Bee's Hive

Friday, June 28, 2013

Gardening, wonder if it's worth the effort

It's been a bad year for gardening. First of all I can't reach anything below my knee's so I have to find a tool to do anything. I planted too early but that didn't matter since my neighbor's 3 rooster's and a hen took care of the garden. After much to do about free ranging one's chicken's in a neighborhood finally he fenced them in. I planted again only to have the weather change and 2 frosts finished the garden again.

I left it go to weeds and finally it looked like we might get some warm days and sun. I pulled every weed out by the roots, turned the soil and planted again. My garden started to look good and then one day all the buds on my lilies were gone as were the green beans and lettuce. The next morning the corn was eaten to the ground. I caught a bunny in the garden so next we put up a fence and again I planted.

The next day a hole was eaten in the fence and more of the almost bare garden was gone. I couldn't believe a small rabbit could eat a hole in the fence. We put up the trap at the hole. Yesterday morning we had caught the garden thief and it was not the bunny at all.

This little guy has a set of big sharp teeth!  We moved him to his new home a few miles away where he'll have lots to eat and drink...just not mine!  This morning the trap had one of his siblings in it so off to the new home that one went. There could be some 6 or 8 of these fellows but before I replant again we'll wait for the trap to turn up empty one morning.

I'm not so sure all this was worth it. I use to enjoy having a garden but I was healthy then and I don't remember fighting all these things to grow it. I made a list of what wasn't touched. Onions, beets,cucumbers, tomatoes and herbs...not much of a garden.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Feels like a long week

Wednesday and it feels like this week is dragging. Maybe because it's rained for days and days. I have gotten some things started. But first I had a mail call today. I won a cute owl mug rug from Rhonda She does some very creative things. When I saw her owl in flight I fell in love with him. I didn't win him but I did win him after he flew in a tree!

I'll be shopping next week with some friends and hope to find some fabric to make Mr. Owl in flight. Thank you again for the sweet owl!  He won't be seeing a mug sitting on him. I'm much too careful about the quilties I love to ever take a chance on getting a spot on them!  He'll be joining many other little quilts on the walls of my sewing room.

Yesterday I stopped for a break from doll patterns and sewing to bake some goodies. I used the no knead bread recipe from  Glenda's recipe. I've been doing a lot of experimenting with this bread. This week I cut the recipe in half. One loaf is Wheat Bread and very good. The other I've been trying for a real good loaf each week, adding more to it each time for the perfect raisin/cinnamon bread.

This is very sticky bread but after the second rise I pulled it in half, placed half on heavy floured wax paper and pulled and pounded it into a large tissue box shape about 1/2 inch thick. Then I brushed it with milk and sprinkled 3/4 cup of sugar with 3 tablespoons of cinnamon mixed in and 1/3 cup of raisins. It could have used more raisins but it was really good!

I also made lemon cookies for the first time from a lemon cake mix, 2 eggs and 1/3 cup of oil. I added the juice of half a lemon and the skin first we weren't sure if we liked them but they are a summer cookie and with a cup of coffee it's a nice small sweet snack.

Now to the dolls. The dress that came on the blonde doll (Morgan) does not fit the other doll (Kate). Kate is more like the AG doll. She is stuffed to the neck which makes her fat. This is why I am changing the patterns so they fit all 18 inch dolls. She is also longer in the body so the dress is too short without stockings on..if it did fit.

This is the first dress from my changed pattern. The shrug is reversible so it can be worn with lots of other outfits.

I shortened the straps on the dress on the second photo so it won't look so long on the dolls. I still have to add some buttons and bows but I like the final fit.

Now I am working on a skirt and T shirt.
I am really surprised at the simplicity patterns. They are made like real clothing. There isn't any reason I can see to have seams on the shoulders and facings on these outfits. It makes it much too hard to sew and you have many unfinished seams. For myself I have a serger, but if I didn't, all those seams would have to be zig zagged...too much work.  I'm surprised at how much  work these are. They aren't Barbie clothes where you can just turn in a seam and let the edge unfinished. These have to be finished just like sewing for a toddler but a lot smaller. This T shirt will be my first try at a knitted fabric in this tiny size so I hope I don't end up .... well you know what I mean!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Monochromatic ready to mail

The second section of the Round Robin Grey block is finished. I promised her a Swan and so a Swan has been added. The body of the Swan is suede. The Wing is silk ribbons and beads. Hard to really see without a lot of color and I'm not the best photographer either.  I'm ready to mail. Next block will be Pink.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Doll Models

A nice lady in our area Free cycle site gave me an 18 inch doll made by King State for sizing the clothing. After cleaning her up and trimming and brushing her hair, she is a cute doll.

