Last Christmas, the dolls had a Mad Hatter's Tea Party with the porcelain tea set made by my Montana sister Vera. Here you can see Delphine, Carmen, Mariel and Mimosa in their party dresses, enjoying tea and Christmas cookies. (Please note how many dresses Delphine wears for this photo shoot!)
This adorable hand painted miniature porcelain tea set is from MUDDSLINGER Pots in Montana!
__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!
_Since the last post, Big Raggedy Ann got a new blonde bob and a blue dress with cornflowers with sprigs of green leaves. The back of the dress ties with three sets of light blue satin ribbons. This was an idea of my other doll-making partner, Evette. (Thank you Evette!) Most of the dolls we make have dresses that tie this way because it's easy and beautiful. Evette also taught me how to sear the edge of each ribbon tie with a match to keep it from raveling. Evette and I love to get together to sew and make dolls. She has created some beautiful dolls and has a great etsy site which you can find at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AllAboutEvette.
_As usual, while making Blonde Annie, I heard some music which got Annie up and dancing. We were watching "Luxury Liner" with Jane Powell and Xavier Cougat. It's the scene where Jane gets all "dolled" up (pun intended!) for dinner and dancing in the main dining room on the ship. Xavier Cougat's band performs a wonderful Brazilian
instrumental number and Annie started shaking and flipping her hair around in time to the music. Who would have thought she would be such a good dancer? My goal is to post her performance on Youtube, but for now, you can see pictures of Annie here.
_My latest doll is Winnifred's twin, Federica. Here are some pictures of her in progress as well as the finished doll. Winnifred lives in Missoula, Montana, with Kath, who made the beautiful tea set in last month's blog. Check out her etsy site at http://www.etsy.com/shop/muddslingerpotz
_Sophie has been working hard on the dollsbysasha website, experimenting with a new format and trying to organize the pictures, which are mounting by the day. Please feel free to comment on the site. All suggestions and input are welcome!
I am currently reworking Delphine, Delfina's big sister. Delphine is one of my earlier dolls and has a more childlike face. She is currently blond with gold highlights and will have black and white striped legs, black boots, peach colored silk arms and a red dress with green petticoats. She is going to be the holiday doll this year!
The holidays are coming and we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet. So slow down, everyone, and enjoy it. Meanwhile, I feel like Santa and his elves rolled into one. I may have to invite Evette and Sallie over to help me in the doll workshop. (I wish Sophie could be here too, but I plan to make a trip with some dolls to Costa Rica in the New Year to stock the store and we hope to celebrate the holidays again there. Pura Vida!)
Finally, I'm hoping to go to the Los Angeles Ballet's production of the Nutcracker this
year. I may just have to invite Sallie to come along. What an inspiration for dollmaking!
Until then, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!