Sunday 31 January 2016

Sewing and embroidery...

I've been very busy sewing and embroidering this past week and so thought I'd share some finished items on here.

The first two outfits are a commission and are off to live with a nice lady in the UK.  One Toddler and one Sasha outfit:  The lady didn't want any appliques so tops are plain.

As you can see, Teddy is once again in touch with his 'feminine side' as he models this outfit for me!

 Whilst Nuria as usual looks gorgeous in any colour!

Then between commissions, yesterday I 'played' again with my embroidery hoop on my lovely (I cannot say it enough times how 'lovely' this machine is!!!) new machine.....

The first design is some simple flowers in red and blue which is being modelled by Meredith, a Journey Girl from Toys R Us.  You might remember that when I was in the UK last October I went with my friend Dee to buy a Journey Girl from her local Toys R Us.  At that time they were not available on the Iberian Peninsular apparently.  However, the other day I visited Toys R Us in Malaga and there they were!  It seems that they are now available again in Spain and Portugal, so I decided to buy two....just in case they stop stocking them again! ;)  And the great thing is they are much cheaper here too!  They are £30 each in the UK, €29,99 each in places like France, Germany and Belgium (plus the postage of course) but here in Spain they are ONLY €24,99!!!  Which at today's exchange rate is about £19!!!!  Don't you just love a bargain!

Anyway, I digress, here is the top, I also made the circle skirt and socks to go with it.  These photos were taken today on our usual Sunday morning 'jaunt'. 

Close up of the simple design.  I embroidered it onto sweatshirt fabric.

And the second design which I've made up into a similar sized sweatshirt is of four cute and colourful owls sitting in a row on a tree branch.  This one is being modelled by Claudia from Bonnie & Pearl:

I have also embroidered a Sasha sized sweatshirt which is not made up yet....I am thinking of making it into a full outfit and putting it up for sale here on my blog, so if you're interested, please watch this space!!!

Thanks so much for looking, I hope you've enjoyed seeing my weeks' sewing photos.

I hope everyone has had a lovely weekend so far and that the week ahead is a good one for you!!!  We are off home to Sevilla on Tuesday, after more than 10 months at the coast!  I think I'm going to be doing a bit of dusting before I can start any more sewing, wouldn't you agree?!!!

Saturday 30 January 2016

Bonnie & Pearl

Just lately I became a little 'obsessed' with looking at the American Girl dolls.  I have so many patterns designed for that size of doll that I wanted someone who could wear them without alterations.

I looked and looked, on Ebay, Flickr and Pinterest, loads and loads of listings and photos.  I really like one of the American Girl faces, I think they call it the Josefina face sculpt, but unusually for me, I don't like the tan skin very much.  But the biggest problem with the American Girl dolls is....I really really do not like the all cloth body and the big 'American Footballer' shoulders.  (Sorry to those of you who love her, I guess we can't all like the same things!) So an American Girl wasn't for me.

Whilst looking on Flickr, I saw a photo of a Gotz Happy Kid Clara wearing a very pretty outfit and as these things go, one thing led to another and I found myself on the Bonnie & Pearl doll website....and there was a sale on!!!  Now I've always found the Bonnie & Pearl dolls interesting to look at and I like the fact that they are a British doll company, but I never liked the eyes.  The dolls come with a'sleep' eyes and they are a bit too 'staring' for my taste.  But it went through my mind that maybe I could change them!!!  I went to look at the doll which is my favourite, a dark skinned girl with black affro style hair, and lo and behold, she was on sale at 30% off her normal price!!!   So I decided to order her.  AND three outfits too because they too were on sale.  I mean, it would be a sin not to, wouldn't it?!  And just think of all the money I save! :D

My order arrived several days ago and I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised!  The doll is lovely!  She's much prettier in real life than her photos would have me believe.  The quality is excellent, she is mostly vinyl with a vinyl chest plate but her lower torso is cloth.  Her default outfit is made up of many pieces and the three outfits I ordered with her were so nicely presented, each in it's own individual box.  The doll herself is nice and heavy with lovely smooth vinyl which is a gorgeous coffee colour.  She has an unusual face which in this 'skin tone' makes her look very exotic. 

I decided to change Claudia's eyes straight away to glass ones, completely removing the sleep mechanism and  now I'm even more happy with how she looks.

Below are photos of Claudia with her new eyes and wearing one of the outfits I bought for her.  The outfit consists of the lovely orange polka dot jacket with matching hairband, white short sleeved tee shirt, frilled denim skirt with faux suede belt, white underwear and brown faux suede boots!!  A great outfit for this girl I'm sure you'll agree!  (I added the socks)

I will show other outfits in other posts as she wears them!

(OOoops!  I realised after uploading these photos that I really should have ironed the skirt!)

