Itty Bitty Hitty’s great adventure- 2

Itty Bitty Hitty vanished through the Story Door  on a magical small Tall Ship,

leaving Coco and the other Story Door Dolls to worry and fret.  See LINK

She amazed Coco by coming home safe and sound, with a new friend, Lettie.

Lettie Bunny apparently rescued Itty on her great adventure!

Coco and Lettie sat down to listen to Itty’s story.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

As soon as the Story Door shut behind Itty and the tiny Tall Ship,  they whirled away through clouds and fog.

Itty was sure that the fog went on forever, and when she had finally given up hope,

Itty heard a rumbling roar!

The fog cleared, and there was a huge fiery Dragon!

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Itty was terrified!

Luckily, a mighty Wizard strode out of the mists and sent the Dragon packing:

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The Wizard tossed a small fireball that sent the Tiny Tall Ship soaring to a peaceful

garden in front of a very appealing door:

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Itty knocked and knocked on the door, but no one answered.

Sadly, Itty sailed on until she came to another lovely garden,

where a beautiful Lady of the Earth was sleeping.

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Itty whispered to her, hoping to wake her up just a little, without really disturbing her.

She leaned over the Lady of the Green Places and whispered again….

still, no answer…

Itty leaned sooooooooooo far out of the rigging of the Tiny Tall Ship that she tumbled

out and down,



until she landed

upside down, with a serious thump….

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She thought about things for a moment and decided that a bucket might be a

better place to be than a Tiny Tall Ship that didn’t pay much attention to where

she wanted to be…..

‘Um?’, she mumbled.

There was no response.


A bee bumbled by to investigate.


‘Um and Hello to you, too, Little One!’, a soft, not-about- to-eat-or-sail-unexpectedly-away voice came close to the bucket.

‘And,  what, might I ask, are you doing in my bucket, Little One?’

‘Standing on my head’.

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‘Ah, yes…. well, let’s set that to rights…. my name is Lettice Bunny, but you can call me, Lettie’.

And, then, Itty burst into tears…..

‘I want to go home!’

‘Which is where?’

‘In the studio where the Story Door is!’

‘Well, that’s easily done! I was born in the studio by the Story Door!’


‘Yes, Little One, perhaps you were busy while all the carving was happening, come on now, just close your eyes….

The Story Door is just a small wish away…..’.

And! Then! Lettie and Itty were right there at the Story Door, and couldn’t be happier about it!

The funny thing about Itty’s great adventure was that it all seemed to happen at the Muttart Conservatory….

and Jim and I were right there!

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You would think we would have noticed a tiny flying ship with wee Itty Bitty Hitty on it, wouldn’t you?




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Itty Bitty Hitty’s great adventure- 1

Itty Bitty Hitty got carried away through the Story Door by a mischievious Tall Ship: See Here for details: LINK

Poor Coco sat and sat in front of the Story Door, waiting and waiting and hoping

for Itty Bitty Hitty to come home again.

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copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

She was sure that Tottie Tomato would find Itty and send that pesky Tall Ship on it’s way.

After a long time… it felt like forever-

Coco heard a sound coming from the other side of the Story Door.

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But when a lady Bunny came through the door, carrying Itty in a bucket,

Coco fell over in shock!

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Itty explained to Coco that everything was just fine- more than fine, really!

She introduced her new friend, Lettie, and they sat down together

so Itty Bitty Hitty could tell Coco all about her Great Adventure and how

Lettie Bunny came to her rescue!

More to follow…..


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Itty Bitty Hitty and the Tall Ship

Miranda Mermaid was cold, so was very pleased to receive a new shawl woven just for her.

Her friends were all so busy admiring it….

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that they didn’t notice that Itty Bitty Hitty had climbed up

onto the tall ship that had lead Miranda to the Story Door.

Coco saw that it was starting to move away through the Story Door….

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Even though she shouted at Itty to jump, JUMP! off the tall ship….

it slipped away and the Story Door quietly, but oh so quickly,


The Story Door dolls raced off to find Tottie Tomato to see if she could help.

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Coco was so sad that she just laid down on the ground and cried and cried.

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Tottie Tomato cuddled Coco and promised that she would go  find Itty and bring her home again.

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copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Coco sniffed sadly and sat down to wait….

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and wait…..


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Miranda Mermaid joins the Story Door Dolls

Itty Bitty Hitty  was playing on the Story Door today.

She has discovered that the Lion’s Head door knocker is perfect for practicing acrobatics.

