Saturday, December 18, 2010

Kid Story Board Game.

For years I have written kids stories, mostly done for our Great Granddaughter who is now nearly six. The stories began when she was born. We did a doll for her we called Mrs. GilleyWilley, who is a magical Nanny. We added an Olivia Ann Doll (our great grans name) and a talking Teddy Bear named BB Bear. That was the start of Mrs. GilleyWilley Adventures. I wrote the magical adventures and Doug did the illustrations. We are having a blast.

I decided the stories needed a "Game" kids could play. Soooo dreamed up a really simple board game, including cutout paper dolls of the story characters. I love the illustrations Doug did for the three characters. We have done a bunch of different creative things in our long years, but doing a board game had never been tried. One is never to old to try something new. I thought up the game concept and Doug did the board & illustrations. It was a fun new creative experience for us both. It will be a Christmas gift for our Great Granddaughter and Granddaughter.
Both Olivia Ann and Mrs. GilleyWilley are cloth doll patterns on our website. I will add the Board Game too.
hugs, Barb Keeling

Friday, November 26, 2010


Having a little trouble publishing these Door Decor Dolls. Here is one of them. The actual post is the next post. Be sure and scroll down.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Punch Embroidery Doll Shading

This Doll Face is competely covered in tiny hand done punch embroidery stitches. I used our Plush Punch Hand Punch needle and a sewing type of thread. The body project is embellished with the same process only done in Free-form punch embroidery style and beading.

Punch Embroidery has been around for a "zillion years". There is a long and interesting history that goes with the punch embroidery process. We have promoted it since the 1970's. We were part of a group of "crafter" who found it again and began designing patterns and promoting the tools and supplies. This rediscovered process was 'new again then, so many people had not heard of it or had any idea how it was done. Several new and some old tools surfaced. We developed our own version of this easy to use hand punch and began doing designs for magazine publication. We got to be known as the Punch Embroidery King and Queen. In due time a battery and electric punch embroidery hand held machine was developed. This added speed to the whole process up making projects even faster to do. We have sold that EASY PUNCH Embroidery Machine for nearly 25 years.

For years we have said we "should" do a doll face and the shading using punch embroidery which we just did. It was designed for a project I will teach at our Doll Club. But it is so smashing I wanted you to see it too. As always my husband Doug did the face design and the shading area, maped out for me to follow. I used our hand punch the Plush Punch and some thread that is the weight more or less of buttonhole twist. I did the punch embroidery, which took a couple of evenings. Sew the doll head, cut it out, stuffed it as usual. There it is, part of our class. I also did a body. First dyed the fabric, then followed the pattern that came out of the dye process and added punch embroidery stitches and free form punch embroidery stitching and added beads, button and what 'knots as additional embellishment. All this will be part of our fun class.

Can't wait til we are teaching. This is going to be SOOOO MUCH FUN. Check out our websites to purchase the Plush Punch Hand Punch or check Dougs site for the EasyPunch Embroidery machine. If you are thinking about Punch Needles, it a best to have both the hand tool and the battery/electric. They have different looks.

A new book was written last year on Punch Embroidery. It is written by Marinda Stewart and called PUNCHNEEDLE The Complete Guide. We have two projects in the book. Check pages 132 and 170.

Barb Keeling

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pin Cushion Dolls

Here are a couple of "Pin Cushion Dolls" I designed to be a fun, but simple class. The flower body doll, is a recycled piece that use to be a pillow top. It is done all in regular sewing thread, using the EASY PUNCH embroidery machine we have sold for some 30 years. That hand held punch needle runs on batteries and is electric, so a projet that big would not take long to complete. Punch embroidery just doesn't wear out, but the pillow it had been on did. It was a sample we used in our booths when we traveled as vendors. Glad I saved it to recyle on such a darling project.

The other is a hand dyed piece of fabric, done in free form embroidery using all sorts of stuff...beads, bangles and what nots. Then I took a hand punch needle and did random punch needle stitch trails of embellishment. I also used it to create ramdom "french knot" look all around. Only with the hand punch needle it took only a few minutes to create that many funky stitches.

I have called these "Pin Cushion Dolls". Sometimes people like to have a "purpose" to what they do. The project is about 15" tall, so a nice size to work with.
I will have these up on my site (shortly) as patterns. So check back now and again.
hugs, barbkeeling

Monday, May 31, 2010

Tyvek Doll Clothing

For a while I have had the idea of making a "TreeBark ELF DOLL" using painted tyvek as the clothing. I realized the tyvek is rather stiff for clothes, but I NEVER say NEVER when it comes to trying things. For me part of the creative adventure is the journey of the process. I have never worried about things failing, for failure can become a new technique.

