New Years Resolution

New Years Resolution.

I NEVER make New Years Resolutions, but this year, I am.  Beyond the usual personal ones, I have a dolly related one to share.

 

One of the resolutions I made this year was not to buy any more dolls, nor spend any time on eBay endlessly searching for stuff, dolls and creating cravings.  Right now, I have 3 resins, 3 woodens and 3 antiques as my main dolls, and a handful of small characters that really don’t get played with, but may someday provide me with storytelling fun.

 

I do not need any more dolls.  I need to play and love the ones I have.

 

Unless a very rare opportunity happens, or a deal of a lifetime gets stumbled upon, my goal for 2011 is to truly learn how to appreciate what I already have.

 

Can I do it?  lol.

Allina and Mikko’s Gift

DSC00266  Mikko and Allina came with me to my parents for our Christmas dinner (delayed since husband was not home on time).  They received a dog for Christmas and brought him along too.

 

DSC00269 They named him Dogwood.  Yes, I know.

 

DSC00279 They visited with the Nisse’s and got to see the mountains:

DSC00271

 

These two continue to bring me such incredible peace and joy.  They have such a calming influence on me.

The bunk bed is made

I finished the structure of the bunk bed, but it ended up being completely different than I had envisioned.  First of all, I was not feeling well and being out and about was exhausting.  I looked at the wood pieced at Hobby Lobby but just felt it was so expensive for what it was, and the bed was looking to cost about the same as buying a premade bunk bed set, as I had been researching online.  So I hesitated and several times nearly put the wood back and try it another day.  Evie was hanging in limbo land and I didn’t really know if Allina and Mikko would take over the trunk room or not.  I just felt unsettled about the whole thing.  Later, I wandered over to the artists supplies and wondered why I let this part of my life go, I marveled at the papers, the pencils and pens….and then I noticed the wood frames for canvases.  You could buy them buy the piece, and there was exactly the lengths I needed!  Thicker, solid wood, with corner joints already made and all I needed to do was piece it together!  And, it was half the cost of the wood I had in my cart! 

 

It was a quick job to put it together:

 

DSC04302  I added a piece of wood down the middle to support a mattress. 

 

DSC04303  The poles are secured by being glued to a wood strip across the head and foot length.  This unit can be lifted out easily.  So now I just need to paint it to match the bed and make mattresses and matching quilts or bed spreads.  I am not up for it just now.  But the bunk is sturdy and strong and now to just decide who will reside here. 

 

DSC04300 DSC04301 While it would make a perfect room for Allina and Mikko, I cannot help but think it is Evie’s room and that Allina and Mikko will just have to wait until my imagination kicks in.  I thought that perhaps Hammie and Audrey could share one of the beds….but again, my head is fogged up with pain pills and I just can’t sort it all out just yet.  The beds in these photo’s look short, but they are 18.5 inches long.  Mikko, I believe is only 15 inches long.

 

So much yet to figure out! 

Bunk Beds

I have not been doing well, I have been very nauseated and irritable.  This tooth thing has been going on for 4 weeks now and I am so very tired of it.  It colours all that I do, or I should say what I cannot do.  Normally I am thrilled to be home and have so many projects to work on, but lately, all I do is sleep and feel dull and exhausted.  I have not even had the slightest inkling of Christmas spirit yet and that saddens me.

 

I went to both Michaels and Hobby Lobby looking for inspiration.  I did find a can of testors Dullcote, so I can redo Evie’s faceup.  But I feel no inspiration there either.  I bought four wood dowels to test my idea for a bunk bed.  But I could not bring myself to buy the rest of the wood, I wasn’t sure if this was even a necessary project. 

 

DSC04244 When I got home, I cut up a box to test the idea, to look at it and see if it overwhelmed the room.  I don’t want to permanently change how the murphy bed works, so I thought I would make a bed that would just set down inside the bottom bed and can be lifted back out should I decide not to use the upper bunk.  Sort of like a table.  After observing it, I decided that I would go ahead and get the wood and make a proper bed using the cardboard test as my design.

