Two Attempts

I have been trying, slowly, a bi methodically I guess.  I first picked up my Evie and put some eyes in and hair.  It took all of 2 seconds to remember the wonky legs at the knees.  The flipped an twisted around as I was putting in the eyes and the frustration was mounting.  Surprisingly, I found a temporary solution that never occurred to me before, I cut two fingers off a rubber glove and pulled them over her knees and it not only kept her knees in place, but also to bend to sit.  I was pleased that the idea worked, but two yellow knees bands were rather unsightly.  Sigh.

Evie’s face was forlorn, more than I could bear.  Guilt was certainly a silly but real emotion I was feeling while I gazed at her.  All that we had been through together, the travels, the adventures.  And now I was not sure who she was.  Or maybe I was not sure who I have become.

I set her back on the doll sofa after a couple of days and picked up the large bjd, the one I had such hopes for, but she never had the chance to blossom.  As I lifted her up and felt the heft of her resin weight, she flopped against my shoulder and I was touched by the gesture.  Was this a signal?  A hint?  a touch a fate?  I studied her face, she was in sore need of a faceup.  And in the time I have had her, I never so much as made her a single dress.  She was wrapped in a newborn japanese robe and old cotton slip.  A rush of guilt about that too.  Such a beauty and I have done nothing with her.

I kept her next to me on my desk, but after a few days of noting how terribly small her head is to her body and neck, I became annoyed and set her back on her designated chair in the doll room.  I am still determined to re-connect, but not sure how.  Can’t force it, it has to come on it’s own.  Until then, I will write about it.

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A Twinkle

SAM_4469 The day we went to the highlands, I brought my littlest chinahead in my purse.  She is the head I found in London and I made a tiny leather body for.

SAM_4476 Here is Chatty Cathy standing on the wardrobe.  The view from my bed.  The box behind her is THE BOX.  It has my remaining dolls on the top 1/4 area, the rest is bags of their clothes and accessories.

How do I feel about her?  A remembrance of my childhood.  If I examine her, nuances of those times come back in sweet little waves of nostalgia.  But I cannot say that she is the one I lost. I cannot say that I can deal with her non poseable body.  I admire her childlike legs and knobby knees, her lovely modelled hands.  But over all, she cannot do much other than stand and sit and I don’t feel the pull I wish I did.  I want her to mean more, I almost feel the potential, but then it fades as fast as it almost begins.  Putting her up on the wardrobe is the next stop to putting her in the box with the others.  I don’t regret her purchase and I do feel good about the experience, but at this point and time, I am not searching for new doll experiences.

SAM_4477 Rosey’s room remains by my bed.  I still like that she has a place to call her own. 

SAM_4479Yesterday morning the rare Scottish sun came streaming in and I looked up at Rosey.  I liked what I saw and took a photo. 

SAM_4482The warm sunlight on her lovely wood skin appealed to me and for the first time quite a while, I felt the need to interact directly with her, not just in thoughts.  Look at the difference between the last two photo’s.  She went from looking dull and bored with waiting and then suddenly burst into liveliness, ready to play because my interest focussed on her.  This time, instead of me looking for a twinkle of life in her eyes, she was looking for one in mine!

SAM_4484 What a lovely girl she is. 

SAM_4486 Rosey in the sunlight  I adore her.  I adore that I do not have to worry about the sun turning her skin a ghastly yellow.  She continues to be the best poser, the most unusual and the liveliest doll I have ever known. 

SAM_4490SAM_4491  Sigh.  That outfit is one that I made for my old Evie.  It brought back a flood of memories.  It looks so sweet on Rosey.

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I think she is not going to go back to just laying there waiting for me to get out of my dolly stagnation.

Musing

I wonder sometimes about my addictions.  How deep or serious they might be, or whether in this world of information overload they are addictions at all, but perhaps it is more about being ever on the cusp of overdoing things in sheer greediness.  And of course trying to figure out just what is the truth behind the need?

At this particular moment in our married lives, we are saving for our retirement home.  Nothing fancy, but rather small and paid for in full, no mortgage to worry over.  We have enough saved for the house now, but nothing more than that, meaning we could not retire completely, pensions are still a few years out of reach.  The goal was to retire early, even if only by a few years, and so that is the real need right now, saving every extra penny we can.  The more pennies, the sooner we retire.  This affects us both in the needs department, from simple to complex wants.  Husband wants to travel more, so he plots trips that cost money.  I want dolls, fabrics, yarns, toys, so I plot how to get the cheapest version possible.  Neither of us are being realistic and most of the time abandon our desires to being practical and saving…..heaving big petulant sighs while doing it.

Once in awhile I get wickedly caught up in a pursuit where I try and convince myself of all the reasons I should buy and have it.  Most are fairly legit, like having wanted it in the past, or the price is so low it would be foolish not to indulge, or that it rarely comes to the country I live in.  Addictions are all about justifying a “want”, perceived as a “need” and the lengths we are willing to go to get it.  The thrill is in the anticipation and the moment of possession.  I can feel this way about a bottle of good scotch or a doll.  I never feel this way about frying pans or orange juice.  It is what it is.

