My Whimcees

My Whimcees

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Forgot To Post This Photo


On an earlier trip to dog sit with Brandy, I posted of the beetles that were attacking their flowers and bushes in the yard. They have now also invaded their vegetable garden and are even in the grass and are destroying the trees. The lovely birch tree by their deck has had almost all it's leaves destroyed. Every day we were there this trip, the deck was covered with more of it's damaged and dead leaves.

My son Jim found this skeleton of what was once a leaf before the beetles got at it - an example of the absolute destruction they are doing to all things green and growing. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can see clearly that nothing is left but the connecting spine. Amazing and sad. Jim continued to kill each and every bug he found in his quest to save the our friend's trees and flowers, but it was really beyond him to do this.

Take care. Back on Monday! :<)

Barbara Diane

Friday, July 30, 2010

Back Home


I am back home now - very tired. I will miss these open spaces.

Most of all, I will miss my friend Brandy.

I will be spending today and this weekend trying to get caught up on things here and checking out your blogs to see what all everyone has been doing.

Monday will have Lady G and Little Doll working together to create the display for Little Doll - a garden for her to sit in when she leaves us to return to her original owner.

Wishing you a good weekend! Take care.

Barbara Diane

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gone For A Few Days & PictureTrail


I will be gone now for a few days as Jim and I am going back out to sit with my best dog friend Brandy. I will return home on either Wednesday or Thursday. My very small apartment with no air conditioning is like living in a sauna, with the heat and humidity we are having here in this part of WI -too bad it isn't weight reducing - so I am really looking forward to a house with windows all around, the back yard, the deck, etc. Hello central air! :<)

If you would like to check out my PictureTrail to see some of the other dolls and paper crafts I have made you can see them at It needs to be updated and I will be working on that when I return, but it has lots of stuff on it! :<) I am taking some new projects along with me to work on and will be practicing my quilling.

Wishing you a wonderful Sunday! I will be back with the next chapters of Little Doll and Fat Cat when I return. Little Doll and Lady G help create a garden for Little Doll and Fat Cat comes into the story. Thank you for all the very kind and lovely comments and e-mails about the story and the dolls - I love it and appreciate your thoughtfulness so much!

See you soon! Need to go pack the car and pick up Jim! :<)

Barbara Diane

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sending On The Sunshine Award


I received this lovely Sunshine Award from Sue Vilar at Sue's Cricut and Crafts. Thank you Sue for the award and the very kind words! Sue's blog is at where she blogs of her Cricut creations, her other craft work, her two cats Hank and Sandy and some of her very favorite music. Check it out - you will enjoy seeing her creations! :<)

The rules for the Sunshine Blog award are:

1. Put the Sunshine Award on your blog and/or within your post.
2. Pass the award to other bloggers. (Up to 12 other blogs.)
3. Link the nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they received this award by leaving a comment on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received the award.

This is always so difficult to chose who to pass the award on to, as there are so many creative and lovely people who have wonderful blogs! But I know that just writing that I would like everyone who reads this to take the award for their blog would not work. I have read blogs that have done this and although I wanted to have the award - I could not do this as I did not feel that it was really given to me. :<)

So, I am passing the Sunshine Blog Award on to the following people who inspire with their creativity and kindness in sharing their craft!

Amber at
Ann at
Carol at
Cheryl at
Joani at
Kathy at
Natilde at
Rhonda at
Terri at
Tracey at
Valita at
Wendy at

Thank you again Sue for your kind comments! I am pleased to have met you and will be looking in to see what you are creating!

Wishing you all a great weekend!

Barbara Diane

Friday, July 23, 2010

Little Doll's Display

The background for this story "A Love Story - Little Doll and Fat Cat" begins on the July 21st posting.

