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Saturday, May 30, 2015

May Sewing

Since the end of the month is nearly here I think it is time to do my monthly sewing update. I hope you enjoy these posts. My goal is to show you not only what I am making but maybe point out a few patterns you may not have been aware of. I also try to let you know about any problems I had with the patterns I made so hopefully you can learn from them.

The first sewing I got done this month were my outfits for the Sew Along for my online doll sewing group. The challenge this month was a specific pattern, this time we made up The “Bonjour Paris Mini Wardrobe” (#1033) from Lee & Pearl (here is a link to their site). The best thing about this pattern is it is the pattern that they are giving away to newsletter subscribers this year. So if you haven't subscribed to their newsletter now is the perfect time so you can get this cute pattern too. They also give lots of hints, and some free projects from time to time in the newsletter too, as well as a head's up on their newest designs.

This pattern will make a top, a dress, shorts (with or without cuffs) and a really cute apron. For the sew along we were tasked with making the top and the shorts with the cuffs. I loved this pattern from the minute I first saw it and it had been laying on my sewing table just waiting for me to get the time to sew it up.

For the sew along I decided I wanted to make two of the outfits one for Allison and one for Chelsea. I had originally planned to just use fabric from my stash but I knew I had limited time on the weekend I was going to have time to sew so I decided to shop for some new fabrics specially for the sew along. I found a really cute little pink with butterflies on it. Since the pattern has a French theme and when I think of French things I immediately think of my late little dog who was a Papillon- (Papillon is French for butterfly) so that was a must. I also found a really pretty small scale purple print for the other top. I then picked out some plain colored cottons to go with each of the prints. Since I have always been a clutz I never wear shorts or pants that are light colors and I never think of them for the dolls either. I found some nice dark pink and dark purple fabrics for those shorts, I used these same fabrics for the collars on the tops.

I got the fabrics ready to sew and cut out that same afternoon. I had set aside all day Saturday and most of Sunday to do some sewing so I was all set.

I did rediscover how much I hate pleats because the top has several. LOL It is a good thing I was home alone all weekend because I had some not very nice things to say to my project along the way. In the end it was all worth it because the tops are simply adorable! I did have to walk away a couple of times and I have to say that is my best advice when you start to get frustrated with any project. Just walk away for a little while!

I did cheat a small bit and did all my sewing with white thread, I really wanted to work assembly line style with these. I think they look good with the white and the only place I am not as happy as I could be is in a few spots of my top-stitching. I did do a bit of wandering for some reason on the shorts. On a real pair of shorts it wouldn't even show but on the doll size it bugs me a bit. I think I need to practice that a bit more with this relatively new sewing machine. I really haven't done a lot of top-stitching since I got it and it shows. I even thought about digging out my old machine just for the top-stitching but figured it wasn't worth the effort.

My next sewing project for the month of May was the new Lace Overlay Tank pattern from Liberty Jane (here's a link to the pattern in case you want to see it)
I fell in love with this pattern the moment I saw it. I love the idea of mixing up shorts and a tank top with a bit of lace for summer. The mix is a bit unexpected but fun. It is like something either my daughter or I might wear in real life.

Anyway although I always have a bunch of fabric on hand for tank tops and t-shirts I didn't have any lace I wanted to use. This meant only one thing I had to go fabric shopping! Right????

The Joann's that I normally shop at was in the middle of a re-model the day I went to look for lace. This meant I had to wander a while before I found where they had moved the lace to. I admit when I walked in the door I started to walk to where it used to be then I remembered that polymer clay was in that spot the last time I was there. So with a bit of wandering I found the right area. I walked down the aisle looking at all the possibilities and nothing really grabbed me. Then I noticed a bit of dark purple peeking out from behind another bolt. I moved things around so I could see it and found the most wonderful piece of lace. It is kind of ombre colored going from white to dark purple. I love it! And although the stripes of color are a bit wide to get the full effect on the tank it is still really cool. I cut the fabric so that the shoulder area is white and it gradually goes to dark purple at the hem area.

