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.

Ssanyo Eyes

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

Mohair Warmer, Embroidery, Eyes

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I did a quick knit of some mohair I had, not quite a whole skein and so I knew it would have to be something sleeveless.  When my daughter was a baby I use to make mohair pinafores to keep her warm.  So I thought Rosey would like something to wear over a blouse.

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I added embroidery to liven it up and real shell buttons.  Only one side opens up.

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Then, since I had my embroidery thread out, I went a bit crazy.  These are the socks I harvested from the charity shop doll.  I had to turn the tops to hem, they were raggedly cut and so I thought a few stitches would liven them up too.

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While I had my button box out, I went ahead and found dark shell buttons and added those to the grey dress.

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I have a collection of these old buttons and one more single button I thought I would add to the front of the dress for a design.

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It’s all pearly and shimmery.

I really don’t know what I am doing.  I just seem to need to be doing something…anything.  The little Christmas tree is on top of my yarn chest and I am itching to get to more yarn even though I should switch gears and sew.  I noticed I had some plaid fabric, I could still make a Christmas dress.  I will look at patterns tomorrow and see if I get any inspiration.  If not, I will move the stuff so I can get into the chest.

I did take the little charity shop doll to the park’s playground a few days ago.

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I left her in the teacup spin, this morning I went to the park to feed the ducks and swans and she was gone!  Oh, I hope someone took her home.  I checked the whole area and she was not anywhere to be found, I worried about boys throwing her about.

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And just because I continue to catch Rosey looking in every direction in different photo’s , I want to share them.  I do not alter these in photoshop, these are how her eyes are.  I do switch most of her photo’s to black and white because of her mottled skin tones look better in B&W and it is a heavy reminder of my childhood.

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You can see her eyes are painted straight ahead.  But I continue to find her looking elsewhere.  It’s the most uncanny thing I have ever experienced.

Getting Organised–15 Projects

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I could not get Rosey to sit still, but here is the dress under the pinafore.  I also had to do the regular ironing, so was able to iron her ribbon.  It is the only large piece of ribbon I have, so I threaded a needle, gathered up the ribbon in a bow fashion so that it looked more like the photo’s I see in the 1920’s.

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I added the first photo because it always takes me by surprise to see the different ways Rosey looks at things.  She can be looking forwards or to the side.

I decided to make a list of 15 projects to make:

  1. Finish the red seed sweater.
  2. Pinafore with white embroidery.
  3. Winter leather slippers and a ragdoll as Christmas Presents.
  4. Christmas garment.
  5. Red vintage coat re-do.
  6. Winter garment.
  7. White wool sweater.
  8. Child’s corset.
  9. Crochet socks.
  10. Spring Gloves and Hat
  11. Spring Dress and apron.
  12. Summer garment.
  13. Swimwear
  14. Sun dress or playwear
  15. Summer Sweater

This will give me structure and not leave me hanging over what to do next syndrome.  This should carry me over the next few months.  Later, I want to make a raincoat and umbrella, get more into craft type projects too.

Evie and Knitting

I found one skein of yarn the other day, lovely multi-coloured Marino wool.  It was 75 pence and I was thrilled.  Even though this does not really go for antique girl, I had to knit something for Rosey right away.

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It is much more fiery in colour than I could capture with the camera in early morning light.  I love the seed stitch which really shows off the colours well. 

Then, I had an impulse to remove the light coloured eyelashes from Evie and give her a more normal appearance.  I am still having a near-repulsion to handle my other dolls, I really don’t understand it and it bothers me.  I try to find reasons just to pick them up.  I do look at them every day, even several times a day but something makes me hesitate to touch them.  My heart holds all the memories of the times I did interact with them, held them, took them places…I feel that all the separations and upheavals have threatened the relationships somehow.  I keep hoping for it all to pass. 

2012-11-02 005 It was strange and difficult to handle her today.  I have many conflicted emotions about her. 

2012-11-02 016 I put in the coffee brown sparkle glass eyes and a dress I made a long time ago.

2012-11-02 019 This look is so typical of bjd’s and while it still appeals to me, I kept thinking that maybe she loses something in the translation.  Wild hair, ho hum.

2012-11-02 021 I put her in the short brown bob and she made me sigh.  She was tender, gentle, childlike.

2012-11-02 Evie 020 And so incredibly sad.

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2012-11-02 Evie 048 As I sat her down, the thing that drives me crazy with her body is the legs that swivel.  I put her back on the shelf. 

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What a difference between the two.  I seem to have fallen for brown eyes and brown hair….like my granddaughter.  Sigh.  I miss her so much.

Second Wall, Smokey Eyes and a Purse

Sometimes a person’s head is too foggy to see it right away.  It bugged me that she had three different coloured walls.  Dummy me, why not put contact paper on the opposite wall, and leave our painted wallpaper alone (afraid the paint might come off if removed later)?