I took a used postoffice EXPRESS envelope and split the sides to make one long piece of paper/tyvek. I used my fab SHIMMER Paints and colored the one side with mulit layers of differnt colors. Paint color on paint color. WOW awesome shine. Then let it dry. I love this paint it for it dries fast. Hate it when I am on a creative roll and have to wait forever for paint to dry. Once dry I used a hot blower to melt and bubble the tyvek. Don't over do here, for you will be doing more of that.

I had made the Elf out of white fabric, so painted his arms and legs 'Eco Green...Used one drop of colorant green dye and two drops of yellow and two tablespoons of water. Did the Skintone area with my pinktone base using just one tiny drop of the dye, mixed with a tablespoon of water. Mixed each combo in an small empty yogart cup. So basically had used about 50 cents worth of paint mixed in a tablespoon or so of water. WOW SOOOO EASY .

I used the green to paint the dye on legs and sleeve area of the doll and the skintone for the head, hands and neck. If you like more shine, paint the body with the Shimmer EMERALD instead of the dye. LOVE that color. You can see it on some of the other dolls on this blog.

I made a pattern for the top and pants for the doll, cut them out of the tyvek. Sewed the pieces rightsides outside, leaving raw seam edges on the outside. (it is to hard to try and turn the tyvek rightside out. ) Put the clothes on the doll and used a hot blower to melt the clothes on the doll. Go over those raw seams and melt them away. Don't over heat/melt for it will make holes. However this is a cool look too.

I have always said Dolls tell the dollmaker what they want to be. My "Tree Bark Doll" , looks way more like a FUNKY FLAMBOYANT IRISH MATADOR. What a hoot. Maybe he needs a "cape" too. Ahhh a green cape with gold poka-dots. Seems like something he would like. LOL
I named him "TYE"
I have a couple more ELF dolls I am doing. My husband Doug created this new style and look doll face for this group. Fun, easy and delightful as usual. Makes me smile too. This new group will all become patterns. Check the site now and again. Check my website for the shimmer paint and colorant dye.

hugs, barbk

Monday, May 3, 2010

Painted Clothes ARE the stuffed Doll too

I enjoy fussing around with weird ideas that give my creative soul new adventures. Since I am featuring some new and wonderful Dye and Paint, I wanted to do some dolls that didn't take long to make, where fun to do and cute to look at. All that to help show off the new paint and dye.

So I designed some dolls with the clothes as part of the stuffed doll. Some are done that way and some I simply painted the clothes on the stuffed doll. The clothes are painted the my fantastic SHIMMER Paint, and the faces are done with the new Skintone Dye, all of which is now on my website under Non Toxic Paint. The SKINTONE is done for me and called KEELINGS KUSTOM COLORS Skintone as my exclusive product.

I am the Queen of Quick & Easy and this is just that. You can paint a doll in five minutes. Doing the skintone is a whole new process now with my NEW SKINTONE dye. I make the dolls out of white fabric the weave and style I want to use. Make up the doll and then paint the area I want to be "skin" color. There is no wasted fabric. I mix one drop of the dye add in a tablespoon of water, stir it and if I like the tone, paint it on the doll. Let it dry usually for 15 minutes and that is that. NO COOKING and NO SETTING NECESSARY. You can make a zillion tones of the skintone one drop at a time. Skintone fabric are expensive and limited in type of fabric you can have. This way you can buy and dye what you want. I even painted some "cheap fleece" and it look very cool.

Skintone comes in three basic tones, pink, peach and brown which comes in 1.25 fl oz eyedropper bottles. A little goes a very long way. (remember I redyed an 8 foot couch with less than one bottle of this type of dye, costing me less than $6.00) Soooooooo very little goes a really long way. As you know my help and support is always there. TRY IT you will be so happy you did.

hugs barbkeeling

Monday, April 12, 2010

Doll with Painted on Clothes

One of my favorite things to do is make dolls. That is WHAT we do. I'm always looking for new and fun ways of doing this. I decided I wanted to make a big Fairy Doll, I can put on my front porch, so designed a 30" doll. I'm loving the larger size, easier for these 'old eyes to see what I am doing. Inspiration came because I have a drawer of Fairy Wings I have collected for a long time and have these huge wings I wanted to use.

I decided to paint on part of the dolls clothes, so took my Shimmer Paint and painted on her blouse including long sleeves. I used the teal, gold, emerald colors shimmer paints done in sort of stripes. I let the fabric dry in the sun which took no more than 10 minutes.

I used Keelings Kolors our new Skintone dye and dyed the face, head, neck and hands in a very pale dye mix. Used about two drops of the skintone base color and about two tablespoons of water. It is so easy to do your own skintone. The skintone fabric is expensive. My two drops of dye likely cost less than ten cents.

Painted some tyvek, a used envelop, with Shimmer paint, used the heat blower on it to 'shrink it into fun bumps and bubbles. Drew a shoe the shape of the doll foot, sewed the tyvek into a shoe shape, but it on, used the Heat Blower to shrink the shoe to fit the foot. Ahhhh-haaa a done deal.