If she asks the Lion nicely, he is quite accommodating and will hold the ring ‘just so’.

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She heard a strange sound behind the story door, so she scampered back to the Wall Doll House, and asked Coco and Bessie if they would come investigate with her.

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Itty Bitty Hitty scrambled back up the door to the Lion’s head, to see if she could hear the odd sound again.

She was surprised when the Story Door creaked on it’s hinges and then, it opened, and a lovely lady appeared….

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Not just ~any~ lady!


Bessie and Coco were so excited that they raced back to the Wall Doll House to see if anyone else would like to meet the beautiful mermaid.


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Coco and Itty Bitty Hitty introduced themselves, and so did Miranda.


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Hitty Tennie and Bessie Gnome brought some comfie couches from the Wall Doll House, as they were sure that there would be stories told at the Story Door.

Sure enough, just as everyone settled in to hear Miranda’s story, a little ship floated through the Story Door.

Miranda told her new friends that she had been frolicking in the waves.

Suddenly a the tiny ship sailed past her and zoomed towards something that looked like the opening to a cave.

It wasn’t a cave…. it was the ‘other side’ of the Story Door!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Everyone ‘oooohed’ and ‘ahhhed’ at Miranda’s adventure…..

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Tottie Tomato popped by to meet Miranda and see the magical little sailing ship.

Tottie, Coco and Bessie were so enchanted by Miranda’s stories that they didn’t notice that….

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Itty Bitty Hitty had climbed up into the rigging of the tiny ship….

Only Kitty saw, but no one paid attention to her ‘miaows’.

Hopefully, Itty Bitty Hitty will get down off the mast before the tiny sailing ship sails away through the Story Door…..


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A truly tiny wooden doll

I couldn’t resist.

I just had to see how small a doll I could carve …

So….I cut very small doll parts from another birch tree twig.

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And, I carved a doll that is not much bigger than a quarter.

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copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Here’s a comparison of dolly sizes – ‘Bitty’ is right above the ‘yr’ in copyright.

She really is ‘Itty Bitty’.

She was fun, but rather challenging to carve. (of course LOL).

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Bitty, Coco and Joy had a lovely tea party in front of the Story Door.

They had a lovely time, and were pleased that the missing teacups have re-appeared, but wondered where the cat and dogs were.

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I wove a chair seat for Bitty, which is  less than an inch square.

It makes her feel much more comfortable and she’s very please with it.

Coco, Bitty and Joy have heard the sounds of more carving in the studio, and are excited to see who is going to join them at the Story Door.




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Carving and weaving for the Birch Tree Sisters

Lately, I have had a very magical time, carving small, and even smaller, (much smaller) dolls and weaving for them.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

It all began just over a week ago, when one of our son’s neighbors gave us some lovely Birch wood.

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I knew that there were dolls inside the Birch wood that were just longing to get out!

So, I took some of the Birch branches to the bandsaw:

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And, cut out the rough shapes for the 6 inch tall dolls, and then I started carving:

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I showed how I wove dresses for  ‘Hope’ and ‘Joy’ in my previous post: LINK.

They could hear that there was a little sister calling to them from inside one of the branches on their family tree:

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After a day or so of carving:

Tiny ‘Coco’ happily emerged from her branch.

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Then, I got out my 2 inch square vintage Weave It loom to weave her a dress.

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She’s about 3 1/2 inches tall.

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Coco Birchtree is very happy to have her picture taken at the Story Door and to join her sisters and the other

Story Door Dolls in my studio.

I’m looking forward to seeing what she and her sisters discover about life around the Story Door!


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How to weave doll dresses on pin looms

It’s pure joy to carve little wooden dolls.

And, because I love weaving on small looms, it makes sense to weave dresses for them, too.

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Here are the latest of my ‘Story Door Dolls’ wearing their woven dresses.

And, a little closer view of the ones that I wove in a video tutorial on how to weave the dresses:

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Jim looked at all the dolls set up on the dining room table, and said that it looked like Christmas to him.

I loved that it looked festive!

I was celebrating, as it’s taken me quite awhile to figure out exactly how to weave the dresses…. I have a tendency to start out by doing things in incredibly complicated ways.

It then takes a lot of trial and error, and many iterations, to get to the place of simplicity.

But, I’ve finally gotten there, and I am pleased.

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Here’s the video tutorial on how to weave doll dresses for 6 inch dolls.

