Monday, August 31, 2015

I woke up this morning in such a good mood, feeling so happy, as if all was right with the world. At breakfast I tried to figure out the source of the marvelous feeling but it was only when I got to the studio that I discovered the above. For the first time in a week there were babies waiting on their trays to be assembled.
On Friday, Harmony, my mom, came by and helped me get my head on straight again. She was right from the get go so the transition was painless but it took a day for me to get used to the position and get the work lined up again. I do not like little dolls so I should not make them. If I want to keep making the bigger dolls I do need to get them into the arms that are needing them. I need to get my ego out of the way so I can proceed no matter what is happening. Just having Harmony say all the right things to me, on the east coast A. was moved to write me an email about more babies going in that direction.
So today there were these three babies needing bodies. I tried to take the easy way out by using bodies I had on hand or stored away because they did not work for other babies.
I have never had a baby try to run away because of a bad-fitting body but it happened today. Candy is very "blown away"  by the lilac body baby's jumping down off the bench and attempting to run away. Candy is herself suffering from one of BB's too-fat bodies. I wondered why the sleeves of her sleeper were so long. It was because I put her 3/4 arms in a body made for full-length limbs and you cannot do that even with such an even tempered baby as Candy is. On the floor is Claire in another of the old bodies. I brought that one into the house to sew an inch tuck in the length  but still it feels wrong on her. So I am promising everyone a brand new, made just for them body tomorrow. In the meantime I will peek to see what kind of a body BB recommends for her.
In the meantime Cookie and Alex called off their fight. It is easy to see who won and who has some personal work to do to accept it.
In the afternoon we went to GAC to pick up "Spirit Child." All went well and we got her home okay. Now I am just hot, tired and exhausted.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Things were already too warm in the studio by 9:00.  Cookie and Alex were still fighting over Juliet even though I had put her on the shelf by the door (to cool her down). Even the rabbit has hid his head to stay out of the foray.  I guess I should have separated these two also but all I could think about was getting a letter from A, in N.Y. asking for babies for the men in his facility. How could he know I was working on these?

We are having our autumn heat wave and thus we have monkeys in the blog, both boys and girls. For him I would make both into boys. I also wondered if he wanted boy dolls with boy parts in their pants.

I tried to photograph them even in the sun but within a few minutes I as completely overheated so these shots are as good as they get right now. I laid down on the bed to cool off and big vole or gigantic mouse ran into the bedroom. It later showed itself to WR while he was setting a trap and then disappeared making me feel all alone again, It too knew this side of the house was the coolest.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

I have not died and gone to heaven though that has been my prayer often enough this week. I am working with the idea of taking away the extra books on the shelves in the living room to put dolls on them. Each day I pack up a loads of books and though you cannot see much progress here it is slowly happening. When I go to the studio I am so tired not much good happens, but I did rearrange the east side of it to accommodate the new attempt to produce smaller dolls in polymer clay.
I've rolled this table from the side of my chair in the living room in, carried out the bushels of wool and replaced them with the table . I tried yesterday to work in clay but the results were not good. I hurt so much from lifting and moving things that it is  probably not wise to judge my abilities on the way I feel now. You can see that we got the big ceramic 'thing' brought in into the house and placed by the stove so I now have room by the window in the studio to put the oven. Yesterday I dragged out all the polymer clay stuff, looked it over to see what to save and what to throw out. At nights I read all the tutorials on YouTube. Today, however I sat and cuddled Samantha with the greatest joy. To think that six months ago I did not, could not, have this joy gives me tears. I am afraid of losing this joy. I am feeling very fragile.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Well, I got "the talk" yesterday and all doll makers know what it means and how mean it is. Men, and is always a male, seem to think they have the right as husband to place limits on either how much money we spend, how much time  we spend on dolls or space in our homes we give to them. Yesterday it was the space question. I want to bring  some of the bigger pieces into the living room (to give me more space in the studio) but he keeps the right to accept or reject what I bring in to live with even though 1/2 of the house is mine.  I was told that I am "making the dolls too fast and getting too many." I need to "slow down and make smaller dolls that take less room." I need to make the dolls out of something other than vinyl as he is allergic to the smell in the house. In my studio it is okay but it needs some rearranging to accommodate everything. If I could park the car outside I would have plenty of room! but that will not happen in this lifetime or maybe it should!
I went to the studio to review more carefully the silicone doll and whether I can be happy with them.
I really hate the snotty attitude  of this guy. He is just 10" long and is the size I am supposed to make now. His body was  filled with plastic pellets and was very floppy. I opened the crotch and stuffed in the more cotton-like polyfill. I tried putting clothes on him and even a wig.
This close-up reminds me that I dislike the too-thick lips and wide nose, also.  This doll is too tiny to be cuddly. It is only something to show off and I am not into that! It is really hard for hermits to show-off. I did go through all my fabrics and found patterns for doll clothes. I am not sure I want to make doll clothes so rearranged them all back in the basket.
When I made the trip upstairs for new materials for backgrounds and rested by looking at a doll magazine (2005) I found. I could detect the beginnings of reborns and see why they influenced me so little back then.
I had gotten up an hour later so all day I was an hour behind myself. I set up the new photo-shoot scene and the light had already gone.

