Sunday, May 31, 2015

I started putting together the babies that got their bodies yesterday. I was so fascinated by this head because of all the trouble it gave me last week. Every preservative that I tried on the painted hair instantly turned sticky. Even several other heads done at the same time were okay but this head would not dry. In an order from Sandie's was this new wig. I put it on carefully because it too instantly stuck to the head. The face was still sticky and I was feeling glum thinking that it was all lost and now even the wig too. Then the idea came to me to dust the face with baby powder. Instantly it was absorbed, did not show up white, and gave the skin a lovely baby skin feeling. I was so encouraged I wanted to assemble Tommy first. I picked out this sleeper and had to fight to get it on him. His arms twisted, one fell off, and then he threw his head on the floor. Obviously he was not happy wearing my choice. What to put on him? Into my brain floated the image of the set of clothes I had ordered with the idea that if it was good I would put either Cookie or Ladybug in it for the show at GAC.
That was it. Now Tommy was a Tomboy, a girl in jeans! I think he/she can swing both ways and probably will do it in a big way. I tried to remove some runs of the clear coat that are on her face but it seems they are part of her now. Not even an acetone scrub would budge them, Everyone else was easy to dress so even before their final glue job they came in for photo shoots while we had the sun.

 This is Phyllis with her joke of let me 'fill us' with love. It looks as if she cannot stop laughing at her own brain-twister.

 Carrie  too has a wordplay name (it must be this weird foggy weather). As a therapy reborn she wants to carry away someone's worries or fears or unhappiness. I think her kit was called Kinsey so Carrie is very close and a lot more meaningful.

Benno said he would wear the pink sleeper because it had this picture of an elephant that is in love on it. He found this so ridiculous that even the pink did not sway his decision.
Getting these babies photographed today gave me the incentive to pick the next 3 kits to work on. I am getting low on kits since we need a trip to the post office. To my surprise the one head needed eyes on stems like the expensive German ones. If I had to order those that would put this crew back over a week while we waited on them to be shipped. The only other kit I had was Robin and his eyes are closed. Recently I had read online how to open closed eyes on the kits. The process was a lot more labor intensive (or I need better tools) than I anticipated it to be and the final results are still iffy. I decided to try to bend the eyelids instead of slicing the extra vinyl off. Poor Robin ended up like this tonight.
There is acetone on the swabs with the hope that will soften and stretch the eyelids overnight. No wonder his tongue is sticking out in a very gentle way. I have some 14 mm eyes that I am hoping I can glue into place so his eyes look as if he really wants to go to sleep because his eyelids are so heavy. He will need a nap after this surgery.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

You can hear the voice reverberating on the pearly gates. "Hey gang, come watch! Jane is making reborn bodies today!"
"So? We should stop a basketball game for that?
"Oh yeah, she is so funny when she sews on that old machine. It is funnier than a Laurel and Hardy movie. And there is music! She hums."
"Oh wow, it is Saturday so now we watch old ladies making dolls?"
"But she is really funny. In her old age her hands shake so she drops things. She makes me wish I was a kitten. Look! see just as she picks up a piece of cloth it will slide off the desk to fall on the floor."
"Well she is weird how she bends down to pick it up."
"Watch the scissors falling! Let's see if she can spear her foot."
"I bet it would makes sparks fly if the point hit the cord to the foot petal."
"You don't need sparks. See how her foot gropes around for the petal. It is like watching a drunk crawl across the floor!
"Oh look she almost ran the sewing part over her finger!"
"Oops, she did it again. Doesn't she have control from the foot petal thingie?"
"She does but the weird way she tries to press it means everything is out of control."
"Does she know those caps for the legs are going to be too small?
"When she gets to the studio she will find that out. Then we will have fireworks as she has corrected this error 4 times now."
"I've watched her putting in the eyes and she is too spastic to operate pliers and a poking stick."
"I love the look on her face when we can hear the eyeball drop in the head."
"She will sit here for hours trying one thing and another to get them in. I worry she will displace her fingers as she tries to reach up to the eye sockets."

"That is a bit sad. What could we give her for all the laughs she gave us today?"
"It will have to be something to do with reborn therapy dolls. She thinks of nothing else,"

"She is going to need lots of old hose for the weight bags in all those bodies and in all those heads."
"Even though she has washed the hose she hates using them in her babies. Euwe. Socks in babies."
"She hates the black of the socks when it shows through the fabric."
"Hey, remember all those organza bags she used for wrapping when she sold a piece of jewelry? I think there might be some leftover in the cupboard."

