12 Questions

I have been seriously disturbed for a long time.  lol.  Really, I have been so unsettled in my companionship with my dolls for well over a year with our lives changing so dramatically.  I thought getting the apartment would really help, as I could have a place for my dolls to be when I could not have them with me.  But it only seemed to be far more upsetting that I could have imagined.  Perhaps because it made them closer to me without really closing the gap.  When they were at my parents, it was situation I could not change.  Now they are in my own space again….but not really.

So I formulated 12 questions to try and sort through all the muddled thoughts I have rattling around in my head.

  • What do I really want of my dolly world, what is the most important aspect of it and why?
      1. What I really want is peace of mind. I feel so many mixed feelings when separated from my dolls and having to wait 5 weeks at a time just to see them for a couple of days.  I want simplicity and peace, I want ease of play, complete access, a relationship with a companion doll.  I want this constant nagging stress to end.

    1. Do I honestly play with and enjoy all of my dolls? 
      1. No, honestly no.  I have 12 dolls and play with only a few.  Evan has unfortunately been Evie’s sidekick, Charlotte is a family heirloom and I worry about playing with her, Kameko is her baby, so I don’t play with her, Lizzy is a fun character, but not a companion and as much as I like Aloe Vera, her heavy head and reed thin body means excessive work in posing.  Just getting her to sit takes time.  Standing is a long involved process of balance. So I set her aside a lot out of frustration.  Yes, I do enjoy them, but the enjoyment gets tarnished with the long separations.

    2. Why would I keep dolls that I do not play with? 
      1.  This is what I want to know about myself.  If I had a home that I lived in full time, I would be in a completely different frame of mind about this.  To enjoy looking at certain dolls is a passion of mine.  I can spend hours staring at doll photo’s!  I can never get enough.  But to have them sit in a drawer or (now) a closet, just seems like cruel punishment.  Why?  For a selfish enjoyment on my part?  It would be one thing if I could forget about them when I am gone, but I don’t.  It stresses me.  I suppose I fear letting someone go and regretting it.  But how can I regret what I don’t have?

    3. Is keeping dolls a part of not being able to let go to make room for growth?
        I do have trouble letting go.  My life is changing and moving in a new direction.  I am living a completely different lifestyle.  Hanging onto things because of what they meant when I lived in a home doesn’t make much sense now.  Having the apartment is grand, it will give my husband and I a wonderful time to let our hair down for a couple of days away from the truck…but we have to leave it over and over again.  I can’t really predict how life will be someday when we have a home again, but I can predict that for a long time yet, life is trucking and very confined.
      • What hinders or keeps me away from what I really want? 

       Money and space.  No, perhaps money doesn’t really hinder me, that is something that can always be saved or things sold to obtain it.  It is space.  I haven’t the room to have it all.  I am also such a ‘fraidy cat when it comes to reaching for what I want, I am always fearing my hand getting slapped.

    4. What is a Companion Doll to me?
        A companion doll is one that is one that shares my life with me.  It is one that makes my heart sing when I see them.  It;s the one that brings me comfort when I am feeling down.  It is the one I never tire of playing with.

    5. If I could have the doll and/or dolly world I really wanted right now, who/what would it be? (do not consider expense or ability or availability….this is a just thinking out loud).  Dream it! 
      1. A long time ago, I saw a photo of a little scrawny girl with the saddest eyes, sitting on the floor in her underwear, in the shadows.  My heart cried out for her.  Dollstown Seola, hands down would win my vote as the one doll I wish I could have.  For years, the ordering process intimidated me, so I never ventured there.  Of course I never had that kind of funds either.  So she remains my fantasy dream doll.  I have wanted many other kinds of dolls, but she was always the elusive one, the one I wished for.  Sigh.

    6. Explore the possibility of starting completely over in the whole process….would you, could you do it? 
      1.  I have considered this so many times.  When I think of reducing the number of companions, then I struggle with who could be the one to make the cut, I stress over it.  Sometimes, in frustrated moments, I think it would be better that I just let them all go and start over with just one…..just one companion.  I have regretted a thousand times that I ever bought another doll after Evie….she was my one and I ruined that.  I kept thinking if I had a doll I loved so much, another one would be more love.  But it never happened that way.  Of course, the reality is, that had I not experienced all the dolls after Evie…I would never have know what I had to begin with!  Anyways, if all things were possible, I think of Seola as the potential candidate of a one and only should I ever start from scratch.  I don’t know if I could risk letting everyone go and then find she is silent. 

    7.  Would companionship relationships developed ove
      r time be affected?
      1.  Yes, there is no doubt about it.  If I started from scratch, I could lose my Evie forever (if there is any hope of her coming back).  And there is no guarantee that the dreamed about doll would come alive in my heart. If I have learned one thing about doll companionship, you cannot make it happen.  It is as elusive and precious as human relationships….the chemistry is either there or it is not.  However, much of my frustration is due to the fractured relationship with Evie.  I will never get it back if she remains on the side lines for years to come.  I wonder sometimes if I have lost her already. 

