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Vanilla Bean Babies

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hi,  Pheobe is on Etsy.  I hope she finds a home for christmas. 

Hope eveyone is doing well and getting in the spirit.  Gosh this is a stressful time of year.  I love christmas and this is my first as a grandmother which is awsome. 

My Angel, Sophia:


Sunday, November 28, 2010


It's unanimous, Pheobe she is.  Thank you.

I took new pics and am putting her on Etsy.  I forgot to say in previous post that she has button jointed hips and hidden shank button shoulders. 

Pheobe is in the dolly cupboard until she finds a home.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sneak Peek

I finally had a chance to paint this little girl.  She is for sale on Etsy.  I still need to take better pics and name her.  I love, love her wig.  It is gorgeous, 100% mohair.  I am so proud of the little shoes I made for her of felt and ribbon.  She has stitch jointed knees and elbows.  She is about 20 inches.  Her had turns also.  Original pattern. 

This picture was taken with a flash, on my work desk in my dolly room/workroom/husbands office too.  Phew, make a lot of things work in that room.

She comes with her velvet bear.

Will, hopefully, have better pics tomorrow as the flash is washing her out.

Thanks for peeking!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Dolly Almost Done!

I have been working on a new one.  Smaller than my usual dolls.  She has button jointed hips, hidden shank button shoulders and stitch jointed elbows and knees.  First attempt at this and not sure if I like it.  I do like it in this size doll.  She is about 18" long with pixie petite arms and legs so proportion is purposefully off.  If I do another this size or smaller, I think I will play with wood bead joints. 

She has a gorgeous wig and that is my inspiration peice for this doll.  I made the doll to fit the wig LOL.  Never done that before but it worked.  It is a gorgeous long, mohair wig in a golden blonde. 

I have to sketch her face and then paint it but that is all, oh and stitch the wig permanently on.  I finished her attire today.  I made my first pair of felt shoes!  Yeah : )   

I love her color scheme and she will have her own vintage teddy bear.  Oh and her head turns.

Now, I am ready to work on a baby next.  It's been so long.

I hope to get my little ones face done in the next few days and will post pics, need a name also.  As always, I am as pokey as a mouse but this is how I stay sane so it's okay with me except when I take almost a year off like I did before I made Kelly~Belle.  Her pattern was marinating in my brain for so long. 

I am dying to soft sculpt again.  Sooooo that will be fun and a new challenge since it's been ages.  I am still undecided, cotton, soft sculpt pattern,  head pattern...  I have an idea I want to try though and am thinking probably cotton knit.

I hope you all are doing well and dolls are keeping you sane or driving you insane, it's always one of the two LOL.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I am so happy for Kelly Belle, she is going to a new home.  She is so excited, she is out of the cupboard and sitting pretty waiting to get snuggled into her box for the trip to her new home.  I will miss her.

I got fabric cut for the new dolls limbs so maybe later I can work on her I hope. 

Off to a meeting at one of the kids schools.  Got to spend time with my little grandbaby Sophia last night, bliss.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Okay, so not much doll time for me.  Kids have me going in every direction.  Am feeling okay though.

I did get my next dolly's outfit going and it is really cute.  I am doing a smaller doll in the Belle style.  She won't be button jointed though, more traditional...  I am so in love with her wig.  I haven't sketched her face but I can see it in my head.  Her head turns.  I just have to sew up her limbs and have them in pattern form and ready to cut fabric.  I don't think I have enough but have more on the way. 

Poor Kelly Belle is still waiting for a nice home.  She is quietly sitting in the cupboard with her little bear.  Meantime, her adoption profile is on etsy.  I just noticed I listed her size wrong.  She is 27" (had said 17") and I reduced her.

I am off to blog hop and see how everyone else is doing. 


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New Dolly!

~ Kelly Belle ~

More pics on mt website, see link above.

