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The other day when I woke up and decided I’d like to make a rag doll. After a search on the internet I found SourDoughDumpling on Ebay. She has some wonderful patterns similar to Tilda designs and I chose her pattern Matilda to create my rag doll, isn’t she beautiful.

Sourdoughdumpling pattern: Matilda

Sour Dough Dumpling pattern for Matilda rag doll pattern available on her Ebay shop, see link below.

I remember some tips from Create and Craft demos of Tilda dolls so for my project I traced round the pattern pieces and sewed them BEFORE I cut them out. I used pinking shears so that the fabric wouldn’t fray. Stuffed with polyester toy filling and discovered a plastic thick ended chop stick is your best friend when stuffing narrow limbs.

I made my doll out of curtain lining fabric, here’s a top tip if you use the draw around technique. I used a water erasable sewing marker. I used a damp cloth and the colour came off nicely BUT when I ironed one of the pieces the blue lines came back! for the limbs I ran the fabric under a cold tap and this has got rid of the marker and even after ironing it hasn’t come back. So don’t skimp on the warning that comes with these pens and TEST your fabric first to see if it will indeed erase again! I hope I’ll get away with the lines as they are on the edges of the body so those on the head should be covered by hair as will those at the shoulders, the rest will be covered by clothes.

Having fiddled with sewing some of the clothes dress I highly recommend using the draw around and sew limbs together before you cut them out, much easier for little 0.5cm seams. I’ll add pics in the next post about this.

Matilda has a dress cut out, the bodice is made up (well shoulders and neck sewn up) but I have only hemmed the skirt and sleeve sections as RSI has kicked off and fine motor skills are not happening without too much pain. Having to rest up.

Summer Trousers

I also made a start on my second pair of summer trousers before I lost the use of my hands. I am using the New Look pattern 6292 and after a bit of a tweek coz I was in between sizes they are a dream! I can never get trousers to fit and these are wonderful, best fit ever! I made the first pair out of poly cotton and this second pair which are still in construction, are in chambray.


Here are the links to the suppliers on the projects or patterns I am talking about in this post.

If you would like to make a rag doll too but don’t have spare fabric to hand Kath Kidson has a book which includes a printed doll, you just sew round and fill with stuffing. The book also contains a pattern you can trace if you wish to make the doll again in alternative fabric. This is a good one as it also includes several outfits for the doll. I love the PJs.

Hopefully I’ll share some pictures soon, when hands allow.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

Welcome Back

Saw a TV advert for Art Therapy Magazine last night and I’m hoping to get my hands on a copy. Will let you know what its like if/when I can get a copy.

In the meantime you can find out more about it here: Art Therapy Magazine *this site has music so if you ar reading this in front of the tv you might want to mute what you are reading this on first 😉

best wishes and thanks for reading

Billie 🙂

Welcome Back

I am not abandoning this blog, promise, but I need to write about things unrelated to paper craft and rather than taking this one off topic I have started a new blog.

A Space to Heal

Its about healing, recovery and trying to find ways to find peace, to de-stress. There may also be a little gardening, so expect makeover type pictures there.

If you like meditation, and tranquility type of topics, come and have a look round.

I will come back to this post, I just need a place to heal and recover before I can do that. There are lots of great how too’s and reviews here that are still relevant to today, so I hope this blog will remain useful to you.

best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

Welcome Back

Taking one day at a time. Trying to rebuild my life from the tattered shards of grief and loss. This sums it up rather well;

I hope to post something craft related again at some point. Right now I’m working on breathing in and out.

My new favourite author is Pema Chodron:


Pema Chodron Quotes

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon


Welcome Back

Many thanks to all of you loyal readers who are still visiting. Anyone visiting my Pinterest boards will have seen some new ones. I am a reluctant gardener, its not a choice I would choose, I am to plants what Kryptonite is to Superman. I am looking into the possibility of creating a meditation garden, with a Japanese feel. The garden is already divided by some nice trellis with arches here and there. Mowing the lawn is beyond me as is a lot of weeding so I’m trying to research something that will be low maintenance.

Mini Zen Garden indoors

I have a sand  Zen garden that I made on a tray, which I like the idea of but in the UK and with a lot of neighbours with cats it would not work with sand outdoors! (OK the gloves are NOT needed for this garden, they were just a cheerful colour and when you are gardening under tolerance rather than choice pretty gloves help). {strop much! heheh}

Mini Zen Garden

Mini Zen Garden

I’d like to try something with varying sizes of stones in boarders, would LOVE a wooden bridge, can you get them 12″ high, just a short one?

I keep finding quotes I like and saw quotes written on stones on Pinterest which looked fab, so I’ve started making my own.

Thought Stones/ Meditation stones

Thought Stones/ Meditation stones

I will try to share pics of quotes I like, and of the ones I’ve put on stones in the coming year.


I am still processing my loss so creative writing in great measure is beyond me at the moment. I am exploring a number of different things, here is my reading list;

  • I wasn’t ready to say Goodbye. For anyone else how has suffered the sudden unexpected loss of someone close, this is a good companion.
  • Grieving Mindfully. If you are trying to find ways to live in your ‘new world’ this is also very helpful. Its a different way to see what has happened ‘to’ you and really helps with processing loss. It helps you realise you can’t get round, past or over loss, you get through it, and here are ways to learn to do so that will help ease the pain. Really helps.
  • The Mindful Way Workbook; An 8 week program to Free yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress. Now if you are recently bereaved, forget the time scale, really forget it BUT although this book is nothing to do with bereavement the meditation exercises on the MP3 CD that come with this book REALLY help!

