Winter Wool

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I made a sweater for Rosey.  I usually make sleeves separately but I made this one all in one piece with seams under the arm and down the sides.  I found a very old tin button and although I made the button to go to the back, I like it better in the front.

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I then out of the blue, made a fun hat for Rosey out of this yarn that knits up like a sheep’s pelt.

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I crochet a fine black wool band around the neckline of the hat and added a wooden button.  I wished I had more of this yarn, it would have made a fabulous winter coat.  I am a little peeved that so far we have not had but ONE day where there were snow flurries but nothing stuck to the ground.  For all this rain we have had since the moment we arrived last April, I am irritated that there wasn’t at least a winter storm to lend a feeling that the weather actually changes in Scotland. 

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On the pins now, is a fine wool in lime and cocoa.  I should have plenty to make a gathered long sleeved dress and perhaps leggings.

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I am not making anything co-ordinated, a hat that goes with nothing and another dress without the effort of learning a new pattern.  I am sticking to a safe zone for some reason and not extending myself.  I hope this soon passes.

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Playing Again!

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I absolutely LOVE this photo.  When I took all of these photo’s, it was just to experiment and I had no other intention than to just grab a few and post a tiny story.  I had no idea’s, I just took pictures to see how the room looked and the lighting effects with sepia tint.  What I got was a playful story that seemed to grow in a way that I did not expect.

Look at that bear!  I found her in a thrift shop ages ago.  I am not overly fond of stuffed animals, but I thought the tiny size would be fine as a doll’s teddy bear.  And she was to be Rosey’s bear, but she is coming out in a way that I did not expect.  The interplay between them makes me light up with playfulness.  How a tiny bear can have so much expression just amazes me.  Today, as I was putting the remaining photo’s together for Rosey’s story blog, I noticed that the conversations came easy and I sensed a direction that this can all go in. 

I cannot help but be influenced by fairy-tales and children’s story books.  These tales are all imbedded in our brains, I am sure.  So there will mostly likely be touches of this story and that, as it really is never truly about the story, but about the relationships.  I know the story of them waking up to all the ‘’stuff’ was a touch of the Little Princess, but it was a heck of a lot easier than finding an explanation for it.  In a way, this is how children play anyways, taking a story they know and ad lib’ing.   I was so entranced with Mary Poppins when it first came out that I insisted on playing Bert the chimney sweep on our school playground.  My friends and I had so much fun making up the story as we went along, it did not matter if it was true to the original story or not.

I see Meredith taking on a strong lead, a sort of parental role over Rosey which will not be easy as Rosey is so much larger than her.  Of course, it is not that Meredith Bear is stodgy, she herself has a weakness for a books and stories and wants to believe in the magic as much as Rosey does.  But she wants Rosey to grow up properly and I see that this will be the contention between them as Rosey has no intention of growing up!

One of the downsides to story telling is finding the right presentation.  I have usually been the narrator, writing the story and bits of dialogue beneath the photo.  That is one way to do it.  The thing is, that anymore, I don’t feel the story is within me to tell.  Playing around with the text balloons is an approach that is growing on me.  It allows the photo to stand on it’s own, even if separated from the story.   It is a bit more free flowing in that multiple conversations or thoughts can happen at the same time.  Today, I discovered another direction, that is the audience participation, by having Meredith Bear do an aside as they use to call it in the theatre.  For me, that is pulling ‘’me’’ (or you) into the story.  I am not just the viewer, but pulled into their world.  I took the above close-up of Meredith Bear to test the camera, but oh, how she came alive in that moment!  I think it will be fun for Meredith to get so frustrated that the direction she is trying to take with Rosey gets shared with the viewer.

But I don’t want to get ahead of myself, I will let it all play itself as it comes about.  That’s the fun of playing with dolls! (…and bears!)

Rosey’s Room Improvements

Today I worked on Rosey’s room and classroom.  I had a big space between the wardrobe and the table that is Rosey’s room, plus there is a weird indent to the wall in the corner as the place where the table is was originally an opening to a bed closet.  So I pushed the wardrobe up to the table and that created another wall.  To keep anything from falling into the indent, I took the wall down from the classroom.

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There you can see the indent and the new wall.  Which ends up being great, because now she has a widow!

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Here is the room full on, as I see it from my bed.  I can sit on the edge of my bed to play.  I no longer have the lovely furniture I once had in this scale, so boxes and tins had to make-do.  It took awhile for me to figure out what to use and not use, I have a lot of antiques and vintage and feel unsure about what to blend up.  My sewing machine makes a nice sideboard/mantle and the box ended up making a kitchen area.  I even made a small bathroom using a toilet bank (flush to drop coin) and a small doll trunk for a table, a bowl for a wash basin.  I’ll put up a mirror when I find one.

