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a wardrobe for miss dahlia – progress on the tiny rag doll pattern

tiny rag doll

The body pattern for the tiny rag doll is worked out as well as the assembly and directions for the little details – like her shoes and hair.  I’ve moved on to patterns for her wardrobe. The original tiny doll  had attached fancy underthings that made assembling her difficult and  I love the idea of everything being removable so I devoted a big chunk of time to experimenting with tiny lingerie construction.  I came up with bloomers and 2 camisoles for the little doll above – miss dahlia.  I also made her a pinafore – that might be my favorite thing of all – in fact I want miss dahlia’s whole outfit for myself.

mini doll clothes


tiny rag doll back

tiny rag doll pinafore

miss dahlia and miss lilac

Here she is with miss lilac – all dressed.  I’m moving on to outerwear tomorrow – a winter coat and a satchel and then the tiny rag doll will be very well equipped for all her tiny doll adventures.

If you’d like an email when the pattern is available you can sign up here.

on June 30, 2016 9

fragments : small stitched compositions

I’ve been experimenting with small compositions – making marks and texture with thread, exploring, observing and maybe expanding my vocabulary of stitches. Some are organic feeling marks – spilling out of the botanical things I’ve been working on and some  mix with and echo the meandering stitches of mends and intricate darning I find in garments.  I’m paying attention to my impulses and habits and challenging them – looking for the rules I’ve made for myself but am not always conscious of – the musts and can’ts that get in the way of being truly expressive.  I’m asking myself to be responsive and un-self-conscious – to pick up a thread and follow it.

stitch experiments

stitch experiments

stitch experiment #1

stitch experiment #2

stitch experiment #3

And P. S – regarding tiny rag dolls – thanks for your feedback and the pattern making is well underway – it will be available in the next week or two!

fragments : stitch expeiments
on June 23, 2016 7

paper mache, equanimity and a tiny gentleman sailor

Paper mache is good for my brain and spirit. It requires just enough attention – all those little pieces of paper – It’s a very effective antidote to stress and anxiety and good for percolating ideas – my hands are busy and my mind wanders gently around. It takes me a little while to settle into it but it never fails to bring a quietness and presentness – a sense of equanimity- whatever might be swirling around me. I think its meditation sneaking up on me.

paper mache ship work

I’m building ships and boats – besides the psychological benefits I miss having them around – I’m currently ship-less. The large ship above is made using this pattern with a couple modifications to the side and back templates. I’ve started the second layer of newsprint over the first of brown paper. I don’t usually wait for one layer to dry before starting the next and 2 layers should be enough for this ship.

The very mini boat below is an experiment – I wondered if the little felt boat pattern template would also work as a paper mache armature – it does! I taped it together with lots of masking tape and added two coats of paper mache. It’s so little the paper mache part was quick – about 15 minutes per layer.

little sailboat

gentleman sailor

If I was starting over I would have made the little boat 10% bigger – it shrunk a bit when it dried so t’s a tight fit for the gentleman sailor mouse I made to captain it (find the free pattern here). He’s fancy – with his lace ascot and looks pretty pleased with things.

P.S. – if you’ve never tried paper mache you can find a  free project here and another here – both are a good place to start.

on June 16, 2016 6

botanical experiments

This big pink flower woke me up last night. It’s one of the new botanical experiments I’ve been working on and it was finished but I didn’t love it- something wasn’t right. The original stem and roots felt too delicate, too fussy for the flower and out of balance – that idea would not leave me alone. My subconscious must have been working on it for me and  last night I woke up abruptly knowing exactly what it needed – a bulb, a more substantial stem and very simple leaves.   I love the bulb!  More botanical experiments soon – there are all sorts of strange new species on my work table.

Have a lovely weekend,


stitched botanical

stitched botanical

stitched seedpod

stitched seedpod

on June 9, 2016 15

very small doll work

tiny rag dolls

tiny rag dolls

Please meet miss thistle and miss laurel – tiny rag dolls #1 and #2.  Little ladies in fancy underwear. They have dresses too and wool shawls for chilly nights.

miss laurel

miss thistleThey were such fun to make – I’ve been working on the design for a while – working out details like tiny dresses that can come off  and on without being too fiddly.  Tiny is difficult – they would be easier to make if they were larger but I particularly love their size.  I’m thinking of creating a sewing pattern – what do you think? Are you for or against very tiny sewing?

miss laurel back

tiny rag dolls

Miss thistle and miss laurel are in the shop now along with lots of mini toadstool specimens and an indigo owl and large mushroom.

