April, 2015

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Any Old Rum In A Storm

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I learned the next O.L.D.’s name was Jill, I of course immediately went to the nursery rhyme, “Jack and Jill.” I was watching TV that evening, and as usual while watching my mind was wandering, figuring out how to make a pail and going through different popsicle stick configurations and trying to remember where I had last seen that copper sheeting I had on hand. Jill was by my side, playing with the other dolls, practicing somersaults and cartwheels in the house to replicate her tumble down the hill. This was no distraction to me. If I don’t want to see or hear the dolls, all I have to do is simply take off my pendant. Such is the blessing of being an adult.


One of the trickier things to do is to get the proportions right, especially with such a diminutive and un-lanky doll. I worked very hard to get our Jill’s proportions right.

You can see Jill’s adoption page HERE.

One of the best things about having dolls surround you is that they’re too small to do much in the way of damage, so I wasn’t worried about that. I would occasionally put my pendant on during commercials to cheer them on and make sure they were okay.


See? Lanky!

Well! The show I was watching was “Dancing With the Stars.” This was last week, mind you. It was Disney night. And I was inspired! My mind changed right there when I saw glorious Ryker Lynch’s pirate dancing his dance! JILL SPARROW. I quickly put on my pendant and called our little Jill over and showed her the pirate Jack and she was instantly on board (see what I did there? On BOARD?! Comedy GOLD!). Having been dormant for the past who knows how many decades, she didn’t know who Jack Sparrow was and had never even heard of Pirates of the Caribbean, but she was instantly smitten. “A girl pirate!” she cheered.


My son, Adam.

I asked her, “pants or skirt?”

“Pants!” she instantly replied. “That way I can still do somersaults and not worry!”


I of course should have thought of aaallll the accessories that would need to be made. Still! Fun to do!

Pants it is, my darling. Pants it is…

“Jill Sparrow!” The Mayor cried when she heard. “I thought you were going to do a simpler costume this week so you could finish the book!” she squeaked.

“Actually, it IS simpler. The fabrics are already defined (I swear, a good chunk of my time is spent pulling different fabrics and hemming and hawing over which one would be best), and I’ve already done it once before for my own fine son. Plus, I have to go by what inspires me, so…”

She agreed, because she is wise.


Jill’s back looked as if it had received 40 lashes. I had a heck of a time with it. If it were sanded too smooth, the rest of her skin would have flaked off as well, and then where would it stop? I filled it in as best I could and painted and sealed it. She is content.


See that crystal thing hanging lowest? That was from a perfectly good set of earrings! But it resembled the one Johnny Depp wore in the movie, so off it went! And on it goes…

Jill is a crudely made doll. Her body and even the back of her head were never painted with a skin tone, even! And her hands are crudely formed as well. Time had taken it’s toll on Jill. But if you do prick her, do you not find a doll that needs love as much as any name brand? Yes you do! Her being roughly made rather suits her being a pirate, and a jolly one indeed. She has the walk down pat and wanders around the house calling out, “Why is there never any rum?” which I don’t think is the exact quote, but I can’t convince her otherwise. Bless you, Jill. I hope you find safe harbor soon.

Mermaid Julie was adopted by…Michelle! How does she do it? Thank you, Michelle! And thanks to all.

With that, I leave you! Happy Thursday, you’re my favorite.

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Ask Any Mermaid


Julie loves blues and green together.

I KNEW that if a little doll ever came along with the name of Julie, I would fashion her after my little sister and best friend of the same name. She is the mayor of this tiny town, and I was going to create a costume for her in full, Monopoly Mayor-like regalia. But then I thought about it: who wants a doll with a string on mustache? Well, me of course. But even more than that, I thought highlighting one of Julie’s other loves would be a LOT more fun…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo without further ado, meet O.L.D. No. 00038 Julie, Queen of the MERMAIDS! You can tell by her crown. Also, she’s kinda bossy. Ahem.

