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Dollhouse Minis: http://joannes18dolls.blogspot.com/


18” Dolls: http://joannes18dolls.blogspot.com/


General Crafts: http://joannes-place.blogspot.com/


Cooking: http://inthekitchenwithmummsie.blogspot.com/





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Monday, August 22, 2016

Doll Size Pancakes


A week or so ago I got a request to make some breakfast foods for the dolls. Sorry, I didn't write down who requested it and I can't find the post now. But in any case here you go.



So I decided to start the breakfast choices out with some pancakes. I love to make doll size pancakes because they are really fast to make and they are almost fool proof. So if you haven't tried to make any of my polymer clay foods this would be a perfect place to start. They are also a lot of fun so even those of you that have more experience should enjoy them too.

For clay if you have a block of Fimo in Vanilla that is the perfect color! My block of Vanilla was almost gone so I mixed some clays together to get a color that was close. The lighting in my craftroom was off this week (too hot to turn on all the lights or to open the blinds for natural light) and the clay mixture looked a lot more green than it really was. Trust me, it was pancake color. To get the right color mix whatever white clay you have (I used Original Sculpey) with just a touch of a pale yellow (I used Sculpey Lemonade). You are going for a very pale yellow, more of a cream color. This would be a great excuse to go to the kitchen and make a batch of pancakes so you have the real thing to use as a reference. Remember the pancakes are mostly white but with a slight yellow from the egg yolks that are normally in there. A plain white clay won't look right, you need that tiny touch of yellow.

After you condition your clay and have it mixed well you need to roll out some balls of clay. Try to make them all about the same size, I was trying to keep mine at ¾” because that makes a good sized pancake. If your dolls want larger plate sized pancakes make these balls larger. If they want a plate of the little “silver dollar” size make the balls smaller.

You will need something that is smooth and flat to flatten your pancakes. I had a tin of Lip Butter on my desk so that was what I grabbed. Just look around you, I am sure you will find something. It just needs to be smooth and larger than the finished pancake.

You will also need some cornstarch or baby powder to keep your flattening tool from sticking to badly.

After you get your pancakes flattened you need to give them some “cooked” color. Just like with any bread type food dig out your yellow ocher, red brown, and dark brown chalks and a brush. For this we really want to work the chalk into the top of each pancake but keep the sides their natural color. I don't bother coloring the bottom of these normally but if you want to feel free to. Always start and finish with the yellow chalk, using less of each color as you go darker.

If you want some butter to go on the pancakes you can make some out of the same yellow clay you used to mix your pancake color.

Bake your clay according to the package directions.

After they cool you can add some Gallery Glass (or other brand of glass stain paint) syrup or honey to the top. Allow this to dry completely before you touch it.

So the first breakfast for the dolls is served! A nice plate of pancakes to start the day off right!




What other breakfast (or other) foods would you like to see????

Doll Size Pancakes


A week or so ago I got a request to make some breakfast foods for the dolls. Sorry, I didn't write down who requested it and I can't find the post now. But in any case here you go.



So I decided to start the breakfast choices out with some pancakes. I love to make doll size pancakes because they are really fast to make and they are almost fool proof. So if you haven't tried to make any of my polymer clay foods this would be a perfect place to start. They are also a lot of fun so even those of you that have more experience should enjoy them too.

For clay if you have a block of Fimo in Vanilla that is the perfect color! My block of Vanilla was almost gone so I mixed some clays together to get a color that was close. The lighting in my craftroom was off this week (too hot to turn on all the lights or to open the blinds for natural light) and the clay mixture looked a lot more green than it really was. Trust me, it was pancake color. To get the right color mix whatever white clay you have (I used Original Sculpey) with just a touch of a pale yellow (I used Sculpey Lemonade). You are going for a very pale yellow, more of a cream color. This would be a great excuse to go to the kitchen and make a batch of pancakes so you have the real thing to use as a reference. Remember the pancakes are mostly white but with a slight yellow from the egg yolks that are normally in there. A plain white clay won't look right, you need that tiny touch of yellow.

After you condition your clay and have it mixed well you need to roll out some balls of clay. Try to make them all about the same size, I was trying to keep mine at ¾” because that makes a good sized pancake. If your dolls want larger plate sized pancakes make these balls larger. If they want a plate of the little “silver dollar” size make the balls smaller.

You will need something that is smooth and flat to flatten your pancakes. I had a tin of Lip Butter on my desk so that was what I grabbed. Just look around you, I am sure you will find something. It just needs to be smooth and larger than the finished pancake.

You will also need some cornstarch or baby powder to keep your flattening tool from sticking to badly.

