Saturday, May 28, 2011

Oh, You Beautiful Dolls!

On this rare 3-day weekend, I'm glad to have a moment to update my blog with my most recent projects which (with the exception of a shawl I crocheted for a graduating senior at my church; I forgot to photograph it but maybe I can get a picture soon with the young lady who will be receiving it), I've continued to concentrate on the fancy Barbies I love creatiing -- three for my own collection and one will be winging her way to a special friend (pardon the pun; it's an angel doll!).

I had mentioned at the end of my last entry that I was about to start at least one and maybe more dolls in the profusely ruffled "Miss Holly" collection of gowns, depending on how it went. It turned out I made just one gown from that pattern, due to the sizing being off. Because I crochet tightly, I go up several sizes on the hook I use for Barbie gowns, and that almost always works fine. But this time, the "Miss Holly" gown was still too small for the Barbie I intended it for. However -- I discovered it fit one of my 10-inch "Skipper" dolls (Barbie's little sister) just fine. So she ended up with this frothy concoction. I used #10 Opera thread in tapestry rose, with cream and black trim (also #10 Opera).

Several months ago, I bought a beautiful African-American Barbie from eBay. This gal looks like she stepped right off a Caribbean island, and I've been looking forward to creating a bright jewel-toned outfit for her. I used #10 Opera thread in a bright royal blue (not sure of color name) together with the #10 Opera in tapestry rose, and am very pleased with how she turned out. I generally never name my Barbies, but this one reminds me so much of one of this year's "American Idol" contestants, whose first name was Naima (pronounced Nye-EE-ma) that this is what I ended up calling her!

The next gown I decided to create, using one of my very favorite colors of my beloved discontinued #10 Opera thread (official name is Wintergreen, but I call it seafoam), turned out to be one of my more ambitious efforts, due to the dozens of roses that it called for attaching to her full skirt. The pattern called for crocheting the tiny roses, but I didn't care for the way they looked. So I searched on eBay and found some tiny iridescent ribbon roses in the exact same shade! I attached each of the tiny roses with fabric glue and also tacked them in place with the thread. She turned out to be one of my favorites; I think she is absolutely gorgeous!

My most recent Barbie, which I just finished last week, will soon be on her way to a special friend, who I hope will enjoy and be comforted by her. As I shared a few months ago on my narrative blog at, my joining Facebook several months ago has not only been fun but has reunited me with two special ladies I'd lost touch with many years ago. My cousin's daughter Janet in Chicago found me at the end of last year (after my favorite aunt/her grandma passed away last Nov. and no one bothered to tell us...) and it's been incredible catching up with her. Then a few days later, Ellayne in Massachusetts who was a special long letter pen pal for MANY years on and off since the early 70s (YIKES) but who I lost touch with in '95, found me. I was SO thrilled to find her again and learn she was happily remarried. Then, a mere four weeks later, her beloved husband passed away. As glad as I am to be back in touch with her, I was broken-hearted at what she was now going through. I wanted to do something for her other than pray (though that's important, of course). So I asked her to let me make her a Barbie angel and asked what color gown she would like.

Since my friend likes green, I decided to use the same seafoam I used for the last doll with the roses gown, since I find it a very soothing color. I decided to use a Barbie with beautiful long brown hair and a sweet face. I had trouble getting the lighting to accurately capture her coloring even though I tried several settings on my beloved Nikon Coolpix. She is actually not an African-American doll, but a brunette with a light tan. I still don't think the photo does her justice; she is prettier in person. I hope my friend will cherish her and that she will be comforted in her recent loss, and that we will remain in touch always.

I've started a new Barbie for my collection; a very Victorian-looking gown with a ruffled blouse and a full striped skirt. I'm using #10 Cebelia thread in cream and in #815 Garnet. Picture coming later this year!