While I do know that Easter is still a week away, I can't wait to share our new bonnet, which arrived just in time to BE an Easter bonnet!!
Isn't this absolutely fantastic?!! It was made by Judith Phelps. She collaborates with Boneka to make bonnets and hats to match some of their outfits. She also gives classes at UFDC events.
I have paired her bonnet with a classic Tonner Ann Estelle dress ("The Gift Giver") and a pair of pantaloons, creating a look (I think) from the 1860's or so, a little later than the Kate Greenaway look of the Boneka outfits.
Welcome Spring! (Or should I say, "Hurry back Spring", since it snowed here last night and will be well below freezing again tonight? My poor daffodils, who thought it safe to bloom, are regretting that impulse!) R.
Yesterday I had to spend/waste time in town while the car was getting fixed (or, in actual fact, the car wasn't getting fixed!!) so I wandered over to the livestock auction (aka "antique" store) and ... you guessed it, another horse followed me home. Elizabeth is in seventh heaven!
His name is Musty (yep, too long in that damp, dusty store). It's those eyes - that's what I couldn't resist!
Giddyup!!! [which I see is derived from "Get Ye Up" or "Git Thee Up"] R.
A girl and her horse .... or at least a girl and her relatively recent colt! His name is National Terry Cloth. Her name is Elizabeth.
This post is dedicated to Anne and Uno ..... this is what you have to do, right? (Although I think National Terry Cloth has an unusually hairy tail for a foal?!)
Elizabeth is Effner's "Josie" sculpt: 7.25" circumference head, caste for me by Pat Green in "Misty Cream". Here she has a Tenner body.
Her riding outfit is a Tonner Ann Estelle creation - from way back in the glory days of Ann Estelle clothing! Following this train of thought, I was disappointed to see that there are no new 10" dolls in the Tonner 2015 line. I swear I saw a hint in a earlier Tonner post about a "new friend" for Patsy and Trixie ..... did they mean the 18" giant??? R.
or do they think that if they look at the desk lamp long enough, they'll see an eclipse? Or is this a throwback to some kind of gruesome ancient pagan society's "rite of spring" ritual???
(Actually they are just soaking up the warmth of that totally energy-inefficient incandescent bulb ["BAD Robyn!!!"] so that I can be sure the paint on the whites of their eyes is dry before I put on another layer.) R.
on the next batch of Effner heads! Another layer of fixative/glaze tomorrow morning (to fix everything done up until this point - blush, lip color, lashes and brows) and I can start on the really fun part - the eyes!
Clockwise from the top this is Madeline, Josie (who is asserting herself as Elizabeth), Nicole and Marianne. Lots of teeth here!
I'm pleased that I'm becoming a lot more comfortable with the airbrush - not so much cursing going on these days when I use it! Sadly there aren't too many more Effner heads that I can work on (i.e. the correct size and neck configuration) so I suppose after all my efforts to learn the Effner techniques and how to use an airbrush without cursing, all the equipment will be put away and I'll quickly forget everything I learned! But what a lot of very nice dollies I have added to the clan!!! R.
Take a look at this video from Australian television. http://www.sbs.com.au/news/thefeed/story/tree-change-dolls I know that what the story "says" about the social phenomena of odd, exaggerated body shapes and make-up styles in modern "popular" dolls is important/interesting, but for me the video is refreshing and fun just because of the honest joie de vivre of the young woman and her husband (like giggling about "how to deal with going viral") and the scenes of the little girls having fun with their dolls.
It also makes an interesting counter-point to that really over-priced porcelain ball jointed doll that recently sold on US eBay (see blog post of about a month ago). Dolls vs Dolls?? R.
I went to a doll "show"/sale today in Asheville. I can't say that I was disappointed because I wasn't anticipating that there would be the kind of dolls I enjoy seeing, and I was correct. (I've never been "in" to antique dolls and antique replicas, and I'm no longer interested in collecting dolls of the vintage of my own childhood [hah, those aren't antiques too, you say?!]) so there wasn't much to interest me at the show. The trip wasn't a bust since I did visit Michael's and Cost Plus, which are both fun to graze in. And I did find a place that served good sub sandwiches for lunch. And the day was fine so it wasn't too much of a chore driving the four hour round trip. Didn't see any signs of spring ..... but that is to be expected.
