Barbie’s Blue Jacket

I made this bolero jacket for a Barbie doll back in January using a beautifully soft blue wool kept from my childhood. It’s particularly nice, and although its a very simple design, it required some fiddly fine work. This is  my post for today’s Blue Monday which is hosted at Smiling Sally.

The purpose of me making this was to practice making a bolero jacket for myself. That is how all this Barbie thing started. I bought the doll purely for the purpose of practising making real clothes. But as I opened the box, the magic started all over again and I have fallen in love with Barbie once more!

I actually managed to keep my two childhood Barbie dolls up until I was in my early 30s, but lost them in a terrible accident that happened while I was moving around after I left my first husband. Before the ‘accident’, I used to look at them in disdain, wondering why I couldn’t bring myself to throw them out, why was I carrying them around with me during such a difficult time? Now I know why, it was because I was in denial, I couldn’t admit just how much I loved my Barbie dolls!  They were in excellent condition and I had hung onto them for 25 years. But after the ‘accident’ they absolutely  had to be discarded and it’s a real tragedy!

Yesterday when David and I went to the Rocklea market, we saw a couple of  old Barbies from the 1970s and 1980s amongst the second hand treasures, all with very ratty hair so I didn’t get any. Instead we grabbed this really pretty blue vase which turns out to be slightly flawed.

I found an excellent blog devoted to collecting Barbie called “Don’t Just Play with Barbie, Be Barbie“. The inspiration for this blue jacket I found at Barbie Basics.

There seems to be a real Barbie doll enthusiast community, how fun!!

❤ ❤ ❤

Highlights from this week’s party include

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Yes, it is true. I am having a hot and steamy secret love affair – with my sewing machine!

Of course, this does not mean I love David any less, how could I? “He da man!” (pretty much, pretty much). And there is no law written that a happily married woman must not love her trusted sewing machine dearly.

What an absolute treasure my old sewing machine is, and oh so lovely. A much-loved well-worn relic, it always works like a smooth charm whenever I feel brave enough to venture near it. I’m not sure why I don’t use it more often, this wonderful refined beast intimidates me with its perfectness. It simply purrs as it glides the seams all my itself, all I have to do is turn it on! But so patiently it waits for me, never pesters me for attention. Just is always there for me when I need it.

And just like a good friend, if I’m making a mistake sewing something the wrong way around, it Knows it isn’t the sewing machines fault. So it says nothing, and just keeps sewing, trusting I will see my own error sooner or later. My sewing machine ain’t gonna tell me I’m wrong and remains silent. I’ve known people like that!

This machine came to me second hand by a friend of my mother who I believe didn’t use it much, and I didn’t realise straight away just how precious this thing truly is.  It’s had two services so far, one in Darwin and one in Brisbane, I should try and find someone I trust here on the south side to do it, but I’m a bit nervous about that! We all know how I have ‘trust issues’! How I would be lost without my Husqvarna, no other could possibly replace it.

Oh, I love my sewing machine!
/smiffle!

Barbie’s Pink Tea Party

The pink dress I made especially for today’s Pink Tea Party could very well be the most beautiful thing I’ve made so far! I think my Barbie is very pleased to have something so nice to wear to the party today, which is to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of Pink  Saturday and is hosted at How Sweet the Sound.

The vintage doll’s cane furniture is the first thing I’ve ever bought from Ebay about two weeks ago. I remember when I was a little girl some of my friends had these but I didn’t, and when I saw them on Ebay I just had to grab it! There was also a four piece lounge set for sale with normal chairs instead of the peacock chairs, but because it was my very first ebay purchase, someone else bid at the very last minute so I lost! I didn’t make the same mistake on the peacock chairs though, and got them for $16 including postage. Probably a little on the expensive side for my modest doll collection as I’m not too serious about it, but I do believe the seller when they said this cane set is about 40 years old! I think it’s a very special thing.

Using a 2.5mm hook and a small ball of baby pink yarn, I started the doll’s dress on Monday afternoon and finished midday Tuesday, so it took less than one day. This is not the first dress I’ve made like this, although I think it’s an improvement on the orignal because it crosses over at the back so you can’t see her knickers – if she is wearing any! The Barbie dresses I make are inspired by a dress I’ve kept and treasured from my childhood which my mother tells me was made by my Nanna Pam. You can’t tell when she is sitting down, but you can pinch the skirt to make pleats appear. I am so tickled pink I could manage to make something as pretty as this!

