Knitting Patterns by Lyndell

Design-Your-Own Dress Recipe - free download now
Gumnut Hat in HandSpun for Blythe Dolls - free download now

Who? What? eh?

This is the blog of a constant crafter - a 'showcase' for some of the things I make, some hints for crafting & recylcing - lots of photos and some words. I hope it will inspire.
Please Note: all photos are Copyright.

My Blythe Dolls have their own blog where they are showing lots of photos from our holiday in France - it is here.


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

A Very Early Spring and other random things

I like to keep my blog uncontroversial so I won't talk about climate change but we have had a super short winter this year with a very warm and dry July.

Australian cuckoos don't make that sound and not many of the gardens round here have daffodils - locally the main marker of Spring is the star jasmine.

The first jasmine flowers appeared on the weekend - that's 27-28th July!!!

I adore Australia's native orchids with their delicate little flowers in all sorts of odd shapes ... we've had this Dockrillia teretifolia (used to be Dendrobium teretifolium) for just over 30yrs and this is the first time it has flowered in July!!! 
Audrey checks out the orchid flowers
First flowers burst open yesterday, 29th July.  This orchid has several common names: Thin Pencil Orchid, Rat's Tail Orchid (for the leaves) or Bridal Veil Orchid (for the masses of flowers spilling down a tree).  Ours is a NSW D. teretifolia with cream / lemon coloured flowers and it is growing on a casurina branch that is tied to the Moreton Bay tree - and I should add that the silver grey stuff belongs to neither the Moreton Bay Fig Tree nor to the orchid - that is "Old Man's Beard" or "Spanish Moss" a type Bromeliad.  The scent of this orchid is quite lovely - I wish one of the perfume companies could bottle it.

More flower photos?   Our camellias have been flowering profusely this year ... very proud of this plant and it's twin sister. 

Hubby rescued them about 15yrs ago - 2 pathetic sticks, pot-bound in ultra-dry, exhausted soil, a few yellowed leaves about to drop - I really didn't give them any hope.  Now they are healthy green bush/trees that give us lots of lovely blush-pink flowers.

"I think my bonnet needs a flower on it."

Our star magnolia gives us a few totally pretty and beautifully scented flowers every spring.





Spring-time weather makes me want to plant things and often results in a trip to the nursery.  Melville found the box I'd carried the new plants home in...
"As happy as a Kitty in a cardboard box"



















And - just because I can - I'm going to confuse things with some photos taken weeks ago - on the 6th July when it still felt like we might be having a winter this year!

We took Imogen with us for some photos in the Royal Botanical Gardens ... Imogen was busy posing in the late-afternoon sunlight under some trees ...

 When I spotted some truly bizarre fungi.  The aged and collapsing ones looking like those forgotten carrots from the back of the fridge...

 

 A type of stinkhorn - possibly Lysurus mokusi.  See The Mushroom Expert website for more info on these amazing fungi.   Here is one just emerging - stinkhorns all start with an "egg".
Many stinkhorns have quite bizarre shapes - and at this point you might like to send the children out of the room - because in its 'prime' this particular fungus looks rather rude.





 La la 

dee

La la ...




One of nature's sillier jokes!

Monday, 29 July 2013

More Blythe Costumes

Been a while but I did promise to show you the other costumes I made for my Blythe dolls for the Sydney BlytheFest.


Imogen was very excited when all the feathers for her costume arrived in the mail ...




I made her fan first - from the little ostrich feathers (proper name, Blondines) and Imogen spent hours practicing how to dance with it.








Yes - it is a ShowGirl costume. 

Imogen was dressing up as Lucille Ball in this still from the 1942 movie "The Big Street"
Lucille Ball




Imogen LaMarr
We were very pleased that we already had some shoes that looked very like Lucille's! 

 
Imogen's leotard is knitted, white wool held together with silver thread then lots of beads including for those rather fancy shoulder straps. 

The 'tail' is marabou on a ribbon belt, here is a back view.







Without the fan ...

















And the Whole SheBang!!





Violetta's costume was a little more restrained!  
She was a "Character" from a movie ... one of the Flappers in "The Great Gatsby".
The dress is based on 1920s fashions; it is longer than the classic Flapper Frock of 1926 and this would be worn by an older, more conservative party-goer - black was favoured by the older ladies.

Vertical beading and godets of light weight fabric in the side seams so that you can dance ... 


Being a perfectionist - the shoulders are too wide, for a real 1920s look those armholes should look more like a singlet's.

Ballet Russe inspired headdresses were part of 1920s party-wear.  I constructed this one like a ballet headdress with some lace and lots of black beads. 




Monday, 8 July 2013

Carmen Miranda - a prize winning Blythe

Hard to believe but the Sydney BlytheFest was over 3 weeks ago now - high time I posted something about it?  !!  And this post is going to a boastful one - because Audrey won 3rd prize in "Celebrity Look-Alike Stock" and she is tremendously proud of herself!





There is quite a lot of costume for one doll who stands only 12" high - would you like to see some of the details?





Starting at the top with the all-important Tutti-Frutti Hat!




Made like a stage costume Carmen Miranda head-dress with a felt helmet underneath.  For a human I would've used millinery or slipper felt - thick and stiff - for the doll scale I used craft felt and it stretched with all the handling - grrr
Given all the weight & height of this head-dress it would've been better if it had remained snug-fitting.

The turban effect is created by 2 squares of fabric draped and stitched in place - the fall of fabric over one ear helps balance the weight of the basket of fruit.

I couldn't find a little cane basket and ran out of time to search for one.  The basket I did find was perfect in every way - except for weight.  It is made of metal, brass I think, really pretty, perfect size and an oval shape (just like a Blythe doll's head) but it would've been much better in cane and light-weight.

Luckily I had the faux fruit erasers in stash - again they are rather too heavy - but they looked good (especially those cherries!)  The bananas were a great find at the last minute - though I did have to buy a huge bag of them - they weigh almost nothing.  Lots of bright coloured ribbon, bows & roses, as 'filler' and feathers for height.  They are just chicken feathers but I curled the filaments so they look as fluffy & pretty as possible.


Carmen Miranda often wore big hoop earrings and I couldn't resist using a Blythe pull-ring (a red resin one by JemGirl on Etsy).

Working on down - the tie-up top.  I needed stretch without bulk for this tiny garment - hand knitting seemed the way to go, with fabric sleeves sewn on.













Here is a back view of the costume:

Lets see some detail of sleeve, earring ... the yoke of the skirt and you'll notice those nails!
The nail polish is acrylic paint - not sealed, we'll probably wash it off one day!  Meanwhile, Audrey has been getting regular manicures which I think she quite enjoys!

The yoke of the skirt is super-tight - waist-band made of ribbon ...

The skirt is circular, it trains longer at the back and is split at the front.  Covered with rows & rows of ribbon - satin & organdza ...






I was going to cover the gathered edges with thin ribbon on all the layers - but only did so on the bottom-most as it really wasn't necessary.






Carmen Miranda wore big platform shoes because she was self-conscious about being rather short. 
These were made for Barbie and they were pink - I painted them and put glitter on (most of which has fallen off!)

And you can see the beads I tried to weight the corners of the frills with.






Well - all in all it is a lot of costume for one small doll to manage and I think Audrey did very well as "The Lady with the Tutti-Frutti Hat".




Had a wonderful day, though I spent most of it behind my sale table - which was massively overstocked!  Sold well on the day, but lots left over which is gradually going into my Etsy shop BlytheStar.

Next post I'll show off the other 2 costumes - non-prize winning but great fun to make.