Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Story Behind My "Elmer's Little Boy"

One of my first posts was "The Story Behind Elmers Little Boy." I thought it would be fun to post it again as it's such a nice story. So, here's the post:

In thinking about what to write next for my blog I thought it might be a good idea to tell the story behind some of the dolls I have created. I'd like to begin with the story behind Elmers Little Boy. So here goes..... My sister-in-laws parents who are in their 80's recently had a yardsale because they were moving into a much smaller house. Elmer (my sister-in-laws father) had an old plastic kewpie doll that had previously belonged to his deceased sister that he had kept I think in his toolbox (I might have that wrong).

In any event, he had held on to this doll for over many, many years. The only problem with the doll was that it had no clothes. He was going to throw it away but decided instead to give it to me. I was touched as I got the sense that this doll had a lot of sentimental value for him. In any event, I decided to take it home and design some clothes for it. I wanted an early american little boy look so I decided on pantaloons, a vest, shirt, and scully cap. Since I had already designed the clothes for his kewpie I decided to design a cloth doll as well. A little while later I took the plastic kewpie doll (with his new clothes) back to Elmer. Elmer was thrilled. It touched my heart to see how happy he was with my gift. Elmer's kewpie doll now sits proudly on the top of his bureau (I think).

I named my cloth pattern Elmer's Little Boy after Elmer's plastic kewpie doll. Elmers Original Kewpie is shown above and my Elmers Little Boy cloth version is shown below. The clothes for both dolls were made from some of Elmer's old clothes that I had gotten from his yard sale. I hope you like both dolls.

My Version - Elmers Little Boy.

The Story Behind My "Anna" and "James" Dolls



This is the story behind my "James" and "Anna" graduation doll patterns and involves my Dad, my niece, and my twin granddaughters.

When both my twin granddaughters and my niece were graduating from high school and college, respectively, I wanted to give them something special. For me, that usually involves something crafty that I'd made or, and this may come as a surprise to all of you, a doll. So, I decided on a doll. But, I didn't want just any graduation doll. I thought how about taking their graduation picture and transposing that onto a doll's head using iron on transfer paper. It was a nice idea, but a bad application from the start.

So, I set about to design a stand alone graduation doll that would have each of their respective graduation gown colors. I knew I wanted the doll to be stand alone and wanted the body bottoms to be made out of denim. I decided that I would use popcorn kernels to weight the bodies down. So, I began by scanning in their respective graduation pictures and then setting about to crop the images and adjust the image size until their faces would fit on my graduation doll patterns head. I should have known right from the start that this was going to be a disaster. I just couldn't seem to get the right size face with the right size head. In any event, I finally had something I could work with and transferred the face to my cloth head piece.

Then I put the three dolls together using my rough draft pattern pieces. The doll's bodies and graduation gowns came out wonderful. Their faces were an entirely different story almost bordering on scary. See for yourself. What do you think? Scary, frightening, yuck?