Monday, July 24, 2017

Expressions in Vinyl?

I had Vroni standing next to my computer a while back. I looked up and saw this.

I could have sworn she was puckered up, ready for a kiss. It was startling. I had finished sewing an outfit and tried it on her. I took some photos and then just stood her there. When I saw this, I started looking at other photos I had taken of the dolls and seeing them in a new light.

Some of the photos don't say anything to me about what the doll might be "thinking" or "feeling," but other photos give me a clear impression.

Just to make this into a game, what emotion or feeling would you give to the following photos of these dolls?  (My answers are at the bottom of the page, so don't scroll down until you've decided on your impressions.) Each photo is numbered.












Note: There are no wrong answers. We all see different things in people's body language, and these are dolls, so their features are fixed. Maybe I'm reading something into their expression(s), but I suspect the artists who designed these dolls did this on purpose, and I'm in awe of them. I'm so glad I noticed this effect.

There's probably a scientific explanation. I'm guessing it depends on the direction of the light and the angle from which we view the face.

Before you scroll down to find out what I saw in their expressions, Here's a photo of Carter in his new French Back-to-school Cardigan.

In case you've missed my discussion of Carter and his purpose, I want to say that he's a My Sibling/ My Pal doll. He's a guy with a mission, first because he was dressed and groomed in a workshop for disabled young people and adults, and second because he will be part of Habitat for Humanity's silent auction at the Overall Ball in Park City in September. Carter is the namesake of President Jimmy Carter, who has been active in Habitat for Humanity for many years. They both remind us to stay hydrated.

Watch for more clothes for Carter. He will need pajamas, play clothes, dressy clothes, and something to wear in the snow when it gets cold. In September, he and his wardrobe will go to his forever home.

A reminder: There are no right/wrong answers. We all see things in the light of our own experiences. I'm no expert in nonverbal communication, and even if I were, you may have different answers. It will be fun to see which ones we view differently. (But go back and give Vroni a kiss. She's been waiting for it.)

1. Awe, wonder, almost in a religious sense
2. Sensing a bad smell, as in "Ew!"
3. Impish
4. Compassion
5. Expectant
6. Sad, tearful (I don't know about you, but I can almost see her lower lip quiver.)
7. Surprised
8. Curious smile
9. Impish smile, almost smug
10. Happy
11. Attentive

Another note: I'm off camping with the grandkids this week. Watch for my regular blog post next week with some photos from our camping trip.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Pieces of Mind

Barbara hosted Vintage Stitchers again on Thursday. She had just finished this quilt top:

Barbara used It’s Sew Emma’s Fat Quarter Style: 12 quilts that never go out of style, by Kimberly Jolly, Jocelyn Ueng and  Sarah Price, but she used totally different fabrics from the quilt in the book.

Then she showed us this redwork quilt she had made as a gift.

Remember the redwork quilt that cost her an arm and a leg for the quilting?

The quilting is gorgeous, but she couldn’t afford to do another one like that, so she asked the quilter for less heavy quilting. It will looks lovely, though.

Marilyn was sewing the binding on this machine-appliqué quilt.

…and Brenda was doing the same with this machine-appliqué quilt, a pattern by Edyta Sitar.

We had to go outside and admire Barbara’s beautiful back garden. What a work of art!

Ellen is back in town for a few weeks. I picked her up and brought her to Barbara’s. I hope we can do something else fun together after we get back from our camping trip next week.

I managed to get a little more spinning done, but not much. I finished Mandy’s French Back-to-school Cardigan, started last week. The yarn is Knit Picks Palette in “Custard.”

Then I made a comparable one for Carter using Palette in “Tidepool Heather.” 

 It’s a very quick pattern, once you figure out what you’re doing. I’ve made enough of these now that I can do one almost without looking at the pattern, which I’m rewriting to include an increase that doesn’t show up in the seed stitch and markers, to keep track of where the other increases go.

I did more doll sewing, too. I just heard that the Habitat girl will be a blonde, and she's on her way, coming to join Carter. This will go into her wardrobe:

Then this will be put aside for Daphne's dolls for Christmas.

