__The Christmas boxes arrived in Costa Rica, so I can now tell you about Popeye and Carmelita. I stumbled on Popeye in an Out of the Closet, my favorite thrift store, last November, and thought he'd be perfect for Malekai, who collects action figures. Popeye has a burly body and grizzled face with a cigarette hanging from his lower lip. He was battered and his clothes stained, but OTC was taking 50% off bric-a-brac that day, so I claimed him for my resident sailor and soon- to-be friend of Carmelita. (He's a wire doll, but more about that in a future blog.)
__When I got him home, there was work to do, as his white sailor hat and pants needed to be cut
off, the stains "Shouted" ™ out and everything washed, dried and sewn back on. (The "Shout"
worked just as Evette had said it would. Shout out to Evette, pun intended!) The shirt was
beyond repair and wouldn't come off, so I covered the sleeves with some striped jersey left over from Paulette's* arms and legs, and he was done, except for sewing the pants and hat back on and reattaching the black leather pouch that hangs from his belt, which I imagine contains chewing tobacco. (And maybe a can of spinach?) Popeye the Sailor Man was ready for his trip to Costa Rica. But where was Olive Oyle?
__I 'd been planning to send Mirabel as Sophie's Christmas doll this year and thought she'd be the perfect companion for Popeye (Mirabel, not Sophie!), but then I remembered that she'd gone home with Sallie for the weekend, so I decided to make another one. While each doll is different, I usually make a drawing of the face so I can make more than one of the same doll. In this case, I hadn't done that, so I had to copy from pictures. Luckily, what resulted was Mirabel's twin, Carmelita. Like Mirabel, Carmelita has brown eyes, ruby lips and black braids pinned on top of her head in an off-hand, attractive way. She has black tights, silk, ivory arms, and, like all of the dolls, a red heart. (Except for Andre Ethier, whose heart is Dodger Blue!) Instead of Mirabel's sequined skirt, Carmelita has a simple sundress in brown cotton with pink polka dots and maroon ribbon ties which criss-cross in the front, like Mirabel's peasant blouse. Finally, she wears a lacy shrug and a red rhinestone necklace, like Mirabel's. When she was finished, I was surprised to see how she towered over Popeye, but his brawniness balanced out her height, and by the time they were shipped off to Costa Rica, they were the best of friends. They arrived last week at the Lizard King Resort, where they were warmly received and feel very much at home.
_This weekend I plan to organize my sewing room, which is bursting with dollar evening gowns that have been piling up since I started making dolls a few years ago. Last week, while shopping at the Good Will with Evette, I found a giant, white petticoat that I thought I'd use instead of the purple one, which is now gone. ** But after trying it on, I decided it has way too much potential to cut up. And after seeing the Tina Bausch documentary yesterday with Raphael (a Wim Wenders film, which everyone should see, even if you're not a dance aficionado), I've decided to keep the evening gowns too, and who knows, maybe even wear them! (After all, why should my dolls have ALL the fun?) Which brings me to next week's topic: Dancers, doll dresses and gowns for grownups! Oh - and making wire dolls. (With help from Sophie and Malekai, I hope!)
See you next 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!