Body Shape and Knitting

Since the red dress was so big, I decided to make a closely fitted dress.  As I knit, I jot down the key number of stitches I use, like the casting on, how many increases or decreases and the shoulder number.  Otherwise, I generally just visually match up the pieces without counting rows.  Aren’t you glad I don’t knit professionally?  lol.

So far, knitting loose fitting sweaters for Rosey, I have not been concerned with her exact body shape.  But this time, as I was knitting the front, I noticed how dramatically different her front to her back is in size.  I mean I know this because I so love her chunky torso after all the painfully thin BJDs I have sewn for, but I was not considering it when casting on for the back panels.  It stuck me that it is why the red dress was so off in it’s sizing.  I feel so dull witted.  Of course, if I halve the stitches that I made for the front and add the usual 6 for the overlapping button edges, the back would be too big!

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Here is the same piece on the front and again on the back.

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And this is why on this dress, as well as the red dress, I ended up switching the back panels to the front because they fit better.

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Rosey thought the constant fussing over the fit was too much, she was cold and wanted me to stop and just finish the dress so she could wear it.  Back into the duvet and blanket while I knit!

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My husband has been teasing me way too much these days as he notices I keep her wrapped for warmth and put her to bed each night.  He asks just how cold a piece of wood can get.  Even with the heat on, our flat doesn’t register above 60 degrees and we are so cold!  I wear sweaters, thick socks in my slippers, and a shawl over my sweater.  I cannot bear to see Rosey nude while I am so wrapped up.

He compares me to the woman in Twin Peaks who carries the log around.  Rosey and I ignore his silly comments, but then we saw a photo of my grandsons each carrying a log and husband is now convinced it’s genetic.  I am hearing no end of it.  He calls me the Log Woman who has Log Children. 

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I might as well add a few other photo’s I snagged from my daughter’s online album:

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Ryah.

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My daughter and Ryah while I was still in Hawaii with them.

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This is how I would live to finish the bottom of Rosey’s dress but I have no clue as to the pattern.  I have never knitted this delicately or fine.  It’s so lovely though, I thought I would share it.

Audrey Bathed

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Audrey was given a bath and had her hair washed and conditioned.  I noticed, just like I did with Evie, that the Testors coating had yellowed, which I could not see until it was removed and she was washed with soap and water.  Audrey’s skin is now more latte coloured than golden tan.  I also noticed that some of her faceup had worn off, so I will be reluctantly redoing that too.  I could not get a good photo of it, but in taking tons of extreme close ups, I decided that although I cannot do the fine eyeliner style, I can pretty much give her most everything else in colouring.  it helped for me to see the close ups.  She won’t have the dark eyes she has now, but I think I can keep a similar look.

2012-08-01 056Here you can see the chipped lip colour.  The cheek wear  is the most noticeable, but I could not get it to show in the photo.  It’s like she has a ring around her mouth from cheek to cheek.

I went through most of the two remaining unpacked boxes, looking for her clothing and objects, I did not find Rosebud yet.  I pulled out the trunk I received from Alex, but she was not packed in there either.  I just cannot picture in my head exactly where I packed her.  I couldn’t tear everything up today because we were expecting the flat to be inspected.  I am sure I will eventually find her, but I am a bit worried.  In the meantime, I am going to set up the trunk as Audrey’s room.  I am Audrey-fied right now and can think of nothing else.  I hope this happens with all my dolls, but for now I can only do one at a time.

Anyways, I have been playing with Audrey and holding her heavy body in my hand and being delighted with her like I haven’t been in a long time.  I took a few photo’s of the flat today, nothing is finalized yet, we are still working on it.  We did get the go ahead for an additional 2 year lease, so I felt a lot of relief with that.

2012-08-01 028That brown table and sofa will be taken away (came with the furnished flat) and I will put my work table there so I can sew.  I have no idea where I will put my dolls though.

