Category Archives: mermaid

Bedelia the Mermaid and where she came from

Once upon a time, there was a very, very old wooden bed frame.

It was so old that parts of it broke, and so it was taken apart and about to be thrown in the trash, when someone thought… wait… we know someone who makes things come to life again….

They gave the broken old bed frame to my son, who offered a piece of it to me:

It was very heavy old wood, which soon revealed itself to be exceedingly HARD… and I mean H.A.R.D wood!

I cut out 2 little mermaids from the former bed frame, wiggling around to try to deal with long notches, deep channels and bored out holes that large screws had once lived in.

I sanded the varnish off one set of mermaid blanks, and then remembered to take a picture of the ‘under construction’ stage… some of those scraps of wood are not useable for carving because they have hardware embedded.

Oh my word!  Carving the old hardwood was incredibly challenging, and there were a couple of nights when I was carving until the wee small hours.

I was so happy to finish carving Bedelia, but the incredible hardness and knife dulling properties of the wood made it oh so NOT fun to carve.

So, I am conducting an experiment:

Bedelia’s sister had a long lovely soak, which I hope will make the wood more carving friendly.

And now, oh, poor little mermaid!

She’s in the freezer, waiting for me to have enough time to carve her!

My fingers are crossed that I haven’t destroyed the wood with the soaking and the freezing,

and that I will be able to release the latent mermaid from her cryogenic state soon and more easily than Bedelia!

The next stage of bringing Bedelia to life was to burn and paint her Mermaid scales:

And then assemble her, making all her joints function:

Bedelia wanted to have some Mermaidly fun, so she went for a swim:

Which was a lot of fun, but very tiring, so she came back and relaxed in the studio.

Tottie Tomato went and made Bedelia a lovely cup of tea.

But she was still cold from the wild waves, so I went rummaging through the box of threads that I inherited from my Mother.

And crocheted a lace shawl for Bedelia.

She’s very happy and is looking forward to meeting all the other dolls in the studio.

She is  hopeful that I will get to carving her poor icy sister, very soon!

I hope so, too… but the studio has been a busy place lately, the icy mermaid will have to fit in with the other magic that is being stirred up!

I am so pleased to now be part of a lovely blogging group: Scrap Happy,  that was begun 6 years ago by Kate Chiconi and her friend, Gun, in Sweden.

The Scrap Happy bloggers all post once a month on the 15th about the wonderful things that they are creating from scraps of this and that, and none of it new….

please check out their blog posts, too.   😀

Kate Gun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
KerryClaireJeanJon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, NanetteAnn, NancyDawn 2, Noreen,
Bear and Carol

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Filed under carving wood, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, eco crafts & green projects, lace making, mermaid, Tottie Tomato Loves, Uncategorized, upcycling, wooden dolls, woodwork

Best Friends- Two Little Carved Dolls have an Adventure

In my previous blog post (LINK),

I told the story of how a piece of kindling wood refused to go into the fire,

and became a Spoon Doll named, Dot,

who was able to have a friend, Sybbie- a very small Mermaid, live upstairs.

After the trials and tribulations of being carved and painted and shellac-ed and sanded and all that,

Dot and Sybbie finally got to go on an adventure around the studio.

First of all, after Sybbie was comfortably settled in ‘upstairs’, she and Dot when off to visit a

small, but intrepid Cowgirl:

who was riding a Unicorn!

The Unicorn was very gentle and friendly and suggested that

Dot and Sybbie go visit the Bunny with Wings.

So they did:

They had a lovely visit with the Bunny with Wings,

who asked them if they had been to the Castle on the Hillside yet?

Oooh…. not yet, so off they tootled.

Sybbie and Dot enjoyed touring the Castle on the Hillside.

They found it rather tiring, so decided that they had had enough adventures for one day.

And, they went home and had a lovely cup of tea,

and this time, Sybbie did remember to write her adventures down in her journal-

so I could share them with you.

 

 

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An Inspiring Piece of Firewood

Inspiration pops up in the most unexpected places.

Last week, I was building a fire in our little wood burning stove.

A piece of kindling stopped me in my tracks…

It said: “Don’t burn me! There’s something special about me- wait till you see what’s inside me!”

so, I took it to the studio…. And, Tottie Tomato listened to what the piece of kindling

(from a tree that fell down in our neighborhood)

had to say.

