The View From Here

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Sorry, not such a good photo.  This is what I was looking at in the last post while ironing.  It’s a terrible state for some of them to be in.  A few need hair put on, some need clothes and still…knowing this I do nothing.  This reticence bugs me to no end.  I can’t understand why I don’t reach out.  I went to the net to look at other dolls and found a few that interested me, but the nagging guilt that I do indeed have beloved dolls already gathering dust just made me pull away from searching.

Mirror, Mirror

I look upon their frozen faces and wonder what they are thinking.  Are dolls inherently use to being loved and abandoned?  I hate that word and all that goes with it.  I haven’t quite abandoned them, they are not in boxes in the cupboard.  But I have developed a weird distance to them.  As if they all held memories that I no longer wish to experience.

Living in Scotland has changed me fundamentally.  Or aging has.  Or the combination.  I have sort of lost recognition of myself.  The mirror shows a completely different face than the one I have known.  I mused over the thought that if I could gaze into the mirror of myself  at say, 7 years of age, would I recognise myself any better?  And so perhaps this longing to recognise what I once knew as me is what I am attempting to do with my dolls.  If I cannot see myself, how can I possibly see them?

Waiting for the Miracle to Come

I get closer to it.

I find myself wandering into the study and purposefully turning my head to look at the dolls on the top of the bookcases.  Each one, with memories embedded on their sweet faces.  I realise I am waiting for one of them to speak to me, say something that will make everything all right again.  But nothing.  Perhaps they are waiting for me to speak first?  You never know with dolls.

I am not forcing this….I am letting it come.

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?

Small Changes

It was quite by accident.  I finally could not stand the rug that came with the flat, it was impossible to brighten even after a good wash and husband has a habit of shuffling across it which made it pill up so.  It was dingy and grey and suppose to be a nice pale blue and cream.  So I jumped up, folded it and attempted to put it under the bed with storage boxes.  However, it was quite large and it meant I had to take something else out to make room for the rug,

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I had two folding tables we used on the truck.  It stuck me that I could use them to alternately put dolls out and be next to me when I am sitting at my desk.  I put the sofa on one and a chair on the other (they are not overly strong) and as I did this, I realized that maybe this will help me feel more connected to the ones that sit in the bedroom so much.  Maybe just walking by them was not enough, maybe they should be close enough to touch, gaze at, photograph randomly.

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I placed Rosey’s desk (to clear up my desk a bit) in her room (the table by my bed) and we both liked that.  I figured that if Rosey wanted to sit with me, there is a couch and chair already present.  Perhaps, I thought, she could sit with others and get to know them too.

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The sofa had been on the top shelf, so I moved those who were on the very bottom shelf to the very top which was nice to see them better.  

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I think Olivia really liked the trolls and mouse, maybe she will have more friends here.

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I don’t know what it is about these two, but I never would have thought they’d still be together.  Their love for each other makes me smile. 

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I had placed Charlotte in with the children as a Nanny and I suddenly thought that perhaps she could use a break from holding her baby, which she has literally done for years.  I looked that the this piece of furniture and thought it could double up as a crib!  I didn’t have any bedding, so I placed one of my handkerchiefs down and placed Kameko in it.  What a happy baby!  She has a place of her own and Mamma Charlotte has some free time once again.

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I love this photo.

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And this one.  What a beauty.

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This is a photo frame that I made into a TV.

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The front swings down and I have printed out dozens of vintage films and shows, which I have stored inside.    Someday I will make little knobs for dials.

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I finally got around to painting the wildly coloured throne for the Queen.  I swear I pull her arm down and the next time I see her, it is back up in a royal wave.

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I brought Yorik out.  I still haven’t put his wig back on, not sure if I want him bald or not.  Decisions like this have been confounding me lately.

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When I saw Evie, I felt a twinge.  It was kinda nice to notice that.

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I think by having them within reach and playing with photographing little odd moments, maybe I can feel a part of their lives once again.  My idea is to rotate them out to the sofa and see what happens.  No stories, no words, just observing.

I have no idea what I am doing, but it feels like something is brewing.

Overdue Update

I have been ill.  Not the easy, get over it kind.  Hoping to be in a better place in my heart and mind in the coming days.  On the mend with new medication.

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Being ill hasn’t helped me be a better knitter.  Gads this thing was certainly creative but it did not suit Rosey at all.  What was I thinking?

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It suited my Sasha much better, so I quickly knitted up a skirt has she had nothing to wear with the sweater.  I barely made it as I was running out of yarn.  Working with her, I admired as I always do, the fine quality of Sasha’s and the beauty of their bodies.  I love absolutely everything about them except one, I dislike the eyes.  The eyes have always bothered me.  They are lifeless to me.  If only this Sasha had glass eyes, I think she would easily be a favourite.

