Sunday, November 29, 2015

At breakfast I could not figure out why I wanted the strawberries so much. I simply could not stop eating them. I apologized to Werner for making such a hole in the bowl. He answered,  "Is Harmony coming today to pick up the babies for Petaluma?" That was it! My depression at their leaving was already affecting me at breakfast and the hole inside of me was screaming for sweetness! Aware now of what was going on with me I started to fight my feeling in the only way I know works.

Here is this week's crew - monkey, pig and dog, The pig is a factory painted Thistle. I had been less than happy with my version of the pig that I  painted but looking over the job done at the factory my work looks very good. This has given me courage to buy the unpainted ones to do them myself. I had most of the limbs weighted  and ready to stuff with the cottony poly-fill by the time Harmony brightened my day. She was able to squeeze both boxes in her back seat, but just. It looked as if I had measured her car and picked the boxes. Then we sat down and had a great catch-up talk before she heads back to Michigan next week. She always feeds my soul. I forgot for a while that there was this empty place in the studio.

After lunch I took a nap in my chair so I woke with the energy to move my photo-shoot set up into the garage. Werner helped me carry stuff out and it was he who got the backdrop hung straight. I found myself enjoying seeing the set up in the garage so very much as I sat in my chair.

I did finish stuffing the limbs of the animals so I can start tomorrow with body building. Not mine, but sewing bodies for the animals. I ache as if it is going to rain tomorrow.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

I often use this blog to record my successes so I may as well let it trumpet a defeat. I mentioned in the last blog the idea of trying out this poor dwarf  as a flood of art  on my own road. I dreaded the idea of hobbling across the lawn carrying a doll and a cane but was determined to risk stumbling on the uneven ground in order to get another of my artworks  placed in the flood. When I mentioned my idea to WR he suggested we use the car. He offered to drive me down the road. I hated to bother him since I knew that he thought the idea of putting one's art out on the street for free was foolish and did not want to hear that again. However when I looked in the light of day where I would have to walk, I gave in and asked for a ride.

By nine o'clock we were on the edge of the road. I laid the package in the grass just to the side of the road. 

You can see the laughter on the baby's face. I tried to position it so the sun would not shine in its eyes.One last shot before I got back into the car. 

From the house we could see the white of the blanket and from upstairs WR would have have a grand view of it. By lunch time it was still there. WR said a jogger had run by but was watching her steps on the road and did not look around. She did not even look at the ocean, which many people do at this spot. After lunch I got all excited when I saw 4 kids coming down the road. I got my camera ready and like a cat viewing a bird, could hardly wait for the excitement to begin. They were two very young teenager couples. Both girls had eyes only for the boys who were walking on the inland side of the road. No one saw the doll. If it had been a snake it could have bit them.
As it got dark we got back in the car to drive out to pick up the doll. My! she was cold. Her cheeks were like ice. Back home I left her to spend the night in the living room hoping she would warm up. 
Today I got an email from Doric Ball, who I had asked to put other babies in Anchor Bay and Gualala. I did not expect a report from him but bless him this was in my email:

"I left your babies as follows:
1. On the bench outside the barbershop in the Surf parking lot 2. On a large boulder near the sidewalk on the way into the Gualala Arts Center 3. On one of the wrought iron chairs outside the ANCHOR BAY STORE in ANCHOR BAY.
The angel necklaces got passed out to young girls in the clay studio on Friday, and Jane Head took most of them and spread them around town with flyers for the UPSTAIRS GALLERY OPENING Friday and FLOOD THE STREETS WITH ART.
None of them were still there today, so I figure they all found good homes."
So I have Doric and Jane Head to thank for what success my art-action did have.

Last night there was a thump on the porch in the dark and we found the UPS man had delivered a box. Thank goodness it was the fabric to wrap the babies scheduled for Petaluma. Today, after cutting it into blankets, I finished wrapping the babies for Harmony to pick up tomorrow.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

I hope everyone had a very happy Thanksgiving or at least there was one incident that made you happy to be alive and participating in this day. I had  planned to not work on dollies today but to revert to my childhood and spend the day preparing the cards for Christmas. The last thing to find and add to my job was the calligraphy pens. To my surprise, since I no longer shop in stationary shops, I was completely out of ink for the pens. I found one old cartridge in the back of a drawer but after cleaning the pen and changing its point, I found it did not fit. So off to Amazon and out of a job. I was actually relieved I could now work on dollies.
Last night, while reading postings on a doll forum, there were a string of letters about people getting out the first dolls they had made and being very shocked about how bad they were. Then today I experienced the same thing. I was checking Peanut who I have listed for sale on Reborns and was shocked to find she had such an old body.