A raggedy, curvy, bent, rough piece of upcycled wood that didn’t want to be burned,

told me a story about a Spoon Doll that was looking for a Best Friend to live upstairs….

So, I cut and carved and chisled and shaped…

Until she was ready to find her best friend.

I walked through the house, looking for the best friend who would live upstairs and have

adventures with ‘Dot’.

This oddly shaped Spoon Doll was telling me that the unusual basket ? or crown? ???

Was the ‘upstairs’ where her friend would live and that they were going to enjoy each other’s company.

Well…. friendship is one of life’s dearest treasures, so I listened when this little emerging Wooden Person

Asked a small mermaid, Siobhan, if she would like to move in ‘upstairs’.

Siobhan was delighted, and agreed to a little bit of carving adjustment so that she would fit her new accommodations:

Here’s Siobhan, all in pieces as she became smaller so she could move into her new shared home.

Dot provided comfort as Siobhan underwent her renovations.

After a lot of carving and sanding and painting and making of new joints,

the newly tiny Siobhan announced that since she is now smaller, that she wants a ‘Smaller Person Name’,

and that she is now to be known as ‘Sybbie’.

It was now time for Dot to receive her arms and to have a coat or two of shellac applied.

Dot objected, thinking that she didn’t like the sound of ‘shellac-ing’, so Tottie Tomato and Sybbie comforted her.

Tottie and Sybbie were getting in the way of progress, so I asked them to please move to the sofa to wait.

I gave them a journal to write in and a book to read, but I don’t think that they did either.

Spoon Doll Dot was very relieved to be completely finished, and needed a few moments to recover from

the whole carving and finishing thing.

Sybbie and Tottie Tomato told her that they had been through it all, too, so they were very sympathetic.

Brave little Sybbie even consented to being re-carved more than once to get to her final happy state!

Tottie Tomato had to go see to something else in the studio, so she left Dot and Sybbie to plan their

first great adventure.

Postcards from their first trip around the studio (their world as they know it so far)

will be posted in the next blog post.   (Here is the link: LINK)

 

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Respite from world events in carving spoons with love

This difficult week that our world has gone through made me want to carve out images of love, delight, sweetness and joy.

And, so I did.

My son upcycled trees that had died and had to be cut down, and made me blanks for my carving.

A Manitoba Maple from the yard of the parents of friends has re-incarnated as a mermaid.

I could feel the Mermaid in the piece of Maple, and so I carved this Mermaid spoon.

I wanted her to look like the ocean carved her, even when it was me who did.

My son rescued the wood from a dead chokecherry tree and made me spoon carving blanks.

The chokecherry wood became heart and hand spoons, 2 sweet little sisters and a woman who dreamt of dancing with the moon….

The chokecherry wood is almost translucent while it’s being carved and takes lots of coats of oil and several days of resting after it’s carved to start changing color.

Heart and hand images are dear to my heart and I find it very healing to carve them.

The first one is a spoon that is like a magic wand, asking to be waved in the air to stir up common sense and loving, calling out to appreciative hearts, full of compassion and gratitude.

The chokecherry tree died awhile ago, but it’s heart lives on.

It really wanted to be another Heart and Hand, and this one called to me to add color by including beads.

The pebbles in the palm of the hand and the bowl of the heart are not attached.

They just jumped in because they wanted to be in the pictures.

A whole lot more heart and hand carved spoons are waiting in a pile of upcycled wood from trees that have died, but are living on as carved spoons!

Two darling little sisters called out to me and asked me to carve them as spoon dolls.

The first is a sweet bunny who is excellent at giving bunny/upcycled chokecherry tree hugs.

I carve the arms on my spoon dolls from sections of wood that I cut away while I am cutting out the rough outline with the scroll saw.

It’s important to me that I carve their arms from the exact same piece of wood that they are made from, and of course, I have to make the arms moveable.

All the better to deliver hugs when the world is needing so much love….

I am enchanted by these little wooden beings who reveal themselves to me as I carve them.

I am guided by what they want.

No, I am not bonkers,

I don’t hear voices 😀

but I do feel that I am guided by the spirit of the tree in asking me to do what it wants and to let it be what it needs to be.

Birds obviously must have loved the chokecherry tree that now lives on in my carvings.

I am sure of this,  because as I was carving the wood from the dead chokecherry tree,

a little bird asserted it’s claim to sit upon the head of the kitty who is clearly the sister of the hugging bunny.

