Tag Archives: doll making

Learning to love the surprises when carving wooden dolls

I absolutely love carving wooden dolls, and have learned that the dolls have ways of taking me in unexpected directions while I am carving them.

This little bunny was carved from upcycled maple wood- a huge tree in our neighbourhood was cut down and we were given enormous chunks of the trunk.

I knew that a bunny was waiting to be carved from the wood,

but didn’t expect her to insist on a different body than I initially carved….

and then to want to go back to her original body once I had done more carving on it.

This lead me to make some changes and now, there are 2 rabbits, where once there was just one….

I was VERY surprised by this new rabbit, and am delighted with the ideas that she has brought with her!

Luckily, ‘Maple’ Bunny and ‘Surprise Rabbit’ are the best of friends:

I’ve made a tiny video that is all about going with the flow when creating one of a kind wooden dolls.

It also has a slide show showing the step by step process of carving a Maple Bunny’s head.

I hope that you have some lovely surprises and not unwelcome ones!

Take good care ❤

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Taking the Scenic Route with My Carving

When my husband and I talk about ‘taking the scenic route’, what we are really saying is:

“Well, that certainly didn’t go the way I expected it to, but we/I/it  ~’got there’~  in the end!”.

Several of my carvings did that this past week.

For instance, I was convinced that one particular little piece of  upcycled birch wood

(‘upcycled’ because it came from a tree that died and was cut down, but didn’t go to the landfill, and this piece didn’t go into the fire)

wanted to be a Panda bear Spoon Doll.

I drew a Panda bear with a heart.

I sat down and started carving.

A Panda bear…..

which, after several hours of carving, finally pointed out to me that,

really, all it wanted was for me to finally twig to the fact that it is a Kitten.

Sigh.   She made herself heard… eventually!

And, so, she became a Ginger Kitten with Mittens, Thank you very much.

Thank goodness there was just enough wood to make sure that she had a perfectly question mark shaped tail.

Now, every time I look at her and turn her over in my hand, where she fits so sweetly,

I feel very happy.

Another little carving – a Hug Sister Spoon Doll let me know that I had totally missed the boat on her face and hair.

I was puzzled and twitchy about what was going on with her.

The face that I had painted on her was just so NOT her!

I’m not going to post a pic of the ‘wrong’ face, because it was wrong.

I thought and thought about her, then had an ‘aha’ .

I  went to the studio did  something else entirely different than the ‘aha’ to give her the face she wanted.

Isn’t that often the way?

I did what felt right, though, and was thrilled that, indeed – it WAS right!

She finally looks like she is supposed to!

Yay!

I rushed off to show her to my husband

and did a little happy dance

and he joined me in the happy dance and

that made us both happy 🙂

(We are possibly the world’s WORST dancers, but that doesn’t stop us from doing little dances together in the kitchen

almost every day, and laughing and thanking goodness that no one can see us).

So, anyhow, this little Hug Sister Spoon Doll brought a little happiness into the world,

and that’s a good thing, I do believe.

And, the other day, I noticed that the ‘Kindness’ Spoon Doll had a problem.

I had written the words: ‘The Small Book of Kindness’ on her little book with permanent fine Sharpie,

and, oh, no! The walnut oil that I used to finish her had eaten the words…. they had faded from the cover of the book.

Eep.

So, with great trepidation, I used my wood burner to burn the words onto the cover, and was enormously relieved

that the whole thing didn’t explode or catch fire- what with all the coats of walnut oil soaked into her!

Unfortunately, it’s much messier than the  original words were. Sigh.

I also had been troubled by the heart looking more like a dagger than a kind and loving heart, so I re-carved it.

Now it’s softly rounded and kindly shaped heart. Whew. That’s better.

The Scenic Route.

Sometimes, it takes a few ‘goes’ to get to the place that feels just right.

Some people  think that getting it wrong is a disaster.

Nope.  It’s essential to be willing to take chances and see if something works.

If it doesn’t, then trying again

and again

until it does.

It’s a challenging and interesting path to follow, but it’s a good one.

Here’s to the Scenic Route!  It makes life so rich and interesting!

My week has been full of other ‘Scenic Route’ carving, but more about them, later.

Be well! Be safe, and be kind….

 

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Filed under carving wood, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, eco crafts & green projects, spoon carving, Story Door Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay, wooden dolls, woodwork

A Yarn Baby Doll that Hugs Your Finger

Today, I figured out how to make a Yarn Baby (Yarn Tassel Doll) that hugs your finger like the Comfort Bears.

We all need a little extra comfort these days, so having a small yarn doll in your pocket to give you a hug when ever you need it is a good idea!

