I don’t see it, the scariness. Oh sure, her hair’s a little messy, but so’s mine, and I’M not a Halloween prop! Or am I? Oh dear…
A lot of dolls have come to my house over the years, to the point where I can tell a LOT about a doll simply by her knock. Most knocks express excitement by these little girls, knowing that they’ll soon have a chance to be loved again.
This knock however was different. It was sad. I couldn’t get the door open fast enough. There stood this little doll, and she was weeping. I asked her what was wrong.
Nothing lifts a girls spirit more than some wings and a wand! And a few little curls.
“I found myself at a table surrounded by lots of other things, and I overheard an adult human talking…”
At this point, she stopped and blew her nose and bowed her head.
“What did the adult human say?” I asked, my heart breaking just a little bit for this little girl.
“They said I was creepy and scary, and that I’d be a good prop for Halloween!”
WELL. There was certainly something I could do about THAT…
Thus begins the description for Hazel Twigg O.L.D. (Once-Loved Doll) No. 94. You can see her adoption page HERE.
I had so much fun working on our Aubrey, because she was so grateful for each little thing! She didn’t need *too* much in the way of work. The toes on her right foot had been nibbled off by mice. Her arm had been exposed to water and had “melted” a little bit. That doesn’t make her a witch!
I think the main reason she was perceived as scary was because of her hair the the dirt that had formed in her eyes. Her wig was so firmly glued on that it would have been nearly impossible to remove without destroying it. Turns out, it was filthy in addition to being messy, so I used the Windex method to clean it. Namely, you spritz a wig with Windex avoiding a doll’s skin, and you blot it with paper towels.
Sometimes you can’t tell how much dirt you’re getting off because the towel is wet with Windex so it doesn’t show. For my own satisfaction, I took that damp paper towel and IRONED it so I could better see the dirt. YESS. Satisfying.
I then curled her wig with Spoolies and a little small barrel curling iron touch up.
Aubrey has a crown and an acorn sceptre-wand for granting wishes, but my favorite thing that led me to wanting to make her into an Autumn Fairy was the idea of LEAFS as WINGS. How clever is that? Now the trick was to find some good leaves. My kind neighbor gave me some, but I needed a few more. What to do…?
I’ve asked if I could buy one of their baskets, which look very similar to this one with the fabric sides that collapse and the metal handle. Alas, no dice.
ENTER the V&S Variety Store. I LOVE that place! It’s in Humboldt, Iowa which has a population of about 4,800. So pretty big in comparison to Rolfe. It’s not too far away, about 30 minutes, and there you can find all sorts of things that you wouldn’t find anyplace else. It’s like stepping back in time! Possibly not on purpose, even. More like good old fashioned Iowa thriftiness. If it’s not worn out, why throw it away? Even the shopping baskets are treasures!
They have candies I haven’t seen in years, and little toys, and cookie cutters of all shapes and sizes, and fabrics! A very nice couple run it, and I get a lot of joy in my heart anytime I can sneak over to Humboldt and see what’s new there. Come to think of it, the fabric for Aubrey’s dress came from V&S!
There’s the coat from my YouTube video tutorial, there’s the dress with the fabric from V&S, and there’s a better view of the leaf wings.
So with a little vintage magic – and a little help from my friends, our girl Aubrey is ready to conquer the world. Perhaps more importantly, she’s ready to conquer HALLOWEEN. Not creepy, not scary, certainly not a prop! Just a little girl who wants to be loved…
Here’s a “living” before and “after.”
A hearty thank you to those who gave my three dolls last week good homes. Agnes A. of Carrollton, PA, Corinne S. of Lexington, MA, and Dennis Z. of Kirksville, MO. Much appreciated!
With that, I leaf you! And even if your hair is a fright, you’re STILL my favorite.
*The title of this blog post came to me as I was working on Aubrey. “If Ever I Would LEAF You” – get it? From that song in ‘Camelot’ with “leaf” instead of “leave”?! Comedy GOLD!
It takes very little to entertain me. I even called my beloved mother and cackled to her about it. Yep.
The most recent, recently re-legged O.L.D. is up for adoption! Her name is Guinevere, and you can see her adoption page HERE.
Guinevere could hardly contain her excitement. Christmas eve was finally here! She had asked her woodland friends to meet her by their favorite tree at midnight because she had a surprise for them. She made her way through the forest, clutching her basket of presents. There were carrots for Rabbit, acorns for Squirrel, a birdseed cake for Redbird, wild blueberries for Owl, and mealworms for Hedgehog.
The moonlight peeked through the trees. Guinevere’s lantern provided the rest of the necessary light, although she knew this forest like the back of her hand, even in the dark. She was almost there! Just a few more yards…
She entered the clearing and gasped. There her woodland friends were, gathered around their tree.
“Surprise!” they all shouted. “Merry Christmas!” they cheered.
Sometimes, making small creatures is harder than making large ones. I was going to make entire tea setting for them, but realized that Christmas would be long gone by the time I finished. Ah well!
Guinevere thought that she would be the one playing Santa and giving gifts, but the animals had given her one too; they had decorated the tree with garland and ornaments and a shiny gold star on top. It was a night none of them would ever forget…
Don’t worry! No mealworms were harmed in the making of this story. It was RICE.
As mentioned in my last post, Guinevere arrived with a chopped up wig. I searched through my stash, and the human hair wig I found that suited her best was the right age, but was in pretty rough shape, made for a larger doll, and styled for braids or pigtails (the seam runs all the way down the back of the head). It was also very stiff, as if someone had set it with spray glue!
I washed it, reinforced that hand-wefting with fine sewing machine stitches, and rotated one half so it would flow down her back. I then set it in rag curls. Technically, paper towel curlers so I can control the size, but set in a rag-curl method.