Sweet Julie’s adoption page is HERE.


Hey! Julie kind of looks like Rumer Willis (Bruce Willis’ and Demi Moore’s daughter) here! GORGEOUS. This was taken at the blessing of my son, Adam. That’s sticky tape residue from the photo album on my shoulder. Not spit up, in case you were wondering. Not how Julie’s wearing a white floral and I’m wearing a black.

What’s so amazing about my sister Julie and I is how alike and yet how different we are. For example, we both like vintage and antique things. Thank goodness, the things we’re each drawn to are different. Otherwise, bloody battles might ensue; for we are a competitive people.

Mermaid5Would I ever have known that such kitschy things as these wall mermaids from the 50s even existed, were it not for her? Probably not! Yet, her bathroom wall was COVERED with these gems of delight!

Julie has a gift for taking the oddest things that I would never think of and making them beautiful simply by putting them in just the right spot! Like funky metal wall sculptures from the 70s! Or sea shell macrame plant hangers! I’ll grimace and say, “Oh that’s, um, nice.” But then BOOM! She puts them up and it’s magic.


Because of my Julie’s love of white and light colors, for O.L.D. Julie’s “street” clothes, I picked white as the base. Yes, I was nervous working with it! Me and white don’t get along! I’m a spiller.

I make fun of her because she likes light colors. She’ll tell me she’s going to paint something and I’ll ask her what color. Sometimes she’ll answer with an actual color, like “dark brown.” When I see said object, fully expecting to see it painted dark brown as foretold, instead I’ll see the palest shade of milk chocolate.


Look at our Julie’s hair! O.L.D. Julie arrived bald, and I had this odd wig for years that I tried on more dolls than the prince tried the glass slipper on feet. It never suited anyone…until she came along. Kismet.

But more often than not when I ask her what color she’s going to paint something, the inevitable answer will be white, which I’ve taken to calling (on Julie’s behalf) “dark clear.”

Even with all these choices that seem faint and odd to me, her home could be in a magazine. It’s BEAUTIFUL and funky and comfortable and the best thing you can say about any home: welcoming.

Little O.L.D. Julie’s timing couldn’t have been more perfect, because my sister Julie was out of town that week on business and I was missing her. We usually talk five or six times a day about heaven knows what. She’s my brain trust. She’s my conscience. She’s my advisor. Best of all, she accepts me as I am and doesn’t judge and she keeps me sane(ish).

juliejulie3So here is O.L.D. Julie number 38 making her debut into the world. A tribute to my own Julie, who I’m so Mermaid7glad I didn’t drown in the ocean when we were small. Hey! Maybe that’s why she likes Mermaids! Yer welcome, Julie. Also, I love you.

It looks like rain is making its way to Colorado, because April Showers was adopted by…Michelle! Fiercest battle yet. Thank you, Michelle! And thank you all! You bring me sunshine.

And with that, I leave you! Happy Titanic day! Let us not think about pesky taxes! You are, of course, my favorite.



With A Happy Refrain…

A_Dark_and_Stormy_NightIt was a dark and stormy night….

I’ve always wanted to start a post that way, and now I can! For it was a dark and stormy night when O.L.D. (Once-Loved Doll) No. 00037 April appeared at my door, looking for shelter from the pouring rain. Usually O.L.D.s arrive during the day. You can see April’s adoption page HERE.


There were actually TWO wall sconces and I bought them both. Lots of useful pieces on that thing…

You may or may not recall that composition cannot remain wet for any length of time. We of course brought April in and got her warm and dry as quickly as possible. And when I found out her name – her full name is April Showers – and it happened to be the month of April, and it was pouring rain out (as it is all week here in the wilds of Iowa), I knew that an umbrella would be just the thing.

I confidently searched the internet for ideas on how to make a doll-sized umbrella. It seemed it would be a common thing, after all, dolls want to stay dry too. And it is! For dollhouse-sized dolls, at least. But there was nothing in an appropriate size for a 14″ composition girl! What to do?