I finally got little Kelly Belle done.  She is a girly girl who likes to play with fashion.  She really wanted to be a little Goth soooo she was allowed to wear her cute skull slip ons and thigh high soft cotton tights.  She loves her little skull leg warmers.  This is her favorite dress with it's built in netting and slip.  She likes to twirl and her little curls go flying.

Details, button jointed shoulders, elbows and knees.  Stitch jointed hips.  27" long.  Her hair is sewn on to her head, synthetic mohair soft curls in honey blonde that sheikes to tuck behind her ears.  She has a light smattering of freckles.  She likes to wear her hair tucked behind her ears and has a headband in her hair that is as girly and fun as she is. 

Kelly loves her little hand made bear.  She has had it a very long time and it has had a few patches but she likes Beary with her all the time and can't sleep without her.  She can be her girly barefoot self too as her feet are needle sculpted and her little toes have pretty little nails.  She does love to run around the house barefoot.

Hope you like her!

I have started the next one who will be a lot smaller.  Nice to be finished with Kelly, poor little girl has been waiting so long for her litte ensamble and me to get her bouncy curls done!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I am still waiting on hair.   I did get teddy done.  I named this one Kelly Belle.  I will have pics soon as I get her hair done.

I did start a new dolly.  A smaller one compared to Kelly Belle.  I forget how long she is...  27 inches I think.  I am making a doll for the wig I bought that was too small for KB.  It is so gorgeous, I had to make a dolly to fit it.  Never did that before.  I have to do limbs for her still.  I don't think I have enough fabric so have to order that to finish her. 

I am learning at this point in my dolly making life to use my mistakes to make a new doll.  I made the body too small for the smaller doll but since it's done, I will make an even smaller doll with it eventually. 

Anyway, that's my small update. 

If any of you have not seen Soft Dolls & Animals, check it out.  You get patterns and so much more, eye candy for sure...  Just a little plug.  It's just great.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October 20th.  If I was faster I'd make a Halloween themed doll.  I love all the fun dolls I am seeing on CDA and blogs. 

I painted my dolls face today and worked on her outfit so that all I have left is hair and hair ornament but once again, I ordered the wrong thing.  Soooooo I finally figured out what to order and have done that.  So frustrated with myself about that.

I still have pattern glitches to work out for the next one but that's okay.  I am just not sure I am happy with my outfit but I think when she is done she will be mostly what I was going for.

I have to name this girl still.  I also need to make her teddy. 

Hope your having fun. 


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dolly is constructed.  Now she is telling me she really would like a face.  She is bald and nakkie but one thing at a time.  I have to wait to order her hair for another week so hopefully she will be all done but her hair by then.  It feels really good to have made a doll after so long but I have a terrible headache at the moment so off to rest.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Well, I got the body (torso) done and the head is attached.  Sitting here trying to decide if I feel up to any more sewing today. 

I have to show you Susy's new work.  She just listed some new dolls and they are sooo gorgeous.  I want one one day.

Love & Hugs,

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I have redone my pattern body sooo many times now.  I think I have it now.  I am happy with the head I did so now am going to try and sew up the body in the next few day.  Who knew it would be so hard to simplify while keeping the same look and goals.  Everytime I would get lost on all the options such as number of peices to pattern and such, hubby would remind me what I kept mumbling was my intention with this doll.  He tries so hard to help me.

Hopefully, I will have enough fabric to get through the rest of this pattern.  I wasted so much on my first two attempts and I thought I had the bugs worked out.  Noooooooo...  Goodness this is hard work.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Today was setback day after all that progress.  Necessary though.  Must start over.  Head was too big for body, so shrunk that down.  Forgot my own steps on the body/limb construction so have to redo.  hate wasting the fabric but learned from getting that far so in the end it is good.

The gorgeous wig is too small.  Soooo back to having to order for her hair.  I shrunk my pattern to a size that will work with the wig though so I think I will make up a doll to fit the wig it is so pretty. 

