Saturday, July 9, 2011

Still Available: Sylvia

A tall drink of water at 18 inches.
She longs to be a dancer like her sister Serena who is going New York very soon. She wears dresses with skirts that fly out if she spins very fast.  She hopes to be discovered when she grows up, too. She wants to leap and twirl across the stage. She wants to have roses thrown at her feet as she thanks the crowd after a brilliant performance. Oh, the costumes and tights, her name in lights, won't it be grand? Her legs are long and her dreams are large.

Sylvia is an art doll. Your decision to allow a child to play with her is your own. She is not washable and is best cared for with only a dry cloth and a gentle dusting. Clothing and body made with cotton blends, stuffed with fiberfill, with a craft wire skeleton. The hair is eyelash yarn, sewn and needle felted on. Eyes are safety lock acrylic. Facial details hand painted.

Sylvia is now at home with her new family and dreams of inviting them to a recital one day soon.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Address Change Form is Necessary!

There is only one possiblity standing between us and a new house. If that sweet little box of home-iness passes the radon testing this weekend, she is ours. If not, we have to wait for the seller to correct and mitigate the gases.

So, as long as there are no natural disasters (or gases) at the address, Dolly Dolly and the rest of us will be relocating. There is so much to be done. The boxes are stacked in the kitchen with care, hoping that (with the upcoming yardsale) less items to pack will soon be there. We have been sorting and getting rid of things since we signed the contract. The (current) house looks like it has been robbed! There are empty spaces on every shelf and the artwork has been taken off the walls.

The past few weeks have been filled with long drives, paperwork, a sick relative, and many, many chewed fingernails. With all those distractions, I didn't realize my container garden on the porch has been working hard. I have barely had time to water the plants (thank goodness for rain) before running off on another road trip. even with the abandonment issues my plants have surely developed, they are still reaching out with produce. Teensy sweet green peppers, reddening cherry tomatoes, and there...what's that there??...YES! sweet little strawberries. Downside?? The bees and me. Not a huge fan of stinging divebombers. But I overlook them so I can enjoy a bit of time on the deck staring at those sweet little plants. Plants! OH! Did I mention, the new house has a garden?! The seller has a garden with tomatoes, peppers and squash growing happily in the corner. This garden looks like it will reach maturity after we have possession of the property. There may be a few pluckable pretties before we get there, but the later fruits will be ours.

(This was written 7/7/11. Update: The house obviously passed all tests and is now ours.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dolly Dolly gets off the ground.

Dolly Dolly Oxen Free is a great name. Right? Yes. I thought so, too. My fantastic and brilliant friend, Lindy, came up with it.

I began this adventure a long, long time ago when I stitched up my first doll for my little girl. The doll was...well... she was a mess! I used wool roving for hair which would have been fine, but I did not take into consideration, I was giving it to a toddler. In no time, her lovely locks were two dreadlocked bird's nests. the body was made by stuffing a pair of tights that my kiddo had outgrown. The stuffing was part fiberfill, part yarn scraps, part "whatever I had lying around that was soft". This chaos did not hold up well and in no time, the dolly had one very short, thick leg and one long and skinny leg. Aparently, not coordinating the stuffing materials in a stetchy body was a bad idea.

To be a bit dramatic with my description, I could say: it was as if I had packed one leg with jeans and the other with newspaper. But to my kiddo, the doll was great. Even my husband gave me an "Aww, good job, Honey. She looks great." But I saw a possibility. If I could make this poor little thing, which I was embarassed to give to my child, and people liked it... what more could I do?

I began thinking more about dolls and stuffed monsters. Toys that were just as eye-catching as the things for sale on store shelves, but with something more. I started playing with fabrics and learning more about sewing and embroidery. I scouted discount bins, thrift stores and yard sales for fabrics with personality. I drooled through every book on dollmaking I could find. I doodled dollies on envelopes, napkins, and magazine covers. I began to really look at the toys in Kiddo's room. I am not sure when it happened, but not long after the obsession started I had a sketchbook with plans and my sewing machine threaded. Oh, how gently it started way back then...