I would never sell a baby like that! In the afternoon I cut out a new body for her and sewed it in the sunshine of a wintry day. I was greatly relieved to see her looking like this.

Then I put on her sleeper and found her so cute I could not resist just sitting and rocking her. When I got out of the chair I saw that was the best place for her to spend the night. I really need for Mary to bring the crib she has promised me.

Seeing her sitting there I just felt a flood of love for that happy face. So there was my thanks giving. The turkey is in the oven with the sweet potato and cranberry sauce is waiting in the cupboard.
In the studio this crew is waiting for their blankets to get into their box for the journey starting on Sunday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The gang destined for Sunrise House in Petaluma. Friday they get wrapped in their blankets with ribbons. There are two more to finish tomorrow. One, I was shocked to find I had used some limbs painted with the heat-set kind of paint. I was shocked how hard they were. As hard as porcelain and not nearly so nice.

The limbs don't look as bad on this photo as they do in real life. They are short and fat so the Ching child (who donated his head) looks like a dwarf. Doric came by today and picked up my "flood the street with art" box or I would be adding this child to that. At supper I got the idea of putting him out on our road to see if anyone walking by would find him. I really hate to give him to the nursing home. I feel his limbs are so bad. I laugh now when people crow on their descriptions of dolls about using the heat-set paints.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

These babies are all happy because they are lying in a pile to be sent to the Sunrise Nursing Home in Petaluma. I was able to connect with their activities director, who I find out, also writes haiku. Thus our discussion kept getting pulled away from babies. I am happy to have my work for tomorrow already laid out for me. Today got away from me with more upsets on the forum. Finally at noon I got to the studio but was so discombobulated that I was not up to starting any babies and could only crochet diapers. The weather was as unsettled as I was. Around noon it actually started to hail. The fibro took this as a hint to hurt so I slept badly last night and hurt all day. Tomorrow has got to be better!

Monday, November 23, 2015

First of all today I finished packing up the babies for Petaluma. The monkeys were so cute in their decorated onsies and banana bottles I wanted a photo of them before they were gone. Yesterday while cleaning out clothes looking for duds for Annie, I found many more bottles. I thought I had used up all the bottle caps but now I have a bunch more. This assures new monkeys' bottle nourishment. I realize that the bottle and baby may not stay together in the new nursing home but I hope they get a good laugh to start out with.

Looking at the second lower shelf of the metal rack, I got the idea of putting the smaller babies here instead of stacking them in with the larger ones. After I laid them out I saw that Ethan and Jenny Wren were over looking them. I was so touched at the looks of concern on their faces.
Yesterday I had put Thistle the Pig up on and then afterwards thought the portrait photo did not show him good enough. So today I took 10 more shots and found this view was the best.

When I went to to change out this one, I saw the photo I put up yesterday was the better one. It showed his foot, too.  I wonder if they build crutches for self-esteem?

Annie's first outfit of the day! My mother would have called this "jakey" as she did lots of my high school creations. You can see in Annie's eyes that she is not comfortable in this borrowed outfit. I do not have many 3 month clothes but I did find another outfit that came on Angelic that was really too big for her. Evidently it is more fun to shop for clothes for 3 - 6 and 12 month sizes than newborns.

There, that was better. I also added a wig so she had some wisps of  hair under the cap. The kid does take good photographs.

Doesn't she looks as if she is ready to speak as soon as she gets the words together in her mind?  I wish her creator had not made her eyes so round.

Asher and Candy were also in the photo-shoot.

Asher is such a sober guy. I would not have picked him to buy but BB offered a deal where one got for free one of their Realborn kits with a purchase. I wanted to see if these kits were any better than the others BB offers. I did not find any difference except the price was $79. in stead of under $20.

I am amazed how important it is for me to have at least one smiley baby on the week's crew. Candy, my old favorite held my spirits in her soft little hand and together we got through the photos.
The activities director from a nursing home in Petaluma called and we had a great time chatting about dolls. The ones they are using are the hard kind of therapy dolls. She ended up ordering 5 babies, the three monkeys and the puppy. I think she will like the cuddle feature in my babies.  I hope to hear from the other home today.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The morning started out looking like this.  Behind the bodies is the box of calendars. I am waiting on a shipment of envelopes from Amazon to start mailing them out. In the meantime I have three great bods to match up to vinyl personalities.

I rarely take photos of the stuffing process because it seems to use up every last bit of my energy. However today, as I was inserting Freckles into Annie's head I could not resist capturing  the look on his face. I do put a teenie beanie baby into each head so the kid has something to think about and someone to talk to during those conversations which  I hold all day in my head.

Asher was the first one into a body. There are moments I feel he is going to smile. He will have to wait for his paint until tomorrow morning when I am fresh and only 50 years old. Still there is something very lovable about this guy. Happy to find whatever it is in him and me.

