographing her.  She came recently, and actually on the same day as another Effner I had pre-ordered.  I will be posting about the other little girl, Emma Leigh Addison, very soon.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Katie Kitty

Katie Kitty
Originally uploaded by elizabeth's*whimsies
This is Katie Kitty, made from fleece fabric for my niece, Jewel. The pattern is from Wee Wonderfuls: 24 Toys to Sew and Love. Jewel has declared that she's great, but she wants a white dress, too. Jewel also has declared that she wants every toy in the book!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ellie the Pink Elephant

I've been quiet on the blog lately--I'm spending all my free time making toys for my nieces and nephew for Christmas! This is Ellie the Elephant Bag, made for Lily, my little niece, from a Wee Wonderfuls pattern.  The pattern is found in the book Wee Wonderfuls: 24 Dolls to Sew and Love.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Olivia, redone

Mei Ling Effner with Bear
Olivia had a face repaint.  Here is a link to a photo from before.  I didn't like something about her eyes and her cheeks seemed too dull, so I enhanced the face paint by repainting the eyes and eyelashes.  I reblushed her cheeks and chin, too, and now I like her better.  I made her a dress with an Ionker A-line pattern, which I lengthened.  I decided it needed embroidery and a hat to make it complete.

Olivia in new blue dress
Here is a closeup of her face painting.  I also re-wigged her, as her original wig was not of good quality.  I used a mohair Heidi wig and overall, I think she's much cuter.

Olivia close up

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Luke in Overalls

Luke in Overalls
Originally uploaded by elizabeth's*whimsies
I made some new overalls for my little Customhouse Ange Ai Uri today. I love this photo. The lighting came out just perfect. I also photographed him reading a book (below). There are a few more photos on my flickr account.

Luke Reading

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Cuteness Just for Cuteness' Sake

Alice Cherry Blossom is just too cute. It's cold and dreary here this afternoon. What better to perk the day up than a scrumptious cupcake offered by an adorable piglet?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Originally uploaded by elizabeth's*whimsies
This little wormy is from the Wee Wonderfuls pattern for Evelyn Inchworm. Once I got her finished, I thought she would be a great gift for my favorite librarian, so into the mail she went, to my sister!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Home Economics at Cornell in 1918

Faculty of the department of home economics about 1918-19. In the first row, from ...

I was browsing Flickr and realized that the Flickr Commons has a number of photographs uploaded from my alma mater, Cornell.  I was looking through, and stopped on this photograph.   Click on it and view it in the highest resolution.  These were some interesting ladies.  They posed for this photo right before women got the vote in the US.  You can read their biographies here: Faculty of Home Economics at Cornell in 1918-19 school year.  You can see the second row first lady on the left is holding her glasses in her hands.  I wonder if the photographer made her take them off or if she wanted to remove them for the photo?  There are so many details present in this photograph.  The laces appear so crisp and fresh and the expressions of each of the women make me wonder more about them and their personal stories.

I find this photo fascinating, not only for the glimpse into history, but for the character and personality of each of the women pictured in it.  There's some enlightening reading on the history of Home Economics in the US here.

"Canning peaches. Sewing a dress. Making perfect gravy. These are familiar images of home economics, but do they tell the whole story? So often home economics has been cast as a "conspiracy to keep women in the kitchen," an interpretation that has overlooked its impressive and diverse contributions. New scholarship in American women's history suggests that home economics was a progressive field that brought science to the farm home and women into higher education and leadership positions in public education, academia, government and industry."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Little Hedgehogs

I love this Japanese print fabric!  I still have a little left.  I only use it for special projects.  I made this dress for my sister for one of her ball-jointed dolls.  It looked so good on Dawn, though, that I had to take a few photos.  I also made a little embroidered felt jacket to go with it, but I didn't photograph that.  Dawn is just the cutest, even though she is factory painted rather than hand-painted.  She's a Let's Play Dolls exclusive by Dianna Effner for Boneka.

Dawn Closeup

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bitty Belle by Helen Kish

Here's a girl who doesn't get enough attention.  I love her hair.  This is Bitty Belle by Helen Kish, about 11 inches tall and just as cute as can be.  I made her a new outfit, because she had been wearing her previous one for way too long.   The dress pattern is from a Rosemary Ionker pattern and the fabric is a small quilting calico from

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Riki with Puppy

Riki with Puppy
Originally uploaded by elizabeth's*whimsies
Riki, by Helen Kish, is snuggling with my Toby portrait sculpture by Barlee Rumburg. I made Riki a new outfit yesterday. She looked cold in her sleeveless summer dress!  Below is the full view of the outfit.  The pantaloons are made from a Londie Phillips pattern and I drafted the bonnet and top myself.  The top is wool felt.  The embroidery pattern is based on an illustration in a Dover book of floral embroidery patterns.