After you get your pancakes flattened you need to give them some “cooked” color. Just like with any bread type food dig out your yellow ocher, red brown, and dark brown chalks and a brush. For this we really want to work the chalk into the top of each pancake but keep the sides their natural color. I don't bother coloring the bottom of these normally but if you want to feel free to. Always start and finish with the yellow chalk, using less of each color as you go darker.

If you want some butter to go on the pancakes you can make some out of the same yellow clay you used to mix your pancake color.

Bake your clay according to the package directions.

After they cool you can add some Gallery Glass (or other brand of glass stain paint) syrup or honey to the top. Allow this to dry completely before you touch it.

So the first breakfast for the dolls is served! A nice plate of pancakes to start the day off right!




What other breakfast (or other) foods would you like to see????

Monday, August 15, 2016

Doll Size Cannoli




This week we are making the dolls some Cannoli. I have actually been craving these in real life for a couple of weeks now. I was watching something on Netflix a while back and one of the characters came in with a plate of cannoli and there was a scene where a bunch of the characters were sitting around a table eating cannoli. Then one of my favorite cooking channels on Youtube made cannolis last week. I can't get away from them! I figured since I don't know where to get any locally and it is just too hot right now to make the real thing at least the dolls should be able to enjoy them.



So on to our project.

We need 4 colors of clay, the brands are important on this project just use colors as close to what I used as possible so the color mix will come out correctly.

You need a white, I actually used Original Scupley. This clay comes in a much larger package than the regular polymer clays we normally use. It mixes just fine with the other brands and is much cheaper. I try to always have some on hand. Any white clay will do.


You need something close to Premo Ecru, it is a very light tan/beige color.

You need an orange that is not too strong, kind of a mellow orange color. I used Scupley Sweet Potato.

And finally you need a bright yellow, in this case Fimo Sunflower.

There are 2 ways to look at how much clay you need for this project. The easy way is to start with the yellow. You need a small amount of this. Then of the orange you need twice as much as you used of the yellow. Now double the amount of orange and this is how much of the ecru you need. And double the amount of Ercu and you that is how much white you need.

Or -8 parts white
4 parts Ecru
2 parts Orange
1 part yellow

Mix these colors together thoroughly then roll out and texture the top surface. Use a 1 ½” round cutter to cut the discs of clay. Using a ¼” to 3/8” dowel that has been wrapped in foil as you mold form the cannoli shape. Add texture to the cut edge then use some chalks to give a baked/fried look.

After they bake you need to remove them from the forms immediately. Yes, I know they are hot, that is the idea. While they are still hot they can be removed without breaking them. Once they cool they will become more brittle and you are more likely to break them trying to remove them from the forms.

Now they do need to cool.

For filling I like to chaulking from the paint department of the hardware store. It makes a nice fluffy looking filling. If you want to add “chocolate chips” this needs to be done before the chaulking has started to set up.

I was going to leave them at this point but decided they needed some powdered sugar dusted on the tops. For the powdered sugar use some white chalk. To make it stick just some very light taps of matte Mod Podge.


Once dry your cannoli are finished and ready for the dolls to enjoy.



Saturday, August 13, 2016

Doll Shoe Making Adventure



I have been sewing up a storm for my newest doll, Maria. If you haven't seen my un-boxing video/ blog you can find that here. She is one of the new Wellie Wisher dolls from American Girl. She is just so much fun to sew for because she is younger than the rest of the dolls. In my doll world she is little sister to Jeremy and she is just 6 years old.

I mean I love sewing the more grown up clothes for the other dolls but it is a nice break to create for this younger character.

Anyway since she has new clothes she needed some real shoes. I think I am probably the one person that isn't a fan of the boots that these dolls come with. I just don't really care for them, and in real life we (myself and my kids) would never wear our rubber boots anywhere but out to the barn. So I started my hunt for a cute doll shoe pattern for Maria.

I started on the Pixie Faire site and I purchased the first shoe pattern they released, the re-sized version of the Janes Shoe. I got it mostly so I could wrap my brain around how big the shoes needed to be. I did spend a very frustrating afternoon trying to make shoes from that pattern. But as I was afraid I really just don't like that pattern very much. I purchased it in the American Girl size and didn't like it then either.

I did post on the Pixie Faire Facebook page asking if the Plain Janes shoes from Luv U Bunches would be re-sized. It is my very favorite shoe pattern for the larger dolls and I knew I would love it just as much in this size.