"Thanks guys for the great idea! These work perfectly. They are the right size, they are clean and white, easy to fill and to close. I really appreciate the idea and your making sure there were two packages in the closet. This was a great day for making bodies! with your help."

Friday, May 29, 2015

Ching T'ien and I had our photo taken for the listings on by Werner. He did all the right things so the job went smoothly. Then I photographed the three new arrivals.




Now I feel as if my week's work is done to have these three photographed into being. They were a great bunch to work with, and I love each of them. While I was dressing them, I would rest between babies by just sitting with a baby clasped to my shoulder while I sang them into the world. Some days I wonder why I plan other work when just sitting while holding a baby is such a comfort. Occupation enough for the whole day.
I did get a start on the next crew. That is Carrie on the left, Benno (an old well-known kit that is no longer available) and Phyllis. Carrie picked her name because she wants to carry the worries, the heartaches, the feats of someone out there already in the world. Phyllis is still giggling about her wordplay on her name. She wants to fill us with her love!
They are waiting with their limbs (behind them) on the birthing table which I stuffed and weighted today. I love the side-long glance of Benno. Last night I was very determined to put his eyes in straight as I always do but this is where he wanted them. I am not used to being bossed by a baby so it took some getting used to for me to leave his eyes where he wants them. The longer I look at him the cuter I find him to be!
Well, the computer is up to its oldest trick - hide the photo to see how long it takes jane to find it and how upset we can make her in the process. Somehow this all fits a very weird day. While doing my morning mail I ran into Ashley's blog so took some moments to read it. She had gotten her first pass to go for a walk outside the hospital. I was happy for her! except she writes about not having a hat to put on her now-bald head. I was appalled that I had not thought to make her one. With all the crocheting I do for others and my own granddaughter needs a hat and I never made one for her. I went to the studio saying 'no' to all the dolls as I sat right down to start her hat. Finally got pattern, yarn and ideas together to begin. After lunch I finished it only to find that some how I had used a pattern for children which was too small for Ashley. I tore out all the stitches but the crown to begin again. I had emailed Ashley asking her what she wanted, what colors? design? yarn? When I came in for a break there was no email so I went back to doing the hat in my mind.
The phone rings and to my surprise it is Holly who I think of Best Holly. She had in mind a nursing facility in downtown Chicago that had no doll therapy at all. We discussed sending them 10 dolls as they not only had no experience, they had no money for dolls and a lot of other things Holly was already planning to give them. Ten dolls. That was the number on my table. I needed to get to work on the 3 on the birthing table! I would wait to hear from Ashley before making her hat. Holly's call got me motivated to put aside the yarn and grab the hair drawing pencils. I wish I could draw some hair on Ashley as easily as I do on the dolls.
I could not quit on the computer until I found the photo. Here are the three newest babies making a get-away while the finish on their hair dries. Now I can go get them dressed for their portraits if I can catch them before they get to door.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

These babies, plus one that missed being in the photo! were sent to Somer Manor in New York State yesterday. The best energy of the morning went into two boxes with my heart and the babies. It was really hard to let them go. All afternoon I could not settle down to work on the babies waiting for hair. I felt too jazzed to draw in hairs.

I rehung Ching Te'ien's swing so it looks more comfortable and gave him one of the new romper suits that does not have feet in like the sleeper. This one has arms in it which\, for some reason, gives him the giggles. His one hand went automatically to the 'rope' so he could hang on.  The two big girls, Cookie and MyHeidi, found it all very funny, too, but said 'no' to trying out the swing.