 

DSC04246  My idea is that Allina and Mikko might share this room set up.

 

DSC04248 I had seen how this area could be perfect for Mikko’s work room, the dresser and chair are his size and work better for him than they did for Jollyann.  It is too small though for a bed, and so I started to think about the bunk beds.  Yet, This now throws Jollyann out of a room and where would Evie go?  I think about how badly I want to get this all down to the basics, to have three or four rooms and continue to find pleasure in making them just right and full of play and stories. 

 

I am thinking about the direction things are flowing, that perhaps I am soon ready to get down to the very basics of dolly world.  I don’t know why I am not feeling anything towards Evie lately.  When I play and interact with a doll, it becomes everything to me and all the others fall to the wayside.  The only dolls that hold their own are the china’s, they aren’t as playful as the woodens.  I never seem to mind them sitting in their rockers with their tea set and cakes.  They have no desire to travel and get messy.  Which leaves my 3 resins, Evie, Audrey and Hammie.  I honestly feel at a loss with them lately.  Preserve them?  Make them become shelf sitters?  Revive them?  Is it time to let go of Evie?  Does she need to evolve again? 

 

I am hoping a face up with revive my sense of her.

Evie gets a faceup

Well, well.  Evie did it to me again.

 

I had only the slightest whim to redo her face up and wasn’t even really into it, until a little moment that came when I saw a way to give more definition to her eyes without using a dark faceup.  I had a human hair fall that was sparse and thin, but it has a mixture of hair colour in it, and a almost golden blonde that I kept putting up to her face as I was working the faceup….and something quite magical happened.

 

Before:

Blog Evie  The eyelashes shadowed her eyes, the faceup was too pale for the dark hair and she looked older.

 

DSC04257  I saw a little girl again, fragile, yearning.  That same look I saw when she first arrived.  I thought, with some short bangs, and a ruddy complexion, she would get that look back.  This was just her first layer of colouring, I didn’t want pink, but more realistic tones. 

 

DSC04266  I deepen the corners of her eyelids, used blue under her eyes and was far more liberal with brown tones that I normally am.  I used red on her mouth instead of pink tones.  These photo’s are done with my camera that I cannot control the flash with, so the photo’s are a bit washed out.  She has deeper coloring than shown.  I gave her cheeks a sun kissed look, and her nose a ruddy hue.  I arched her eyebrows for a wide eyed look, bringing back the sweet innocent curiosity.

 

DSC04273 I finished the faceup and gave her many sealant coats.  I washed the hair and trimmed the bangs.  Because this is not a full head wig, but a round disc to use as a fall on a woman, I had to mold it while it dried to give the disk a half-ball shape.  I used a ceramic cup to do this. 

 

I love the paleness of the wispy blonde hair with her eyes.  Evie has become a young girl again.

 

DSC04284 DSC04276  Evie looks more realistic than I have ever seen her look before.  The wig is not as luxurious as the brown wig, nor as thick, but somehow, it suits her so much better.  I was going to trim it, but I like the scraggly look on her.  Now her thin body seems to be more about just being young and scrawny, rather than when older and looking purposely anorexic.    I lightly blushed her chest and she just bloomed. 

 

Evie, you are so dear to me!  I had almost wondered if you had gone away, but here you are, looking so fresh and so sweet. 

Jollyann gets a faceup too

After Evie got her faceup, I decided that Jollyann was next in line.  As much as I love her look, her thick lovely hair, she too had taken on an older appearance.  I decided to go back to a simple dolly look.  I looked at old Schoenhut pictures, and although I cannot recreate the same look as they had thick paint on their faces and Jollyann is bare wood, I saw that perhaps I could lighten up the painting.

 

Before:

 

DSC04252  This wig on Jollyann is also very thick and luxurious.  I really liked it, but it was top heavy and often jerked her head back.  Her body is a toddler type, so I decided to give her back the cute young look if I could. 