I was so excited a week or two later to see it was indeed released in the Wellie Wisher size!! I have been stalking the Pixie Faire website for new Wellie Wisher patterns several times a week. I snapped this pattern up as soon as I saw it.

I made a pair immediately to see how the pattern went together then I decided to try making a bunch of the shoes. I use what I refer to as Assembly Line sewing to do multiple pairs at a time. I made 6 pair of the shoes over the weekend. I posted pictures of the batch of shoes and got lots of questions about how I managed to make so many in such a short time. It was then that I decided it would be fun to write this blog post and take you all along with me as I make more shoes.

By sewing assembly like style I find I make several of an item in about the same amount of time it would normally take me to make just one. This is left over from sewing skating dresses back when my daughter was figure skating. It was not unusual to get asked to make skating dresses for an ice show at our rink and need to make 10 or 15 or even 30 dresses in less than a week. I developed shortcuts and quick ways that worked for me. That is what I hope to share here today as I adapted them to this pattern in particular. Remember each pattern I sit down to do this with will be a little bit different depending what steps are required for it. And on what I feel I can batch together.

So the first step in this shoe pattern was of course to print out the pattern. I like to print out the entire pattern because it isn't convenient for me to have my laptop on my sewing table when I am working. Also I read the pattern in advance and then use the pictures in the pattern instructions as my cues as to what I am supposed to do next.

For this pattern I actually printed the page with the pattern pieces twice. Make extra sure that you have the printed pages coming out the correct size, check that 1” box in the corner on both copies.

Since for this pair of shoes I trace the pattern onto the lining fabric I next glued the pattern pieces to an old cracker box. It is so much easier to trace around them this way. I just use a glue stick to do the gluing. Use all the pattern pieces that were on the page and then from the second page you printed use the “shoe top & lining piece” Also save one of the “insole & sole” pieces. (we will need that later)

After the glue has dried cut out the pattern pieces that are glued to the cardboard. On the second copy of the shoe top cut away the seam allowance on the top (the inside of the “u” shape.

Now pick your fabric, at least your lining fabric. I actually almost always use unbleached muslin for shoe lining anymore. I have a large stash of it left over from a project and I like that I don't have to ever worry about dye bleeding onto the doll's feet from it. Also since both sides of the fabric are same I don't have to worry about right and wrong sides.



Use a pencil with a sharp point to trace the shoe top pattern piece onto the back of the fabric however many times you will need it. For this blog post I decided to make 4 more pair of shoes so I traced it 8 times. Trace the piece in pairs like in the picture. So that you can work with one pair at a time. If you want to make a pair with a contrast toe (like the black and gray one in the photo) be sure to line this traced set up so that they are even- this will make more sense when I show you how to easily make this style shoe.

Now using the shoe top that we cut the seam allowance off of line the pattern up on the outside edge and ends of your traced shoe linings and trace the sewing line.

Cut these so that you have the pairs of linings, so you have one piece of lining fabric with the shoe top linings for each pair of shoes you are going to make.

Now trace however many insoles you need on your lining fabric but this time on the right side of the fabric (if your fabric is different on the back and front). I like to trace all my left insoles in one area and all the right ones in another area. Again you will see why when we get to later steps. Set these aside until later.


Now choose your fabrics. This time I picked out all solid pieces, a brown heavy woven, a gray satin and a black satin. These were all just scraps in my stash you just need enough to fit the area that you traced both shoes for each pair.














For sewing make sure you have a fresh needle and use a neutral thread. I used white for all of these. I like white because we are going to be sewing in some basting that will need to come out and it is easy to see for this step.








Since I wanted to make a pair with contrasting toes I also grabbed a bit of extra of the gray and black. I used a straight seam to sew these together like this. I also drew a guide line on on my traced lining fabric for where to place the seam. This is why you need this pair lined up when you trace the pattern pieces.







Now we are going to pin the lining fabric to the shoe fabric right sides together. Since we traced on the wrong side of our lining this is pretty easy. Use as many pins as you need to, I used several per shoe pair. Now sew on that traced seam line. This is the easiest way to get that seam perfect every time. I do find using a sewing machine foot with the most visibility to make this job easier.





























Now something I seldom see in sewing instructions- I always (yes always) press as sewn before I do anything else. By that I mean I take the fabric I have sewn before I trim or try to turn anything and press on the seam I have just sewn. I feel this is a very important step because it sets that thread down on the fabric and I find my seams lay much flatter this way.

Now it is time to cut the shoe top units out. Just follow those cutting lines you traced on the wrong side of the lining fabric back in the beginning. Now while you have those scissors in your hand also clip that seam you just finished sewing, be careful not to cut through the seam just clip up to the stitching line.