My husband, Doug who is the master of our doll faces took on the head/face design. I added a big glob of fab colored SoySilk for hair and our Flower Fairy is ready for a cup of Tea while she sits in the garden.

I have painted shoes and boots on dolls before, but never a blouse. Came out very cool, then I added in some beading and a bunch of machine embroidered leaves. Think she is totally cool. I am thinking I might turn this doll into a pattern if anyone is interested let me know. It very fun and nice change to do the bigger size. We have done two full size dolls too.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Painting the Couch and shoes, and cardboard

This was really a fun project and not as over powering as one would think. Figuring out what to do and how to do it was the hard part.

We have lived in the same house for 18 years. It was time to fresh'n up, so I took on the painting of the living room, hall, and kitchen. Painting always makes things look so snappy. We got new drapes for the living room and everything looks great. However anything that is a little drab sitting there by the fresh painted walls and new drapes can look really terrible. Our poor "retro" denim couch was not to worn but was a fright sight because it was so faded. There was no "budget" for recover-y. So needed another plan.

I wondered if I couldn't "paint" it. I am a fiber artist and dye or paint fabric all the time. Just because this is a 8 foot faded couch, filled with padding, stuffing and four very large pillow on the back and two huge seat pillows, not to mention the miles and miles of awful looking denim covering it, should not be a problem. Sounded like it would work to me.

I am fearless when it comes to trying things. I figure the worse that can happen is that it does not work. With the idea that this COULD work, I figure I could start the paint/dye process on one of the four pillows and if it turned into a disaster I could cover the pillows with some fresh fabric and not worry about it.

Possible failure never worries me. So I let my “dye the couch” thoughts move forward and I did have a plan. Well sort-a. I mentioned to my husband I was thinking of "painting the couch". He never said a word, just gave me that "of course you will" look, knowing I WOULD try it. We've been married over 50 years so there have been more than one weird idea that has pop't into my head.

I have been working with a wonderful company that makes a Non Toxic paint that I now sell on my website. They have a fab dye that is so easy to use. I mixed my own color using their concentrated color liquid. A few drops of color and water and a spray bottle. And off I went . Tried a pillow first For the pillow the all blue seemed boring so with the wide choice of color in the dye I added all sorts of color. Mixing the Non Toxic paint/dye colors is so easy. Then sprayed the dye onto the pillows. Spraying and brushing to blend the colors.
The dye does NOT change the feel of the fabric or make it stiff. This dye is awesome.

I could see this would work so I did the whole couch with the blue.
This dye is easy to use, is Non Toxic and can be made to go on clothing and be washable too. While I had the dye out I also dyed a silk scarf, justing the spray bottle process.

Go to my website and get the basic dye set. There are four colors you can use to mix any color plus the fabric magic if you plan to dye anything you want to wash.

When you order the paint I will send you more detail how I did the couch. You may not be planning to do a couch, but the process will set you in motion on other projects.
Go to my website: Click on the NonToxic Paint. Click on the COLORANT DYE SET.

Happy Painting. Barb Keeling

Painting Sneakers

I remember wearing "keds". There were no "fancy" sneakers in 'them there days. Now sneakers are a basic shoe wear. I suppose I am like others in that you get favorites and it hard to give them up. But in due time that start to look terrible, I mean really terrible. I had two pair headed for the dump when I found this fab Non Toxic paint that goes on "anything". So figured I had nothing to lose by painting them. They came out so funky and fun and put new colorful life into the old 'kicks. This is Shimmer/Opaque paint. It is on my website. Be sure and get all the colors for it will give you great fun to paint, fabric, use on rubberstamps, leather, rubber, metal and so much more. Check out the great old rollerskate I did too. The wheels are rubber, leather uppers and there is metal under the skate which I also painted. Go to my website and order the paint. You will just love it.

Painting Shoes.

I have always loved shoes. In my youth I would romp around all day in 4" spike heels and not think a thing about it. Now as a 'Snappy Senior I have had to lower my "stand"-er-s. No matter still love fun, funky or snazzy shoes. Some shoes I have walked nearly to pieces others who wait for "special occasions" so grow old with little or no wear. They often just need an update. I have found a wonderful new Non Toxic paint that you can use on nearly everything. It is a Shimmer/opaque with dandy colors. A sort of thick-ish wee like nailpolish spreadness, that can also be thinned down with water if you want a diluted paint to paint with. Anyway here are some of the shoes I fussed with. A pair of boots I've had some 15 or more years and worn them nearly to a shred. That look totally fab. A really wonderful pair of black heels, great looking shoes but BORING, so splashed them into smashing fashion wear with a small amount of magenta paint. Way coooool looking now.

There are 12 great colors of the wonderful Shimmer/Opaque paint, Go the the Non Toxic paint catagory. All the color are there. But get the set you will not want to miss any one of the colors. When you buy the paint remind me and I will send you some extra info on how to do the shoes.