making rag dolls

This was such a fun & even relaxing project that was inspired while we read through some of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books together. Laura has a rag doll that her grandmother gave her named 'Charlotte' and it was a treasured gift that Laura loved with all her heart. There is something special about it being handmade!! Our girls love their unique dolls!!

This was my second doll - gifted to a little girl in town named Emma who was turning six.
Things I used around the house
  • an old pair of children's tights (light colors work best)
  • yarn for hair
  • embroidery thread
  • buttons for eyes?
  • cotton stuffing
  • old clothes or scrap material
  • a needle and lots of white thread
The foot of the tights becomes the head & body - the heel becomes the bum (on the backside of the doll). I first stuffed the head & body, shaping the head as I went - and making the doll pretty snugly stuffed. I sewed the neck by zig-zagging the stitches. Then I cut the legs, by splitting the tights up the leg in half. I stuffed each leg as I sewed them, trying to make them symmetrical. I made the arms with extra material from the tights, stuffing them as I went - and attaching them across their backs. I also double stitched each seam for strength. Then I added yarn for hair (the part/seam down the middle seemed to be the best for making braids or pigtails). The face can be done with colored embroidery thread, or buttons for eyes. I tried to match the hair/eye colors with each little girl, which made them extra special. The clothes were made from old clothing that the girls had grown out of, and some elastic hair bands for the elasticized skirts. You get creative when you can't leave the house (because of riots in your city).

Here is the third doll I made for our neighbor friend, Amina: for her fourth birthday!

Here are Eden & Sydney's dolls that they got for Christmas, with matching skirts for the girls & dolls! Someday I will get a sewing machine again...which will make these projects a bit faster. Each doll took about 2-3 days, after the girls were asleep. Maybe 9 hours total?? They were so fun to make. Next doll: for my niece Jordan's birthday. I already have some new ideas.


Chia pets -- Chinese style!

Do you remember having your very own Chia pet when you were little? Well, if not - you can live vicariously through my girls. We found these nifty Chinese versions of the "Chia pets" at the flower market last week - and they have been a huge hit in our home. They cost 6 kuai each (about 88 cents) and you just add water!

Of course we had to give them names.
I bet you could make your own if you were extremely motivated. I will just spend 6 kuai.
  • some women's nylons
  • sawdust
  • grass seeds or chia sprouts
  • string
  • decorative flare
After this we gave them all haircuts.


Sydney is THREE!!

Five months ago Sydney began counting down to her 3rd birthday. She has been waiting a L O N G time for this day! She expressly told me that she wanted a "Love Puppy" birthday party....so mom had to get creative. What is a 'Love Puppy' you ask? ...aka Sydney! She has given herself the nickname - and it has stuck! ...and Sydney loves people - so we invited all the youngsters we could find to share in her big day. Here she is modeling how to feed the Love Puppy.

The kids colored pictures of puppies, fed the puppy a bone, and ate puppy cupcakes. Are you sensing a theme? Sydney was such a HAM the entire party - making silly faces and giving lots of hugs. She soaked in all the attention!

I look at our little girl - and am amazed at how mature & verbal & animated & outgoing she is for a three-year-old! She is still very petite, so she still seems young (tiny) to me! This year she learned to use the potty on her own, get dressed on her own, sing new songs alone, stop taking naps!!, and so many new things. How quickly kids want to be independent/grown-up and branch out on their own! She still loves to snuggle, ride on our backs, play 'the baby' in every game, pet animals outside, go to the market with mom, smile at new friends, all things 'puppy', and dance with her sisters! Each of our daughters are so different, and they teach me a new facet of Dad's character, refining me and pushing me to love Him more! Thank you Sydney for teaching me to rest, to pretend, to laugh & giggle, to sing aloud and spin in circles....and be more outgoing too!! We love you so!!

Here are some more pictures of her special day as queen:

You are so loved little one!!