My only real peace and joy came from making peace dolls. Suddenly it dawned on me that I was making only girls so developed a male pattern that was easy enough for me to follow it.
I tried using the pants cuffs to hold them up alone but they need to lean. . . I was so thankful that I found a big ball of denim yarn to give them pants.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The birthing table looked like this tonight as all three got their final glue before getting back into the sleepers for photos. Oh, I nearly forgot. They need their hair first thing in the morning. Today all the bodies fit perfectly or I knew what needed to be done before tying them on. The work went so slick and quickly that I found myself just sitting and rocking first one and then the other of the babies. It seemed when I picked up a baby to work on it, rocking it and patting it were so pleasurable I just let myself enjoy that. I felt I was teaching them how it felt to be giving comfort to someone. They each did such a great job that I got through the day with much less pain than normal.
Werner thought it was having the Dolly Lama in the living room that made the work go so well. Who knows?
Holly and John got the email message together to say just what I wanted said. We will see what that brings us!
Many years ago, at a GAC yard sale I bought this old doll who was very dirty for a quarter as no one wanted her at the end of the day. I washed her clothes but packed her away without cleaning her. Today while looking for something else, I found her clean clothes. Her porcelain was very dirty but I was able to get most of the flecks off. Her hair was full of dust so that got a good brushing. I found so much dirt and gunk around her eyes. I cleaned around them as carefully and as thoroughly as I could. One sock is still floating in my stuff so I stuck the other shoe in her underwear. There is a solution for everything.
The biggest holiday news is that in spite of there being no sunshine I did get a photo of Chanel. She is such a sweet quiet baby even though she loves clothes. The cap turned out to be a close enough color match so she sat very still for her photo. I need my sheep rug back. In a week Sweetie and the rug will come home from Gualala Arts and the show.
When I worked on bodies I found these arms too long for this body sleeve. Using the experience of last week when I redid Blaze's full arms, you can see that on the left side I slid the arm up the inside of the body and was able to tie it off there inside. Voila! no unsightly strings on the outside! The procedure shorted the arm sleeve to the right length. All day I stuffed heads and limbs, leaving the glue to dry (hopefully) overnight.
Harmony stopped by to check up on my business stuff. She was holding Nolan when she got the idea of making him head of the orphanage. His gently smiling face makes him look like such a holy person we named him the "Dolly Lama." I want to make him a costume worthy of his new name and position. This assures that he will not be sold or given away but becomes one of the keepers. I tacked together his outfit which needs some hand-sewing but we have our Dolly Lama!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Chanel got her new body today and looked so good in it we tried to find transparent sleepers so everyone could see how great she looked even when she was dressed for bed. Failing at this, it was thus without a sleeper I put her in the chair where I test how babies sit and look in their clothes. I turned around later to see Joey looking at her toenails! She too looks a bit shocked. I need to get her in a sleeper immediately before this goes any further.
Lots is happening with getting the Therapy Reborns out into the world. The situation in New York is going forward with Holly's help. I heard from D. S. that I can post my Therapy dolls on his site so my head is swirling with that effort and what it needs from me. All this business stuff makes me turn to making the pocket peace dolls for my comfort. I would much prefer just laying the babies in the laps of those who want them to bypass all the commercial aspects. I think I need a manager! or at least a keeper. In the meantime I make peace dolls to keep me quiet and steady. Don't you love the new hair style? I am pleased that it makes no mess on the doll or on my floor where all the trimmed yarn scraps go.
By afternoon the sea fog returned so my attempt to photograph the Ching Boy are too dark . I am hoping the sun will burn through today so I can redo this photo and add the other babies waiting to get their official portraits. There was to be another Ching child but the spray on his hair went sticky and would not dry. So I took it, and all his hair! off and will see if I can get the spray to work right. This is the first time I have had this problem so it can be there was something about the vinyl that caused this. I hope it is not indicative of deteriorating fixative. I sprayed four heads at once but only his had this problem.
Yesterday the computer, Google, and the universe decided I could make a blog where I could post only the photos of the Therapy Reborns without all the yak that I include on this site. It is JaneReichhold/ but yet this morning google claims it cannot find it. I had created the site in 2008 and then never used because I had my site to occupy me. Now I needed it and there it was!already established. Yesterday everything worked!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

After I finished up the three newest babies I found sleepers for them for their official portraits from the new load of used baby clothes from eBay. We have no sun at all today so I laid the new kids on the pile where the other babies are. I found it interesting that Trey, to the left, seems to be rejecting the other two. It is as if he wants to roll away to get as far from the others as possible. Ching Joy goes to the front in the center stage where happiness follows. The screamer, I do have to find a name for him, is complete in his screaming. I weighed and recorded their births and still had 1/2 a day.