2012-08-01 042 Our entry way between the bedroom and lounge.  That table is my working table and will be moved to the bedroom.  That’s all  my husband’s stuff. 

2012-08-01 044The lounge (living room).  We have the dining table in the window bay. We opted for a double desk over sofa’s and a TV.  We watch films on our computer’s anyways and so don’t have a TV.

2012-08-01 033 Looking towards the kitchen from the bay window.  Now you can see the entry room and the bedroom in the distance.  On the left a display unit will be set up with more art objects.  Maybe in a week or two.  In the bedroom, once the sofa’s and table go, we will add two dressers under the window.

2012-08-01 040our long long bathroom.

So that’s it for now.  We will be here until November 1 2014.  At that time we will make the decision whether to go to Denmark or stay 2 more years.   I feel I now have LOTS of dolly play ahead.  Starting NOW!!!!!

For the Love of Audrey

I remember the day I found Audrey at DDE.  At the moment, I can’t remember what I was looking for, but it wasn’t her.  I didn’t even know she existed. 

I remember having a list in my hand for several BJD dolls that I wanted to see in person, and Wendy carefully pulled them all out of boxes for me to paw over.  I wasn’t finding IT amongst some of the dolls I had drooled over in photo’s.  I walked along the shelves of dolls and saw this little urchin peeking out behind a bench and I picked her up and was instantly smitten.  She was a heavy little thing and she immediately conformed to my hand.  She had on a horrible wig and awful eyes and I spent the next couple of hours going through loads of eyes and wigs until I found the right ones.  I was so in love with her and she was the most perfect poser, the most perfect size…..everything I had ever wanted in a little companion.

When I brought her home I could not put her down.  There is something in Audrey that is lacking in the same dolls by the same company (including Hammie).  Tonight I picked her up (half afraid to) and after all this time, she poses as though it were the first day I brought her home.

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I remember feeling terrible guilt over loving her so much.  Evie was the prima donna companion doll, but I was falling for a new girl in the same way I fell for Evie.  I set Audrey aside for awhile to try and break the bond.  I started playing with her again and decided that having another like her (Hammie) would help keep her occupied and my intention was that they were both small enough I could bring them on the truck.  Soon, I bought more of them but as cute as they all were, they were not Audrey.  I sold them all.  I set Audrey aside trying to get involved in other dolls.  My plan (then) was to find the perfect companion doll and sell everyone else.  Audrey would be sold, I was pretty sure. Well…sorta kinda. 

I have not really realized it until now, but I have been afraid of loving Audrey!  I figured that if I did not handle her, didn’t pick her up, I would lose the connection.  I was wrong.  I picked her up tonight and my heart melted.  I wasn’t even going to pick her up, I headed into the bedroom to get Jollyann. 

This perfect little cherub still has her original faceup, her original eyes, lashes and wig, the only bjd I have had, that kept their originality.  Perfection from the very beginning.  Silky smooth resin, poses like a dream come true, cuddles in the hand like no other doll I have ever had.  And no wonky long legs!  lol.  Oh, what am I going to do?

The Search, the find

I’ve been meaning to write this up earlier, but life keeps getting in the way.  It’s is now 4 1/2 weeks before I leave, time is ticking away so much faster than I thought it would.

Most of the furniture was picked up last week, husband is sleeping on an air mattress on the floor.  Daughter wants the TV, dining room table and my leather chair.  We will put those things in a storage unit for her to pick up later.  They will not be staying in Hawaii, but don’t have their orders yet.  All that is left is a glass top desk, file cabinet and the chair and misc. householdy stuff.  The doll room will be a huge challenge for me and I am sure we will have our moments of upset as we try and choose the things to keep.  For the most part, everything seems to be on schedule with all the selling and hopefully the dinnerware (huge amount) and the car will find buyers closer to April.

