Furry Mouse

The fur pieces came to day.  Wow, quite a bit, all very nice and soft, clean….very pleased.  Mouse got re-furred.


2012-06-16 007 Bright orange rabbit fur.


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He will get a tail when my other leather pieces come next month.


Floating in the Pond

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Last night after dinner, husband and I took walk in the park.  He saw her before I did, but this little girl was floating naked in the pond!  She was covered in mossy gunk and has a bad dog bite to her one ankle.  I brought her home and came up with a wonderful story line for Thistleshire.   It’ll be later, but it will be fun!

I gave her a good bath.  Her hair was too frizzy to do anything with it, so I braided it, sewed the ends in and white roses that I happened to have in my mini sewing bow.  I do not have any fabrics to make her clothes, but I still had the tricycle clown and so I took his neck ruffle and a piece of the front pink satin panel and sewed on a tutu for her.  She is 6 inches tall.  I also gave her black pupils in her eyes for more emphasis.


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Poor clown, now I want to rescue him too!  Maybe I can give him a new body?

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Little Things and BIG Cravings

2012-06-22 009 I found a little elephant for Glynnis.  The poor dear has had nothing to play with.

I have been going through another round of dolly deprivation.  I continue to scour the charity shops and eBay for a miracle.  Meaning extremely cheap and most loveable doll I can find.  I found several, which I agonised over, because it really isn’t that I need to bring in  a new character, but that I am longing for my own dolls that are somewhere in between Shanghai and Glasgow.  At least another month of waiting and it is killing me.  Seems sensible that I would be use to this by now, but I am NOT. 

I think about Evie and Allina and Mikko.  I think about Jollyann.  I hardly have gotten to know Jeanette.  I look at other Sasha’s and get all worked up about how perfect Jeanette really is, and I have only held her for a few days before she was packed up.  And my sewing machine.  I dream of the thousands of fancy gowns I will make.

But this is all a part of the dolly world, the imagination, the creativity waiting to blossom.  All the things I imagine I will do, little of it comes to pass.  I imagined huge and dramatic stories with Yorik, delightful little girl play with Glynnis, and what do I do?  Spend scads of hours lusting after dolls we cannot afford, instead of playing with what I have.   This is crazy! 

I came so close yesterday to hitting the button to a BIN Zwergnase, something I have never done without discussing it first with my husband, but I wanted her so badly that I thought for an insane moment that I would risk his displeasure over spending money we shouldn’t spend right now in order to have the doll.  In hesitating and trying to come up with a reason to present to husband of my desperate need to have THIS PARTICULAR ONE, she was nabbed by someone else.  Oh, how that threw me into a stupid despair.  Ten minutes after I found her, she was gone.  

Which then sent me into a despair over all the dolls I have had in the past and given up in order to buy another one for the pure thrill of it all.  Most, I have not regretted selling, but a few I have.  Deeply regretted.  Both my Zwergnases, both the Schoenhuts, and my Gotz Anna.   Of course, I kick myself when I remind myself how much I do adore the ones I have.  If only they were here! 

Where does all this longing come from?  I can look at a thousand dolls without batting an eye.  Ho Hum.  I can come across one that suddenly opens a door within me, striking up a chord of imagination that practically explodes.  It’s not just any doll, it is THAT doll! 

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Glynnis was a sparkler for me, and now she mostly sits on the shelf by my computer.  Will I never be satisfied?

Oh, I see the mouse in the background, I did win the auction for the fur, so he will get fancy in no time.

And I found a pink tricycle that I imagined for Audrey:

2012-06-21 0012012-06-21 0022012-06-21 003 £2.00 for this and a leather wallet.

It came with a clown, which I will probably toss, it has a wire body with a foam piece wrapped around the wire.  I might be able to salvage the body costume for Audrey.  But the trike is cute, metal with a basket and rubber on the wheels, which turn.  I can imagine her on it.

I can imagine all kinds of things….but somehow feel paralyzed in reaching for any idea.

The Cottage Dolls Arrive

The dolls for the cottage house arrived much sooner than I expected!  The cottage is no where near ready.  They are a bit a larger than I thought they would be, 6-7 inches tall. All were hard plastic, even though two looked like composition.  All were inexpensive souvenir dolls.  All were absolutely filthy.

2012-06-18 The Cottage Dolls 005 All were intact, a missing wooden shoe, a tam hat on one in a kilt, the skis for the skier.  I wasn’t sure what to think at first, wondering if they were salvageable.  Washing them could make their clothes dissolve or their painted faces wash away.  But it was necessary.  They had no odours, so it wasn’t tobacco smoke grime, seemed to be plain dirt and dust type.

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The poles slid out of his hands, so that will be nice for stories (not always holding the poles). I may make him a pair of skies someday.  A bit of rosy blush may help those scarred cheeks a bit.

2012-06-18 The Cottage Dolls 008 Her eyes were stuck.  She has a red paint dash to the side of her mouth.  She may be missing a hat.  She looked so solemn.

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These guys were fine, the lace extremely dirty and never will be white again.  Probably both are missing a bagpipe, the one missing a tam and has very unruly hair.  Both looked like they needed a whiskey.

2012-06-18 The Cottage Dolls 011 A soft vinyl, initially I thought I would give her to one of the bigger dolls as a doll, but I thought, no, she belongs with this group.  It makes me wonder, had they all been sitting in a box together up in the attic or an unused closet?  Were they played with or just displayed?  I was seeing a whole lot of potential in each one. 

