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If my brothers and others want to know what takes me so long to make these little outfits, it’s this: Not only do we occasionally pick out the wrong colors and fabrics, sometimes it takes several efforts to get the style that one envisions.
Take Sunny Joy’s hat. I spent all day on her hat. Why? I couldn’t get the brim the way I wanted! I wanted it to be wide, but swoopy, and it had to conform to the crown!
I made attempt after attempt, and it’s no good just holding the freshly cut pieces on, you have to stitch them, clip them, turn them, press them and attach them. And then look! And then when it still isn’t right, *unpick!
“You could just use basting stitches,” I can hear you sniff.
Hmpf! No! That would be like walking a tightrope with a net and I’m a sewer thrill-seeker!
But I finally got it right. Then Sunny Joy picked out a costume jewelry ring for her hat decoration. I protested that it was too big, that it was almost as big as her face, but she insisted! And who could resist a girl like her? Who could say no to that face, I ask you? I broke off the ring part and stitched it on.
Now it’s time to finish her outfit. I have learned my lesson. It cannot be pink shoes, pink buttons, pink everything else. I learned from the green fiasco of the outfit before. The day before yesterday as I was coming home from the grocery store carrying two gallons of water like the milkmaids of old, it came to me. I knew exactly what color to use as a contrast.
And tomorrow, heaven willing and if things turn out as I plan The First Time around, Sunny Joy will be ready for the Portal.
Carol Jane (The First!) was adopted by Anne S. in Tennessee! Wonder if she’ll get an accent? Anne sounds very friendly and I’m certain that C.J. will be very happy. We said our goodbyes yesterday morning. Safe flight, Carol Jane!
*In looking for a photo of un-pickers for my gallery picture, I found the one I used from a blog in England called “sewcurvy” (she makes corsets). With it she had the following quote, which I though was brilliant:
“A good seamstress is best friends with her seam ripper. Not because she can’t sew, but because she’s probably a perfectionist.”
Hah! You wouldn’t think it to look at me, but I’m a perfectionist! Who knew?!
One of my favorite songs is “Swinging On A Star,” from an old Bing Crosby movie called Going My Way. I would sing it constantly if I knew all the lyrics! Unfortunately (or, fortunately for my animals, who are the only ones who would suffer) I only know the chorus and part of one verse and therefore rarely sing it.
The verse I know is the one about the mule, who it turns out is stubborn. I can relate.
I happen to be stubborn too. Here is a clear example:
As you may recall, after my recent surgery my mother came to visit and help me. My lovely sister-in-law Suzanne came too, but she only stayed for a week and the honeymoon never ended. My long-suffering, stalwart and determined mother stayed a month! And during that time, she tried to get me organized, which is somewhat the opposite of what I am!
“Hm…What color do you think she would like?” I mused aloud. “I know, green!”
“Well, dear,” my mother responded, “You know, a lot of people don’t like green…”
Sew! Green it was. Green, green, green. Her dress, her coat, her hat, her onesie. GREEN. And I had a good supply of nice – you guessed it – GREEN leather for her shoes!
Only…it just wasn’t working. You may remember her from the picture of the group of four. She is the girl in the background. The girl I did not mention. Because I could tell she wasn’t happy with her outfit, and neither was I.
It was an outfit based on stubborness. I was The Mule.
I completely made a new outfit for Sunny Joy and we’re both much happier. In the meantime, “Mother! YOOHOO!! I was wrong!!!” You might want to cut and paste this for future reference.
What color did Sunny Joy and I pick? You’ll see!
In the meantime, a SONG:
SWINGIN’ ON A STAR
A mule is an animal with long funny ears
He kicks up at anything he hears
His back is brawny but his brain is weak
He’s just plain stupid with a stubborn streak
And by the way, if you hate to go to school
You may grow up to be a mule
Or would you like to swing on a star
Carry moonbeams home in a jar
And be better off than you are
Or would you rather be a pig
A pig is an animal with dirt on his face
His shoes are a terrible disgrace
He has no manners when he eats his food
He’s fat and lazy and extremely rude
But if you don’t care a feather or a fig
You may grow up to be a pig
Or would you like to swing on a star
Carry moonbeams home in a jar
And be better off than you are
Or would you rather be a fish
A fish won’t do anything, but swim in a brook
He can’t write his name or read a book
To fool the people is his only thought
And though he’s slippery, he still gets caught
But then if that sort of life is what you wish
You may grow up to be a fish
A new kind of jumped-up slippery fish
And all the monkeys aren’t in the zoo
Every day you meet quite a few
So you see it’s all up to you
You can be better than you are
You could be swingin’ on a star
It was such an odd thing that I had to try it. My sister Julie (aka, The Mayor) and I will on occasion have a party with all our friends. A smelling party. A Scentsy party, to be specific.
