Sunday, July 31, 2011

Little Peggy and the New Bonnet

Here is the lovely fabric giveaway I received  from The Sewing Dork and on it is  Little Peggy in a new bonnet made from the scrap of unicorn fabric. It went really well with her simple handkerchief dress and was the finishing touch for Peggy before I gave her to a friend of mine. Peggy is holding on tight to Owl, who was an impromptu companion I sewed from the scrap of owl fabric included in the giveaway. So, thank you again to the Sewing Dork and the giveaway! Go over to her blog and see her lovely stuff!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The other blog

Gaslight and Gilt

This is the closest I'll get to a craft blog .  Go see my unfinished Cthulhu tassel.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Miss Polly Won!

Oh! I put Miss Polly (and her dolly) into the County Fair and I won best in show! And yes, I'm thrilled to bits and yes, I'm telling everybody!

Polly at the Fair

 Right now, Polly is at the Fair and the nice lady running the exhibition booth took a photo of Miss Polly for me. She also complained that the doll exhibit had been reduced to a single short shelf. There was just enough room for Polly, her dolly and her chair, because a sweet pouting bunny, a dapper bear and another doll took up the rest of the space. I'm glad I didn't enter 3 dolls.

She does look a little nervous up there.

I didn't get any decent photos of her finished. Here's a fuzzy one. I hope to take more when I get her home again.

And, here's a picture of Polly posing on my worktable, with the unfinished doll I didn't enter. I sewed Polly's lace skirt on back-to-front and fixing that sucked up a lot of time, so the little doll never got any love at all.

Friday, July 15, 2011

I love blogging! (and bloggers!)

Look! Look what I won! This! This is from The Sewing Dork which is a wonderful blog (with a pretty wonderful name) See all that lovely, quirky green fabric?I won it! Look at the unicorns! And the owls! And the curly, frondy stuff! I'm going to have a lot of fun with that. So thank you, thank you to the Sewing Dork and hurrah for giveaways! Hurry on over to her blog and see her stuff. Clever ideas and inspiration for everyone!

Maybe I should do one. When I get to ten followers, maybe?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Miss Polly WIP

New head I'm working on, seen here ready to paint and trying out her Kool Aid dyed hair.

Are there still rules about what colour red-heads can wear?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dying Tibetan lambswool

with Kool Aid! (or any generic instant powder drink mix)


I bought a big bag of Tibetan lambswool  offcuts for an amazing price. There are some good black pieces and there are a few white scraps, but most of the offcuts are a dull ash blonde with black tips. It's supposed to resemble a wolf skin. I'd heard a rumour protein fabrics (wool and silk and fibers from animal sources) could be dyed with Kool Aid. I had enough wool to spare one for experiment, so...

And let me tell you, it's easier than it looks. Or sounds. The Kool Aid doesn't need a mordant. You don't need to add salt, like some dyes, and you don't need to add vinegar, like most methods suggest. The Kool Aid is acidic enough for the dye to be absorbed into the fiber. Just pick the colour you want, natural hues like auburn (orange) baby blonde (lemonade) or exotic shades like lime green or cherry red. I'm told you can blend colours, or carefully add dye in discrete pools, for multicoloured hair.

Method? Get a plastic tub, small enough for the piece of lambs wool you need to dye. Add enough cool water to just cover the wool. Add a dab of detergent (washing-up liquid, dishwashing liquid) and let it soak for 20 minutes. Add as many packets of whatever Kool Aid you need (two or three seem good), stir gently and let the whole thing sit overnight.

Next morning, the liquid will be mostly clear, or possibly milky, and the wool will be brightly coloured. Rinse out the wool in lukewarm water, roll in an old, clean towel to dry.


As you can see, orange gives a bright auburn red.  The final colour depends, obviously, on the colour of the wool to start with, but at ten cents a pack, you could always try out a test piece first. Pineapple, I'm told, gives a bright blonde, but I've not had much luck finding pineapple Kool Aid.

Only caveats are; use the cheap powder in the sachets, not the ready mix,. protect surfaces from staining and don't breathe in the powder (do I really need to say this?). There are some very detailed methods elsewhere on the net, with colour charts, if you need a step-by-step process, or are dying large amounts. But don't be shy, go ahead and try it.

Dyed on left. Undyed on right.

It's curiously satisfying.