Category Archives: woodwork

A Wooden Teddy Bear Carved in Response to Grief

The death of our beloved 15 year old small dog has been really hard on both my husband and me.

I wrote in my previous post about the Comfort Doll that I carved from a fallen branch- LINK

When I was carving her, I was inspired to carve a Teddy Bear that would have an open space in it’s heart…..

I used amber color shellac to paint the Teddy Bear to look like our little dog, and then…

My husband and I each placed a tiny scoop of our little dog’s ashes in the open circle.

Then I glued a gold heart over it to seal it….

The glue seals it completely.

It took a while to dry and turn clear.

We both held the little teddy bear and found it to be very comforting….

We sat Teddy Bear and Pollydolly in front of the box of our little guy’s ashes, but when I finished weaving her outfit and knitting a red sweater and blue jeans for him, we sat them on top of the box:

My husband loves working with metal, so he made a little steel doggie: Edward Alloy in tribute to our wee fellow, and it has joined them on the box…..

We have found this tender making of small things in celebration of our wee dog to be very comforting!

5 Comments

Filed under carved wooden dolls, carved wooden teddy bears, carving wood, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, grief, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, metal work, personal stuff, teddy bear, weaving & handwoven, wooden dolls, woodwork

Carving a Comfort Doll from a Fallen Branch

Last week, our darling little dog died. He was 15 years old and we miss him terribly.

The day before he died, a branch fell from the huge Elm tree in front of our house. I love the tree and so I picked up the branch and moved it onto our lawn, thinking that I should probably carve something from it.

A couple of days after we came home from the Vet, without our dear boy in our arms, the impulse to pick up the branch and start carving grew stronger and stronger.

I had been feeling called to carve another 6 inch doll like one that had carved last fall, so I used her as a companion and guide:

I used the same branch for her arms:

And for her legs, but I got the first pair all wrong, so I made another pair from another scrap of wood.

Of course, it took me a few days to carve her and to allow the still wet wood to dry before I could paint her.

This allowed me to follow my inner prompts that were a gift from this little healing dolly and start work on carving a teddy bear. I have posted about him here: LINK

I was surprised that she wanted a very round head, but when I went to carve it down, she firmly told me to just sand it smooth and live with it. Okay…. it’s important to not try to push the doll where she does not want to go!

She let me know exactly what she wanted for her hair, leotard, leggings and boots:

I knitted her a dress that was totally wrong for her, but works beautifully on a different doll.

Then I tried a different dress that I had knitted for another little doll. Nope.

She wanted me to weave her a white skirt and shrug from yarn that my daughter in law spun.

So, I did….

Her name is Pollydolly and I have found the process of carving her (and the teddy bear that I will post about next) to be very soothing and healing.

Dollmaking is very much a healing art and no matter what form it takes, it’s good for the soul.

Grieving is a journey that is unique to each person who has to follow the path, and it’s important to do the things that help the grief be nurtured in a transformative way that becomes the root of compassion.

Carving dolls and bears and knitting and weaving are an important part of my way of healing.

In the next post about the Teddy Bear that Pollydolly told me to carve, I’ll show you where she is sitting now. LINK

If you are grieving, please know that you are not alone. There is so much to grieve right now, and we all have to find our way through it. Blessings on your journey!

With love! ❤

7 Comments

Filed under carved wooden dolls, carving wood, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, grief, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, personal stuff, upcycling, weaving & handwoven, wooden dolls, woodwork

A collection of available Vasilisa Comfort Dolls Feb 2022

In my previous post, I showed photos of the Vasilisa Comfort Dolls that are Lucets and also some Vasilisa Comfort Dolls that were inspired by and an homage to the Orkney Venus. LINK

If you would like to buy one of the Vasilisa Comfort dolls please post a comment and I will get back to you asap. (your comment won’t be public)

THE GREAT MOTHER Vasilisa Comfort Dolls can be seen at LINK

To see the larger Vasilisa Comfort Dolls, please click on LINK

‘CHOICES’ Vasilisa Comfort Dolls:

Making decisions can be so challenging right now…. The Choices Vasilisa Comfort Doll is great at helping to make choices. ‘Yes’ on one side…. for a Wholly ‘Yes’
And, ‘No’ on the other…. for the Holy ‘No’……

HOME:

Listening for Wisdom, The Owl as Guide:

TOUCH THE EARTH:

Peace….

I carved these Vasilisa Comfort Dolls from Walnut to give them darker skin tones:

Vasilisa Comfort Doll (walnut) Singing a New Song
Vasilisa Comfort Doll (walnut) Mother and Child
Vasilisa Comfort Doll (walnut) Dream Guide

Vasilisa Comfort Doll (walnut) Storyteller/Storykeeper/Guardian of the Books
Vasilisa Comfort Doll (walnut) The Heart of Lovingkindness
This Vasilisa Comfort Doll is a necklace made with a beaded lucet cord. She has a tatted necklace around her neck, made with a tatting shuttle that I carved myself.

