Monthly Archives: July 2015

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 www.tottietalkscrafts.com

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

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

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

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.

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

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:

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

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

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

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.

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

 

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

They’re just me.

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

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.

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

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 http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

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

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.

 

11 Comments

Filed under band loom, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, weaving & handwoven, woodwork

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:

14 Comments

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

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!

4 Comments

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…..)

 

 

6 Comments

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

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!!!!

6 Comments

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

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…..

🙂

4 Comments

Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Hitty Dolls, woodwork