The thing about glitter is if you get it on you, be prepared to have it on you forever. Glitter is the herpes of craft supplies.
Demetri Martin

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Can't be What You Want Because I'm Free

We are very pleased to announce that we've completed the very first installment of our new cloth doll collection Corduroy. 

As I've probably mentioned once of twice before, I'm a fan of Pearl Jam. Corduroy is the title of a B-Side track on Pearl Jam's third album, Vitology, and is about the band's exposure to fame. I've actually quoted lyrics from this song in previous posts, because I love it so much. The song speaks to the importance of maintaining integrity in the wake of social pressures and expectations. This is what Corduroy Cloth Dolls by Third Street are all about - staying free in your choices and having the courage to stay true to yourself.

Incidentally, November 22nd marks the 20th anniversary of Pearl Jam's Vitology album, making the introduction of our Corduroy Collection all the more exciting. You can read more about the 20th anniversary of Vitology here, and of course I recommend that you do.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Type of Hats That are Not a Mistake

If you follow us on Facebook, earlier this week you were treated to a glimpse of my doll fashion designing endeavors. Inspired by a cloth basket pattern I found on Pinterest (courtesy of A Spoon Full of Sugar Designs), I created some chic new hats for our Third Street cloth dolls.

And they're reversible!

This is the part of doll-making that I especially love: designing and embellishing. The art of transforming each cloth doll into a unique, one of a kind entity. This is when their personality takes shape, the moment when the "thing" that will draw someone to them is fully incorporated.

Friday, October 17, 2014


Out with my mother-in-law to visit with the neighbors! Had a lovely pumpkin spice latte and sandwich bagel at the beautiful Just Us! Coffeehouse followed by a drop-in to Tangled Garden in Grand Pre for some great jelly tasting. Picked up a few things to add to the "shop local" Christmas baskets I'm planning. After a tour of the Grand Pre outback complete with a precarious near-miss with a farm ditch full of muck (with wide-eyed cattle looking on) we meandered over to the Gaspereau for an eyeful of fall valley delight. The trees are all so vivid and rich right now!! 

Snapped a picture of these little friends down the road at Gaspereau Valley Fibres and managed to snag some fall-coloured wool felt for my stash!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Thank You, Teacher

We've all had that one teacher who touched our hearts - who recognized our unique qualities and helped us bring them to light. My daughter's second grade teacher was one of these people in Julia's world. Jules grew under Mrs. L.A,'s guidance, coming out of her quiet shell to display a confidence and fortitude that only her family had yet seen. Many of the insecurities and anxieties common to earlier school life began to abate and our caring and sensitive girl seemed to blossom!   

Just before the end of the 2013-2014 school year, Mrs. L.A. announced that she would be leaving classroom teaching to pursue a mentorship role with the regional school board. This was both disappointing and exciting news - sad that she would no longer be a day-to-day presence in our school but excellent for all of the teachers, schools, and students who would benefit from her as a mentor involved with program development.

Determined to show our appreciation for the role she had played in Julia's educational, social, and emotional development, I began work on an embroidery picture for Julia to give to Mrs. L.A. as she embarked upon the next adventure of her teaching career.

I chose fabrics that held sentimental value in Julia's world - one that I used in her bedroom decor when she was a baby and another I used in her first cloth doll.

I re-purposed an old frame to fit the dimensions, and affixed the applique using HeatnBond.

I used pencil to lightly write on the A.A. Milne quotation I had chosen for the embroidery.

Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart - A.A. Milne 
Next, I embroidered the script using a narrowly spaced back stitch in a mossy green floss. I added some chain-stitched petals in blue and peach, filled with a deep violet satin stitch to fashion a decorative flower. The center is composed of clustered  french knots in a fuchsia floss. I embroidered the year using a chain stitch in the same blue and peach from the flower.  

Then finished the project with the frame for mounting and safekeeping. Please excuse the glare.

Julia helped me with the colors and the design and served as support and motivation as I hustled to complete the project in the short time frame allotted by the late confirmation of Mrs.L.A.'s appointment with the Board. We used a piece of scrapbook paper to finish the back of the frame with a handwritten note from Jul thanking Mrs. L.A. for being "the best."

A big fan of all things handmade, Julia was super pleased to present Mrs. L.A. with this gift on the last day of school!


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