The odd thing about the day was that it turned out that besides the doll "show", the same fair grounds was also hosting a model train "show" AND a gun "show", so it was a massively confused area. I was darned if I was going to go into the gun show ("join the NRA, get in free") to ask where the doll show was, so I walked all the way to the model train show. A nice boy scout told me that the doll show was somewhere back in the direction of the gun show. So I had to swallow my distaste and go into the gun show to ask. (Turns out the doll show was in a small building that I had parked quite close to, but there were no signs indicating the show.) I can think of fewer "events" that I would have as much distaste for as a gun show ..... R.
Emperor Andreas and Empress Narsha
Floral offerings from Sophie and Mimi,
kind of a combination Hina Matsuri and Chelsea Flower Show!
A slide show of some of the details of Narsha's junihitoe. This time around almost all the layers of the outfit are made of silk rather than cotton as I did the first time (the cotton turned out to be just too bulky.) While I used the same motif for the mo (the long white "train"), instead of printing it myself on computer printed fabric, I sent the design to Spoonflower and had them print it. There were two reasons for this: the computer fabric only came in 8.5"X11" sheets which really wasn't big enough for a proper mo; and the white fabric yellowed noticeably in the last 3 years. While the Spoonflower print is not quite as sharp as my own computer printing, it did allow me to have a much larger mo, on much more appropriately flowing fabric. I must admit I struggled with how to size the image file I sent to Spoonflower to end up with the correct size print and more to the point, to end up with a lot of white space around the motif, but managed to fumble my way through!
I also succeeded at making more "correct" garments this time. Most of the "guides" to dressing in junihitoe show an "antique" version of the the outfit, from the Heian period, but most of the photos that I wanted to copy show women in (relatively) modern Edo period style and it took me a long time to catch on to this fact. The most obvious difference between the two styles is that layers of uchigi (what we would call "kimono") in the Heian style cross or lap over each other in the front near the waist and then are sequentially pulled open and backwards below the waist while in the Edo style there is very little over lap - just the wide collar/lapel (having seen no instruction for how this style is put on, I'm still not sure what keeps the Edo style "closed" but at least I now understand why I was confused between the images in my "how to" books and the photos of "modern" junihitoe that I wanted to copy!)
Here is a photo from the most extensive "how to" book that I own, by Ms. Chieko Kato. The "empress" here is dressed in the Heian style.
And here is a picture taken at the 1959 wedding of the current Emperor and Empress of Japan, showing the Edo style outfit. (Yes, I know the difference is relatively subtle but .... there is a difference!)
The weaknesses of Narsha's outfit are mostly a function of her weakness as a model but by the time I'd come to realize this, I was far enough along on the project that I didn't want to start over again on another doll. Besides, I chose Narsha not only because she is slightly taller than most of the rest of the girls in the gang but because I wanted to honor her beautiful face sculpt. Her head, by Dollmore, is on an "old" Customhouse Petite Ai body (sadly it doesn't fit on a Tenner body) and since I've been spending so much time in the last year or so with the wonderful Tenner body, I'd forgotten how really primitive and finicky some of the "old" BJD bodies can be!! I ended up having to tie Narsha's legs to a doll stand - not the most graceful way to pose a body and not a situation that makes it easy to drape the nagabakama and uchigi correctly around her legs!
So .... this means I've finally completed a project that I've had in mind quite a long time .... really all the way back to my childhood when I looked at pictures of Japanese dolls and wished and wished for a Hina doll display of my own!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvksRcYW6oQ This is a link to an interesting video about Japanese dolls. In several spots they discuss what it can mean to people if dolls are felt to have souls, and include footage of sending "old" dolls (it looks like mostly Hina Matsuri dolls) adrift in small boats, instead of just throwing them away (or selling them on eBay?) Oh dear!!!! Kind of like doll assisted suicide!! I hope this won't happen to my dolls when I've shuffled off this mortal coil. R.
Mice in palanquins.
Me wearing kanmuri crown.
Which is more silly??
Another lead-up to Hina Matsuri! The fabric for Andreas' hakama arrived from England on Tuesday and thanks to a 4-wheel-drive-tire-chains equipped neighbor, I didn't have to walk 2 miles along an iced-up road to get it out of the mailbox!!! (Yep, I'm currently iced-in here, to say nothing of the fact that it didn't get any warmer than 12 today. Grrrrrr Brrrrrr!) R.
Hey, that's another haiku!
Grr rrr rrr rrr rrr
Brrrr rrrr rrrr rrrr rrrr rrrr rrrr
Rrrr rrrr rrr rrr rr