Monday, August 18, 2014

You Can't Go Home Again, and Other Reasons to Work


A Portrette Scarlett doll

Today I got a big stack of packages, mostly new project dolls or accessories to complete older dolls. I am happy to have more things to work on, not that working has been easy lately with everything we've had going on. Our daughter still isn't feeling all the way well, despite having been taken to Urgent Care, the E.R., and her pediatrician. She's been X-Rayed and had an ultrasound. She's had blood work and all sorts of tests, but they can't find anything wrong and send her home telling us to give her Tylenol. She's scared and angry with us for not having cured her already. It's a terrible and terrifying thing to have a sick child and to be able to do nothing for her. We haven't gotten a bill yet, but we're on a high-deductible plan, so I shudder to think of the thousands of worthless dollars we've spent. While all that was going on I still had to find time to sew a bunch of marching band costumes, which I promised to do months ago. Then, my friend I usually walk with has joined a gym and goes to classes when I can't go because I'm driving my teen around at that time, so I lost my workout buddy.

On top of everything, the situation with the family member's baby I wrote about in my Wendy Ann's Tara Dreams post means we will lose our childcare, since my mother-in-law will be keeping that baby during the day. I was supposed to accompany my husband on a business trip to Cincinnati next month and now I won't be able to go. I was really looking forward to it. Cool, green Ohio summer evenings are one of my favorite things, and I love Cincinnati. When I was a girl that meant the "city" and we would visit often to shop or see a Red's game or go to King's Island. We were also planning a trip next summer to my native California, and now that's off as well. So, for me at least, it seems you really can't go home again!

Scarlett's costume

So, I've been feeling unbecomingly sorry for myself. I think I am just suffering from a fatigue of spirit. I've had too many people needing me to take them here and there and do this or that for them and not enough time to myself. Of course I know when school starts and I'm alone all day I'll miss all the bustle! I took myself on a walk to the lake to give myself a stern talking to about how lucky I really and and how much more I have than so many others. The lake was a riot of green this afternoon, jade and emerald, grass and leaf and lime. I feel a bit better now.

A "Nancy Drew" face doll

Gazing on riffled waves and walking under the trees centers me. I was able to remember all I've accomplished. Last night I ran about two miles of my five mile walk. My buddy doesn't like to run so I haven't been doing it lately. I've been cleaning everything, including all the bed linens and blankets and electronics we've used, trying to eradicate all my daughter's bug, and I'm nearly finished. I cleaned a huge stack of vintage doll clothes from the 1930s-1970s, including a new Scarlett O'Hara gown.

A 1960s or 70s Elise doll

You might remember a few months back a customer bought the dress off my Scarlett Roses Cissy without buying the doll. I found another Jacqueline-face Portrette doll from the 1960s or 70s in bad shape but with a nice dress I can use to re-style that Cissy. I'm thinking of giving her a Christmas outfit.

Nancy Drew, re-strung
Then I cleaned a big lot of dolls, including a pretty Elise, and re-strung a Nancy Drew, or Louisa, face Madame doll to sell as a dress-me doll. I'm about to start a big new project. I finally got my hands on a Sonja Henie doll. She was a famous Norwegian skater in the 1930s and 40s. I've wanted a Sonja doll for years. Very few of we Norwegians have been made into dolls! I love that Madame Alexander made a special portrait face for Sonja instead of just using a stock doll dressed as her, so she has her signature dimples and Norwegian pointed chin. I also love her blond curls and brown eyes. Blond hair and dark eyes are very Norwegian. I and my sisters all had this combination as little girls.

I think I've spent so much on Sonja there's no way I'll make a profit on her, so she'll be a labor of love. I have many pieces of her original trousseau with tags, however, and her golden skates and some skis (one original to her). Then I just couldn't resist a new pair of fancy skates! I may have to keep her for just a little while! I think I might make her a bunad, or traditional costume, as well. I don't know where she was from, but my family wears the Hardanger bunad, so that's probably what I'll make. I haven't embroidered any Hardanger recently. It's nice to feel excited about some projects again. That's the thing that makes my job worthwhile!

You will find many of these dolls in my store very soon, so please check: http://stores.ebay.com/atelier-mandaline.

Sonja Henie, from 1939

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