What follows may surprise the folks who fault me for abandoning perfectly good ol’ Ann Estelle bodies in the current rush towards articulation (and yes, my spies tell me about these accusations!), but I do have a soft spot in my heart for those ol’ strung bodies!!  And thus I have plea for those of you reading who may be in the process of removing heads from your strung Tonner dolls (and please note I emphasize STRUNG here – the newer mechanically connected dolls, commonly known as bendy-knees, don’t need this plea and are an entirely different topic.)

Yes, the fastest way to disconnect a head from a strung body is to pull the head or a leg away from the body and cut the elastic (and please note that you do not need to heat the head to do this – in fact heating the head and then putting enough pressure on it to pull it away from the neck far enough to see the elastic is probably a bad idea!)  But in doing so you will inevitably render the remaining ol’ body useless.  If you instead pull the (cold) head away from the neck and take the time to unhook the head hook from the elastic (this will require a hemostat to hold the elastic and probably a pair of pliers to open the hook) and then slip something through the loop in the elastic, like a clean nail, to hold the elastic loop, still entire, at the top of the neck -- some day you, or someone else, might use this ol’ body for another exciting project!  (Also, this will maintain the position of the white tube inside the body that the elastic runs through, another good thing to keep.)

(The photo to the right shows body elastic temporarily "anchored" in this manner with a nail.  I run the nail through a plastic coffee stirrer to help prevent any possible rust stains from the nail.  This photo is of a bjd body, hence there are two loops of elastic - you will only have to deal with one loop in an ol' Tonner body.)
I can hear you saying “Well, she’s always been so darn blasé about cutting into heads, switching eyes, taking heads off, switching them around.  So why, now, is she suddenly telling us to conserve the interior, factory-applied elastic of old dolls??!!”  The reason is that, in my long experience fiddling around with these dolls, this factory-applied loop of elastic, from the top of the two legs up to the neck, is the single-most hardest thing to replace or repair in these dolls – once it’s gone (and cutting it means it is “gone”) then the body can pretty much never be used again.  In most of these dolls the factory has inserted the “knot” end of the loop into the thigh cavity of one of the legs (another action done while the vinyl is warm and pliable).  Thus there is no hook sticking out of the top of the leg for you to thread a replacement loop of elastic through and trying to gerry-rig a hook into the thigh rarely ends up giving a doll with a nice, steady stance.

So isn’t it almost as easy to not cut the elastic, and instead go to the small amount of work to unhook it and save that now headless ol’ body for an as yet unknown project in the future???   R.
Recently we were introduced to a new (to us) toy by posts in the Yahoo and Facebook Gentle Little Souls group called Nanoblocks!!!  These are teensy weensy Lego-like blocks - just the right size for the gang at Joe Pye Towers.
Yoi is by Secretdoll, Salali is (mostly) an Ashton-Drake Effner, and Yuri is an Iplehouse BID.
Yoi, Salali and Yuri got started right away on the blue budgie kit.  With some stops and starts and some scratching of heads ..... they soon succeeded in building a better bird!
Yoi took photos to document the achievement.
"Chirp!"  R.
I was thinking this morning that I really need to give Georgia a treat of some kind, since she has been so nice about having her head taken off and put on and taken off and put on, over and over again the last several days!!  Maybe a day at a spa??  Or all the ice cream and cake she could eat??

And then I realized that today is Hinamatsuri - it almost slipped by me in all the concentrated focus I've had on Tenner "business" the last several weeks!!

So Georgia's treat is to be my Hina Doll for 2014!!
And we all enjoyed singing a Hinamatsuri song called "Ureshii Hinamatsuri (Happy Hinamatsuri)."  Here is the first verse:

Akari o tsukemashou bonbori ni
明かりをつけましょう ぼんぼりに
Ohana o agemashou momo no hana
お花をあげましょう 桃の花
Go-nin bayashi no fue taiko
五人ばやしの 笛太鼓
Kyo wa tanoshii Hinamatsuri
Let's light the lanterns
Let's set peach flowers
Five court musicians are playing flutes and drums
Today is a joyful Dolls' Festival

There are lots of videos on the 'net that feature this Hinamatsuri song.  I like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwjTA30LVcc  It is really cute to see the tinies wiggling around, trying to be patient through all four verses of the song!
Thank you Georgia, for being so patient!  Happy Hinamatsuri to all!!  R.
There is less than a week to go before we make the order to the factory for our custom ball jointed Tenner bodies!!

Lots of people have made pre-orders - thank you very much!!  To encourage any of you who haven't made up your mind, we are making two special offers:  we have reduced the number of dolls per order needed for "quantity discount" from 5 to 3 (the discount is $10 per body) and we are discounting any purchase of the Tenner Dark body by $20 (but please, no "doubling up" on these two discounts and/or the coupon you may have seen offered on eBay.)

Please go to www.dollycraft.com   to shop and purchase bodies (there are a few heads left too.)

"Don't let this offer slip away!!"   Thanks.  R.
While Ann Estelle takes her curtsies in response to all the applause, we will cut to a message from our sponsors .... if you are interested in purchasing one of our special, custom ball jointed bodies, please see our sale website www.dollycraft.com Thanks!!!  R.

Georgia again


"An apple a day keeps my wrists articulated."  R.

The nose knows


Ann Estelle has always wanted to hold her nose before she jumped in the pool - now she can!  This will also be helpful on camping trips when Mr. Skunk comes to visit.  Or when she comes down with the sniffles and needs to use a hankie??  R.
Here is a photo of Georgia with our new Tenner BJD body.  Not only does it show you what a great student she is in school (she always has her hand up to answer questions, and asks a few too), but it shows you how well her Tenner body models Patsy's Tonner wardrobe.  And why shouldn't it - it is pretty much exactly the same size and shape as Tonner's bodies!!!
For more information on the Tenner body please go to www.dollycraft.com
Thanks for looking!!  R.
It was a dark and stormy night.  Deep in the basement of Joe Pye Towers, Drs. Frank and Stein (aka Annie Laurie and Sudha) were up to something ......
WHAT is going on here????!!!!!!!
I'm not sure about this!!!  What are these two up to??
"Apply the tickle treatment, Dr. Frank."  "Yes, Dr. Stein."
"Merciful heavens!!!  It worked!!!"
That's Ann Estelle!!!
That's Ann Estelle with wrists and elbows and ankles and knees!!!  That's a ball jointed Ann Estelle!!!
"I can see!!"
"And now for the final touches."
"Ha ha.  What a funny story", you say.  But is it JUST a "story"???
Those of you who have followed our blog and website will remember that having a fully articulated, ball jointed body with the color of our Tonner dollies' skin IN the resin has been a dearly held wish by us for many a year now.  Well guess what??!!!  Our wishes have come true!!!!

With the help of Berdine Creedy, (and Drs. Frank and Stein??) we have created our own ball jointed bodies!!!

Not only did our dreams come true, but if you share that dream with us, it can come true for you too because .... we will be selling our extra bodies!!
Please check out the sales website
Excited???  WE ARE!!!!  R.
Here is a picture of the kitchen after I moved the table back in.  Breakfast time!!  (And playing a bit with the new toy ark.)  (Henry is going out this time.  In and out.  In and out!!!)
The third place setting??  That's for Christopher Robin, but he's just getting out of bed.  I don't know if I've shared a photo of the boy's bedroom before?  It tends to be a bit of a mess!!  R.