Then I moved on to finding bodies for the next batch of three babies. Little Joey was easy. He slipped right into one of the bodies prepared earlier in the big bod exchange. I feel it is slightly too fat for him but he claims it feels good - it makes him cuddly - and wants to keep it. He thinks the extra padding he sits on is his 'packet' which only makes him more manly. See he does hold his arms open wide. A better photo would make him more charming.
That being so easy I moved on to Chanel. Her first comment was, "Thank goodness Joey took that fat body. I want something more slenderizing." With the purchase of Joey, the seller sent a lovely white hand-made body. The body is slightly fuzzy and very cuddly. Chanel took one look at the wide bottom in it (the person used the Chinese Beranger body as pattern) and began shaking her head which resulted in it falling off the shelf. Determined to use what I had on hand I went to the machine to take in the usual five-seam reduction steps and an extra one on the fat booty. When I brought it back to the studio I ignored Chanel's cries and began trying it on her legs. The holes were too small! Then I saw her legs were full length. How could I have missed that while doing the toes? Searching through my stash of bodies I found a lovely BB body with the front loader legs. When I showed it to Chanel she instantly calmed down and wanted to pose with it.
I think, I hope, tomorrow will bring peace to all of us. Today had several emails about getting some babies to a nursing home in New York. And I am finally investigating a possible way to sell the babies. This made me turn to crocheting the pocket peace dolls for my own peace at an accelerated pace.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I could not figure out why  I was sitting down to crochet this morning when there were dolls in two piles waiting on me to work on them. I thought maybe I was excited to try the new hairdo. Roberta had reminded me of how we used to make yarn hair. One way was to wrap the hair-yarn around a knitting needle and the yarn needle. By pulling on the yarn needle it passes through all the loops on the knitting needle to make bunches of tiny tight curls. I think it makes the dolly look older like maybe a school teacher?
In the afternoon I found why I was "saving my energy" all morning. The table arrived. They packed the instructions on how to unfold it inside the folded up thing. I just sat and listened as I wiggled this and that and finally it unfolded.
You can see the table is already covered with the quilt and some of the dollies are on it. The lowest level for the table was exactly the same height as the second shelf. Determined to get everything reorganized I carried back all the dolls in the living room. What a job! It wore me out. I stacked them like firewood and for some reason this depressed me very much. I did not like treating the dolls like this. Later on the forum at Bountiful Baby I read how many other women have a crib in which they put their babies. Some of the women admitted that they do not sell their 'children' but keep them all or give them to friends. Then I did not feel so bad. The man from New York never called, another strike against the day.
I did hear from Ashley saying one of her nurses saw the postcard I had sent Ashley with a doll on it and she thought it was a baby and asked Ashley if she had a new niece.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The studio was like a used car lot today. Every one was changing and exchanging bodies. There were moments when I lost track of who's what was where. I no longer could keep track of the original owner. Trey went back to the body he had tried on this weekend finding none that fit him or his attitude any better. At first I had Ching Joy in the pink sleeper and body that the sleeping screamer has on now but I felt the one I had made was too small for him. I went back to using the body from BB. I had forgotten that all four seams needed to be taken in so while Werner napped I worked on the pocket peace doll. I came in to do the seams and the bobbin was mysteriously empty. Some days I can load it so easily and then there is today. In the hassle I forgot to take the gathers in the front of the neck and had to do them by hand so it looks as if he/she had surgery. It really looks like scar tissue.
I wanted to finish off the strings and glue the edges but for some reason I felt everyone should think it over in the night if they were really happy with the body they ended up with.
Since I cannot use the smaller Chinese joints, which only cost $3.80 for 50 sets I have gotten the other ones by Darice. Today I was able to figure out the cost per doll and just for the joints it is $7! It is cheaper to buy the BB bodies when they are on sale for 6, 7, or 9 dollars each. The fabric is heavier and the joints they use are well-made. I hope they can buy them more cheaply than I can. I will have about the same amount of sewing to fix the BB ones to my idea of a baby body but I will have a sturdy body in the end - on both ends.
With the little bit of the afternoon I decided to put the eyes into tomorrows family.
I am hoping these eyes will also settle down. I must have been very tired because these are not sitting right at all. Chanel, is the new doll at the left, then Ching someone and another doll I got in an Bay auction that no one knew its name - not even the seller. There are numbers on the neck flange but so far they mean nothing to me. I have two of that kit but the eyes fit in so poorly tonight I am wondering if we need 18 mm. The eye socket is far from closing. If I have to wait for new eyes I may even put this one aside and pick someone new for the week. The head does look smaller here. Hmmm.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Trey greeting me this morning. I think his attitude tried to infect the whole day. I had done very little dolly work yesterday except crochet on the new blanket because I was waiting on the order of doll joints from Amazon. All weekend I had told myself that the joints would arrive on Monday and I could proceed with my week normally.. What I did not figure was the fact that the joints were still at the post office and would not get here until afternoon. I also did not remember that putting in the joints demanded a lot of logical thinking (is this right or left? inside or the other side? where do the string ties go on the limb here or over there?) and that I am not sharp enough to do this in the afternoon. I ruined one body sleeve trying to work when there was not enough sense in my head for the job. It took several tries before I realized the Universe wanted me to do other things. So I washed all the sleepers bought on eBay (they did not smell bad, it was only they did not smell like my soap) and started on a peace pal doll. Working on that Heidi called to give me all the latest news on Ashley which made me feel very good. Who cares about dollies when there is such good news from a grandchild?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Got so little done for the dolls today. I did get Trey's naked body into a clothes. I figured the world would be safe from an 18" tall creature in sleepers with the feet in them. Still that clenched fist bothers me. As his mother I would be very cautious.
It looks as if Amazon has already shipped the joints, so I have everything on hold waiting on them. Good correspondence with Holly and John! Am very thankful for them.