We went to the Deer Valley Concert on Friday night, outdoors, and all lovely Gershwin music. People take blankets and quilts, and bring food and drink, so it’s a picnic, too. Unfortunately, it was pouring down rain at the house when we left. It wasn’t too bad during the first half of the concert.

Then during intermission, the sun came out, and we saw this:

We’ll be camping next week, and I’ll be out of internet range. (Even out of cell range, I suspect.) I have a special blog post set to appear on Monday morning at 8:30 Pacific Daylight Time, but I won’t be here to remind you, so set your alarm! It will appear in the same place as this one. Next week’s blog post is about doll faces, and how they express emotion, in spite of being fixed. There’s a little game, so you’ll want to see it.

I’m hoping to be able to show photos from our camping trip in July 31’s blog post.

What's on my needles: Ready to CO another doll project.

What's on my Featherweight:
 Still doll clothes.

What's on my loom: Still waiting.

What's on my wheel: Stanzi is out and at work. I had planned to take photos, but I’m writing this right after learning that the cleaning lady I’ve been trying to get for a one-time cleaning is coming the next day. 

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished listening to Between Heaven and Texas by Marie Bostwick. Now listening to Apart at the Seams, the next book in the Cobbled Court Quilts series by the same author. On the Kindle app, still reading Undeniable by Laura Stapleton.

What's in my wine glass: Charles Shaw Shiraz (Two-buck Chuck). Always a good value.

What's my tip of the week: Cleaning copper or brass? A cheap and effective tarnish remover is white vinegar mixed with salt. You can put the vinegar on first with a sponge, sprinkle salt (sea salt or cheap salt, it doesn’t matter) on and wipe gently with the sponge.

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Summer Fun

I can't begin to say how much pleasure it gives me to see my latest finished quilt put to good use.

I remember quilts from my childhood, and my grandkids (and their cousin) will always remember this one. It was fun to make, and now it's part of their fun.

I got to the quilt shop on Monday, but not to buy fabric to add to my stash (I could set up a store of my own). I was looking for some pink fabric to go with some doll leggings I bought on sale. The leggings don't fit Vroni or Mandy very well (too loose and short), but I think they will work for the Creatology doll who will be the Habitat girl. I couldn't believe I didn't have anything in my huge quilting stash that had enough pink of the right shade! I came home from the quilt store with the cute love bird print you can see in the photo below, along with a couple of other fabrics, one of which you also will see in this post.

Tuesday was Independence Day for us in the US. How ironic that I had to spend it doing the H-word. The appraiser was coming on Wednesday, and I wanted the house to make a good impression, although we don't need to get much money out of our house with this refinance, just enough to do some repairs. My fiber studio looked as if a tornado had picked up stuff in the local quilt and yarn stores and scattered everything across my space. Once I got it tidy again, I was able to get back to sewing. 

Doll clothes are a priority right now, because I need to put together wardrobes for Carter and the Habitat girl, although I'm also planning to put aside some things for Daphne Jr. and Hannah for Christmas, and the three (!) boy dolls in the family as well.

I recently picked up Simplicity 1484 from a seller on Etsy. It's a little big for the slim Götz dolls, but not that far off. This is the pattern I used for the pants I showed in last week's post, although I have enlarged them a bit, because they were designed for use with stretch fabric, like the leggings I bought on sale. With the enlarged pattern, I repeated the pants and added a top from the pattern using fabric from my quilting stash.

I was happy with the result, so I made another top with the fabric from the quilt shop. (Here you can see the leggings are a bit short. The waist is too big, too, but she wasn't wearing them for long, so it didn't matter.)

Then I repeated the peasant blouse I showed in last week's blog post (from the pattern I found here), but after adding 1/4" all around the American Girl size, because the first one I made, using the version designed for slim dolls, fit more snugly than I wanted.

The pants were next. They will go both with the top from the Simplicity pattern and the peasant blouse.

