Wednesday, July 13, 2016

It seems I simply cannot retrain myself to do this blog in the morning. I am so eager to get to the studio to work on dolls (or something!) that I cannot keep myself in the computer chair another minute.  I have tried to slow down my production of dolls until I get another couple of big orders to use up the backlog of babies I have created. I thought that crocheting a dragon might be distraction enough to stop me from ordering more doll kits. Here is the result of this endeavor.

I had to use the colors of yarn I had on hand which resulted in this nursery version, Finally yesterday I got a shipment of better colors so there is hope on the horizon for my dragon production. His nose job needs a trim to get those flames under control.
Here, below,  you can see the studio where I am waiting on the shipment of yarn - meaning Werner had the car out  on his trip to the post office. I do have two babies getting their strings tied off and you can see the spaces on the shelves waiting to be filled with finalized babies. On the floor to the left of Ohmy's leg is the basket of parts for the next dragon already done and waiting on more yarn.

In catch-up I can report that C. in Illinois did get Candy and loves her already. The big question is whether her Mom already in a nursing home can bond with her. C. is very helpful since seeing a grand-baby got a positive response from her. I still carry thoughts and good wishes for Candy in her new home.
In another realm of my life the exciting news is that Rick Paulus, a former calligrapher for President Clinton, commissioned a local artist, Gretchen Butler of Cazadero, to paint an illustration of one of my haiku from A Dictionary of Haiku. Then Rick lettered the haiku on the painting, This is the result.

It is proving to be the most popular of his works in the show, "From the White House to the Sea" as well as his biggest one with a price-tag of $1,325.  It has created some buzz in the community which has pulled me out of the doll world for a few days.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The eye balls did arrive on Thursday so there was a flurry of finishing up blind babies instead of writing in the blog. It seems hard to me to take the time to write in here in the morning because then I am gun-ho to be making babies not typing on a computer. We are going to try to eat earlier so the evening is longer and I hope that in a few days I will have new pain meds to make my life easier.
Because kept making babies even though I did not have eyes to fit them, I ended up with a backlog of babies. Over the weekend I got all of them to the photograph stage and now there is no sun light to help me finish that phase.

 Here all 6 of them are waiting on sunshine. I got an order for Candy to go to Springfield, IL, but put her in a box without a photo. Now I do not know when I can get her shipped or the photos taken. The world seems to be on hold at the moment.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

SUNDAY June 26 - in catch-up

I made a holiday of Sunday thinking that a day without a "should" on my shoulder" should please me. A little it did, but by afternoon I was entertaining the idea of working on babies who needed larger eyes (of which I had enough). By late afternoon I knew I would never sleep if I had babies out on my table so I put off the job of picking them until Monday.

MONDAY June 27

In my morning exuberance, I took out every doll kit in my stash looking for large faces. I was surprised how many were small. Good thing the eye order I sent to Sandie was so large. I happily started doing the finger- and toe-nails as I always do. It was only when I turned to inserting eyes I saw how wrong it was follow old customs.
One baby, Lilly, fit her eyes perfectly. Kendal's 22 mm eyes rolled around as if they wanted out of his head. I was very glad to use one pair of the 24 mm for him. However, even the 22 eyes were too big for the next doll so I put her back before I even got her name into my mind. The rest of the day was given to stuffing limbs and the two heads. I was excited about making bodies the next day. I could not figure out why my fibro was acting up so much. I was in such pain I could hardly get in and out of the shower.


I awoke to the terrible pain in my hand and wrist. I was sure I had been struck with carpal tunnel SINdrome for something I had thought or done. I slathered Voltaren creme on my hand, naturally the right one, and slugged down three aspirin. I could not even hold on to my clothes enough to dress with my hand. I had to use my left hand and a lot of slithering and wiggling. After breakfast I had already used up all my defenses against pain so laid down to sleep.
When I woke for lunch all the pains in my hand and wrist were gone! Hallelujah!  Was it the creme or the aspirin? Only as I used my hand and found not the tiniest twinge of pain or soreness did the light go on in my head! I did not have carpal tunnel, but the circus was from fibromyalgia. The Savella, I take every day almost with out thinking about it, that had stopped it!
I ran to the sewing machine after lunch but my day was out of whack. After lunch is my time to rest by crocheting and not the time to sit at the sewing machine. Soon the bobbin ran out and when I tried to use the machine again it made a horrible noise and quit. So did I.


