Thursday, July 12, 2012

July 12, 2012: Little Doll Chatelaine

Finally, I am writing my tutorial on how to make my Little Doll Chatelaine.  Making dolls cheers me up and sometimes I get carried away.  I wanted my dolls to be more than decorative so that they would make good gifts.  I decided to have them function as chatelaines.  A sewing chatelaine is like a handy sewing kit worn around the neck.
First,  I draw out a simple doll shape, about 3" high and 2" wide. 

I cut 2 doll bodies from some scraps of upholstery fabric, a face from a circle of felt.

I use simple running stitches to embroider the face onto the doll. I use a variety of things for the hair - beads, yarn, lace - whatever I have at hand. Here I am using some hot pink rope that I got at a dollar store.

I couch the "hair" around the face of the doll and give her a cute hairdo.  The eyes are little black seed beads.  Eyelashes and a smile may be embroidered on later.

I add strips from fabric remnants for clothes - skirt, apron, top, just tacking them down with running stitches.
Now I sew the back to the front of the doll.

I add beads for hands and feet.

I like my dolls to carry something - a basket, handbag.  These I also fashion from bits of fabric scraps and beads.  I've added a ribbon rose to this one and put a small spool of thread inside.
I cut a small square of wool and encase it in some coordinating fabric.  This is creates the pincushion which I attach to the end of a length of grosgrain ribbon (usually around 30.").  I add some pins and needles.

I attach the other end of the ribbon to the back of the doll.  I add a horizontal strip of ribbon or fabric to hold a small pair of scissors.  Then I add my label.
 The ribbon is then draped around the wearer's neck and voila:  
A handy dandy sewing kit!

 Here is a photo of some of my other little dolls.  The smaller dolls are worn as pins.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 3, 2012: not a pleasant post

For the last week I have been barely able to make it through an hour without getting all teary-eyed.  Life has been especially tough right now but I thought I was handling it okay.

I've been doing all my survival tricks - distracting myself with games, organizing my studio, sewing, looking at Kenny's photo, petting my kitties, shopping therapy...It wasn't getting any better.

Tonight I went to get my bedtime meds.  I was removing all the lescol from the pill organizer box.  (My cholesterol level is so good that the doctor wants me to try giving up lescol and see what happens.)  I realized that the only pills left were just nexium and benadryl.  I don't know how long it has been since my last dose of cymbalta.  No wonder I'm feeling overwhelmed with sadness.

Once I realized that missing the antidepressant was the problem I stopped struggling to hold back the tears.  It's getting more difficult to just depend on good memories.  In years past when I had trouble sleeping, I would get up and go in the family room.  I'd watch TV or play on the computer for a while.  Most of the time Jim would notice that I was out of bed and he'd come in and keep me company.  That was so sweet.

Now I sleep alone.  I'm in the family room alone.  It's not anyone's fault.  Jim can't get out of bed and come be with me.  I went into his room and sat for a while with him.  He was sound asleep.  But I know that was a healthy thing to do.  I feel a bit better.

It is a constant struggle to keep ahead of the depression.  I need all the help that I can get.  I am overwhelmed.  Jim and I have  been living with catastrophe for over 19 months now.  It's really hard.  I know that I am the lucky one. We have both lost so much but at least I'm not physically paralyzed.

Life's a bitch.

It is somehow gratifying to know that other people have felt the hopelessness of depression, too.  There are so many mentions of it in literature.  I'm grateful that I live in a time when there is medical help available.

To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped, the world itself is a bad dream.  Sylvia Plath