Sometime in the near future we hope to make a slight change in the "ownership" of the Life and Times of Ann Estelle website. We are assured by Weebly (the folks that support the website) that this will occur seamlessly and make no difference at all in your viewing pleasure. If there should occur any hiccups in the next week or so, please "stand by" and do not attempt to manipulate the rabbit ears on the top of your computer!! Your fearless leader, 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.
Michael and Yoi decided to spend a quiet day enjoying the beautiful fall weather at the mill pond (and yes, they have time traveled a little bit into the future since it isn't this far into fall here yet.)
Michael is floating in the canoe, bird watching ......
... he's pointing at this exotic, migrant swallow that is flying over the pond.
And Yoi brought his large sketch book and pencils and has been drawing the old grist mill. What an artist!!
Froggy just popped up to say "hello".
I apologize for so few posts recently. Shortly after I finished the substantial task of adding the ME drawings to the AE archive pages my old computer and old OS began to fail me and thus I've gone through complete upheaval acquiring a new computer and getting used to a new OS, while also attempting (and failing, sigh) to get a DSL ISP. And when I settled down to take these pictures, I found that my even older camera is failing .... when it rains, it pours!! Hopefully I'm not next!!!!! So now, while I can, I'll wish everyone a happy fall, even if it is a little early!!!
Please check out the newly revised pages in the "releases" section (in the pull down menu under "the Ann Estelle story and ...." above) - I've finished adding all the side-by-side images of the Tonner dolls and the Mary Engelbreit illustrations that inspired each of them! Many many thanks to Mary for allowing us to do this!!
Since the pages are now twice as "image rich", I've divided the "catalog" into five pages instead of the previous four - hopefully this will allow them to load faster for those of you with slower connection speeds.
Get ready to sit back and enjoy Mary's artwork!! R.
Cats and books and fabric! And then add a doll!! What can be better than that? I found this wonderful fabric on Spoonflower. It is a design by Heleen van Buul of the Netherlands. http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/3694028-library-cats-small-by-heleenvanbuul
(The other fabrics in this outfit come from my humongous stash. One thing to keep in mind when buying from Spoonflower is that the printed area of their "fat quarters" is approximately 21" X 18", so this may be a bit smaller than you are used to working with in "fat quarters" cut from a bolt of 45" wide fabric. It will be enough for a dress with a full skirt, but maybe just enough.) R.
In the "good old days" when Tonner was producing Ann Estelle dolls, for me one of the really fun things was figuring out which Mary Engelbreit illustrations the outfits were based on when the much-anticipated photos of the new dolls would go up on the Tonner website. I myself ended up with a huge collection of ME calendars, for "reference".
As some of you may know, if you saw a "spat" I got into with a woman who used our photos for her own presentation of a history of Ann Estelle that she shared on Mary Engelbreit's Facebook page, it was our original hope/desire four and a half years ago (?!) to be able to present our photos of the Tonner dolls and outfits side-by-side with the Engelbreit inspiration artwork. We asked the appropriate people in Engelbreit's corporate structure but were never actually given permission to use her drawings, and so we did not use 'em (well, except those that I sneak in for the occasional blog post .....)
Good news came at the recent Tonner convention when Andria met Mary Engelbreit and discussed the idea with her again. This time she gave her blessing!!!!
So hopefully, sometime in the future you will see "new and improved" pages under the "Ann Estelle Story" pull-down menu! I'm not sure if Andria is interested in working on this part of the project so it may be up to me alone .... yikes, I'll have to tear myself away from my genealogy work and re-learn how to put Weebly pages together!! I think that once this "feature" is included we can, without a doubt, declare this to be THE magnum opus website for the ten inch Ann Estelle dolls!!!!!! R.
The Mary Engelbreit/Ann Estelle event is occurring as I write at the Tonner 25th anniversary convention in Ohio!! Here is a picture from Tonner Co. on Facebook.
So obviously one of the Ann Estelle dolls is the new Tonner 18" doll. Holding my breath for a 10"er!! Andria is there so hopefully she'll share news and pictures with us?? R.
Update #1: lunch is over and the 10"ers have appeared!!! Looks like they are dressed to match the image in the ME illustration at the table settings (top photo). These photos are also from Tonner Co. on Facebook. Sooooo good to see little Ann Estelle's sweet face again!!!!!!!
Update #2: I see someone has already put one of these up for sale on eBay - so you can see her there. Brown eyes!!!! (And there is an Ellowynne-sized doll in a look-alike outfit.)
Update #3: from Mary Engelbreit's Facebook page: "in Columbus, OH today for the 25th anniversary of the Tonner Doll Company! What an amazing event! Robert Tonner, The World's Nicest Person, made my dolls starting about 17 years ago. We took a little break and now he's going to make them again! We'll have an 18 inch doll, suitable for kids to actually play with, not just for collectors, that will be available in the fall. And lots of new outfits for my old dolls, Ann Estelle, Georgia, Gracie, and Audrey Ann! Today they showed 2 beautiful new dolls that are only available today at the event. Luckily we have a couple and will be raffling them off later this week when we get home." (Italics mine.)
June 6 - Update #4 Tonner has posted studio photos of the new dolls, in anticipation of their sales period later in the week. So here is the official Tonner picture of the new Ann Estelle!!
And the flower fairies have come out to play in the Joe Pye gardens! Happy faces! Happy dancers!!
Linzee in the Monarch Butterfly outfit.
Lolly keeping tabs on little Matilda, in her lady bug outfit .... with visiting bugs!
and Sunny ....
and a closeup of Matilda! She's the only serious face in the bunch!
I made the three flower/butterfly fairy outfits way back in 2009, in a period when I had no cat-safe display area, before Joe Pye Towers were built. So it is high time that I got them out again and let the dolls romp in them. The two dresses are based on a wonderful pattern by Magalie Houle Dawson. Here are some photos from 2009 focusing on the outfits:
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