So there we sit, just we two, sniffing over cans of diet Coke. For those of you who don’t know, Scentsys are these little wax bars that melt in lovely wax melters of different shapes and sizes, giving off a glorious scent.
Sometimes we sit cross-legged on the porch, but more often than not, we’ll go a more civilized route and sit cross-legged on Julie’s living room floor, pads of paper and pencils at the ready, sniffing little tubs organized in a ever so neat and dainty manner by our Scentsy dealer, good friend Jennifer herself (who would be at our party were she not already familiar with the season’s latest smells) and we sniff. And sniff. And sniff some more.
We scrawl down our choices and whittle them down to six. It is our *one true weakness. Besides the diet Coke.
When I saw the little tub with the hint of green, I looked in disbelief at the name on the lid. “Tomato Vine?” I shrieked out loud. Yep, that’s what it said! I unscrewed the lid and did what I’d been doing all afternoon…I sniffed. And was transported. Transported to a garden in the heat of summer, even as the cold winds of winter blew and blustered outside. This little tub of green smelled uncannily, exactly like a tomato vine!
Reader, I became a thrill-seeker. I put it down on my list. Even as I whittled my list to six (the number to get a discount), “Tomato Vine” remained. It was several days after receiving my order that I dared burn it, fearing it would smell like burnt tomato vines, or rotten stewed tomatoes, but no. It smells exactly like what it is.
And while I long for winter’s return, because that’s how I am and how I’ve always been ever since I discovered there was such a lovely beast as snow, I love the smell of Summer. And to me, “Tomato Vine” is every good thing about summer.
So if you were to come to my house, do not be fooled if I answer the door with a smudge of dirt across my forehead and clumsy gardening gloves suspiciously on my hands and the smell of freshly grown tomatoes seeping forth from my abode. First off, what would I be doing gardening inside? Second off, I do not have a green thumb! That would be Julie’s (aka The Mayor’s) domain.
But she did not dare to try “Tomato Vine” Scentsy.
That would be me!
P.S. Our Carol Jane is doing fine and may be heading to foreign lands! Emily Grace will also soon be making entry into the Portal as well. I may go out of order next. Sunny Joy, Once-Loved Doll No. 6 is begging me, and she is the smallest of this first batch and therefore hard to resist!
*One true weakness is a reference to “Larkrise to Candleford,” a BBC series that is another of Julie and my’s weaknesses. Guess we have several of them!
That’s right, I have not one, but TWO dolls up for adoption…at the SAME TIME!!
My minions and I had washed and curled her hair with rag rollers, but it still wasn’t right. After this photo was taken I added more human hair and when I ran out of that, I added wefts of mohair. Thanks to my lovely mother, all my wigs and hair pieces are sorted by size and color! I now know where every single thing is! And in cases like Grace’s (poet!), it helped infinity!
This is why I take so long! I stew and obsess and I always want to do more, more, more. But here she finally is!
You can see her at her current adoption site HERE. Wish her luck that she finds the right home!
If you want to see more about Emily Grace, go to the O.L.D. Registry up to the right. Or! You can simply click HERE, because bless your heart, you’ve got enough on your plate!
Thanks so much! You’re my favorite!
P.S. Is it just me, or does Emily Grace remind you a little of the character Rhoda Morgenstern?
Another thing that came from the meeting of the Hazel Twigg Partnership last Friday, is that if I don’t have anything to post, ’tis better not to post anything at all! Thinking about it, my partners are absolutely correct.
So I will not be posting every single weekday. I will not beckon you here for no reason at all, only when I have something specific to say. Like today! About tonight! At midnight! New chapter and one of the last: Chapter 35 The Scheme of Marlene.