I know in the photo the back looks like it is pulling weird, it doesn't in real life. I should have checked that closer before I took the picture. That's what happens when I get in a hurry. I wish I had time to take the photo over.

The third sewing project this month was part of a rather large project I have been working on for a while now. Now that I have the dress finished that project was ready to roll forward and was the subject of a couple of blog posts this month. Here let's talk about the dress. I had a photo of my grandmother in a wonderful white dress that I wanted to replicate in feeling if not an exact copy. Since part of this project was to age the dress and for the most part “ruin” it I really didn't want to spend a lot of time on the construction. In other words it didn't have to be perfect to fit the story line. The dress as I made it was only for one photo. I didn't have a pattern that really was the same as the dress but by combining parts of several dresses I was able to get the basics down. I used patterns from Joan Hind's book “Home Decor for 18-inch Dolls” which I am sure has been out of print for a long time. I used the bodice from one dress, the skirt from another and the sleeves from the nightgown. I then shortened the skirt and added a ruffle with lace trim at the bottom. For the lovely square shaped part that overlays the bodice I tried a couple of things before I got the fabric to lay the way I wanted to. In the end I used the neckline and shoulder seams from the dress, then decided how wide and long it needed to be and drew the pattern from there. I was really torn about adding the insertion lace trim in addition to the lace I added to the hem. I really wanted to do it for the way it would look but at the same time I knew it would be a lot of work and I was not sure about finding lace that would work. I decided to put that decision off until after I made a cross necklace to go with the dress. In the end I had to skip the insertion lace because the store didn't have a single piece of lace that would have worked. I am happy with it the way it is and that is what is important. Right? 

Next I needed to come up with shoes. My grandmother had worn a pair of those high top lace up boots that ladies used to wear. The closest I could come up with were the Liberty Jane Combat Boots (link here) I have had this pattern since it was first released and had never gotten around to making them. I had pulled it out a couple of times but always ended up putting it away. The boots turned out a bit “baggy?” looking but they are still cute. I am not sure if that is because the black faux leather I chose is too thin or what.

The next project I worked on was the new Beach Chair (also from Liberty Jane- link here) I had been thinking about how to make a very similar chair for a while but had never gotten around to figuring it out. I was so happy the week that this pattern was offered for part of the Freebie Friday. I do love to work with PVC pipe.

I constructed my chair from the regular plumbing pipe from Home Depot. The only problem I had with the frame itself was that I tried to spray paint over the printing on the pipe. The ink showed through the paint no matter how many coats of paint I used. When I went back to pick up more parts I found a piece of the pipe that didn't have the printing on it and that worked much better.

As for the pattern for the seat- I found that when I made it as the pattern printed out it was too short to fit the frame. I added a ½” at each end and that problem was solved. The original pattern had the sleeve for the cross bars too small for the pipe fittings I purchased also but this same adjustment made everything go together just fine. I love the cute little chairs and they are soooo easy to put together. I can't wait to try other fabric/paint color combinations.

A few days later I made a second chair with an machine embroidery design on the back. I was cruising around one of my favorite machine embroidery sites and found a really cute beach/palm tree design in the free designs. It is perfect on the chair. I stitched the design on some pant weight off white fabric I had picked up recently for another project. It worked out perfectly. The only change I made in the embroidery design was I replaced the suggested red thread with some orange thread. I then picked up some orange spray paint to paint the frame of the chair. Soooo cute!

I have really been in a sewing mood this month and it shows in the amount of projects I have completed.

In the midst of all this sewing I also got the idea of trying to organize my tools and such that I use to around the ironing board. I picked up one of those cheap three drawer carts that have wheels on the bottom and it fits just perfectly under the wide end of my ironing board. Now all my pressing tools, fusible products and interfacing have a nice convenient place to live. In the past they have been kind of stored wherever there was a spot for them. Now I can just reach to the side when I need something and it is right there.