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That’s much better.  And since it is just a wooden wardrobe, it can peel right off without leaving damage.

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This is what it looks like outside the camera angle.  I don’t like the look of it in our bedroom, but we haven’t any people visiting and I need a story place.

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Charlotte and Yorik.  I really want to make Yorik a 16th century garment, I just don’t have any fabric that would work right now.  I just realized when I saw the photo, he’s still got a yellow pin holding his shirt closed because I completely forgot to finish it with snaps or buttons.  Sigh.

2012-10-25 055 I also have been meaning to show Charlotte’s purse.  It actually opens up and is lined in silk.  I dream of finding a lovely antique kid leather body for Charlotte and beautifully shaped hands. 

2012-10-25 051 The bears are guarding the royal princess and her staff.  I have got lots of stories about this group in my head.  Someday I will build them a grand palace.

2012-10-25 058 Not a good photo, but her round tummy caught my eye.  Sigh.

2012-10-25 057 Today, instead of adding eyelashes back on, I decided to make the eyes stand out by shadowing them. It was very difficult to do because of her very uneven eyes, but with lots of tiny dabbing with oil paint and wiping off, I finally achieved an illusion of lashes and glass eyes.  When I thought about keeping the lashes, as pretty as they look, I also thought how I dislike the attention they need when dressing and undressing and the potential of crushing them, or the constant single hair caught in them when photographing.  Rosey is not photogenic and few of the photo’s I take of her are good.  But that doesn’t bother me in the least because in person, Rosey’s mottled wooden self is the most beautiful little girl who has captured my heart and makes me sigh a whole lot.

2012-10-04 007 Comparison photo from before.  I was able to shadow without removing any paint which is so different than working with resin dolls.  I diluted artists oil paints with lots of oil and was able to layer over her paint.  I was also able to tone down some light spots around her eyes that made it difficult to photograph her. 

Meredith Takes a Stand

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I don’t know why these things don’t always come to me, but I was wishing Meredith Bear could stand on her padded feet and thought she needed shoes.  Well, I had a bag of stray shoes and clothes that did not fit anyone.  How strange they fit Meredith Bear!  And wowzers….she STANDS on her own!  I found a pair of knitted tights, a knitted cap, a few shirts, a pinafore, under-things and a rain slicker.  But it is those shoes…..she clomps around until my ears go numb!

2012-10-04 061 Rosey’s wig needed to be brought forward, it was sitting too far back on her head.  I always wash wigs when I remove them to get the water based glue off.  I trimmed her wig a bit shorter since now it was sitting correctly on her head. 

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And although I am sure Rosey would protest, I thought since she had her wig off for a moment, I would let you see a Schoenhut noggin.  This is before I gave her a good head wash.

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The wigs were nailed on originally, it seems Rosey has had several wigs in her day, I filled in the holes with filler (the white spots).   I really like lashes on her, someday I will replace these with softer ones.  I don’t want to change them yet, I am experimenting with how long they last and if they become annoying or anything.  These are a bit heavy for her.

I had such a nice morning walk, I thought I would share that too:

http://thepotatowife.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/morning-walk/

Making Eyelashes

Make do with what I have is the only thing I can do right now.  If I wanted lighter (blonde) eyelashes, I would have to make them.  So I did.

2012-09-05 008 I took the bottom edge of a human hair wig between my fingers and spread the hair out evenly as I could and placed a piece of tape across it.  Hard to see, but there is tape in this photo.

2012-09-05 009 I then added a thin line of glue and placed a another piece of tape over the glue line.  I now have hair between two pieces of tape.

2012-09-05 010 This was the piece trimmed and then cut in half and trimmed to fit the eye well.

2012-09-05 011 I cut one piece to the size of her eye and then matched that size to the other piece.

 2012-09-05 013I add glue to the inside edge of her eye and press the eyelash to the glue, keeping the tape INSIDE the eye well, only the lashes are glued, not the tape.

2012-09-05 017 lol…I loved this shot.  So weird looking.

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You can see the taped part is inside the head.

2012-09-05 018 Giggle…she looks positively gruesome.

After everything was dry, I trimmed the lashes.

2012-09-05 045 I added hairspray to a brush and brushed her lashes and taped them up to curl them.

2012-09-05 048 This is a VERY different look for Evie.  Once the lashes have had a chance to set in a more curled position, I will take more photo’s.  She looks old fashioned, in a pale fragile sort of way.  Sometimes she looks blind, sometimes ghostly and at other times, hardly any different than I have always seen her.  Weird.  The faceup works very well with these cloudy eyes.  It’s still all an experiment.  I will let whatever needs to happen, happen.

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2012-09-04 071 In the meantime…Rosey smiles.  She got a bees waxing today.