In the video, I forgot to mention that I carve my dolls fairly slender, so if your doll is somewhat thicker through the torso, weave the 2 bodice sections wider.

Happy weaving and happy carving!




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Quirky wonderful loom

My son, Angus Findlay, and I have just co-created a loom and stand that I absolutely love.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Last January, I asked Angus to build me a box that I could turn into a loom.

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I made the ratchets and pawls from purpleheart wood, cut the ends and sides into the shapes I wanted, made the warp and cloth beams and started painting it.

I loved it, but found it a bit too big to hold in my lap while weaving, and I didn’t have the perfect table to sit it on and weave comfortably.

So, I asked Angus to take some funky old legs that I had bought at a garage sale, and build a stand for the loom.

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Woo hoo!  I love it! I am enchanted by Angus’ design and how he built such a whimsical and quirky (and VERY solid and sturdy) loom stand.

He intuitively made it just the perfect height for me.

I brought it home and started playing with embellishments.

I cut out some of my favorite wooden shapes to glue on it, and then painted 3 coats of gesso to prime it.

Then, I slowly began the layering on of paint:

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Painting was a long slow process, as I applied layers of  acrylic paints in thin washes to build up the color shifts.

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The screen behind the loom shows how I use this layering technique on other pieces, too.

I was quite surprised when the loom started to lead me in this direction, as I had had a totally different concept

in mind before I started painting.

But, I believe in listening to the piece and allowing it to tell me how it wants to be.

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The ‘Dancing Girl’ and ‘Resting Rabbit’ motifs are a theme that I have used for more than 40 years.

They’re just me.

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I made the metal image of the Dreaming Lady of Malta with sheet metal, using the repousse technique of pressing and shaping the metal from the back.

Because I work with my dreams and use them as one of the main sources in my art and artisanship, I felt that placing an image of the Beautiful Dreamer was a great metaphor.

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and on the stand, I attached another repousse image that I had made at the same time as making the Dreaming Lady.

This is Xchtel, the Mayan Goddess of weaving, with her companion Rabbit.

So, the metaphor and message of these two images is:

Dream weaver.  Weaver of Dreams…..

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

It is just pure bliss to weave on this loom.

Words cannot convey the delight.

I LOVE how my beloved son, and dear friend, Angus, and I created a loom that is so completely US.

I feel blessed.



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Carving a tiny wooden Gnome Doll

Sometimes, when you are carving a doll, you will start with one thought in mind.

But, there are times when it becomes clear that the doll wants to be something else entirely.

This just happened to me when I was carving a very small doll.

My grandson is five and he thinks babies are sublime, so he asked me to carve a baby doll.

I started…. I used a little doll that my mother owned long ago and far away in her childhood…

(Oh how I love this little doll!)

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but soon, it became clear that it was a tiny Lady Gnome who wanted to be released from the wood….

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And, there she is- among her friends, admiring the thimbles…

Her name is Bessie, or, just Bess, and this is how I carved her:


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Fleur has a celebration

Fleur, a wooden doll that I carved many decades ago, had an uncomfortable situation arise during our move- her foot went awol and had it’s own adventures.

Luckily, it re-appeared and is now firmly re-attached to Fleur.

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Fleur was so happy to be re-united with her foot that she invited Tottie Tomato, Jane Austen, Albert Einstein and The Story Door Dolls all to come and sip a cup of tea with her.

There was one small problem….

Most of the teacups have mysteriously vanished from the Story Door Doll’s antique wicker suitcase.

Luckily, the guests were very gracious about being served tea in thimbles and assorted other vessels.

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Professor Einstein was very accommodating about sipping his tea from a brass goblet, although he had to wait rather a long time for it to cool, as it was somewhat uncomfortably hot.

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Jane Austen whispered to Tottie Tomato that she thought that the unusual nature of the teaparty was fun, but was rather glad that she didn’t bring along her silly sisters.  She also thought that Mr. Darcy would probably have not approved….

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Tennie did her best to help out by bringing along my favorite teacup earrings and a teacup crochet hook that I carved many years ago.

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The Cat, puppy and turtle were happy to share a dish of tea.

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Fleur gave everyone a few lessons on her tiny spool knitters, but then, she laid back to simply bask in the pleasure of the company of her friends.

The tea party was a success. Everyone agreed, even though the tea cups didn’t all make it to the party.

Perhaps they will be found in some unexpected place.

Moving. It is full of disruptions.

Thank heavens for dear friends!


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