Handling this baby made me realize how much I love this size and identify with it. I even named this baby Janey. Then I caught this scene below and hoped they were talking about me and figuring out how I can continue making more of their friends. The one in the yellow does not look very hopeful.

Friday, August 21, 2015

I had this crew waiting on me to come to stuff their limbs and heads this morning but I stayed at my desk to get the latest admissions recorded on the web site so I did not get to the studio until afternoon. I did finish crocheting the Felic's (Fleas) stork nest which I am not happy with the way it turned out so there is no photo of it. I stuffed all these limbs but still think I should find better matches for the two pinkish heads. I did find good names for the two girls I did get done right. In the front is Marsha (mellow) - she looks so much like BB's Candy but she had inscribed hair. In fact all four do!  I am really enjoying using someone else's drawing of hair so I can think about colors instead of directions.
Third in the row is Janey or Jany, the name Werner called me many years ago when we only knew each other through airmail letters. I feel she either looks as I did as a small child or she has the qualities I wish I did .have.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Yes, that looks very much like the begin of my day! This is the view I had inside the one doll's head. What you can barely make out are the eye sockets shaped like boobs. I knew I had ordered some stemmed eyeballs (in acrylic - not glass that would break as do the ones all the doll suppliers carry) from Amazon but which were not yet here. I hate waiting on parts to come in the mail, so I set this head aside to see if there were other surprises in the rest of the  heads.

I set Tweeter's head on the tray of limbs I had just finished putting the last coat on the nails. Hmmmm. Not looking good there. The colors do not match.  I may have to find another head or just do three kids this week.

The stemmed eyes did arrive, perhaps because I was not waiting? I also had this head with the tiny hole in the neck and no idea of how to get eyes placed from here. Could I pop the stemmed eyes in from the outside? No as you see in the photo.

I was able to locate these very tiny eyeballs sent to me in an order mix-up or mistake on my part. I was surprised when these tiny eyes popped in from the front. They tend to roll around on the sockets but the good news is that they end up in a similar place. I was too undecided which glue to use on them so I set them aside.  And I see that upper lip is too red!

I tried for over an hour to get the stemmed eyeballs in this head. Nothing worked and everything slipped or got dropped. I was getting very discouraged so I decided to cheer myself up by opening the  box with the order from Bountiful Baby.
Look what I got! Chaz was on sale for $24.99 and I have no memory of ordering this. Thankfully I did and  it arrived today and got me off the eye issues. Chaz has his eyes in already, is painted (for which I am glad) and all that hair is rooted in - very happy! As I was putting him together I recalled how my Mother used to buy monkeys every chance she got. She would have loved this. Probably preferred the monkey over any and all the dolls! She did not like babies! For a while I was calling Chaz "Mom" in her honor and then I realized that if the monkey was my mom, that would prove that I evolved from monkeys.
I found I had this one onsie (to cover up his body which is from BB and is too long I think).  If I do try another shorter body that onsie will be too long. . .We had no sun all day so I took this photo with the cloudy light and think I missed a big opportunity today! I should have been photographing instead of fighting with eyes.

