In the Pink

Pat, whose blog is Bird Nest on the Ground (http://birdnestontheground.blogspot.com/), had a post about pink a few days ago.  I thought I would follow suit and show you some of the pink things I've accumulated along the way.  I'd love to see what pink items you can bring together to show.  Be sure to include your blog address in a comment below so that I and others can take a look.  Don't forget to visit Pat's blog as well.  She's a very creative person and a wonderful blogger.

Click on the photos to see a larger image.

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GROW YOUR BLOG!

grow your blog 2015

Welcome to my blog and thank you for taking part in the party!

My name is Maureen Greeson, greesonma@cox.net.  This blog is primarily to have a place to show what I've been working on.  My current obsession is collecting half dolls, very few of which I have finished into pin cushion dolls.  After an off year (2014) I am finally getting back into my favorite stitching, crazy quilting.  I find it relaxing as long as I keep it easy and quick to do.  My attention span doesn't allow for embroidery that requires a lot of time.  Somehow, I do manage to finish things.  Following are a few of my completed projects.  Please wander through some of the back posts and thank you so much for stopping by.

Pansy Wall Hanging

Japanease Wall Hanging

Wall Hanging

Square

Half Doll Pink

Half Doll Green

Half Doll Hanging

New Year Redo!!!

My half doll obsession is continuing but I haven't been able to get past the proportions this doll ended up with. You'll recognize her from an earlier post where I mentioned having put her on a wooden form that I ordered when I bought the doll. It made her much, much too tall. I put her in the back row of my group of half dolls but she still stood there looking like Lurch in a silk dress and glaring at me for having done that to her. So, long story short, I took her apart and made her petite! What do you think?

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I used a pattern for her pin cushion skirt based on an antique drawing. I streamlined it and, with her permission, I combined it with techniques from Shirley Bligh's pattern. Please click here for the patterns. I have worked out five sizes and it should be easy for you to enlarge the pieces or make other "in between" sizes if you need them.

Following are two more half dolls that I've added to my collection. Many of the dolls have beautiful, and sometimes elaborate, bonnets. The one on the left is an antique.  Her bonnet consists of three colors and she also has a snood.  This totally covers her hair in the back.

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The half doll on the right was made by doll artist Hendrika Smith of Australia and was cast from a mold made from an antique.  The original probably only had a bonnet with feathers but Henny added the roses and gold high lights.  I hate to really call some of these beautiful dolls reproductions as they are more than that. They would be so much easier for the doll artist to do if they were, as the painting on an antique is usually more simple.  As you can see from the photo, the newer ones are more elaborately done with added flowers, decals, real gold, and vibrant paint. These newer dolls also take more firings than the antiques did in order to get the desired finish. I love the antiques for their simplicity and the new ones for their tasteful glitz...does that make sense?? 

Shirley Bligh - A Pattern Shared

If you've thought of finishing a pin cushion doll, Shirley Bligh of Australia has generously shared her own design for the pin cushion skirt with all of us.  You can size it down or up depending on what you need for the half doll you're finishing.  It's so nice as the top of the skirt has been designed to better take the bulk away from the tiny waists.  Click on this link(https://sites.google.com/site/maureensdownloads/) to download two pages which give you the pattern and easy instructions.

The following photo is Shirley's creation that she made some time ago using her skirt pattern.  This pin cushion doll is one of the prettiest I've seen. Her blog is http://stitchesandlife.blogspot.com/.
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This photo is of a new half doll that I finished using Shirley's pattern.  This matronly lady was made by the Mundial Company of Belgium.  She is so different I couldn't resist her.  A butterfly is sitting on her arm.
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In the photos below, I thought I'd show you an antique half doll and a reproduction of the same doll.  Here is the antique that reminded me of the movie "Thoroughly Modern Millie" with her cloche hat.  This one hasn't had her hair bobbed yet!  Flappers and other 1920s gals are pretty common in the half doll realm.
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So many of the gifted doll artists I've been buying from are in Australia.  I'm starting to think there must be something in the water there!!  This little beauty was made by Carole V. Lyons.  She has reproduced the antique with her own spin with added decals and tiny handmade flowers.   I actually prefer her over the antique because she is so delicate looking.  Tidbit:  Reproductions are about 20% smaller than the antique as the porcelain shrinks during firing. 
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Since I'm talking about 1920's style half dolls, here are a couple more of my favorites.  The first is an antique.  She has a lusterware blouse which is a metallic glaze that appears iridescent.  So pretty.  Don't you love the ermine stand-up collar and the color combination the painter used?
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This stunning lady is new and, again, a product of the Mundial Company in Belgium.
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McKenna Ryan Art Quilts

