Some boho chic for my Gum Leaf Girls

Some boho chic for my Gum Leaf Girls


Give me some pretty cotton and some lace scraps and I can’t help but want to make some summer dresses for my Gum Leaf Dolls (more of which here).  Of course I was working into the wee hours and had Dexter re-runs on for company (not exactly the best tv to go to bed on).

I wanted to show you the little jackets I made from the recycled items of woollen clothes I bought from the op shop (about 3 years ago now).


I was very happy with the result – the lovely trims I bought last Saturday at the girls’ day out we had to Gail B’s sale (just wish I’d bought more in different colours now but I was trying to be good)!

Enjoy the fashion show:-P1000087P1000088


Snail Trail rediscovered


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Having a little clear out of my craft cupboard the other day and I discovered this little piece. The block is called ‘snail trail’ and I made it a few years ago just because it was a design that really appealed to me. I still love the way the pattern jumps out and plays tricks on the eye.  It was made mainly from left over oriental fabric I had left over from a lantern quilt that I made.

It’s only a small piece and I could never quite decide what to do with it. It could be a small wall hanging or I suppose I could make some more blocks and borders to make it into a lap quilt…hmm any suggestions?

Woollen Recycle – Update no.2


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Remember all that time ago when I visited the local op shop and came home with some bargain woollens.  I made a few things which you can see here:  Recycle Update  and as you can see above I have found a new purpose for the remainder of the felted wool.

At the time I brought it home, I put it on the hottest wash possible to create felted wool that I would be able to cut and sew like fabric.  That gave me the idea to try it for teeny tiny dolls clothes (added to the fact my knitting and crochet skills just aren’t that crash hot).  I really wish I could be like others I see who can just churn those little items out while they’re waiting for the kettle to boil…unfortunately I’m not one of them. So I have sewn a couple of little jackets which I then embroidered:

Tiny purple jacket

Tiny purple jacket

brown felted doll's jacket

brown felted doll’s jacket

The 'models'

The ‘models’ keeping warm

I would love to hear of any other felting adventures.  I aim to make some slippers at some point when I can find a suitable pattern (I did try making my own but it was fairly disasterous)! I just think they would be so lovely and warm…I should point out we are still enduring the cold snap in Melbourne, probably not relevant to those in the Northern hemisphere at the moment basking in the sunshine (enjoy it while you can) :)

Gum Leaf Dolls and the Tree Change Zeitgeist


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Say ‘hi’ to my Gum Leaf Dolls – the obsession which has kept me busy into the wee small hours since losing my day job a few weeks ago.

For anyone who hasn’t heard (and I believe there may still be a few out there) a new phenomenon hit the airwaves earlier this year … Tree Change Dolls by Sonia Singh an artist and mother of little girls living in Tasmania. She started removing the face paint from discarded Bratz dolls – a bit like this one:
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As well as removing the face paint, she would also work on restoring and untangling the hair (which believe me is no mean feat, it takes me over an hour usually to get all the knots and tangles out).

This is how they look at this stage:

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Now it’s a blank canvas and for me the fun part of painting on new features and seeing a new personality emerge. I like seeing the transformation into a more natural child-like look of dolls who enjoy playing in the outside world, climbing trees and camping.  A world that seems to becoming less and less accessible to children today and like Sonia I feel it is about creating the kind of doll I would have loved playing with myself as a child.

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This is the ‘after’ photo of the Bratz doll above

Sonia has been generous with her knowledge and has a number of Youtube videos that help others do what she does and a quick look on Etsy will show how many are having a go themselves. I think as so many are wanting Sonia’s dolls and they sell out within seconds, there is no problem in others jumping on the proverbial band-wagon as each artist has their own unique style.

So far, so good but what a shock I got when I started reading some of the reactions on Tumblr as well as other internet haunts to the Tree Change explosion. It never occurred to me that some could get so incensed and inflamed about, what to me, was a fairly innocent and harmless hobby. There are those however, who are vehemently opposed and see them as an abomination and the ruining of a perfectly good doll.  Not only that but they seem to see it as some kind of political statement.  I can only say that from my own point of view, it is not about making a political point but just taking a toy that has been discarded, cleaning it up and giving it a new look and a new lease of life.  If you like your Bratz dolls to look as they did when they left the factory, absolutely fine – keep them that way.  If you prefer the Tree Change look, surely that’s fine too – each to their own, live and let live etc. etc. and really I think there are far more pressing issues in the world to get worked up about. Let me know where you stand on the issue and in the meantime here are a few more before and after pics.

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Scrappy Drawstring Bags (great for presents)!

Batik fabric drawstring bag

Batik fabric drawstring bag

Seeing as I had some rather lovely batik fabric left over – I decided to make some drawstring bags. Having made one, and enjoyed it so much, it seemed only natural that I should make a few more! There is something really satisfying about these little bags. For one, they are very easy (and I’m not just saying that)… and for another thing, they make fantastic presents to give to friends and family. I think it is fair to say that once you have made one, subsequent bags can be made within a couple of hours. P.S – its also a great way of using up small pieces of batting. 2014-09-06 11.30.34 2014-09-05 15.50.27

Naruto update



Its moving rather slowly (a bit too slow for my son’s liking) but I thought I would share where I am up to on the Naruto quilt. As I have been making it up as I go along, I haven’t quite decided how much bigger to make it but I think it will need another couple of borders so I will try and get enthused again so hopefully ready in time for his birthday in March (hmmm i guess that’s not too far away is it?)

From Pokemon to Naruto quilt challenge


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A couple of months ago (well ok maybe 6)!! I asked my youngest son if he would like me to make him a quilt and to my surprise, he said ‘yes’. I say surprise because as a big lanky sixteen year old, I thought he might think it a little lame to have a quilt made for him. So as he ran up the stairs two at a time, I shouted after him – “what do you want on it?” to which he yelled back: “Pokemon”!!

Now I don’t know about you but I haven’t seen an enormous amount of Pokemon fabric in my local patchwork shops, not to mention the fact that I thought sixteen might be a little old to be getting a Pokemon quilt. However, I did get a bit excited about the challenge and started looking on Spoonflower for something suitable. Five minutes later, just when I’m getting my head around the whole Pokemon thing, back down stairs he trots on the way to the fridge (of course) he tells me “actually, I think I’d prefer a Naruto quilt”…..hunhh?

Naruto (just in case you had the same reaction I did) is a Japanese anime series and that picture at the start of this post is the symbol from Naruto. So yes I did succeed in finding some Naruto fabric (on Spoonflower, where else)? and I am now working on the design, so will show you it as it starts to take shape.

I decided I would make it into panels and stick to the basic black/red/grey colour scheme which got the tick of approval from the lad!
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I am seriously hoping that mine will be the first Naruto quilt in the world!!

Anybody else seen any weird quilt ideas? – I think I will be keeping a special look out for them from now on.