May, 2013

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Speaking of Macbeth…

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macbeth4aa“To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time…”

        ~ quote from act 5 of Shakespeare’s play Macbeth.

Apparently, you just can’t rush perfection. Especially if it’s a little rusty. Look for Sadie tomorrow! And tomorrow, and tomorrow…


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Back in the Saddle, Again


I knew there was a sweet face under all that dirt.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATurns out, attempting to make clothes from scratch after a long stint spent brilliantly writing is harder than once thought.


I was right! Her hair inspired the term that would in turn inspire her outfit: “Bohemian Flapper.”
In the meantime, I tied some fabric onto her to keep her decent for her “Work In Progress” photos.


Sadie fabric pull. Which one to choose?


These are the fabrics we initially picked. They have since changed. See? SEE?! THIS is why you NEVER PUT ANYTHING AWAY!! Ahem. Sorry, Mom.

I am furiously toiling trying to get Sadie completed for her big day tomorrow. Wish me luck!


Quick sketch to catch the gist of what we decided her outfit will look like. We’ll see how close we stick to that.

Tick, Tick, BOOM!

That’s been the story of Iowa’s spring so far. And since I’m in the middle of creating an outfit for Sadie (you’ll be meeting her officially soon) and need to get to work and can’t get that song or it’s Iowa Spring connection out of my head, this is my blog post for today.

It’s based on a song by a Swedish rock band called “The Hives” that I know of because of my son, and this wonderful little ditty called “Tick Tick Boom.”

One always tries to stay involved with one’s son in every aspect of their life, including music, and thank goodness I don’t mind Adam’s.  What I love about this particular catchy song (and it is) is that there are precisely SEVEN ticks. Know how I know?

Tick 1











Believe it or not, there was no Henry Higgins/Eliza Doolittle “Rain in Spain” moment here, with “By George, I think she’s got it!” (My Fair Lady)

No, indeed. Turns out when you master your son’s music too much, it no longer becomes cool to them. Apparently, a little appreciation goes a long way. Lesson learned.

But that’ s not why this song and this season have been stuck in my head. It’s because of this:


And this:thunder








If you live in Iowa, you’ll know what I mean. It’s all fun and games until you can’t find the tweezers and your dog is hiding under your bed.

And on that cryptic note, back to sewing!

Link to song:

Memorial Day


This marker is one of the few remaining remnants at the cemetery of Old Rolfe.
Photos credit to Rolfe, Iowa website,


It was built by Father Doberstein, creator of the “Grotto of the Redemption” in West Bend, Iowa.

Memorial Day is a day to remember all those who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. And we do. We surely do.

Rolfe’s current cemetery, Clinton-Garfield, is ablaze with flags and flowers. It’s a wonderful sight to see.

A heartfelt Thank You to those who gave all.

Meet Sweet Sophie Repreeze!

I first posted Sophie’s tale a few weeks ago, but since it’s her turn to find a new home via ebay I thought I’d post it again for those who might come here to read more of her story. You can see her listing here:


Outfit by Ruth the Runner.

Meet Sweet Sophie “The Faithful.” She was all set to leave me, and as with all of my dolls she was very excited to go to the place where she was needed most. Then, the night before she was supposed to go, we had a BAT ATTACK.

There I was, sleeping PEACEFULLY in my bed – or almost, when Ziiiipp!!! A dark shadow flittered past, breaking the constant stream of light between my eyelids and my Sponge Bob nightlight – er, the MOON. I knew instantly What It Was. And my heart started.

“Boom-BOOM Boom-BOOM Boom-BOOM Boom-BOOM!”…only, FASTER.

And I screamed. It sounded kind of funny though, because after a split second I was screaming through closed lips. The curse of a vivid imagination: Bats like caves. What if my mouth resembled a dark, cozy cave admidst my howling?

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Le Weekend

HAPPY Friday TO Friday1

That is all!

Aloha Oe

Hono 2

Looks just like Iowa.

When living on an island, which the Hollyhock Hideaway sometimes tends to be, we become more and more of a family. Looking at Sally today I was reminded of something that happened when I lived on another little island long ago: Oahu.

There, especially in the small town in which I lived, we all became like family, and when part of our family decided it was time to move back to “the mainland” as we called it, there was always a big to-do.

On the leaving family’s last Sunday in church they would stand at the front of the chapel and the whole congregation would rise and sing, “Aloha Oe,” complete with plenty of tears. Sometimes the leaving family was so beloved it was a wonder there was anyone left to sing at all.

Lei 3

We had a plumeria tree in our front yard. Came in handy.

And all the time we were singing this distinctive song in half Hawaiian, half English, church members would walk up to the leaving family one by one with flower leis they made by hand and put them over the family members necks with kisses and good wishes. By the time we were done, more often than not the people with the leis couldn’t see for all the flowers piled ‘round their necks!

G & G Price visit Hawaii, 1966

These are my grandparents, leaving in 1966. They were only there for a visit, which is why you can still see their eyes.

Well, this one time the goodbye was especially poignant. The leaving family was especially beloved and the stay behind people were even more reluctant than usual to leave the church building. So imagine the leaving family’s chagrin when there was an unexpected delay in their departure. The next Sunday, there they were.


