Homes in a Box

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The Art of 13: The Eyes Have It

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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 They never, ever look the same and I can instantly tell they’ve been replaced by their sparkly perfection – which simply doesn’t fit in with an old doll’s face.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!

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