Wednesday, March 31, 2010

12 Questions

I have been seriously disturbed for a long time.  lol.  Really, I have been so unsettled in my companionship with my dolls for well over a year with our lives changing so dramatically.  I thought getting the apartment would really help, as I could have a place for my dolls to be when I could not have them with me.  But it only seemed to be far more upsetting that I could have imagined.  Perhaps because it made them closer to me without really closing the gap.  When they were at my parents, it was situation I could not change.  Now they are in my own space again....but not really.

So I formulated 12 questions to try and sort through all the muddled thoughts I have rattling around in my head.

  • What do I really want of my dolly world, what is the most important aspect of it and why?

      1. What I really want is peace of mind. I feel so many mixed feelings when separated from my dolls and having to wait 5 weeks at a time just to see them for a couple of days.  I want simplicity and peace, I want ease of play, complete access, a relationship with a companion doll.  I want this constant nagging stress to end.

    1. Do I honestly play with and enjoy all of my dolls? 

      1. No, honestly no.  I have 12 dolls and play with only a few.  Evan has unfortunately been Evie's sidekick, Charlotte is a family heirloom and I worry about playing with her, Kameko is her baby, so I don't play with her, Lizzy is a fun character, but not a companion and as much as I like Aloe Vera, her heavy head and reed thin body means excessive work in posing.  Just getting her to sit takes time.  Standing is a long involved process of balance. So I set her aside a lot out of frustration.  Yes, I do enjoy them, but the enjoyment gets tarnished with the long separations.

    2. Why would I keep dolls that I do not play with? 

      1.  This is what I want to know about myself.  If I had a home that I lived in full time, I would be in a completely different frame of mind about this.  To enjoy looking at certain dolls is a passion of mine.  I can spend hours staring at doll photo's!  I can never get enough.  But to have them sit in a drawer or (now) a closet, just seems like cruel punishment.  Why?  For a selfish enjoyment on my part?  It would be one thing if I could forget about them when I am gone, but I don't.  It stresses me.  I suppose I fear letting someone go and regretting it.  But how can I regret what I don't have?

    3. Is keeping dolls a part of not being able to let go to make room for growth?

        I do have trouble letting go.  My life is changing and moving in a new direction.  I am living a completely different lifestyle.  Hanging onto things because of what they meant when I lived in a home doesn't make much sense now.  Having the apartment is grand, it will give my husband and I a wonderful time to let our hair down for a couple of days away from the truck...but we have to leave it over and over again.  I can't really predict how life will be someday when we have a home again, but I can predict that for a long time yet, life is trucking and very confined.
      • What hinders or keeps me away from what I really want? 
       Money and space.  No, perhaps money doesn't really hinder me, that is something that can always be saved or things sold to obtain it.  It is space.  I haven't the room to have it all.  I am also such a 'fraidy cat when it comes to reaching for what I want, I am always fearing my hand getting slapped.
    4. What is a Companion Doll to me?

        A companion doll is one that is one that shares my life with me.  It is one that makes my heart sing when I see them.  It;s the one that brings me comfort when I am feeling down.  It is the one I never tire of playing with.

    5. If I could have the doll and/or dolly world I really wanted right now, who/what would it be? (do not consider expense or ability or availability….this is a just thinking out loud).  Dream it! 

      1. A long time ago, I saw a photo of a little scrawny girl with the saddest eyes, sitting on the floor in her underwear, in the shadows.  My heart cried out for her.  Dollstown Seola, hands down would win my vote as the one doll I wish I could have.  For years, the ordering process intimidated me, so I never ventured there.  Of course I never had that kind of funds either.  So she remains my fantasy dream doll.  I have wanted many other kinds of dolls, but she was always the elusive one, the one I wished for.  Sigh.

    6. Explore the possibility of starting completely over in the whole process….would you, could you do it? 

      1.  I have considered this so many times.  When I think of reducing the number of companions, then I struggle with who could be the one to make the cut, I stress over it.  Sometimes, in frustrated moments, I think it would be better that I just let them all go and start over with just one.....just one companion.  I have regretted a thousand times that I ever bought another doll after Evie....she was my one and I ruined that.  I kept thinking if I had a doll I loved so much, another one would be more love.  But it never happened that way.  Of course, the reality is, that had I not experienced all the dolls after Evie...I would never have know what I had to begin with!  Anyways, if all things were possible, I think of Seola as the potential candidate of a one and only should I ever start from scratch.  I don't know if I could risk letting everyone go and then find she is silent. 