The next morning found the two new friends back sitting on the bench, having a wonderful time - talking and laughing. Little Doll's lovely red bird was once again perched on her shoulder and Lady G's small dove was sitting on her lap. As I came into the studio I said to them both, "Good Morning ladies! I am happy to see you both looking so well! Today we need to discuss what I will be creating for Little Doll. This fourth and final stage of the Paper Bag Challenge I am to make Little Doll's accessories - but we have a problem! She already had a necklace and earrings and tiny beads sewn on her dress when she came to me! She even had shoes! I think that the last person who had Little Doll, who was only to create her features and hair, got carried away! And now I have already created her a hat. Surely, that can't be all I can make for her!"

"Oh dear!" said Little Doll "she did seem to be unable to stop! What will you do!" "Let me think a minute" I said. Then I remembered that a prop to display Little Doll was also considered an accessory! I could make that for Little Doll! So I told them of this and asked what they thought and they both thought that it was a great idea! "But what should it be?" asked Little Doll. "Yes" said Lady G, "What should it be?" "Well" I said, "Why don't I think on this while I have my toast and coffee and while I am doing that, you two should put your heads together to see what ideas you can come up with." "O.K" they said at the same time and off I went to have my breakfast and think - which is much easier to do after I have had my coffee.

When I returned, they both looked up at me with hope in their eyes. "Did you think of what to make?" asked Lady G. "Yes, did you come up with an idea for the display?" asked Little Doll, "I guess I am not very good with this kind of thing" she said. "Nor I" said Lady G. "Well, I thought maybe a garden would be nice" I said. "You know, with flowers and such - where you could be sitting." "I love it!" said Little Doll, "I love flowers!" "You would look so pretty!" said Lady G. "Can I help make it?" asked Little Doll, "I am a very neat worker!" "I would rather watch if you please" said Lady G. I told Little Doll that of course she could help me make the display, I would be happy for the help. And that it would be just fine for Lady G to watch. "But first we need to make a basic shape" I told them. So we started to look about the studio, in the drawers and on the shelves. "Here is a block of foam" I said to Little Doll, "Lets start with that." And we began to create the shape. Little Doll, being so small, could not hold the heavy carving tool, so I took charge of that and she used her hand to scoop out the foam. Red bird sat on her shoulder to help give directions and together we made the basic shape that would become the garden.

"That was great fun!" said Little Doll, "I think that is just right!" she said as she observed the completed shape from where she sat on the work table. "What do you think Lady G? Do you think so? Is it the right size for me?" "It looks to me like it would be just right" said Lady G, "but why don't you sit yourself down on it and try it out for size." Red bird fluttered his wings and made bird noises to show that he agreed.

So Little Doll did just that. She sat her tiny self upon the foam block that we had carved, arranged her skirt around her and pronounced it "Perfect!"

"Now I need to cover the foam with PaperClay" I said. "It will create a smooth surface that can then be painted." "Can I help?" asked Little Doll, "I'll be very careful. As you can see, I am a very neat worker." "Yes, you certainly are" I said, "but the clay is used with water and is very messy and I do not want you to ruin your beautiful dress." Little Doll was disappointed, but after talking it over with Lady G she agreed that it was better if she and Lady G just watched me do this part of the construction of the display. So I covered the carved foam shape with the PaperClay and smoothed out all the corners. "Now" I said, "we will need to leave it overnight to dry. So you and Lady G enjoy the rest of the day and tomorrow we paint!"

The next morning found both Lady G and Little Doll waiting anxiously for me to come into the studio. "Is it time to paint? asked Little Doll excitedly. "Can I help? I know I can hold the brush, as it is not so heavy as the carving tool. Can I, can I?" Lady G was just as excited and said, "You know she is a very neat worker, I think you should let her try." So, looking through all of the paint brushes on my work table until I found one small enough and light enough for Little Doll to handle, I gave it to her and showed her how to dip the brush into the paint and brush it over the clay layer. We had decided on the color green, as it was to be a garden of course. Little Doll was a quick learner and soon she was brushing away like a pro. "I love this!" she said, "this is so much fun! Look how pretty it is Lady G! Do you like this color?" "I do like it" said Lady G, "very much. It looks just like green grass. It will be lovely!" Red bird fluttered his wings.