Beside him (still searching for a name and a sex) is one of the new pacifiers I made this morning (his mouth is closed so it really does not work. I broke down to buy the hole-less nipples last week in my depression over Spirit Child so have also launched myself on this path.In the meantime the roast roasts and I have a monkey to go hold. Maybe that will help me forget that online last night I found out Spirit Child did not get a ribbon at AIR.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

 What a difference a day makes! Yesterday I started off my day by making bodies for these three. You can see the differences between their sizes and what I was working with - two medium bodies, one bigger than the other, and one of the biggest bodies. Well what a battle! Nothing went right, I got too hot and finally worked with clothes flung all over the living room. Then the foot pedal on the sewing machine got so hot I was afraid I would burn my foot or a hole in the rug. I would line up the raw edges with the idea of sewing the bodies slowly as best I could. My best was not hardly good enough. Frankly I felt I was doing miserable work but kept doing each next part of the job. Today they do not look bad at all and I am rather eager for the sun so I can photograph their portraits. The wildfires up in Humboldt County are covering us with a smokey fog. At least it is cooler today and I can keep my clothes on.

Also yesterday a box arrived with the limbs for Cookie which I had won in an auction on eBay. To my great disappointment someone had attempted to paint her and wisely gave up. The outside layer of her skin was stiff with those oil paints that had been baked into her. I could easily see why someone put her up for sale for only $8. For several hours while I worked on the crew I sank into an ever deeper depression. Even chocolate could not pull me out. After I finished the crew, and could see there was no way to get good light to photograph them, I picked up Cookie's head. First I scraped away some of the mouth painting and then was able to get new brighter colors to stick and finish the inside. Why people think Burgundy is a color for Caucasians' mouths and lips I do not know. Looking at the photo I feel I got the lips and tongue a bit too bright a red, but plan to tame that down today. Then I put eyes in her and suddenly she did not look half bad. The box from Dolls by Sandy also arrived and in there was a wig that fit her perfectly. It did not even need to be thinned. While resting and rocking Cricket I noticed that I had climbed out of my pit of depression. Cookie would be baby I could make! I did her finger- and toe-nails and suddenly loved her as much as I did her sister I made in April,
So today I sewed a body for her. First I must finish Kameko so I can pack her in her box for the trip to Tokyo tomorrow.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

I truly do not know what goes on in my studio overnight but this morning this is what I found in the doll buggy. Juliet's big eyes seem to show surprise at any time but today it felt as if it was caused by Alex  making a move on her and her rabbit. I set him back up straight in his corner of the buggy but as soon as my back was turned he was back in this position.

He may have gotten the idea from me (I may have bumped him) yesterday making this photo.

I hung this where the boys have their swing and could not get it to hold still in the place I needed the stork nest to be in relation to the white doors behind. Thus everything is slightly out of focus. The roses I had ordered for Spirit Child but as you see they came too late and were too big. I am still looking for a way to decorate the stork nests but I am not sure about this idea.

I did get an email from Machiko that she needed the wig on the doll going to her to be securely attached so I did that with my first/best energy. I set Kameko in the sun to dry the glue faster and when I looked over it looked as if she was staring out the door already on her way to Tokyo without getting dressed.

Friday, August 14, 2015

I felt I should make a trip to Gualala Arts Center to check on my girl - "Spirit Child" - but felt so awful I could not imagine making the trip. So I asked Susan, at the GAC desk, to have the people on the hanging committee to make any changes in her they saw were needed. To my surprise Harriet snapped a photo and sent that to me instead. There was enough out of whack in it to show me that it really needed some TLC corrections. Even though Werner had made one trip to town in the morning, and Mary was here cleaning, we dropped everything to make another foray into town.
They had placed the sculpture in a fine place! in the foyer on the first landing (above the mass of works) and right where the announcers and musicians on Friday will stand on a good dark pedestal. Only thing was they had turned her back to the wall and no one could see the frog coming out of her neck (one half of my joke!).  A quarter turn of doll stand fixed that and the label moved easily without tearing to its place in the middle between the frog lips.

Werner caught me making last minute changes and got a shot  the new placement which shows how the sculpture is now no longer in front of Ron Bolanger's photo but sideways to the one side of it. I hope he is pleased. Harmony saw us and came over and checked out what I had done and approved the changes and laughed at the joke. What you cannot see is how the spirit girl looks when one is down below on the floor of the foyer. She is overlooking a small alcove and I think when viewers are looking at those works in there  they will feel 'someone is looking down' on them and glance up to see this little kid hanging over the balcony. I hope this glimpse will draw them up the stairs to see the other works up there.
When we got home and both had naps to recover, I found the box from Sandie's did have the new eyes I had ordered. My last act of the day was put the new smaller eyes in four babies. That I could accomplish that unnerving job so late in day means my heart was greatly at rest and beating in peace with happiness.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I'm okay but have not blogging because I am out of 18 mm eyes and the fibro has been especially aggressive this week. I am hoping that when the eyes arrive I can get back to making babies and forget this dumb pain. I have been crocheting stork nests as I am most comfortable in the recliner before the open door where I take lots of naps.