Take good care of yourselves!

Here’s the how to video

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Filed under crafting for charity, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, free pattern, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, tutorial & how to, video tutorial

Teneriffe Lace Weave Along Fairy Hair

In my last post, I showed how to make a Teneriffe Lace Fairy.

The video got so long that I decided to make the ‘Hair making’ video separately.

And, so, here’s the video showing how to make the hair for the Teneriffe Lace Fairies 🙂

The links for all the videos in the Teneriffe Lace Weave Along is   L I N K

 

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Mermaids woven on peg looms and weaving sticks

I have always loved mermaids, and I am totally addicted to weaving mermaids these days.

I’ve  made a video showing how I used my Mermaid pattern on etsy to weave Mermaids of different sizes  on peg looms.

I took the original Mermaid that looked like this for the pattern:

And added a wooden face, leather hands, a little tatting, and a seashell:

She was woven on 1/4 inch diameter weaving sticks and is about 11 or 12 inches tall.

Also woven on the 1/4 inch diameter weaving sticks is this Mermaid, woven with hand spun art yarn and  needle felted:

 

The same etsy pattern can be used to make totally different mermaids by changing the size of pegs or weaving sticks used and different thicknesses of yarns.

I used the smallest pegs on my 6 inch peg loom to weave the smallest Mermaid, who’s about 7 or 8 inches tall.

She’s woven on the 1/8th inch pegs.

The Mermaid woven with the 3/8 inch pegs is about 20 inches tall:

I did some geometric pattern weaving in her body, but it’s a little hard to see in this pic.

I used 2 strands of a very bulky chenille yarn held together to weave the largest Mermaid, who is around 28 inches tall.

When I was weaving the different sizes, I did tweak the pattern somewhat to adjust for the differences in the size of the pegs and thickness of the yarns.

Here’s the link to the pattern in my etsy shop:  LINK
(sorry – it’s not free)
Happy weaving and happy Mermaiding!

The looms are from Dewberry Ridge Looms: LINK

 

My book: Peg Looms and Weaving Sticks is available from all your favorite online book sellers, and can be ordered through your local book store.  It’s full of weaving yes-ness!

Here’s the video about the Mermaid dolls:

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Yarn Tassel Dolls to make with Weaving Sticks

We have a tradition in our family of making Christmas/Holiday ornaments for our family and friends.

I have been thinking about what I should make for this year.

I always start working on them in the summer so I can get lots of them done.

This year, I wanted to celebrate my Peg Loom and Weaving Stick book being published, so, I designed Tassel dolls to weave with weaving sticks.

I am putting hooks on the back of them so they can be hung on Christmas trees, garlands or wreaths.
The Tassel Dolls can also have pins or loops so they can be worn on the lapel or the zipper of a bag.
I made the Tassel Dolls with weaving sticks from Dewberry Ridge Looms: https://www.dewberryridge.com/products/weaving-sticks

Here is the how to video that shows the step by step instructions for making the Weaving Stick Tassel Dolls:

 

Happy Weaving!  Have fun making Tassel yarn dolls!

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6th Sense One of a Kind Art Dolls

For many months, I have been working really hard on new mixed media fiber art sculptures.

The 6th Sense is intuition/inspiration/imagination.

These one of a kind art dolls are based on dreams, memories, meditations and contemplations and are an invitation to embrace creativity, healing and wholeness.

They are a combination of tapestry weaving, narrow band weaving, lucet cords, tatting, knitting, wood work wire work and leather work.

Here’s a slide show video of my 6th Sense One of a Kind Art dolls.

Most of the 6th Sense One of a Kind Art Dolls in the video are for sale, but some of them have already sold and gone to live in their new homes.

 

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6th Sense One of a Kind Art Doll- Tree Mother

Last month, when there was a spectacular Super Moon, we stepped outside to admire it.

The gigantic moon looked like it was suspended in the huge trees that line our street.

The image of the Great Tree Mother, rocking the Moon in her arms, rose up in my mind….

and I knew that I had to build one of my 6th Sense one of a kind art dolls.

Here she is:

Great Tree Mother Rocked The Moon in Her Arms:

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While I was contemplating how to build the Great Tree Mother piece, my husband and our daughter took the dogs for a walk one morning.

Chloe came home with a wonderfully gnarly branch that had been pruned from someone’s tree and tossed into the alley.

She just knew I needed it…. even though, at that point, I hadn’t told her what I was mulling about 🙂

We have a very deep connection!

It is perfect.

So’s our daughter….

Anyhow…

The faces….

Years ago, my dear friend found a moose antler that had been shed and she asked me if I could use it.

