Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Nature Journal: Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

These plants grow in stands all over the yard and can reach over ten feet tall.  Very young leaves are consumed (after repeated blanchings) in the South, but many experts warn against it because of high toxicity levels.  They produce dark purple (almost black) berries late in summer that are loved by birds but the seeds inside are poisonous to humans.  A red dye made from the berries was once used to color cloth and as ink for writing.  “Polk Salad Annie” notwithstanding, don’t even think about eating any part of this plant unless you are an experienced herbalist!  I can’t stop singing that song…
"Polk salad Annie, the gators got your granny (chomp - chomp chomp)
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang
(a wretched, spiteful, straight-razor totin' woman,
Lord have mercy! Pick a mess of it)"

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Almost Summer...

Here’s a summer outfit I made for my Götz Little Sister doll consisting of a linen skirt, lined sheer blouse and macramé belt. The fabric was from decorator samples I purchased for fifty cents each in JoAnn’s a few years ago.  Check out those fisherman sandals - perfect miniatures of the real thing!  Purchased them in brown, too.  Couldn't resist!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Party Dress for Jessie

Here’s Jessie modeling a party dress I made for her from a pattern by The Patchwork Pansy.  The fabric was leftover cotton from curtains I made for the bedroom many years ago!  The lace was from my mom’s old stash.  I loved being able to put that stuff to good use!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Jessie's Cami & Triple-Tiered Petticoat

I made this camisole and petticoat adapted from patterns in the book, Heirloom Doll Clothes for Götz.  I love this book!  The cami required a little lace shaping and mitering.  Spray starching and ironing, as recommended by the author, Martha Pullen, really help to coax the lace into position.  Isn’t my model adorable?  She is a My Twinn doll.  These dolls come in a variety of face sculpts and are able to be posed because of an internal armature. They are approximately twenty-three inches high.  This particular little girl has what is known to collectors as the Helen face sculpt. I’ve named her Jessie.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

TAST 2012: French Knots

I worked on my fabric collage a little more, adding French knots to the butterfly.  I used them singly to outline the shape and also in groups of three to create a pattern within the shape.

TAST 2012: Stem Stitch

As I was getting ready to add this familiar stitch to my sampler, I checked it out in Sharon B’s Stitch Dictionary and learned something I didn’t know before. The thread is worked to the right side of the needle.  If it is worked to the left side, it is the outline stitch.  I always interchanged them, depending on the direction I was stitching, never noticing the difference in appearance.  I see it now, although it's difficult to detect in the photo below.