I almost forgot to mention: I have a request from Japan for a baby. I did rephotograph her and hope to get the box done by Monday.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The day dawned bright and early and we were both awake and raring to go. We managed our morning normally so that we ended up in the kitchen at the same time for lunch. In kindness to our nerves we avoided mentioning the trip to Gualala Arts Center to enter the spirit child into the show. Immediately, with the last bite of strawberries, we were making our plan of how to do it best.
Werner was to drive the car out in front of my studio door. He drew the passenger seat up as far as it would go. Then he agreed that the floor of the back seat was the best place for her to stand to make the ride. I carried her around and set her carefully in place. Then I came in to rest and finally to get dressed in something other than pants and t-shirt.  By a quarter til one we were on our way. Luck was with us! We were able to pull up right in front of the auditorium in the shade.

There everything was ready and that man was kind enough to find my name to check that all the facts were correct. I had wanted to change the dolly's title to "A Stranger in Paradise" and was willing to pay the $5. to do it, but someone else was at that table so I carried the doll inside with her old title.
Too soon all the paper work was done and I had to stop Doric and Sally for the photo.

Back home I missed her! I actually thought of digging out Juan's limbs to make a doll to take her place. Then I saw Regina and realized I had a baby her size so sat and rocked Regina until I had eaten enough chocolate to feel sick and was able to polish the nails on the  limbs I had worked on in the morning.

You can see what I found out then. The eyes for the two heads on the left were too big. I really need more 18 mm. So I set the heads aside and got out one of the Ching babies because I knew 20 mm fit in his eyes. Again they were a bit wobbly so I rolled tiny balls of cotton to put between the eye and the socket. That stopped the wiggle of the eyes and when I poured in the glue it sopped it up, holding it against both parts. Happiness.

All week I have wanted to order some of the hole-less nipples from Nonie's Nursery but firmly told myself I did not need to get into making pacifiers out of beanie babies. Today I took courage with the memory that I now knew where to get more and simply took the nipples out of the bottles. I got my new invention sewed and glued in place with enough energy left over (after a nap) to make supper. A good day! I am very thankful it all went so well.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

When I walked into the room this morning, Big Ben was bent against MeiMei's shoulder saying in a whisper, "Give it up." He, too was afraid she would attack Regina in a fight over the paci. I tried to reason with Regina to give it up but that only made her more sure she need it more. About noon I found out everyone on the shelf had approached Beauty Blaze to ask her to use her influence (which is very great because I love her so much) to let MeiMei try out Regina's pacifier or do something.

Blaze thought giving MeiMei her bear would stop the threat of a fight. I was busy getting three new babes into their bodies but finally I had to give some thought to this problem instead.

I gave MeiMei her bear and that did not work. Amid more screaming I thought of this new fangled pacifier I had made from a beanie baby last spring. That satisfied her. She let the nipple drop out of her mouth long enough to say, "Tanks!" and even Big Ben relaxed.

When I received Dieter I thought his eyes looked like those of  the Berenguer babies. When I tried on his body I saw it was a Berenguer-made one. So that explained why his price was so low. Low enough to make me go for him although I have sworn off of Berenguer babies.

I do love his smile and his can-do attitude is great. However he had such tiny openings in his limbs (an old way of making babies that did not need stuffing) I had a devil of a time getting the cotton into them. They were made of such firm vinyl I had the feeling maybe I did not need to bother, but felt I should do my best for him and continued using a wooden spoon as stick-stuffer.

I was able to get all three of the new kids into sleepers and you can meet and see them all dressed up for their portraits at I am tired tonight I have run out of words. . .