In an attempt to preserve the doll’s hair as long as possible, I try and keep it tied up in a little snood. Anyone who has collected dolls knows how synthetic hair can ruin over time. But the pretty pink dress needed it’s own hat, so I decided to give making a bonnet a go! I looked on google for images of crochet doll bonnets, but there were not many that I could see. I remember a knitted bonnet I wore as a young child which folded neatly into a square, so I made one up kind of like that. I didn’t follow a pattern at all, and used the same stitches as in the skirt of the pink dress.

The tiny coffee table needed a pink doily, don’t you think? This is my first completed proper doily and it took me between 2 to 4 hours I think, finishing it last Thursday morning. I used a pattern in a book I borrowed from my local library on Monday called “101 Easy Scrap Crochet Projects“. The pattern for this doily is on page 40-41.

This doll’s setting would not be complete without a tiny doll’s teaset but when I looked on ebay for those I decided they were too expensive. But when David took me to the Salvo’s store last Saturday I saw this set for just $1! That was more like it I thought, but didn’t notice until I got to the counter that the teapot has been broken and glued back together. Oh well, I don’t think Barbie minds! And the tiny teddies don’t drink tea anyway. The cheeky things have hidden a big bottle of liquor to sip during today’s party, those Party Animals!!! A good thing too, because there is only one teacup!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my special pink tea party!
❤ ❤ ❤

For more pinkness check out today’s special anniversary of Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound.

Highlights from this week’s party

A Pair of Tiny Dancing Teddies

I had originally made these for my mum as she collects teddy bears, but I don’t think they are good enough! I think I’ll try tagging along with a new party today called Look at Me Fridays at It’s fun to craft.

I probably need to do some serious brushing up on my embroidery skills, their faces are not great, lol! For these teddies I used tiny pieces of recycled ribbon for their bow-ties and some fine yarn with 2.5mm and 2mm hooks. I put my glasses in the shot so you can see just how tiny they are. These are the same size as my first set of tiny teddy bears.

Yes, their arms are meant to be that way so they look like they are dancing, well that’s my story anyway and I’m sticking to it! One arm curls to the front, the other to the back, I think it looks like they are doing the chair dance, not unlike the /chairdance I do when my WoW guild downs a new boss!

/chairdance!

Check out some crafty ideas at this week’s party at It’s fun to craft.

Highlights from this week’s party –

Thanks to Fun to Craft for hosting today’s party /smiles!

Simple Brown Handbag

I’ve quickly made up another chocolate-coloured handbag in case my sister doesn’t like the other brown bag I made for her. This is my post for Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage. The materials transformed for this was about 50g of yarn and three buttons. Using a 3.5mm crochet hook it didn’t take long at all, maybe one afternoon.

I was speaking to Jen last week and she mentioned she needed a little handbag just big enough to hold a couple of things so I’ve made another bag a little bigger than the last with a longer handle. This bag has a handle long enough that when on the shoulder the bag will hang down by the waist. I used a simple stitch, instead of the shell stitch I used in the first brown bag which made it a little wonky, so this was quicker to make.

By the way, I found out at the craft group I went to last week that the stitch I’ve been calling ‘double crochet’ is American for the UK stitch called ‘treble crochet’, which is the stitch I used mostly here. I’m thinking I will need to learn both crochet languages so I know the two names for each stitch. There are so many free patterns on the internet that are in American crochet, but my mother and the local craft group use British crochet, so it’s best I know both!

Here’s to hoping my sister likes at least one of these bags!

So MANY Fantastic Ideas at this weeks party, some day I’d really like to try these ones…

Women's Creative Centre, Greenslopes and Lifeline Store, Mt Gravatt

Last Wednesday I managed to get myself along to a craft workshop organised by the Women’s Creative Centre in Greenslopes. I post every Wednesday to help motivate me to write about getting out of the house. Included are some photos of things I bought when David took me to the Lifeline shop at Mt Gravatt the previous Sunday, like this cute little garden charm we now have sitting on our garden outdoor table.