I cut 3 faces from it, and carved them and painted them.

Two of them became part of this piece:

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Tree Mother’s face.

She also has a ‘Hidden Face’ that is hidden inside the piece and will never be revealed.

Too bad I didn’t photograph it!  Oops…

Here is Moon’s face:

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I carved the hand from wood.

I wove the bands on 2 different looms and knitted the grey hand spun cloth of her robe.

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All of the 6th Sense Woven Women have 6 pennies incorporated into them, as a metaphor for coming to our senses, and embracing intuition, intelligence and inspiration.

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She is 29 inches/72.5 cm  tall and the branch spreads out to 15 inches/37.5 cm wide.

She is not for sale.

By the way, she is also a celebration of creative adaptive re-use and upcycling.  I love that.

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Woven Star Baby – Part 2

In Woven Star Baby- Part 1, I showed you how to shape the body, and make the Star Baby’s face.

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Here’s how to finish the Star Baby:

ARMS:

Weave the yarn ends into the cord up to the middle.

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Place the arms behind the body and stitch to the back.

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LEGS:

Weave the yarn ends into the cord up to the middle.

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Fold the cord in half and insert into the lower edge of the body.

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Stitch the body closed.

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STITCH THE STAR TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD:

Using the needle and thread, stitch the head to the star.

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FINISHING:

If the Starbaby is going to be a hanging ornament, leave strands of yarn at the top point of the star and tie a knot about an inch/2.5 cm from the star point. Trim.

If the Starbaby is going to be a pin, stitch a pin to the back of the star.

Weave in all ends.

I added a little heart sticker to the chest.  You can cut one or punch one out of paper and glue it on if you don’t have heart stickers.

Sweet Dreams and Happy Weaving! ❤

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Please note:

This is Noreen Crone-Findlay’s original design and is copyright protected.  It is not to be sold or used without permission. Thank you 🙂

This is a tiny video that I made to introduce the Star Babies:

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Woven Star Baby – 1

Many years ago, I had a wonderful dream about the Northern Lights.

I dreamt that thousands of shooting stars were streaming down the Northern Lights (aka Aurora Borealis), but when I looked closer, I saw that the shooting stars were actually Star Babies 🙂

They were laughing, tumbling and frolicing in delight.

It was a wonderful dream, and ever since then, I have designed and made variations on the theme of ‘Star Baby’.

Here’s my woven Star Baby:

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STAR BABY TO WEAVE ON THE DEWBERRY RIDGE STAR AND THUMBELINA LOOMS

DESIGNED BY NOREEN CRONE-FINDLAY ©

These woven Starbabies can hang up as ornaments or be pinned to a lapel or just played with as cute little dolls.

 

FINISHED SIZE: Approximately 5 inches/12.5 cm tall.

WHAT YOU NEED: Dewberry Ridge Star and Thumbelina Looms, Latch hook lucet from Dewberry Ridge Looms or a regular lucet.

About an ounce/28 gm star colored yarn and about and ounce/28 gm yarn for the body.

Face: 1 inch/2.5 cm diameter button and a 1 ½ inch/3 cm diameter circle of lightweight fabric.  Needle and thread to gather the fabric circle.

Features: Fine tip permanent marking pens, light pink crayon for cheeks.

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WEAVE:

1 Star following the instructions that came with the Star loom from Dewberry Ridge Looms

1 Thumbelina arch shape following the instructions that came with the Thumbelina loom, also from Dewberry Ridge Looms.

 

Make 2 LUCET cords:

Arms: 2 ½ inches/ 6.25 cm

Legs: 3 ½ inches/ 8/75 cm

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ASSEMBLING THE STAR BABY:

Fold the Arch shape in half.

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Stitch the Center back edges together to become the body. Leave the lower edge open.

For the head, leave half of the arch not stitched.

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FACE:

Stitch around the outside edge of the fabric circle,

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then place the button on the circle. Pull up on the thread to gather the circle of fabric tightly.

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Stitch in place on the back several times to secure the stitching.

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Draw the features onto the face.

The seam is at the back of the body.

Place the face button onto the head.  Pull the edges of the head forward and over the edges of the button.

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Take the needle and thread through the back of the head and park it for now.

Thread a length of yarn  into the weaving needle, then take the needle through the edge stitches. Pull up to gather the head around the face.

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Wrap around the neck several times.

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Take the yarn end to the back of the head and stitch in place to anchor it.

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Use the sewing thread to stitch through the back of the head to secure the face button in place.

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In Part 2, I’ll show you how to finish the Star Baby.

This is a tiny video that I made to introduce the Star Babies:

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