    8. Are all of my dolls “companion dolls” or are there ones that draw me to them time and time again? 
    9.           Evie always draws me in when I think of her and what she once was to me.  So does Audrey.  They are the most alive for me.  I talk to them.  Olwen is gaining ground here too.  I feel closer to Olwen than the others.  Evan draws a blank, Charlotte is silent, Lizzy is not altogether there, Aloe Vera is smug, the other children are cute and playful, and Miette is sweet.  But to feel drawn to a companion doll, is one of the hardest things to explain.

    10. Compare how I see my doll situation now with 5 years from now. Any changes I want to make?
      1. My doll situation now is tenuous and hanging by a thread of disconnect.  I want and need a companion that can be with me constantly.  As we do have a definite plan of action in 4-5 years, it only makes sense to be ready for it.   As my husband and I go over the plan from this angle and that angle, we see the needs and the things we need to let go of to make it happen.  We gave up our home in order to keep from falling into debt, and now we are firmly building up our future and it is blossoming.  We are getting closer.  However, it means staying free and easy…ready to go with little baggage. 

    11. A fire started in the building, grab only what dolls you can carry in your arms….who would it be?
      1. I think about this all the time, not because I fear fires (lol) but because it seems that I need to find the essential.  I would grab Evie and the children.  Of course this doesn’t mean I would not try to grab them all if there were a real fire….but in theory, the reason to pose this question is to force myself to think of who I am bonded to, rather than just who I like.
        Getting these thoughts down, spreading them out to see is helping me.  It looks like we will soon be on home time, I have lots to do.  I am hoping the answer will come.

      Spring Cleaning is in the Air

      From Zen Habits:

      When Gandhi died, he had less than ten possessions including a watch, spectacles, sandals and eating bowl. He was a man of non-possession and didn’t even possess a house.

      “You may have occasion to possess or use material things, but the secret of life lies in never missing them.” ~Gandhi


      I have never been one to collect things or hoard, at least that is my perception of myself.  Time and time again, I find myself overwhelmed with stuff.  Something doesn’t match here.  Am I minimalist or not?  Can’t pretend to be one.  lol.

      When I was a child, all of my toys could fit into a small suitcase.  Kids today have enough to fill a toy shop.

      When I was 22 and had just given birth to my daughter, all I owned was the clothes on my back and a purse and a old 4 poster bed stored at my parents.  My mother gave me a couch, a sewing machine in a table and two chairs.  That is all I had for several years.  I had 2 place settings, a skillet and a pot to cook in.  My tiny kitchen had empty drawers and cabinets.  All my clothes fit into one drawer, my daughters in another.  I didn’t have a TV or stereo (and certainly not the CDs, DVDs, surround sound, players, computers, printers…gadgets we have now).  I saved up to buy a radio because I didn’t have a credit card.  Such a simple life back then, I was happy.  I lacked nothing, I had what I needed.  I read a lot and spent time with my daughter.  I walked everywhere….some times miles and miles.  I was healthier then too.  I think I was the only woman in the city back then that had an old fashioned baby buggy with a real baby in it!  We covered the waterfront!  lol.

      When I ran away from my first husband, I was right back to having the clothes on my back, a purse and whatever jewelery I could stuff in my pockets before leaving.  Started all over again.  Life was down to the essentials.

      Seems I have a theme going on here.  It looks like it’s going to happen again in just a few years.  We will pack a handful of boxes of prized possessions to mail, that will be it.  We will start life over AGAIN with nearly nothing.  I am looking forward to it!  I think of the relief…to pick up a suitcase and LEAVE……nothing to drag and weigh me down.

      In-between those times, I gathered stuff.  I am a sucker for tiny things I find in thrift shops.  I am not poor by any means, but the thrill of finding something unique in this homogenized work keeps me on the hunt.  When we sold our house this time last year, I sold and gave away so much stuff it nearly killed me with exhaustion.  I packed and packed and packed.  Where did all this stuff come from?  80% of it was rarely touched or used.  We might need it sometime was always the excuse.  I guess coming from having nothing and the simplicity of it to having more than you know what to do with, it all seems so insane.  At least for me.

      I will be on home time in a few days and what has occupied my mind on a nearly 24/7 basis ever since we moved into an apartment at the end of February was that I cannot STAND having so much stuff!  Boxes are lined against the walls because…we might use it some day? 

      Living in the truck has brought back the EXTREME need for simplicity.  Everything on the truck has to be necessary and if it can have more than one function, all the better.  When I was unpacking for the apartment, I found that I could not stand opening all the kitchen boxes.  I have a dinner set for 12!  I will not be entertaining in the apartment…..why unpack it? It was like unpacking for a library with all the books we had between us.  Why?  We use to both love the library….why own all these books we read and put on a shelf?  I have a huge collection of vintage cookbooks I never cook from. 

      The same thing with the doll stuff.  Oh, so much.  So many scales, things for a SD, for a MSD, tons of things for a Yo-SD, dollhouse scale, what is going on?  Re-ment, furniture, foods, clothes….even for dolls I no longer have!  And I continue to make clothing as though everyone was bare naked.  Sigh…..time to do some serious reassessment, I declare it is Spring Cleaning time!

