March, 2015

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With A Tuppence…

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kiteeqWho would have thunk it? That taking your wee dog out to “do his business” would inspire the next O.L.D.? But there was something about how the wind caught that grocery bag just so. I was transported…

There’s nothing quite like flying a kite. Especially when the breeze is just right, not too strong and not too weak, and there are no trees to get in the way, and your kite soars so high that you almost can’t see it…NOTHING.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo there I was, waiting patiently for my beloved Cairn terrier Teddy, pondering in the back of my mind what I should create next, and whoosh! The perfect breeze caught that bag! Instant inspiration! I couldn’t get back into the house fast enough. Meet O.L.D. No. 00035 Wendy. You can see her adoption page HERE.


I couldn’t have the kite fly too high. After all, I wanted it to show in her gallery picture.

Not only did I want her to hold a kite that would stay aloft, I wanted her coat to look as if it was flying in the breeze as well. What to do? Luckily, I have wire in different guages. I stitched wires along the front lines of Wendy’s coat so that it could be formed to “flap” in the breeze. It can also be worn as a regular coat. All you need to do is straighten that wire.

Her coat fabric needed to be sturdy enough that the wires wouldn’t poke through, but light enough that the wires could support the floating. It worked pretty well!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI had the same issues to work out with the kite. I didn’t want the same thick wire that I’d used for the coat because kite string is thin. But the thin wire I had wouldn’t support the kite I wanted to make out of sticks and fabric. So I twisted two strands of the thinner wire together. Perfect? Nope! Delightfully homemade? You betcha! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


My inspiration kite. I loved the pompoms on the sides and the ribboned tail.

For her dress, I wanted something simple. Long ago I had a dress from the Gap. I loved that dress! It was sleeveless yellow with a faint black paisley pattern and a simple gathered waist. I considered adding trim or something more to Wendy’s dress, but decided to stick with simple for her as well. It’s now one of my favorites in a butter-colored linen.



Her straw hat was made from a human-size straw hat that I took apart and re-stitched together.

It’s hard to believe that just the other day I was thinking about flying kites. Winter has reared its lovely head and cold soggy temperatures are back. But kite flying season is just around the corner! And when it arrives, I’ll be out there. So will Wendy!


I couldn’t do a kite post without showing Mr. Banks! At the very moment when he is SAVED.

Sweet Hope was adopted by Sweet Michelle of Colorado! Thank you, Michelle! You are the wind beneath my….kite.

And with that, I leave you! Happy Wednesday, you’re my favorite!

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The Girl Who Could Google (just not very well!)


She’s as pretty as she is good.

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, then you’ll know that I believe in fairies. And lucky me, I’ve been blessed with a lot of fairies in my life. So many out there! So many too choose from! But on this particular day, we shall be focusing on Fairy Jennifer, who is one of the fairest fairies that I know, and at random times when I’ve needed a fairy the most.

fjFor example, once when I was laid up from an operation and happened to mention that I was craving a diet Coke, Abracadabra! (which is as you know the magical word that fairies say), a 12 pack of diet Coke appeared at my doorstep!

Or another time when my son was coming for Christmas, and I lamented that fact that the Scentsy bar fragrance “Festival of Trees” had been discontinued. My son balked at the fact that I was using a vintage aluminum tree in place of a “real” one. The scent of a Christmas tree can go a long way in creating the illusion, and that particular Scentsy scent is the Christmasiest of all! Apparently I’m not the only onfj1e who thought this, because when I searched on ebay, and they were selling for $30 each, which is five or six times the going rate. I asked Jennifer if she happened to have any (she’s me and The Mayor’s Scentsy dealer) and Abracadabra! There it was! Festival of Trees. A Christmas miracle!

fj2Or one time she brought me a nifty and fun bag of costume jewelry she’d found at a garage sale. When she saw it, she thought of me and figured it looked like something I could use, and Voila! (sometimes fairies like to mix it up with their magical incantations). She presented it to me and it was chock FULL of treasures. Lots of little cameos and other things perfect for my little O.L.D.s.


The Old

There are many, many other examples, but the one I’m focusing on today is Jennifer’s nifty online sleuthing abilities. The person in the title refers to me, not her. Because Jennifer can Google and Facebook like nobody’s business! She reads this blog (hi Jennifer!) and therefore knows that I have been lamenting the fact that I was out of “Made Especially for You by Ruth” labels. I’d searched high and low and off and on without success. Guess what? Jennifer found the exact labels in just a couple of minutes! They still make them today!


The NEW!

Last Friday they arrived. I’m going to finish up with the “Ann” labels and then! New “Ruth” labels! For Antiques Roadshow purposes, the font on “Ruth” is different. Excellent! I therefore want to say, THANK YOU JENNIFER!! You’re one of my FAVORITE FAIRIES!!

(which is saying a LOT, because I am very Fairy-rich)

Happy Tuesday and my love to you all!