 

Here she is, almost done.  I am using oil paint on her, so until it is fully dry, I cannot add her face sealant.  She looks a bit chalky until the varnish is applied.

 

DSC04287 Wow!  I was startled by her freshness!  She looks so bright eyed!  I gave her brown eyes to tone down that bright blue. 

 

DSC04289 I noticed that none of the Schoenhut dolls had red lips, but more of a muted rose.  So I changed that too.  I also added more colour to her cheeks.  Because of her wood grain showing, colouring is not as easy to achieve as it is on resin skin.  Still, by using the single stroke eyebrows, the single stroke over the eye and not under, not adding any lashes, she has more of a traditional look and very childlike.

 

DSC04293 DSC04299  Again, the flash is washing out her colouring, the richness of her brown eyes will come through when varnished.  I like the bright look she has now, and feel that I have brought both Evie and Jollyann back to their true ages.  How sweet she is.  I won’t give her the varnish for another week or so, I’ll update with a picture then.

Antique Wooden Doll

Dec 18, 2010

 

I had found a small wooden doll on eBay back before a previous home-time, but she did not arrive in time before I left, so she was waiting for me this time.  I had thought she might make a good doll for Allina or Jollyann when I first saw her, but she may end up holding her own.  I am not sure about her yet.  She is quite old, and quite unusual. 

 

DSC04374  Here, I had just washed her with soap and water, she had a dark film on her (probably sat in a smoker’s home for many years) that prevented me from seeing her face detail.  I was surprised to see such a delightful face, reminiscent of Humpty Dumpty’s wide mouth.  That is unusual for dolls, they normally have cupid bow lips.  This may mean she is really a he, as the hair is very simple too, with no definition to having a bun or curls.  The most unusual thing about her is her construction and shape.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  Part well made, part crudely made.  I am not sure what the doll was suppose to do.  Tilting a head or bending at the waist seems silly in a simple wooden doll.  A painted face, but the hands are not.  The shoes…barely shaped at all, but the hands are.  Weird.

 

DSC04376 The wood was so porous that it drank up the water I cleaned her with.  I did not want to remove all of her patina, just the top layer of grime, so once she was dried overnight, I gave her a good oiling. 

 

DSC04381  Her head is on a dowel that has a ball on the opposite end that sits inside her shoulders and can rotate.  I assume the metal collar is concave inside providing the socket for the ball.  The same construction is in her waist and hips, a ball on the end of the waist dowel that sits inside a socket.  The arms and legs have a simple coil metal spring joining them together.  The feet are block with a hint of wooden shoes.  Her head is very loose and swings freely.  The waist has a little more resistance, but still swings freely.  I think clothing would help keep her more aligned.  One leg is slightly longer than the other, but can be pulled or pushed to match the other leg for solid balance when standing.

 

I assume she/he is Dutch.  I am guessing a possible age may be between 1900-1930’s.  I don’t think she is from a later period.  There are parts of her that is not well made, a gouge in the hip ball, where the cuts are not well made, yet she has carefully shaped spoon hands and thumbs.

 

Here she is, cleaned up and oiled:

DSC04514 DSC04515

She will definitely be a challenge to create clothing for.  I think I will just make a sheath dress and cinch a ribbon around that wasp waist.  I had this tiny apron in my stash she can have for now.  You can click on the photo’s to enlarge for detail.  Note the ear, which is shaded, the nose is too.  There is a circle that is shaded to give a “chin” and the lips are two toned.  Another reason I think this may have originally been a boy is that there isn’t any red paint added to blush the cheeks.   I suppose once dressed, it wouldn’t matter about the overall hourglass shape for a boy. 

 

I am not really sure what to do with her, I certainly don’t want to have more personalities around, having to make another room, created another wardrobe.  Sigh, I have enough to do as it is.  I am fascinated by doll bodies and how they are constructed, so this doll is interesting for that.  I’ll think on it.