With my best and freshest energy I found the problem with the machine (the thread was catching in the slit in the plastic end to hold the spool from unwinding) fixed it, and the machine ran perfectly. Kendal and Lilly got their new bodies and are sitting  on the photo table waiting on the good light in the morning which Google is promising us.

The eye balls did not arrive from Sandie even though I have her letter she mailed them out express on Monday. Tomorrow is Mary's day to clean so we shall us the sunshine to find the dirt. Maybe the eyes will come tomorrow. In the meantime I have these two babies to fill my heart. I am finding my happiness in their dear faces.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Have made some changes in my work schedule. It used to be that when I had photographed the individual  babies I thought of myself as 'done' with that crew and joyfully picked a new one. Now I am training myself to put the photographed babies on the boxes by my 'desk' to remember to weigh and measure them before I put them on the shelf. There have been weeks I have forgotten or overlooked this step in the past few months. I used to feel something was missing in my relationship with the babies when I would photograph them and quickly plunk them on the shelves. Yesterday, before I would let myself have the joy of finding a new crew, I made myself sit down to finalize the strings.  I found myself being very happy to be with the baby again, seeing the strings pulled up even tighter and gluing down the ends. It was so good to have these extra minutes cuddling the babies. I found myself talking to them, apologizing for turning them upside down to reach a knot. etc. All this fun meant that I was spending over 1/2 a day on the crew so it was afternoon before I picked out a new one.

Then I discovered I had forgotten to order more small eyes! I was able to get the slightly too-big ones into Sweet and Sassy on the left and one of the unnamed one babies on the right, but I got too tired to finish the the other unnamed one at the back of the tray.
One of the reasons I ran out eye-installing energy was I spent too long trying to get eyes in this Bereanger kit from Spain you can see below. The vinyl was so much harder on this baby. While cutting the eye sockets I actually cut my own finger and bled like a pig over myself until I got a bandage on it. This was the first time I had a mishap with a knife while cutting at least 200 eye sockets. That made me give up on this doll so he/she ended up in a tray.

As you can see (maybe) the eyes are much smaller. I have an order in to Dolls by Sandie who has already written that she will ship them out express on Monday. This baby will sit on the waiting-for-parts shelf along with the Sweet and Sassy with 2 left arms. It was after this that I added the other new crew member who is waiting on his eyes this morning. It is a beautiful summer day and he should have his eyes in so he can see what feels so good.

Friday, June 24, 2016

I was so eager this beautiful morning to get to the studio to begin photographing this week's crew of babies that I forgot to do my blog from yesterday. From that statement alone you can know that all three did get a body and by the end of the day everyone was happy. That was not the case around noon when I discovered that in spite of  my best intentions, 2 bodies had too small leg caps for the fat-thighed little babies they are. Without losing my temper I simply sewed new caps. While doing this, as I sometimes do when making bodies, I began to feel rather God-like and relate to Him in that way. I wondered if God was sitting on the ridge with His feet cooling off in the ocean. I wondered what He felt when He made a mistake while creating a baby. Did he snap His fingers (thunderclap) and vow to pay more attention or use a yardstick? Did He resolve to make those parts more generous? Or try a new design? If that failed how did He handle the situation with the crippled baby? Did He plan other new, and more generous blessings for the baby and the parents?
All my random thoughts kind of came together while watching Google news (when I had waded through all the opinions on the Brits leaving the Union  of  Europa) about a couple in Sugar Creek, Ohio whose baby was born with part of the brain in a thin-skinned lump on top of his head. A surgeon in Boston, with access to new facilities and a 3-D printer was able to open the child's skull and re-insert the brain mass. The child lives and his parents have been to hell and back. I wondered how much of the bad stuff God took credit for, how much of the new ideas and abilities were His gifts, and how much he guided the surgeon and staff in the process. Now you know why I should stick to making dollies.
Only when I downloaded the photos did I remember that I had intended to share the good news of my newly created worktable. When I got my new machine one of the instructions was to not store it in sunlight. My desk is right there in the afternoon glare so after using a cardboard box for some weeks I hit on the idea of using an overturned basket. So far so good. I also learned to slide the acrylic desk protector to the far side but when the sun is so far north the light still pours in.

While I sewed I set the basket on the floor. Always needing more room to lay together the 9 parts of body, yesterday I did this. I need all the help I can get organizing the bodies for the babes. It seems half the things I need to do anything will spend some time on the floor. With the basket the pieces are within reach. You can see in the photo I had laid out the leg cap with the idea of making it slightly wider.

Moving right along,here are photos of the kids in ther birthday suits .