    7.  Would companionship relationships developed over time be affected?

      1.  Yes, there is no doubt about it.  If I started from scratch, I could lose my Evie forever (if there is any hope of her coming back).  And there is no guarantee that the dreamed about doll would come alive in my heart. If I have learned one thing about doll companionship, you cannot make it happen.  It is as elusive and precious as human relationships....the chemistry is either there or it is not.  However, much of my frustration is due to the fractured relationship with Evie.  I will never get it back if she remains on the side lines for years to come.  I wonder sometimes if I have lost her already.  

    8. Are all of my dolls “companion dolls” or are there ones that draw me to them time and time again? 

    9.           Evie always draws me in when I think of her and what she once was to me.  So does Audrey.  They are the most alive for me.  I talk to them.  Olwen is gaining ground here too.  I feel closer to Olwen than the others.  Evan draws a blank, Charlotte is silent, Lizzy is not altogether there, Aloe Vera is smug, the other children are cute and playful, and Miette is sweet.  But to feel drawn to a companion doll, is one of the hardest things to explain.

    10. Compare how I see my doll situation now with 5 years from now. Any changes I want to make?

      1. My doll situation now is tenuous and hanging by a thread of disconnect.  I want and need a companion that can be with me constantly.  As we do have a definite plan of action in 4-5 years, it only makes sense to be ready for it.   As my husband and I go over the plan from this angle and that angle, we see the needs and the things we need to let go of to make it happen.  We gave up our home in order to keep from falling into debt, and now we are firmly building up our future and it is blossoming.  We are getting closer.  However, it means staying free and easy...ready to go with little baggage. 

    11. A fire started in the building, grab only what dolls you can carry in your arms....who would it be?

      1. I think about this all the time, not because I fear fires (lol) but because it seems that I need to find the essential.  I would grab Evie and the children.  Of course this doesn't mean I would not try to grab them all if there were a real fire....but in theory, the reason to pose this question is to force myself to think of who I am bonded to, rather than just who I like.
        Getting these thoughts down, spreading them out to see is helping me.  It looks like we will soon be on home time, I have lots to do.  I am hoping the answer will come.

      Spring Cleaning is in the Air

      From Zen Habits:

      When Gandhi died, he had less than ten possessions including a watch, spectacles, sandals and eating bowl. He was a man of non-possession and didn’t even possess a house.
      “You may have occasion to possess or use material things, but the secret of life lies in never missing them.” ~Gandhi
      I have never been one to collect things or hoard, at least that is my perception of myself.  Time and time again, I find myself overwhelmed with stuff.  Something doesn't match here.  Am I minimalist or not?  Can't pretend to be one.  lol.

      When I was a child, all of my toys could fit into a small suitcase.  Kids today have enough to fill a toy shop.

      When I was 22 and had just given birth to my daughter, all I owned was the clothes on my back and a purse and a old 4 poster bed stored at my parents.  My mother gave me a couch, a sewing machine in a table and two chairs.  That is all I had for several years.  I had 2 place settings, a skillet and a pot to cook in.  My tiny kitchen had empty drawers and cabinets.  All my clothes fit into one drawer, my daughters in another.  I didn't have a TV or stereo (and certainly not the CDs, DVDs, surround sound, players, computers, printers...gadgets we have now).  I saved up to buy a radio because I didn't have a credit card.  Such a simple life back then, I was happy.  I lacked nothing, I had what I needed.  I read a lot and spent time with my daughter.  I walked everywhere....some times miles and miles.  I was healthier then too.  I think I was the only woman in the city back then that had an old fashioned baby buggy with a real baby in it!  We covered the waterfront!  lol.

      When I ran away from my first husband, I was right back to having the clothes on my back, a purse and whatever jewelery I could stuff in my pockets before leaving.  Started all over again.  Life was down to the essentials.