Little Asher next to Candy looks absolutely tiny and a bit scared of her singing. I think he does not know what to say to her and he knows it cannot be a compliment on her voice, but that is all she wants. He is one very smart kid.

I tried to put Annie on the bench but the other two crawled up on her so you cannot really see her at all. I have fallen in love with Annie and no one is surprised. I already feel I will not be able to give her up. She has the size I love, a very pleasant face, and a heart as big her big blue body. When I got ready to quit at 5 o'clock I noticed my chair was empty. Here was the room the three kids needed for the night.
One can clearly see the differences in the sizes of this week's crew. Tomorrow we  will start with faces and then get out the sleepers and I am interested in seeing who picks which one. For weeks I have moaned that I did not have enough sleepers but now there are several stacks. Joy, joy, joy!
Just a quick note to introduce you to next week's crew. A couple are new to both you and me. On the left is Asher awake, one of the new Realborn babies made this year by Bountiful Baby. He has the warmest expression of any of the four awake and sleeping babies. In the middle is Annie, an older doll kit from BB with a date of 2010 on her neck. I like her gentle smile and have great hopes for making her a therapy baby. She will be one of the bigger babies - always my favorites. You can see a bit how big she is compared to Candy on her left. Again the eyes went in very easily, which was a big relief. Now I am off to sew bodies. I hope the spirit will be with me.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

I see I skipped yesterday. I hope you can too. I did get the three bodies cut out and sewn and then the day deteriorated into my silence.
But today we have sewn bodies and kids ready to jump into them. Every time I have the thought, If God wanted me to make dolls he would have given me three hands." As I work I find myself using knees, boobs, and chin to hold the parts in place while I tie the strings. I often start with the child with the most pleasing expression as I need that lift to get me started. You are not surprised to see a Ching child. This one's name is Jasper. Seeing him here in just his body, he sits like a girl and he is holding his right hand like a girl. We may have to have talk later.

 After a good lunch, the supermarket got their chicken cooker replaced, I wanted to start the second child. I thought that maybe I should do the smallest one since I had done the largest child and this would help me judge the sizes. So little tiny Morgan was next. When I sat him on the bench I did not feel right about him.

Jasper was laughing so loudly and so much I felt I was not able to think. He knew what was wrong, but knew that I did not. He tried to give me a hint by saying, "My bod, my bod." Finally it sank in the gray matter that the body on Morgan was too big. I asked if he was okay to trade. He gladly gave up the too big body. Then I tried it on Leon and it seemed to fit better. Still Jasper was laughing about something.

I picked up the body lying on Leon's tray with the plan to lay it aside for next week with a note about its size and then I would go to cut out a smaller version for Morgan. This was supposed to be one of the bigger bodies but it was too short. Then it dawned on me that I had put the wrong body on Leon's tray. This was the smaller body I had originally planned for Morgan. So it was already cut out and sewn. What blessing.
Morgan was so happy to get into the body that was made to fit him. See him here with Leon.

You can see the difference in sizes and why these two could not trade bodies. Leon knows how disturbing it is to switch in and out of bodies so he is trying to comfort little Morgan. We still had time so we got out the sleepers. After much trying this one and that one, everyone was satisfied.
As we walked through the kitchen to get to the photo setup, it seemed all three at once spied the box of candy canes. A unified howl went up. As I tore open the box I asked Jasper how they knew what these were. This will be their first Christmas. He turned his head and mumbled, "We've been here before." They remembered candy canes! So they became the bribe of the day.

Here is little Morgan clutching his candy. He really did not want to sit here doing what I tried to get him to do. The candy cane was a lot more interesting than I am.

Leon was next. All of his photos show his displeasure when he found out what it says on his sleeper. As I read it to him his face got more and more unhappy. He would sit in a weird position so no one could read the message. I think he is more interested in finding a good mommy than a daddy. Only at the end of the session did I catch him with his arm down in place.

Jasper kept sticking out his tongue instead of giving me a pleasant smile that I wanted for his photo. When I turned around to stop another child from climbing back on the photo table and then looked back, this is what I found.

Knowing taking the candy from him would start a screaming war, I walked away to see if there was an assistant with the chutzpah to keep him from getting that wet and sticky and smeared over everything. When I came back, knowing it was my job to avoid a loud mess with this, I found. . .