Friday, May 15, 2015

I knew today would be a body-making day because yesterday was not. Even before going to the studio I cut out and sewed a body. Rejecting my factory methods I decided to do one whole body and doll before starting the next one. Good thing I did. After threading in all the draw-strings, using up my last 30 mm joints (I knew I had a whole package of new ones from China) I found out the leg caps were too small. Nobody in this week's line-up or even in next week's babies had legs that small. Undaunted I went back to the machine to cut out bodies with bigger leg caps. I even checked that the caps would accommodate everyone's legs. There were no more 30 mm joints in the package so I gleefully broke open the new ones. I lined up the holes, checked that I putting the right caps  in the right places and then! I could not get the nut-like part on the bolt-like piece. I tried every thing I could think of to allow the nutty nuts to fit. I cut them, I cut the bolts. Nothing worked and my hands got more and more tender.
Well if none of the new bodies could be used or finished I remembered that when I photographed this guy in the gang the other day his body did not feel right. 
He was among the earliest dolls I assembled back in February, This was obviously before my obsession with fitting bodies and heads. In order to hold up his head in all this fluff I had put a wooden stick up his back. He was very soft and plushy - unlike my latest crop of babies.
While taking the body off the head I noticed the name of the artist who made his face - Nancy Holthus. I looked her up on the I'net to find out she had a factory in Pennsylvania where she made her dolls. She was also in rehabilitation as a counselor so it seems right that her doll heads should be on therapy dolls. Nancy died in 2009 so her website has been invaded and taken over by the Chinese doll makers. All the photos on the site were of the new Chinese vinyl kits as all over eBay and none of Nancy's. Another thing to be unhappy about.
When I got this body off I then had 4 babies needing bodies. I tried to reshape this white one on the machine so I could pass it along to Trey. In the morning I had been able to fix his eye better with duct tape of all things, but it did stick well enough to hold his wandering eye in place while I stuffed his head. I still do not like this boy. The eyelid on the left side droops a bit so that he looks like he is thinking of how to rob the 7-11 as soon as it gets dark and I let him go out. I put the body on him but got so involved with his criminal looks that I forgot to photograph the body. I let him sit on the decision until another day. I don't think he will go any where naked.
With knowing new joints will not arrive before next week I began to wonder if the Universe was giving me the message that I should not be making dolls. What else could I do that gives me so much pleasure? Maybe the message was, "don't make doll bodies today - do something else."
Back on the photograph set up I tried to get Crystal's weird surprised  look to seem welcoming, more inviting. I am too jangled now to decide if this works or not.