This organizing project takes me to my next sewing project. I had downloaded a free pattern from Thimbles and Acorns (link here) for a tailor's ham and sleeve roll sized for making doll clothing. That was another pattern that had been sitting on my work table for a couple of months. Now that I had a nice place to put them I decided to take the time to get them made. And as it turned out they didn't take much time at all. From the time I opened the pattern up to the time I had finished the project it was less than 40 minutes and that includes the time it took me to find the fabric in my stash. This is a really simple pattern and if you sew doll clothes I really recommend you make a set for yourself. These are going to be really handy.

The pattern calls for a small piece of medium to heavy weight wool and a piece of light to medium weight cotton. I knew I had seen some gray wool in my stash a couple of weeks ago. This is getting to end of the leftovers from some wool I purchased at a woolen mill in the fall of 1985 to make myself a wool winter coat that I would be able to wear while I was expecting my second child. I wore that coat for many years, it was wonderfully warm and durable. I still have a dwindling supply of that marvelous wool left and felt it would be perfect for this project. The other fabric I chose was a piece of white on off white quilting cotton. The pattern contains only 2 pattern pieces one for each of the items and they sew together very nicely. Then all that is left is to stuff them firmly and sew the remaining seam line together by hand. I think the only trick to this is to be sure they are really stuffed firmly, really pack that fiberfill stuffing in there.

As I was putting the pattern for the sewing tools away I happened to see the All Dolled Up pattern for Best Fit Jeans. I had picked this one up a while back (last summer if I remember correctly) after asking around to find a good jeans pattern for the dolls. I have the Liberty Jane one but have never been happy with the fit even after tweaking it a lot.

I had to go to the grocery store so I stopped by the Joann's and picked up some lightweight denim. I prepped my fabric when I got home and it was ready to cut by afternoon. I had the jeans mostly finished (all but the snap) by time to fix dinner. I do love a pattern that goes together quickly and without hassles. I decided I wanted to have the look of rivets where the front pockets end (like on the real ones I wear) so I dug through my fabric paint stash and came across my tubes of Tulip Beads in a Bottle- I had picked up most (if not all) the colors of this product a couple of years ago for a project. I decided the copper color would work really nicely for the rivets so that is the one I picked to use. I did make really tiny dots of the paint where I wanted the “rivets” to be placed and left the jeans to dry overnight. The next morning I was really happy with the result.

Now for the snap- I couldn't find anything I really liked then I got an idea. I used a small (size 15) snap fastener. You know the kind, the ones you need a tool to put in. I had some of the ones that have a white ring like face that shows so I used those and then coated that white ring as well as the area inside the ring with some of the same copper colored Beads in a Bottle that use for the '”rivets” once dry it looks like a matching snap! I am really pleased with how it turned out.

Of course a new pair of jeans meant I needed to come up with a new top too. So I dug out my patterns to look for something new to make. I wasn't in the mood to do the same old thing I had done before. As I was looking through my pattern collection I came to the Cortina Top pattern from Liberty Jane. I am pretty sure it was one of the Freebie Friday patterns at some point. I had never tried it so I decided to give it a shot. I found some white t-shirt fabric and cut the pattern out. The sleeves are a bit fussy and you really need to understand what you are doing before you start. I do admit I messed up the first set and had to start over but in the end they turn out really cute. Just watch your cutting sizes and know exactly where you are supposed to sew the strips of fabric before you start sewing (or even pinning) and you should be alright. The neckline gave me the most trouble, I am sure I cut the binding strip according to the directions but it just wouldn't fold the way it was supposed to. In the end I had to trim the little bit of excess off (I couldn't get it to come off without stretching the fabric) and then cutting a new one that was about double the width called for. I was able to roll that one and although it looks a bit heavy I am happy with it.

