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Have you checked out all my blogs?


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


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


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


Cooking:https://joanne-kitchen.blogspot.com/





Also if for some reason I can't post I will try to give a head's up on the Facebook page so check there too.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December Sewing Update

Okay so I debated whether or not I should even post this one this month. I really haven't had the time to do much doll size sewing at all. I only got three Christmas themed long sleeve t-shirts finished this month and that was only because the sew along in my doll sewing group was for anything for Christmas.



I did cut out a couple more shirts but didn't have time to finish them. I will hopefully get back to them soon.

So here is a picture of the girls in their shirts in front of my real life tree in my living room. The shirts are all made from a pattern I have been tweaking for a couple of years. I started with the pattern for a t-shirt in Joan Hinds Contemporary Wardrobe Book. After I made it up the first time (a couple of years ago) I started to adjust it to fit the way I wanted. I don't remember what all I have done to that pattern except I know I made it longer and a bit more fitted. I have also re-drawn it with several different necklines so I can pretty much use it to make any style shirt I want. I have also used my adjustments to make a raglan sleeve top too. This is my go to pattern for tops I have also made it longer for a tunic type top (ending mid-thigh) that I have sold to several people.

For this sew along I wanted to make the kids some Christmas t-shirts, the only ones I got done were the ones I used my embroidery machine to decorate. I had others planned but I guess they will happen another year. The three designs I used all came form Embroidery Designs.com. All of these were in their free designs, this company allows you to get 3 free designs per week (more if you buy their designs that are for sale) I have had really good luck with their designs and so far have been really happy with them. One nice thing for using these free designs for doll things is most of them come pretty small to begin with. All I did was to use the re-size option on my sewing machine before I started sewing. The present design was supposed to have a fourth present but I liked the way it looked with only three, odd numbers are usually more visually appealing and it fit so nicely on the shirt this way.

So if I wasn't sewing for the dolls what was I doing you might be asking. I did sew a couple of aprons for Christmas presents and that was all the sewing I got done. I spent a lot of time still working on getting my storage room/ studio in shape. It still has a long way to go but I hope to have it useable in a week or so. I want to get back to doing all my blogs and I need the space to do the photos.

I hope everyone had a wonderful December- no matter what holiday you celebrated. I am looking forward to the new year and I hope it brings all of us good health, good fortune, and many friends.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Storage Room Make Over- In progress


I have been planning the make over of this room in my house for several months. I just hadn't worked very hard at it. In the last couple of months I would work on a day or two and then there were so many other things to do that I would not get back to it. That went on for a while.

A couple of weeks ago I had decided it was time to work on the room and actually get it done. That made me come up with a plan to get the job done. At that point it was hard to even get the door to the room open all the way. The room was stuffed with boxes and furniture that had been put there simply because they had no where else to go.

Let me take a moment to tell you the history of this room and what I had decided it was to become. Originally it had been my middle son's room and when he finally got all (most) of his stuff out of there my daughter decided she wanted that room. She had to paint it lime green which would not be my first choice but it is alright and easy to change at a later date. Since my son had done some damage to the carpet she also got my go ahead to tear out the carpet and paint the floor under it with a floor paint.

When my mom passed away she and a boy friend moved into my mom's house and the green room became a storage room. There was a lot of stuff from my mom's house that I wanted to store and all the three kids that had moved out had left some things so they needed a place to go. And as with a lot of families there was just a lot of stuff that needed a place to go. Since I didn't have any plans for the room it became the dumping ground for all kinds of stuff.

When this process of dumping stuff in the room started there was some order to it and I could actually find stuff. I moved a lot of my sewing stuff in there since I sew in the dining room and there really isn't a place to store that stuff there. It worked pretty well until we just over stuffed the room with stuff.

Last summer I started to think about what I wanted that room to become. I'm not sure how many of my readers are aware that I write 4 different blogs, this one about 18” dolls, my dollhouse one, a general crafts one and a cooking blog. I do admit the cooking blog really takes a back seat to the others but I am hoping in the new year to change that and get on a regular schedule with all four of them. Anyway because of writing 4 blogs I am really in need of a place that I can set up to take photos easily. Some place that I can have everything I need for that conveniently located and to a degree be able to leave some parts of the photo taking equipment set up. Basically I began dreaming of making that room into a photo studio. I also wanted to have a good amount of storage for not only the things I needed for the photography end of the blogging process but for my dolls in general and for my sewing. I was tired of having to dig in multiple locations to find the stuff I knew I already have. Or worse just give up and buy stuff because I couldn't find it.

As far as sewing stuff not only have I been sewing for as long as I can remember but I inherited my mom's stash of sewing goodies. So storage was going to be a priority for this room.

I admit I didn't really have a solid plan for the room until I got to thinking about it as I was cleaning house for Thanksgiving. As I cleaned and picked up the house my mind started to work on the dynamics of what I needed in this room. I decided that I was going to start over the weekend following Turkey day to work on getting the room set up so I could use it the way I wanted to use it.