I was anxious to get some cardigans made to go with the girls' new outfits, but first I had to finish Carter's Layered-look sweater. I know this looks like the one I showed last week, and it's virtually identical, except for how the colors pool in the Knit Picks Imagination "Woodsman" yarn. Carter gets to keep this one when he goes to his forever home. In case you're new to my blog or missed the last few, Carter is a My Sibling doll. He will be part of the silent auction at Habitat for Humanity's Overall Ball in Park City.

Note: This year's Overall Ball is scheduled for September 22, so I need to have everything done sooner than I thought. We're making a quilt this year, too, so early September will be devoted to sewing the blocks together with sashing and putting on borders. Julie has agreed to quilt it.

After finishing Carter's sweater, I cast on the Gracie Cardigan, a free download, using Knit Picks Palette in "Rouge." It goes better with Vroni's top (which has a rounded neckline, unlike the yellow one Mandy is wearing, which has a square neck).

It also works with the peasant blouse, which also has a rounded neckline.

For Mandy's cardigan I'm using Palette in "Custard" and back to the French Back-to-school Cardigan again, because the V-neck should highlight the little kitty on the fabric of her top, which I fussy-cut to end up right in the middle of the top and right below the neckline.

As I was writing this yesterday, I was ready to cast on.

Maybe you've noticed that the Götz dolls seem to be made so that their expressions change with the angle of the light and the angle they're viewed from. This effect can be seen, for instance, in the last two photos of Vroni. In the photo where she's standing, she seems pensive, almost concerned. In the next photo, where she has her head cocked to one side, she seems to be smiling. I don't know how they do that, but while I was sitting at the computer late at night, adding some things to a project page on Ravelry, I happened to glance up and see Vroni apparently puckered up and ready to kiss me goodnight. Creepy?

I've been participating in the Tour de Fleece on Ravelry again this year. Here's what I'm spinning:

I'm trying to spin 15 minutes a day, not much, but with all the pressure from the doll clothes, not to mention the H-word, I can't really count on more than that. Here's what I had as of Thursday. The bobbin is a bit fuller now.

Susan came to visit on Thursday. She visits Park City twice a year and comes to our Common Threads group. She wasn't here for last week's meeting, which was off-schedule because of July 4th. We had a nice visit and got caught up on what's been going on with each other. She brought the shawl she had been working on during her last visit here.

She had photos of the dish towels she had been weaving. Susan always has something interesting to show.

It has been hot for here (in the 80s), but we've managed to get in some hikes, and the pups have had a visit to Gorgoza pond. The summer moves along. Some of it is work. Most of it is fun.

What's on my needles: Another French Back-to-school Cardigan in a soft yellow to go with Mandy's casual outfit.

What's on my Featherweight: More doll clothes: dresses, pants, shirts and blouses, PJs, etc.

What's on my loom: Still waiting. Plans in the works for some rag rugs.

What's on my wheel: Stanzi is out and at work. (See photos above.)

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished listening to Between Heaven and Texas by Marie Bostwick. Now listening to Apart at the Seams, the next book in the Cobbled Court Quilts series by the same author. On the Kindle app, still reading Undeniable by Laura Stapleton.

What's in my wine glass: Cherry Blossom Pinot Noir 2014. Very, very nice, and good price. (Shhh...don't tell anyone, but it was contraband from our trip out of state.)

What's my tip of the week: Want to give a bit of a smoky taste to your pea soup without using a ham hock? Add a bit of dried chipotle chili while it cooks. One caveat: Don't add pepper or other hot spices until you taste, as it may add a bit of heat along with the smoky taste.

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Drive Slow!

Common Threads met at Karan’s. Remember this?

It was great to see Karan’s appliqué quilt on the wall.

Several people were leaving town for the first week in July, when we usually have our meetings, but we had a fifth Thursday, so we decided to meet. Karan is working on her Christmas appliqué quilt. Remember this?

Now she has also finished this snowman block.

And now she’s working on this one.

It was good to see everyone. It has been awhile. While there, I CO for Matty’s Layered Look pullover. It’s a quick knit, and now it’s done.

The yarn is Knit Picks Imagination in "Woodsman" (discontinued) and Palette in "Golden Heather." 
Next I made Matty a shirt and shorts set out of homespun from my stash.

