Author Archives: Cindy Rice

About Cindy Rice

My wonderful husband, my beautiful daughter, and I live in northeastern Illinois with our sweet chihuahua boy. For as long as I can remember I have loved dolls and making things. I got my first Barbie when I was only three years old! My mom sewed for my Barbie dolls and taught me how to use her sewing machine when I was only seven. I cannot believe she let me near that needle, but she did. Not having enough money for my clothes habit in high school and college led me to start sewing all of my own clothes. There were so many fabric stores around back then and fabric was so inexpensive. I would wait for the 99 cent pattern sale and go crazy. Sewing for myself continued well into my 30’s. (I even made my wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses.) Shortly after I got married I left my full time graphic design position and started designing cross stitch patterns. I called my company “The Lilac Studio” and sold my botanical patterns at trade shows, through distributors which sold to retail shops, and mail order. My most popular pattern, “A Bouquet of Pansies” sold 5000 copies and won a J&P Coats Golden Needle Award! I was also featured in various cross stitch magazines and designed special projects for the magazines. When my daughter was born I didn’t have the time needed to cross stitch and design patterns all day long so I let my pattern design business slip away. And then I started discovering dolls again and I now had an excuse to start buying them. The only problem was that they were for my daughter and not for me. I soon discovered all of the adult collectors out there and decided I would be one of them. I started small at first, collecting Mattel Kelly dolls. Soon I collected over 100 Kelly dolls! After Kelly, I discovered Helen Kish’s Riley and Tonner’s Ann Estelle. I have since learned to knit doll sweaters and love an excuse to knit so most of my doll outfits include a sweater and/or hat. I love creating miniature outfits for dolls and enjoy sharing them with others. Currently I create doll ensembles for the Kish Chrysalis series (I love Bethany), Dianna Effner's Little Darlings, and Wilde Imagination's teeny tiny Amelia. I am adding a Bo Bergemann Designer Dream Doll to my collection soon and so look forward to costuming her!

Hello again!

Firstly, thank you all for your encouraging thoughts, prayers, and words.  I am truly touched by your thoughtfulness!  It means so much to me, really it does.  With every comment I’d read I could feel more and more love and hope filling my heart. ❤  Thank you!

So hello to you all!  Summer break is coming to a close and I am trying to hang onto these last days, but they refuse to slow down for me.  Time just seems to speed by faster and faster the more I am aware of its passing.  Do you find this to be true, also?

I haven’t been doing much sewing this summer, but my sewing room has been very busy.  My daughter got the sewing bug shortly after summer break started and has been in there morning, noon, and night!  Did you know there’s a whole new world of indie pattern makers out there who teach how to sew with their patterns?  There are also numerous tutorials on You Tube.  It’s now cool to make your own clothes.  I love it!

All I’ve been working on are these dozen dresses for my 2018 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. I am doing these batch style—all the pockets, back seams, binding all the armholes at once, etc.  I have only to hem the bottoms, sew the top casings and insert the ties, then these dozen are complete.

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So far, this is my completed “store” of dresses.  I think I need more closet room and more hangers…

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My daughter started a weaving project the other day which enabled me to get into my sewing room and work more on the dresses! 🙂

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Although I haven’t been sewing, I’ve been knitting quite a bit.  In addition to socks and cowls for us, I’ve knit a couple of toys for the shoeboxes.  Bonbon by Susan Claudino turned out super cute.  I knit her out of Knitpicks Stroll Tweed Sock Yarn in Oyster Heather.  The little rag doll was made from Knitted Babes by Claire Garland.  The Knitted Babes are supposed to be much larger, but I used a finer weight yarn (Knit Picks Palette).

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Both of these little toys took too many hours to make (IMO) and were quite fiddly, lots of little bits—don’t think I’ll be knitting anymore toys for awhile.  I’ve been looking for some easy toy patterns to charity sew though.  I like “easy” and “quick”—any ideas?

Other news—our northern Illinois summer started out with lots and lots of rain.  Past years of planting reseeded and produced some tiny flowers for me to find.  Violas in the grass and the tiniest forget-me-nots.

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For Mother’s Day my husband and daughter bought and planted hanging baskets and planters.  They did a great job picking out flowers in all shades from warm red to pink to violet.  I never tire of pinks which smell like carnations from the florist.

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The summer started out wet, but then we went without rain for weeks.  The grass got crispy and crunchy and very thirsty.  The other morning, however, the weather changed.  After a super loud thunderstorming kind of night, we woke to a rainy day .

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Today it is sunny once again, thank goodness.  I don’t know about you but after a couple of cloudy days I’ve had enough of them.  So now, for me, it is time for a walk and to enjoy this beautiful morning out-of-doors.  I snapped this photo of bee hives weeks ago on one of my walks.  Aren’t the colors fun?

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I wish you all a beautiful day!

What are you up to today?

 

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Well, Hello!

It’s been so long—I’m not sure where to begin.  You see, I’ve been on a journey—not a journey to a place, but a different kind of journey.  I didn’t know if I wanted to share this here; I, in fact, didn’t think I would (it seems so personal—and strangely, embarrassing), but I’ve been receiving little nudges and hints here and there that it might be the right thing to do.  So here goes…

This past spring I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I always thought I had more control over my health—I kept my weight at a good place, exercised, ate healthy, took my vitamins, read constantly about staying healthy.  I desperately didn’t want to get cancer like my parents and grandmothers.  But alas, I’ve come to realize we are not really in control.  Only God is in control and we must be thankful for each day He gives us, and learn to deal with what each day brings.

In early April I started chemotherapy.  The past three months have been, at times, quite rough.  There were days when the side effects of chemo were unbearable for me.  It’s a strange feeling when there is nothing to help you feel better; when you feel like you cannot possibly make it through the day.  I turned to prayer; I prayed with everything I had, and He was there to help me.  I am still blown away at how I’d simply ask, and He would immediately be right there to help me through those horrible moments.  I’d get through them; I don’t know how He did it, but somehow he did, I’d reach the other side.  Most definitely, this diagnosis has humbled me and strengthened my relationship with God.

So, here I am four weeks since my last treatment and I am feeling great.  My tumor was removed and tested; the cancer hadn’t spread at all which I am of course very, very grateful for.  My grandmother has been my lighthouse of sorts whom I hope to take after.  She was diagnosed at almost the same age as I was and lived a long life afterwards.

I am not totally done with all this.  I still have another surgery in a couple of months (I found out my cancer was hereditary), but it’s preventative surgery, so no more chemo or radiation, only recovery from the surgery.

More than ever I now treasure each day, and each and every person who is a part of my life.  Although it’s been slow going lately, I hope to continue creating and making.

I thank you for staying with me and reading my blog during these sparse creative months.

 

Rainy Days

Sugar won’t need her sprinkling can today; it’ll be a rain-filled thunderstorming kind of day here in northern Illinois.

Spring Garden 9 cell Collage poemThese dresses are from 2014.  Sugar’s itty bitty everlasting embroidered bulb garden is filled with daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, and grape hyacinths.

Sugar is a tiny Fairyland Pukipuki BJD.  You can find them here.

How is your garden growing?  Sugar and I would love to know.