P.S. You can join the mailing list here if you’d like notifications when new things are available – or if you’re already a subscriber you can update your preferences  – just enter the email you subscribed with an select the updates you’d like.

mushroom specimens

indigo owl

on June 7, 2016 18

pixie toadstools and mr. cups

mr. cups

Meet Mr. Cups! My new helper – I found him upstate last weekend in a fabulously junky junk shop – he makes a very cheery pin holder. I love the way his details are painted – I looked him up and found out he was made in Japan in the forties and there is a Mrs. – I’m on the look out.  He helped me make lots of mini toadstools – pixie size fungi made from Japaanese garment fragments (from lovely Sri Threads). They are made with the little mushroom sewing pattern – it scales up and down well – I printed the templates at 50% for these little guys.

textile toadstools

two blue toadstools

toadstool detail

They were fun to make in a batch and easy to travel with – just a little bag of scraps and a few supplies – a good summer project. I also added a little extra height to the top for a couple – tracing the template and adding about another 1/2 inch to the top for a pointier cap.

textile toadstools

toadstools moss

indigo owl toadstool

All nine pixie mushrooms will be in the shop next Tuesday 6/7  (1 pm-ish NY time) along with some other new things I’m working on including the large indigo toadstool and the dastardly fellow lurking in the background above.

* You can sign up here if you’d like an email when new things are in the shop.

on June 2, 2016 6

what’s in my drawers

You know – the good ones- not the messy ones overstuffed with un-filed receipts and mail and pens that don’t work (I have those too). The drawers with good messes – those are the ones I want to show you –  jumbles of stuff I use everyday mixed with stuff I like to look at, the things that are part of my process and inspiration – things I love and things I’m thinking about.

 paper snowflake drawer

For someone who is quite tight on space I am pretty frivolous with easy access storage – for example I keep my paper snowflakes in a drawer right under my sewing machine. It’s not the most practical use of that prime space but there is the significant spiritual benefit of seeing paper snow flakes cut by a friend everyday to consider. And –  although it is unlikely –  if there ever is some sort of paper snowflake emergency I am ready.

I like looking at peoples stuff – their treasures -what they choose –  what they hold onto. If you feel like showing me what’s in your drawers – please use #whatsinmydrawers on instagram – (I’m @annwood there).

button drawer

paint brush drawer

metal and ceramic drawer

on May 19, 2016 8

edwardian mosquitos

pale grey edwardian mosquitoMosquitos!  Delicate mosquitos, hand stitched from Edwardian garments. I wonder what she would think, the 19th century girl who floated across  lawns in the gown their wings are made from.  They are mischievous ladies who will bite! But they will be so gentle you won’t feel a thing.  There is a special place in my heart for the less sympathetic creatures – the rats and bats and spiders and who is less loved than mosquitos?

“It is your hateful little trump
You pointed fiend,
Which shakes my sudden blood to hatred of you:
It is your small, high, hateful bugle in my ear.”

The Mosquito

I made 6 – I had a truly marvelous time – completely lost in them for days.  They  are all in the shop  (there are some songbirds too).

ann wood : mosquitos

ann wood : mosquitos

russet edwardian mosquito

green edwardian mosquito

on May 12, 2016 5

indigo owl, the may forest and songbirds

indigo owl work

I packed up some sewing (including the Sri Threads indigo owl above) this past weekend and headed into the Adirondacks  – it’s like going back in time – spring is in full lovely swing in Brooklyn but upstate it’s just begun – it was cold and quiet and wet and lovely.  More and more lately I appreciate a vacation from the interwebs and it was my first walk in the big, wild woods since last year. I needed the break  – the air and the quiet badly – my pace has been frantic for weeks – not a very nice thing to do to myself.  I should stop it.  It was perfect- everything there is just waking up – little bits of new green beginning and birds are returning.

the forest in may

You may recall that last year I discovered that Eastern Phoebes collected my little scraps and threads and bits of stuffing for their nest.  I did my little bird friends a solid and left out some extra this time – they liked the wool especially.

phoebe nest

blue grey warbler

sri indigo warbler

blue grey warbler

I brought my songbirds to finish and photograph too ( four are in the shop now – and there will be more next week).  I had planned on having 6 songbirds and two owls finished – I didn’t even come close. I should just always multiply how long I think things are going to take by 3.  Especially for the songbirds – they are done when they have energy, curiosity and tension about them – and that shows up when it shows up.

And a note on swan orders :

The last of the swan orders went out today – so if you’re still waiting for a paper swan – it will turn up in the next few days.

paper swan departures

on May 5, 2016 3

paper swans – new in the cake topper department

paper swan cake topper

Paper swans are in the shop!  (A kit is coming later this spring – i just got a big crate of supplies).  I had such a good time photographing them.  I think I made them mostly because I wanted to photograph them – I have lots of plans for more. I bought the blue velvet box above  20 years ago – my first year in NY and it’s been on my mind lately. I love that peacock blue, the patina and the little silver latch- it looks like it has a marvelous story.  It’s one of those things I love so much just as it is I couldn’t make anything with it. It was perfect for this photo  – the color combination surprised me and I love it.  Lot’s more swan photos below and if you have questions please get in touch.

And P. S. – the cake toppers have their own instagram account now – you can find it here.

paper swan cake toppers

paper swan pair cake topper

paper swan cake topper

spying on swans(spying on swans)

on April 28, 2016 2
Made Happy by Pictalo