 I hope you've enjoyed meeting this new little girl, who as yet hasn't told me her name, and I hope you all are enjoying your weekend!

Thanks for visiting :)

Thursday 28 January 2016

Did the earth move for you!

Well it did for me ..... and no, this isn't going to be an embarrassing conversation that can't be discussed in polite company!

This is about earthquakes!

We were woken on Monday morning at 5.22am by the bed shaking....I mean REALLY shaking!  It was such a rude awakening, especially when it's pitch black outside and your bed is violently rocking from side to side and the noise....the weirdest sounds of things clanging together.  I admit that I was terrified!   This was my first experience of an earthquake but not my last.

It turns out that this earthquake was  6.3 magnitude according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and injured at least 26 people in the Spanish enclave of Melilla.  It's epicentre was located in the Alboran Sea, between southern Spain and North Africa according to data from the National Geographic Institute, approximately 100 miles south east of Malaga.  The effects were felt all across Andalucia. 

If you want to see what it was like, here is a short film clip from You Tube:

Below:  cleaning up after the from the local paper.
CLEAN UP: Melilla resident survey's earthquake damage

Since the earthquake struck on Monday morning there have been more than 160 aftershocks  registered in Malaga.

One of the largest, measuring 4.4 on the Richter Scale, hit on Monday evening.

Although experts have said there is a ‘low’ risk of serious earthquakes in the Alboran Sea, they said it was impossible to predict if there would be more in the coming days.  Well let me tell you, there have!  Again yesterday morning at about 7.30 we were woken by the bed shaking, admittedly not as bad as Monday morning but still scary all the same. 

I have to admit that my nerves have been a bit frazzled.  I have never experienced earthquakes before this and it is not the 'fun' experience I might have thought it would be when I was young!  Every loud noise or bang, I admit, has made me jump and hold my breath whilst my stomach has done a flip like I'm riding a roller coaster at the fun fair! 

Fortunately though, we received no damage.  Two of my dolls decided to do a flip off my shelf but luckily neither were hurt in any way.   :)   But Mango, our Blue Headed Pionus parrot has fallen off his perch each time there was another rumble, poor boy!  None of the dogs seem particularly bothered though, thank goodness!

OK, now back to dollies!  ..... I hope! :) 

A new body for Olive....again!

Olive, my little Jerry Berry Sleepy Berry, received her new body yesterday from the company that created her.  Jerry Berry dolls previously always came with a plastic multi jointed Obitsu body, which was a great body for posing but it was, well it was very plastic-y and in my experience it quickly became floppy.

So when Jerry Berry announced last Autumn that they would be producing a replacement resin body I jumped in with my order!

The new body has it's limitations when it comes to some posing positions, for example it has a solid torso rather than the three part one that the Obitsu body has, but I still think I prefer it so far.  I don't actually expect my dolls to perform acrobatics so am sure I'll be happy with this new body, which for me is more aesthetically pleasing.

Here is a phot courtesy of the Jerry Berry company:

Just a few photos of Olive taken today.  You can't really see the body but I thought I'd share them all the same.

Jerry Berry are such a nice company to order from, they mark parcels down and are very very helpful.  They even included the little 'Strawberry' headband for Olive to wear and it goes perfectly with her outfit!

Well we've almost reached the end of another week and I can hardly believe that we're at the end of January already!  I hope you all have a great weekend!

Sunday 24 January 2016

A Patchwork heavy!

I was going to start my blog saying that there are no dolls in today's post but technically that isn't true, so I will start by saying that there are none of MY dolls in this post as today, although I have taken some photos of one of my own dolls, I will save those for another day.  Today I thought I'd share some photos of a patchwork exhibition that is taking place locally.  I only heard about it on Friday when I visited my favourite haberdashers, so although it runs until the 12th February, I thought I'd pop along today with my friend to see what was being displayed.  I had no idea if items would be for sale or whether it was a large exhibition, in fact all I knew was that it was being held in the Mayor's residence in Torre del Mar.

When I got there one of the ladies from the haberdashers was there as she is exhibiting a couple of her quilts.  I have known her for many years, she's a sweet lady who I call a friend, although we only chat when I go to get sewing supplies.  Her name is Puri, which I think is short for Purificación  and she comes from the north of Spain but has lived in this area for many years.  She is very talented with a needle and thread and she knits beautifully as well. 

Well the exhibition wasn't in a very big room but it was quite full of some lovely things which I thought I'd share here.  I hope you'll enjoy all the photos. 

Below Puri stands in front of one of the two patchwork quilts she was showing.  This one took her 9 months to make (bear in mind she also works full time in the haberdashers!) and every single stitch is done by hand,  no sewing machine involved!!!

