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.

Reaching Out

I have to walk through the dollroom to get to the kitchen.  Several times each day I walk past my collection of dolls and feel a sort of loss of connection.  I swore I would never have shelf-sitters, and what has become a dreadful concept to me is now a reality.  Or is it? 

Perhaps it isn’t quite gone yet.  I haven’t put them away in dark boxes in the closet or put them on the market for a few shillings.  I have mused on it briefly a few frightening times, and something kept telling me to just wait.  Years have gone by and I am still waiting.  Waiting for the dolly question to be asked or the dolly reconnection to happen.  Something…anything.

This morning I wanted to start thinking about what to do.  The first step is to write about it.  Perhaps a daily dose of writing will bring a direction.  I am hoping it will.

Never Been So Slow To Sew

It was really rather silly and annoying to admit, but my venture into sewing a dress for Maris was like ice skating after many years of not being on skates.  Wobbly.  I wanted to watch a film, so my plan was to simply hand sew it, but I soon found I had sewn the back to back and front to front of the bodice pieces together and well, I shook my head in disbelieve.  This should have been a thing I could do in my sleep!

I have no patterns for her, so I am starting with the simple bodice and attached gathered shirt to get a feel for her shape and size.  I already made one adjustment to the paper pattern for the bodice, but I can see I a few more I need to make.

Still, I am not sewing to the point that I am completing it as quickly as I use to.  Not sure why, but I set it aside already and I look at it as though I will be picking it up again soon, but then a few days pass and I have not.

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Musing about Scottish Dress

Knitting is not going well.  I am on my second rip-it-all-up and start again round.

Perhaps I ought to crochet.  Hopefully I can find a hook.  I am still rather irritable that I cannot get the dolly and crafting stuff sorted without a dresser to put it all in.  So I do not know precisely where these things are in the storage closet.  Its all hindering my attempts to re-grasp it.  But I am not giving up.

In the meantime, I have been researching the scant archives of historical Scottish dress.  Not much to find.

b825c2bd952fbeea2b28f0f756325a3b I don’t want to keep Maris tied to any time period, so I have been collecting photo’s for ideas. This is the type of dress I envision her in. 

il_170x135.284480922 The colours are muted and the dress simple.  I envision wool in the winter and cotton in the summer.

e86c28ee4f214cc0dfee1726f446ba12 I also like the idea of the overlay of the corset and open skirt over the under dress rather than a one piece dress.  What I would do is keep the overlay simple and embroider the under dress more finely.  Eventually of course, a fine ball gown just in case the Queen invites her to tea.  I am concurrently reading Queen Victoria’s journal about her visits to Scotland and her love of the people and places here.  She often visited the people in the small villages.  So it would be possible that Maris would have tea with the Queen!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA           Notice how much fabric is gathered about the waist in this photo.  That is because the plaid was a large piece that could be untucked from the belt and put over the head or shoulders for warmth or protection from the rain. 

g0061100l  This, however would be too much fabric for Maris, I think.  Perhaps one day I will find a thin enough plaid to be able to give it a try.

65976bda91ef9b5dfd8a588438f25efa This too would require quite thin fabric for the drape.  I have a thistle brooch she can use, but I will also keep an eye out for a smaller one for her.  It was also used on a shawl type wrap around the shoulders.

Off to find a crochet hook. 

First Bite

I kept trying to find my dolly world again.

I was given some Christmas money, and actually had the chance to bring a new (inexpensive) doll into the fold.  Would that help inspire me?   Would I find a new love?  I found several antique dolls that caught my attention and of course the Zwergnase’s that still cause me such a longing to possess one again.  But something was holding me back too.  I have done that for so many years…reached out for the elusive doll that will bring something to my life.

I went back into the study and tried to find that which once existed in each doll that remain.  So many memories in those faces!  Of course, I do realise that I am giving it too much thought and this sort of thing just can’t be rationalised.  I picked up Audrey.  She was missing her eyes and wig.  Her faceup was scratched.  I wondered how that happened, since I have not played with her since I did that face up.  I picked up Rosie.  Come, on, old girl…give me that look that melts the ice within me!  Rosie’s wig had come loose and fell off.  Sigh, these were just not the magical moments I was hoping for.

