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FIVE, An Update & the Third Mistake

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Book Number FIVE is up for auction and ends tomorrow night! Just minutes after Thyme! And so far, it is going for a song. YOU could have book #5 for a few trilling notes!

FIVE is the same age that Ruth is in the book when she receives Elizabeth:

The party was at that carefree stage, the one that comes before cake and ice cream and after games and present opening. Ruth watched as her mother fussed over the chocolate layer cake with rainbow sprinkles on top and “Happy Birthday Ruth” written in large, loopy letters. There were five pink candles and Ruth could hardly wait to see if she could blow them all out in one breath. She was finally a whole hand old! What should she wish for?

HT_31Also! Back in March of last year a wonderful woman we shall call Lara Solonickne contacted me. She has a site for Sears homes, and on that site she has a section for Sears homes featured in Children’s books. She did a wonderful article on my house and Hazel Twigg back then, and guess what? She just so happened to take a gander at my recent blog post and saw the one about the builder! She wrote and asked if she could post an update on her site, of course I said “Yes!” (she has ads on her blog and everything!) and now I’m posting that she posted with a link, and…it’s a cyber circle!

HT_17She added a comment to my post about the builder, and it’s very informative:

Very nice photo! May I use it on my website?? I just checked in with your blog today and was so surprised to see an update on the house.

Seifert was a carpenter in town. My research on your Sears house showed that the owner who hired Seifert was Jerome Hollenbeck. He only lived in the house a year… his wife died and he moved out in late 1914. Sad!

It is! Thank you for your research, Lara, and for happening by at just the right time.

Lastly, our THIRD MISTAKE has been found. Actually, my Eagle-Eyed Agle Mother has found more, but I’m saving those for you. One per person! It’s kind of like finding a golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: FIND YOURS BEFORE THEY’RE ALL GONE!!! We have the $$$ printed, Julie’s going to mail them to me tomorrow and I’m going to sign them and mail them out as soon as I receive them.

“Julie’s going to mail them to you?! Mail them? I thought you guys lived in the same tiny town!” I can hear you saying to yourselves.

Ah, readers. Getting together conveniently in the spring, summer or fall is one thing. In an icy winter with two busy chickies? Very tough indeed.

Here’s the mistake, it’s on page 304 and it was found by Jennifer Trenary, the same friend who gave me aaaaalllll those watches for Thyme! Sorry for the blur:


It’s supposed to be BETTY who fetched the blankets! Sometimes my fingers will think one thing, and type another. Not even Elizabeth is called Beth! Thank you, Jennifer!

For those LUCKY THREE who have found their mistakes, your $$$ will soon be on it’s way. For the rest of you, don’t give up! These mistakes are not in any kind of order and there are still plenty to be found. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the story.

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

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The Art of 13: The Eyes Have It

Chapter 13 The Question & The Quest. Nope, still no color! Which is just fine. We shall go with what we have for today’s post, including corrected sketches from Nina that are currently not in the book. They may never see the light of day because we’ll probably go straight to color! But they’ll see the light of day here! YES, I’m as excited as you are…

First off, my sketch. It’s entitled, “Tell Ruth”:

HT-030 Tell RuthaNina’s initial sketch (and the one currently in use):


Our notes: “Elizabeth needs to be more animated. She’s talking quickly and so excited to be alive again. Hazel should still be surprised. It’s only moments since the first time she’s seen a doll come to life. Ruth’s head should be turned more towards Elizabeth, rather than away.”

The corrected sketch, For Your Eyes Only:


The changes are subtle, until you look closely. If you flash back and forth between the two, it’s almost like a moving cartoon!


Honorable mention, the sketch road not taken (I’d given Nina two choices for the second illustration of this chapter). I called it “The Torch is Passed,” because Hazel is now Elizabeth’s human. That’s the way it should be…:


To that end, I’d climbed onto a step ladder to get a shot of my living room to show what I meant. Note the entryway hall tree in the forefront of both my sketch and the photo I took for Nina:


Why, yes I like color. How did you guess…? (But please note, these color’s aren’t quite accurate. Still, my house is VERY colorful.)

She went for the second choice instead, entitled, “A Milky Brown Eye”:

HT-031BHere are a pair of eyes that SHOULD be a nice, warm brown, but the early plastic has dried out and “crazed”:

13milkyexampleSome doll restorers will replace the eyes. Not me! They never, ever look the same and I can instantly tell they’ve been replaced by their sparkly perfection – which simply doesn’t fit in with an old doll’s face. Besides, the “eyes are the windows to the soul”! They’re the things that have seen so many things over the 70 – 80 years that they’ve been in existence.

I would much prefer to take a little bit of sewing machine oil and drip a drop in, careful to avoid her skin. I’m sure I’ll have an example of before and after at some time. There’s no avoiding the occasional crazed eye. In fact, I see a pair every time I look in a mirror…

Nina’s first sketch:


I decided I really wanted accuracy for my Sears Home, which as you know is Hollyhock Hideaway itself!

I am so very lucky that the book “Homes in a Box” Modern Homes From Sears Roebuck decided to feature my particular, which is No. 146, because they show the extras! Like this page:


Detail of the door knob:

13SearsdetailI sent Nina this photo of the knob for the door to my attic (after removing the bat-proofing pencil that is usually stuck in the keyhole. Don’t sneer! It seems to have worked! I haven’t had any bats this year – knock on wood (oh please oh please oh please, let bat season be over)):

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPatient Nina obliged. Her revised sketch:

Sk_HT_31B-1Both have since been approved to go to color, so we’ll get them soon!

In the meantime, I’ve been sketching away at the next batch. You’ll be as shocked as I am to know: I haven’t gotten any better. But that’s okay! The idea’s the thing.

Until next time! Hope everyone had an EXCELLENT Halloween! Happy November! Have a great weekend!

April Fifteenth

Every April 15 a tragedy occurs. No, no, not taxes! Although those are no fun either. In this case, I mean the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. I am a huge Titanic buff and have been ever since I discovered the condensed story in a Reader’s Digest magazine when I was a little girl.

When I first saw my home, I was struck by how some of its features looked as if they were from the same era of the Titanic. I confess to being disappointed to discover it had been built in 1913, one year after the sinking. I would have liked to have been living in something as old as the Titanic itself.

This is my fireplace, an upgrade from the standard offered in the Sears catalog of Sears House Kits from whence it came.

This is my fireplace, an upgrade from the standard offered in the catalog of Sears House Kits from whence it came (see my Sears House in an earlier post).

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