Her cape is old olive green velvet with mink (I think) (POET!) trim, her skirt is Ralph Lauren fabric, and her slip was made from a child’s slip from around 1910 or so, judging by the style.
Her appearance with the new-to-her wig inspired her clothing. I channeled Guinevere from the 1967 movie musical Camelot, starring Vanessa Redgrave. The title of this post is a play on Guinevere’s song, “The Lusty Month of May.”
Guinevere is older than my usual composition dolls. She’s a bisque head doll from Germany with a composition body. I love that she has pierced ears. My research team (my friend Brenda of Rochester, New York who is very good at such things), couldn’t find her maker based on her markings, but she has the look of a Kestner doll. “A what?” you may ask. Well, we doll people know. She’s a pretty little thing. I hope she and her woodland friends find a good home. I have no doubt they will.
And with that, I leave you! Have a Very Merry Christmas, my love to you all! You’re my favorite.
“Dot! It’s not polite to stare,” I whispered as softly as I could, while still trying to reach Dot’s very distracted ears.
“Naturally, I’ve seen you around,” I said louder to the next O.L.D. (Once-Loved Doll), “seeing as how you’re from the Sewickley clan, but what exactly is your name?”
The little Sewickley girl seemed as entranced with Dot as Dot was with her.
“Abigail,” she murmured back.
The constant staring between the two was beginning to draw attention. All the other dolls currently waiting their turn at the Hideaway slowly began to gather around the pair.
A kitten caused the broken pinky. For some reason, she doesn’t remember how she got the nail in her forehead…
“Oh! Um…Abby for short, then?” I asked, trying to make conversation. I don’t like any of my girls, whether they’re missing limbs or hair or anything else, to feel awkward.
“No, just plain Abigail….” she trailed off. Suddenly she gasped. With her eyes still trained on Dot, her hands flew up to her forehead. She started laughing. “So that’s what you’re looking at! I’d forgotten I still had it!”
Abigail leaned down so that Dot could touch the nail – the nail! – sticking out of her forehead.
Dot has seen it all, I can tell you that much. But I don’t think she’ll ever forget the fourth doll in the Sewickley Series…
Thus begins the description for Abigail. You can see her adoption page HERE. Besides being No. 69, she is the FOURTH in the “Sewickley Series.”
You know what else there are four of, ‘specially here in Iowa? SEASONS! And thus the “Sewickley FOUR All Seasons” theme was born. See what I did there? With “foUr” instead of “for”? GENIUS!
Ooh, look! He actually IS handsome!
While I was working on Abigail’s clothing, one song in particular ran through my mind. While he’s a teensy bit before my time, to me the definition of “Handsome Man Singing” is Robert Goulet. Even if I never saw him before! When he sings, he just sounds handsome.
Know which song of his I was thinking of when I was working on Abigail? Oh sure, it’s in the title, but I’ll say it again here: If Ever I Would Leave You from Camelot and quite possibly the most romantic songs ever sung. It’s about undying love through all four seasons, and it’s sung by a very handsome sounding and looking man. What could be better?
If ever I would leave you, it wouldn’t be in summer Seeing you in summer, I never would go Your hair streaked with sunlight, your lips red as flame Your face with a luster that puts gold to shame
But if I’d ever leave you, how could it be in autumn How I’d leave in autumn, I never will know I’ve seen how you sparkle when fall nips the air I know you in autumn and I must be there
And could I leave you running merrily through the snow Or on a wintry evening when you catch the fire’s glow?
If ever I would leave you, how could it be in springtime? Knowing how in spring I’m bewitched by you so Oh, no, not in springtime, summer, winter, or fall No, never could I leave you at all
And with that, I leave you!
Har. Just kidding. Not quite yet…
First! Sweet Patsyette, dressed for half the holidays went to our generous friend Janey J. from Oakland, California! Thank you Janey!
And with that, now I leave you! But not forever…because you’re my favorite, no matter the season.
My beady eyes peered into the sunlight. “So, this is what the outside looks like!” I cackled in a creaky, low voice.
I confess, that last week I had a teeny, tiny meltdown. Spring! Ah, SPRING. The ONLY time of year I want to be outside! And this year spring in Rolfe is especially glorious. The temps are perfect, a little warm if you’re toiling, but then in true Camelot fashion, it cools down at night.
So I balked at staying indoors and sewing – even though my brothers had urged me to find minions, so I have no one to blame but myself – and I went outside.
Heaven knows I love my old house, but the thing is falling apart! Especially the stucco. Witness the lower right-hand side of the photo:
The part surrounding that round thing has been missing for a long time. If you look closely below, you can see the slab from the part of the left that just fell that I witnessed.
Time to hypertufa! I retrieved my wheelbarrow from the garage so that I could use it as a giant mixing bowl. I discovered that it had standing water in it, most likely from recent rains.
I suspect my garage roof may have a hidden leak somewhere.
I also suspect it might be leaning ever-so-slightly.
No matter! Time for my wheelbarrow to become a stand. Fortunately (thanks, Mom!) I had an freshly emptied bin to use as a mixing bowl instead. Here’s the peat moss, perlite and Portland cement, pre-mixing:
Of course, this is just the beginning. And it took less than twenty minutes of poking and smashing and molding! Pretty close, huh?
I need to do the rest and there are several other stucco spots on my house that need tending, and then of course there’s the priming and painting…but it works! The hypertufa works! A repair I can do myself! CHEAP. That’s my favorite kind!
Plus, I get to keep my sanity, so there’s that. Therefore, Betty Bell is still doing well, but she’s going to have to learn even more patience! She will be going up for adoption on Sunday, June 15. And I get to keep my sanity! Because a mind is a terrible thing to lose.
In the meantime, Clementine will definitely be adopted! You can view her progress HERE.