Then I tried Samantha. The new sleepers came so I let her pick out one she liked and this was it. That put her in a good mood. When she saw the kittens on it she had  to have a kitten to play with but all I could find was this lion in the beanie baby stash.
She was happy playing with it and did not want to pose any more as an invitation to be adopted. Just then the clouds parted so the sun came through with its dark shadows. I refuse to fight with the sun so walked away!
Regarding the dolly joints, I remembered an old way we doll-makers used to make arms and legs movable - sew a button on both sides of the  two pieces of fabric. Will do try that if I can find enough buttons!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

All day there has been one idea in my mind - that I should stop giving my babies away and first try to sell them as therapy reborns. That was my intent from the beginning - not to make cute collector dolls, but snugly babies that one would enjoy cuddling for as long as needed. God knows there are enough reborns being sold on eBay! If one does a web-search for therapy babies the selection is much smaller. Therapy babies are different than therapy dolls. I hope to make that difference. I even went so far as to name my studio "The Orphanage" or "Seaside Orphanage" because I see my workplace not as a nursery but as a place where babies  develop into caring individuals until they can be adopted into their real home. I thought of a different way of photographing the babies to show them reaching out, asking to be taken home, given the job of caring for someone, would differentiate from the reborns which try so hard to look like helpless sleeping babies instead of someone who wants to be your friend.
I thought of placing ads on because a lady in a doll forum (near my age) has sold three of her babies in her first week of being represented there. I heard the following in my head so had to write it down.

My Therapy Babies
are made with the goal that they will be held,
cuddled, rocked and loved by someone needing comfort.

These are not toys, nor are they art objects though made by an artist and doll-maker since the 60s.

The doll is made of unbreakable vinyl and cloth. First of all I wipe down, with a hygienic formula, all the vinyl parts which are phthalate-free and have been tested to meet the European Standard EN71. The cloth for the bodies is organic cotton made by Harmony Arts as is used in the best baby clothes or Doe-skin by commercial suppliers. The joints between vinyl and cloth are tied with string instead of plastic ties and reinforced with a safe, non-vaporous glue so the baby will withstand constant handling.  The stuffing is real glass beads - not manufacturing waste materials. The poly fiber used for stuffing is all new. The fingernails and toenails have been painted to look as real as possible. The hair is hand painted in several coats and sprayed with a protective finish that is washable. They have found the mohair rooted on other dolls can cause allergic reactions. I use the Derwent colors from English-made pencils instead of the paints currently popular which must be heat-set - a process which degrades the constitution of the vinyl and also has caused allergic reactions. Wigs are used if the new owner wishes to have hair on the doll. The babies are 19 – 22 inches long, weighing between three and five pounds, come smelling of baby powder (in a sachet which can be removed if you wish), and wearing real diapers, removable cotton sleepers with a new cotton blanket. They come from my studio which is a pet-free, non-smoker environment on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.  No magnets are used for bows or pacifiers (my babies are a contented lot) and eyelashes, which can easily come off, are also not used.

All of my doll kits have open eyes and pleasant, friendly expressions on the face – they will be happy babies. You can see my process and progress at

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I do not know what is going on with Nolan. I know he hates this sleeper but I wanted to photograph him in the set of photos I was making for Holly and the new sleepers have not yet arrived. So, with Harmony's help, we got him back in this one just for the mug shots photo. Only while preparing to send Holly all the photos did I notice that Nolan posed with his shoulder hunched as if he is handicapped. You can easily imagine him limping and speaking with his tongue in his cheek and then laughing behind your back at your misplaced sympathy. Harmony had suggested that Nolan was too cute to send off with the other cuddle therapy babies so I should keep him. I had told Holly I had about 20 babies (and I do), but some of them I bought for myself (like Jenny Wren and Angie) and now cannot think of giving them away. A few have become "keepers" because of what they mean to me when I made them or errors I had made that I cannot correct (like the wooden spoon as spine). I may have to add Nolan to my keepers if he wants to stay with me so much that he acts up like this in his photo! Some people think these are just dolls. They should live with them a day or two!

Monday, May 11, 2015

First of all was my promise to Nolan that I would make him a new body. So I did and here he is in the more professional tan fabric. I wanted to take his official portrait but he refused to wear the girlie sleepers with pink cupcakes so you see him only in his new birthday suit.