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Here is the kitchen area:

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I have since moved the telephone, but I thought it was fun to have the tins and tea boxes out.  This tea set belongs to Meredith Bear as it has bears on it.  I also found a tiny antique bear book, perfect for her too.

Meredith is an adult bear, so I am sure she will take care of the tea, but I will have to make a step stool for her, she is too small to reach this counter!

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But I did think the little stove would be perfect for her to heat the kettle on, but I will have to find a kettle, lol.

The classroom was a challenge as I have no bookcases anymore.  I took a cardboard box and wrapped the small piece of scrapbook paper I had, it didn’t cover but the front and one side, but at least I got a surface for the books to be on until I find or make a bookcase.

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I had a partial map of Scotland, so I cut that out of a brochure and taped it up.  I got out the violin stand and took some of Yorik’s things, like the diploma, calendar and globe and clipboard and typewriter.  I do have two computers, but I don’t know yet about going that modern.

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Here I tested the sepia tint.  I guess the bookcase ‘’hole’’ can be a window.  I found a wooden hanger and thought it could hang there, but I may add a piece of clear plastic and make it a window.  I would love to put up a chalkboard, I am sure I will find one eventually.  Sigh, so many things I already had and had to give away.  I had to really try hard not to get upset about it.

Lastly, I got down a box that had the bicycle in it. 

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Poor Rosey’s feet don’t reach the pedals, but she insists that it doesn’t matter, she wants the bicycle so much. 

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I am not sure the Duchess approves! lol.

Working on Rosey’s Story Blog

I have been working on Rosey’s story blog, trying to find the right look for it.  Free templates for WordPress are pretty limited and I ended up going for a book type look (really a journal) and made the background image with a bit of photo enhancements.  I think I will stick with the plain sepia frames and the text bubbles.  I wrote down the combination so I can remember it.  I also made a new watermark, and although it is rather large, I think it’s time I use one on all my posted photo’s.  It’s just so irksome to remember that extra step.

I think I am going to let the sepia tint be the ‘’aging’’ of the photo and leave Rosey in the present with an old fashioned look about things.  It would be a shame not to use so many of my modern items that are in her scale, like a bicycle or television.  Maybe that can be part of the creativity, to blend it all.

Here is the link for A Rosey Tale if you are not on my yahoo doll group, My Companion Doll where I have deluged everyone with this already:

http://aroseytale.wordpress.com/

I am really pleased with Rosey getting the little antique dolls as her own, that was not only fun but suddenly opened a wonderful door for story telling.  When I sorted the dolls with all their clothing and shoes, I found quite a few things that will fit Meredith Bear, which is exciting! 

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Here is an example of the watermark I made.  I can’t remember of this is the one I faded a bit or it is the unfaded one, lol.  Rosey has also gotten more clothing and shoes, it amazes me that some of the things I made Evie do fit her, even though she is much chunkier in her torso.  The lace around this flannel nightie is hand tatted.  As a outtake, or blooper, I laughed to see I forgot to take Rosey’s shoes off for one of the bedroom scenes, considering she just got out of bed!  lol.

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There will soon be another wonderful blog that will be revealed soon.  It will be a collaboration type of story blog with other Schoenhuts.  I am really excited to try the new adventure as soon as we find the direction to take with it.

I have to say, that I am thinking that I finally feel a soothing sort of peace since I made a decision and my creativity feels a renewal coming on strong.  I sure hope that’s true!

All Done

After the tea break, I went back and finished getting everything cleared away so that the process of the one and only adventure can begin.  I feel a odd sense of relief, but I am still wary of how this will feel weeks or months from now.

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I rearranged the top of the wardrobe.  I really hate that we have no storage or closets.  This is ugly and I would not stand for it if I knew this was going to be the place we settle.  For now, it will have to do.  The red bag is what I like to carry a doll in on long distance traveling, it has a mattress and pillow inside and mesh across the top and in the heart.  I think it was meant to be a pet carrier.

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The bears have worn the same sweaters since my childhood.  This is the first time I put other clothes on them.  I always thought of them as masculine, so this feels really weird to see them like this.  But I am leaving it for now.  The pink dress is one I found in Hawaii.  It is a baby dress I could not resist even though my Granddaughter was already too big for it. 

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I was about to toss the teapot house when Olivia decided it was hers.  I can see why.  I had a laugh over that snout out the window.  I think it would be fun to put the bread up on the teapot spout and call him Cheshire Toast.