When I cut this out I was planning to to some work with either some fabric dye or my alcohol markers to give it some color. Right now I am leaving it white but that may change in the future. I can't decide if I like it plain better or if it would look cuter with some colorful splotches. Since once added you can't go back I am going to just leave it for now.

I was also going to make a necklace for this outfit, I have the perfect little charm but I can't find my lightweight silver color chain. Hopefully it will either turn up or I will remember to pick some up next time I go to town.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Story Behind the Story

Like almost all stories the Allison's Journal- Box of Treasures (link here) post has a back story. I have been planning this post for over a year, almost a year and a half. It all came about because of a photograph of my own grandmother I have hanging in my living room and a casual comment from a close family friend.

my grandmother in the photo
that started the idea for the blog post
You see I had found the photo while digging through some of the boxes of my mom's things. I loved the photo so much that I decided to display it and it fit perfectly in my living room. Shortly after it was hung up we had the annual Thanksgiving feast at our house. One of the guests was looking at it and observed how much my own daughter resembles her great grandmother. This was the seed that started the story.

A few weeks later I asked my son, Erik, if it would be possible for him to manipulate a photo of one of the dolls to make it look old. He was interested in the idea and offered some suggestions as to how to set it up. He is interested in both photography and all things computer so this challenge was right up his alley.

I was able to find a frame that looked like a 1/3 rd scale replica of the one in living room fairly quickly. Then I started to look at all my patterns to see what I had. I was stuck at this stage for about a year. I admit the project kind took a back burner. I had a lot of other projects that needed my attention and I knew this one could wait. Besides I wanted to find the right pattern first. (if you want to learn more about the making of the dress I will have the highlights of that in my end of the month sewing post)

One day as I was looking at the photo I got to thinking how cool it would be to be to actually have the pretty dress that grandma was wearing. I am sure it was very fashionable in its day and just to be able to see how it was made would be such a treat. That got me thinking that I could easily age the dress after we took the original photo and then the idea of the dress being a gift from Allison's grandma came about. I love to age stuff and I thought this challenge would be fun.

About the same time as I was in full gear planning stage for the dress (although a month or two away from actually sewing anything) I found the math card set from Paper Minis. These are from about the era that my grandmother would have been a girl. I wanted to make up the kit so I decided to age them. Then I remembered the Paper Minis kit for the doll photo album. I decided to age it also.

That project sparked the memory that amongst the free projects over at Paper Minis happens to be a mini version of my very favorite childhood book. I went ahead and made that up too.

This was the birth of the “treasure box” concept. From there it was easy to put together the project. It just took time.

Along with the dress I needed to make some shoes, I could tell that my grandmother was wearing high top laced shoes. Oh so practical. I have the Liberty Jane pattern for combat boots and decided they would be able to fit the plan just fine. I had been planning to make them up anyway so that was good timing. Again there will be more information on the shoes in the end of the month sewing blog post.

I felt the dress lacked something and I wanted to add something to box that Allison could actually wear. I remembered that in many photographs of my grandmother she often wore a cross necklace. That would be perfect! I decided to find a small cross and a really thin chain. My local Joann's is still in the process of a remodel so finding the parts was a bit of a challenge. I was able to finally find a set of cross charms that had a couple that were small enough. They only came in an aged finish so that limited my choices for the chain. The store had exactly one in the right color that was close to the right size. Then I ran into the stumbling block of trying to find any jump rings or fasteners to match. That was a no go so I picked up some gold color ones and just coated them with some black sharpie marker. Now we have an old necklace!

The most exciting parts for me were the actual photo taking process. I had to pick up a piece of green fabric to use as a back drop. My son said any color as long as it wasn't in any part of the photo. I picked the green I did because I really doubt I will ever use that color on purpose. I do plan to try to learn the process he used so I can do my own photos that I can change the background in later on.