      Seems I have a theme going on here.  It looks like it's going to happen again in just a few years.  We will pack a handful of boxes of prized possessions to mail, that will be it.  We will start life over AGAIN with nearly nothing.  I am looking forward to it!  I think of the pick up a suitcase and LEAVE......nothing to drag and weigh me down.

      In-between those times, I gathered stuff.  I am a sucker for tiny things I find in thrift shops.  I am not poor by any means, but the thrill of finding something unique in this homogenized work keeps me on the hunt.  When we sold our house this time last year, I sold and gave away so much stuff it nearly killed me with exhaustion.  I packed and packed and packed.  Where did all this stuff come from?  80% of it was rarely touched or used.  We might need it sometime was always the excuse.  I guess coming from having nothing and the simplicity of it to having more than you know what to do with, it all seems so insane.  At least for me.

      I will be on home time in a few days and what has occupied my mind on a nearly 24/7 basis ever since we moved into an apartment at the end of February was that I cannot STAND having so much stuff!  Boxes are lined against the walls because...we might use it some day? 

      Living in the truck has brought back the EXTREME need for simplicity.  Everything on the truck has to be necessary and if it can have more than one function, all the better.  When I was unpacking for the apartment, I found that I could not stand opening all the kitchen boxes.  I have a dinner set for 12!  I will not be entertaining in the apartment.....why unpack it? It was like unpacking for a library with all the books we had between us.  Why?  We use to both love the library....why own all these books we read and put on a shelf?  I have a huge collection of vintage cookbooks I never cook from. 

      The same thing with the doll stuff.  Oh, so much.  So many scales, things for a SD, for a MSD, tons of things for a Yo-SD, dollhouse scale, what is going on?  Re-ment, furniture, foods, clothes....even for dolls I no longer have!  And I continue to make clothing as though everyone was bare naked.  Sigh.....time to do some serious reassessment, I declare it is Spring Cleaning time!

      All of this is leading up to my dolls and the changes that are going on there.  It's time to cut the cords to STUFF.  In order to do so, in order to bring it all down to the essentials, I will take it step by step.  The first thing I want to do is divvy every single dolly item I have to each doll. I want to see what each actually has and if I can cut that down to essentials for them.  I am going to rely completely on how I feel as I go.  Whom among my companions is essential?  Who would be the companion(s) my heart cannot live without?

      More to come...

      Tuesday, March 30, 2010

      Miette's Crochet Dress & Wig Adjustment

      I finished Miette's crochet dress.  I knew I needed to figure out a front panel and a closure. 

      I decided to use a contrasting thread:

      Then I discovered that I had NO buttons that would work, I had enough white buttons, but they didn't look right, the brown buttons I had, I didn't have 8 of, so when we went to Walmart, I was hopeful, but they didn't have but a few selections and nothing that would even remotely work.  So I looked at the beads, but the wooden ones were too large.  Sigh.  I bought the silver heart beads until I can find a suitable set of buttons.

      But a good thing was that Walmart had clear craft glue, so I went ahead and re-did Miette's wig.  I had reduced it from a human size wig, down to a size 8-9 then down to 7-8, then down to Miette's size all by darts and stitches.  I peeled it off (I always glue wigs on) and went into the truck stop restroom and washed it in hot water to remove the glue.

      After I removed all the stitches, I selected a row of weft about 2 inches up from the bottom and careful cut between two wefts.  I then basted all around the edge to gather and then glued it to her pate, leaving an edge all around that would then be glued to her head.   Her hair is now much thinner, much easier to brush and it lays nicely in a more realistic way around her.  I put her cap on and a rubber band to hold the hair down while it dried.

      I had also just washed my hair, funny, we have nearly the same colour!  Mine is still damp, but dried, it is so close!

      We are now heading to Texas, deliver tomorrow and then head to the Yard.  We are not sure, but after a couple of days there, we may be sent to Colorado with a load.  Home time is around the maybe, just maybe we will soon be there!

      Saturday, March 27, 2010

      Musing, Miette's Blanket and Hawaii

      Can't seem to get far on this blanket for Miette, but I do like it.  The pink should go well with her trunk.

