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Practically (im)Perfect In Every Way

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New Year’s Eve. 2014

I cannot tell a lie. The title of this post refers to both the O.L.D. (Once-Loved Doll) number 25, Madeliene, and the writer of Hazel Twigg & the Hollyhock Hideaway, which would be myself. You can see Madeliene’s adoption page HERE.


“Perfect” Madeliene

Madeliene is unmarked, but my experience tells me she is from the “Perfect Doll company.” Therefore, I could technically say, “Ta-dah! Madeliene is PERFECT!” even though she’s far from. Her face is like a road map of crazing – and there’s no fixing that without a complete overhaul, which would ruin her. Her limbs were cracked at the seams, and her wig is rather sparse. You know what saves her? Her smile and her happy expression. Dolls of this particular mold are hard to find.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMadeliene has been with me for a very long time. Before “Before” pictures, even! I would take her with me to presentations. Well, to my ONE presentation (so far) done at the Rolfe Public Library. With her clothing, she very well illustrates what it is I do with these dolls. She has been my constant companion in my sewing room, smiling at me and giving me cheer for three plus years.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne desperate time, I stole her shoes that I had made just for her because I was behind on another O.L.D. and needed them. She instantly forgave me and sat there cheerily barefooted, content to be at my side. But now it’s her time to be loved again by someone other than myself. For the last time, she’s coming to my rescue when I need her most. I made a new pair of shoes for her and a second dress, and soon she and I will say our goodbyes. I will miss her smiling face.

The reason I needed a rescue was this: The very day after I finished my last doll before Christmas, I crashed. Crashed! I slept almost solidly for three days! You wouldn’t think that listening to lisping whispers of what each new arrival wants to wear, and then picking out fabrics and creating patterns for said lispers would be pressure, but it is!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter a week, I rallied, only to lose a night’s sleep over a misconception that shouldn’t have bothered me, but it did, costing me another week in the end. I’ll say this: Finding love is hard. One more New Year’s still spent single. However! There’s always next year!

In the meantime, when I go out and about, people frequently ask me about the book and what’s going on with it. “Oh, we’re in the final editing stages,” I would breezily say, as if there were a team of elves busily dotting t’s and crossing i’s. This has been going on for months.

It’s never fun to get called onto the carpet, but thank goodness my brothers did. They gave me a deadline of December 31 to finish the edit and told me what’s what (I got in trouble).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAReader, I made it! I made it well in time to go out for New Year’s, a third wheel to my sister The Mayor and her husband the First Dude, but still! I went out! Usually, I’m a hermit.

It’s comforting to know that all writers want to tweak and tweak and tweak. I by far am no exception. Why, these little posts alone go through an average of 26 revisions, and I’m still never satisfied! But the important thing is the book is finally DONE. We’ll be making announcements soon as to when it will be in print.

I’ll spend this last week with Madeliene before she goes away, both of us far from perfect, with our smiles intact to get us through.

2015 will be our year. I can taste it. And a Happy New Year to you!

Our special thanks to Michelle E. of Colorado, who once again came to a O.L.D.’s rescue and adopted Shirley Temple Angel/Fairy.

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Never Fear, AUTUMN Is Here!


In this picture, Autumn is paying homage to Dot with a hair bow of her own.

Well, not really. Not the season, at least – not for another two months and two days. However! Autumn the next O.L.D. is here!

On a day in a summer that has been unusually mild and even a little chilly in the evenings, not to mention the first day of RAGBRAI, today happens to be a tad hot and moist here in Iowa.

RAGBRAI1What is RAGBRAI, you might ask? Well, here you go:

RAGBRAI is an acronym and registered trademark for the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, which is a non-competitive bicycle ride organized by The Des Moines Register and going from west to east across the United States state of Iowa, that draws recreational riders from across the United States and many foreign countries.[1] Held beginning in 1973, RAGBRAI is the oldest and largest bike-touring event in the world.[2]

It’s gone through Rolfe once or twice and is kind of a big deal, almost like having the Olympics come to town, and it lasts a whole week. Lance Armstrong, love him or hate him, rides pert near every year! This year I happen to know a couple of people who are going part way. Good luck, people I know! You know who you are.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA But now! Back to cooler climes and cooler times! Autumn is a 21″ composition/cloth doll that I believe was made by the Perfect Doll Company, even though she is unmarked. Because, see? I’ve had her mold before and it’s one of my favorites. What a difference hair and eye color makes!


The girl on the left was here and gone long before the Hideaway came into play. I confess to having fond memories of her. So much so that I channeled her dress a little when making Autumn’s clothing.




Even with the time that’s passed, the sentiment behind the clothing and the dolls are the same.

Autumn’s day will be here before you know it. In the meantime, you can see her adoption page HERE.






And just like the season for which she’s named, she looks good coming and going. And then it’s Winter’s turn…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUntil then! Bikers gonna bike.