My first step was to clear a path along the wall directly in front of the door so that I could open the door all the way (what a  concept) and so that I could start putting shelves along that wall and start organizing the room from that point. I made myself a work area the length of the wall over that weekend, leaving only a couple of things that were too heavy for me to manage by myself until Monday when my youngest son could help me.

On Monday during my shopping trip to town I went to Home Depot and picked up 3 shelf units. Two that were 3 feet long with 5 shelves each and one that was 22 inches wide with 4 shelves. Since I had 8 feet of wall to work with this was just about perfect.

It was Wednesday before I got time to work on them. Then I brought them into the room one at a time and assembled them in place. They went together beautifully and are nice and sturdy.

As a wonderful coincidence one of the members of the doll sewing group I belong to suggested a 7 day mini challenge. The idea was that for the next 7 days those that wanted to take part would work on projects related to sewing and/or our dolls. It could be sewing, organizing, or just about anything related -just something. I decided that this was the perfect way to keep me on track and push me to get as much done as possible on my room quickly.

So I was able to tell them about what I had accomplished that day for my day 1 of the challenge. On day two I cleared out a lot of the boxes and most of the extra furniture from the room. I made 4 piles of this stuff in my living room (I am very thankful that I could get my youngest son to help with this) These piles are stuff to go back in the room, stuff to go the storage unit, stuff to donate to Goodwill, and stuff to take to my daughter so she can deal with some of her stuff.

On day 3 I picked up 4 more of the larger shelf units at Home Depot so I could get them into the room. I also got some clear plastic boxes to put stuff into and still be able to find it. I also pretty much emptied the room the rest of the way. 

Day 4 which was Saturday my son and I made multiple trips to the storage unit with stuff. I also got all the rest of the shelf units put together. The only real problem I ran into was that one of the units was missing a piece. I was able to go to the website and order it free of charge. I put the shelf together except for that piece. I will just have to leave myself room to put it rest of the way together when the part comes. On one of those trips to town I also picked up even more of the storage boxes.

Day 5 we started with the first of two trips to the storage unit for the day. I think that will be all of the stuff that needs to go there. I spent a lot of my day going through the stuff in the two dressers that had been at my mom's house and then stored in the storage room. I need to empty those so I can use the dressers elsewhere in the house. I found lots of interesting things. I also was able to start putting things away. I took the 3 photos of the room in progress at the end the work day too.When I get this project done there will be more photos as well as a video tour.

So let's talk about what we are seeing in these pictures.

Photo 1-is going to be my sewing storage area. It is on the south wall. Ignore the stuff in front of the shelves after all this is a work in progress. Also ignore the non-sewing stuff that has wandered onto the shelves until I figure out where it goes. LOL On the shelf unit to right you can see my boxes of fabric, I have it roughly sorted by color. The only bad thing is I have found a lot more fabric in my mom's stuff that isn't in those boxes and isn't going to fit in them. I will have to figure that out later. The second shelf has my serger on it and I hope to leave a spot for my sewing machine when it needs to be put away. Over time I will get the space organized but for now I am happy with just sorting to the correct area.

Photo 2- the window corner of the room. Sitting in my mom's child size rocking chair is one of my childhood dolls. She is one of those dolls that was the size of a real child (wears about a size 2 T) and at one time could “walk” if you held her hand. She was one of the few dolls I actually played with as a child and I had thought she was long gone. We found her when cleaning out my mom's house. I hope to make her some seasonal clothing to wear as soon as I have time. Funny side story she totally gives my son the creeps. He visibly shudders when he sees her. Next to her is a small chest that was my moms.

To the right in this photo you see the sewing storage shelves and to right are shelves that I hope will contain some general craft supplies and also some of the props I have for my cooking blog photos. Ignore the chair that needs to go back to the kitchen. LOL

Photo 3- shows the wall of three shelves I put together the first day. Primarily these will house the 18” doll stuff. Right now the “kids” are all sitting in a box on the smaller of the shelves, they will find a better place later. That shelf also contains some plastic shoe boxes where I am keeping the clothes and accessories for those dolls. On top of the units you can see the kitchen that I use in the Allison's journal posts. Now that I have storage space I will be able to build more sets for more stories in that blog feature. I also have a bunch of stuff on those shelves that I pulled out to put in other parts of the house. The desk in front of the shelves will be going to Goodwill as soon as I don't need it for a work surface in the sorting process. Behind the door and also between the shelf and the corner I hope to have room to store the walls that use as backdrops for the Allison's journal photos.

The other wall- which I totally forgot to take a picture of has the closet. It also has a space where I am going to put an antique writing desk that belonged to my grandparents. I plan to use the writing desk as an area to work on prepping/dressing the dolls for photo shoots. Right now that piece of furniture is next door at my mom's house where my oldest son is now living. He also has a table that was my mom's that I am going to use in the middle of the room to take photos on.

Then I will need to get some light stands built so I can light the photos. For that I am going to use PVC pipe just like I did for my video lights. I have a blog post about that on my mini blog. (you can see that blog post here) I do plan to do a video when I build the light stands so you all can see how to make them. And don't forget I will be back with a video tour when this room is pretty much finished.