The Force Awakens!

Yesterday, in a galaxy not so far away, I was taking photos of my ornaments for my shop on Etsy, Creations by JDB.  It was about 90 or 95 degrees on Earth in the city of sunny Orlando, Florida.

This photo is not from yesterday as you can tell by the sweater and long pants.  But, you get the idea.

I was coming to the end of my photo session, about to take photos of my plastic Star Wars themed disc ornaments.  Did you catch that?  PLASTIC!

ornamentdiscDarthVader-58a copy
This Darth Vader ornament is an example and is for sale here: Darth Vader Christmas Ornament
The Force awakened!

I wound up with a couple melted “masks” of Darth Vader and a storm trooper!  The BB8 ornament got just a little warped because the force was strong with that one, resisting the dark side of the sun.  Also, it’s mostly white paint inside stronger plastic.  In a way, the Darth Vader melted ornament is pretty cool.  Do you think this should be a new product line?


Jentangled Death Star Ornament

Although it isn’t Christmas time, it is MegaCon time here in Orlando, Florida.  Time for all of us geeks to don our cosplay outfits and head over to the convention center.  Here are some in process photos from a custom order for Star Wars themed ornaments.

Painting inside clear plastic disc ornaments.
I use a vintage painter’s box to store all of my glass paint markers and designs.
Jentangle is a combination of Zentangles and my own doodle drawing style.

OrnamentDiscDeathStar2268ornamentdiscDeathStar-54 copy

ornamentdiscDeathStar-55 copy
The completed Death Star with my little painter guy on a penny to give you an idea of its scale.  Obviously, this ornament isn’t as large as the real Death Star.

ornamentdiscDeathStar-54a copyornamentdisc-56a copy

I hope you enjoyed seeing my Jentangled Death Star ornament in progress.  Click here to buy a Death Star ornament or to request a custom order:

It’s Just a Jump to the Left

A couple of years ago, a customer of mine was trying to find a Rocky Horror Picture Show themed ornament to give as a gift to her mom for Christmas.  Hers was the first of many.  I use a clear plastic ornaments and paint inside with black paint.  Then, I paint the infamous red lips on the front and “It’s just a jump to the left” on the back.  Due to this design’s popularity, I am making as many as I can before Halloween.  To get yours before the holidays, click here: Rocky Horror Hand Painted Ornaments by JDB.

Photo Quilt

Last year, Mark asked me to make pillow dolls of him and his wife as a Christmas gift.  After several emails, we decided to use his lovely facebook photo and turn it into a quilt instead.

This is the original facebook digital image.  Aren’t they a sweet couple?
digital photo printed on fabric
gathering possible materials


trying out beads and embroidery floss
I decided to use floss instead of beads for the eyes but kept one seed bead for her ring.
detail of thread stitching on watch – very tiny stitches
front in process on embroidery hoop
back in process
measuring quilt for shadow box frame
my initials and year “JDB ’15”
back of quilt
cutting the back after machine stitching to insert padding
inserting padding
“quilting” back to front
stitching edging with ladder, or invisible, stitch – my favorite stitch
almost finished



I hope you enjoyed my photos of this custom order!  Contact me via my e-mail for your custom order requests:

Jentangled Love

Last year I introduced a new product line, large glass heart ornaments painted inside in a solid color and outside with what I call Jentangles.  Jentangles are a mix of the popular zentangles and my doodle drawing style.

I have a few “Mom”s left in my Etsy shop for Mother’s Day (May 8th): Creations by JDB.  And, believe it or not, I am making a bunch very soon for Christmas!   I am expanding my product line to include different colors such as blue, red and black.  I am also designing for more life celebrations such as new home, new baby and newlyweds.  Click this section of my shop for personalized, made to order, Jentangled ornaments and more: Personalized Gifts.  Allow at least 3 weeks for me to create your ornaments.  And, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me through this blog, my Etsy shop or e-mail: jen@creationsbyjdb .

As always, I would love to hear from you!  What’s your favorite color?  Do you have a life event coming up that needs a unique, handmade gift?  Maybe you are getting married and need bridesmaid’s gifts to compliment your wedding colors?  Let me know.


