I am not the kind of person who starts projects one at a time… you know those people- starts a doll and works on that one doll until it is all done? Not me, no definately not. I have too many ideas racing around in my brain ( ADD I think!) and if I don’t let these out, they block all forward motion- That is why right now I am actively working on the dark-haired girl and also these doll pattern revisions. I also have many, many UFO’s (unfinished objects) all waiting patiently for me. Maybe I’ll get to them- deadlines help.
So these are 4 of the 8 bodies I’ve been working on. I am using head and body patterns I developed last year and am considering what it means to attach the head to the body in a different way (seam at the neck). My biggest challenge is to keep track of what I am doing so that I can repeat something when it works. I tend to snip here and there and the next thing I know, I have changed everything- once the doll it stuffed it is very hard to get an accurate paper copy. I always think I will remember what I did- but rarely do.
I had fun with the ears. They are sewn and attached after the doll head and body are stuffed. I goofed on one though- I haven’t been feeling that great- a bad summer cold NO FAIR!- I seem to be able to sew and also to stuff, but my thinking isn’t all clear. I finished stuffing one of the dolls and did the nose and I was so pleased with how it looked that I thought I’d gesso it right up- after I had it all painted I realised I’d forgotten to put on the ears! There is one coat of gesso so far, so I will probably give it a light sanding and the sew through the paint- not impossible.
I am very pleased with the needle-sculpted nose on the second doll on the left. I am trying to do more like it.
I am thinking of these as babies or toddlers- that is the head shape I am working for. Some come a lot closer to my idea then others, but so much can change when they are painted…
The garden is amazing right now. It seems as though all the plants are blooming at the same time! Everything that survived the terrible winter is trying to prove something by going all out this summer.
I love the poppies when they bloom- they look so messy until they do- I am sure my neighbors wonder why I’m not weeding more, but then suddenly they are blooming everywhere and people stop their cars and ooh and ahh. Usually they continue for about 3 weeks. These are annual poppies and spread their seeds all over so they bloom in cracks in the sidewalk and other odd places that the wind and the rain carry their seeds. They are traveling around the neighborhood.
The second photo is Monarda- it can be weedy and wild, but smells so nice when I am pulling it out!
The daylilies are starting up now and they all are looking very promising- the ones that aren’t blooming yet have lots of buds. It has been a good season so far for everything in the garden.
There are lots of photos of my garden here, and the pictures I took today start here- in case you ever wonder what grows in Boston, MA.
I just finished listening to Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire. It is his take on the Snow White story. So entertaining, especially after being so involved with the play.
I am working on getting this poor thing some hair. I have described wig-making before but I will have to experiment with this project. I have an odd shaped piece of tibetan lambs wool left over from doing another doll. I am going to try to make it work. I never throw anything away!
I am working on a design change in my doll pattern- most of the dolls I’ve done so far have had what I think of as a shoulder plate- I was originally inspired by china head dolls. I hand-stitched the head and shoulders onto the body (after stuffing and needle-sculpting the head), adjusting the angle of the head which gave the doll some of it’s attitude.
I am now trying to machine stitch the head to the body at the point that the body and the neck meet.
Lots of other doll patterns do this. I tried it with Agnes. After the neck is sewed onto the body, I stuff everything- it seems harder so far. I guess I am trying it to see if I think it gives me more control and predictability. I am trying to make a baby right now- so pretty much no neck!
Today I went to the Wenham Museum where I will be volunteering with the doll collection, twice a month or so. After last winter, I decided that I really needed to get out of the house more and connect with real live people. Today we examined and made a list of a collection of dolls that was donated to the Museum. Nothing really special, but it was fun anyway.
I am having a hard time getting back to my doll work- always a problem for me when I get side-tracked on other things like the costuming job. I made a dress for my Susan Fosnot Columbia doll so at least she is not sitting around naked. The dress is made from the bottom of a vintage petticoat (from an ebay lot of old clothes). It has pretty pin tucks and lace on the bottom.
I have to get back to my own work though- I feel totally uninspired working on a doll that is so much in someone elses style- I just don’t feel any connection, there is no life in it for me. Maybe sometime I will get my Topsie doll dressed, but not now.
I spent some more time on the cleaning/organizing job and am making some progress. I thought I’d post some pictures of my workspace. It looks cleaner in small sections!