Riki Kish

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Before and After

Narsha Before and After
After seeing one of the dresses I sold on etsy on a Narsha, I realized that I really needed to add one to my collection.  I found the one above (upper right photo) on Den of Angels forum and knew when I bought her she would need to be repainted.  I spent the weekend repainting her (twice!) and now I'm satisfied with her appearance. She needs new hair and eyes, though, but the ones that she has are OK for now.  Narsha is about 14 inches tall, but her torso is quite delicate.  I find that she can actually wear Bitty Bethany clothing, but it needs to be lengthened.  Items for the 13" Effners and 14" Kish girls fit her, too, but they're rather baggy around the middle.  I'm looking forward to sewing for her. 

Narsha's Face

Monday, October 18, 2010

So good to be appreciated

Here's my little old dog, Toby, curled up on the bed I made for him.  His old bed was pretty icky, so today he had a bath and while he was drying off, I made him this bed from some leftover fleece.  About five minutes after I set it on the floor, he curled up on it and he's been sleeping there ever since.  He's a sweet little doggy.  Those are appliqued hearts in the corner for him to rest his head on.

Oregon and Pennsylvania

Oregon Grape

Finally, I have finished a few more blocks on the State Flowers Quilt.  I'm resting at home for three weeks after having foot surgery, so I have time to embroider!  These are from Vicki's free patterns.  I should have taken the iron to them prior to photographing them.  They're not as uneven as they look!

Mt. Laurel

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Doll with Doll

April is playing with the 1:12 scale baby from my Edwardian dollhouse.  He is dressed in a little dress I knitted when I was crazy.  (It was really difficult to knit that tiny and I wouldn't attempt it again!)  April is wearing a dress similar to the one I made in Little Darling Effner size.  I was asked if I could make a similar dress in yo-sd size, and I did and it's already mailed out to the recipient.  I hope she enjoys it! 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Little Middleton Toddler

This is a little doll I redid recently. The head came with another doll I ordered, and once he arrived he needed some fixing up. I wanted to take him off the too-small body he arrived on, so I posted a want ad on Doll-Fan and a nice person sent me a standing toddler body for him. Finally today I reassembled him and I think he came out pretty cute. He had extensive re-painting. The whole original face was stripped and I redid his paint from a blank slate. I also re-wigged him. He's funny and he makes me smile!  He needs a name, though.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Today's Sewing Project

I've had a thing lately for drop-waist dresses.  I have a feeling there are more to come, too.  I will eventually list this one on etsy, but I want to make some accessories of some type to go with it, first.  My Rosen Lied Tuesday's Child Beige is modeling.  Her red hair seemed just the thing for this outfit.  It will also fit 10" Effner dolls by Boneka.
April in drop waist dress

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Zoe Effner in Blue

I made Zoe a new dress. We were going to list it on etsy, but the back of the collar came out a little off, so she's keeping it. That's a good thing from her perspective, because she needs more clothes!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dennis Hopper the Bunny

It's been a sad year for me. My bunny, Dennis, passed away on Monday night. He'd had a thymoma (large mass in his chest) that was diagnosed in spring '09. He had radiation to shrink it last summer, which gave him more than a year of extra, happy life. It grew back and he started to have a bit of trouble with it this summer. He was still happy and eating and playing up to Monday night when he suddenly became much worse and died before I could euthanize him.

Dennis was a good little bunny and a good little friend. Brother Cat liked to sleep in his exercise pen with him and keeps looking in his cage to see where he is. Dennis was always friendly, loved treats and carrots and had the softest fur. He was sometimes naughty and chewed up my woodwork, but that's what bunnies do when you don't watch them! His passing was not unexpected, but he will still be missed.


Monday, September 06, 2010

Kitchen Wainscot

Originally uploaded by elizabeth's*whimsies
April Cottage, after a stalled summer of work, is under construction again. Yesterday evening I finished applying the wainscot to all walls of the kitchen except the wall with the door, which will have to wait until I install the door and the door trim. Next up is the parlor, which will be painted in a soft blue with stained wooden wainscot. I'm a little afraid of wiring this house, as I've never electrically wired any houses before, so we'll see how that works out!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Zoe Effner in Purple and Lace

I'm working on how to blog directly from Flickr and thought I would share this photo of Zoe, as well. She's easy to photograph!