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I still haven’t fixed up the school room yet, but I made it a bit more presentable.

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I made a quick table (biscuit tin on a miniature pot belly stove), added a cushion to the chair and put Rosey’s dolls there.  I have a lot of antique style and modern style things in this scale so it is going to take some time to sort out what direction to go in with Rosey.  I put the old phone out to get a feel for it.  I can’t wait for Rosey to see her dolls!  I will wait until tomorrow for that though, I want to take a lot of photo’s with my better camera.

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I left the sofa by my desk, so that Rosey can keep me company.  She is playing with the cat I gave her and I think we will soon be off to a good refreshed start.  I am hoping this helps me get focused and not feel so distracted with too many different doll directions.

One and Only Companion

For years, I moaned about it.  For years, I thought it was a solution I needed.  It has always bothered me that I can’t seem to stay focused in any dolly direction for long.  I believe a great deal of it comes from the ideas I get when I see certain dolls, which create intense desires to delve into a whole new secret world with them.  The problem is that none of it gets thoroughly explored because all it will take is for another doll to take me down another path.

From old fashioned to gothic, from tiny to large, from human to fairies, it just all gets just so far before I am distracted into something else.  I blame the internet for becoming a candy shop of visual delights!  lol.  Oh, how a well taken photo can completely set me alight with imagination and I want so badly to begin to create something similar.  I haven’t been able to harness it, guide it and thoroughly enjoy it because it is like dumping marbles on the ground, they scatter so quickly!

I had been thinking about it for a long time, but this morning, I decided to experience and explore the one-and-only doll companion concept that I have wanted to try for so many years.  This is now the right time to do it.  I am settled, there is no pressure of any kind about what kind of doll will fit the circumstances, I am not living apart from my dolls and things and going through separation anxiety.  Here and now, when they are all mine to be had, is the time to find out what it is I am seeking with just one doll.

I got out one of the large packing boxes and began to sort through the clothing, shoes and items.  Anything Rosey could use, I kept out.  I didn’t worry about whether it was modern or old, because I want Rosey to find her place in the world and I am tired of trying to force my ideas and find that they fall flat.  So that means Rosey and I have a lot of exploring to do between us.

I laid all of the dolls on the bed.  Seeing them this way gave me a few twinges, the soulful eyes of Hammie, the smile of Peter Mikko, the forlorn Evie all made me remember the love and companionship we all once shared.  We may again some day, I am not ruling that possibility out by any means.  I tried, I really did.  Nothing I did worked and only made me more uncomfortable.  That trucking and that Hawaii experience  had too many separations and it broke the bonds formed or perhaps I am just in a completely different mind-set.  Maybe it is me that has changed and my needs have changed.  I can look at each one and feel a glow of warmth for them, but I feel as though it continually pulls on me to do something about them and I feel it hinders me somehow.  I can’t explain it.

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I packed them up, laying them on a cushion over all the bagged clothing and stuff and covered them in a white sheet which was also wrapped under them.  I put them to sleep, so to speak in comfort and protection.  I felt a bit of relief, the guilt of seeing them sitting on the shelf waiting for me was too much.  I admit it.  Deep breath.

I moved all Rosey type things in the drawers to fine sort later.  In the room I had created earlier, I put some school like stuff in it and will create a classroom for her.  It’s not fixed up yet. Another project for another day.

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So Rosey is now my only doll within reach.  I kept Olivia the Pig out because she will be our traveling mascot.  I kept my bears out because I don’t play with them, although I may put them away to protect from dust.  I kept out the tiny antique dolls that I did the Queen’s story with because I am giving them to Rosey as her own dolls.  It might be fun for her and Meredith Bear to create their own stories about the Queen.

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I am sitting here with Rosey, sipping hot tea to calm my nerves and feeling a sense of relief that is hard to describe.  With only one companion doll to focus on, I wonder where it will take me?

Guilty Pleasures

I am the doll collector’s worst nightmare.  I feel a bit of guilt altering a doll that prevents it from ever being valuable as an original whatever, but not guilty enough.  I will tamper until the doll comes alive for me.

I felt that I loved everything about my Sasha except the eyes.  I have a thing about eyes that have life in them.  A doll could have a nasty crack down it’s face or missing an leg, but if the eyes don’t light up, I am not having it.

It literally took 2 seconds to fix.  I swished some copper enamel on a dry brush and added a dot of white.  Because my Sasha was Caleb, a boy, I added two miniature eyelash dabs to the outside of the eyes to reflect girlishness.  I did nothing else, but the effect was wonderful.

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She smiled and said hello.  Meet Ssanyo which means happiness.