Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Last Socks of the Season

While I was working on these during a record-cold Toronto February, I was joking that I just might get them done in time to wear them before it was too hot. Well, I finished them during a faculty meeting at the college; then the weather warmed  up, and it was just cool enough to wear them yesterday.

They're Thermal Textured Socks by Kelly Patla, available on Ravelry. I enjoyed them; they were my first time  trying a flap heel instead of a short-row one, and the pattern was tricky but not maddening. It's basically plain at the back, with a column of seed stitch on each side and broken ribbing across the front. Patla explains in detail how to do all these things; she gives a chart for the pattern, but I re-wrote it for myself as (K1 P1) x 4, K 16, (P1 K1) x 4 and so on.

I think they're made up in Spud & Chloƫ Stripey Fine, maybe in the Mint Chip (#7861) colour? I regret that I may only get to wear them a couple of times before summer kicks in. But they'll be something to look forward to in the fall.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Flour and Sugar Bags for the Dollhouse Patisserie

When I discovered that the local dollhouse supply company charges $4 to $6  for a toy flour sack, I thought "This will never do!" Clearly the patisserie will need a great deal of flour—not to mention sugar and coffee. Some other plan had to be devised.

My flour and sugar bags are made with bits and pieces from around the house: some scrap cotton from the rag bag (I have a rag bag for clothes that are too worn for Goodwill), some stuffing material, an art eraser (I have lots) and a red stamp pad.

I carved the labels into the eraser with a small blade cutter. Yes, I made the mistake of cutting out the letters right way around (twice) before I remembered to make them backwards. Then all I had to do was stamp the fabric and sew up the little bags while watching TV with my mom. I'll just have to remember—as my brother remarked—not to launder them, because the ink will run.

Yes, the store-bought  ones are fancier, but these will do me just fine. I think I'll make some coffee bags too, but I'll dye them darker brown with coffee or tea.

So now the upper storey is well on its way.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Simple Shelving Unit for the Dollhouse Patisserie

Since the dollhouse patisserie started offering coffee service, there's been a need for someplace to store coffee cups (and French onion soup bowls). This shelving unit was a quick project, although I did leave it overnight a couple of times to let paint or glue dry.

It's just made out of dollar-store tongue depressors cut to size with scissors. The decorative top and the backing are one piece of dollar-store craft foam, which can be cut into fancy shapes with scissors. The inside of the shelf area is painted a very pale mauve-pink. The roses are just freehand-painted with craft acrylics and a fine brush (dollar store again).

The tongue depressors curl when damp with glue or paint. The nice thing about a project of this size is that you can fix almost any irregularity with sanding, a bit more glue, some wood filler or even another coat of paint.

I've attached the shelf to the wall with that blue sticky stuff that comes in various brand names, so I can reposition it later without having to repair and repaint the wall behind it. As you can see in the close-up, I've also used it to stick the china to the shelves so I don't have to keep replacing knocked-down bits and pieces.

All in all, it makes for a tidier storage situation and a busier-looking patisserie scene.