Here's a golden oldie (from 2011). This is one of Berdine Creedy's dolls - Peppermint. I love this fabric!!! Enjoy. R.
Preparations for Valentine's Day are ongoing here a Joe Pye Towers .....
Sophie has been making paper hearts out of origami paper. (And wants you to see her new Boneka jacket. I bought it on eBay as a single piece and shortened the sleeves to fit my gang - it must have been for another doll with longer arms but a similar size torso? Perhaps part of an outfit or dressed doll?)
Of course, many romantic thoughts are inspired by young Andreas ... what a hunk, eh?
But hunk or not, Andreas himself is no slouch in the romance department, and like many others today, he has come to the mail box to mail his valentines. He volunteered to baby sit cousin Matilda, but upon closer inspection ......
one begins to wonder if he was using that just as an excuse to load up the baby carriage with a BULK of valentines!! I told you he is no slouch in the ways of romance!!!
With the aid of a high-powered paparazzi camera lens, we can spy on who is sending whom Valentines!!! Shame on me!!!
Well, SOME people are writing to their senators and congressmen - it's not all hearts and flowers, you know!!!!
Best wishes for a romantic St. Valentine's Day!!! R.
Ann Estelle and Sophie have come to visit Great great great aunt Azalea on Christmas eve, bringing a specially chosen gift for her .....
Azalea loves to see the kids!
"Should I open it now?" "Yes yes yes!!!!"
Wonderful warm fuzzy slippers!!!!
"Thank you my dears - these are just what I needed. Come here you two sweethearts and give me a big hug!"
Merry Christmas to all and please let the heavens watch over us in 2017!!! R.
The gang at Joe Pye Towers is busy getting into the Christmas spirit. A slightly older friend called Kate stopped by today to help with one of the Christmas trees .....
Luckily Annie Laurie succeeded in untangling the string of lights!
And then Kate and Marianne spent some quality "girl" time together - it's nice to have someone to brush your hair!!
The tree is looking good!!!
(As a "technical" aside, I've started using a new camera. It is producing much larger file size images than my old camera. I've loaded them "as is" for this post and would be interested to hear if these larger files cause any problems for viewers?)
"Thrice to thine, and thrice to mine,
And thrice again, to make up nine.
Peace! the charm's wound up."
And while we are here to wish you a happy Halloween, we also want to remind you to VOTE!! And hope that while you vote you think about a world where no one, child OR adult, boy or girl, man or woman, would hear themselves called names; be mocked, bullied, belittled, abused or hurt. And after you've cast your ballot, please say a small "thank you" to Susan B. Anthony and all the other suffragettes who worked so hard against so many small minds to get us to this place that we are today!!! "Peace - the charm's wound up." My thanks!! R.
Either I'm lazy or I'm busy ..... maybe both! So I decided to commemorate some February events altogether in one fell swoop ......
So here is Happy Year-of-the-Monkey-Saint-Valentine-How-Much-Snow-Have-You-Shoveled? Day!!!!!! (Heck, if I had a football, I would have thrown that in too for Super Bowl time!)
Duck!!! I think the monkeys are dominating this celebration!!!! (I know - one of them is an ape, not a monkey.)
Happy days!!! R.
A gathering at Ann Estelle's house - cousins and friends - thinking holiday thoughts! Here is Marianne ....
... and hostess extraordinaire Ann Estelle....
..... cousin Michael (he's busy these days, isn't he? - Thanks Stephanie for liking him in the previous post!) and Little-Rock-&-Roll play Christmas songs together ..... (She needs a name, doesn't she? She is the same sculpt as Darlene [Little Darling #1]. Maybe Oona? But I'm not sure that's the correct way to spell "Oona"!)
Time for an old Christmas movie .....
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.
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.
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