Sock dolls have taken off

I had no idea that my sock dolls would take over my craft life. I found that enjoyed making them.  I sold a few straight away as friends saw them. This support inspired me to post some photos of them on Facebook and more saw them and liked them too! More sales eventuated.

Once again, we've been travelling, this time 6 months  around western NSW and then up into Queensland. I always have to have something crafty to do and making sock dolls are very easy to take on the road with me. I have now expanded to include a variety of sock creatures. If you are interested you can look or follow my travel blog: Robbiegabgo.

Today there are lots of different models of cats, rabbits, owls, penguins, dogs and cats. My sock monkeys have really taken off and I can hardly keep up with the demand. I have so many ideas for more animals but we'll see as I also have a life outside of craft.

I have decided to have a separate blog for my sock creations so from now on 99% of my sock dolls can be found there on Platypus Creations. So pop over or follow me on Facebook of the same name! I hope to post a tutorial on some of the dolls and animals I make one day.

Sock dolls are taking over

The reason I have been so quiet lately is that I have started travelling again after 18 months of ill health. So a new trip means of course, I needed to decide which craft to take on the road with me. Sock dolls was an easy choice. They are light weight and all the supplies are easily available in just about every town in Australia. Socks, cotton thread and stuffing (pillow innards do exceptionally well).

I took maybe 20 pairs to start me off with, a bag of stuffing, needles, cottons and some yarn that were left over. I was set.

Now I have accumulated many more socks as I keep finding them on special. Even Op Shops sell brand new socks in the original packaging now and then.

I have decided to sell them on the road when I can. I started up a Facebook page for my crafts and called it Platypus Creations. I also invited Lindy from Piggywhistles to join me with her own crafts.
We each have our own talents. Here are some of her creative works.

Lindy's beaded owl brooch

Lindy makes these cute little polymer toadstools for sale

I absolutely love how she uses the toadstools as Christmas decorations on her own mini tree

Due to travelling and my fluctuating fatigue levels, I will not be taking custom orders for the foreseeable future.
Here are just some of my sock dolls, I have made along the way. Some are sold and some are still available. There are many more to be seen on Platypus Creations 1

Dolls and more up for sale

Yippee! We have finally done it. Lindy and myself have finally started our own crafty facebook page where can show off and sell our creative endeavours.  We have called our page Platypus Creations.

A small collection of my dolls

Lindy's creative talents lie in a totally different direction to my own. She leans towards felt, beads and doodling art work especially where toadstools and magical elements ensue.

Whoooo's this? One of Lindy's beaded felt owl

My own creative bent is towards papercrafts (which you can see a variety of from earlier blog posts here) and sewing. I have really taken lately to making sock dolls. I also crochet bigger items such as blankets but so far these have all gone within the family.

One of my box cards with handmade flowers

So come follow us and keep upto date with our creative endeavours and think of us when you need that special hand made touch for a loved one.

My grand daughter loves her little blanket

Zoe - my latest doll with movable arms.
 So come and like our Facebook Page and remember us when you have a loved one you wish to buy something special for.

Sock dolls galore

I am still toying around with sock dolls. (HA! Pun intended!). In fact my crafty little heart has been lapping it up and I find it hard to walk past any shops that sell socks and if they are on special then invariably I end up buying 1 or 2 (or more but shh that's a secret just between you and me!).

Part of the family of sock dolls I left back home.

I have started to experiment with different designs, including a few animals and checking out the viability of machine stitching for the legs and arms.

You might remember that I made quite a few snowmen out of socks last year. So I went a step further and I started out with the sock babies at this blog but once you've done one it is easy to adjust and put your own unique touches on each one.

These three friends I made on a short trip back in February this year.

I find that the socks are very easy to work with especially as the fabric is very forgiving being so stretchy. The biggest attraction for me is that I can easily take this craft on the road when we go free camping in our converted bus, the Robbiebago. I can buy socks at just about anywhere in Australia even in remote places and I can buy pillows in many towns too and use the poly stuffing in them. So, as long as I have a needle and thread and a few bits of wool, ribbon etc there's not much more I need.

Nelly is my first attempt at a sock doll with movable arms, she works beautifully.

They are also lightweight and compact down easily in one of those space saver bags if I really get carried away and make more than I can sell. I might even try to sell some at a country market stall if I get that far to offer a good selection of choices.