The nicest work I did I did all day was with Cindy (her new name thanks to Ling-Yen who came by in the evening).  We got rid of the gray sleeper and picked this one (I am hoping the big butterfly on her chest will redirect the eyes off of her face) which also fits her perfectly.  I put conditioner on the wig and laid her in the sun to heat it up (I have no rollers or hot irons for hair) but by afternoon it was still slightly damp and the curl is not there. Today I will try a new wig on her. This babe needs help.
I did make a new bracelet for the Spirit Child so her flower basket does not get lost in transport and by noon it was so cloudy I decided to use the diffused light to make a photo of her with the garland in place.
It was good I did because on Bountiful Baby's forum a kind person asked to see a photo of Spirit Child  and I was able to get one up. It was very easy on the desk computer.  I was so jazzed by my success I worked all evening to get my photos over into the laptop but Chromebook was no help at all.
Late in the afternoon I was able to start the next crew. I planned to do only two.
That is Rieke on the left and Tweeter (a discontinued bargain from Sacrist dolls that looks very dolly-like) on the right who I call Dieter. By evening another baby had been added to the crew. I had picked Dieter because he came with his eyes in already. I must have spent an hour trying to get Rieke's eyes in and was in no mood for another battle like that. While looking for Rieke's eyes I found some other 18 mm eyes and got those (fairly easily) to go into the doll waiting on them, so she got added to batch without having her photo taken. I have even forgotten her name! For some dumb reason I felt the studio needed to be vacuumed and got caught up in that circus. Even doing it sitting down left me in a lot of pain. Not worth the effort and more thankful than ever for Mary.

Friday, August 7, 2015

I wanted to share some dolly life with you. After carrying the babes from the living room and the photo set-up back into the studio, I accidentally caught this action - MeiMei wants to try out Regina's pacifier and Tim in the background is afraid this could lead to war. Regina does not look in the mood to share and is much bigger than even the overweight MeiMei.

I fell in love all over again when I finished Gloria. It was so overwhelming and made me so thankful that I have as my present job, making these therapy babies. She is a left over kit from Sandie's [the next to their last one, I found] and surely from a very old mold - the hair is incised on her scalp, but her sweet face and joyful expression worked its way right into my heart. I sat holding her and feeling all the excitement and thrill of falling in love. I was just plain happy.  Though I knew it was wrong to photograph her in the strong sunlight, I could not stop myself.
Then like a pig eager for more thrills I decided to finish up Sweet and Sassy, one of the new doll-kit offerings from the Chinese that I had bought on auction on eBay, so her sweet face could thrill me too.

To my surprise and dismay she completely turns me off. For me there is a meanness about her face. It is as if people have been cruel to her and she intends to think up and do something very nasty to get even. She looks, to me, like the girl in my classroom that everyone hated and did not trust. I tried putting a wig on her and a bib hoping to make her more attractive, but nothing worked. And her nose is too wide for a Caucasian.  I will not be buying this kit again.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I promised photos of some of the newly wigged babies. That is one of the Ching boys on the left on the top shelf. Somehow all my brown wigs seem to fit him.

Juliet fit right into this curly version so easily I never even bothered to brush it for her. Bad Momma.

Elijah fit right into this Dutch boy wig. It sort of ruins his priest aspect, but I feel he looks more like a real boy this way.
This is my Ching T'ein, the first of the Ching boys and the only one with a male package. I think he will be my forever baby. I cannot imagine anyone wanting that on a doll!

In spite of the fact that our well went dry last night, I was able to work on Spirit Child, gluing in her eyelashes and drawing in very nice eyebrows. I found having her stand on the table took up less room than having her on the floor so here she is blessing (so it seems) the new Chinese Sweet & Sassy on the left and a bargain baby from Sandie Unger on the right. The Sweet & Sassy baby was advertised as being very soft to touch. The vinyl feels like any other vinyl but the pieces are poured so thin stuffing it was quite a job. The vinyl had the thickness and flexibility of cloth. I have never had a doll with such light  limbs. I used the cotton-like poly-fill so the they seemed very solid in the end. The eyes did not fit very well and when I poured in the glue to hold them in place, it ran out the eye holes. What a mess. I had plenty of time to clean it up while another plumber tried to fix our well and we did get more water delivered. The 1000 gallons cost $20 and the truck and driver cost $220. Life in modern times. At least there is a shower in my future tonight.
Oh while the very young (20+) boy plumber and walked through the studio to get Werner and the key to the pump house, the guy asked, "What is all this?" "I make babies." I quickly replied and he started to laugh. "I mean I make dolls." and we were both laughing. He wanted to pick Regina up and was startled to find she felt like holding a real child. Another convert.