Erik at work
Erik set up my lighting system the way he wanted it and we got the doll set up where we wanted her. Erik took several photos and picked the one he felt worked best. I did take on photo- one of him taking the photos. Other than that I acted as his assistant and tried to stay out of his way.

This was the first time Erik had done the process he used to add the background from the old photo to the new one. It took him about 45 minutes and he was kind enough to record the process and he provided a time lapse video for you to watch of his steps.I set it to music and you can find it here. I put it up on my channel as an unlisted video so you can get to it with the link but it won't show up on the channel.


Now one of my favorite fun steps began- I wanted to make that dress I had worked so hard on look like it was over 100 years old! I started with a tea bath. I had debated between using tea and coffee for the aging process. I went with the tea because it gives a more yellowed appearance to the fabric while the coffee would have been more gray. I did at the last minute throw a handful of used coffee grounds into the the bowl. I left this to sit overnight before rinsing it really well. I then wadded the dress up on an absorbent surface and allowed it to dry.

After drying I still felt it needed more color so I got the fabric wet again and sprinkled on some fresh coffee grounds and since my jar of ground cinnamon was sitting on the counter waiting to be put away I added a few sprinkles of that too. After everything was dry again the dress looked really old and stained.

Next I took my scissors, a knife and a wire brush to the lace to tatter it up a bit. In the end I think it looks great for a dress that has been around for a hundred or so years. 

So that is the story of why and how I put together this particular Allison's Journal post. Not all of them are this complicated nor are they as much fun to put together. I hope you enjoyed both Allison's story and this post. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Box of Treasures

I am so excited! While I was on my way home from school I got a text message from mom telling that the UPS truck had left a big package for me! She said it is from my grandma. I couldn't wait to get home from school to see what was inside.

Chelsea and I didn't even stop in the kitchen to grab a snack like we normally do when we get home. We both ran right up to my room to see what my grandma had sent.

When I walked into my room I saw a big box sitting right on my bed. I wondered what could possibly be in it.

I immediately got the box open and looked inside.

The first thing I found was an envelope with my name on it. I opened it to find a letter from my grandma. I was so excited that I wanted to see what else was in the box but I decided that if grandma had put the envelope on top she wanted me to read it first. So I sat on my bed with the letter and read it. Here is what it said:

Dearest Allison,
I have been saving the items in this box especially for you.

The album is the one that I spent hours putting together when I was a young girl. I collected all of those pictures over many years. I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures as much as I have over the years. They remind me of my childhood.

The little book was your mom's very favorite book when she was a little girl. I think I had it memorized because we read it every day for many years.

The box contains some math cards that my own mother had from her days in school. She had used them to learn her math facts.

The photo is of your great-grandmother. She is the one we have all said you look just like. I think she was just about your age when this was taken.
I have been saving her cross for you for many years. I know she would have been so proud to see you wear it.

And the last thing in the box is the dress she was wearing in the picture. I found ti many years ago. I had been keeping it and decided it should go to you now.

I hope this little connection to the past is something you will enjoy.


Wow, I am so happy grandma thought of me and sent me all these things. I can't wait to look at all of them!

First I carefully picked up the album, it is heave and feels very fragile. The pages have turned brown over the years but there are so many photos in there. Some pages have entire pages of paper dolls. I remember playing with paper dolls at grandma's house when I was a little girl. She still loved them then. I think she still does.

Next is the book grandma said was my mom's favorite. I remember having this book read to me when I was little too. Maybe Jeremy's little sister will visit us soon and I can read it to her.

The box of math cards is really neat, they look so old and I am not sure how they worked.

Chelsea looked at them and figured out that there are two sets of cards. One set has multiplication problems on them and the other set has the answers. She thinks we could probably make up a game with these. Maybe after we look at everything else we will try.

Oh! Great-grandma's necklace, it is so pretty.

When Chelsea looked at the photo of my great-grandma she kept looking from the picture to me and back. She is sure if I put on the dress and pulled my hair back it would look like it was a picture of me.