What I wanted to mention was this incredibly  intense thing I went through for a few weeks.  I longed for something, but did not know what it was.  I mean I was on a mad hunt for a doll but could not find it.  I found many that I liked, but not enough to try and talk my husband into it.  I would have strong reservations because I knew now was about the most impractical time to even consider a new doll when I have yet to lessen the few I have at home.  In moments of crazy desire, I would run upstairs and grab Evie or Yorik and I knew instantly that I had exactly who I wanted to have.  They are perfect in every way, and why I was searching so hard was beyond me.  But on it went, and periodically I would be relieved when I held my companions and be comforted that I was not going to lose them.  Part of the problem is not being able to have them sitting by my computer anymore, as the baby is at the grabby stage and we have had some near disasters in them being grabbed faster that I could react.  So they stay upstairs and I miss them.  Since Evie received her new hair and eyes, she has blossomed so much that I am awe struck by her.  I sometimes just sit her on my pillow at night and gaze into her eyes.  There is no longer any trace of sallowness in her skin, sadness in  her eyes, nor is there any need to change her further.  I utterly adore her like never before.  I have been wanting to write about this, but I simply fail at finding the right words.  Evie has become everything to me.  If I could find any fault it is just the desire to take her about with me.  I still want a travel companion, one that could stand the sun and weather and being tousled about in a purse.

Then I came across a tiny doll late one night.  She was so incredible!  I had never seen one like her and I fell in love.  Tiny, less than 4 inches high, she is an antique glazed china full china body doll.  I did some research and I am guessing she could be between 1850 and 1870.  I will try and find more about her, but they can be pretty elusive.  She is not marked that I can see.  My second guess is that she is French or made for the French market.  Possibly a dollhouse doll or pocket doll but those really came into popularity much later in the 1800’s.   If anyone knows more, I would love to hear your opinion.  I will write more about how I came to these conclusions in another future post.  If you can, enlarge the photo to see the incredible detail on her boot.

She has a missing lower leg and foot.  Her face is not easy to see in the seller’s photograph, but I detect real potential in her sculpting even though the paint is long gone.  She had once worn a wig as there is no hair detail.  It appears one arm may be more bent than the other.  I had to have her.  Amazingly I was the only one to bid on her and I saw that she had only had 10 views.  Wow!  Could no one else see her potential?  lol. 

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There is wonderful modelling to her body and face for this tiny size. 

eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & mor_2012-02-12_17-21-50 I tried to blow up the photo a bit, I swear I see a smile! 

Rosebud I added some photoshopping face colour to see how she would appear with a bit of a face up.  Being glazed china, I could add glass paint to refresh her without it being permanent.  I found a great tutorial on making a wig in this size and I already used some of my own hair and made the tiny swatches.  I will post photo’s on how I do it when she gets here.  I would rather find a mohair wig, but since I have some at home and I will be home soon, I don’t want to invest in anything right now.  I am NOT looking forward to making clothes for her and I am desperately hoping she is not a clothes horse.  I dislike sewing so small.  Maybe a crochet dress and hair will be enough.  (Fingers crossed).

I had also found a fabulous vintage Japanese box to carry her in in a thrift shop. 

Sorry, bad photo, it is a small lacquer box with silk lining, both the top and the bottom are padded.  The delicate scenery in the shadow box lid is wonderfully deep and layered in 3D style with a pagoda and 2 white cranes.  I made an angora blanket and a pillow stuffed with feathers to welcome her home with. I just need to make a padded bag to put the box in so that it doesn’t get scratched up in my purse.

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What my thoughts on her is that she would make a wonderful travel about companion, someone so small that she could go into a purse or pocket with ease.  I could photograph her anywhere and never worry about the sun or the sand, wet or cold.  Her missing limb doesn’t bother me in the least and I may just carve her a nice peg leg if she would like one.  I would love to know what happened to her, when it happened and all of the things she has seen through time.   She is small enough for me to be able to hold her during my flights, take with me when taking walks. 

