Tuesday, 2 April 2013

The good, the bad and the deeply unfortunate

Welcome April

Detail from 'The Goose Girl' by Jessie Willcox Smith

Let's start in reverse order.

Several years ago I decided I was going to make a toy. This was at a time when I had not yet properly rediscovered my crafty mojo but it was there - behind the scenes - urging me to have a go.
I've always been one to look at things closely and tell myself 'I think I could do that - no really I could - I must try it', so when the fashion for 'ugly' dolls popped up I spied my chance.
What could go wrong? Surely any mistakes could be made to look intentional.
I ferreted out some old material and set to. 
I didn't need a pattern - that would add to the fun.
Then I had a brilliant idea. I could give it to Little Sis for Christmas. Oh yes a handmade toy that would be the envy of all her friends. Hand crafted by her gloriously talented mum it would be handed down through future generations as a thing of awe, alongside tales of Great Great Grandma cutting up old dresses and stitching by the fire on cold, dark December evenings. He would be called Festive.

I feel I should introduce him gradually.

Cheery material - tick

Attempt at cheeky face - oh

The disproportionate result of not using a pattern - good grief

He certainly made an impact.
Christmas morning saw Little Sis gleefully unwrapping her special present. Big Sis had just received the phone that she had been asking for and was suitably thrilled. Then a  foot popped out and the mood was set. The unwrapping slowed and, in spite of trying to remain chipper, Little Sis's face fell. By the time all the paper had gone she could hold back no more. 
She wept.
It was deeply unfortunate.
On the plus side we all remember that special day and it is something we can now look back on and have a good laugh. In years to come tales may still be told about the arrival of Festive but not quite with the same twist as I was expecting.

Now for the bad.

Those of you familiar with blogland will have seen the glorious abundance of Easter trees popping up everywhere. Wonderful Spring twigs festooned with hand crafted decorations and chocolate eggs.
With my usual gung ho attitude I had a thought. One that by now I should be wary of.
'I could do that'.

Can you guess what I did?

Can you guess what I did now?

Did you expect this?

No - neither did I. 
As I patiently sat and blew two eggs clean before placing them in food colouring to dye them pastel shades of pink and blue to lovingly hang from a twig of Pussy Willow, I had no idea of how they could go so sadly awry.


Time for some good!

For Mother's Day Big Sis bought me this

Maybe it was a hint.
If I was going to continue with my crafty nonsense perhaps it would be a good idea to follow a pattern.

So this Easter two special friends arrived.
One for each Sis.

Happy faces

Made with love

The response was good. There were no tears.
No tears is good!
At last 'I did a good!'

Maybe I should stop there?
No chance - too many thoughts going on over here.
What next?

 Hope you are doing some good things this Easter.

Jane x


  1. Hang on a mo, let me just wipe the tears from my eyes - tears of laughter you understand!
    Maybe you should start a competition to see who can make the ugliest/most unusual doll!
    But I do love your Easter dolls, they are gorgeous - glad there were no tears this time!
    Can't wait to see your next project!!!
    Angie x

  2. A charming story of seemingly awry projects, yet that ugly doll might be my favorite. It's fun and unusual. Thanks or the smiles.

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  4. Oh I needed that giggle to get me through the rest of the day! Thank you for sharing your projects - it's comforting to know I'm not the only one who has grand ideas in my imagination that don't always translate to real life! The mouse and bunny are sooo lovely, but the eggs and Festive, oh Festive! Fantastic! Cx

  5. I thought you were going to grow avacados from the pit thingy... but I see now ~ those are eggs... right, right. Perfect color for army soldiers and hunters wearing camouflage...
    Your Easter friends looks devine though~ lovely outfits, nice ears~ nicely done! :)))))
    Thanks for the smiles! :))))

  6. The eggs do look a bit like avocados not at all the pretty shades of your imagination! Your Easter friends are very cute, I love their frocks:)

  7. I'm sorry, I know I shouldn't giggle, but I did. Good on you for showing us crafts gone awry. I generally bin my disasters and pretend they never happened! Still, you have redeemed yourself with the Easter friends - and good to see Festive's fabric going to good use :-)

  8. I love this story, I Think the first little person you made will end up being a family heirloom.
    Hugs to you,

  9. Whahahaha! Eggs! Did you eat them? Just curious. ; ) Love the rabbit and mouse. Their dresses are so sweet, too!

  10. Once again you have had me crying with laughter! Miss Teenager has just said 'don't you dare do that to me!' For your eggs I couldn't work out at first if you had mistaken the pink and blue dye for soy sauce and pepsi cola! Thanks for the laughs Jane, you're a star! Chel x

  11. You've come a long way! I love your mouse and bunny! Sadly, often, when you have made something, you know how NOT to do it next time! (Well I do!) x

  12. What a great story ... I'm sure Festive will be a special part of your family for many years ... love your mouse and rabbit ... Bee xx

  13. The rabbit and mouse look adorable. Jane. Great job! :o)

  14. What a funny story! Love the response of little sis. The hand blown eggs are great. I can't dye eggs either. I do love your bunny and mouse! Very sweet. xx

  15. What a great wee story! You do make me laugh. Love the bunnies at the end though...
    M xxx

  16. So funny, I did enjoy this, sorry, I'm finding glee in your slight mishaps, in a sympathetic way mind you. It all came good in the end though, your Easter gifts are lovely and very worthy of future romantic fireside stories, they will be much loved by many generations to come, I'm sure X

  17. Love your story I can think of similar disasters and adore your bunnies x

  18. What about Teddy Edward? Mum x

  19. So funny! I have plenty of disasters too ... I have learnt from several experiences never to go near knitting needles or crochet hooks ever again!
    M x

  20. ha-ha! I like Festive! But can understand the let down of a childhood on Christmas morning. HA! You are a hoot! The bunnies turned out great. I definitely do not know how to sew -- will try my hand at simple little projects; I used to cross-stitch but my eyes aren't what they used to be so mostly I stick with crochet. :) Best wishes to you, Tammy

  21. Oh Jane I had such a giggle with this post! I have had many craft disasters too but I don't have you gift for telling them in such a funny way :) The bunny and mouse are adorable x

  22. Oh that is hilarious Jane, brilliant story about Festive! I think i'm like you and always think that looks easy i could make that...little does anyone know how many "flops" I've made in the past and continue to... brilliant bunny and mouse, nothing to cry about there :o) xxx Penny

  23. Lol, I loved that, and could identify with it! Love your rabbit and mouse, gorgeous :) xx

  24. I just popped by to see if you had a link for a fabric rag doll as you suggested I should have a go.....your festive doll is the best worst craft I have seen!! Your mouse is very cute xxx

  25. Well done at last...with the bunnies.....but i do love your 'festive ' doll too who wouldn't apart from your sister? obviously you were ahead of your time???
    D x

  26. Come on, spill the beans about Teddy Edward!!

  27. Oh so funny! I love your Mouse and Bunny! They're exceptionally cute and I love their little frocks :-) But i do love your earlier ugly doll too, he's kinda special :-) Have a lovely weekend. Mel x

  28. oh the bunny and mouse are so cute - but poor festive, he was cute too in his own way!

  29. I totally can sympathise - I often say - I 'm sure I could do that and find the end result isn't at all what I planned ! The special Easter bunny and mouse are a delight - they are lovely


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