Here we have Juney and Rina on the bench and then there is Tobias trying to distance himself from the girls while he balances on the jar of headbands.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Meet the new crew for the week. On the left is Rina from Bountiful Babies. I am amazed what a squint she has but at least her mouth is not grumpy. Next is from the Chinese Moma doll collection made from molds so old the hair is incised. On the right is Tobias from Tina Kewey. All three babies are from one auction on eBay by someone who was very much into saving COAs so all three have their papers.
Yesterday was a very ordinary day in the studio, I was feeling good as it gets now, and the sun finally came through the sea fog so I had enough light to get everyone stuffed. Tobias was a bit of a hassle as his little eye sockets are so wonky that nothing kept his eyes straight. I had even tried gluing them the the night before but by the time the glue dried (thanks warm weather!) the eyes were no longer straight. Then last night I was watching "The Quad Squad"  a series of vlogs about a couple who, thanks to IV, had 4 girls at once. Naturally they were removed 8 weeks too early but I saw in their story how wonky real babies eyes can be especially if they are preemies. Todias fits right in with their reality. When I stuffed his head I got them as straight as I could.
Today is body-making day. I feel the kids are ready to jump out of their trays into bodies I have not yet made so I had better get out of the comfort of the computer chair and get to work.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The sun did shine yesterday but still the photos needed their light adjusted. I must have punched the wrong button on the camera. At least I was happy with the sunshine and thought I was doing a good job of getting the photos taken.

First on the table was Gracie modeling the new crocheted snowsuits for babies. She seems very aware of her honor and was trying very hard to hold still and to make the cocoon look as good as possible. A few weeks ago I was very unhappy with the looks of the fur piece as part of the set-up but with this suit for winter it looks just right. 

Jason Ching seems a bit shocked to be able to see so well. I put different sleeper on him to disconnect him from his time when his eyes were bad. You can see in the shape of his fingers that his body is from the Ching family.  I took off all the sleepers from the babies I fixed to give them a wash. It was really weird to find all those baby clothes in the laundry load. Took me back to when my kids were tiny like nothing else has been able to do.

This is little Dumplin. She makes me laugh at her determination to be as good as the bigger babies. She already seems to want to be older, more responsible, the baby of babies. She is so small her jammies look a little too big for her and that only adds to her determination. Her little back is already so straight but she cuddles beautifully. I usually don't enjoy cuddling the tiny babies but she was such a delight that I sat with her for a long time.

Okay, now I admit my passion for this new baby. My first reborn, I now find out, was an Ashton-Drake baby sculpted by Linda Murry. I had purchased her from a seller on eBay.  Ever since I got her and fell head over heels in love, I have searched for another one. I felt that I could reborn her into a more cuddly baby if I had the courage to take her apart. I knew I could buy another from A-D for $139, but I wanted to see if anyone had used her mold to make a kit. No such luck. However about a week ago, while scanning eBay, as I do evening to relax, I saw a used Giggles doll. To my even greater surprise I won the auction for a very low price because she came with no clothes and a very honest description. Then I see that this was the first sale by this seller and all my scam alarm bells went off.  Still I felt the doll was meant to be mine so Paypal and I paid. To my delight the seller immediately sent her off. She arrived Monday afternoon. Naked, with a few loose threads and someone had cut her hair but she had no bad smell and was very clean with no dirt or questionable stains. While I was turning her over in my hands she began to giggle! Someone had but batteries in her and turned on the device and left it on. I found that she would giggle no matter where I touched her. My Giggles had the same device but after a few giggles I had turned it off because it was set so loud and sounded too tinny and just awful. This new doll had a lower voice and I loved it. I should have photographed her in her nakedness but I forgot to do it in my delight that I still my Giggles original clothes. I did wipe her down and found only a bit of dust on her face that when was removed made her eyes sparkle even more. In yesterday's good light I was able to get this shot of Giggles 2 wearing Giggle's sandals which Giggles 1 refused to wear in the winter.

The day before I had introduced her to my Giggle twin and the joy I felt having her doubled. I could never really understand people who got their thrills from buying things but suddenly I too, felt that deep feeling of absolute joy of having been able to buy these two.

I have left them on the photo table just so I can look at them whenever I lift my head. I am searching for the best possible place for the pair so I can see them all day long. They look like twins but are not exactly the same. I can easily see the differences. My plan had been to take Giggles 2 apart and reborn her in my fashion, but just now I am so happy with her that making her more cuddle-some is the last of my thoughts.