Vasilisa Comfort Doll Starbaby:

This group of Vasilisa Comfort Dolls is influenced by Goddess imagery:

Vasilisa Comfort Doll Serenity
Vasilisa Comfort Doll She Guides the Journey
Vasilisa Comfort Doll Dreaming Rabbit

This last group of Vasilisa Comfort Dolls is all about my love of flowers:

Vasilisa Comfort Doll Rosebud Inner Child
Vasilisa Comfort Doll Healing Laughter in the Blossom
Vasilisa Comfort Doll Protected by the Flowers

4 Comments

Filed under carved wooden dolls, carving wood, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Vasilisa dolls, wooden dolls, woodwork

How to make lucet cord with the Bee and Ladybug Vasilisa Doll lucets

In my previous post, LINK, I showed how to make lucet cord with the Vasilisa Comfort Dolls that have peg legs.

There are also links to a whole slew of videos that I have made about what to make with lucet cord in that post.

I have made another video tutorial that shows how to make lucet cord with the Bee and Ladybug Vasilisa Doll lucets that I design and make.

Here’s the for the video:

1 Comment

Filed under carved wooden dolls, carving wood, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Lucet, tutorial & how to, Vasilisa dolls, video tutorial, woodwork

Carved Wooden Vasilisa Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay

(UPDATE: Many of the dolls in this post have sold. To see which of the Vasilisa Comfort Dolls are available,

please go to LINK 1 and LINK 2)

To see the larger Vasilisa Comfort Dolls, please click on LINK

I have been carving wooden dolls non-stop for the past year.

I’ve been working on several series of dolls.

One of the series that has brought me great joy is my ‘Vasilisa Comfort Dolls’ group.

I call them this because of the Russian folktale, Vasilisa the Brave. Vasilisa’s mother knows that she is dying, so she makes her darling daughter a doll that embodies all the mother love in her heart.

The little doll acts as a guide and comfort for Vasilisa throughout the story.

My Vasilisa dolls are also an embodiment of love, and even though they look very simple, they are deeply heartfelt, contemplative, meditative and powerfully healing.

I have used all kinds of wood- some it is from old pianos that died and the wood was given to me, some of it is from trees that were pruned or felled because of old age, some is from old furniture or planks of upcycled wood in other forms. There is a very small amount of new bought wood, as I prefer to plant trees, rather than use them up. Upcycling soothes me.

I have separated the Vasilisa Dolls into different categories.

Many of them are meant to be held in the palm of your hand or carried in a pouch (carrying them in a pocket with coins, keys, pebbles etc is not recommended, but on their own in a pocket is fine).

The Vasilisa dolls are all about 2 1/2 inches tall.
Just perfect to be embraced in your hand…. and held to your heart!

Here are the ‘Square Body’ Vasilisa’s dolls

Some of them have cords, because they are necklaces.

Some have dear little wooden legs that turn them into lucets, so they can make cords.

Some of them have brass nail antennae that also allow them to be used as lucets.

Some of them have lucet cord arms that allow them to hug your finger, thumb or house plant.

Here are the ‘Heart Shape’ body Vasilisa dolls:

Here are the Round Shape Body Vasilisa Dolls:

The group of Vasilisa dolls in the photo below all have pins on their backs so they can be worn as brooches.

The group in the next photo are necklaces and I realize that some of these should have been in the Goddess photo, too, but, you know… keeping everything straight…..

The group in the photo below are all Lucets (and I’ll send a pdf on how to use them as well as links to 8 video tutorials on lucet cord making with these Vasilisa dolls)

These are the Finger Hugging Vasilisa Dolls:

These Vasilisa dolls are based on Goddess energy and inspired by Goddess imagery:

The Vasilisa dolls are great for storytelling…..

I couldn’t resist making one little Vasilisa Snowlady 🙂

They are for sale and range in price from $25 to $95 +shipping, just send me a message or note.

Not all of them are still available.

I am quite emotional about posting them, as they have been such a source of healing for me through the pandemic…. I hope that you can feel all the love in them, too. ❤

10 Comments

Filed under carved wooden dolls, carving wood, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Vasilisa dolls, wooden dolls, woodwork

Carved Little Wooden Teddy Bears

I took a break from social media last summer and spent my time carving and weaving 😊

One of the oh so fun series that I carved are these little bears with moveable arms and legs.

These darling little wooden Teddy Bears are approximately 3 1/2 inches tall, although Teddy F is 4 inches tall.

They fit perfectly in the palm of your hand and are very cuddly.

I carved them from very old Douglas Fir.

Teddy A has sold.

Teddy C has a ‘Birthmark’ on the left hand side of his/her face, from a tiny branch that revealed itself in the carving.

He/she wears an oak acorn cap from the lovely oak trees around the corner from us.

Teddy D has sold.

Teddy F is painted gold, but all the others are varnished.

