Kiddie Land: My Studiogirl Sew Cute Family Crafts

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lg67163This week and last week happened to be spring break for our children so one day we decided to cruise the craft store for fun projects. Among many things such as paints, beads, paracord and vinyl characters we got sewing kits for our two girls. Mary got a hanging bird for her room and Colette got a sew your own doll.

Upon investigating this new brand I hadn’t heard of or seen in the store before I was smitten. The products are adorable and teach kids to sew really cute little toys, create sculpted characters and even how to paper maché kokeshi dolls. I adored their display and product boxes and of course hoped the actual product was as well thought out as it appeared on the box.

Inside both boxes were very clear instructions for numerous stitches (though we only needed the double running stitch for our toys), a step by step guide and everything you need to create the toys. The fabric was a printed felt and very child-friendly with tiny holes all around it to teach them how to sew. It was like an advanced sewing lace kit with something you actually want to keep upon completion. To see how easy the kit was I actually let my 7 and 9 year olds sew parts they chose (they needed help occasionally and it gave me a chance to teach them to sew which I loved) and I assembled the doll by stuffing and sewing her body parts together. In the end our children exclaimed it was so fun that they wanted to do more (and I thought they’d give up after all the sewing!) while Colette was just excited to have her doll. She had previously held the box all through the store telling everyone she’s going to have a doll and it only made it more special that she and her family had a hand in it’s creation.

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William, 7, and myself sewed the arms and legs.

William, 7, and myself sewed the arms and legs.

Mary, 9, sewed the kitty friend and purse.

Mary, 9, sewed the kitty friend and purse.

The toughest part, though still easy, was sewing the arms and legs to the body. I did finished this up, the hair and her dress.

The toughest part, though still easy, was sewing the arms and legs to the body. I did finished this up, the hair and her dress.

I HIGHLY recommend this brand and the sewing kits they produce. I believe the perfect age for their sewing kits is around 7-9 as my kids could do most of it with supervision and help but learned a ton about sewing plushes and didn’t even prick their fingers once as the needles are small and thin plastic ones! Perfect for teaching and a great family project. We are all excited to see what projects this brand comes out with next!

Colette, 3, is very pleased with the outcome and was a huge moral support.

Colette, 3, is very pleased with the outcome and was a huge moral support.

Mew for Today: Kawaii Tarot Cards

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Who says the occult can’t be kawaii? For a long time I’ve loved tarot card art and the amount of dedication it must take to finish such a large deck. It’s a stretch, something totally new I never considered really doing. I know this is the next step!

So my next huge personal project is designing an deck of TAROT CARDS >> This is big for me to admit. Dedicating my next year/s to producing extensively designed mixed media tarot cards (78 in a deck) that will be available as very limited large prints until the entire deck is complete and then they will be made into decks of cards included as a lovely kit complete with a book written by a friend on interpretations.

I’ve also recently become obsessed with cute tarot cards such as those by Sanrio, Aya Takano (THE BEST: top of my wish list), the numerous cat and animal tarot cards, etc so I had to feature them! I’ve always wondered how I can add a totally different style/take into the world of the tarot.

The first of my new prints will be on show RAW located at the Murat on [official date announced!!] March 19th (buy a ticket ($15), you wont regret it! if not in the area comment and receive a free print at $30~). “XXI The World” is the first card and, as stated, will be first available at RAW.

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Vintage Pose, Boudoir and Bradley Dolls

The Debutarts

I’ve recently become a little obsessed with another type of doll. The vintage pose doll. I’ve been planning an article on them for awhile now but digging up information on them proves more difficult than digging up a beautiful doll at a swell bargain! One blogger writes, “Certainly, Bradley Dolls don’t have the stunning quality of Madame Alexander dolls or those dear Betsy McCalls, but they’ve got nostalgia in spades.” I have to agree with that, just one glance at that kitschy face and many are hooked!

These dolls, manufactured in Korea and Japan by Bradley in 1954 to 1984, were most popular in the 1970s. They were known as boudoir dolls most often although they were also known as stockinette dolls, pose dolls, cloth dolls, southern bell dolls and more. A small selection of these kind of dolls have the big eyes and craved-for kitschy appearance. Many more of the dolls made by Bradley had more delicate and realistic features according to a catalog I saw in another blog.

Lucky for us, in addition to the dolls with victorian fashion, Bradley also put out a line of mod cloth dolls in the 1960s. These dolls had cute, cropped haircuts, huge hair and the sweetest mini mod dresses and costumes.