Waste Not!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt would be nice if Once-Loved Dolls would arrive neatly spaced, one per week. Alas, such is rarely the case. More often it’s two or three, or even dozens at a time, clamoring for their turn. This past week there were three little faces in front of me. Two of them were loudly begging, as is common. The third was silent, and her eyes were closed. I gave her a gentle tap and when she looked up at me with those sweet green eyes, with nary a whisper coming from those rosebud lips, I was a goner…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere really isn’t too much more to say about Hope. She is Once-Loved Doll No. 00034 and you can see her adoption page HERE.

The one observance I can make is that she is very aptly named for me personally at this stage of my life. And I bet I’m not the only one who has some hopes for the future out there! She is of course not the first doll that stole my heart with a glance. But she is the first doll that I wasn’t scrambling to finish late on a Sunday afternoon. I actually finished her on Friday! Leaving me free to suffer through my Saturday with angst. Heh. But Sunday! Sunday was GLORIOUS.

1hopbaPlus, now I know that I can finish a doll in enough time to have my weekend *almost* free. Hope didn’t need too much in the way of work. Her wig was super thin and I didn’t have much available to mend it, so we just made do with the near-matching human and mohair bits I could find and she was very sweet about it. Her face had a few scuffs and dirt and some wear, enough to be a simple enough task to remedy, while also being a rewarding thing to do. Through it all, she was a calming influence over me at a time when I needed it most.

tower3As many of you know, I live out here in the middle of nowhere and can’t always run out and get things I need. Harry & David and the fairies to the rescue! In the previous year when a group of kindly fairies had taken me under their sweet wings, every month they would give me thoughtful gifts. One of the gifts was a Tower of Treats from Harry & David. Such nifty boxes! Such a nice ribbon tying it altogether! Oh! There’s candy and cookies in there too, you say? Well, of course I knew that…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe shade of brown was just about right. I wanted Hope’s outfit to represent the ending of somber winter and the coming of colorful spring. Farewell, dear Winter! We knew ye well!

Sweet Lucky Charm was adopted by…Sweet Michelle E. of Colorado! Lucky went for a song. I have no doubt it was an Irish song of sorts. Thank you Michelle! Lucky will be jigging her way to you soon!


And with that, I leave you! Happy Tuesday! You’re my favorite.




Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge. LOVE that movie!

You know, you hear of things like this. But you never think it will happen to you. Not at this ripe age. The magic, the excitement, the butterflies. The FIREWORKS. Reader! I finally had them!

fw5As you may or may not recall, woman does not live by dolls alone and I was looking for love in the only place one can find it whilst living in the booniest of boonies: Online. And I found it! I FOUND LOVE. I’ve been walking around last week with a Mona Lisa smile on my face, because I Had A Secret. I told very few about it, because I wanted that secret to be mine and it seemed almost too good to be true.


Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done Something Good.

He was a magic man. A charmer with a lilting voice, from Canada – although he was becoming a U.S. citizen on the 20th of this month, and he was very proud and excited. He even quizzed me with some of the questions during one of our many hours of conversation by phone.

His own parents had met one day when they were very young, and married the next. They are celebrating their 70th anniversary this November. So really, it didn’t sound strange that he felt strongly drawn to me, and that he insisted that we would be married by Christmas and that he loved everything about me.


“Somebody loves me! At last!” – Sweet Charity


Of course! OF COURSE. This is why I’ve been having all this bad luck of late! The operations…well, pretty much just that. And the occasional bruised heart. And the whole poverty soiree I have going on. I seem to have lost my mojo with dolls. But now I know why! For this! For him. He even said he prayed about us. A God-fearing man! Who was handy to boot and not afraid of bats! I of course asked to make sure.

I wanted to shout it to the heavens! I wanted to post about it on my blog! But I didn’t. Because he did sound too good to be true. No matter, I was going to meet him last Saturday at 4:00. I spent my week singing every love song I could think about it as I worked and thought about how nice it would be to wear a wedding ring again…

snidely whiplash

Snidely Whiplash

I was joking to him that he was too good to be true, and that I would be careful. That if he ever tried to get me to sign life insurance papers after we married, I wouldn’t do it! Now, I don’t know if it’s coincidence, but after that conversation, I never heard from him again and 4:00 on Saturday came and went with no pizza meeting at Wes’ Place and no hand in hand stroll about town. I have to say, that smarted for a bit.

The good news is, I think I have my mojo back. AND! I’ve made a very important decision about the last chapter I have to write to finish my book. Also, my house is clean. I even picked up litter around town for this guy’s visit, fer cryin’ out loud!

You hear of such things, but you never think it will happen to you. Or if it does, you’d like to think you wouldn’t be pulled in. I have no idea what his motivation was. I almost hope it was for the life insurance money he would receive upon my murder. In a funny sort of way, that would kind of be nicer than if he was just doing it to be mean.