Which brings me to dear Sally Silver. I’ve looked and looked at her this morning, and I’ve decided: why wait?

SSaloha1clThe moral of the story is: Once You Decide To Go You Should Get To Go Without Further Delay. Wish her luck!

Aloha ‘oe, aloha ‘oe

E ke onaona noho I ka lipo

One fond embrace

A ho ‘I a‘e au

Until we meet again

Lost Doll Sally Silver

I’ve been blessed. I’ve been blessed! So far.


That’s Sophie on the left, Sally on the right.

And as a leap of faith, I’ve told Sweet Sophie that she no longer needs to watch over me, that it’s time for her find a new home. As a refresher, Sophie happened to arrive just as my bat extravaganza was going full force. Due to her kind nature she decided that I was the one who needed her most so she vowed to stay with me until I was one season Free of Bats.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut I am tired of being afraid! Therefore I’ve been urging Sophie to go. She is still reluctant. Remember her friend? The one who was hiding with her under the blanket? She stayed by Sophie and my’s side this whole time as well. Now she is leading the way for Sophie: she is going to leave the bat’s lair – er, the Hideaway – first.


This vintage red fabric is one of my favorites. Even though she is an inexpensive doll, I decided Sally was definitely FavFab-worthy.

Meet Sally Silver. While she is much smaller than Sophie and not quite as showy, she is every bit as sweet. If Poor Edith from Downton Abbey had been a poor American child of the depression era, an American middle child, never quite out of the shadow of her older and younger siblings, Sally Silver would have been her doll.

You can see that Sally was never an expensive doll. Her tin eyes don’t have eyelashes, and she’s been crudely carved at her limb and body seams and her teeth are only painted on. But like many of her simple sisters, her composition has held up better than some of the best!


She picked the plaid for her coat and hat.

The back of her mohair wig has been worn away, probably from the countless nights she spent laying beside her little human at night, sharing secrets and whispering into the dark, her sweet dimples never leaving her face even as she soothed fears and broken hearts.

But little girls don’t stay little girls forever. The human little girls, at least! Little composition dolls do. It’s the way of the world. Somehow over the years Sally was forgotten; she was Lost. It speaks volumes for her that on the brink of finding a new home, of being loved by a little girl again, she opted to stay by Sophie and therefore my side. She’s become comfortable here. It speaks volumes more that she’s now ready to take that first big step back into the world.


That’s a lot of time right there. Sally was worth every second of it.

So here she comes! Sally Silver is emerging from the shadows! Her clothing, complete with a satin-lined coat and hat (to protect her remaining mohair curls) and red dress with matching leather shoes were made for her by me and have been carefully preserved. She is donning them again!

Sally will make her debut on ebay this Sunday under the seller’s name of hazeltwigg. Find a good home, Sally! I will miss you more than you know. – RuthOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If there are no bats between now and then, Sophie will follow Sally the following Thursday. PRAY FOR NO BATS!


Vamping. Whilst Behind the Scenes…

behind_the_scenes sheep

So many fiddly things to do…

Believe it or not, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes of Hazel Twigg & the Hollyhock Hideaway. Nina is outdoing herself on the artwork this time around. Her colors are even more vibrant and she’s bringing some of the odd scenes that came out of my head to life in a way that enhances the story.


Everybody needs a little work here and there.


Hey! Turns out they WEREN’T alone the whole time! And neither are we! There are a lot of hands working towards completion of this project.


And speaking of “bringing to life,” I’m bringing the dolls that are featured in the stories, the mainstays of the book, to life. The main doll, Elizabeth, well. It turns out she’s in pretty rough shape. Too bad! I love her and she IS Elizabeth! She’s undergoing a COMPLETE overhaul, not to mention I’m constructing her outfit from head to toe. Dot needs her new clothes as well.

Betty’s the only one who doesn’t need a thing (which fits right in with her no fuss personality), but they all must be ready to go for their debut!


I shall throw myself to the Lions of Rolfe…

I have big dreams. That these dolls that I toil and sand  and sew over will one day be as beloved as Winnie the Pooh and Raggedy Ann. They had to start somewhere! As do I!

So alert the media! Mark the day! I shall be appearing in The Rolfe Public Library for the morning 10:00 coffee hour Wednesday, June 5th. And I’ll bring these cherished dolls with me and will read an excerpt from the book to introduce everything. In my mind, it would be like J.K. Rowling reading from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone! Shakespeare reading from A Midsummer Night’s Dream! Paul Sheldon reading from Misery! Wait. No, that’s not right….


Reigning Cats and Dog


Yep. This is exactly how I sleep.

You know what makes it hard to get to sleep? Fear of bats. I have this theory that if I don’t see one in my house by 10:30 at night, I won’t see one. Therefore, 10:43! I’m good to go!

You know what makes it hard to stay asleep? Two stray cats and a keen eared dog!catscontemplate

Teddy to the rescue!

CairnHark1I’m secretly only 29 years old. This explains a lot.

Bless his heart, his intentions are good. I can’t get mad at that face.

But oh, what it does to mine…


Note the fairies seemed to have fled…