Now it is time to turn your shoe tops and press them.

This is my favorite pressing tool for making this easier, it is called a “point presser” and it is probably the most used tool other than my iron for pressing doll clothes.







So the steps to pressing that I follow might not sound intuitive but I they are what I have found work the best for getting crisp seams like this. First press as much of the seam as you can open, then fold the seam and press it closed. This is the same process I use to make collars and anything else that is basically turned back on itself.




Make sure you are happy with the look of the top of your shoes. Make sure the lining is all inside and not showing on the front of the shoe. This is really your best chance to get this step right. I was not as careful as I should have been on this step and you can see my lining on this batch of shoes.






Now onto the back seam. Open out your shoes, meet the back edges and line up the seam on both ends. I like to nest and pin it. Do this will all the shoes before you start sewing.







Make sure you have your machine set up for an accurate ¼” seam. Sew this seam being really careful to not run over pins, I like to hand “walk” my needle over the pin holding the seams together so that I can leave that pin in until the last second.

Now go back to the iron and press the shoes again pressing as sewn, then press the seam open and then in place. Take your time on that back seam and get it just how you want it.
















Again we are going to pin, this time working from the outside of the shoe we are going to pin the shoe tops to the lining. Make sure everything is lined up so that the shoes are not pulled to the side or anything. I like to line up the back seam then the toe area then add pins to the sides. Sewing from the outside and starting on a side sew a basting line ¼” from the edge of the shoe all the way around the bottom opening. This is a small area, especially on this small size but it can be done if you go slow. This basting line is going to be our guide as to how much of the shoe fabric gets glued to the bottom of the insole.




















When this is done use small scissors to clip to the sewing line all around the shoes. This will make the shoe glue on a lot neater later. Also at this point trim the lining below the basting line as close as you can without cutting through either the basting or the outside fabric.







Let's move onto the insoles of our shoes. For this you are going to need another cracker box (or something similar) and some paper-backed fusible webbing. Following the directions on your webbing iron it onto the back of the lining that has the insoles traced onto it. Then follow the directions and adhere it to the plain side of your cracker box (the inside of the box)



I know a lot of people don't realize that you can use the paper-backed fusible stuff to glue fabric to all kinds of materials that aren't fabric.

At this point in the project I divide everything into two containers (I use baskets from Dollar Tree) one basket for all the left pieces and the other for right pieces. I put on of each color shoe in each basket too.

Now following the directions on the pattern cut out the craft foam soles for your shoes. For this set of shoes I used black foam for all the shoes but you can use any color you want. There are some really pretty colors of craft foam.

Now since we have all the left shoe parts in one container and all the right shoe parts in the other we should end up with a right and a left shoe for each pair. Don't ask why I had to add this step to the list.......


I like to start by putting aside one of those containers and making all the left (or all the right) shoes first then make the other halves of the pairs.

For construction of the shoes you will need a bottle of Fast Grab Tacky glue. This stuff is really thick and holds really well. You also really need some toothpicks to spread the glue (get several and change them out when they get too messy), something to put the glue in (I like to use a bottle cap) and some wet wipes. Do not neglect that last item. Wet wipes are your friend, the biggest challenge in this process is keeping the glue where it belongs and not on the outside of the shoes. Glue spots look horrid on shoes!

Put out a bit of the glue, get a toothpick ready and a wet wipe.

Now remember that extra shoe sole pattern you printed off. If you haven't cut it out yet do so now. Then fold the pattern piece in half matching the long edges. Use this to mark the bottom of your insoles so that you know where the middle is. Just line it up with one side of the insole on the bottom (what was the outside of the box) and trace the fold onto the bottom of the insole.

Pick up your first shoe top and find the center of the toe area. Slip the insole into the shoe and match the center of the toe area of the shoe to the center of the toe area of the insole. Also match the back seam to the center of the heel area. Now glue these two areas. Make sure that line of basting is just below the insole.

Set this aside and do the rest of the shoes in this basket.

Now return to the first set and glue the rest of the shoe to the insole. Keep that basting line nice and straight and make sure there are no visible tucks or wrinkles in the shoe fabric.

Repeat with the remaining shoes in this basket.

Now you just need to glue on the craft foam soles following the pattern instructions.

Then repeat with the rest of the shoes in the other basket.

Once the glue is set up and mostly dry you can remove the basting. You might have to work at depending on how much glue you used but is should come out since there shouldn't be any glue on the outside of the shoe. Only the thread on the inside should have any glue on it. Just don't wait until the glue is all the way dry, timing is everything on this step. Be very careful not to pull the shoe tops out of the place.