Late Summer

It's getting cool at night and the local kids all go back to school in just two days.  This time of year always reminds me of stronger colors like dark purples and golds.  I made Zoe Effner a dress inspired by the season.   The lace is a lovely lace I found on etsy and the ribbon is silk.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I love bunnies.  I have had a bunny as a pet since my dad brought me home Butterscotch when I was four.  I still have a bunny, Dennis Hopper, who is now seven or so (old for a Netherland Dwarf) and still a happy little guy.  I have wanted Curo Bunny from Pipos since I first saw her and I finally broke down and ordered one and she came the other day.  She's so cute!  Her outfit is up on etsy, though--she told me pink is not her color, really.  She would prefer something in light carrot.  Or grass green...  She's so cute I can barely stand it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Norah gets a new dress

Norah wanted something to wear for the end of summer and this is what I came up with.  The blouse is modified from a Rosemary Ionker bodice pattern and the jumper was drafted by me and is made from lightweight denim.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lovely Day

Today was a lovely day, with dry warmth.  April thought it was perfect weather for daydreaming in the sunshine on the deck.  She also spent some time sitting with her friend, Luke.

These two are just so cute, I can't get over it.  I found the bench on clearance at Michaels and it fits them perfectly. 

The summer is winding down here.  It will be a cool night tonight.  The summer has been full of nice weather and the garden has grown well, producing lots of tomatoes, green beans and cucumbers, among other things.  The chickens are doing fine and Hazel is broody and thinks she can hatch the wooden eggs!  She looks crazed when she's broody, as she puffs up her feathers and makes a terrible sound, but I just laugh at her and send her out to play with her sisters.  Daisy Duck (aka Little) has decided that the call ducklings are OK and swims every day with them.  She daily has to put Roger in line, as he's a bit fresh, and she occasionally has to sneak a bite at Hattie to keep her in line, too.  Overall Daisy has stopped mourning for Millie and now she has friends to keep her company in the winter, so all is well with the feathered folk!

I made a dress for Candy Plusczok today, also, but I will show it tomorrow!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hand Painted by Dianna

I received my Zoe, who is hand painted by Dianna Effner, a few days ago and today made her a little summer outfit.

She's simply amazing!  The eyes are very life like.  She was definitely worth the wait! 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Craft Room Repaint!

My little brother very kindly repainted my craft room for me.  I love the new look!  I have to make some new curtains, but otherwise, it's re-assembled and ready for enjoyment.  It was the nursery of the previous occupants.  Behold, the previously awful paint.

And now!  (The color is Blue Flower by Benjamin Moore and it's a no VOC paint--Natura)

I still have to hang a shelf and put the clock back on the wall, but otherwise it's finished!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Goodbye Little Tooth!

Mr. Brother Cat is quite content today.  He's been Mr. Happy and Mr. Playful and Mr. Enchanting and Mr. Sleeps-on-the-couch-with-me again.  Almost without me noticing it, he had been sleeping all the time, either behind the TV or in his hammock.  He wasn't sleeping on the couch at night while I was sitting there, which is one of his favorite things to do.  I knew he had a bad tooth, because I noticed it about a month earlier.  He had a kitty "resorptive lesion."  Lucky for him, he has a mom who's a vet and pesters him constantly, looking in his mouth and such.  Most people never notice these resorptive lesions until either they're really bad or they bring their kitty in to the vet for his or her annual examination.   The treatment is to take out the tooth, which I did last Monday.  All of his other chompers were in good condition and hopefully will stay that way.  Once the socket healed up, he's been back to his normal, fabulous self!  I thought he had finally just grown up (he's five) and wasn't acting all kittenish any more, but it turns out that tooth was bothering him more than I thought.  Now he can soak up his kitty sunshine and be sociable again!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dreamy Afternoon

It's lovely here today.  The sun is out, it's not too hot, and there's a nice June breeze stirring the leaves.  Lark needed her photo done, as I finished this dress a week or so ago but hadn't photographed it yet.  I made this dress after I found the dark turquoise velvet ribbon on etsy.  The fabric is white-on-white cotton print, although that doesn't show too well in the photograph.  The pattern is my own creation.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Hedgehog Embroidery

This is a little summer book bag for my nephew's 2nd birthday.  Inside are a few books about Skippyjon Jones!  I hope he enjoys having them read to him.

Here's a bit more detail of the embroidery.

Aren't they fun?!  The little hedgies are rolling and climbing and snoozing in the letters.  I found the alphabet in one of my Japanese craft books that I bought last year in Seattle.