Strawberries & Ruffles: A Kaylee doll from Firefly

January 22, 2012 § 1 Comment

Something about the character Kaylee from Firefly gives me the craft bug–last week I posted about the very first doll I made, which was a Kaylee doll, and a few months ago I posted about my friend Angela’s Firefly birthday party and the Kaylee cake that I made.

Well, I’ve been at it again, and here she is:

A new Kaylee doll! This time she’s wearing her party dress from the Firefly episode ‘Shindig’

In the episode her hair is down, but this doll was a Christmas/12th Night present for my friend Angela (yes, the same Angela!), and by special request this doll has her hair in buns.

This Kaylee doll is handsewn from felt, ribbons, sheer ruffled trim, and tiny buttons. I based her on Mimi Kirchner’s pattern for The Purl Bee, but I adapted the instructions as I went.

In the Firefly episode it’s never possible to see Kaylee’s feet, so I have no idea what shoes she might have been wearing under her enormous fluffy dress! I decided that she’s just the kind of girl who would wear her boots, though, so I made boots with pink laces–and left them untied, because how would you tie your shoes while you’re wearing an enormous fluffy dress?

This doll has actually been a long time in the making–Angela asked me to make her a Kaylee doll, in her party dress, with her hair in buns, and that was four years ago. Two years ago I was going to make her this doll, and even cut out most of the pieces for her…and then never got around to it. So this year I was determined to get her finished! I was still two weeks late for 12th Night (which is when my friends and I celebrate Christmas and usually when we exchange gifts), but oh well 😉

Happy Christmas, Angela!

This Kaylee costume actually belongs to my sister, but look! A handy doll carrying strap!



Knitting Doll & Book Box for TARDIS Day

December 6, 2010 § 2 Comments

I made this little doll–she’s about the size of my hand–for a TARDIS Day gift swap. She’s handsewn out of wool felt, her knitting needles are toothpicks with beads glued to the ends, and the Doctor Who scarf that she’s working on was knitted (by me, of course) out of embroidery floss on size 0 needles.

TARDIS Day was on November 23rd, so I think it’s safe to show her to the internet without ruining anything for the recipient!

The pattern for this little doll is from Nuno Life, a blog full of cute patterns for handsewn dolls.

There aren’t a lot of detailed instructions (Runo, the creator of Nuno Life, is not a native English speaker) but the pattern and the pictures are pretty self-explanatory.  This little knitting girl was quick and easy to make! I think it would be a good project for someone sewing a doll for the first time.

To go with her, I got a paper-mache box in the shape of a book and painted it to match the diary that River Song carries on Doctor Who:

I filled it with nommable goodies–two cookie recipes that I’ll be posting very soon!  In fact there will probably be a series of cookie posts, because I have been on a cookie making spree in the last several weeks and ended up with my own variations on a few recipes.

A Few Words About Fall

November 21, 2010 § 3 Comments

I love Autumn.  Texas doesn’t get very much in the way of autumnal weather, unfortunately–we sort of skip straight from the heat of Summer into the everything-is-dead-and-cold of Winter, so I treasure the Fall.  I fight the onset of Christmas in order to focus on pumpkins and leaves and turkey.  (Christmas is my favorite holiday, but it seems to come earlier and earlier every year, and I run out of enthusiasm by December if I start getting into the Christmas spirit in September).

Here are some things that I’ve been doing with my Autumn:

Something about the weather puts me in the mood for baking, and last week I decided to try my hand at my very first pie, with my very first from-scratch pie crust.  It was not at all as difficult as I had been led to believe!  In fact, it was easy–easy as pie, if you will.  It was time consuming (although a lot of my time went to assembling and then learning to use the apple peeler-corer-slicer that my mother inherited from my grandmother) but so worth it.  I made the crust following the instructions in a recent issue of Better Homes & Gardens, and then made the basic apple pie filling found in the red plaid Better Homes & Gardens cookbook.  I used six Granny Smith apples, although not all of the apple found its way into the pie…did I mention that there was a learning curve involved with the apple peeler-corer-slicer?  Let’s just say that there was a certain amount of apple carnage (and by ‘certain amount’ I mean ‘all over the kitchen’) and leave it at that.

I made the pie for a Single’s ministry Thanksgiving potluck at church, and it came out of the oven just in time to be whisked into the car, so I only had time for one quick shot:

Rather than make slits in the top of the pie crust, I used cookie cutters in leaf shapes.  The pie seemed to be a big hit–half of it was gone by the time I got to the dessert table (and there were three dessert tables, one of them devoted entirely to pies).  I certainly thought it was delicious–so delicious that I’m anxious to try it again!  Maybe this time I’ll have the presence of mind to devote a blog post to it…


If I could have an Autumn to spend, somewhere with leaves that turn real colors and air that gets genuinely crisp, with nothing but my knitting and a stack of books…I think that would be very nice.  I love knitting, but my enthusiasm for it wanes during the heat of the Summer, when it is too hot to go around with wool in your lap.  I haven’t been completing very many knitting projects lately, but I did manage to finish two items just in time to send them off to have adventures without me–they went with my friend Mary to Prague! (but are modeled in the pictures below by me)

A neckwarmer is a wonderful thing–I improvised the cable pattern on this neckwarmer, and made it with knit one, purl one ribbing so that it’s reversible, and it has a loop and button to keep it snug on the other side.  The hat was made with the Sweatshop of Love’s Slouchy Beret pattern.


On the first Saturday in December I’m planning to share a table at a craft fair with some friends of mine, so I’ve been working on a few items to sell–today I finished painting these peg dolls, which all represent the characters from the fairy tale Snow White and Rose Red

And I worked on making these paper flowers, cut from dictionary pages coated in mod podge for durability

…there will be more on these crafts later, when I have completed projects to show you!


I did my crafting while watching my new DVD set of Doctor Who: Season 5, and speaking of Doctor Who…next Tuesday is TARDIS Day, when Doctor Who fans celebrate the first day that the classic science fiction show aired on British television.  I’m celebrating my participating in a fan swap, and I put together a TARDIS themed package for my swap partner.  I (of course) did a little crafting to go into it, so once my swappee has opened their package I’ll post pictures here!


The biggest thing that I am doing with my November, however, is NaNoWriMo–National Novel Writing Month.  The challenge is to write 50,000 words during the month of November.  Writing is hard work!  Sometimes it’s delightful, sometimes it’s a dreadful slog, but it’s always rewarding.  It helps that I decided to keep things easy this year–no complex plot for me!  No attempt to say something profound about the human condition!  The story I outlined is simple and (hopefully) amusing and light-hearted.  There are nine days left!

A little T.S. Eliot

September 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

‘East Coker’, No. 2 of The Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot

“I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”

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