Leon was trying to help (or get another candy cane). Needless to say two pairs of sleepers are in the laundry tonight and I have two very tired, but happy, babies with very clean faces.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The morning started beautifully with a phone message from a woman in San Francisco who wanted a therapy reborn to donate to a nursing home in honor of her mother. She had already picked out Holly Berry! What a delight was to talk to her on the phone. There were so many parallels between our lives, it was a bit like meeting the other side of myself.
Then my big task for the morning was to go over Holly to make sure she was ready to be adopted out. Thanks to Harmony bringing me a whole box of priority boxes I had the right size for her. By noon Holly was packed and even USPS cooperated by allowing me to print the postage label.
As always my only real comfort after packing up a baby to ship out was to get out new kits to start the new babies for the week. As I sat by the table waiting on the alcohol to dry in the sun, I gazed at the tray full of parts.

As I numbly stared into space, I realized that this is one of the happiest scenes I could wish for - many baby parts ready to be made into even more babies. I was even more blessed by the eyes going in the heads of all three so easily. All the hassles with stemmed eyeballs the other week have either made me a better eye-installer or just more thankful for the 1/2  round eyes.

Here we have, on the left, the next to the last kit from the Ching family. This means I will have to endure EvilBay, as the doll makers call eBay, to find an auction in my price limit. Next to Ching is Morgan from BB who is new to me. I was glad to see she is a tiny baby as it seems I do need more of the smaller ones to fulfill those requests. Last is Lilly. This will be the third week I have her in my crew. I gave her brown eyes this time so she feels different from the others. Tonight the glue on their eyes is drying. I look forward to tomorrow,  painting their faces, and sewing bodies.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Blaze Dear spent the day teaching Thistle, the baby pig, how to absorb therapy instruction from a big crystal that hangs on the shelf near her. He seemed very happy in her company and slightly interested in the crystal. I am not sure he will make a therapy reborn as his paint job is not one of which I am proud.
I made it a day of rest by only crocheting diaper covers.  Have 7 new ones now.  I was exhausted by the news from Machiko-san that her doll, mailed on August 19th had never arrived! I did make a claim to the post office and was told that they must wait 17 days to hear from the Japanese post office. I do hope they find the box and the doll, but if they do not find her there will be insurance money due to me. Small comfort. I should have had the self esteem to check with Machiko-san earlier. I was afraid the doll had arrived and she had not liked it and so choose to say nothing. How wrong I was! I do have another Kameko kit. I had wondered why I had saved it back. Now I know.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

200th Blog Entry

I cannot believe these things were on my work table today. I was painting a pig. The kits cost 29.95 unpainted and 39.95 factory painted. Of course I thought I knew how to save $10. per pig. At first I used the Derwent pencils the way I do the faces on babies. The pig needed a stronger color. I got out the kit of Baby Fx paints (those tiny bottles lying in among the other stuff). If I used it thin enough to please me the way it went on it dried too shallow and faded. If I put it on thick enough to cover it was dense and full of paintbrush marks. I would paint all the parts in one color at one thickness, and when that was not pleasing I would paint them all with another technique. I got really frustrated with the Fx paint names like "lips," "brows," or "skin" instead of  pink, brown and cream. In the end I got out the Derwent pencils to add the true colors. All in all a very frustrating exercise. I think I will be buying the factory painted pigs as soon as BB gets them in.

I was somewhat pleased with the 'cow'  fabric but I think I was wrong to try to duplicate that pattern on the pig.

All day I kept having the feeling that I should be doing something else. I finally figured out the big voice inside of me was wanting to make babies, not pigs. I refused to give in to start a new crew but I am really looking forward to tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Before lunch I was able to get Lilly into a body that fit her. After lunch the other two endured the same process. I was aware how much work it is to stuff a body. Or maybe my body was only having a good whine.
Jesus got another haircut and thinning but the mohair was not very curly like I wanted. It looks more like Negro fuzz than Jewish curls so I have not photographed the results of the haircut.

I was able, thanks to another shipment of sleepers, to get everyone clothed and ready for photos tomorrow. All are soft and cuddly in fleece.

Barbara did stop by for the babies so I got to watch another box-full  of babies go out the driveway. I lost all desire to work on babies so I glued business cards to the new calendars until it grew dark.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

This was the scene I found this morning. I think these two gals talked all night. They sure wore out Ben. I felt like him all morning. I just could not get myself started. I knew this was a body day but I felt I was not up to it. So I did a hundred little jobs that I had been neglecting.
I did do a new photo-shoot of the dog as I plan to put him up on asap.

I hope not every one sees him as I do. He looks grumpy, as if her wanted to be a pit bull and some one gave him that short nose. Maybe I can sell him and not have to look at him.
I laid out Thistle, the pig, and as soon as I can I do want to do him. He looks a lot friendlier. I looked at a lot of images of pigs to see how they are colored.
In the afternoon I cut out, sewed, and assembled three bodies for the crew of kids. Hopefully my morning tomorrow will allow me to begin stuff them.