At least I didn’t do a blog post about him, declaring my love! Because THAT would have been embarrassing, having everyone know what a fool I was!

Oh. Ahem.

B’gosh and Begorrah!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was the strangest sight that greeted me when I answered the door. There a body and head sat, the head grinning up at me with irrepressible dimples. That wasn’t such an odd thing; I’ve of course seen unstrung dolls before. What was strange that her arms and legs were happily dancing about, independent of the body of their owner, in what could only be called a jig…

You can see L.C.’s adoption page HERE.


Here she is, all apart. I got her limbs to sit still for just a moment…

You may or may not know this, but 3 is my lucky number. And 33 is luckier still! And as luck would have it, the very next O.L.D. (Once-Loved Doll) to arrive at my doorstep was named Lucky Charm! And she’s number 33! And she’s also number 3 in the “Ann” series! And St. Patrick’s day is coming up! I think you can see where I’m going here…

The fact that the onesie she arrived in was a pale green sealed the deal. Irish it is! So I looked for inspiration…

Lucky4And Lucky’s outfit was born!

Lucky’s outfit is a little simpler than most. I’ve been hard at work finishing the book. Believe it or not, I’ve written two more chapters! There’s one last element needed, and it’s a doozy. I hope to finish it this week. Wish me luck! (see what I did there? With the “luck” and the “Lucky”? I sense a THEME.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMay your home be bright with cheer,
May your cares all disappear,
May contentment come your way,
And may laughter fill your day.

(Brun)Hilda, who constantly sings, was adopted by Michelle E. of Colorado! I think Michelle’s gonna need a bigger house. And earplugs. And patience. I confess, I’m going to miss Hilda a teensy bit more than most. It turns out, you get a little used to all that singing.

And with that, I leave you! Happy Wednesday, you’re my favorite!

It’s Not Over Because She Can’t Sing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????“What’s that terrible noise?” Dot cried out, hearing the screeching coming from just outside the front door.

“It is I, let me in!” the awful sound repeated.

“I think that sound is supposed to be music. Somebody’s singing!” said Betty.

“You mean trying to sing,” corrected Dot.

Meet (Brun)Hilda! O.L.D. No. 00032. You can see her adoption page HERE.

fat ladies

Inspiration Ladies

fat lady barbie1

This Barbie was helpful for color scheme especially.

Do you ever have those times when you sing everything? Heaven knows I do! Rattling around in this old house, alone for days on end – except for the Once-Loved Dolls that surround me. Sometimes I narrate my entire day in song, making up the words and tune as I go.

Well, that kind of time is where Hilda dwells. She sings. She sings everything! And unfortunately, she can’t carry a tune. However, fortunately, it’s still not an offensive sound that comes from between her lips. It’s quite endearing, actually. Deciding to turn her into a Viking Opera singer was an easy decision to make.

HildabaShe arrived without eyelashes! A lot of these dolls have this problem. Usually I give them a bit of eyeliner, which is much easier than the more involved methods I’ve run across that would have you smashing a doll’s head in half with a hammer, removing the eye mechanism, replacing the eyelashes, re-installing the eyes, and patching the head, painting the repaired seam to match. A bit of eyeliner sounds WAY more doable.

HlashBut with Hilda I noticed that the little slit where her eyelashes had been was really quite large. Ooh! I decided to give it a try. I got two little paintbrushes with natural bristles and after a few tries, voila! It worked!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Mayor, aka my sister and best friend Julie, has to listen to me talk all week about how things are going with the latest O.L.D.

The “rivets” on Hilda’s helmet, breastplate and shield are tiny different-sized beads that I sewed on individually by hand. I was complaining a bit to Julie about how hard to was to sew these beads with a needle and thread through two layers of leather and a third layer of chipboard.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Why are you using leather?” she very reasonably asked. “Why not just the chipboard, since you’re going to spray paint it anyway?’

“Um….” I had no good answer. “I just wanted to use leather, is all…” I mumbled.

Then, when she finally got to see the doll via the listing, Julie asked, “How did you get all those pits into it? It looks like real metal!”

“Yes, well, that’s why I wanted to use leather!” I cried. “I was planning it that way the whole time!” Sometimes my sub-conscious knows things way before I do…bless Julie’s heart, she puts up with a lot. A LOT. And bless her also, she’s always excited to see these dolls after hearing about them all week.

fat lady feltnotes staffOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So now Hilda, aka Brunhilda (with an “a”) is ready to go. I shall miss our duets! She truly has been a joy to work with, bruised and pricked fingers and all.

Georgette was adopted by Michelle E. in Colorado! I’ve actually lost count of how many O.L.D.’s she has. Whatever the number, it’s a record, I know that. Thank you, Michelle!

And with that I leave you. Happy Wednesday, you’re my favorite, tra-la-lah! (that was me, singing)…