Alas, nothing to show for a while but enjoying the process.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

OOOHHHHH I am sooooooo, seeewwwww excited!  I did it!!  I have had this head pattern in my brain for months and months and itching to do it and it worked!!!!  Yeah!  Success feels so good, especially after not having been able to sew or design since last spring.  I am so thrilled.  

Her dress is here and I love it.  Her outfit is coming together.  I am really excited about her wig but I think it will be too small.  That's okay though, it is gorgeous and I can use it on a smaller doll, I can just shrink my pattern.  I think I have finally figured out how to get the hair on my dolls to have the look I am after.

Thank you for sharing my excitement!

I also got to babysit my little Sophia for a few hours last night.  My 12 year old daughter helped.  Hubby was away this weekend and is thankfully home now.

Sophia is 1 month now.  Already, it seems so unreal.  I have been focused on her and my daughter for so long. 

Update:   I have now gotten the complete rest of the pattern actual size and ready to cut fabric, yeah!!  Some challenges with the changes but such a feeling of accomplishment.  Nice feeling.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I have forgotten how hard it is to design patterns.  I worked on my head today and it is to simplify and change up a pattern I have done (Belle) and yet, it was sooooo hard!  I finally got it actual size.  It is hard to "see" in 3D what I am doing on the flat paper.  Ugh.  I think of people like Temple Grandin and her amazing ability as a person with Asperger's to see this way and can't even imagine it even though I have seen her speak via computer and saw her bio movie and read her amazing, amazing books.  It is a very, very hard thing to do.  Here I am just doing fairly simple things vs designing at the scale she does.  (revolutionized the  cattle and industry with her designs of humane slaughter facilities).  She is amazing with animals. 

So, have gotten this far.  The rest will be much easier.  I am anxious to see what her head dimension will be once together... 

Why do I do this to myself?  I love it.  LOL.  Just like you do.  Love the challenge, just all of it! 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Well, I have been working on my new doll.  I haven't had a chance to do more than sketch her but I have gotten the wardrobe together and am still working on finalizing my hair vision.  So fun to be dreaming up a new doll.  I hope to have a chance to work on the pattern soon.  I am getting ahead of myself with wanting to do different things, two head styles, other doll styles...  I am focusing on one at a time though.  I feel like, instead of midwives, we are dollwives and facilitating the birth of each doll we create.  It is really like the doll just comes to life in my head (and I am sure yours too but others as you go) and need to create him/her.

If all goes well, I will be getting the actual pattern started and sewing soon.  It has been soooooooo long. 

I am enjoying my granddaughter so much.  She is almost up to 6 lbs.  Tia is amazing and exclusively breast fed her since the hospital.  So proud of her.

Thanks for stopping by!
Dolly Midwife

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I made it into the doll room today and actually worked.  I sketched out a design which is mostly redesigning my Belle pattern.  I redid her head completely and changed the body and leg attachements.  I really love making this style doll so it was really great to change it up and refine it in my opinion.  It also is a simpler design but hopefully, will have a different look but still same idea of this doll that I envisioned from the start.

I do want to make a baby again but need to find a lycra source so I can make the doll I have in mind.  I want to do a soft sculpt.  I eventually would like to make a photo baby or portrait of my grandbaby Sophia but that will have to wait for now.  I have her to enjoy.  She is so sweet natured and such a joy.

If anyone has a lycra source, I'd love to hear of it.  Also, long mohair skins...   I had a computer disaster a few months ago and lost all my saved sites so have to find them again. 

Hope the weather is cooling off for all of you who are as sick of the heat as I am. 

Thank you Dessa Rae and Pam for your comments.  I am a fan of yours also!


Thursday, September 23, 2010


Oh my gosh, I am keeping my head above water so to speak and actually made it into the sewing/doll room today.  It only lasted literally, 5 minutes but I got in there and sat at the new desk.  (room was finished a few months ago). 

I have a doll I want to make in mind, well, several but I am feeling ready.  I know I've said that before but I mean it LOL.  My daughter is doing so well with the new baby.  She was 3 weeks old yesterday and up to 5 pounds 10 ounces.  Exclusively breast fed so that is impressive : )  She is still going in weekly for weight checks at the doctors.

