Little Elin BID arrived from Iplehouse this morning! She's just the cutest little doll, and came beautifully boxed, tucked into her white sleeping bag. I love her realistic little body. For the most part she poses really well, although she has those same useless Iplehouse ankles, and I'm not so sure about the way her upper legs 'lock' into her lower torso. She came with golden brown eyes, but I think she could use a size smaller, and probably in blue or green. But first she needs a faceup - then I'll decide about eye colour and wig.
I finally put my Cuprit's head up for sale on DoA. It took me awhile since I do get attached to my dolls, but now that her body has such a lovely new head, I don't see ever putting her original head back on again. I'm hoping to get $200, which would cover the cost of the new head plus the two faceups.
I've been feeling overwhelmed by my doll collection since they all have to stand either all crowded together in a tiny space in the family room, or on the dining room table. I've been trying to figure out how to best store/display them, so only a few are out at any one time.
After thinking about it for weeks, I finally decided to empty out the display cabinet in the family room of my old International doll and nutcracker collection that's been in there forever. One of the shelves was removed, the remaining one lowered to the middle, and all my shorter dolls from the dining room china cabinet moved in. The dining room china cabinet hasn't seen china for over thirty years either, and was used to display various dolls I've made over the years. It doesn't get sunlight, so seemed like the perfect spot to house some of my BJDs. Everything in the cabinet came out, was cleaned, and the lower glass shelf removed making the bottom shelf 78 cm high - perfect for all my taller dolls, and any shorter ones needing a rest. Even Tedros can come out of his box now. He'll have to wear one of his girlfriend's pink robes for now until I can get to making him something with the wonderful chain-mail glove I was given.
I also sorted through piles of fabrics that had been building on the dining room table, sorted them into boxes, and put those away. I also made seat cushions for the two garden chairs that have been sitting on the end of the table for months. Now they can go downstairs to the photo studio. It's great to finally be able to see the surface of my dining room table appear again. It needs a good polish and then I can start piling up new things on it!
Tomorrow it's back to sewing doll costumes....
We all went to Chris' house for a fun afternoon of 'creative painting' today. He had made the biggest 'spin art' contraption ever - capable of holding up to 30" square canvases. My three granddaughters had a great time squirting paint and watching the spin art designs develop.
Chris also built a giant easel, and Rachel & Teagan set about applying a fresh layer of paint
to some existing older canvases, while Natalya tried out a new mop 'brush'.
Mixing paint is half the fun!
Narae and Maya's outfits are quite far along. Narae just needs a cloak, and possibly a bonnet. Maya needs his vest, cloak and scarf. And they both need shoes, which hopefully will come next week. Narae's outfit is a remake of one I made many years ago. That doll was one of a three-doll commission for the main characters from the Scottish legend of Tam Lin. I couldn't remember the name of our heroine, so looked up the story on the Internet, where most references to the story said the heroine's name was usually 'Janet'. That didn't seem familiar, so I did some looking through my old doll albums, and sure enough our Tam Lin heroine's name was Jennet - close enough.
I really like Narae's outfit. Her sleeves are of the finest cotton gauze, and I gathered them onto narrow ribbons as opposed to using elastic. Elastic will lose it's stretch over time, but ribbons will keep the gathers looking as fresh as the day they were first sewn. I love her wine red velvet bodice. Working with velvet was the usual challenge, having to hand-baste every seam first, but nothing looks quite like velvet, so the end result is well worth the extra effort. I think this outfit would look amazing on several of my other dolls too!
Maya's shirt was also a challenge. I adjusted old patterns from gnomes and musketeer shirts, and cut it out of the same fine white cotton gauze. The most challenging part was the collar - it's bad enough to sew in human size! But I used soft iron-on interfacing and plenty of FrayChek, worked very slowly, and it came together very nicely. Most of the shirt will end up hidden under his vest and cloak, but that's okay.