I think I will put the picture right here on my nightstand so I can see it everyday.

And the dress! It has turned dark with age and there are some tears in the fabric and the lace but it is still really pretty. I wonder if it would fit me?? I have to try it on and find out.

Oh wow, except for being a little bit big around it fits me really well! And maybe Chelsea is right, maybe I do look a little like my great-grandma.

I had to have Chelsea help me fasten the necklace. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Hot Dogs for the Dolls

This post has actually been hanging out on my hard drive for over a year, I just hadn't posted it yet. I had originally written it to be published in a different place but that offer fell through so I just put it away and forgot all about it. I had the thought when I tucked it away to post it as a blog but I felt it was just a bit on the difficult side since I hadn't posted any (or many??) polymer food tutorials at the time on this blog. So I saved this and managed to forget I had it. Then a couple of days ago someone on one of the many doll groups on Facebook mentioned that she wanted to make some hot dogs. Aha! I thought I have a tutorial for that. Since summer is fast approaching I figured it was the perfect time to post this.

Yummy hot dogs just in time for summer weather!!

I will warn you this is a rather long post but it is broken up into segments. So you can do as much or as little as you want. A lot of the parts of this tutorial will work with other foods too.

There is no video for this but I did take a lot of photos so hopefully they will guide you . Remember if you have questions be sure to ask me. I have several ways to get in touch with me. 1- You can post as a comment right on the blog. 2- you can use the contact me button on the right hand side of the blog page. Or 3- you can like my Facebook page that is dedicated to 18” dolls and ask me there. (here is that link) 


For the buns we are using only 2 products  soft pastels (I am using a set of inexpensive “Artist Loft” brand from Michael's Craft Store) and some Model Magic clay from Crayola (you will find this in the kid's crafts section of your local craft store)

We start by rolling out a snake of clay that is 5/8” in diameter (I like to use a circle template to check the diameter), we then cut this into 2” lengths. Each of these pieces will be a hot dog bun.

Now round off the ends of each piece of clay with your fingers and slightly flatten the bottom. In the end you want each bun to 2” long, about ½” tall and about ¾” wide. It doesn't have to be perfect just so each of you buns is about the same. Now I like to make my hot dog buns in pairs just like the real ones come in the bag from the store (at least they do where I live) so I gently press the buns together in pairs. Be sure to store the remainder of your Model Magic in a sealed bag (I use a freezer weight zipper bag) with all air removed from the bag. Stored this way the rest of the clay will last between a few weeks and a few months depending on the temperature of the area it is stored.

the three colors of chalk
Next we are going to make the buns look baked, we do this with the chalk pastels. I like to use an eyeshadow brush (I get them from the dollar store) but you can use anything you like to apply the chalk (your finger, a cotton swab, paint brush, whatever works best for you) We only need 3 of the chalk colors for the buns: the yellow ocher color ( a golden yellow) a
showing the three steps of the shading
rusty brown and a medium to dark brown. Use a knife blade to scrape off some of the yellow ocher color chalk onto your work surface and apply to the tops and bottoms of each bun pair. Try to keep a small white area around the middle of the edge. When all the buns have the yellow chalk applied scrape a bit of the rusty color into what is left of the yellow chalk on your work surface. Mix it together a bit and apply some of this over the buns concentrating on the top and bottom not so much on the sides. Try to make the colors blend together so it looks natural. Now repeat with just a tiny bit of the darkest color of chalk. Keep your touch very light on this step because you don't want the buns to look burned. If you decide that you got too much dark on the buns scrape off a bit more of the yellow ocher color and apply it over the dark areas to blend a bit.

ready to dry out

Now your buns need to sit and air dry for about 24 hours. When they are dry you can pull the pairs of buns apart (if desired) and cut them open with a sharp craft knife.

