The Doll Design Process – Felt Character Dolls

It’s funny to look back on how things came about isn’t it? I really love pop culture and have been working on a doll design that I could replicate the general look and feel, but change up enough to make any particular person I wanted – and I think I have done it! But first let’s take a trip down memory lane…

There are the first few dolls I made, based on the Gingermelon Best Friends pattern, Mimi Kirchner free felt doll pattern on Purl Bee,  pattern and the Black Apple free rag doll pattern on Matha Stewart.

Dolls - first doll comparison 29 January 2016

It was exciting times, with my hands busy sewing and my Pinterest account getting alarmingly high with inspiration pins. I did experiments in how long it takes to hand sew a doll and tried a lot of Gingermelon and Noialand designs. From there I kind of combined the two styles of smaller felt dolls and the larger ragdoll pattern which became my next doll incarnation – a David Bowie Doll. His minimal design meant it was for someone to identify the character but without too much detail.

David Bowie - Life on Mars?

Given my limited sewing skills/impatience I wanted to keep using felt, but looked at making the doll a little longer, more human shaped. You can see below the different head styles and calculations I was doing to get the right look and feel.

Developing Designs - Mr Darcy spread 3 April 2015

The one you can see in the middle is pretty much the prototype I went with but added some seam allowance so I could sew it with the sewing machine – hand sewing was way too much bustamychops for me! And this is the final outcome –


Developing Designs - Mr Darcy felt 25 June 2015

How have you gone with creating your own unique design?

Playing with Fimo Polymer Clay Jewellery

My sewing machine is making funny noises and making a big mess on the back of my fabric and I cant figure out why! I also realised that I perhaps may not, … ever…. have had it serviced, which you are apparetly suppoed to do regularly – WHO KNEW?!! 😀 So with that in mind my sewing machine it has been sent off to the repair man for maintenance and repairs and will be back in three weeks…


So with some free time now up my sleeve I decided to give another craft a go –  polymer clay beads! It is quite therapeutic rolling each ball, but I did then get frustrated when I left fingerprints on the bead (is it weird that I think about people stealing my identity from these balls?! Did anyone see the CSI episode where the guys used his hand to create a fake arm prop which then left his fingerprints at a crime scene? SEE, it could happen!!!)


Fimo - bead making 7 Mary 2015

Fimo - display 10 May 2015

I also got frustrated by uneven sizing, so I did get the scales out to try and even out each ball weight. They came together nicely though and I strung together some necklaces in some bright colour combos, plus a few earrings as well. It was also around the time of Mothers Day/Mum’s birthday (on the same day! Double present ideas – urgh!) so I created a necklace and earring set for her. Trying to glue the leather into the silver clasps was bustmychops (so cross your fingers it stays together long term). The glue also has a warning ‘Toxic, use in well ventilated area –


HOLY CRAPOLA! I did used it and hold my breathe, but I also touched it when it blobbed out so hopefully this jewellery making doesn’t result in my premature death! That wouldn’t be the best outcome for a mothers day present…

Fimo - mothers day 8 Mary 2015

Anyway, lets just say while it was fun, I couldn’t image rolling a bazillion beads all day long, so I think that will be the end of my polymer bead escapades.

Have you tried a craft that just wasn’t for you?

Luna Markets – I’ve gone legit!

So my first ‘official’ market stall at the Luna Markets was a success! I sold two of my new softies and got heaps of great comments about them, so I think I will have to get sewing in anticipation of selling more around Christmas. 😀

All set up and ready to go! Aaaarrggh!!

I will be adding a shop this week so anyone who was interested in adopting one of “The Remnants” softies can order online… now to just work out the shipping costs!!

**Update** The shop is now online! Etsy – A Life In The Making Shop

Thanks everyone for stopping by!


Gouache Butterfly Studies

I really enjoyed the colour and details of birds as part of my #birdaday Instagram challenge, so butterflies seemed like a logical step as a subject to paint!  And there are sooooooooo many beautifully coloured, intricately detailed butterflies out there – Mother Nature blows my mind!! Just look at my Butterflies & Moths Pinterest board to see!

I am using gouache in these paintings, I really like the solid colour look and the ability to paint layers and it really pops on the black paper ! I am not completely sold on the matte/powedery finish, but I am sure framed it would be fine, and possibly more high end brands of paint might make a difference their too.

I went detail-crazy on these paintings, there must be hundreds (- if not a thousand!) dots between the last two paintings! Try as I might I can’t help myself 🙂

What do you enjoy painting?

Butterfly Asterope leprieuri philotima 2 july 2014

Gouache Butterfly – Asterope Leprieuri Philotima

Butterfly wing gouache study 3 July 2014

Butterfly wing gouache study

Butteryfly Mountain clouded yellow butterfly gouache 5 July 2014

Gouache Mountain Clouded Yellow Butterfly

Instagram Creative Challenge #abirdaday Review

31 days later and here we are – a full month of #abirdaday paintings and drawings complete!


Lets begin with my final image of the creative challenge – my favourite birdie the Stone Bush Curlew!

Stone Bush Curlew drawing

“Wooooooowoohoooo” says the curlewie! <3

This was such a good challenge! Looking at so many beautiful birds, seeing patterns in my work emerge and beginning to feel proud of what I was producing was a really great outcome.

The final collection of Instagram pics from #abirdaday

The final collection of Instagram pics from #abirdaday


1. Definitely need to continue setting creative challenges – since finishing I have hardly done any painting or drawing!

2. I {heart} detail. I need to embrace that.

3. At this early stage of learning and practising I am using the supplies I have, but I can really see the benefits of getting some good quality supplies and how I will be able to develop my artwork further with the proper tools. (start saving….!!!)

4. I loved the ease of taking photos on Instagram and not fussing too much about the quality – the point was to create and document. The only thing was that most of my photos were taken at night on my iphone 4, so combining the low light and my hand shakes, it made for some blurry photos when looking at the enlargements. I would love an iphone5, but I am really trying to reduce the waste I put into the world, so while I WANT a new phone, I dont need it. So I will continue with iphone for Instagram and get back on my DSLR document my favourite ones.

Take a look at the full collection and tell me which one is your favourite #abirdaday? 😀

instagram abirdaday creative challenge

~ Emily

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