It's been an off year for me and that applies to my crazy quilting as well.  I don't intend to give it up totally but have been putting some of my time elsewhere.  Last year I started a Christmas "art quilt" designed by McKenna Ryan which I purchased in kit form from Batiks Plus (http://www.batiksplus.com/)  This quilt is called "Heaven and Nature Sing."  I finished it recently and will be giving it to my daughter on Thanksgiving as a Christmas gift.  I love McKenna's designs so it's been a pleasure doing this.
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I've started another of her kits "In Full Bloom" so will show you each section of the progress on it as I go along this time.  These kits are easy in some ways but are very time consuming and you do have to pay very close attention on how you add the pieces.  Her charts are nicely done and she's put a lot of time in making the patterns and instructions user friendly.  Since I'm not a very good machine quilter, I've learned how to add the pieces in layers and stitch a scant 1/16" from the edges of each piece as I go.  I'll take it to a long arm quilter to finish it for me.

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Exploring New Ways to Display Half Dolls

As you can probably guess from my most recent posts, I have become enamored with half dolls.  My collection is growing and I'm anxious to come up with alternative ways to display them.  The pin cushion skirts take up so much space and finding flat surface space will soon become a problem.  Besides, a line up of pin cushion dolls loses something overall and you fail to notice the beautiful faces.

This is my first effort at making a half doll wall hanging.  It was hard to get a great photo as it is so monochromatic.  This doll is an antique so no glue was used on her and she is held secure by being wedged into layered cardboard and Timtex.  Now that I've done one this way, I think I'll try foam board the next time.  I know you've probably seen mysteries on TV that show a hollowed out book to hide a gun or another item.  This is basically what I did to handle the fact that the half doll is not flat on the back.  This wall hanging took several days to make so can't be classified anywhere near "easy."

Half Doll Hanging (sm)

Starting with this post I will share some photos of half dolls that are in my collection.  Maybe they'll be made whole at a future date, but there's not enough hours to finish them all.  I look for nicely painted faces, reasonable prices, and overall appeal.

This first photo is of an antique German half doll.  Arms away are more difficult to make as more molds are required, but this feature makes the half doll more desirable to collectors.  German half dolls are more desirable than those made in Japan.  Quality shows!

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The following photo is of a reproduction "wahini" made by the Mundial Company in Belgium.  Their dolls are beautiful but, because they are so nicely done, people who sell them almost always try to pass them off as antique by not committing themselves to saying outright that they are new.  I bought several because I know I'll never have the funds for the antique versions and researching before I bought was simple to do online.

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Thank you for visiting.  I'd like to hear what you think so please comment and let me know you've been here.  I'll be back!!

TOUCHING BASE and Another Half Doll made Whole

Summer has come and gone and I've been less than good about posting to my blog.  I haven't been doing a lot of stitching but, if it counts, I think about it a lot!  I'm hoping this winter will be more productive, but no promises especially to myself.

My latest fixation has been half dolls.  I have quite a little collection going of both antique and new.  This first photo is one you've seen but I added a little embellishment to her skirt.

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Next is a new one made by Judith at Chessington Dolls in Australia (http://www.chessingtondolls.com/134055713).  Check out the beautiful beaded skirts when you visit her website.  The little handmade roses were the first thing to draw me to this doll, but the face is always the final feature of any half doll that helps me decide if I will purchase her or not.

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Her skirt is made using ecru silk under Swiss embroidered cotton netting.  She was starting to look too bridal so I added a green silk overskirt topped with an antique motif that luckily also served as a pretty bustle.  The skirt was not made over a pin cushion but I used a wooden stand made just for half dolls.  Too expensive for my taste so I'll be making my own stands or pin cushions in the future. 

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I'll be back!