Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fickle Hill Old Rose Garden

This weekend was the open house for Fickle Hill Old Rose Garden (in Arcata, CA), one of my favorite places to visit. We go each year for inspiration and to buy new plants from a wonderful selection of healthy roses that are difficult to find in standard nurseries.  Some years the weather is warmer than others and then the scent of roses fills the air, thick and sweet as honey.  I love the way the roses and other plants all intertwine with each other and climb up into trees and other structures, giving the sense of rooms with rose tapestries on the walls and ceilings.  The grass pathways form a thick lush carpet of green.  Here are some photos to give a sense of the place:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Great children's book!

My daughter and I love to load up on books from the library so we have plenty of new stories to read at bedtime.  Every once in a while, we come across a book that I don't want to return!

The book is called Dahlia, by Barbara McClintock.

We have now kept this book past it's due date (fees to pay) and read it many times and I will sorrowfully return it to the library.  This lovely story is about a little girl who is quite a tomboy (just like I was as a child growing up in rural Wisconsin).  She is given a very fancy doll as a gift and she is not quite sure what to do with it so she has the doll join in on her mud pie making and cart racing exploits.  I love how as the doll gets a bit messy and seems to enjoy these activities, a strong bond begins to build between the girl and the doll.  I truly hope that the dolls I make for children will be so loved!  The book also has very beautiful illustrations - here is my favorite page:

If you get a chance to read this book - do it! I just may have to find a copy of this book to purchase and add to our collection of favorite books!

As far as what else is going on - I sold my first two dolls on Etsy! I can't tell you how excited I am!! Now my shop is looking a bit bare again, but I am busy making plans for the next dolls to be made.  I have two in progress - one will be around 16" and the other will be a miniature soft doll around 6-8".  It is very exciting and I will share more information as I get further along. I just received a lovely Etsy package from Pinked Fabrics - I really like the Walk in the Woods line, especially the Little Red Riding Hood print!  I think a future doll is going to have a very special dress!!

The studio plans are still developing, but I hope actual destruction/construction will begin in about a week or so.  ALSO, the grass seedlings are finally sprouting and look like fine baby hairs.  I have been treating them very carefully, but something (not sure if it is our cat or one of our escape artist chickens) insists on digging around in a particular corner. Sigh - I have given up smoothing it over and planting new seeds, which only seems to encourage more digging!

I hope you have a great weekend! ~Anna

Sunday, May 20, 2012

By special request! Meet Elsa!

I mentioned before that I was working on a doll by special request.  She has blonde hair and blue eyes and her name is Elsa (her name was inspired by a special "little" girl I know).  I am working on a dress for her, so she is currently wearing one of my daughter's doll's dresses (not made by me) that I just love - something about gingham! Here are some photos of Elsa!

By the way, I just signed a contract for my studio renovation and am so excited that construction will begin very soon!! If all goes well, I will be able to move my sewing table/machine into the new space some time in July.  I can't wait!!! Then my daughter's bedroom will truly be HERS and no longer sharing space with all my supplies and equipment and mess!

Also, we have laid out the grass seed for our new lawn space (under the hammock area) and I am waiting (not very patiently) for the seed to germinate!  I have been watering it every day - sometimes more than once on the sunny days. Sigh! No sight of little green grass seedlings!!  Please think green thoughts for my lawn!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Chance to win one of my doll-sized blankets!

I am offering a giveaway on my facebook page for one of my doll-sized blankets!  To enter to win, go to my facebook page!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My first feature and new Etsy items!

Just a quick note to say that I am very excited to have my mermaid doll, Viola, featured on Beneath the Rowan Tree's blog! Check out the Waldorf Wednesday Mermaids post. This is my first feature and it was such a lovely surprise!

I have posted some small dolly-sized blankets on my Etsy shop and plan to add a couple more soon.

I am also working on a new doll that was a special request - the person requesting her will have first dibs on purchasing her, but if they decide not to I will post her for sale on Esty.  She has blue eyes and blonde hair and a slightly chubby face - very sweet little thing! I will hopefully be able to post some pictures this weekend when I finish her hair!

Oh, and I am still sore from hauling MANY loads of topsoil from the driveway to the corner of the backyard where we are replacing a concrete patio with a patch of grass for under our hammock.  It will be worth it in July when we hang the hammock, right?  Now I just have to water the seeds every day and watch for them to germinate and grow into a (hopefully) luxurious carpet of green.  And we have to somehow keep the dog, cat and chickens from messing with it before the grass is established - not to mention the kids!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Meet Carmela!

Hi - I have been busy lately and it has been a while since I have posted anything.  We went on a trip to the Bay Area to visit with family and I was able to go on a lovely garden tour in Palo Alto, CA.  After forgetting how to use the macro settings on my camera, I finally found a manual and was able to play with the macro function to photograph the flowers on the tour - what fun!!  Here are some close-ups:

I have also been working on a doll that I am donating to a fundraising event for a local Montessori Charter school.  Her name is Carmela (inspired by her caramel colored skin)!  She is a petite 14 inches long.  Her corduroy jumper was upcycled from a lovely baby dress that had beautiful embroidery and smocking details.  Here are some pictures of her before she heads off to the Mother's Day Tea fundraiser:

This weekend will be busy again for me because my 9 year old son turned 10 and we will be celebrating!! I'll be working on a new doll and we will also be having 3.5 cubic yards of topsoil delivered so that we can plant some grass seed under the area where we hang our hammock.  I had a bunch of concrete removed from that area and am looking forward to trailing my foot on the grass as I spend some lazy time reading in the hammock this summer!

I hope you have a lovely weekend!