I am quite simply head over heels for her.  

The older ones are getting into the groove at school and I just had a lengthy meeting at my teenage son's school so I am as on top of things as I ever will be. 

Sooooo Dolls!!!  Sewwww Dolls!!!  I have been out of dolly land for so long, except for my baby doll collector forum where I have been an addict for many years, I am hoping to catch back up on my love of cloth dolls.

I saw Ree's little Witch and she is so precious.  Cinnomon Lane just had the cutest set posted on Face Book!  Thanks to all who left me comments.  : )    I really need to hop on to the blogs and catch up.  I know Jesse you are making your darlings and I admire your ability to make dolls through everything life throws at you.  You are amazing.

I also need to catch up on CDA.  I have been MIA from CDA LOL   hee hee

I got this wonderful email today from a wonderful woman who is fairly new to doll making.  She bought my Little Darling's pattern and sent me these photos.  I am so proud!

I love Fall and it does seem to give me back a bit of my stamina every year so here's hoping I can spend more time in the dolly room!

Love & Hugs,

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Popping in to say Hi !   I have a new grand daughter!  She is one week old tomorrow.  Her name is Sophia Isobelle.  It was a scary last few weeks but she is here safe and sound.  Tia's labor and delivery were a bit complicated but beautiful. 

Welcome Sophia Isobelle, 4lbs, 11 oz,    17 1/2 inches long.  A tiny little perfect darling baby.

I am so happy. 

Congrats to your dolls in SD&A Ree!!!  I am so proud of you.

I hope I can focus on dolls again.  It's hard to put this little one down but mommy is doing a superb job.  I am so happy to have her with us now.

Love and Hugs,

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hi, long time no type!  I miss dolly making!  I have been so busy with life. 

My grandbaby is on schedule for September 14th.  My daughter is doing well.  She is sooo big as she is so tiny normally.  We are having a girl and the name keeps changing.  I lost out of Willow but it looks like Emma Isabella maybe.  Pretty cute also.

Jeff & Tia graduated and that was a huge sigh of relief and I am very proud of them.  The other kids are doing fine.  Sarah is very high energy but she is keeping busy and wearing me out LOL. 

I have a dolly/sewing room finally!  Poor hubby was so busy getting the nursery ready for the real baby and just working so hard but it's done!  I have to finishe organizing and will have to get pics soon.  Soooo hope to sew soon.  I am hoping to regain energy and be able to help with my grandbaby so that has been my focus.  I have really struggled with some health issues lately and it has been very, very tough. 

I am glad to see everyone else having a great time in dolly land.

It will probably be a while but I will one day get a dolly done : )


Thursday, June 17, 2010

So Proud!


I have done some classes for CDA and am sharing one of the Little Darling's, Dolly that a student made.  Her name is Suze.  I am so proud.  I feel like a grandma.  She made the cutest knit outfit.  She also used my face template instead of copying directly onto the fabric since she didn't have an up to date color copier. 

I think she did a fabulous job!!!

I just love her : ) 


Monday, June 7, 2010

Popping in to say Hi.  I am thrilled to see Ree is blogging.  I am glad the storm passed for you Ree, you always bring sunshine to us.  Can't wait to see what you make for your next creation.

Hi Carla, saw my Dolly on your post, awwww thanks.  Love ya.

Jess, amazing as always.  I love that brown eyed girl.  Love the 18" size.  Love the banner too. 

Wish I had unlimited dolly $'s.  So many gorgeous dolls...

I am busy this week with Sarah's bridging in Girl Scouts to Cadette tonight and then I have two graduates.  Jesse from 8th grade, though now-a-days, they are calling it a "Promotion Ceromony," shrug.  I am proud of him.  He has so much to overcome to get through it all.  Tia & Jeff graduate their programs.  Yeah!!  Ohhh the places they will go... 