2012-06-18 The Cottage Dolls 012 This little Asian cutie made me smile.  Pretty brown eyes.  She seemed more wise than the others. More mature in some way.

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This more intrigued me.  I liked her snobbish look.  Her skirt is lined in white and she has a full onesie under her dress.

They all got a bath.  I filled a tub with warm soapy water, whished them around in the water bath, then used a small soft brush to clean their faces and feet and hands, lightly brushed the dirt out of the clothing and held them under clean running water, pressed them in a towel.  They are now in the window drying.  Once dry, I will make small repairs to clothing, re-glue some hair and touch up faces.

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The eyes unstuck and she can see again!

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When I compare the first dirty pictures with the clean and scrubbed faces, I swear I see happiness and relief!  Doesn’t the Asian lady look so surprised that she got a bath?  Eyes are all now sparkly and clothing fresh.

And the dirt they left behind….

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I found a mouse on eBay UK that had me hooked by his little beady eyes.  I wasn’t going to bid on him, I had no need of a mouse and it was a first time seller, with no history.  So what’s a chance or a risk?  I was mostly intrigued by what was under the horrible orange fur.

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He was dirty, and glue dripped down the side of his face, and he his nose had lost most of the black paint.  Chip out of the ear and simply adorable!  He’s a large 7 inches or so.

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I decided to clean him up and see what I was working with. 

2012-06-16 013He got a good soak in warm water to loosen up the rabbit skin that was glued to his body.  I used the lid to keep him submerged.

2012-06-16 015 Mouse under glass!  lol.

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After peeling off the fur, there was an acrylic based glue that was very hard to get off.  Very hot water does it, but I am not sure I want to do the work if I end up recovering him. 

I could see on the top of his head was a shape designed in to put troll hair, and the rest of the body was plain to glue the fur to it.  I thought about what to do.  I washed the fur with shampoo and let it dry. I painted his nose. 

I could make clothes for him, but I keep seeing him in fur, just a natural colour, not the brilliant orange.  I will hunt around for some fur and see what I can come up with.  He’s a cutie.

I also found a group of dolls that may go in the dollhouse cottage I am working on. 

Job Lot - Vintage Dolls  eBay - Maxthon Browser I thought it might be fun to have a whole group living there (as it was made for the Seven Dwarves!)….but I’ll wait until the cottage is done and I get a feel for what direction it will eventually take.  They look kind of interesting.

I also bought an infant dress from the Charity shop, 50p. I wanted to make Glynnis a dress, but she is so small and the gathering on the yoke would be lost on her.  I will save it for a larger one, like Jollyann.

2012-06-16 005 It has a ruffle of tulle underneath, perfect for making a matching petticoat.

It’s still 6-10 weeks before we get our things.  I am still having the worst dolly withdrawals.  Sigh.

Cottage Work

2012-06-07 0062012-06-07 0072012-06-07 0082012-06-07 0092012-06-07 010I began working on the plastic doll house cottage.  After agonizing over the various (and limited) paint selection in the village, I decided on using a wax, stain and solvent based liquid to age and define the wonderful details on the cottage and a wood filler to make the walls appear as the  old cottages did.  I tested out the materials, and it turns out to be much better than I hoped for.  The darkening of the details really came out beautifully and once dried, will be rubbed and polished which will seal the wax and stain.  The wood filler was amazing stuff, it did not chip off the plastic at all.

2012-06-08 001 Here you can see how realistic the wood floor is compared to the unstained side.  I am awed at the details coming out.

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Here is the wood filler, which I am spackling on the side wall, then using a wet brush to smooth out and create the right texture. I will age this too later.  This stuff sticks like glue and dries hard as a rock.  This cottage will be heavy when it is done!

2012-06-08 004 On the roof, I played with darkening the edges of the ‘’straw’’ even more.  Once I take a soft cloth to it, it will have a sheen to it and the yellow will come back. I will be plastering the inside of the cottage  walls too, eventually aging the walls and adding metallic copper paint to door hinges and so on.  I am absolutely loving this project and want to take my time with it.

The stones that surround the fireplace will be more tricky as I think I will need enamel paint.   I am not ready to figure that one out yet!  lol.


Click to enlarge any of the photo graphs for details.

A Dollhouse Find

I wasn’t looking for one, in fact I had resisted several dollhouses I have seen in the local charity shops since we have been here.

But this one, I could not resist.  It is a Snow white cottage, with fanciful chairs and a charm I knew I could really get involved with.  As much as I hate plastic anything, I decided that I could paint and age the cottage to look more real.

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I bought this for £5, which is a bit more than I wanted to pay for it, but still cheaper than the ones I saw on eBay, which ranged between £10 and £65 depending on whether Snow White (looks to be like a Barbie) and the dwarves were included.  One chair is missing, the candelabra is missing the base and I didn’t have the characters.  All fine with me!  I haven’t counted the bowls and small items (should be 7 of each I guess) but that doesn’t matter either.  All main pieces are present and in excellent condition. 

There is wood grain in all the pieces, so I think with some paint or pastels, I can enhance it all.  I love that some of the plates and cups have chips cut out.  That will be fun to enhance too.

I can see wallpaper on the inside and some sort of white stucco on the outside.  The walls are a pale pink (there is a pink plastic obsession in the toy world, sigh).   Now to dream and scheme, my favourite thing to do!  I haven’t decided on whether to carve my own creatures to live here, or purchase them.  I doubt, but I am not sure, whether to keep it a Snow White theme or go into some other fairy-tale type thing.  I’ll let it play itself out.