Monday, 23 July 2012

Weekend Course Results and upcoming Doll Making Class in the UK

Dear reader,

(For infos on the upcoming doll making class in Newton Abbot, UK, please scroll down)


I can´t tell you how happy the photos of these seven girls and two boys make me! 
Each of these dolls (45cm/ 18" tall) was made in last weekend´s doll making class in Heidelberg, Germany.
 None of my students had ever made a doll before - as their teacher I feel terribly proud that all participants went home each with a beautiful result, that each of them was patiently sewing, crocheting, stuffing, chatting, laughing and embroidering and gathered lots of new knowledge and skills.

As their instructor, it is so important to me that all of us find a few calm moments after a really stressy weekend, after more than 11 hours of hard work each day, to take pictures. As you may guess from these images, the photo theme of my students in Heidelberg was butterflies. All of them brought pretty dresses, props such as tiny butterfly books, accessories with butterflies (even a butterfly net) and worte down each a few butterfly lines...

Thank you so much, Dorothea, Evelyn, Jana, Julia, Kathrin, Karin, Kristina, Laura, Lea and Sandra for a fantastic weekend!
Kristina´s doll
Let´s catch butterflies!
Lea´s doll (named Clara)
She loves watching butterflies from afar.
Sandra´s doll
My butterflies tell me the most beautiful stories
 Julia´s doll
I love to watch butterflies as they happily dance from flower to flower. 
Jana´s doll
I love it when all those butterflies sniff my roses.
Laura´s doll
I would love to dance like the Butterfly Fairy
Karin´s doll
I love to watch butterflies, they look so different each.
Dorothea´s doll
I love to leap for butterflies
Evelyn´s doll
If I´d put on my magic hat, all the butterflies would fly to me and sit on my toes

***
After a summer break, I will continue with doll making classes in September.

Next stop will be Newton Abbot (Devon), UK, 8th-9th September

I am very excited about the upcoming class in Devon, my lovely host will be Debbie from Little Oke Dolls. We have been discussing this for quite a while and finally we found a date for you (and us). The class fee is 270€ (about 215£) and incl. all material and refreshments. Debbie has also been discussing a nice rate with a hotel nearby for you to stay at.


 It will be my first class in the UK and Debbie and I are very much looking forward to meeting you in Newton Abbot! I will make sure to bring my tramping boots for Dartmoor and will leave enough space in my suitcase for fleamarket treasures from Devon ;-)

The number of participants is limited to a number of ten, there are only a few seats left. If you´d be interested, please have a look here and drop me a line at classes@frokenskicklig.com, subject Newton Abbot.

Warmly,

Juliane


Doll Making Weekend Glimpses

A few impressions from the doll making class in Heidelberg...
lavender sachets, working hands, lunch buffet
butterflies, hand cream, fresh menthe and lemon, working hands, doll head
colourful flowers, plastered fingers, butterflies, name tags, hair details
As you may guess from these pictures, our class photo theme was butterflies.
I am very much looking forward to sharing all the beautiful doll photos from the class with you tonight (and providing my British readers with more infos on the next doll making class, this time in Newton Abbot/ UK in september).

Packing suitcases now (the huge one for my sewing machine and all the doll making supplies, the little one for three summer dresses and a tooth brush) and heading up north...

Warmly,

Juliane


Friday, 20 July 2012

Bedtime

In Heidelberg. Finally.

I am pretty exhausted after a long trip from the north but so very happy being here. 
Tomorrow I will meet ten students at a doll making weekend class. 
It will be lovely days for sure, I have been very much looking forward this weekend.
 Strike sail and off to bed, Mrs Teacher! 
Aye-aye! she said and asleep she fell
...



Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Quick Fix Postcards

Dear reader,

I could sleep in standing position at the moment. A lot of work to do, umpteen emails to reply to, a class to be prepared (and yes, also strawberries to be picked, there are still a lot of them growing). 

I don´t want to complain, I love what I am doing. But with so much on the daily to-do list, I tend to have a memory like a sieve and sometimes even forget some really important stuff.  Like getting new business cards printed, for example. Or post cards. Especially when I am travelling a lot and have to get packages on the way to customers halfway between home and travel destination, I sometimes have to improvise:
This time I printed my company logo on cards and used fabric scraps for a mini bunting. I used glue to keep the bunting in place and then a straight stitch, it took a few seconds only. A super easy and a lovely looking quick-fix for postcards.

I often notice that quite a few crafters put a lot of effort and money into wrapping paper, business cards, tags and stamps before they even started to open their webshop. Some of them won´t even start with their business without all that stationary, because they don´t feel ready for the public or not professional enough. While it is of course always nice to have printed post cards and tissue paper with a personal logo, it is your product that should come first, in my case it is my dolls that should get most of the focus. It is far more important (at least it is for me) to invest in a good sewing machine that meets your needs as a seamstress, to invest in a functional work space and tools that make it easier for you to work.
Rather than cutting costs for high-quality doll making supplies or a good sewing machine, camera or dress making scissors, I use vintage buttons and secondhand fabrics for the garments and re-use material for packaging, wrapping and for stationery. Cut selvedge works wonderfully instead of gift ribbon, a paper punch and a vintage children book with colourful illustrations makes pretty tags, a piece of vintage fabric looks lovely as a gift wrapping. Your work will be much more personal with such details - and I am sure your customers will love it!