Congratulations to all of you with graduates.  Where did the time go???  I am glad to have a grandbaby soon.  I am so missing my kids being little.  My youngest is taller than me.  She is 12 but I am short.  (5'1").  14 weeks to go. 

Hugs to all of you!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Popping in to say hi and share a new site I found through. Oh my goodness, I am in love with these dolls. Karen Kline's Kaerie Faerie site is under blogs I follow, click on the photo and see her work. Exquisite. I love all of them head to toe perfection.

I see FOCD Baby Doll annual challenge dolls are posted.  Wow!  So many darling dolls.  I wish I could have entered this year.  We are going to have a hard time choosing!

Here is the link:

So much fun. 


Monday, May 31, 2010

New Classes on Cloth Doll Artistry!!!


I am excited to announce my Little Darling's class is on CDA.  As always, Connie did a beautiful job and Tara Lee's Groot did the pdf work on the pattern and instructions and made it so pretty!  She is Kat Lees daughter and an amazing person.  Little Darling's is the pattern for the rattle, ornament and little dolly.  Face and complete patterns can be printed right on to your fabric.  Fun, fun pattern to design and simple to make each creation.


Little Darling Rattle & Ornament with Big Doll I made from Judi Ward's pattern, 6 - 9 mo. baby.

Jennifer Belle is also going to be a class.  She is complete with face templates along with instructions for the complete doll.  I really  had fun working on the button jointed dolls for a while there.  I love the big eyed, big headed girls.  Sweet Grace and Jasmin Belle & her Dolly (on right) were all made from this pattern. 

Jennifer Belle:

Sweet Grace:

I love Cloth Doll Artistry. If you are not a member, please check it out. If you love dolls, you will love this site.

I hope to see you there!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dolly News:

No new dolly's but my Jennifer Belle pattern doll will be coming up on CDA as a class.  (see link on right).  Also, my Little Darling's class.  You can check out Dolly on the right, she is part of that class and her head is used to make a rattle or ornament as well.  Her pattern prints right onto your fabric.  Easy and fun.  She is meant to look like the old vintage dolls.  This pic shows her as printed but she can be darkened to look newer too like the pic with Jasmin. 

Little Grace is my painting tutorial:

She is the model for the class, using her face.  Her pattern to make a full doll is the Jennifer Belle pattern and this includes instructions for Jennifer's face as well.  Jasmin was also made from this pattern (Jasmin Belle).

I am still hoping to make a new doll pattern soon.  Really am dreaming of a soft sculpt baby.  I have decided that despite the health challenges lately, it really must be the time of year.  So much going on and the weather is so gorgeous, I just am soooo distracted!

Plus, dolly room is not finished.  It is primed and waiting for paint though.  I wish I could paint it but I can't lift my arms over my head easily for any length of time.  Hubby is soooo busy and tends to want the walls perfect so he has touched up and touched up.  I told him he doesn't need to be so picky but he cann't help it.  The walls were in rough shape from being a play-room when the kids were little and then Sarah's room for several years. 

I'll be sharing my room with Tim now that he is in business for himself.  Lucky he doesn't mind all my dolls about : )  Half of them and my supplies remain packed up though, driving me crazy!  However, I am so busy with my new granddaughter coming in September it definetely keeps me preoccupied.

I had so much fun shopping just  a bit for Tia's upcoming baby shower end of July.  Found some really fun game ideas on etsy and ebay.  Got supplies to start making fun interactive table decorations.  It is going to be great.  Finally finished gathering all the adresses for the baby shower.  Jeff's mom made the arrangements to book a hall so it feels good to be moving forward with concrete plans. 

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  Blessings to all of our soldiers and families. 



Kelly Belle

Kelly Belle

~Grace Belle~

~Grace Belle~

~Jasmine Belle & Her Baby~

~Jasmine Belle & Her Baby~

~Violet Belle~

~Violet Belle~

~Jennifer Belle~

~Jennifer Belle~

Am I cute?

Am I cute?