And so the display shape was carved, covered with clay and painted. And Little Doll, being the neat worker that she is, helped. And she was very happy.

Thanks for stopping by today!

In the next chapter, Lady G and Little Doll must come up with a plan of how to decorate the display to create a garden. And after that, we meet Fat Cat.

Wishing you a great weekend!

Barbara Diane

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Little Doll Arrives At My Studio

The background for this story "A Love Story - Little Doll and Fat Cat" begins on the July 21 posting.


We begin the story with Little Doll's arrival to my studio.

At our doll club meeting for the fourth stage of the Paper Bag Challenge, I received in the last exchange this tiny little doll to take home with me - to make her accessories and/or prop to display her. On holding her for the first time in my hand, so small and so delicate - with the sweetest expression, I thought "What a lovely little doll." Such a little lady, so prim and proper - her posture was excellent. I felt immediately that this was a special doll.

So I brought her back to my apartment, took her out of her paper bag and set her on one of the cups holding some of my art supplies on my work table. I said "Welcome to my home. This is my studio where I will be working to create something for you." "Thank you." she said, in her sweet little voice. "You are very kind." She shifted around, trying to make herself comfortable and said, "Something's not right." I saw that the flower petals around her waist were a bit bunched up in one place and told her "I think I see what the problem is. I can fix that, here let me remove this double petal that somehow has become twisted in the seam."

I picked up my small sewing scissors and cut out the double petal and right away the waist of her dress became smooth and the seam lay flat. "Thank you!" she said again, "That has been bothering me for a long time. It feels so much better now." I told her she was very welcome and as I was holding the double petal in my hand, I thought what a pretty hat it would make for her - to match her dress. A hat was an accessory! When I told her of my idea she instantly agreed and said, "That would be lovely!" So I fashioned a hat from the petals, put it on her head and there she sat, like a princess. I thought again, "What a lovely little doll." I said to her, "How would you feel about being called Little Doll?" "I would be most pleased." she said - and Little Doll became her name.

I said to Little Doll, "As you can see, there are many other dolls who live here and you will soon meet them, but first I want you to meet Lady G." Lady G was a small giraffe doll that had lived with me for many years. She had been made for me by one of my sisters and over time had become a 'mother figure' to all the other dolls who lived in my studio - welcoming each new one as they were created or came to live with me from another artist - lending an ear when issues needed to be discussed. That sort of thing. So I thought that meeting Lady G would help Little Doll (for that was now her name) feel not quite so strange, coming once again to stay at another new home. Also, Lady G being a small doll herself, I thought that this might make it easier for Little Doll to relate to her as some of my other dolls were quite large in size in comparison and might be a bit intimidating.

So I brought Lady G to meet Little Doll and after the introductions I said to Lady G, "Why don't you show Little Doll your bird collection? I have to make some adjustments to Little Doll's new hat (I had noticed it sat a bit crooked), so why don't you sit on this bench to visit and I will bring the birds to you." Lady G collected very colorful little birds and I thought that sharing her collection would be a good way for the two of them to get to know one another and help to put Little Doll at ease. I settled both dolls on the bench, brought the bird collection to them and took Little Doll's hat to work on. "These are my little birds" said Lady G, as she put them carefully on Little Doll's lap. Little Doll thought they were beautiful! "They are so tiny and cute!" she said. When Lady G asked if she would like to chose one for her very own, Little Doll was thrilled! "But it is going to be so hard to decide - they are all so lovely!" said Little Doll. "Just take your time deciding" said Lady G "let them sit on your lap and hop about a bit while we visit and soon you will know which one is meant for you."

So Lady G and Little Doll sat and chatted, while the small birds first sat on Little Doll's lap and then jumping down, they would hop about - making small bird noises and looking around. Talking away, Lady G and Little Doll had moved from the bench to sit on the work table to be closer to the birds. Suddenly the red bird flew up in the air and perched on Little Doll's hand. "Oh! I think this is the one!" Little Doll said, "I guess he chose ME! It will be the red bird that will be mine."