      Yesterday I wrote up a very long and detailed post about my feelings and ideas about my companions.  I got really deeply involved and through the writing, I felt a great deal of relief and purpose.  I saved it in my documents, as I am not ready to call it a done deal yet, but somehow, by writing it all out in black and white, I could see some clarity that I really needed to see.  I plan on pulling it up at night when all is dark and quiet and reading it, see if there is any other feelings I need to address and then I will post it here.  What was really cathartic about it, was that I started my asking myself what I really wanted out of having a companion doll and let the whole thing flow from there.  I itemized what works, what does work and so on.

      Another thing I really want to do when I get back to the apartment is to sort every single doll item I have, decide what to keep, and assign it to a specific doll as their own item.  I want to create an inventory list, including their clothes so that I can decide on what clothing or item I may want to create or find for them in the future.  Since I can't see everything I have back at the apartment while on the truck, I often feel spaced-out as to what to make, what to look for.  I want these items to be a part of the doll, a part of their personality and suited to their personal style.  I feel I have been too hodge-podge about it for too long, ending up with stuff I have never even used.

      I want to revive my companion doll website with each doll, their stats and their personal inventory.  It will be a place I can keep these detailed records and make it easy to find.

      In other ideas, I am beginning to think about who will be the one to go to Hawaii with me.  I want to make them a bathing suit and some summer clothes.  My daughter is at the halfway point in her pregnancy, so it won't be long now! 

      Friday, March 26, 2010

      Recent Finds

      A brown human hair wig for Evan.

      Shoes for Miette, and a white pair but the photo was too blurry.  If they don't fit her, they will fit the children.

      Wig and shoes were VERY inexpensive.  Found at eBay seller:

      Ice cream for the children.

      Pink Poodles for Miette to train in the circus.  They are 4 inches tall, so if they are out of wack in scale, they can go to the children or Olwen.

      Ice Cream and Poodles were VERY inexpensive, found at eBay seller:

      Lace Hat for Miette

      I made a lace hat for Miette.

      I am slowly working on her blanket.  I ripped up the second one, I just didn't like it either.  The one I am making now, I like the best of the three, I am doing an alternating knit two, perle two and instead of ribbing, doing a double seed stitch.  It creates a  softer fabric than the other two I started.  Her wig is driving me crazy, as I really want to re-sew it to a better fit.  I made the wig from a human size human hair wig originally for Evie, so the tuck is huge in the back neck area and while it "looks" ok, I can feel it when I handle her and she can't wear a bonnet properly.  I would cut it down and re-sew it now, except I forgot to bring wig glue.  Sigh.  I also have a few more pieces of the wig at home, so that if I need to add a weft to balance what I remove, I can do it all in one get go.

      Thursday, March 25, 2010

      Dinner at 8

      Miette brings a touch of class on the truck.  I must say, she travels well.

      Wednesday, March 24, 2010

      More Miette Wardrobe Enhancements

      My mood has improved somewhat.  More Miette wardrobe enhancements:

       I think this was a Boneka chemise.  I added butterflies and put pink bows around their necks.  Miette clapped with joy.  She thinks there can never be enough lace and bows.

      I had a homemade vintage hat that was a bit too big, so I added lace and gathered the top to make more of a bonnet style hat for Miette.

      And the last of the sewing yesterday, I had a wide piece of lace that I made a petticoat for her,  floding over the top edge and threading with a white ribbon to tie in the back.  This was a vintage piece of lace for back in the day that women made slips to wear under dresses.  I believe it is from the 50's or 60's. 

      I am still wondering and thinking on my companion situation.  It fluctuates, there are times I am within seconds of a decision to reduce the herd, and other times I feel I shouldn't.  There are times when I feel that the 10 inch ones are the only viable companions for both the truck and the future, but then I think that I have too many 10 inchers!  Sigh.  "Round and 'Round I go, where I'll stop, not even I know.

      More thinking needed.

      Monday, March 22, 2010

      Busy Hands

      Yesterday was one of those days that nothing I could do to improve my mood would work.  I was really down and near tears all day.  Everything got to me, the snow (and I normally love snow) the rain, the mud we had to trudge through and just about everything nearly sent me over the edge.  This too, will pass, I kept telling myself.