Hello Creations by JDB fans!  Sorry that it has been a while since I posted.  The holidays are always busy, thankfully, with a lot of custom orders.  Here is one of them, Otis the dog as a Jentangle painting using scanned photos from the customer, Linda.

The final 5 inch by 7 inch painting was given as a Christmas gift to Otis’s owner, who was the Father-in-Law of Linda.  She adopted Otis when he was tiny.  When Otis grew up, there was a lot of traveling going on in Linda’s house so, he got to spend a lot of time at “Mom and Dad’s” house.  Eventually, they decided to keep him.  Dad and Otis were the best of pals.  Otis was loved dearly and spoiled until his death due to age and health.

I hear that Otis was a rock star, had a huge number of people fans and was wildly popular in Ohio and Delaware.  If you are one of his fans, you can purchase prints, tote bags, throw pillows and cards featuring the Jentangle Otis painting via this link:

Linda and I sent many e-mails regarding Otis.  I wish I had known him and glad I could keep his memory alive for his family.  In the final e-mail Linda messaged, “Oh Jen I love it.  It is so him when he was with Dad.  Thank you so much.  This is perfect.  I love the green because Dad and Otis spent so much time taking walks together…Fabulous.”  Thank YOU so much Linda! 

Handmade is Better than Walmart

This is the tale of an Auburn University fan’s custom made gingerbread house.PolymerClayGingerbreadHouseCreationsByJDB01  A friend of mine took photos of an Auburn University themed gingerbread house he saw at Walmart and asked if I could do something similar for his wife’s Christmas village set.  Not only could I do it, I knew I could do it better.  If you couldn’t figure it out, the Walmart house is the upper right and lower left photo.

PolymerClayGingerbreadHouseCreationsByJDB2This is the preliminary sketch I made and sent as a digital image for approval before I started.

PolymerClayGingerbreadHouseCreationsByJDB3The sketch I made was a little too big for me to work with (4″ x 4″ x 5″) so I used the copier to shrink it to about 3″ x 3″ x 4″. Sculpey didn’t have the exact graham cracker color I wanted so I made a little sample swatch from 2 clays.

PolymerClayGingerbreadHouseCreationsByJDB4Kneading clay, cutting pattern, rolling sandpaper into slabs and getting ready for first baking.

PolymerClayGingerbreadHouseCreationsByJDB5Twisting, cutting and gluing (Sculpey glue).

PolymerClayGingerbreadHouseCreationsByJDB6He sent me Auburn decals in the mail so, I wanted to be sure they fit before baking.

PolymerClayGingerbreadHouseCreationsByJDB7I “pinned” the walls together soon after it was taken out of the oven and then used polymer clay glue. Twisted canes covered the joints. Tin foil was used inside for roof stability. I made roof and chimney and then baked again. Almost done!

PolymerClayGingerbreadHouseCreationsByJDB7aA tip I used from a Pinterest video was mixing the Sculpey glue with a bit of white Sculpey clay, spreading it on the snow parts and then sprinkling clear iridescent glitter on top.  I baked the house once more.

PolymerClayGingerbreadHouseCreationsByJDB7bPolymerClayGingerbreadHouseCreationsByJDB8I enjoyed making this house so much that I’m going to make at least one more.  Probably it (they) will be smaller (2″-2 1/2″), in different colors (pink and lime green comes to mind) and maybe put a hook in the top for hanging as an ornament.  What do you think?

The Story of Minky Dee

Before and After

This is the story of Minky Dee, a 16 inch tall teddy bear I repurposed from a vintage mink stole.

Once upon a couple of months ago, I got a Facebook message from a high school friend.  She saw my postings of Gentle Ben, the teddy bear I made from a wool sweater, and wanted to know if I could make a teddy bear from her mom’s mink stole.  Apparently, her mom, who is a fellow seamstress and teddy bear collector, has been wanting to make a teddy bear from her stole for years and just never got to it.