It was a challenge to even find out about this craft group in the first place, as I’ve been looking on the internet for a while and hadn’t found anything local. I only happened to be told about this group when I asked at the Kingston Butter Factory craft shop if they held lessons. After searching the net for “Creative Women’s Centre” I found one short page as part of some listing site which had precious little information, just an email address. So I wrote to the email address and got sent a document that I couldn’t read because I didn’t have the software. Luckily, David helped me download it so I could read a little more. Last Saturday David drove me out to Greenslopes to see the place, as I wasn’t going to go by myself without ‘casing the joint’ first! I plucked up the courage to speak to two ladies in the shop about going along to a lesson.

The lessons, or workshop which cost only $4.50, is not held at the craft shop but in another room in the shopping centre. It was nervous for me to walk into a strange room with strange people, its a pity they kept the window blinds closed. One lady went to close the blinds because she ‘didn’t want people looking at us’. I think that’s a shame because it makes it harder for new people. I’m really glad I went to the craft group, and it went for two hours which was just the right length of time. I fit right in with my wonderfully perfect cane sewing basket which I got second-hand for an amazing $3 from the Lifeline shop last Sunday.

I learnt a new way of starting and ending my crochet work, which is great. I also talked with the instructor about tension and how to better judge which wool and hooks I should be using for certain projects. I had a go at an Irish Rose and I got a copy of the pattern, which is great. I also talked about the bolero I want to make, ending up changing my mind about which wool to use. There was a lot of inspiration for me to get going on several projects, I just don’t know which to start next! I’ll be going along again today, taking my patterns and cottons to ask about making doilies and to try and use up my pile of wool … which doesn’t seem to be shrinking yet!

Perhaps I should stop buying new wool??? lol!

Red Hearts of Love

All these photos were taken last Sunday morning. When I saw them in my pictures folder together I realised they were all red so that gave me an idea for a post to join in with Ruby Tuesday hosted by Mary at Work of the Poet!

After a couple of hours of me checking the Pink Saturday blogs and he playing a computer game, we got peckish for some breakfast. We were in the mood for our favourite lovey dovey breakfast, sausages and tomato with love heart eggs and mushrooms!

On Saturday, David took me to a Salvo’s store (Salvation Army charity shop). We hadn’t been there before and there were lots of bargain treasures to be found, some of which I decided I coudn’t bring home. One thing I did grab was this very good toy for developing fine motor and hand-eye coordination in very young children. It’s pretty solid, not flimsy, so I grabbed it for $3. In the background you can see a red love-heart bag. I can’t remember where I got it from but I keep some Barbie things in it, it’s so cute. Also in the background you can see my tiny teddies where they live now, sitting on one of the vintage doll’s chairs to keep Barbie company. The doily you can see I believe was made by my great-grandmother, which I hope to try copying one day.

Another bargain treasure we found at the Salvo’s store on Saturday were this pair of lovey dovey coffee mugs. We’ve decided to collect coffee mugs with love hearts on them, as well as other things with love hearts because we are sooo lovey dovey! /awwww… lol! These are probably not so great because the shape means that one is smaller than the other. I don’t like the idea that to be in love one person must be smaller.

Our first love heart coffee mugs we bought were these very cheap ones we saw at the supermarket a couple of years ago. We got four, one broke and has been thrown away. That’s a shame, I really must remember to keep broken crockery for my mosaic projects I hope to do one day. Two of the remaining three mugs have broken handles, so one is now used as my pens holder by my pc. That’s why I’m afraid to use the 3rd mug for drinking as I have a terrible vision of someone spilling hot coffee over them when the silly handle breaks! But they are just too cute to throw away, they are too lovey dovey! When a coffee handle breaks, it can still be recycled into something useful.

I also took a photo of this very cute red chocolate tin. It cost me $5 full of chocolates from Coles online last Valentine’s Day. I havent’ decided what it will be used for yet, but I’m sure it will turn out to be nice. It’s sitting on top of the table my great-grandfather made, which I will do a post about one day.

I didn’t realise how many red love hearts I have about my house!
❤ ❤ ❤

Be sure to check out other Ruby Reds at Ruby Tuesday!

Highlights from this week’s party

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