Meet Sally: She is my most recent doll. I wanted to try a different hair style

They are all made with a whole lot of love, and they are all unique, definitely one of a kind. I am selling these sock dolls and animals and 50% of all sales goes to a Rare Cancer charity I am involved in called Without a Ribbon. If you would like to buy a doll or have a look at any of the other sock creatures then please visit my Facebook page: Platypus Creations.

Shhh: Baby Robyn has fallen asleep with the hum of the motorhome.

I hope to add at least one doll each and every week. So get them while you can, especially if one particular doll appeals to you. I am sorry but I am unable to take custom orders as my health isn't reliable and it wouldn't be fair to you nor to myself. I am open to suggestions though ;)

If you make sock dolls or any other sock creatures, I would love to see yours! Show us a picture via our Facebook page.

Can you sit still?

A friend texted to wish me well whilst I was enroute in the train to see 2 of my children before we headed off on our next trip in the Robbiebago, our RV motorhome. I mentioned that I was thoroughly happy creating the hair for my next sock doll. She replied "Don't you ever just sit idly?" and proceeded to gently admonish me to enjoy the view too especially as I was passing through some spectacular coastal escarpment with sweeping views over the ocean as well as the mountain.

Overlooking Stanwell Beach

It is true I rarely just sit and do nothing. I get bored then I'd nap whereas if I do something such as crocheting then I can watch and work at the same time. Being deaf I can't hold a conversation or watch television and craft at the same time as I need my eyes to assist my ears (lipreading or reading captions/teletext). I love to read also but I don't interact with anyone or anything once I get nose into a good book, in fact I am so mesmerized that don't get much housework or craft done either until it is finished, so I try to restrict the amount of reading that I do.

One of my sock dolls

I love take advantage of the time when we are actually driving from place to place especially in the motorhome. Rob doesn't like being a passenger and I am fortunate in that I do not get car sick even if I read in the car, but then I wouldn't talk to Rob nor would I see any of the views around me. So generally I prefer to do something crafty whilst Rob is driving. Lately it has been crocheting, which I find it is easy to keep in touch with the world outside my windows and keep interacting with Rob from time to time.

My latest crocheting project - a granny square blanket for the Robbiebago.

My first Sock Doll Sweetie

I just can't help myself. I just have to keep on crafting.

After enjoying making sock snowmen last year as gifts, and for charity, I have found another  cute way to convert those lost and lonely socks into a sweet little playmate.... aaah forget the lost sock syndrome - I just went ahead and bought a collection of cute socks from my local discount store and here is my very first sock doll. Thanks to a wonderful friend Lindy of Piggwhistles Blog for encouraging me to keep on crafting when we get together for a weekly chat and craft sessions! I will be making more for sure. My mind is racing ahead as one of my sock has leopard prints on it... can I make a leopard after I become accomplished with these simple dolls.

I started by following a tutorial I found on Plushie Patterns. Mine are a close copy but I still managed to make it mine mainly with the addition of a tiny nose. I have named her "Sweetie". I didn't want to use any stick on eyes, beads or even safety eyes as I want babies to be able to cuddle her. I used embroidery wool and french knots for the eyes. and added 2 tiny curls of the same wool for hair peeking out of the beanie which I tasseled. Sweetie can be thrown inside a pillowcase and into the washing machine when she gets a little grubby after spending a day with the girls.

My Sweetie is not good enough to sell, but she is definitely the first of many to come. I am sure my grand-daughters will love Sweetie in spite of her imperfections anyway. Can't you see her blushing with all the love she will get. (I used permanent ink and a cotton bud so it doesn't wash off)

I am in two minds whether to have a mouth on them. What do you think?

Time to stop

I think it is time to stop. It has been a good few years of posting and with my past health issues and now my husband is not well, I think it is time to call it quits.

It seems that there is an abundance of craft and home lifestyle blogs available and I am just one more. I am not complaining. Either you have it or you don't and apparently I don't. I don't need to post to keep in touch with far flung friends and family. A part of my would like to keep posting but there's no point if no one is interested.

It is hard to judge peoples' reaction to my blog and obviously I can't be objective. Statistics don't tell me much more than how many visitors and what country they are from. Rarely does anyone show enough interest to comment other than one or two close friends whom I see regularly anyway.

Don't fret though. I still have my RV travel blog and I will be keeping that blog going as long as we keep on traveling around this great country of ours. It will include some recipes and maybe those crafts that I do on the road.

If I have judge incorrectly and there are a silent audience that like what I see then please let me know in the comments at least this one time and I may yet revise my decision to stop posting here.