      I busied myself with hand-sewing.  I grabbed Miette's bag of clothes (she has her original dress and two awful dresses, her red knit coat that I hate and a few odd pieces I pulled out of a bag of mixed vintage dolly clothes I bought on eBay awhile back.  I took the dress I had made a long time ago, one that I disliked because it lacked something.  Miette insisted that it needed trims.  Lots of trims.  In fact she kept insisting on adding more and more until I think it looked silly, but it kept my hands busy.  Next I made a hat which turned out nicely and then a fixed up a pair of old drawers for her.  I liked those too.  Now she has something to wear while I fix up her other undies with something frilly.

      I also tore up her blanket, which was almost done as I hated the thickness.  I started another one, but don't like that one either.  Grumpiness seems to pervade everything.  It also made me grit my teeth and want just one doll all over again.

      The circus thing felt really good and I could imagine all the fun and the possibilities.  I felt it was the best idea I have had when it came to finding a cohesiveness to my companion family.  But then, as I thought about how we will end this american journey, how we will be taking a train to NY and then a ship, what we might carry by hand, what we might ship it seems that eventually I have to take my whole companion doll situation very seriously.  I cannot possibly risk the shipping and I most certainly cannot carry them all AND luggage.  Right back to square ONE.

      I know better than to make decisions when my mood is low, but I have to admit the thing I can't seem to resolve is back on the table.  Before I delve into the costuming, I want to think on it some more.

      Saturday, March 20, 2010

      Cirkus Bellevue

      I have been absolutely delighted in my circus idea.  Not only does it bring back my childhood memories at Cirkus Schumann in Copenhagen, but it brings a whole new flavour to the play with my dolls.  They can each remain who they are now, only be able to put on a costume for work.  I have drafted up my ideas, I am so tickled that I already have most of what I would need, I would be able to make most everything without any undue expense and best of all, there is a "job" for each of my companions that suit their personalities.  Being a traveling circus troop, they can all be a part of it, no matter what their size or personal life.

      I think of them as sort of in the old style of the traveling circus troop, a mixture of family and extra's, all becoming an extended family.  Everyone has a role to fill, but a few have more than one kind of performance or talent.  My new dollroom has a closet bars all along under the shelves, perfect for hanging the trapeze.  In so many ways, it all fits so well, something that can be all a part of why we are all together and sharing our lives.  It gives me a whole new perspective of creativity, something I have needed.  Instead of feeling so overwhelmed that I am leaving companions for long periods of time, I can be working on costumes and they can be practicing their arts.  I could even take photo's of whomever is traveling with me in front of a sign, having a real feel for the traveling aspect of the circus.  There just isn't any limitations at all, and not only uses up what I have, but is of little extra expense.  What fun it will be to find items for the circus, to create the posters, my intention is to make most things myself.

      Here is my working list of ideas:

      Cirkus Bellevue

      The Ringmaster
      Either Oliver Hardy or WC Fields (to be purchased)

      The Performers
      Evie - Trapeze & Horse rider
      Evan - Juggler, Trapeze, Mime, knife thrower
      Olwen  - Tightrope Walker

      The Children - Acrobats & Clowns
      Audrey, Hammie, Pandora, Zoelina

      The Pixies - Side show
      Aloe Vera - Fortune Teller (already has gold sparkle dress)
      Olivia - Fat Lady (silly & frilly)

      The French Girl
      Miette - poodle trainer

      The Old Biddy’s
      Charlotte - seamstress & cook for the troop
      Lizzy - Nurse for all the accidents sure to happen, storyteller

      Frank’s Place - Refreshments
      Frank - Bartender (refreshments at the circus)
      Lucy - waitress
      Bert - Bar patron (to be purchased, Mary Poppin's Bert)
      Have 2 AG size horses already - create feathers headdresses and fancy straps
      Tightrope (already have umbrella & ballet slippers)
      Make masks for the clowns instead of painted faces
      Make a trapeze swing (use fancy twisted upholstery cording)
      Need poodles
      Juggler: Use toy bowling pins, balls, plates on sticks
      Design and Print Circus Posters
      Design and print popcorn bags
      Create cotton candy cones with coloured cotton balls
      Fortune Teller: crystal ball, tarot cards

      Sewing notions:
      Pom poms, sequins, tassles, ribbons, cording, beads, feathers

