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Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
Hello doll lovers! This blog was created to tell you about dolls I have made and classes I teach on doll making at Attic Window Quilt Shop in Comstock Park, Michigan (a suburb of Grand Rapids). My goal in teaching is to pass on the love of making heirloom quality dolls. Most of the dolls I make (and hold classes for) are designed by Gail Wilson - visit her website at . Page down my blog for some fun doll links including antique doll sites and hard to find doll supplies.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

10/0 filberts

I found a treasure today!  My favorite 10/0 filberts are available online at Hobby Lobby with cheap shipping (until March 27th, 2010).  Fliberts in general, are so nice for painting in hair or for erasing oil paint that goes beyond where I want it to.  The small 10/0 size is especially nice for erasing in tight spots on doll faces.  Hobby Lobby also carries  my other favorite 18/0 spotter, but alas they are out of stock on that one.  Click on today's post title and it will take you to Hobby Lobby's site.  

To use a filbert as an oil paint eraser, just dip it into turpinoid, swipe it almost dry on a towel, then starting outside the place you want to remove paint, push the paint back into the place it should be. Or if you wish to wipe it off altogether, use the filbert to swipe it back into the tip of the brush, picking up the paint off the face of the doll.  You can practice this a bit on your doll's head under where the hair will be if you wish to get the hang of it before you actually need to employ it.
The 18/0 spotters help me to achieve a nice thin line where I need one under the eyes. Above are the alkyd oil paints I use. The alkyds dry much faster than regular oil paints but much slower than acrylics. I can get a much nicer face using oils because I have all the time I need to get happy with my painting. If I don't like a line, or cheek, I just swipe it off with the 10/0 filbert eraser and start again.  The boy face is Gail Wilson's Kate Greenaway style doll before he was antiqued - so he looks a bit "clownish" in his bright face colors. One he was antiqued - it toned it down a bit.  For more info about Gail's dolls, please visit

Thanks for visiting and have some doll fun today!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Hi doll makers - just a quick post to fill you in on what we'll be doing tomorrow in class at Attic Window:  we are moving forward with Emma and Charlotte designed by Gail Wilson.  We'll be going over mixing tinted gesso for a black doll and mixing skin colors with alkyd oil paints for both black and white dolls.  For those who would like to purchase these fast drying oil paints, they are available in Grand Rapids at T-Square Art Supplies (click on the title of this post and it will take you to their website).  Feel free to stop in at Attic Window to watch us if you'd like to see how to do use oil paints for doll making.  This week we put on the base skin, and next week we'll be painting face details. 

I also have a few marshmellow chics and bunnies prepared for show and tell - so cute.  Any doll would love to have them in her Easter basket.  This item is a free download for those who have signed up for the free paper minis newsletter.  I printed them out, glued them, then wrapped them in a piece of plastic - they look just like the real thing, only miniature.  If this sounds like fun, here is a link to paper minis:

I have enjoyed the many things I have received in the newsletter, or have purchased from paper minis. There are loads of nice paper minis for the American Girl set. Thanks Ann for all the fun projects!

Have some doll fun today!  - Julie

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Today at bee

Today at doll bee we worked on Emma, Charlotte, or on another doll or UFO. I finished up another chicken pincushion.   It was fun to see a doll from a prior class get finished complete with a hand made snood!  So cute!  Bee is a good time for those who have to miss a class to make up what was missed.  Every one is welcome to come and spend the day working on whatever you wish - dolls, quilts, anything you wish to bring.  Doll bee is always the second Thursday of the month and the bee fee is $5.00 for all day classroom use.  We usually make a day of it and stop over at the nearby (2 doors down) Subway and have a pizza or sandwich for lunch. It's a nice day away from the chores and we have doll fun all day.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Coming in like a Lion

Well, the old wive's tale  "if March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb" interests me today. I hope it's true since I am in not so sunny and warm Florida. Last night the wind and rain and hail waged war on the landscape and all is clean and fresh after the storm.  The mulch is a bit out of place with litte now empty river beds running thru the plantings, but soon that will be set to rights, I think.  This landscape is a far different one from the one I left in Michigan on Sunday!  There was about a foot of snow and the wind was whipping around making little snow devils in the backyard.  We had to cancel a trip to Chicago because of lake effect snow! I hope that by the time I return, the snow will have melted and the March lamb will be grazing.  I am tired of winter and thoroughly enjoyed my nap in the sun at poolside yesterday afernoon.  Yup, I did get a little "too done", but it will soon turn to tan. 

No dolls for me, this week - but when I return, I will be refreshed and ready to dig into my Dixie Redmond Online class doll. This is a wonderful online class making a realistic Izannah Walker style doll. The class instructions are wonderful and have many resources to help you achieve a heirloom quality doll.  There are options for those who would rather not sculpt, but also wonderful videos for those who do wish to try their hand at sculpting facial details.  For those of you who might be interested, here is the link (shown below) or click on the title of the blog above.  There will be another workshop coming in the fall if you think you might like to try your hand at it.  Thanks to Dixie for the wonderful class, I can't wait to dig in.  Be sure to check out the links, there are some wonderful pictures and links that are potential favorites, I'm sure!

Have some fun this week - Julie

Gail Wilson dolls I have made

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