So here is my thank you card for any of you that are still with me. It has been a great learning curve and sometimes I have been challenged to do things I would not have done otherwise. (PS The card style is called an Easel Card. You can watch and learn with how to make your own easel card with this YouTube tutorial that explains it quite easily.)

Pop over and see me anytime on the Robbiebago Blog

POST SCRIPT: It is  now a few months later and what a difference this has made. I feel rejuvenated and I am encouraged by the improvement in my husband's health. He will never be 100% but he is leaps and bounds ahead of what last year seemed to indicate. This has reflected in my outlook and my own health is stable with no cancer noticeable in my regular 3 monthly check ups. Eventually I should be able to cut it down to once or twice a year if there is still no changes. So all in all life is good and God is in charge and I just have to hand everything over to him, the negatives as well as the positives.

Hobby Horses are loved by the kids

I was going back through some posts and discovered that I had neglected to post my hobby horses that I had made for my grand daughters and a niece.

The first one took a bit of time making it but once I had played around a bit and finally designed the pattern and tweaked it, then the project came together neatly.  I found a simple  sock horse tutorial here, but I really wanted pretty ones for my girls.

The girls loved getting them as presents and had many hours of pleasure from them.

Easy Picking Mulberries

Mulberries are a wonderful tree to have in an out of the way part of the garden. Hang on, I can almost hear you saying! Why out of the way? Well the down side is that they drop a lot of fruit and this can stain concrete, pavers etc. I haven't any problems with birds eating then pooping stains on my clothes line and it is only 10m from my line, but I have read about it as a complaint for some.

I just have to eat some along the way as I collect some for the table.

Mulberries are wonderfully healthy for you as they contain significant amounts of Vitamin C and K, Vitamins E, B6, Thiamin, Riboflavin, and Niacin. They also contain a decent amount of iron, minerals, protein, fibre and even Omega-6 fatty acids. Mulberries contain high levels of reserveratrol, which is the same powerful antioxidant that is found in the skin of red grapes and red wine. Reserveratrol helps to prevent cellular damage by free radicals, reduces the growth of cancer cells, is good for maintaining a healthy heart and promotes longevity. Mulberries have been used medicinally by many cultures, especially the Chinese, to strengthen the kidneys, help with weakness and fatigue, reverse premature gray hairs, balance out blood sugar levels, promote restful sleep and to calm the mind. (Some of this is copied from since I have no medical training what so ever.)

A bowl full of delicious Mulberries

They are sweet and rather mild tasting. I love to eat them fresh as well as to cook desserts with them. Others I know make jam but I never remember to collect jars.

These need a few more days before they ripen to dark purple black
Picking mulberries is very easy. You almost only have to touch the ripe berries and they will just about fall off with very little effort in your bowl. Ripe mulberries are dark purple, almost black. The under-ripe ones will have some red or pink and are little too tart for eating fresh off the tree. They wont continue to ripen. This year we had an extraordinary bumper crop. In just one day I collected 2.5 kg and that was only half the tree and the tree didn't even look like I had taken any berries off it.

Just a teeny handful

This was how I came to realize that there was a super easy way to get my berries. Since the ripe ones drop off so easily and you will have them fall onto the ground sometimes before you can get your hand there to catch it. So I thought I would grab a large but old bed sheet that I was keeping for a paint drop sheet and place that sheet under the branches I was working on. All I had to do then was wiggle the branches and most of the rip berries would drop onto my sheet. A few not so ripe berries would fall too, but they are easy to spot and I popped these into the compost. If they are just a it under ripe you can still use these in cooking allowing for the tartness.

Note the sheet on the ground. I also garden in my old cut off jeans

Mulberries have a very short shelf life. If eating fresh, they are best consumed within 24 hours else they go mushy and mouldy. Mulberries are fabulous for freezing. Rinse them if you desire, however since I never spray my garden, I tend to spread a single layer of berries on a cookie tray and freeze them whole. When they are frozen then I scoop them into zip lock bags as they will separate easily into the quantities you desire. They will defrost all soft and mushy ready for use.

Mulberry Muffins

Mulberry Buckle
Mulberry Pie

Try these wonderful mulberry recipes: My husbands' favourite is a Mulberry Pie. My favourite is some super tasty and light mulberry muffins. My daughter tends to add them to her healthy smoothie and my son adds them to his breakfast yoghurt. My sister in law just sent me a recipe for making a mulberry sorbet, so guess what I will be trying next?

Mulberry parfait.

Did you know that you will also get a smaller second crop when autumn comes around? 
So what's your favourite berry recipe?