Sallie, who is nine, came over yesterday to make an outfit for Raggedy Andy. Last month, we made Andy himself. First, we cut him out. Next, we drew the face and embroidered it. I did one eye, she did the other. I did one half of the mouth, she did the other. This is how Sallie learned to embroider. (Sophie was there too, working on Suki.)
Next, we cut a heart out of a scrap of red tee shirt and hand sewed it to the left side of Andy's chest. After that, we pinned, then stitched the front and back of the body, right sides together. Here is where Sallie got to practice using the sewing machine. Again, we divided the work down the middle, she did one side and I the other. Then came the hard part: stitching and stuffing the arms. Once the arms were done, we attached them to the body, then stuffed it. Little Andy was coming to life! Next, we attached his black boots to his red and white striped socks, pinned the two sides of each leg, right sides together, stitched, turned and stuffed them. Attaching the legs to the body can be tricky, so I pinned them, hand basted them, then we stitched them to his body with the machine. Andy was almost done!
Finally, la piece de la resistance: the hair. I cut strips from a clean, red tee shirt and bundled them together by tying them in the middle with another strip. I made lots of these bundles in different lengths, for the sides, bangs and back, then sewed them on. We had wisely made the back of Andy's head out of red cloth so that the hair blended in nicely, with no empty spots showing. We took pictures to show our progress.
It took two sessions to make Andy. The outfit was also two days. But it was worth it. Sallie and I discovered that making doll clothes can be more complicated than making a doll, if you've never done it before. The first attempt at Andy's outfit turned out like a clown suit. Yesterday's attempt was better, but we had to redo the pants legs several times before we could squeeze his black boots through. We finally did it, attached the "blouse," a blue ribbon for his bowtie and a big snap to hold his outfit together in the back. All that's left to do is sew on the buttons at the waist and the pants legs.
Last month, Raphael and I saw Picasso, Matisse, Monet, Lichtenstein and Giacometti at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA. I've been devouring art books lately, mainly Picasso and Matisse. But to see the actual paintings and sculptures and realize that these works are housed within a short bike ride from our house, sent chills down my
spine. After leaving the European Contemporary Art from 1900 to 1950 section, we stumbled upon Lichtenstein's multiple versions of Monet's cathedrals, and then saw the Monet's themselves! What a day!
We ended our visit at the new Broad addition to LACMA, with a show about Mexican- American street and performance art from the 1970's and 1980's. More on that next time, as well as news on the Global Bazaar at the Los Angeles Crafts and Folk Art Museum and the amazing doll tea set from Muddslinger pots in Missoula Montana: see more of the tea set and more at MUDDSLINGER-Pots on facebook and etsy.
Once again, I can't believe we're halfway through October! I want to say "Slow down!" Last night, there was a "harvest moon," or at least what I think a harvest moon should be: a full moon that is fuller and more brilliant than usual, to allow the haymakers to bring in the hay, even though the haying season must certainly be over in the Midwest farmlands.
Well, I got my pumpkin, which sits on our front doorstep next to the black bottle-cat. The bottle-cat is copied from a book of antique and collectible dolls, which has a picture of some bottle-dolls. I made the cat by taking an empty wine bottle and a black tee-shirt. I placed the bottle on the tee shirt and drew a chalk outline of the cat, cut it out, stitched it, leaving the bottom open. Next, I turned it inside out, stuffed the head and put the cat on
top of the bottle. Voila! A black cat, to put next to the orange pumpkin. The finishing touch is a faux-rhinestone collar, purchased from the local fabric shop.
Dollwise, I finished big Raggedy Ann last weekend, and she and Andy have been inseparable ever since. However, her blond hair, which looked so cute when I first pinned it on, was too long and thin when I sewed it on. So my blond Raggedy is going to get a redo this weekend. Also, I was so excited when she was finished, I dressed her in Sophie's old Raggedy Ann dress. It's too big, so Annie will get a new dress this weekend, some bloomers and a fresh white apron with a pocket, in traditional Raggedy style!
Here are some pictures of Raggedy Ann and Andy, while Ann was being made, with her present hair and dress. Next week, you'll see her with her new do and outfit. Next project will be some new, smaller dolls for the Costa Rica trip!
More on that next time, as well as some news about our recent visit to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the new Broad wing!
Have a great week!
The latest doll, first of the "Dugout Buddies," Andre, is finished, except for the number on the back of his uniform. And his baseball cap. And maybe a Dodger-blue tee-shirt to wear under his uniform. And maybe a little bat. And maybe a baseball....
Two weeks ago, we saw the Moulin Rouge dancers at the Hollywood Bowl. It was the last night of the season and before the dancers brought down the house and the fireworks lit up the sky, we heard some great music on a French theme, one piece of which was Gershwin's "American in Paris." As many times as I think I've heard it, how wonderful to hear it without interruption, under the Los Angeles sky!
Then the orchestra struck up Offenbach's "Gaite Parisienne" and at least a dozen tall, beautiful, female dancers, and one male, burst upon the stage, whooping and shrieking, kicking and shaking their yards and yards of red skirts with tiers of white ruffles, on the inside! (Except for the man, who wore a sleek black suit.) They accentuated their dancing with cartwheels and teeth-rattling splits. The dance, of course, is "The Can-Can" and it was so much fun to watch, like being at a circus. Then we saw the fireworks show over the Bowl, signaling the end of the summer season. If you've never been to L.A., be sure to visit during the summer and spend an evening at the Bowl. You'll never forget it!
Dollwise, I've started working on a large Raggedy Ann, modeled after a homemade Andy that Sophie found in a thrift store. The raggedys are fun to make because their bodies are so expressive. For now, I'm sticking to the traditional colors and features, but soon, I think I'll have to get a little more creative…
It's October already! The days are shorter and the nights are cooler. It's time to get a pumpkin. And maybe to make a witch doll or a scarecrow! We shall see what time allows…
Have a great week!