Lady G thought this was a wonderful choice, perfect in every way, and as she picked up the other birds so they could be returned to where Lady G sat on her shelf, the red bird again flew into the air to sit on Little Doll's shoulder - as if he had always belonged there! Little Doll was so happy! "Oh! I know I am going to like it here! she said. "I already have a new friend and my very own red bird!" "And I know we will love having you here," said Lady G. "I can't wait for you to meet eveyone!" "She will soon enough," I said. "In the meantime I have finished your new hat, Little Doll!" And with her new hat on her head, her new friend at her side and her new red bird on her shoulder - Little Doll started her first day here.

When the story continues tomorrow, Little Doll and Lady G put there heads together to decide what I should create for Little Doll. She really doesn't need accessories - she came with a neckace, earrings and tiny beads sewn to her dress. She has shoes. And now she even has a new hat. Should they make a prop to display Little Doll? And if so, what should it be?

Thanks for stopping by today!

Barbara Diane

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Love Story - Little Doll and Fat Cat

The Background:

One of the fun things that we did in the doll club I belonged to was to have what was called a "Paper Bag Challenge" and what we did was to each make a doll of our choice and bring it to the first meeting of the challenge in a paper bag. This was to be just the doll - no drawn features, no hair, no clothes or shoes. Just a doll - using whatever pattern we chose. It could be large or small, funny or realistic and made from fabric(s) of choice.

At this first meeting of the challenge we exchanged our dolls with another member, who would take the doll home with her and create the doll's underwear. The next meeting we brought the dolls back with us in the paper bag and after show 'n tell we exchanged again - this time to take the new doll home with us and create the outer clothing. The following meeting and exchange, it was to create that doll's features and hair - and the last meeting our mission was to create the accessories for the final doll we would be working on, which could include a prop to display the doll, and at this time to give the doll a name. When we returned for the final meeting of the challenge the now completed doll would be returned to it's original owner.

It was great fun to see the dolls evolve - everyone added their own creativity and projected image to the doll and it's personality could, and often did, change dramatically from meeting to meeting.The show 'n tells were often times so surprising and/or amazing that we laughed and laughed. I thought it was the best thing we did as a group together during the years I was in the doll club. The club no longer exists and I miss it very much - not only for the friendship and fun, but for the inspiration the meetings gave me to create and also the confirmation as a dollmaker.

I also would create a photo journal of each doll's stay with me to accompany the doll when she left and in this way I documented the time spent in my studio of the four dolls that I worked on. Our doll club meetings were held every other month so we had each of the dolls for two months in our care. They were all wonderful.

But the last doll, the one I named Little Doll, was special and I came to love her very much. I had this doll for the final session, the one where I was to make the accessories and/or display prop for this tiny little doll - who had by now evolved into a sweet and very proper little lady. After she was completed and still in my studio, I started to work on another project - which was a large wool felt cat for my dear friend Andrew. Little Doll was a very active and curious doll and insisted on helping in his creation. During this time, Little Doll fell in love with Big Cat and when he was finished and able to express his own feelings, he told Little Doll that he had come to love her also.

It had a bittersweet ending as Little Doll had to go back to her original owner and Big Cat went on to live with his new owner - but while they were together it was wonderful. They will never be apart in their hearts. Tomorrow I start their photo journal story.

Wishing you a day today spent with someone who loves you.

Barbara Diane

Tuesday, July 20, 2010



Quite some time ago, I purchased the SU stamp set Happy Together because I thought the images of the momma quail and her babies was so cute. As often happens, as new stamps are added to one's inventory and other techniques and skills take priority - older stamps sets are forgotten. This happened with the poor little quails. :<)

I recently purchased a strawberry stamp - which I had used on my July page in my birthday calendar - and in looking for another stamp set that could be used with it, I happened upon the little quail. This card took much longer to make than I thought it would, because of the layers and the necessity of having each individual image stamp perfectly so that I wouldn't have to begin again. I almost had to do that.