This doll is much like the American Girl. She is stuffed her entire body. Her head turns from side to side. I read all about these dolls and the adjustments you need to make to patterns. They are all 18 inch dolls but not all are equal in size. The only part of the dolls that is the same are the feet.

Then I got a 1/2 price sale on a 2009 doll from Madame Alexander. This doll has a breast plate. This gives her a neck and the ability to move her head from side to side and up and down. It also gives her a bigger head. I haven't undressed her yet to measure her shoulders or waist but I bet her measurements are different from the King State Doll.

I've read reviews on this doll. The biggest complaint is that you can't remove the boots without a lot of trouble. I've bought 2 pair of boots from Walmart. They are cut down the back to the heel and go on and off the dolls just fine. I did have a hard time removing the boots from this doll but after getting them off, I cut them down the back and now they are easy to remove.

The second complaint is that her hair is a nightmare. I can't understand Madame Alexander Company putting their name on a doll with this poor hair. King State's doll is wigged and the hair can be brushed into a nice hair do. This doll has rooted hair and all I can say about it is that it is like Barbie's hair. I will deal with the hair later.  The doll it's self is really nice and I like that her head can be posed. Both dolls can stand up on their own without a doll stand and that is a nice feature.

Buying the new doll allowed me to see the clothing up close. It fits the doll perfectly but the fabric is junk and I am wondering after it is washed if it will fit at all. These dolls are for playing with. Hair and good clothing is important.

Having never left my childhood as far as dolls go, I have a plan for them. The doll with brown hair is named Kate and will be the model for the "Royal" collection of clothing, dresses with matching coats and English styled hats. Morgan is her American friend who will be the model for clothing that any cool girl would want to wear today.

After picking up the doll from the Free Cycle lady I headed to Joann's for foam board in 2 thicknesses, hat feathers and a boa...which all girls should have at some point in their life. The foam board will be the sole's of shoes and also the frames for the English hats. I also bought some knit fabric for underwear and tank tops and some beads and shoe bling.

I think I have all the supplies I need for now. Tomorrow I'll be figuring out the right size that will fit both dolls.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Peacock is finished

Now he looks like a peacock

Friday, June 7, 2013

Monochromatic block #2...Gray

I started the second Round Robin Monochromatic block. This gal likes unusual items to be used in her blocks, no cute butterflies or hearts and that suits me fine. They can get pretty boring. She likes the Art Deco era. I looked at sites with full room decorations and saw a lot of Peacocks and Swans, also cats and other birds and animals used. I decided to go with a peacock and swan.

The unusual is the leather I used for the body of the Peacock and the metal bead connector's in the tail. I had an applique yoke that had a perfect center piece for the tail except the background was black. I decided to use it anyway and bead over the black with gray beads. The body is not done yet. Thought I'd leave that to last since it's hard stitching through leather!  I used a piece of a drop earring for the birds "bonnet" and a necklace end to finish off the top of the tail. Lots of work to still be done, not to mention I have to complete some seams with stitching.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Gathering Supplies

After going to many blogs I was able to see how these Mama's were making pretty outfits for these 18 inch dolls. Many use clothing from thrift shop children's sections because the scale of the prints and buttons and buckles are the right size. So many times dresses for special occasions are only worn once and then out grown.

I spent one day ordering from on line, mini buttons, buckles and pretty fold over elastic, then took off to the local Mennonite thrift shop. It was 50 cent day in children's clothing!  Without having small children I had no reason to shop the children's section in the past. Right away I could see why these Mama's were using clothing instead of buying fabric. So many items that looked new and the fabric's in these dresses were so pretty.

I also visited the fabric department. I was able to get fleece, fun fur, terry cloth, wool plaid, Christmas and fancy fabric's. Each was at least 3/4 of a yard and went from 25 cents to a dollar. I found 2 perfect patterns and some embroidery  thread too.

 I couldn't leave without looking at the buttons. Old stock metal buttons with umbrella's on them! Hand painted lady bugs and metal shamrocks. Also metal flower baskets for crazy quilting!
 I also bought 2 puzzles for winter entertainment and glass glitter. The doll boots and sandals came from Wal Mart for 2 dollars each.

I've written about my bread making. When I moved to Texas, I sold many things that just couldn't go with us. One of those items were my old bread pans. Now they don't make them anymore. Instead they make Loaf pans which are too wide for bread. I don't like my bread looking like a meatloaf!  So while shopping the thrift store I spotted old bread pans. Since this photo we have used the dremel on them and cleaned them up like new. I bought 2 large and 3 medium pans for 2 dollars each.

I have one last thing to do before starting on the doll adventure. I need to use one of these patterns to make a sample and make any adjustments to the size. Don't want to ruin any of this fabulous fabric! My total at the thrift store was $22. 37!  Pretty cheap for all the fun I'll get out of my new stuff!