Off to pack my suitcase and finish the last stitches on two Get well soon! play sets (next week in the webshop). 

Have a sunny day!

Juliane

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Webshop Update(s)

These three Kiki in the Meadow dolls went into the webshop today. 
In the blink of an eye, all three girls had found a new home. 
They all went that quickly, that I didn´t even manage to write a short note on the blog that something was waiting for you on the virtual shelves. 
However, I´d love to share at least a few photos with you (before I am off sewing again)
Each of the dolls came with a little extra.
A vintage tea cup and a tea bag
A hammock for summery days
A basket with wood strawberries

Each Kiki travels with a warm scarf, crocheted shoes, undies and leggings and a dress/ blouse & skirt together with a tote bag with lavender sachet and care & sewing kit.

I so much love all these details. Even though the overall look of Kiki in the Meadow dolls is the same and part of a small scale doll series, each of the girls is unique and comes with her very own story. 
I am very happy that they have found each a new home, and knowing that there are children who are eagerly awaiting their arrival, makes me smile. 
A lot.

Warmly,

Juliane



Monday, 9 July 2012

Wood Strawberries

There´s nothing better, says Kiki,
For dinner than a bowl filled with milk
And lots of wood strawberries 
Picked in the forest behind the meadow
I so agree with Kiki. There is nothing better than wood strawberries, especially when strung like beads on a long blade of grass to carry all those tiny berries home...

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Happiness

evening sun + wood strawberries + soft moss + humming bees 
= happiness
A 58cm/ 23" custom doll boy, bringing Swedish summer air and bird twitter to Australia. More photos coming soon.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Shop Update

Doll dresses and Little Mi hot-water bottle sets 
(some of them already sold) 
are waiting for you here on the virtual shelves

More items will follow coming week.

Have a lovely weekend!

Juliane

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Mini Bunting

Celebrating every day
With mini buntings
(And flowers)
 Thank you, Muriel, for all those fabric scraps.
They had been waiting for quite some time and finally they all got turned into a mini bunting...

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Blog´nhagen

Yesterday.

I had lots of fun at the Blog´nhagen picnic with lots of bloggers in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Found a beautiful dress in the mail, a gift from one of my students (so lovely)
Sewed printed tags on muslin bags, filled with lavender as a quick-fix for business cards.
Made a lemon tarte and picked strawberries to bring to our get-together on the other side of the Öresund
 It was a really nice evening! Thank you, Brittany and Maria, for inviting us. It was great seeing you again, Anne, Ashley, Heidi and Thea! And it was lovely meeting you (not only virtually), Jenny & Isabelle from Dos Family, Angelica, Andreas and Ani - and it was great to chat and having cake and sushi with everyone else who shared picnic blankets with us!

Warmly,

Juliane

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Kiki´s Elderflower Syrup

Today I woke up very early 
From my window I can see 
That Kiki has climbed the elder bush 
Behind grandfather´s cottage
I can´t bear to take a closer look
I am very much afraid of height
It makes me feel giddy
But Kiki doesn´t seem to mind at all

 A perfect day, says Kiki
 To make elderflower syrup
And down she jumps
With her heavy basket
Three minutes later I run across the meadow 
(Still in my pyjamas)
But Kiki has already pressed a lemon
And grated a spoon full of lemon zest
The day has just started
And I could already eat a horse, says Kiki
You better not, is what I say
But what about a cheese sandwich for breakfast?
(I know that picking lots of
Elderflowers is hard work
Even for someone like
Kiki in the Meadow)
When I come back
With a cheese sandwich 
And an apple, Kiki says
No thanks, I am no longer hungry
A perfect morning
To start with three spoonfuls 
Of sugar for breakfast.
And then she screws the lid on a bottle

(I ate the sandwich myself)
How to make Elderflower Syrup (without eating three spoonfuls of sugar)

You will need:
ca. 25 rinsed elderflower heads, stems removed
1.5 liter water
three organic lemons, rinsed
2kg sugar
60g citric acid
clean bottles with screw caps

Mix water and sugar in a pot and bring to a gentle boil until the sugar is dissolved. Leave to cool down a bit. Grate lemon zest and press juice. Add zest, juice and citric acid to the syrup. 
Use a large pot or bowl for the elderflower heads and pour over the warm syrup. Cover the pot with a lid (or use a cloth for the bowl) and let stand at room temperature for three days.

Strain the syrup through a sieve lined with muslin and bring to a gentle boil for about five minutes. 
Pour into throroughly sterilised glass bottle and screw on the caps, let cool down. Store bottles in a cool and dark place.

With this recipe, we have elderflower juice ready to use throughout the year. You can use less sugar if you want to use the syrup very soon, please note that this will diminish shelf life.

Enjoy the day!

Juliane

P.S. Kiki lives in Sweden, not in the South of France, our elder bushes are in full bloom first at this time of the year. If the elderflowers withered at the bushes in your neighbourhood, save the recipe for next year ;-)

Monday, 2 July 2012

Welcome July

The scent of a freshly mown meadow
The pheasant´s cackle and red, ripe strawberries 
A summer rain and the green calm lake
Flowery wreaths and the sound of bumblebees
Poppy bouquets, cream and red currants
Bright nights and nightingale songs
Bare feet and elder flower syrup
Picnics and heavy watering cans

Nothing is so lovely at this time of the year than sitting on a blanket in the meadow, sewing, daydreaming, gathering ideas. 

Welcome July!