They are all $95 each + shipping

4 Comments

Filed under carved wooden teddy bears, carving wood, teddy bear, woodwork

Tatting Shuttles by Noreen Crone-Findlay and useful video links too

Tatting is one of my most favorite things- I never leave the house without a little tin or pouch that has tatting shuttles, thread, a tiny hook and tiny scissors in it.

I have been busy in the woodworking room again… carving more Goddess and Hedgehog tatting shuttles.

Until the end of the year, I will be reducing the price of the Goddess shuttles to $39 + shipping and the Hedgehogs to $25 + shipping.

Please message me if you are interested.

Here are some helpful videos about my Goddess Tatting shuttles:

This video shows how to wind thread onto the Goddess Tatting shuttles:https://youtu.be/94vbtAd9THg

This video shows how to weave with the Goddess tatting shuttles:https://www.instagram.com/p/CN5RZ5_JZPM/

This video shows how to add a cord so you can wear the Goddess tatting shuttle as a necklace:https://www.instagram.com/p/CN2ppKup68P/

How to tat a necklace cord:https://www.instagram.com/p/CN8AV6HJAW2/

2 Comments

Filed under carving wood, Goddess tatting shuttles, Hedgehog tatting shuttles, lace making, tatting, tutorial & how to, video tutorial, woodwork

How to Build a Folding Wooden Doll Chair

After I carved and wove 3 dolls that didn’t fit the doll furniture that I already had, (see Brown Paper Yarn Dolls) ,

I decided that I had to build them each a chair.

And so I built them each their own little chair with a seat woven on the Mirrix Saffron Loom, using instructions from my book: Innovative Weaving on the Frame Loom.

HERE IS A LINK TO THE BOOK AND SAFFRON LOOM KIT that is available on the Mirrix website. LINK

The Chairs are not in the book, but the weaving patterns are. See pages: 68, 50 and 45.

Here are the dimensions for the wooden parts of the chair:

The wooden pieces are all 1 cm thick and 2 cm wide.

Pieces A are 24 cm long (cut 2)

Pieces B are 20 cm long (cut 2)

Pieces C are 11 cm long (cut 2)

The Dowels are 1/4 inch in diameter:

A: Cut 2 that are 11 cm long

B: Cut 2 that are 9 cm long

C: Cut 1 that is 13 cm long

The Seat: Weave a piece of fabric that is 20 cm long by 7 cm wide and stitch through the end of the warp loops, over the top dowel of A and the front dowel of B.

The finished size of the chair is:

Height: 20 cm (8 inches)

From front to back: 18 cm (almost 7 inches)

Width: 13 cm at widest point (about 5 inches)

The dolls are very happy in their new chairs!

I have made a video, showing how to build the chairs- but please note that I forgot to show how I sew the weaving to the chair.

Oops.

I simply lifted the weaving off the loom and stitched through the warp loops with 2 strands of yarn, going over the dowel.

I hope that you will have fun making doll chairs for your dolls and teddy bears, too. ❤

Here’s the link:

Happy Chairmaking!

11 Comments

Filed under book review/book/books, eco crafts & green projects, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Mirrix loom, Saffron Loom, tutorial & how to, upcycling, video tutorial, weaving & handwoven, woodwork

Charlotte Mermaid

Last month, I posted about Bedelia Mermaid, whom I carved from a very hard old piece of wood that was upcycled from a very old and fallen apart bed. LINK

Her sister, poor thing, languished in the freezer for several weeks, because I needed to force some moisture into the rock hard wood.

Bedelia thought that I was being rather harsh with her poor sister!

I named her ‘Frozen Charlotte’, which is actually a kind of doll that doesn’t have moveable arms and legs, but in this case, it was because she spent so much time in sub-zero temperatures.

Freezing the moistened wood made a world of difference!

When I tried carving Charlotte’s arm, I was delighted- carving the wood was now possible without my knife going instantly dull.

So, I moved on to carving the rest of her:

Bedelia kept her sister company:

And, when Charlotte was finally done, they sat and enjoyed finally being together after poor Charlotte’s dreadful time in the freezer.

Bedelia told Charlotte about some more sweet mermaids that have joined the flutter of memaids in the studio and wanted to introduce her to them.

Charlotte is rather shy, perhaps because of the time in the freezer – it takes her time to warm up to new people.

But when she met the sweet Bunnymaids, she wasn’t shy at all, and she whispered to Bedelia that she likes them very much.

Baby Bunnymaid held Charlotte’s hand, and they all sang a small song and decided that they were happy to be in such fine company.

Unfortunately, Charlotte is still feeling very cold, so I think that I will have to do something about that!

SCRAP HAPPY- Once a month, a group of bloggers who are into upcycling all post on the 15th of the month, sharing what they have created with upcycled bits of this and that in the past month. Charlotte’s introduction is my contribution to Scrap Happy for this month.

Here are the other Scrap Happy bloggers- I always love seeing what they have been up to!

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, Carol, Preeti and Edith

22 Comments

Filed under carving wood, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, eco crafts & green projects, mermaid, wooden dolls, woodwork

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

21 Comments

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