      Satins, netting, socks for tights, felt for hats

      Evan or Frank as Ring Master: red coat, gold braid, black horse riding trousers, strips, top hat, whip, white gloves

      Evie as Horse Rider: tutu, tights, fancy headress, long gloves, slippers
      Evie as Trapeze Girl: satin corset, tights, small headdress, slippers

      Olwen as Tightrope Walker: Mid length tutu to the back, lots of roses & ribbon, umbrella, slippers with ribbon ties
      Aloe Vera as the Fortune Teller: gold sparkle dress, barefoot, gypsy clothes

      Olivia as the Fat Lady: lots of ruffles, over the top feathers and sequins.  Find a small pony for her to ride.

      Lizzy needs a Victorian era nurse costume.

      Friday, March 19, 2010

      100 Strokes, Please.

      I love brushing Miette's hair.  She likes it too.

      Yesterday was very stressful.  Husband was having a bad day with the produce loads and even lost his temper a couple of times, which he rarely does, he is so even tempered.  I lose my cool much quicker than he does.  So when he blows his stack, I cannot help but feel protective and I tend to withdraw.  So my day went completely introverted.  I spent it thinking about my companions.

      I wrote their names down and played around with free association.  Charlotte and Lizzy were tagged as biddies.  The Old Biddies.  Aloe Vera and Olivia the Pig became tagged as The Pixies.  I smiled at that one.  Olivia a Pixie?  Pixie Pig!  lol.  Of course, the children are always the children.  Frank and Lucy seemed to drift into Frank's Place, as I could see Frank having a lounge and Lucy being a goofy waitress there.  I let my imagination drift into Frank's Place and loved the 1960's atmosphere.  Yes, that seemed to be a wonderful place, dark, quiet, good music in the background, Frank polishing the glassware and shaking up martini's....and Lucy dropping a tray full of drinks in the background.  Miette was a bit harder, I kept coming up with The French Girl, but that didn't bring any clues.  Ever since I changed her wig, I see her as Alice in Wonderland.  I am drifting in that direction with her.  French is all so wonderful, but she seems to have more to her than just a nationality. 

      But while everyone was moving into a thought pattern, Evie and Evan completely eluded me.  I thought about a period in time for them, but each era that I imagined them in didn't feel right.  I imagined them as parents of the children....but no, that wasn't it either.  A king and Queen?  A Duke and Duchess?  Actors?  Who were Evie and Evan?  I gave up on my tagging and imagining, went and spent hours looking through the history of clothing.  Nothing.

      I went to bed for the night and laid there not really thinking, but drifting in and out of all kinds of gossamer thoughts.  Then something took form.  Something that seemed to have a life of it's own, once it came into view.  There was a way to connect each one of my companions!  Even in all their varying sizes and types, there was always one place that united the odd ones.....THE CIRCUS!!!!!!!!!  The tall and the small, the young and the old....are all a part of an old fashioned circus.  I will drift into this world for awhile.....I wonder if this is what Evie meant by a family?  I feel happy today.  Just maybe, I have a circus family in the making!

      Thursday, March 18, 2010

      Furniture for the Children

      I just won this item from eBay:

      I know the photo is really small, it has a 3 tiered bunk bed, a canopy bed, a bench and a rocking chair all matching.  This is for the children, Audrey, Hammie, Pandora and Zoelina.  I already have a white painted plain bed that I haven't unpacked yet, I may give that one to Hammie and let the girls have the bunk beds and Aloe Vera the Canopy.  They are listed to fit Barbie size, so they should be good for my 10 inchers.

      The seller has 0 feedback, sigh.  I never do this with a new seller, but I really wanted this set.  Fingers crossed it is a good transaction.

      Miette's Dress and Hair

      I desparately hoped that I would dream of Evie again last night, but it did not happen.  Here I am confessing out to the internet world that I am trying to commune with my doll.  Sigh.  Practically over the edge, I suppose.

      I had started a project a while back, creating a history of my dolls and their familiar relationships.  I stopped because at the time I felt it was getting too involved and intense.  I wonder if I should go back to it?  Maybe I was going into the wrong direction with it.  I will toy with it again and see where it takes me.