I've been eyeing the Iplehouse 'babies' for some time, and finally decided which little girl in which skin colour to get. I ordered little Elin, in real skin, the night before last, and this morning I already had a shipping notice from Iplehouse!! Now that has to be a record!!!! Normally you have to wait weeks, if not months for a doll - like my KW Nelly who was ordered over a month ago, and won't be coming until the end of November.
I've finally decided to take my Narae to Charie next week to see what can be done about her yellowing, and to fix the small cracks in the bottoms of her legs, and get a new faceup, so she's all nice and fresh for her fall trip. Normally Iplehouse dolls arrive in just a few days, so little Elin can tag along for a faceup as well.
We are planning a road trip through New England this fall, and I thought I'd better be prepared and make some new outfits for dolls to take along. I'm taking my Narae and Doll Leaves Maya - it will be his first adventure. I had thought maybe something "Anne of Green Gables", or 18th century peasant fisherfolk, but finally have it nailed down, and am well on the way through both outfits. Narae is getting a costume similar to one I did years ago for a Scottish legend heroine, with tartan underskirt and shawl, with a wine-red over-skirt and red velvet lace-up vest over a white flouncy blouse. Maya will get something similar to a 'Hobbit", with 3/4 length pants, a full shirt, vest, and hooded cloak. I ordered some nice brown 'hiking boots' for both of them, and I think they could both use nice leather bags. I figure if I get the trip clothes out of the way I'll be free to make whatever I want right up until it's time to leave.
Busy sorting and putting away things that have been piling up of late. One thing leads to another, just like dominos, and that leads to noticing the dust on everything, which means vacuuming and dusting too.
Went to my favourite "fabric store" - Value Village - and picked up two saris and an interesting scarf last night. The saris are 4 1/2 metres long with beautiful printed borders along both edges and along one end, and at a mere $7.95 (for the whole thing), they are a great bargain, and I can visualize all kinds of lovely dresses. The blue scarf is destined to become Blue Harvester Butterfly Fairy outfits. My stack of new fabrics is piling up - several month's worth of sewing is staring back at me each time I pass by - it's starting to look a bit overwhelming.
I'm still trying to get inspired to do the outfits I "have to make", and get out of the way before the "want to make" outfits. Which means it's a good time to clean while I wait for inspiration to hit.
Made two more wigs today - a short, golden blonde, mohair wig, and a long, two-tone, black and red synthetic one. I think that's enough wigs for awhile. Now I have to play around with everyone to see who gets to keep which wig.
Finished two more wigs today - a long, wavy red with little wisps along the forehead (mohair from a goat named 'Lucifer'), and a slightly wavy, incredibly soft, long brown (from 'Jessie'). I think I'm starting to get better at the center parts since both these wigs turned out fine in front. Parts are still a very tricky, stressful thing to make. I'm thinking Ryung and Hazy will probably claim these two wigs.
I'm still using Miki and Layla as models since they are nice and short, therefore easier to glue the wefting onto than any of my taller dolls. Their heads get protected by a layer of plastic wrap - open in front so they 'can still breathe' (and so their eyelashes don't get squished) - then a layer of foil molded down around the neck, then some tape and then the crochet wig cap. The cap is lined with a circle of nylon tricot. The tricot keeps the hot glue from seeping through the spaces in the crochet cap, and prevents it from sticking to the foil. It also makes a very neat inside to the wigs.
I'd like to still make two more wigs - a blonde mohair for Layla, and a layered black and red synthetic fiber from a human-size wig I found at Value Village last week. Then I'm done - for the time being. Everyone should have a nice wig to wear, and hopefully I won't have to be borrowing back and forth all the time any more. But even if I do have to borrow, there will be a selection of other nice wigs for the 'victim' to wear in the meantime - they won't have to stand around bald.
Martha Boers is an award-winning Canadian doll maker and costumer specializing in fantasy and historical-style costumes.