Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Spring Fling

Felted alpaca bunnies

Today is National Grammar Day, so I will try to keep this post reasonably correct. My sorority sisters have been amusing themselves all morning posting the most ungrammatical things they can think of to their Facebook pages, such as my friend Jonni's, "I enjoy cooking my family and friends long walks and reading." My mother has a poster like that on the wall of her fourth grade classroom with the caption, "Commas Save Lives."

I was really proud of myself this weekend, because I worked like crazy and accomplished quite a lot. I finished the second alpaca bunny so both our little ones now have their own. Many new dolls arrived in my studio and I got started on them. I listed a lot of new stuff in my store, including little plates of doll sushi. The weather was glorious and we enjoyed being outdoors. I brought in a bouquet of daffodils, which look sunny and cheerful with our turquoise breakfast suite.

It's a good thing I got all that done, because the week has been far less productive so far. The temperature went from over 70 degrees on Sunday to the 30s by Monday morning. That sort of weather change wreaks havoc on my sinuses. I have been sidelined for two days by a terrible headache. I couldn't sleep all night Sunday and wasn't much better yesterday. I can barely focus my eyes, so working is pretty much out of the question. This morning all the daffodils remaining in the yard were frozen solid. My car still had pollen on the windshield, but I couldn't wash it off because the wiper fluid was frozen!

A note about pollen: when I was a little girl in Ohio and learned about pollen in elementary school, the teacher and textbooks described it as "microscopic". Let me tell you, here in North Carolina it is not microscopic! In Greenville, where I went to school, you can watch it blowing from the pine trees like snow. Try to open your windows on a mild spring day and before you know it everything you own will be covered in a film of yellow dust. We drive around through the early months of the year in yellow-coated vehicles. I've left footprints in the pollen on the sidewalk before! So if you live somewhere without this kind of pollen and were wondering, now you know.

The weather is supposed to turn warm again, with 70s forecast for Saturday. Although it will probably mean another awful headache I really hope that's true, because I am planning an outdoor birthday party for our oldest that day. We want to take him and his friends out to a little island on the lake. I am going to make a Treasure Island birthday cake and set up a table with a picnic. I'm thinking island foods, like shrimp cocktail and coconut milk drinks and stuff! I saw a neat idea for boat-shaped food bowls on Pinterest, so I'm going to try to make something like that. The kids can take turns kayaking from the island and fishing and stuff. I think I'm almost as excited as they are!

Right now I'm restoring this Wendy Ann with a cracked face.

I am going to try to get back to work today. I have a gorgeous Wendy Ann about halfway restored. She came with crazing and large cracks below her eyes. I've fixed her cracks and finished the crazing repair on half her body. I'm waiting for the paint to dry so I can finish her other half. In the meantime I've been trying to identify this lovely girl, but I've had no luck. Her human hair wig is styled with barrettes and braids. She also has bangs, although I think those may have been pinned to the side because I found a hairpin still in one side of the wig. At first I thought the braids were done by her little mommy, but they are tied with the same thread that is used in the wig, so now I believe they are original. I haven't ever seen this hairstyle on a Wendy Ann before. The doll came wearing what I believe is a Madame Alexander dress and slip from the 1950s, probably for Elise or Binnie Walker or one of those hard plastic dolls. It seems like the original outfit was lost or fell apart and she was given new clothes by her second generation owner. This doll dates to the 1930s, so it wouldn't be surprising if her delicate outfit didn't survive. Many Wendy Anns wore fragile organdy dresses. Her elaborate hairstyle makes me think she might have been one of the Fairy Princess, Queen, or other fairy tale dolls.

A rare Elise Sleeping Beauty doll with a darkened face.

I do have a princess in progress, a very rare Madame Alexander-for-Disney Sleeping Beauty. This is the hardest-to-find 16-inch Sleeping Beauty which used the Elise body. She has the infused plastic face which so unfortunately tends to darken. I used a Mr. Clean Eraser to clean her face, but that faded her eyebrows, so now I've re-painted those. Her leg had become unattached below one knee and Jerry fixed that for me. She also needed re-stringing. All she needs before I can list her is some work to her costume and to have her hair styled.

Cissy, in need of new lashes and a hairdo.

Another recent arrival with less than stellar hair is this pretty blond Cissy. She's basically perfect other than the ubiquitous Cissy hip splits, now repaired, thin lashes, and her unfortunate hairdo. I should be able to get her finished and listed quite soon. I have another Cissy almost finished as well.

This Cissy doll will be for sale soon.

I show her here eating doll sushi. I have to work on her costume and the back of her wig needs a little styling, but after that she should be listed in my store. To make the doll sushi I used puzzle erasers and real dipping sauce plates. I made tiny chopsticks from bamboo skewers. I think they turned out really well!

I made two plates of doll sushi with handmade chopsticks.

Besides all the dolls shown here, I re-wigged and strung a beautiful 1950s Maggie doll and re-strung a 50s Cissette. If I can get my head together today I will work on making their clothing and getting them listed. Please make sure to check my store for all these : http://stores.ebay.com/atelier-mandaline. Keep an eye on this blog for new posts about each individual doll as well.

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