      I adore little Miette.  She has been an anchor for me lately.  Funny that I start a blanket for her because I worried about her being cold, and now we sit in the Arizona desert at 104 degrees!  Oh well.  Chances are we will hit another snowstorm before summer is here.

      I mentioned Miette's dress, which is not finished.

      The dress is too snug as is, and my plan is to add a front panel in a contrasting colour or make closure straps with buttons so that an underdress would show through.  I am still thinking on it.

      The backL

      I have had this human hair wig a long time, it has been worn by Evie and Olwen, each time, I stitched tucks to make it smaller, but it is now creating a thick lump in the back of excess wig.  When I am back on home time, I will be cutting it to size to fit Miette perfectly.  In the meantime, I am applying jojoba oil and brushing it daily to condition it.  The colour really suits her and I like the feel of it.  Funny how I hated it on Olwen.

      Wednesday, March 17, 2010

      A Strange but Wonderful Dream

      I had a dream last night that I was laying in a field and crying.  Evie came through the grass and put her hand on my hand and told me to stop.  Her voice was just a whisper, just a hint, but it was very clear.  I looked at her in the dream and saw that her articulated joints were gone, that her glass eyes were real eyes.  I felt startled, but I was sure it was the tears in my eyes that were blurring the lines.  Evie continued to talk and said that she wanted me to stop worrying.  She said that I felt disconnected because I kept the family separated in my mind.  She said a lot more, but I don't remember the words, but we seemed to be having a picnic in the grass while chatting away, and I was really enjoying her company, feeling like long lost friends who realized that no time had passed at all since the last meeting.  The dream was strong, I could feel the warmth of the sun, the smell of the grass and the very very real presence of Evie.  I hated waking up and realizing it was a dream.  Evie was so present, so close, so real.

      I have been wrapped in the memory of the dream all morning.  What did she mean by keeping everyone separated?  She, herself was always rejecting the new arrivals, always wanting everyone to go away.  Now she speaks of a family.  Have my dolls bonded while I have been away?  Are they now a family?  Being an only child, I have a hard time understanding this family thing.  My daughter is expanding her family, even though she is an only child.  Why is this so hard for me?  Too many people in one place make me feel overwhelmed.  Social anxiety I guess.  Too many dolls do the same thing.  So why would Evie think I could accept the idea of a family of companions?

      Sigh.  I don't know.  In the meantime, I am trying to keep busy with my hands.  I am knitting Miette a pink cotton blanket.  The pattern is K2, P2, K2 together, YO, repeat.  It's a bit more lacey than it appears in the photo.  I felt bad when I laid her down to sleep and realized that a child's blanket with zoo animals on it was just not her thing.  She looked painfully annoyed, but her good manners kept her tongue in check. 

      I finished her nightgown, which I cut out while on home-time and handstitched here on the truck.  I haven't made a complete garment by handstitching in so long.  I think antique style clothes look just fine being hand stitched, while modern clothing needs the clean look of machine stitches.  I really enjoyed sewing by hand and think I will do much more of it here on the truck.  I made a drop sleeve, but since I don;t have an iron, it is puffing up too high because of the stiffness of the lace.  I will wash it when I get home and iron it so that it flows in the direction of the wrist.  One of my bjd shirts used ribbon to gather and close a sleeve at the wrist and I really liked that techinique and will use it more on my dolls, especially since I would like to avoid using elastic on Miette's clothes.  I did use snaps to close the back, because I did not have the right kind of buttons, I will eventually make button holes by hand and add small shell buttons.

      Miette is being a wonderful and patient companion as I try to work through my feelings right now.  I am so glad she called my name at that antique shop that day.  All my Victorian yearns rest on her pretty little self.

      Tuesday, March 16, 2010


      I am still feeling so overwhelmed.  It is pervasive and I can't shake it loose.  I miss my dolls, I hate being away from them and the angry resentful part of me wants to let them all go and try and be given a better life than sitting alone and dormant hoping their turn will soon come.  I know it makes no sense, but it bothers me and has been a thorn in my side for an entire year now.  To see them every 5 weeks hurts.  It hurts to see them look so abandoned, it hurts to leave them.  I spend the weeks on the road thinking about them.  Reducing the numbers is not the answer.   There would still be someone left behind.