This is Puri's second quilt on display, a beautiful mix of purples and lilacs.  We were counting the number of squares in this one and we came up with 3,150 squares.  This one is also stitched completely by hand and took her two years to complete!!!  She also told us that she worked on this one in July and August.....a couple of incredibly HOT months here in Spain to be working on a heavy and large quilt!!!

There were some beautiful quilts on display and below are photos of almost all of them....I'm sure I missed some!!

I really loved how this one had the patterns placed asymmetrically.

Several people had Tilda dolls on display well as some pretty cushions...

I loved these simple house designs, very effective!

These appliqued tee shirts and canvas shoes really did appeal to me.  I love this little girls face, the balloons, all painted on and then the added fabrics for her outfit!   This tee shirt had matching canvas shoes and I can't believe that I didn't photograph them!

 I think this tee shirt below is also very affective.  The elegant lady in her lace blouse are all hand painted onto the tee shirt, whilst her fancy hat is appliqued with ribbons and lace.

The tee shirt below was my favourite of the three displayed.  The 'almost' profile of a curly haired child just hints at her sweetness....and then the pretty sundress and knickers are made using added fabric.  This gave me soooo many ideas! 

And these matching canvas shoes, isn't it really cute how the eyelets for the laces also form the back of the child's sundress, whilst the tongues form the child's bloomers!!!  The applied roses in her hair also add a really unique touch to these shoes!

 I think this quilt, below, would make my eyes go funny if it were on my wall or bed!!

This long narrow wall panel of quilted cubes was very good, as is the 'tidy' hanging next to it.  My friend Jan who I went with said she fancied making one of these for herself, maybe for her glasses and tv remote controls, so they'd all be close to hand! 

 A couple of pretty patchwork bags and some more Tilda dolls...

I like this nautical wall hanging, it would fit in very well with my decor here at the coast!

 Very attractive black and white colour scheme on this quilt being used as a table cover...

Some Christmas themed items.  The large Tilda doll in white is so nicely done...

A closer look at the white Tilda...Lovely outfit!

Pretty butterflies and flowers...

Some more long legged Tildas lounging against some attractive cushions...

This wall hanging or single bed quilt below is made using fabric panels that reminded me a lot of Mary Engelbreit fabric...

This nice one was partially hidden by the door frame but you can see how lovely it is all the same...

A lovely one for a small child's cot ...

 Obviously a cat lover made this cute one!

 Love this elderly lady depicted in applique in this quilt! 

A small Christmas design of this cute girl holding her Christmas wreath...

I particularly loved the soft pastel colours and the simplicity of this quilt.  At first glance I thought the squares were edged in lace, however on closer inspection I realised that squares are sewn together with the seam allowance on the right side, then the seam allowances are all snipped almost to the seam, so creating this really lovely 'frilly' effect.  I am going to attempt to do something like this myself I think!!  

Nice symmetrical design shown below:

Some more Tildas and a small Nativity scene as well as some babies bibs and Christmas baubles all made from fabric...

Loved this one, how gorgeous are these street scenes!

This one really appealed to me as each square is done differently it would seem.  I would think that it would work really well for real 'scraps' of fabric!

Puri and some of the other exhibitors...

 Another prettily designed quilt that I suspect is now owned by a lucky child!

Gorgeous peacock cushion cover...

Another one designed for a child I think, very cute!

 I really like the colours of this alphabet quilt.  Notice that two extra 'characters' in the Spanish alphabet, the double L 'll' and the enya, an N with a little 'caterpillar' over it's head!!  Sorry, I don't have them on my English keyboard!

A super snow scene, you don't get much of those around here so someone has a great imagination! ;)   And a tall fabric cat, he's about 20 plus inches tall, a duck and some owls, are all joined by a lovely sewing machine cover...

A very cute shoulder bag made to look like a little house!

This ladies wool jacket was beautifully appliqued with houses and trees, I'm sure if you turned up anywhere wearing this, you would certainly get a lot of people asking about it!  Unique! 

I've heard of chicken in a basket, but pigs and sheep?  How cute are these little critters in their nest of straw!

A very attractive apron, which gave me and my friend loads of ideas for the fabrics in our stashes!

Finally, and coincidentally, two weeks ago I spotted this book in the local 'English' shop.  Entitled 'Pretty in Patchwork, doll quilts' and written by Cathy Gaubert, I decided to buy it, if only for the fact that I love anything to do with dolls but I do also love craft books.  So it was great that so soon afterwards I should hear about and visit a quilt exhibition!  Must be a sign!!!

Well I hope you've enjoyed seeing these lovely works of fabric art as much as I have enjoyed sharing them with you. 

I hope you all have a great week ahead and for those of you in the places affected by extreme weather of the cold kind, I hope that you perhaps have a  nice quilt of your own to snuggle under to keep safe and warm!!