7 November 2016

Winter comes early

Apparently there's snow forecast for tomorrow. I shouldn't be surprised I suppose, we are on the edge of the Peak District, but October was so mild.  Still, as soon as we shifted into November the temperature's dropped sharply.

It seems very appropriate as I've been in a festive frame of mind. Like many makers I've been surrounded by handmade Christmas decorations and giving the website it's winter wrappings. Its all snowmen in the workshop itself this week and last Saturday last I had great fun doing an angel workshop at Betty's Sewing Box.

The ladies made some beautiful little angels using 'girl' peg doll shapes, felt, lace, net, linen... lovely materials. Betty's is such a lovely atmosphere and a wonderful place for workshops.  Wonderful place for tea and cake too, well worth a visit if you haven't discovered it yet,

My photos of the angels made on the day were terribly blurry so there's one below from one of the participants (thank you!).  The little angels have a cheeky windswept quality (much like we will have by tomorrow evening) and are great fun to make. Perhaps a tutorial?

Little peg doll angels in linen jackets

5 January 2016

A peek into the workshop

I make most of my sewn peg dolls using bespoke figure parts.  I like the proportions of figures with smaller heads, but they don't come ready-made to fit normal pegs.

Typical.  Instead of deciding to make peg dolls with existing parts, we (erm, that's the Royal We) alter the parts. Mr Little Brown Dog is an angel and drills and turns pegs in big batches for me to make bespoke pegs to fit the head beads I like to use.

Most of the dressed pegs start off with a little felt camisole, stitched down the side and secured over the arms and with an eye-watering little g-string under the legs. Any outfit can be layered up and anchored securely to this little foundation garment!

The peg dolls look a bit odd at this stage, but I've found a headless figure is easier to negotiate with a needle, so I dress the figures first and glue the heads on afterwards. 

Sometimes their hair is painted, sometimes added as fleece or yarn. Sometimes (this feels like a guilty secret) if the doll is wearing a hat, I sew the hair to the hat, and then glue the hat and hair in place together.

These special sets with amended pegs are available on the website here if you fancy having a go!

21 October 2014

Felt adventure

Today I have been making felt beads to turn into tiny robins, and felt hats for snowmen. I have ended up with some tiny hats and what looks like a pile of rabbit droppings, but I think that was to be expected; what else is a robin's body going to look like to start off with, when you are making them the size of a processed pea?

I excavated a block of olive oil soap that I'd hoarded for wet felting, and experimented with making hats with a small flat, oval piece of packing foam and on some large beads in cling film (not good). The foam version worked pretty well, nursing the little flat egg-sized pockets into tiny hats using a reject wooden peg figure worked OK.

I'm going to needle felt the rest of the details on the robins (I might hold onto them with tweezers!) and embellish the little hats with felt holly leaves and seed bead berries.

Some of the snowmen and a bunch of other hand painted decorations are on their way to Emporium Gallery in Lichfield for their Christmas Exhibition of Festive Treasure; I'm really excited that the Little Brown Dog Workshop is going to be part of it!