      I am not sure what the answer is.  I am so ready to let go and have a one and only, but each time I think of each companion, my heart melts and I think how I could not stand it of they were gone.  I wrote their names down on a piece of paper and tried to eliminate them one by one, hoping to find the prima donna left over.

      SD -Evie, Evan

      MSD -Olwen

      Yo-SD -Audrey, Hammie, Zoelina, Pandora (the children)

      Leprechaun -Aloe Vera

      Antiques -Miette, Charlotte (and her baby Kameko), Lizzy (and her baby Henry)

      Fashion Size -Frank & Lucy

      Pig -Olivia
      Reborn -Emily

      No one got crossed off. Life would be so much easier with one or two small dolls!  Even easier with just ONE!  The children?  Would it be best to keep them?  Easy to carry and play with?  But now I adore Miette.  She is just as small, yet she doesn't fit in with them at all.  No, no, no. dearest Evie, what would have happened if I had kept it just you?  That was my intention then.  Why did I let my dolly appetite get out of hand?  Now I am no longer in the home that could hold them all. 

      What is easier, what is better just doesn't fit in with the heart.  I can't let anyone go yet.  And this is the same wall I keep on hitting.   I want to, I don't want to.  I am happy to have them, I am overwhelmed that I have them. decision yet, no answer forming.  The thoughts:

      Keep Evie.  But she couldn't travel well, she's too big for the truck to play with beyond holding.

      Keep the children.  They are the easiest, but is four two many?  Gads, the clothes, the toys, the stuff....fill a suitcase!  Yes, four on the truck was a bit much.

      Keep Audrey.  I feel that same about her as I do Evie.  A very very strong love and pull to her.  She too was once considered a potential one and only. 

      Keep Evie and Audrey.  Makes sense, but they are worlds apart, and adult and a child.

      Keep Evie, Olwen and Audrey.  Three sisters.  But they look nothing alike, and I am right back to three different sizes, and all three would be too much for the truck.

      Ah.....I give up trying to come up with combinations.  Something will come to light sooner or later.  I don't want to force it.

      Friday, March 12, 2010

      Moving in that direction.....

      We have been on night drives and I came down with a bit of a cold so I cannot say that I have done anything productive dolly wise except not finish Miette's crochet dress, and I have started handsewing the white nightdress I cut out before I left the apartment.  No energy to finish either yet.

      I wrote a post in my doll group this morning about being tired of being torn about my companions and the way we are all separated now.  When I was packing to leave the apartment, I really wanted Audrey to come with me, and then I saw Zoelina looking so forlorn, then I smiled at Pandy and I sighed.  I go through this time and time again.  Evie looked so abandoned, Evan looked sick, Olivia was unusually quiet and Aloe Vera hasn't been anywhere in so long.  Olwen looked tearful.  Then I looked up at Frank and Lucy and wondered why am I always having to say goodbye?

      Since I have been back on the truck, I have been sorely missing Audrey.  I have been wishing to spend more time with Evie.  I wonder time and time again, is it too late for us to be what we once were?  Has time and circumstances changed our relationship?  I had the same feelings about Audrey that I had with Evie and I feel as though I am letting that bonding slip away.  In both relationships, I ruined it by continuing to add to the mix.  It's a constant struggle...I think that I love THIS doll so much, another one would be MORE love!  It doesn't work that way.

      I try to close my eyes and think...what IS IT that I really want?  I try to not let the ideas, or the the stories get in the way.  What is I really want out of a relationship with a doll? 

      I want a companion that goes through everyday life with me.  One that I can sew for, dream with.  One that can go anywhere and everywhere with me.  A constant companion.  I don't want to have size issues where transporting is a problem.

      I want a companion that delights me, that makes me smile.  I want a companion that I can find little objects for.  One I can play with or have them just sit with me.  I want simplicity, happiness and fun.

      The cherub that took my breath away was little Audrey.

      How I love my Audrey.  Can you tell?  Munchkin love.

      I need to finish unpacking the rest of my doll things when I get back to the apartment.  I want to sort it all out, get a grasp of what I have and then fine tune it down to the best of the best.  Audrey will return with me on the truck and I will begin to let go.  I am getting so close to the concept of the one and only companion.  So very close.