      All of this is leading up to my dolls and the changes that are going on there.  It’s time to cut the cords to STUFF.  In order to do so, in order to bring it all down to the essentials, I will take it step by step.  The first thing I want to do is divvy every single dolly item I have to each doll. I want to see what each actually has and if I can cut that down to essentials for them.  I am going to rely completely on how I feel as I go.  Whom among my companions is essential?  Who would be the companion(s) my heart cannot live without?

      More to come…

      Miette's Crochet Dress & Wig Adjustment

      I finished Miette’s crochet dress.  I knew I needed to figure out a front panel and a closure. 

      I decided to use a contrasting thread:

      Then I discovered that I had NO buttons that would work, I had enough white buttons, but they didn’t look right, the brown buttons I had, I didn’t have 8 of, so when we went to Walmart, I was hopeful, but they didn’t have but a few selections and nothing that would even remotely work.  So I looked at the beads, but the wooden ones were too large.  Sigh.  I bought the silver heart beads until I can find a suitable set of buttons.

      But a good thing was that Walmart had clear craft glue, so I went ahead and re-did Miette’s wig.  I had reduced it from a human size wig, down to a size 8-9 then down to 7-8, then down to Miette’s size all by darts and stitches.  I peeled it off (I always glue wigs on) and went into the truck stop restroom and washed it in hot water to remove the glue.

      After I removed all the stitches, I selected a row of weft about 2 inches up from the bottom and careful cut between two wefts.  I then basted all around the edge to gather and then glued it to her pate, leaving an edge all around that would then be glued to her head.   Her hair is now much thinner, much easier to brush and it lays nicely in a more realistic way around her.  I put her cap on and a rubber band to hold the hair down while it dried.

      I had also just washed my hair, funny, we have nearly the same colour!  Mine is still damp, but dried, it is so close!

      We are now heading to Texas, deliver tomorrow and then head to the Yard.  We are not sure, but after a couple of days there, we may be sent to Colorado with a load.  Home time is around the 9th….so maybe, just maybe we will soon be there!

      Musing, Miette's Blanket and Hawaii

      Can’t seem to get far on this blanket for Miette, but I do like it.  The pink should go well with her trunk.

      Yesterday I wrote up a very long and detailed post about my feelings and ideas about my companions.  I got really deeply involved and through the writing, I felt a great deal of relief and purpose.  I saved it in my documents, as I am not ready to call it a done deal yet, but somehow, by writing it all out in black and white, I could see some clarity that I really needed to see.  I plan on pulling it up at night when all is dark and quiet and reading it, see if there is any other feelings I need to address and then I will post it here.  What was really cathartic about it, was that I started my asking myself what I really wanted out of having a companion doll and let the whole thing flow from there.  I itemized what works, what does work and so on.

      Another thing I really want to do when I get back to the apartment is to sort every single doll item I have, decide what to keep, and assign it to a specific doll as their own item.  I want to create an inventory list, including their clothes so that I can decide on what clothing or item I may want to create or find for them in the future.  Since I can’t see everything I have back at the apartment while on the truck, I often feel spaced-out as to what to make, what to look for.  I want these items to be a part of the doll, a part of their personality and suited to their personal style.  I feel I have been too hodge-podge about it for too long, ending up with stuff I have never even used.

      I want to revive my companion doll website with each doll, their stats and their personal inventory.  It will be a place I can keep these detailed records and make it easy to find.

      In other ideas, I am beginning to think about who will be the one to go to Hawaii with me.  I want to make them a bathing suit and some summer clothes.  My daughter is at the halfway point in her pregnancy, so it won’t be long now! 

      Recent Finds

      A brown human hair wig for Evan.
      Shoes for Miette, and a white pair but the photo was too blurry.  If they don’t fit her, they will fit the children.
      Wig and shoes were VERY inexpensive.  Found at eBay seller:
      Ice cream for the children.
      Pink Poodles for Miette to train in the circus.  They are 4 inches tall, so if they are out of wack in scale, they can go to the children or Olwen.
      Ice Cream and Poodles were VERY inexpensive, found at eBay seller:

      Lace Hat for Miette

      I made a lace hat for Miette.

      I am slowly working on her blanket.  I ripped up the second one, I just didn’t like it either.  The one I am making now, I like the best of the three, I am doing an alternating knit two, perle two and instead of ribbing, doing a double seed stitch.  It creates a  softer fabric than the other two I started.  Her wig is driving me crazy, as I really want to re-sew it to a better fit.  I made the wig from a human size human hair wig originally for Evie, so the tuck is huge in the back neck area and while it “looks” ok, I can feel it when I handle her and she can’t wear a bonnet properly.  I would cut it down and re-sew it now, except I forgot to bring wig glue.  Sigh.  I also have a few more pieces of the wig at home, so that if I need to add a weft to balance what I remove, I can do it all in one get go.