See we made 4 pair (or however many you made) in not much more time than it would have taken to do one pair. 





Monday, August 8, 2016

Doll Size Burger Baskets





This week we are going to be making some of those cute paper baskets to serve our burgers in. I think this does pull the project all together.

These are super simple to make, we just need to cut some simple rectagles of paper, score, fold, and glue.


The first step is of course finding the right paper. I had my heart set on some red and white check. My first choice for this project is the heavier weight card stock from the craft store. The problem I ran into was that my store had the design I wanted but not in the heavier paper just in the thinner paper. I got a design close to what I wanted in the weight paper I wanted and I got a sheet of the design I wanted. I was going to try the lighter paper first and if it worked I would get to use it. If not I could start over with the other piece of paper.

I was so happy that this did work.

There are several things I like better about the heavier paper though. First off it is stronger so the baskets made with that paper would last longer. It also stays creased better than the lighter weight paper. And although not a huge deal the heavier paper is usually blank on the back side while the lighter paper often has the logo of the paper company on it. So if you can find a design in the heavier weight paper go with that.

We need to cut the card stock into pieces that measure 2 ½” by 3 ¼” then we need to score a ½” in from all sides. Now take a small pair of scissors and cut a line from the corners to where the scoring lines meet at each corner.

Now just glue the corners and allow to dry.



The next step is what makes these durable enough to hold the burgers and to look realistic. We need to coat both sides of the baskets with a layer of Matte Mod Podge. I prefer the matte for this because it just looks more realistic.

After the Mod Podge dries the baskets are done.

If you want to add a liner paper to your baskets just cut some tissue paper (the kind that is sold with wrapping paper) into 2 ½” by 3 ¼” pieces.

If you want to wrap your burgers you can follow my directions on the video with another piece of the tissue paper cut 3 ½” by 4 ½”.

I didn't glue my burgers together because I know I might in the future want the pieces separate for blog photos. If you do want to glue yours I suggest using Beacon's 517 Multi-purpose glue. It plays well with cured polymer clay.

If you want to have some ketchup, mustard or mayo showing on those burgers I recommend using some Scribbles 3-D paint in the appropriate colors . Today I had Bright Yellow, Deep Red and Winter White. This paint will also act as a glue if you use it between the layers.




So there you have our burger project done! What do you think? Did you make some or all of the projects? 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Doll Size Curly Fries




So this week we get to make those curly fries, I think you can see why I had so much trouble deciding which project to offer first between this and the curly fries. These are just so darn easy and sooooo cute!

Again we only need some white clay and it really doesn't matter what brand. Any white polymer clay will work just fine.

The two secrets to this project are the shading with the chalks (you need a good deep colored coating) and wrapping them around various sizes of knitting needles and other similar object.

After you are happy with the coloring of you fries, wrap them around different sizes of forms. I prefer the knitting needles but I didn't have enough different sizes so I also used a few golf tees and a wooden skewer. The variety of sizes and making sure you wrap some tightly and some loosely will make them look more realistic.

Now for the slightly painful but so the most important part. These need to be removed from their forms while they are still hot. If you allow them to get cold first you are much more likely to break your clay trying to remove them. Just use something to hold protect your fingers and work quickly. It really isn't that bad.

So there you have it- the dolls now have curly fries to eat with those burgers (or of course they may prefer the hot dogs from a few months ago)

If you make any of my projects be sure to share some pictures with me. I love to see what you are making.




Also let me know if you have any requests for things to make. I love it when I can show you how to make the things you want to make for your dolls. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Doll Size Onion Rings




This week I thought it would be nice to make something to go with those burgers we have been making for the dolls. Since I have already made a tutorial on regular fries I decided it should either be curly fries or onion rings. I got out my clay and made some of each. Then I just couldn't decide which one to make the tutorial for this week. I posted a picture of both on my Facebook page and put it up to a very informal vote. The onion rings won so that goes up this week. Next week we will make the curly fries. Both projects are super easy and only require some white clay (any brand will work)

So for the onion rings we do need some round clay cutters in sizes ranging from about an inch in diameter down to about ¼” in diameter (my smallest one is actually 3/16”.

Just roll the clay out and cut rounds with the largest cutter then cut rings out that working from largest to smallest cutters. It is so much easier to work in that order, going from smallest to largest is just a lot harder for some reason.

Bake these rings and allow to cool.

Now the magic happens and for the magic we need some Amber Gallery Glass paint and white sand. Now just work in layers like I showed in the video.

There you have it! Onion Rings!!!!