A road trip seemed to be in order.


I know! I’ve never seen anything like it either!


The Mayor, the First Dude and I all hopped into a car and went to Dodge. Fort Dodge, that is. And we scoured the thrift store for likely things that might work. We found a jello mold (which I’ve used in the past for other things with success) some wall sconces, and some sort of froofy something-or-other serving dish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen we went to our favorite dollar store The Dollar Tree (because everything in there is absolutely $1). And we found….a contraption! A head massager, as it were! I’ve never seen anything like it, but….voila!


Besides the hanger, I cut a wooden dowel in half and painted it and drilled a hole into one end and used part of the taken-apart wall sconce for the rest of the umbrella.

I used a hanger for the “stem” and truth be told, I have a few tweaks left to make on it, but we have our umbrella.

I used parts of one of the wall sconces (which is why only one made it into the picture) for the base of the umbrella.


Just a little bending out of the “fingers” was all that was required. There was already a handy-dandy hole in the center, perfect for one of my WIRE HANGERS!! (when I use the phrase “wire hangers”, I HAVE to channel Joan Crawford)







I let April pick out her fabrics entirely and she made some wild choices, but I have to hand it to her, somehow it works! Which is why she is happily singin’ in the rain…

At the thrift store where I found the other fixin’s, I also found some red vinyl material with which I made April’s galoshes. She also has a clear vinyl raincoat to go over her plaid coat. Ooh! And I bought that plaid fabric at the same thrift store in a previous trip! Into each life, a little treasure must fall and sometimes you just have to get into Dodge.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhoa! Introducing the Hazel Twigg Strictly Regency-Era Dolls With Some Kind of Animal Costume Line, because Beatrix did really well! Michelle won her in a hard fought battle. Thank you, Michelle! I also want to sincerely thank ALL who bid. The war for magic continues! I’ve got plenty of tricks up my sleeve…

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


Beatrix vs. The Easter Bunny

Sometimes you just want to try new things. Like an Easter bunny outfit! The timing seemed pert near perfect. But Beatrix had other ideas. She wanted to be dressed in a Regency-era style. We did BOTH.


Bunny Outfit


Regency Era










Meet Beatrix! She is O.L.D. No. 00035 and you can see her adoption page HERE. Just in time for Easter!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy sister Julie, aka The Mayor always makes fun of me when I make more than one outfit for a doll. “Do you really think people sit around changing their doll’s clothes?” she will frequently ask in her squeaky little voice.

And actually, I have no idea. I know of one woman who once made pancakes for her little dolls! I know I constantly talk to mine! They answer back. Hopefully that doesn’t make me insane…

For me, it’s fun to have the option. I’m sure they get tired of wearing the same thing, day in, day out. And in summer a bunny costume – fully lined, mind you! – would get hot!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe bunny costume was a little tricky, as I wanted the “paws” to be part the sleeves rather than having separate mittens. I’m not made of faux fur (which means I don’t have copious amounts to waste)! So I wanted to get it right the first time. Luckily, I did!

The hat for the Regency outfit was tricky as well. Was it too tall? Too short? I find I have to limit my pondering and just go for it.

rabbitcs1Of course OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI considered adding little bunny heads to the feet of the rabbit outfit, a la “A Christmas Story” but I ran out of time. That was a whole lotta sewing for one little girl!


Beatrix’ Easter basket has CHOCOLATE IN IT! For NOW.


The important thing is we are content including The Mayor, who actually has a lovely speaking voice and who has declared Beatrix to be very appealing and one of her favorites yet (which is saying a lot, because she is SKEERED of most of these sweet dolls).

Meanwhile, is there wind in Colorado? I hope so, because that’s where Wendy is going to fly her kite! Michelle’s streak continues! Thank you, Michelle!

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