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!)

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

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

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

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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Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Story Door Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay, wooden dolls, woodwork

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.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

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.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

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.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

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….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

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.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

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

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

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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Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Story Door Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay, Tottie Tomato Loves, wooden dolls, woodwork

Fleur’s foot

Fleur did not make the move from our old house to the new one unscathed.

Fleur is a wooden lady of advanced years – I carved her more than 30 years ago, and she has some fragility about her nowadays.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

Tottie Tomato and the Story Door Dolls heard that Fleur and her foot had had a parting of the ways during the move, and so they were rather concerned.

They came by to offer their wishes for a successful re-attachment….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

Some glue, a little wrapping and a sincere apology on my part for packing her so badly, all seem to be helping.

Clover Bee, the Story Door Doll that is on the left hand side of the first picture also came to say farewell to Fleur, as she was about to head off to her new home just after Fleur’s fancy footwork.

Tottie Tomato and the Story Door Dolls didn’t stay long, as Fleur needed to rest and allow the glue to work it’s magic.

(We hope…..)

 

 

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How I carved 2 little wooden dolls from an Arbutus branch

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

We had a branch from an Arbutus tree that was trimmed from our sisters’ tree many years ago, so it is really dried out and incredibly hard.

I used it to carve 2 little dolls, and then I wove dresses for them, using Lil Weaver looms from Dewberry Ridge Looms.

Here’s a short slide show of the making of the dolls:

So much fun!!!!

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Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Hitty Dolls, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, weaving & handwoven, woodwork

Carving Wooden Dolls- My first homage to Hitty

Last August, I posted a brief introduction to my first homage to Hitty dolls. LINK

I have been carving and making wooden dolls since I was a very young girl, and it’s one of my passions, but hadn’t carved any homages to Hitty until I was utterly enchanted by the Quimper Hitty blog: LINK

The Quimper Hitty blog should come with a warning that it is utterly and completely addictive!

Such enchantment! Oh my!~!~

Thanks to the magical heart who creates the Quimper Hitties, I fell under their spell….

I really did mean to show how I carved my first Hitty, whose name is Tennie:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

But, I got totally swept away by a combination of downsizing, moving and downsizing (after 21 years in a large house and barn and huge garage etc, downsizing to a wee house is intense!) and by the writing of my new book.

Well, this year has galloped past, and the book and photos and diagrams are now in the capable hands of the best editor ever, and I am able to take up all manner of things that I love…. like carving wooden dolls….

Here are a couple of pics that I snapped while I was carving  ‘Tennie Hitty':

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

Here she is after I varnished her:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

Of course, as soon as she was finished, she began to campaign for more companions….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

She was sure that she heard a little wooden dolly voice calling out somewhere in the studio….

Actually…. so did I…..

:)

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Teaching my young grandson how to carve a wooden doll

One of the joys of my life has always been doll making.

I have carved wooden dolls for as long as I remember, and I am now enjoying teaching my 5 year old grandson how to make wooden dolls, too.

I gave him a piece of wood, and had him draw a figure on it.

Then, I burned the lines he had drawn:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

You can see to the right of his doll, a doll that his Mamma made when she was his age, and one that I am currently working on.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

He chose some colors, and started adding them….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

I cut her out with the bandsaw and he took her home, but wasn’t pleased that she had rough edges.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

So, the next day, I took some of my tools over so he could work on sanding her and finishing her.

He’s already immersed in the family culture of being a Maker!

I’ve been giving him lessons on how to use a hand saw in a Zen way, as he tends to approach tools with wild abandon, which is not something I encourage at all.

Gently, gently, is my motto….

Ah, the bliss of being a granny….

my heart sings!

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Hurrah! My Peg Loom and Weaving Sticks Book is Done- so far…

Hurrah and, Whee and wow and whew…..

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay ww.tottietalkscrafts.com

I am such a happy and rather exhausted bunny.

A couple of days before my actual deadline, I  finished the manuscript, photos, diagrams and photo coding for my new book: Peg Looms & Weaving Sticks: Woven Projects & Techniques, Basics & Beyond.

Wow. BEFORE deadline. Wow.

My lovely editor is off in Scotland perusing fibery goodness there, so bless her heart, she has said to me to take a week or so to do the proofreading.  I love my editor.

Taking a week or so to do the proofreading is the most sanity saving way of doing the slow and essential plod plod plod through the manuscript, so I am eternally grateful that she has suggested this.  Like I said. I. Love. My. Editor.

The final couple of weeks of finishing the book were grindingly intense and the last few days were proper pinchers, so I have been having some delicious recovery naps in the last couple of days.

Changing gears and shifting back into ‘real life’ is a quietly satisfying process.

I got explosively inspired for the ~NEXT~ book, so have been galloping into it, being incredibly inspired and feeling all excited and delighted and then taking another recovery nap.

Wow.

And, now…. for a few hours of sipping tea and sending my eyeballs on a mission across the screen:

Must. Find. All. The. Errors.

Must. Polish. Any. Clumsiness.

And, then…. I’ll take another lovely nap.

I love this book.

I love the next one.

Wheeeeeeeeee………..

 

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Filed under weaving & handwoven, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Peg and Stick Loom weaving, Writing a book

Almost there… my book is almost finished

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I’ve been working ferociously hard on my peg loom  and weaving stick book and there are some things that have come so clear for me as I have put the thousands of hours into it:

1] The more I work with peg looms and weaving sticks, the more in awe of their creative potential I am and the more that I love weaving with them. I loved peg looms and weaving sticks before I began this book, which is why I worked so hard to find a publisher for it (YAY Stackpole Books!) and what has become deliciously obvious is that I am more and more in love with peg looms and weaving sticks!   AND, I am just thrilled with all the techniques and possibilities that I have come up with for the book.