The kitty is quite happy to listen to all the little bird has to say about sunshine and  wind and rain and other stories the chokecherry tree still whispers of it’s days of bloom in spring, berries in summer and autumn and cold roots in winter.

Sometimes, a piece takes me totally by surprise.

I thought that this was going to be one thing and it turned out to be something totally different!

At first, after many many hours of carving the chokecherry wood, I thought that I had completely failed and that the spoon doll who was fighting me was destined to become firewood.

I tried to give up and go to bed, but no way, she wasn’t having any of that!

I could feel the wood trying to get me to see what was supposed to be happening, and I was drawn in, hour after hour, carving and carving and carving until finally at 3 am, I had an ‘aha’ and felt like I had gotten to where I was supposed to go with this spoon doll.

I jumped out of bed the next day, after not enough sleep, and immersed myself in this spoon doll, but this time, knowing what she was asking for.

She wanted me to see that she was a dreamer, dancing with the moon on her head.

Perhaps the chokecherry tree had loved feeling the touch of moonlight on it’s branches?

The spoon doll made it clear to me that she wanted NO embellishment, only to be allowed to shimmer in the light of the moon.

Okay.

I did, however, allow a little pearl to sneak into the photos. The Moon Dancing Dreamer was fine about it. Gracious, in fact.

I am utterly captivated by the joy (and challenges) of carving ‘raw’ upcycled wood that might have ended up at the land fill or simply being burned as firewood.

It’s alchemy to listen to the wood and let it lead me in transforming it in ways that surprise and delight me.

I look forward to continuing this adventure!

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How to Make a Tutu for Dolls Using Upcycled Cloth Tea Bags

For links to video on how to upcycle cloth tea bags into Teabag Yarn, and how to weave triangles with it,  please go to: LINK

I love finding fun and unique ways to upcycle things, and so I have had so much fun turning cloth tea bags into yarn and weaving with it, to make tutus for the Merrie Sunshine and Mermaid Minnie Moonbeam dolls.

For the main page about Merrie Sunshine and Minnie Moonbeam dolls, please go to: LINK

Here is the video that shows how to make the Upcycled Tea Bag Tutu:

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How to Make Simple Doll Clothes from Woven Triangles

Here is a video tutorial about how to make sweet and simple doll clothes using triangles that are woven on small triangle or pin or potholder looms.

The video shows the doll clothes being modeled by the Merrie Sunshine and Minnie Moonbeam Mermaid wooden dolls, but the clothes will fit other dolls that are around 8 inches/20 cm tall.

For more information about the Merrie Sunshine and Mermaid Minnie Moonbeam dolls, please go to L I N K

HERE ARE A WHOLE BUNCH OF VIDEOS ABOUT HOW TO WEAVE TRIANGLES ON SMALL LOOMS:

This video shows how to weave triangles on 2 inch pin looms, but the technique is the same on any size square pin loom:

Here are 2 videos that show how to weave a triangle on the Potholder loom using yarn:

and

and here is how to weave a triangle on small triangle looms:

 

And how to weave a triangle on a Weave-It style pin loom: Note that you will need to weave 2 triangles and stitch them together to make them large enough to make the doll clothes in the video:

 

Here’s how to weave a triangle on the Martha Stewart loom:

No matter what loom you weave your little triangles on, I hope that you will find delight in using them to make simple doll clothes!

Happy Weaving and Happy Doll Making! ❤

 

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Merrie Sunshine and Minnie Moonbeam Wooden Dolls

I have loved wooden dolls all my life and have made many, many of them throughout my life.

More than 20 years ago, I began a series of flat wooden dolls that I called: ‘Merrie Sunshine’.

I’ve worked with Merrie Sunshine off and on for all these years, but until the pandemic unfolded, it didn’t occur to me to make a mermaid sister for Merrie Sunshine.

I’ve been working on larger articulated wooden mermaids and it was these dolls that brought Merrie Sunshine to mind,

and then inspired me to give Merrie Sunshine a mermaid sister.

Here are Merrie Sunshine and Minnie Moonbeam with my most recent wooden mermaid (the inspiration for all this)

I asked Donna and Gary McFarland of Dewberry Ridge Looms if they would be interested in making

unpainted, unfinished Merrie Sunshine and Minnie Moonbeam dolls that people would then be able

to make uniquely their own.