Is it an addiction when I plot a way to hide the purchase from my husband or plan a tearful apology that I didn’t know what came over me, but my need for the bottle or the doll was too much for me to resist?  I have yet to feel a need to hide the purchase of a frying pan or beg for a bottle of orange juice…just this one time, I promise.  This is a musing post….probably more amusing than musing, but there you have it. It’s the lead in to my pending confession.

I sat in utter horrific panic all of yesterday morning knowing I had bid on a doll that I should not have without talking it over with husband first.  Why didn’t I just tell him of my interest and ask if he minded?  Was it the recent lectures on the ever tight budget?  Was it the guilt in knowing I put all my dolls in a box to be with Rosey alone, and here I clicked on an auction button like a fickle lover enticed by something new?  Was I under the spell of dolly addiction once again?  As my mind rushed over all possible conclusions of winning the auction (not a popular doll being in my favour, and dang, the price was so cheap! Oh, and I have not bought a doll in a whole YEAR!!!!) I thought about the payment.  Ouch.  Cheap by my knowledge of the current price ranges expected for the doll, but expensive when compared to the need.  Did I need this doll?  Am I willing to sell someone I already have to replace them with this one?  I am willing to keep shuffling owned dolls to appease the desire for new?  Every time I bring in a new doll, the whole dynamic shifts, whether it affects the relationships I already have with the dolls, or in the pursuit of a different doll direction.  Addiction glosses over the drawbacks, the known problems, the financial distress.

More importantly, is my doll and expensive scotch addictions going to delay or even prevent me from having my own home someday?  And why not start dealing with the habit?  I lost the auction by £1.  Yep, I could have gotten caught up in the bidding war.  But I felt such a rush of relief that I sat back in my chair feeling the most enormous sense of guilt.  My husband across from me (at our double desks) unaware of my near treachery of spending the grocery money on a doll and Rosey, who is looking at me with the most fantastic eyes she has ever had and I come down to earth again and muse…..what is this all about?

It was as though Rosey took up where Evie left off…giving me that look and saying, “If you need another doll, take one out of the box, or better yet…PLAY WITH ME!”.  Annoyingly logical.  Blatantly obvious. 

Dolly Love

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There are moments in time, when my heart will capture the presence of my companion. Here, I went into the bedroom to fetch something and the sun was peeking through the drapes from across the room and I stopped and took it all in.  Rosey was peeking over the top of her comforter letting me know she had no desire to get up quite yet.  I nodded without a word spoken and went back to my housekeeping chore.  I felt connected to her through an unexpected sunlit moment.

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.

The Attempt

I took the deepest of deepest breaths and without knowing what the heck I was going to do, I went into the bedroom and looked at the dolls.  I decided to put them away in a box and see how that felt.  Maybe if I did not see them, I would forget about them, and if that really happened, I could sell them next year.

I got out a box and put each doll on the beds and I thought how sad they all looked.  Without thinking about it, I took all their wigs off.  Then, out of curiosity, I started switching wigs.  Something started to move me. 

I thought, maybe the problem was that these dolls had changed and I was keeping them locked up in times that no longer exist.  Old names, old times….everything is different now.  Maybe they need to be different too. 

I took down the small doll trunk I had brought with me and set it up in Rosey’s room.  Rosey has been sleeping on my table by my bed anyways.  So duh….why not make my table Rosey’s room?

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Wow!  She has a place to sit and read, listen to the radio and plenty of floor space to play. We both giggled, it was so perfect.  The rug is a hand crochet towel from our summerhouse when I was a child.  I thought how well it would work for Rosey’s pink theme.  I need to make cushions for her chair.

So perhaps, if I put the small dolls in the old room, they may be calling me to play?  Get them off the shelf at least and try to see what happens?

Then I thought, Glynnis Ellyn had mohair pieces glued directly to her head, what would she look like in a proper wig? I had a human hair wig that absolutely transformed her!  I put boots on her and loved her older look.  I changed Miette’s eyes and gave her pale cream eyes that a elf use to wear.  They looked spooky straight on, but side glancing was intriguing!  In fact she looks mysterious!

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My wooden dolls switched wigs too.

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I smiled, so much nicer.  They match in their pale strawberry blonde hair. 

The one that surprised me the most was seeing my dollstown seola look completely different in Audrey’s wig.  I had never tried it on her and when I did, I saw a spark.  A tiny one, but something made me think she wanted to say something.  I did not sense or feel Evie, but someone different.  At least it wasn’t the empty shell I held yesterday.  I am now thinking perhaps everyone needs to be nurtured and allowed to blossom as to who they really are.  Maybe I have been clinging to what doesn’t exist anymore.

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The little boy who always wore a brown conservative wig suddenly had the crazy cut wig and looked mischievous.  I took the bow off the straw hat and he looked very different.  And changing her eyes to soft green and a human hair wig in dark blonde transformed Audrey into a different little girl too. 

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I have not fixed this room up yet, but I think just maybe, there can be a new form of play here in this place. 

In the meantime, the trolls got their hair washed and I think perhaps the bears need sprucing up too.  These are the last of my childhood toys.

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I am not sure if anything will come of this attempt, but I do feel better.  My intention was to put them away and somehow they held their ground.  Some of the wigs were washed to remove glue and reshape as they dry to different heads, so I am still forced into handling them more, I wonder if this will bring them out more?  I really don’t know, but I am open to anything.