The little guy on the bottom left stamped too light and was too small of an image to re-draw the lines and fill in with a black markers. As the two baby quail - part of a 3-image stamp - were the last stamped images on the card I thought I was doomed to start all over again and it was frustrating as the other images had all lined up perfectly. To eliminate having to do that and to solve the problem, I stamped the image on a separate piece of CS and after coloring, cut it out and glued it over the image stamped on the card. The lines in the flowers and the leaves are free style drawn.

Thanks for stopping by today!

The hot and humid weather is wearing - I am longing for Fall with the cool and crisp air! It is difficult to create with only the table fans here in this small apartment - paper sticks to the fingers, fabric feels uncomfortable to work with - the small spaces even more irritating - physical limitations more frustrating. Such petty worries I know. :<) Suck it up, right? :<)

Wishing you a good day - a productive day - an air conditioned day! :<)

Barbara Diane

Monday, July 19, 2010

July Calendar Page


I hope that you all had a nice weekend!

This month I almost forgot my birthday calendar page for July! Here it is. :<)

Thanks for stopping by today!

Wishing you a great Monday!

Barbara Diane

Friday, July 16, 2010

Another Doll In The Works


I have been working on a new doll. At this point it can be anything - but it is a "she" and is going to be another of the ladies I love to make. Hopefully, next week she will be a lot further along!

While on the subject of dolls - my favorite character doll with the orange hair who lives in The Land of Elves on my friend's blog is on a vacation with his lady love. Check it out! The photos are amazing - I want to be there to see that sunset! :<)

Thanks for stopping by today!

Wishing you a weekend with lovely sunrises and sunsets!

Barbara Diane

Thursday, July 15, 2010



Today's chaos started early with a 7:20 am phone call. Sometimes I wonder WHO I was in my past life that this one is so filled with stuff! Many times I say WHAT is the lesson I am supposed to be learning - just TELL me! :<) I will be off my computer most of the day so I am posting some miscellaneous photos to share with you.

My first attempts at quilling - my practice sheet. Took my new supplies with me to work on while dogsitting with Brandy and it was so much fun! I am so in awe of those of you out there that are skilled in this art! I am determined to learn this skill - I love it already! :<)

A series that still has no finished card.

I made another pansy card and this time I added a back panel so I could write a message.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tomorrow I have some photos of the process of the current doll I am working on.

Wishing you a happy day!

Barbara Diane

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Some Great Blog Candy


Check out this wonderful blog candy at Simon Says Stamp! They are having a Christmas in July Giveaway of all this fantastic product. The giveaway ends July 18th so leave a comment here!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you a nice summer day!

Barbara Diane

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Stationary Box Gift Set


I am back once again from Brandy's. This trip I did not work on any projects - tried my hand at quilling and love it - but most of the time worked on artwork with Jim or the needlework/ plastic canvas wall hanging we are making for his room.

Here are the photos of my latest stationary box gift set. Hope you like it. :<)

Thanks for stopping by today!

Wishing you a good day!

I will be trying to catch up on looking at your blogs today to see what wonderful projects you are creating! :<) I have been working on another doll and need to get back to 'her' and also do some paper crafting!

Barbara Diane

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Not Back Until Monday - See You on July 13th


Just an update to let you know that I will now not be back until Monday. So see you on Tuesday when I return with a new posting and some photos of my latest stationary box set! :<)

Wishing you some happy days!

Barbara Diane

Tea Boxes and Leaving Again - Back 7/12


I will be leaving tomorrow morning to go out to be with Brandy again and return the afternoon of Sunday the 11th. But for today, here are the tea boxes I made while there this past week. I love how this box goes together and it looks so cute!

This one I made for Jim to hold his small note pad papers - I changed the bottom opening by cutting it straight across and it worked perfectly.