Unfortunately, wigs and eyes and all accessories and clothes are buried deep in boxes yet unpacked because I have nothing to sort the items into.  This hindrance fosters the inertia and

keeps me just hanging about staring at dolls who stare back with just as much lack lustre in their souls as I have.  What a bunch we are!

  I don’t know why, I picked up Maris and brought her to my desk.  There was no particular reason to.  The most recent and the most neglected of the bunch.  I had made only one ill fitting dress and at best she sat by my computer and we looked at each other silently many a time.  Her face up is bad too.  I think that purity seal was not good.  I see rubs.  So I ordered some Mr Super Clear and will redo any faces that have suffered.  I think it is only Audrey and Maris that got redo’s with that brand of sealer.

Maris (Iplehosue Luna) is larger that my old Evie.  None of Evie’s remaining clothes fit her.  The antique style leather shoes I have do, better than they fit Evie at the time.  Silly clodhopper looking shoes though.  So I took off the appalling dress and put on a chemise and antique handmade lace trimmed underskirt.  I found Alina’s soft blue scarf and put that around Maris’ shoulders.  Soon I was pulling some wool out of the yarn box and starting a dress.You have to start somewhere, I thought to myself…just do something….anything!  Maris smiled, I swear she did!  I gave her a Rudyard Kipling antique small book to read.  My knitting I am sure will take ages.

So the knitting was started and we occasionally looked at each other and I was hearing a faint voice from her.  So deep breath and knit.  See what happens.

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.

Removed in More Ways Than One

Well, here we are, in Port Glasgow.  A new flat we have just settled in, and so much more room to breath in than our last place.  We live on a quiet street and there’s little traffic on it. 

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We are quite close to the shops, a huge Tesco (much like a Walmart in America) and the usual handful of local shops.  We remain on the River Clyde, only now we are much closer to the outlet to the sea.   So we are looking forward to what this will bring us.

One of the reasons for moving was to gain more flat space, so we searched for a two bedroom, where one could be converted into a dolly/sewing room.  Of course it soon was called a study, so that husband could perhaps set up a table and work on puzzles.  We’ve put our bookcases in there and there is a lovely fireplace to sit by and read or knit.  It has french glass doors and a large window to the back garden where we saw roses and flowers still in bloom when we  first saw it in September.

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My sewing table fits nicely under the window.

The room is not finished yet, there are swords to be hung up yet, and the pictures on the fireplace too.  And I was in the middle of ironing when I took the photo, so excuse the clothes on the rocker.  What is more important, is that this is the first time in well over a year that I have had my dolls out at all.  We had to buy some necessity furniture first, so the next piece in the plan is a storage unit against the longest wall opposite of the fireplace that will be just for dolls, their stuff and sewing/art supplies.  Hopefully they will not be sitting precariously on top of the bookcases too long.

The rush of emotions to see them out again was not easy to deal with.  You would think I was thrilled and full of bouncing joy, but no.  I was not.  I felt a horrible guilt and sadness.  I had done the most unthinkable thing I had never thought I would do, I had put them in boxes and stopped playing.  Piper Maris was the only doll that stayed out and she got one dress out of me and that was that.  She sat in a chair on my desk and we simply looked at each other periodically.  What happened to take this all away?

Illness and depression.  Lack of space.  A new country to get use to.  Separation from loved ones.  This and that, and the other.  I delved deeply into Second Life, because it was so easy to get lost in creating there.  I didn’t have to find fabric or go out and take photo’s and make stories…it was so much easier to create a virtual doll and dress her and make dollhouses for her at the whim of the moment.  No hunting for supplies, no make-do’s with  doll items or clothing.  The appalling lack of dolls in the UK is a subject that can get me worked up into a rant.  But of all the things that came to be or what faded away still leaves me now with my beloved dolls sitting on a bookcase and what shall I do about it?