To start off my week I laid out the three doll kits on the birthing table. As I was examining the head you see on the left here I noticed something wrong with the eye. Closer to the door I could peer down into the head where a previous owner, in attempting to slice open an eye socket, cut it clean off. You can see on the photo that his one eye has a strange light in it. I've tried to glue in a new socket made with a circle of felt but I am sure no eyeball is going sit properly in it. My big bargain might become my first pirate with an eye patch. He looks grumpy enough for the role. The head calls him Trey but his legs and arms do not match in size.
While working on Nolan I noticed I had forgotten to lacquer his finger and toe nails so I did everyone's at once. While making his lips 'baby face moist' I jerked my arm and made snot running from his nose. I wiped it up immediately but was already too late. He has snot on his lip. When I put the eyes in the Chinese boy I noticed they  easily slipped into place once I got the eyeball close enough to the hole. Then I saw it was the sockets' position that makes these kids look as if they are watching a flea on their noses. I tried everything to re-position the eyes with the glue, but they would slip back where they wanted to go as soon as my back was turned.
In the afternoon I finished Harmony's hat but Cookies insisted on wearing it. Who can argue with her? She knows she is too cute for words.
I got, already!, an email from Holly that someone in New York called her for information about starting a cuddle therapy program and lo and behold there in her computer were my babies' photos. It seems like the kind of perfect timing that only the Universe engages. I am deep in gratitude tonight! Harmony brought boxes (we are ready to ship!) and is even making composites of the baby photos for me for Holly. I have wind under my wings tonight.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Last night, just sitting down  to do my blog was enough rest to allow me to go back to the studio. I took the body off the last doll to begin to rip out all the hand-stitching in corrections. When I was done I could easily see where the pattern was wrong and needed to be changed. This morning I made three new patterns and sewed three almost bodies. The bobbin ran out when I was on my last bit of sewing patience so I just walked away figuring when I really needed a body I would come back to finish the job in perfect peace.
In the studio Holly was so happy to be in the body Blaze had given her. I put her in a nightie thinking I would photograph her later in the day when the sea fog burned off.

Then I moved on to looking at the two Punkins and their awful bodies. I decided to stop all this reinventing the wheel,to give up that part of the dream and to just give in to order bodies from Bountiful Baby in Salt Lake City. I made a list of the varieties of bodies I needed to have for the kits I have on hand. I found other bodies stashed in among the kits and there was a BB body for Blaze.
I gathered her up eager to get her in a body, get her birthed and another baby done. I had forgotten the BB body did not fit her full length arms. There was too little fabric so the ties never reached her biceps. I thought I could easily fix that if I sewed strips of fabric around the circle. That idea meant that I had to refill the bobbin (a small job that went more quickly than I had thought it would.) At the same time I put the gathers in the front, took in the belly seam and reformed the butt area. Here I was back to making corrections to BB's bodies.

Here is Blaze with her new body. Those full arms do not sit exactly right, but frankly I have lost my lust to correct BB's bodies. Otherwise the body fits her well and I think under pajamas those puffs will just look like shoulders. At least the chest sits right and does not throw her head back too much. Her chin is a little high, but as I said, I was tired of fixing other people's work and I was eager to see how the new bodies I had made today worked.
Punkin still had some boobs but I was happier having his legs in the swivel caps so he could sit down. As of yesterday all he could do was try to stand up and then fall over or do a serious job of leaning.

Here both Punkins are enjoying their new bodies. The light beige one has swivel caps for the arms and the legs which gets rid of the boobs but puts a lot of swing in his arms. When you cuddle with him he doesn't seem as eager to give back a squeeze. I had to redo the legs as I had made the caps too small. Back to the machine, but it worked well making the bigger caps.
Speaking of caps. Last night I was looking at caps for newborns but was shocked the best price I could get was $3.32 each - for just a jersey cap. Only later as I was going to bed I realized that in the first harvest of  fabric from Harmony was some pink and white in a knit which I thought I would never use as stuffing a baby would be hard with a knitted fabric. Lightbulbs! I have yards material for newborn's caps. Maybe when I get these five babies birthed.
Before I finished today I tried one of my new body patterns on Nolan.
Can you read his lips? "Please just go order me a body like Holly's from BB. I am too old for your inventions." When Harmony met Nolan her first comment was, "He's an old soul." and the more I learn to know him, I am convinced that she is right. The sculptor used an old soul baby as model and he was so good that his soul age came through. He is a very sweet laid-back baby. Even an ugly body does not really upset him. He just let me know what to do to fix the problem. Will do tonight. For that I have energy.