Thanks for stopping by today! I am so looking forward to the central air at Brandy's house - it is so humid and hot here in this part of WI again! Making bread and using the oven to prepare food to take with made these small rooms in my apartment unbearable at times! But the food will taste good out on the deck when once again in the country! :<)

I apologize for not getting to many of your blogs in the 2 days I have been home - too much to do and get ready to leave again. I will continue today with as many as I can. I love to see your projects and what new creations you have made!

I recently saw how some bloggers had their followers photos across the top of the page under the heading and I thought how fun to see everyone all together! I now have 75 followers and am so grateful and happy to see you and receive your comments!

When I reach the magic 100 I will have a blog candy drawing - so hope it happens soon! Until then, a big hug and thank you to all of you already pictured above! :<)

Wishing you a good weekend!

Barbara Diane

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Back Home For A Few Days


Well, I am back from my visit with Brandy - Jim and I had a great time dogsitting with her. The weather was great - up until yesterday when the rain and heavy humidity returned - and the breeze and fresh air from the many windows and doors, eating meals and relaxing on the patio with Brandy and enjoying the huge yard with flowers and birds everywhere was lovely. Even with the return of the humidity in the morning yesterday, out there we had the wonderful central air! Set the thermostat down, shut the windows and doors, and cool air appears - like magic! :<) Returning to my little apartment with the two windows and small table fans was a big adjustment!

There are so many beautiful flowers in the yard at Brandy's home - but the purple climbing clematis is one of the most blossom-filled that I have ever seen. The one growing next to it is also very nice, but this one is exceptional in its beauty! Every summer it looks like this - truly amazing!

Then the second day we were there, the dreaded beetle returned - and with it came rapid mass destruction!

I could not believe how fast they multiplied and went to everything green and growing in the yard. When we first saw them, Jim went on a save-the-flowers mission and picked off over 280 of these nasty beetles, trying to keep ahead of them untill Brandy's owners returned and could spray them. But within a couple of days they had even spread to the side yard, the front yard and finally even on the Birch tree in the back. Last year there were so many they were even in the grass. This is what they can do to a flower blossom within a short time after it blooms and soon it is totally destroyed.

The vines were heavy with buds but every beautiful flower was soon destroyed after it bloomed. As hard as Jim worked to get them all - he was out there every day checkin all the bushes and flowers around the house - they soon became too many.

There were also beautiful red climbing roses on the trellis and they were totally attacked. When Jim discovered that the beetles were even on the Birch tree it was obvious that they were everywhere and too much for him to handle. Good try Jim, you worked very hard to save the flowers and how you picked those horrible things up is beyond me! Over 280 of those horrible beetles you destroyed - at least the damage they did was delayed some and there were still many leaves and buds on the trellis to be enjoyed when Brandy's owners returned.

But one good thing was that our friend brought home a floor fan from his workplace that I could have! It just needed a bit of cleaning and here is Jim busy at work replacing the screens after scrubbing the fan for me, with Brandy watching every move carefully. She was vigilant throughout the entire process - laying down from time to time - and never missed a move. :<) Those two are quite the pair and joined at the hip while we are there. She loved his summer haircut and would give him 'kisses' on his head. :<)

All in all - as you can see - it was a wonderfully relaxing time. We will be returning again later this week for a few days and look forward to it. The fan works great, but nothing beats either the open windows and doors and the lovely deck or the central air! :<)

I did not create many projects this time while there - only a few tea boxes - and I cut out doll patterns that I will be making. I sat on the deck with Jim and Brandy and played my hand held Solitare, read my library books in the evening and mostly helped Jim work on a free hand needlework on plastic mesh wall hanging for his room at the group home where he lives. We seldom watched TV but listened to the country western music that Jim loves while we worked on crafts. But I did make a few things which I will share this week plus I have my stationary box set for tomorrow's post. I also want to take some time to get to everyone's blogs to see what you have been creating this past week! :<)

Wishing you a great day today!

Barbara Diane