I set new records and firsts with this projects.  Number one is the longest time spent disassembling clothing for a plush toy.  I have disassembled a lot of clothing but never real fur clothing.  I wanted to use as much of the fur, tags and lining as possible for the finished teddy bear so, I carefully used the seam ripper and small scissors.  I then washed the lining, delicate cycle, and hung the outer fur part in our bathroom with a subtle scented candle for a little bit.


This is the first time I’ve worn a garbage bag.  It was to prevent all the little hairs from getting too attached to me while I was cutting out the patterns.


Vacuuming? Yes, vacuuming.  I’m fairly sure this is the first time I’ve vacuumed fur.  Actually, truth be told, I don’t do regular vacuuming anymore either.


This was also the first time I had to cut 2 full sets of patterns.  One set was the fur and the other set was unbleached muslin which I used a glue stick to keep in place until all 4 layers were sewn together.  I used the stole’s lining fabric for the inner ears and paw pads.  The lining fabric was ironed, heat set to fabric stiffener and then cut.


One of the difficult things about working with fur is keeping it inside the seams so that when you turn the part right side out, the tucked fur will cover the seam and make it look fuller.  I tried masking tape but it gunked up my needle so, I cleaned the needle with rubbing alcohol and switched to paper clips to hold the pattern pieces in place.  They worked great.


The most helpful tools in sewing Minky together were a toothbrush (thanks for the hint Vicky), leather working (glovers) needles and paper clips.


Here is a safety pinned ear on the left and arm on the right.


I had to pin the heck out of the head and then hand stitched it.


After sewing, here is Minky inside and out.  A side note, I took these photos because I thought they would make a good paring.  After, I realized I needed the wrong side facing out in order to insert the joints.  Ah well, note to self for next time.


I decided to use suede for Minky’s nose and vintage black buttons for her eyes.


A great tip I got from one of my craft books is to use straight pins to plan out teddy bear mouths.  You wrap, in this case embroidery floss, around the pins, remove the floss and then use the pins as guides when you sew.  I usually end up moving pins about a half dozen times before I choose a “path.”


When I got the photos ready to post in this blog I wanted to label which part of the bear was being shown.  One of my Facebook fans, who followed Minky’s process, commented that she had no idea what part I was showing in the close ups.  I actually forgot what this was!


Heads and faces of my creations are very important to me.  I want to draw the viewer into the personality and make it almost impossible to resist loving it.  Minky’s muzzle was hand trimmed with small, sharp scissors much in the way a hairdresser cuts hair.  Next time, I will try a small mustache/bear(d) trimmer.


Joints can be tricky.  I was going to use my handmade washers on cardboard with cotter pin joints but they weren’t big enough so, Minky has plastic safety joints.


For weight, I used nylon stockings filled with plastic pellets in Minky’s bottom and feet.


I really like this group of photos.  It’s me, turning Minky all around so I could stuff her parts.  I miss holding her but know she is in a good, loving home.


Do surgeons use the ladder stitch too?  It’s my favorite stitch for invisible seams.


The pleated collar lining of the stole became Minky’s collar.  In the front, I attached the “D” initial patch which was originally stitched onto the pockets of the stole.  The back has my cloth label.  I used a cross stitch which I admired in the stole’s pocket lining and manufacturer’s label.

CreationsByJDBTeddyBear821 CreationsByJDBTeddyBear824 CreationsByJDBTeddyBear827


There was one item from the stole which I didn’t stitch on Minky because I didn’t want to cover up her fur, the manufacturer’s cloth label.  So, I used it as part of Minky’s information tag, complete with her story, care instructions and my signature on the back.

CreationsByJDBTeddyBear846  CreationsByJDBTeddyBear851

Here’s Minky getting ready to travel and being unpacked by her new mom.  Even Minky’s shipping box was recycled.  It was the same box in which the mink stole arrived a couple of months before with a very nice, hand written note.  Special thanks to Dawn for keeping in touch with me throughout this process and sharing photos.


Minky took about a month to make.  I want to mention Nancy Tillberg’s book, Teddy Bears with a Past.  It’s a great guide if you want to make your own teddy bear from real fur clothing.  If not, and you have some special memory clothing you want me to make into a special plush toy, please contact me: .