I have realized that there is so much more to explore with peg looms and weaving sticks that as we downsized and moved into a MUCH smaller house (*don’t do that when you are writing a book!*)  I was quite happy to give away, long term loan and sell all my larger looms- but I could never sell or give away any of my peg looms or weaving sticks.

2] Working with the makers of weaving sticks and peg looms is absolutely amazing- Donna and Gary McFarland of  Dewberry Ridge Looms , Lynette Richter of  Daisy Hill Handiworks   and Dennis Riley of  Daegrad Tools  has been PURE JOY!

When I recommend these wonderful loom makers, I do so with a full and happy heart.
They make BEAUTIFUL looms and are incredibly responsive and generous with their time and energy- they love what they do, and it shows in the looms that they make.

3] I have also absolutely loved working with the glorious yarns that were so graciously supplied to me for the book from my main yarn company sponsor: Briggs & Little Woolen Mill and  to the kindness of Lion Brand yarns. My daughter in love, Alliston Findlay is a gifted hand spinner, and she supplied me with handspun yarn for the book, too: Nomad Fibreworks

You can’t have a weaving book without yarn, so I am REALLY grateful to them for their generosity. Bless their hearts!

4] It has been soooooooo exciting to design and make the projects for the book and in making them, to figure out neat ways of making the weaving sticks and peg looms do things that I had never imagined possible when I first began my voyage of discovery with peg looms and weaving sticks about 15 years ago.

I am looking so forward to seeing what people come up with when they read the book and are playing with these ideas.

The projects in the book may not speak to everyone, but I am hoping that the techniques that are used in the projects will ignite and inspire creativity!

5] And, now, I have to get back to work! Oh my word, I have a a gigantic ‘to-do’ list to work through in the last couple of weeks before I submit the manuscript!  eep!

Hugs all round,
Noreen

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Tottie Tomato settles into the new studio

Poor Tottie Tomato has been left sleeping in her antique wicker suitcase for the entire month since we moved to our new home.  That’s her suitcase behind her.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay tottietalkscrafts.com

I’ve been working so hard to set up our home and my studio, as well as working hard hard hard on the new book, that poor Tottie hasn’t seen the light of day.

But, it’s time to let little Ms Tomato settle into our new studio.

She likes it very much, even though it is waaaaaaaaay smaller than our old one.

She loves to help warp up the peg looms, which is good, as I am weaving and writing and photographing and and and … full steam ahead!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay tottietalkscrafts.com

It really feels like home, now that Tottie Tomato is out and about in the studio with me!

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Filed under Peg and Stick Loom weaving, personal stuff, Tottie Tomato Loves, weaving & handwoven, Writing a book

Writing a book while moving- eegads

Oh my word!

The flurry of activity at our house is just completely over the top!

My blog has ground to a stop, as I just can’t keep everything going all at once right now…

something had to give, and it’s been the blog.

Here’s a little (but no where near all) of what has been going on….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

Really- there are things that simply shouldn’t be combined….

Like selling an acreage that you have lived on for 21 years and buying a house in the city….

Um… a large acreage that has accumulated a lot of stuff

(I know, I know, WE accumulated all that stuff…

it followed us home when we saw all it’s creative potential)

:)

While working to deadline on a book (and doing all the photography and illustrations and diagrams AS WELL AS designing all the projects and weaving them all yourself…. )

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

eeks!  The deadline is looming – pardon the pun :)

BUT…. I am so incredibly inspired and excited by the designs and projects for the book that I am just over the moon.

And, am seeing rather a lot of the moon lately, as there aren’t enough hours in the day, so the hours in the night are full of the busy busy of it all.

I can’t show any of the projects yet, but, wheeeeeee!  I am just happy dancing and skippetty hopping over them.

I have been in love with peg loom weaving and weaving sticks for years, but that love has grown exponentially as I work on this book.

I am just boggled by the creative potential of the marvelously simple peg looms and weaving sticks.

In fact, I have passed along quite a few of my other, non-peg looms, because there is so much for me to explore with them that I just don’t have the time for many other of my looms.

Ah, the move: The downsizing, packing and dealing with all the insane bureaucratic hoop jumping has been epic.  Sheesh.

Just sheesh.

Oh yes… another leetle stressor in our lives is that we suddenly adopted a darling little puppy from a relative who couldn’t keep her.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.crone-findlay.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

She’s enchanting- but wasn’t housebroken, so that’s been a challenge- another of those ‘don’t do this at home’ kind of things.

House training a puppy in deep dreary freaking freezing cold mid winter is not fun.

That’s not quite true- she loves gazing at the birds and thinks trips outside are marvelous.  (When it’s a million below zero, I don’t share her enthusiasm)

She has taught me to keep my shoes in a box that she can’t get into…

(yes, she did chew my most expensive boots)

and to not leave my favorite glasses where she can get them

(yes,  she did chew them, and my ipod earbuds up)

and to not let balls of yarn drop to the floor

(she outdoes a kitten in her enthusiasm for yarnplay- face palm)

She’s a right proper little scalliwag but we do adore her and are so happy that she’s part of the family.

There’s a million other things going on in our lives right now, but I must get back to work, so I shall just zip away and weave up some wonderful-ness.

Cheerio and tootlepip… which is what we always say to our grandson when he heads home from our time together.

I probably won’t be posting again for a couple of weeks, as we are soon to be hefting and heaving ourselves into the new (smaller, much smaller) house in the city.

And, then, it’s serious overdrive on the book….

so…. cheerio for now….

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Filed under Peg and Stick Loom weaving, personal stuff, weaving & handwoven, Writing a book