They said that they would, and so here are what the dolls look like fresh out of the envelope from Donna and Gary:

MERRIE SUNSHINE: LINK TO ORDER from Dewberry Ridge Looms

and

MINNIE MOONBEAM MERMAID: LINK TO ORDER from Dewberry Ridge Looms 

I have made 4 videos that show how to paint or color or decoupage the dolls to make them uniquely your own and how to stitch the dolls together

LINKS TO “HOW TO ASSEMBLE AND EMBELLISH MERRIE SUNSHINE AND MINNIE MOONBEAM DOLLS’

PART 1- How to’s for the Face, Hair and all kinds of things:

 

PART 2- More Embellishing 

 

PART 3- How to use Washi tape and origami paper to dress the dolls:

 

PART 4- How to stitch the dolls together:

Here’s a little inspiration for the Merrie Sunshine Dolls”

and a glimpse of how I have embellished some Minnie Moonbeam Mermaid dolls:

And, dolls need clothes, right?

So, I have designed an eBook of CROCHETED DOLL clothes for Merrie Sunshine and Minnie Moonbeam

Available in my etsy shop- LINK

AND  a book of KNITTED DOLL CLOTHES for Merrie Sunshine and Minnie Moonbeam

Available  in my etsy shop at LINK

AND a book of Doll Clothes WOVEN ON THE 2 INCH PIN LOOM

Available  in my etsy shop  LINK

 

Here is the link to the  facebook group for the Merrie Sunshine and Minnie Moonbeam dolls  LINK  🙂

How to make Tutus for Merrie Sunshine and Minnie Moonbeam:

 

How to make shawls and other wraps for Merrie Sunshine and Minnie Moonbeam:

Watch this page for more links to fun things for Merrie Sunshine and Minnie Moonbeam.  😀

I hope that Merrie Sunshine and Minnie Moonbeam will bring you as much joy as they have brought me! ❤

 

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Two Circular Tapestries by Noreen Crone-Findlay

I am working on a series of circular tapestries that are contemplations on the nature of healing, imagination, dreams, stories and the power of community.

These two tapestries: ‘Each Flower Has a Memory’

 

and ‘Mermaid Circle of Imagination and Hope’

were woven on many different looms, including peg looms, weaving sticks and a variety of pin looms.

There’s also quite a lot of tatting included because of the soothing nature of lace making.

The tapestries are each 28 inches in diameter (70 cm).

Here’s a little video that shows the new tapestries:

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Filed under lace making, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, mermaid, Mollie Whuppie and Vasilisa looms, Peg and Stick Loom weaving, peg looms and weaving sticks, pin loom, tapestry, Three Sisters Looms, Thumbelina Loom, Woven Women tapestries and woven works

How to Make a Simple Mermaid Doll with Yarn

Mermaids are a beautiful metaphor for staying afloat, no matter how hard the waves may crash upon the rocks.

This video tutorial shows how I took the idea of Yarn Baby (Tassle) dolls and created Mermaids with a little bit of yarn, a whole lot of love and a little bit of head scratching.

Oh, yes, also a few sneezes are included with love from our aged rescued Chihuahua mystery mix dear old dog who seems to respond to the making of video by coming into the studio and sneezing loudly whenever the video camera is turned on. Why? Who knows?

Anyhow, I hope that you will enjoy making Yarn Dolly Mermaids!

Here’s the video tutorial:

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Mermaids mermaids Noreen makes mermaids

One of the members of the Peg Loom weaving group on facebook just asked what people were weaving on their Peg looms, and my response was ‘Mermaids!’- which is a very normal response for me.

In fact, recently, a friend introduced me to her sister’s kids, saying- This is Noreen- she makes mermaids. Indeed I do!

I love to weave mermaids and to carve them in wood.

Here’s a video of a ‘swoop’ (I just made that up as a way of describing a group of mermaids) of new mermaids that I have woven up using a pattern that I designed for my etsy shop.

Here’s the link: to the pattern: https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/91030975/pdf-pattern-for-mermaid-woven-on-the?ref=shop_home_active_1

The Peg Loom in the video is from: https://www.dewberryridge.com/products/peg-looms-1

A few years ago, I made a little video showing a different ‘Swoop’ of Mermaids. Here’s the link to that video:

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