I am so excited!  I also bought Evie the same size doll but in vinyl so she won’t feel like I am bringing in an OTHER.  I told her we could play dollies together!  I think she likes the idea even though she looked at me with that sceptical look.

Crutches and Dress

DSC04415 Lilly’s crutches came today!  She was still in her nighty, but that’s did stop her from trying them out!  They help give her stability and were a wonderful find for her.  Made by My Twinn, they are all wood.

Later, I was able to finally get that underdress done:

DSC04417 It can be worn by itself or with the pinafore over it:

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I have found a fabulous bed that I want so bad for her.  I am hoping to win the auction.  Fingers crossed!

Lilly Goes Through Two Changes

I know we can get all gushy and mushy when a new doll comes into our life, but I have gotten especially gaga over little Miss Lilly Lucille.  I have the most incredible need to hold her, be with her, I am so taken with her!  Every time I pick her up I am shocked at her weight, which is a hefty 4.3 pounds on the postage scale!  But it’s that weight that delights me!  She is a companion of substance!

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I upped the pixels in my camera to take a few portrait shots, when I looked at them later, I thought how nice it would be if she could stand without using a stand and having bowled legs.  Later last night when I went to bed, I remembered I had bought two hamster cage water bottle holders, with an idea of making polio braces for Joanie as a story.  I had set them aside and now they ended up being a perfect idea for Lilly!

2011-07-11 005 These are two aluminum wires, I had straightened one out to cut, but decided to rebend it back to the loop.  I had to rebend the second one’s loop so that they went in opposite directions.  I used plastic ties to keep the together.  The top two loops will go behind her back and a wide ribbon goes around her tummy and through those loops to secure it to her body.

2011-07-11 010 I slide her legs into the large loops which straighten out her legs perfectly!  I then slip her boots on which fit because they are so large, the bottom square loops fit right in the boot.  I added cotton balls in the toe of the shoe to help keep the feet from sliding forward within the boots.  I then tied the ribbon at the back and walla…….

2011-07-11 011 2011-07-11 015  Lilly stands on her own with straight legs! 

When I take the braces off, her legs curve and she sits on my lap or in her chair.  I am beside myself with happiness, because I assumed that it was not possible.

Then another idea hit me.  I noted how her lips are parted and I thought how the back space needed to be darkened.  But oh….how I love the Zwergnase’s with teeth!  Oh oh….I have sea shells that I collected the last time I was at the North Shore, bits of shells, washed smooth by the sea.  So I found the perfect ones, trimmed them with the wire cutters and pressed them into the space.

2011-07-11 002 Lilly now has two pearly whites!  I knew, once I saw her move into two whole new directions that she was the most perfect companion I could have ever wished for!  Whether she could stand or not wasn’t important, but will make it so much easier for photograph her in more situations.  But it was those teeth that did it for me.  It took away the o look, took away the babyish puckered lips.  It helped age her too.

My darling Lilly!

Joanie at the Beach

We went to Kailua Beach yesterday.  This time I took Joanie along to get a feel for how she is with this sort of traveling.  First, her size is great, as we end up having to carry so much stuff when we go (we stay the whole day) and any doll larger than her 13.5 inches.  What did not work was that it was a very windy day, the sand was blowing and she ended up with so much sand in her mohair. I also had an incident when I was sitting in the cabana holding her in my lap, that a young woman/teen, I don’t know, I only saw her briefly, poke her head around the corner of our cabana to “see” me with the doll and she ran away laughing.  I guess her and her friends walked by and saw me with a doll and she had to take a second look.  It was annoying but I didn’t care one bit what anyone thinks, it’s just that feeling of someone invading my privacy.  The other thing was that I was really enjoying Joanie’s company, but felt sad I couldn’t take her out to the water.  Because of the wind, the waves were high (fun for me!) and I couldn’t risk dropping her or getting her cloth body wet.

So, I can see I need to make her bonnets to protect her hair or consider a human hair wig. 

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