I found my first pose doll years ago in a large thrift store. She is a bunny doll which I’ve found, upon searching online auctions, was another semi-common style of pose doll. She won me over with one look and I’ve been hooked ever since. You see I had been hoping to find a pose doll for ages after falling in love with both Ayumi Uyama’s and Boopsiedaisy’s work. More recently I’ve been ogling these dolls again and I’ve decided to buy a few more and even start a side project devoted to these girls!

Do you own or want to own any of these beautiful dolls? 😉

All of the photos seen here are by Boopsiedaisy and Ayumi Uyama.

AND it gets better. I happened to be surfing around Flickr, another obsession of mine, when I found out that Super*Junk actually makes and sells pose doll kits. Gasp. The day I have one in my grubby hands is the day I am a very, VERY happy girl.

Quilt an Easy Blythe Doll Duvet

pile of squares

This is an easy charm quilt pattern for a beginner. I am COMPLETELY new to quilting. In fact this is my very first quilt so I’ll be learning along with you! Because I am so new I looked at a few patterns, one for a rag quilt, one for a charm quilt and one for a baby quilt, and altered them a bit for my Blythe-sized doll quilt. Remember this is a rag doll quilt so it’s not going to look pristine unless you are a seasoned quilter which I definitely am not. Also be sure to read to the end of this post for things learned upon making this. 😉

cutting the squares
line them up (blurry!)

First cut out 25 1.5 inch wide squares of your chosen fabric(s) and lay them out as you would prefer them to look by your sewing area. If you want a rectangular quilt you’ll need to cut 5 rows of 8 squares = 40 squares.

sewing charms
sewing messily

Next sew 5 rows of 5 squares each with a 1-2 cm seam allowance. After you’ve sewn all of your rows press them and sew them in numerical order to each other (see how messy I sew??).

Next cut out a thin piece of fabric in your desired pattern the size of your quilt and piece them off sides together if you’re quilt stitching. Quilt stitching is the part I don’t understand so after doing extensive research online I found out that there really is no easy way to do it. You can do it yourself or ask a quilter to help you out. You can find a pattern online and follow the pattern by hand or machine. I chose to skip it.

sewing

To give your quilt a more finished look you’ll want to bind the borders with fabric — or make it easy and use thick-ribbon. I’m also new at binding so I decided to skip it this time and sew my quilt to the other panel as though I was making a pillow. I put them right sides together and sewed around the edges leaving a small (2-3 inch) space. Then I turned the blanket right-side out and, because I am not a quilter, sewed a line from one corner to the other making a big X to keep the pieces together.

sew a doll quilt

Things I learned: Next time I’m going to make it 5 squares by 8 squares for a Blythe-bed sized quilt. I didn’t think about how small it would be getting upon sewing it, duh!

I Love Paper Dolls

Many of us enjoyed the fascination of paper dolls when we were young, they’re a wonderful toy that provided us with a cute creative outlet. I loved them so much as a child that I’ve decided to devote a post to them, including some history curtesy of Wikipedia. Not only do they inspire fashion design and creativity but they’re easy as pie to make!

Apparently paper dolls have been around for a long time, too, as long as there’s been paper. Centuries ago, in Asia, faces were applied to paper and used in religious rituals and ceremonies. The dolls at that time, however, did not have clothes. The earliest account of the paper dolls we’re more familiar with is in France during the mid-eighteenth century. They created puppets, called pantins, with hand-drawn and hand-painted fashions.

In America the biggest producer of paper dolls was McLoughlin Brothers, founded in the early 1800s. They sold out to Milton Bradley in the 1920s which is around the time paper dolls became popular.

These days it seems there are more digital dolls released than paper dolls, but they have have a lot in common. Digital dolls can have thousands of fashion and accessories for you to decorate your doll — tons of possibilities. However with paper dolls you can decorate with paper, fabric and other supplies which makes each creation much more unique.

Now let’s enjoy some of the lovely paper dolls our world has been graced with through the years (like these super cute vintage Japanese paper dolls)…

Thanks expo 67 lounge, Teri’s Paper Dolls and peppermint kiss kiss for the vintage paper dolls and Rushita for the Sailor Moon paper dolls!

Download Kisekae Dolls (Digital Paper Dolls)

My favorite Kisekae doll artist was always Kimiki, you can find her dolls here.