Saturday, March 29, 2014

DIY Felt Dress-Up Doll

Sometimes crafting is more than a hobby, more than just "something to do" or even more than a personal business.  Sometimes crafting brings joy to someone who needs it, someone who is going through much tougher issues than breaking a needle or running out of glue.  Today I want to share with you a craft that I made for a very tough little girl, Emily.  You see, Emily is a friend of mine's daughter and she was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer- Rhabdomyosarcoma. Scary stuff.  She has been participating in chemo and radiation for several weeks and some of us have been wanting to help as much as we could.  One thing I did was make a personalized felt dress-up doll set for Emily that she could carry with her on her many car rides, while at the hospital or at home.  It's not much but as a young girl, I remember finding great joy in my felt dress up doll.

Felt dolls are super easy to make.  All you need is:

- Felt (plus any additional fabric you might add)
- Glue (if adding embellishments)
- Fabric Scissors
- DMC Thread & Needle

A very talented blogger named Rachel shared a template for felt dolls on her blog Smile and Wave. Please do not use her template for profit... bloggers work hard to make these wonderful free things for us, don't mistreat that.  You can find the free template here.  Just print and cut.

{What I Made}
Instead of creating a standing board, I wanted to make a folding felt book that Emily could use to not only transport the doll and outfits but also use as the felt backdrop.  Using some fun felt, I also cut out her name to make it extra special:

I hand-stitched the edges with a contrasting color for a extra fun appearance.  Then, I added some ribbon and a button so that the book could be closed up.  Don't forget the heart above the "i"... why?  Because as a little girl, I added hearts to everything!  Since the entire book is made of felt, it can be rolled up as well.

When it's opened up, there are flaps so that the clothes all fit without having to stack on top of each other.  I made several outfits so I had to add a few of these flaps!

And here is just a few of the outfits that I made...

Some are formal, some are casual and some are just plan fun!  That "superhero" outfit you see was made especially for Emily- since she is our little hero!  Emily has been loosing her hair and I wanted to make sure that her doll would be able to have hair or not- depending on what Emily wanted.

For the doll's face, I simply hand stitched a mouth and made some knots for the eyes out of DMC thread.  This only takes a few minutes.

I also cut out a variety of hair styles that could be swapped out (or she can go bald and embrace her superhero self!).  Here is what the back looks like so that it can slide over the head:

If you want to cut it straight across for visual reasons, go ahead.  I think the triangle piece helps it stay in place well.

{Ready for some DETAILS?!}
It's all about the details!  Maybe it's some Sequin, or tulle or just an extra special something... any way to add a special touch shows that some thought went into the project.

1. Fabric (Felt) Prints- There are some VERY CUTE felts in the stores now!  I purchased some fun prints from Jo-Ann Fabrics and they only cost a few cents more than the plain colors.  Worth every penny.

2. Matching Accessories- Again, this is only one example of the many ways that an accessory can be added.  Love the matching hair pieces!

3. Hand Stitching- Whether it's a knot in the middle of a flower or adding some detail to a set of fairy wings, hand stitching adds a little special something.

4. Outfit-Specific Details- Speaking of the fairy outfit, don't forget the details like the little balls on the tops of the shoes!

5. Unexpected Accessories- Add a purse, sunglasses or a scarf to dress up any outfit!

6. Beading/Sequin Pieces- Take any spare craft material to make a felt outfit look a little more like something we might wear!

7. Extra Special Hair Accessories- Sure, flowers are cute but what is more fun than a princess tiara or a feathered headdress?

{Your Turn!}
I hope this post inspired you not only to create a fun little craft but to find meaning in what you are making.  If you want to read more about Emily's journey, follow the website they set up here.  If you wish to help the family along their way by offering prayers, words of encouragement or monetary gifts, please visit here.

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Sunshine Award

Recently, I was selected to participate in a "blog interview" called The Sunshine Award.  Megan from The Adventures of Noble and Pond nominated me for my bright and "spring like" post on Decorating Your Office Space.  This was my first time visiting her blog and I LOVE it.  Seriously, head on over to her blog and you will be hooked!  To read her interview, head over here.

I love connecting to other bloggers in new ways and I love how fun this little interview is!  I hope this helps those of you who are new to this blog to get to know me a little better.