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I have been going through new-dolly withdrawals.  I really wish it would stop.  I find myself searching endlessly for a doll and even though I rarely find one that catches my attention, I still now and then wonder if it is time to truly let completely go of this habit.  All I have to do is ask myself what would a new doll bring me that I haven’t already got in some form?  I have babies, children and adults, I have small and medium size, I have bears and trolls, I have characters, I have antique and modern, vinyl, resin, china, bisque and wood.  Anything else would be more of the same, just different sizes I suppose.  I think I am grasping at something to spark an inspiration.  New dolls always bring new promises.

I recently bid on a handful of dolls that were dirt cheap and needed TLC and I lost on all of them, two recent ones in the very last seconds!  One by one, I lost.  I wasn’t upset, as I really didn’t need any of them. it just made it feel so much more out of reach.

I still am not playing with the ones I already have, I merely look at them and occasionally change their positions.  Is it because I am not feeling well that the malaise transfers to them?  All I have to do is ask myself seriously, what has this doll that is garnering attention online got that Rosey hasn’t…or any of the others for that matter? 

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I watch and listen and imagine the dolls talking and playing, but I feel as though I am just a spectator.  I can’t seem to harness the stories like I use to.  I often walk by wondering why, when I have all the time in the world to play, I don’t.

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More Musings

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Taking the dolls off the shelves and placing them in interactive places, I felt better.  I have been visiting them and handling them more and without that weird feeling of not touching them at all looming over me.

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And she got new shoes!  I found these MSD panda shoes in my stash that fit her nicely!  She beamed.

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I changed out the little boys eyes.  He has such large eyes and this is the first time I have actually liked his eyes, I put in very dark grey’s and they sweetened his face up wonderfully.  These size eyes were for an SD size doll, (more than twice his height) and the one eye socket wouldn’t allow me to place the eye straight forward.  I will have to carve or sand it a bit, but until then, the side glance is cute on him.

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There wasn’t any intention to leave this guy bald, it was just that I washed his wig.  But the look was interesting for a change of pace. (Sweater knit by Sisko)

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These eyes I never thought I would use.  I love them!  She has re-stirred my interest in her with these eyes.

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And these two look so warm and inviting.  It’s like they are glowing.

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The childish look came back to this one.  Gentle and softer, I put her most often worn eyes back in, a mixture of blue and brown.  These are the most expensive glass eyes I have and they have always suited her large eyes well.

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This little one is blossoming as well even though I would never thought I would have changed her wig from the copper red to any other colour.  But this wig (the bangs need to be curled) is a very soft colour on her and the green is complimentary in an unexpected way.  The colours in the photo are muted, the hair is much richer in tone against her tanned skin.  Her eyelashes match the wig perfectly.

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This one really continues to surprise me, as the wig has given her more depth I think than the thinned out bits of mohair glued to her head.  It suits her in her paleness and I just sigh when I see her.  Again, the colours are muted, so you cannot see the fabulous almost violet blue eyes, here in a over flashed photo, they show a bit:

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I have not referred to anyone by name on purpose.  I think that I am going to let them all come out of their shells and find a way to express themselves.  I feel like they are trying to take a stand somehow and maybe a fresh start for us all is in order.  A whole new naming scheme might be an idea, which would give everyone a chance to start again without the old baggage of the past hanging on.  I spend the afternoon looking at Victorian flower meanings and I thought this could be a way to give names to my “garden” without any prior associations, but instead, completely new ones.  I grouped the dolls in the usual pairings so you can see how the names are together. 

Old Name to New Name + meanings (keeping the same personalities)

The Wooden dolls:
Rose Marie ???  Perhaps a wooden name? (Schoenhut Miss Dolly)
Alina to Hazel means Reconciliation (Handcarved by Sisko)
Mikko to Filbert means Reconciliation (Handcarved by Sisko)

The Resin Dolls:
Audrey to Sweet Pea means Shyness (Dollzone Ani)
Hammie to Sweet William means Gallantry/a smile (Dollzone Kai)

Evie to Rue means Distain (Dollstown seola)
Yorik to Mandrake means Rarity (Souldoll Vito Lester)

The Vinyl Dolls
Jones to Bulrush means Indiscretion (Indiana Jones)
Madeira to Valerian means Accommodating disposition (Effanbee Vinyl)

Jeanette to Jonquil means return my affection (Sasha Caleb)

The Bisques/China’s
Miette to Oleander means Beware (Thuillier repro)
Glynnis to Mimosa means Sensitivity (unknown)

Rosebud to Queen Anne’s Lace means Regal (antique all glazed china)
the maid to Myrtle means Fidelity (unknown antique bisque/wood)
The countess to Lady Slipper means Capricious beauty (antique china head)

Charlotte to Wisteria means Steadfast (antique large chinahead family heirloom)
Kameko to Cherry Blossom means Spirituality (her vintage Japanese gofun baby)

Creatures:
Oldest Teddy to Cosmos means Peaceful (my childhood bear)
Younger Teddy to Aster means Contentment (my childhood bear)

White Troll to Pansy means Think of me (my childhood troll)
Dark Troll to Peony means Bashfulness (my childhood troll)
Little troll to Periwinkle means Early attachment (my childhood troll)

Olivia the Pig to Truffle means Surprise! (Madam Alexander)