Hot Dogs

For the hot dogs we need the following polymer clays:

Fimo- Sahara ( 1 part)
Fimo- White (2 parts)
Fimo- Ochre (2 parts)
Fimo- Mandarin Orange (2 parts)
Fimo- Black (just a tiny pinch)
Premo- Pomegranate (1 part)

Mix all the colors except the black together and then add just a tiny pinch of the black at a time to get the correct color. The purpose of the black is tone down the color not to make it darker. It is best to have either a real hot dog on hand to compare the color to or at least a really good picture for reference.

After the colors are thoroughly mixed and you are happy with the color it is time to make some hot dogs. The first step is to roll our clay into a snake that is about ¼” in diameter. Cut this snake into pieces just a tad shorter than your finished hot dog buns. It is best to wait until the buns have dried for a day since the air dry clay does shrink a tiny bit (more sometimes than other times) and the polymer clay will remain the same size once baked. Once you have cut one that you are happy with use it to measure off the remaining hot dogs. Cut as many as you want for your scene.

step 1 before we start rounding the ends
Now simply use your fingertips to round the ends of the hot dogs, this requires a gentle pinching motion. Just be patient with this step it is really easy once you get it. It just takes practice and can seem a bit clumsy the first few times. This is a technique we use a lot with clay though so take the time to get a feel for it.

step 2

finished end

Once you are happy with all your hot dogs bake them according to package directions. 

The Toppings

Feel free to make/use as many of these as your dolls desire


showing clay before mixing
For the relish we are using 2 colors of polymer clay: Moss from Sculpey III and a translucent (I'm using Fimo but for this any brand will do)

and after mixing
Mix about 1 part Moss to 3 parts Translucent until thoroughly combined. This mixture is going to look much lighter in color than it will once baked because of the translucent clay in the mixture. Roll out thin, I use my pasta machine for this but you can do it with a roller just get it thin. Now brush the top with a good coat of green pastel chalk, I actually scrape the chalk off directly onto the top of my clay and use my fingers and a brush to spread it around and work it slightly into the top of the clay. Now just use a clay blade to cut thin strips of the green clay and move them to a baking surface.
clay ready for the chalk
you will need about this much chalk

chalk application finished

strips cut

If you have some yellow and red clay on hand it is a nice touch to add some tiny bits of these to your finished relish. If you want to do this take just a tiny bit of each color and chop them up finely and add to the baking surface.


For the red onions you only need some translucent clay (I am using Fimo but just about any brand will do for this) After conditioning a rolling out thinly brush the top surface with a combination of purple and bright (hot) pink chalk pastel. I simply scrape both colors of chalk together on my work surface and then mix with the brush before applying to the top surface of the clay.

Now just cut into thin strips just like for the relish and bake according to clay instructions. 

After baking set all of these strips aside until you are ready to assemble your hot dogs. You will also need some Clear Gallery Glass paint when you are ready to assemble.

Ketchup and mustard

I use Scribbles 3-d fabric paint for these items on most of my polymer clay foods. They work well and don't need to be baked. They do require some time to dry however.

To Assemble

Now that all of our components are baked and cooled it is time to assemble some yummy hot dogs for the dolls.

You will need to mix up your relish as needed. To do so simply chop the strips of baked clay into little bits and mix with Clear Gallery Glass paint. (other brands of glass paint should work also) and use a toothpick to spread the relish mixture where ever you want it. You might also want to mix up some extra to put into a bowl for “serving” Just remember that once the Gallery Glass sets up it is permanent so it can't be made ahead and put on later.

For Mustard and Ketchup simply use some 3-D fabric paint, I prefer the Scribbles brand. It comes in many colors and I have a large collection of them because they are so useful in so many ways when making doll food. For the mustard just pick a good yellow and if your dolls want some ketchup pick a good red one.

Now cut up the onion strips into tiny pieces and add them on top of the ketchup and/or mustard. The paint should hold them just fine.

There you are some yummy hot dogs with yummy toppings all ready for Summer eating for the dolls.