For one final outfit, I sewed some long pants to go with Matty’s French Back-to-school Cardigan. The long-sleeve T-shirt is from this seller on eBay. It comes in a set of four: blue, lavender, orange and red.

When I ordered Matty, I also ordered some PJs for him from the company, so they should be there already. The clothes I made him are in the mail and could be delivered today, but Johan's birthday party is July 8th, so there's plenty of time. Now I’m working on a more or less identical Layered-look pullover for Carter to keep.

Matty and Carter are My Sibling/My Pal dolls. An internet friend who lives in the UK saw the photos of Carter and decided, after checking out the cost of shipping, to purchase one for herself. It will be fun to see what she makes for him.

It was making me hot to look at Mandy in her steampunk costume, so I changed her into something casual. Here she is, ready to go berry picking. I didn’t have the heart to tell her we don’t have berries yet.

I didn't notice as I was taking the photos, but the bright blue sky was reflected in Mandy's red hair, making it look the same color as her shirt, and the wood behind her is almost the same color as her hair.

I need to get busy on making clothes for Carter and the Habitat Girl. I’m looking at outfits a little more stylish than the basic patterns I used last year, so I’m doing some experimentation. I dove into my quilting stash and put together this outfit for Vroni (for now, then at Christmas, it will go to DGD2’s dolls).

I think it needs to be a little baggier, especially for the Creatology doll I’m expecting to be outfitting for Habitat’s silent auction. I picked up some fabric at the quilt shop because I have very little pink, and I wanted something to go with the pink and white striped leggings I got on sale awhile back.

The pups received their summer haircuts on Wednesday. We have so many burrs in the backyard and on the hiking trails now, it isn’t practical for them to be in something more poodle-ish. We went to Gorgoza Pond later that day, then to Run-A-Muk Dog Park on Friday. (You can just see his pink tongue as he runs down the stone walkway.)

On Saturday, it was Toll Canyon. We noticed a lot of new signage for the trails, so Basin Rec has been busy. The Fairy Tree had a couple of Barbies.This was something new. You never know what you're going to see hanging from the Fairy Tree.

I took a photo of my boys. (Guess which one hasn't had his summer haircut yet.)

We stopped at the “Watering Hole” on the way back. Dusty is getting much braver about getting into the water now. I’m hoping we’ll have him swimming this summer.

Rocky is back to his old trick of running ahead on the way back, and Dusty should have been worn out from tearing like mad up and down the trail, trying to keep track of all of us.

One of our grandkitties, Fluffy, had surgery on Tuesday to remove a mass from her mouth. It was scary, but she came through the surgery well. The biopsy came back on Thursday, and it was negative. Whew!

Tour de Fleece has started on Ravelry. I'm participating, but nothing much to show yet.

Happy anniversary to DS and DDIL2 today!

Lighted sign as you enter our neighborhood: "Drive Slow." I need to lose a few IQ points to be able to do that, but I'll happily drive slowly. Happy Independence Day to all you US Americans. Don't catch anything on fire, and drive slowly!

What's on my needles: Carter’s Layered-look Pullover, this time to keep.

What's on my Featherweight:
 More doll clothes.

What's on my loom: Still waiting.

What's on my wheel: Stanzi is out and at work.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas is for the road. Listened to Mercedes Lackey’s Fortune’s Fool. Now listening to Between Heaven and Texas by Marie Bostwick, another of the Cobbled Court Quilts series. On the Kindle app, still reading Undeniable by Laura Stapleton.

What's in my wine glass: Frontera Cabernet Merlot in the big bottle.

What's my tip of the week: We all know tape is good for putting things together, but did you know it can be good for taking things apart? Fine cactus needles, splinters and insect stingers can be removed by applying tape (transparent, cellophane, masking or duct) gently to the affected area and pull off. Just be careful with insect stingers; some insects, like bees, leave behind the little sack with venom, and if you squeeze that, you can make matters worse. Tape can also be used to pull the tiny bits of threads away from a seam you’ve ripped. Also for lint or cat hair.

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.