The rules to the Sunshine Blogger Award are:
1. Post 11 random facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions asked by the nominating blogger.
3. Nominate 11 bloggers you think bring sunshine into the world.
4. Come up with your own 11 questions to ask them!

11 Random Facts About Me:

1. I have a dog who we have lovingly named "Captain Ernie" after our boat captain on an Alaskan fishing trip.

2. I prefer the mountains to the beach any day.

3. I've been a vegetarian for over a decade but still prefer "kid" foods like cheese pizza, (fake) chicken nuggets and boxed mac -n- cheese.

4. I think Dr. Seuss' "Oh, the Places You'll Go" is one of the best books ever written.

5. I have traveled to 44 states in the US, 39 of them with my husband (plus a few more this summer!)

6. I have more dresses than pants (of any kind) at least 5 to 1.

7. My favorite vacation/trip was driving Historic Route 66 from Illinois to California.

8. I am extremely emotional.  I cry at the end of a movie I have seen 100 times (like I've never seen it before), at stories I read, weddings, songs and sometimes just because.

9. I always said that I would never "sell" for a company (because I'm much too "non aggressive" for that) but after hearing about Origami Owl jewelry on another blog, I signed up that same day to join because I believed in it so much.

10. I was anti-smart phone because I knew I would just be on Facebook all the time.  For the record, I am.

11. I might be addicted to Tervis cups.  Most days, I carry two different sizes of them to work!

Megan's Questions for Me:

1. What's your guilty pleasure?
Probably coffee.  I love everything about it, any time of day, in any situation.

2. Favorite movie?
"It's a Wonderful Life"

3. Favorite book?
Tricky.  Anything Nicholas Sparks but I love the classics too, especially the smell of them.

4. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
Elephant for sure.  Beautiful, Intelligent and the largest land mammal yet still an herbivore.  I've got to respect that.

5.  Android or Apple?
Android.  I love my HTC first phone and I'm pretty sure I couldn't figure out an Apple anyways.

6.  Paris, Rome or London?
Rome.  I'm sort of a history nerd, especially religious history.

7. What is your favorite store?
Charlotte Russe.  It's full of lace outfits, adorable jewelry and high heeled shoes.

8. #1 accessory you can't live without?
It's probably a tie between earrings and necklaces.

9. #1 make up item you can't live without?
Umm... my hairbrush?  I only wear make-up to important events where I don't want to look 16.

10. Book or e-reader?
Book, 100%

11. What is your biggest regret?
Nothing.  Although there are choices I probably shouldn't have made and times in my life that would have been "nice" to have not experienced; I wouldn't be who I am or where I am today if I had not made them.

Who I Tag (and Why!)
A Subtle Revelry (Her typography cake makes any cake sweeter!)
Crafty Sisters (I love Easter decor and their jelly bean tree is ADORABLE)
The House of Smiths (Okay, I love Independence Day too.  What perfect decor!)
Beyond The Picket Fence (I love decor made from wood and I love seeing encouraging words from the Bible lighting up people's day)
The Stitch Pattern (I cannot crochet/knit/etc and have tremendous respect for those who can make things that are so stinkin' adorable!)
See Kate Sew (As a fellow seamstress, I appreciate those who create beautiful things from fabric)
Love U Madly (I remember making lip gloss in Elementary school.  She gives an awesome "grown up" recipe for lip gloss using Crystal Light!)
Mod Podge Rocks (Because I'm addicted to Mod Podge... and this website always makes me happy.)

My Questions:
1. What is the best vacation you've ever taken?
2. Do you prefer the snow or the beach? (or the Mountains like me!)
3. If you could meet anyone dead of alive, who would it be?
4. What is one thing that you couldn't live without (excluding people)?
5. Tennis shoes or Heels (or Boots)?
6. Coffee or Tea?
7. Why did you start blogging?
8. What is your favorite craft?
9. Are you a dog or cat person?
10. Do you enjoy staying in your pajamas all day or do you prefer to get dressed for the day?
11.  Favorite holiday?

This was super fun- what a great way to "shake up" the normal routine of blogging.  I hope everyone enjoyed getting to know me a little better and is excited to play along.  Remember, just because you aren't one of the 11 that were tagged, doesn't mean you can't play as well!

Happy Crafting,
Kelsie Ann