Thank you! You’re my favorite!
Carol Jane did not find a new home her first time around, and I take full blame. I’d decided to go all rogue and pick my own starting price, foolishly forgetting that it takes time to build up a reputation. It had taken time as Magic_Elizabeth! Sometimes my dolls went for a song. Towards the end I had several faithful followers and I was lucky enough to have my dolls sometimes go for $200 to $300 and even up to $500! However, It Takes TIME.
So, here she is using a very different strategy! CAROL JANE.
As my dear brother said in his excellent post on Saturday entitled Timestoppers Among Us: “you might be able to adopt O.L.D. No. 1 for $10. Don’t say I didn’t tell you.”
We hope to build and build and build, which ironically means that the FIRST dolls will go for the least! What a fun conundrum! TAKE THAT LEAP.
If not with Carol Jane, than with Emily Grace (coming soon) or the other dolls close behind her. During the summer I will always have at least one doll available for adoption at all times, and they will all start at $9.99. Some may go for a little, some may go for a lot, some may take several tries to go at all. You never know!
But each and every doll that comes to my door Shall Be Refurbished and put up for adoption until she finds the right home!
That is the commitment I made to the Hazel Twigg Partnership at our meeting last Friday and I am Holder Ruth and I do keep my word. I will post each new adoptee here.
Who knows? One of them may even be meant for you!
Hope you all had a wonderful Easter! Happy Monday! You’re my favorite.
Chapter 34 Promises contains an incident that I myself would actually never, ever put myself in. So it was surreal writing it! I concentrated more of the magic of the night, and as I worked, I heard this in my head:
And that most certainly helped. But I would still never actually do it.
Happy Friday Eve day! And Good Friday Eve day!
Yesterday, while putting the finishing touches on Emily Grace – O.L.D. number 2 – I had a Pinky moment. I accidentally wiped off her eyebrow! Just as Hazel did in Chapter 29 Pinky’s Repair!
The eyebrows are the most important thing in dolls and humans alike to give expression. I should have taken photos of the wiped off brow, but no! I wouldn’t be happy until I knew for certain that Emily Grace would be her old self. After all, eyebrows are tricky. Here are some examples of when bad eyebrows happen to good faces:
Angry brows! I did not want that to happen to Emily Grace! Her before is on the left. Her eyebrows are worn and light. I wanted to fix her left eyebrow most of all, because half of it is missing. Wouldn’t you know, it’s her right eyebrow (left in the photo) I removed!
I don’t want perfection. I don’t want a doll to look touched at all. I still want the worn! I made attempt after attempt to get them right – and had some “angry brows” at one point, which made me chuckle. But! I did not quit! I WILL not! It’s still dark out so my photo isn’t great, but you get the idea. I’ve also straightened her teeth and touched up her lips a tiny bit. I think her nose needs a little more shine. Will do! And when the sun comes up, adoption photos will be taken!
In the meantime, as we get finished art, my brother Dennis is inserting them into chapters. Yesterday he went all the way back and did Chapter 21 A Place for Everything with good ol’ Smith & Jones!
Yesterday morning I awoke to screams. Not from me, thankfully! In fact, not from any human at all. They were coming from my boiler! My boiler in the basement! JUST LIKE THE TITANIC one hundred and one years ago today!
My brother-in-law Scott (aka “First Dude” as the mayor’s husband) came over to kindly take a package for me to the post office as we are having our last gasps of winter. I was going to be content to let the screaming and whistling go. But he poked his head into the basement, and it was a steamy swamp down there! We ventured down, and literal steam was rising up from water gushing from my boiler that heats my radiators.
Well. There was no ignoring that.
I confess, I cried a tiny bit. It helps me to romanticize things. Not that there’s anything romantic about the Titanic. I guess to “re-imagine” things would be a better way of putting it. After the Titanic struck that iceberg, all was not quiet on deck due to the shouts of steam issuing forth. The crew had to yell into the captain’s ear in order to be heard. This was like that, on a smaller scale over a century later!
I thought my boiler was a goner. Thank goodness, it was not. It shall limp along for another little bit, thank goodness – and thanks to a handsome young heater repair man. And today the sun is shining once again.
As the Titanic sails off into the sunset…