I would not recommend Seven Choices: Finding Daylight after loss Shatters your world. Everyone’s journey through grief is unique to them but although this book is helpful if you want to read LOTS of other peoples stories of tragic loss, so you realise you are not alone, it happens to everyone at some point,  if what you are looking for is more of a hand to hold to keep you company to reassure you that you aren’t going crazy but one day you will feel better than you do right now, this didn’t do that for me, it wasn’t reassuring and me feel worse.

This isn’t the place for me to talk about this loss, so you won’t see his picture here or his name. He was my world and my heart is broken without him, I am struggling to find a reason to go on. The Japanese garden will be my way of honouring our love and the time we spent together.


So who wants to see garden pictures on this blog? or shall I just stick to quotes I like till the mojo makes a reappearance. Say if you want a tutorial on the Zen garden its so easy you could do it in moments.

Best wishes and thanks for reading and sticking by me, see you soon


Welcome Back

I have an excellent reason for not blogging in a while, but its not one I’m ready to share with the world as its too painful to talk about yet. The short version is that I am processing something huge and its gonna take time to heal and recover.

A dear friend sent me something that sums things up rather neatly.


Getting by one step at a time

When times get tough sometimes we need help;

Take a pen, in your left palm write ‘Breathe in, look at other hand’. in your right palm write; ‘Breathe out, look at other hand’ Right now I’m just about getting by with just doing that.


Sorry for the lack of headings, can’t seem to find them and haven’t the capacity to work it out at the moment. I went back to the old version of WP rather than the new format but boggled.

I’ll post again when I can, thanks for being patient with me.

Welcome Back

I’d like to share a before picture of the chair I’m hoping to repaint into a shabby chic style.

Before pic of chair I'd like to paint up.

Before pic of chair I’d like to paint up.

After years of perching on a laundry basket to my dressing table I decided I’d like a chair. This is mainly because my bad back isn’t keen on staying anywhere unsupported for long and also because I’d like to use the table with a sewing machine as a creative space to save having to ask DH to get the machine out for me, every time I want to sew.

It started with a drool round sewing rooms on Pinterest- bad idea so many beautiful spaces I couldn’t begin to achieve. Then ‘of course’ I had a nose round Ebay, some lovely thing chairs on there! Pre painted or just pre-loved and looking ideal to ‘alter’. Getting them sent in the post sounded a bit risky for damage and going to collect any from a way a way was an issue too. So I decided to try a local charity which re sells donated furniture. Nothing at ground level looked quite right but the very helpful man working there spied a real gem up on a shelf, he happily climbed up to retrieve it for us and it was wonderful and as Goldilocks would say ‘Just right!’ The perfect dimensions for the space it would be used in, and a comfortable back too.

Before pic of chair I'd like to paint up.

Before pic of chair I’d like to paint up.

DH isn’t getting the love for the pre-loved furniture nor shabby chic but I’d much rather give a lovely wooden chair like this a new lease of life than have a charmless modern one. At first I was thinking white with blue shabby chic distressing but I’m not so sure now. I’m currently leaning towards clean white but still in a matt finish.

If I can get to grips with stencilled lettering ‘nicely’ then on the inside of the top curve I’d like to have the word ‘Create’ and on the back edge the word ‘Dream’. I am a bit of a perfectionist though so rather than faffing about trying to line individual letters up, if I go that route for having words on the chair I’m hoping to be able to commission someone to cut me a doflex stencil with the words pre cut so they line up with each other nicely.

This was a daft time of year to think of all this as my hands lock up in cold wet weather DOH!!! So don’t expect to see finished pictures any time soon but I’ll take pictures along the way and let you know how it goes. Has anyone else done a project like this with chairs? I’d love to see some finished pictures of what you made. In a really ideal world I’d like to add a bird image to the chair back too, but not to have a shiny edge of a decal, so not sure that will be a starter. If anyone knows of people who will custom make stencils or know any projects like this one I can have a look at do leave me a comment, I’d love to learn and see some inspiration.

Well the weather has shut down now, so this project is somewhat moth balled till next summer when I hope to get the use of my hands back again. In the meantime I’ve thrown some fabric over the chair as DH isn’t loving the ‘pre loved’ look as much as me.

Lovely layers on the chair.

Lovely layers on the chair.

I’ve seen mention of Annie Sloan paint for shabby chic-ing furniture. Has anyone use it and what did you think? This chair will be well used rather than something just to look decorative. I’m rather tempted by doing a ‘quick n dirty’ attempt with this Annie Sloan paint if I could do the whole chair with one of the little tester pots, rather than a 1 litre can. But it sounds like you have to wax it after painting so quite labour intensive when you hands don’t work in wet cold weather.

I’d be happy just to paint it plain white but stripping all the layers off either with sandpaper or even paint stripper sound quite a lot of work that my hands won’t manage. ( Me thinks the ‘throw’ will on a LONG time), but it was a nice lilac chenille piece from the remnant , which I’ve been ‘saving’ for ages 😉

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie xx