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Friday, April 29, 2011

More About the New Girls

I made each girl an outfit, although they aren't the greatest creations I've ever done. The black-haired one is named Lily and the formerly Amish one is Sally.

I removed the fringe of hair from Sally's forehead with acetone (accidently taking off a little of her right eyebrow) and gave her reddish brown hair. I was able to scrape the black paint off her feet, so she's no longer wearing high black boots. As I was scraping, I thought of my aunt and uncle who used to own a general store in rural Pennsylvania. The women who worked at the chicken factory would buy their boots at the general store and they always wanted white boots, "because they're prettier," they would explain to my aunt and uncle. The fact that the pretty white boots would soon be covered with chicken guts and blood didn't enter into it. I think I would have preferred black boots that wouldn't show the blood.

"You are my mother," cried Gloriana.
Sally is going to adopt Juliana, since she is an orphan.

"We'll be sisters!" says Juliana happily.
Georgia had thought briefly about adopting Juliana and now was glad she hadn't.

"Oh Alice," says Lily, "I think a pink toilet is wonderful!"
Alice doesn't have the heart to tell Lily that the toilet will be painted white.

"I don't care about your past, Edward. I really like you."
But what would Lily say if she knew the truth about Edward?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Two More Dolls

I found two dollies at work that I had to bring home. They are from the 60s, made of vinyl.

An Amish doll for Gloriana's mother! I can't wait to de-Amishize her and give her some hair and new clothes. She has a fringe of brown hair in front, but is bald otherwise. The one on the right has beautiful black hair and blue eyes. Her dress is in good shape but she wants a more versatile wardrobe. They both need their staples removed.

"My long lost daughter!"
Gloriana's not sure about this. She has vague memories of her Amishness but she likes her golden hair and pink dress too much to be sure if she wants an Amish mother. I assured her that her mother would soon have lots of hair and a pretty dress. (I had nothing against the Amish until I heard about the puppy mills they run.)

The girls are shown around the house.

"What a lovely dining room!"
Starla is keeping a close watch on Reginald, while Mr. Constantinople admires from afar. Edward isn't sure how much of his past the new dolls know, so he is keeping a low profile.

"And this is the library where we often relax," explains Cassie. 
There is a new bookcase in the library. It used to be pink but was mercifully painted. There is also a small chest donated by Auntie Berman.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cassie Gets a New Dress; Charlie Gets a New Body

Gazing at a pen with a huge silk (okay, it's not really silk) rose attached to it, I was inspired to make a rose petal dress and picked Cassie as the lucky recipient.

I realize the shade of red wasn't particularly good for her coloring and maybe the hat is a little too much, but she likes it anyway.

Here is how I did it:

These are leftover petals. The ones I used were bigger and fuller. I folded the middle pedal down and sewed along where the pin it.

I sewed three of these together and used stick-on velcro to fasten it. The top was made from a four-petal rose. I'm not sure how I did it, but velcro was involved.

Wow! That's a lot of red. Flora dutifully admires the dress.
"Sorry to interrupt your picnic, but I just had to show off my new dress."
Meanwhile, Chardonnay was concerned about the glue and felt on her back. I tried using acetone to remove it but couldn't get it all off. So I decided to do a body transplant, since I had two available bodies (but no extra arms or heads, unfortunately).

It looks like a case of leprosy
Body comparison
Charlie's new body is taller and thinner than the old. The color actually matches her head better, although her arms are lighter. Her lovely sparkly dress is from a blouse Mrs. Smith brought us.

Lola and Glorious are relieved that Charlies won't compete with their headdresses

In the continuing toilet saga, we found what is probably a Barbie toilet but it's incomplete and I'm not sure what kind of a base we can use. It will definitely be painted!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Food and More

Auntie Berman returned from her conference in San Francisco bearing gifts of food! Yes, doll-size food. She went to Chinatown but her real thrill was going to Japantown (I didn't even know there was a Japantown) and looking at the re-ment miniature food. She brought a basket of food to Wayfarers Inn.

Bonnie reaches for the cookies

A close-up of the food
The little package on the left is teeny little gummi-bears. The brown paper grocery sack was empty so I stuck a couple of little carrots in it.

She also brought an incense burner that had a little dog on it.

Jeff isn't sure if he likes the new puppy
Meanwhile, up in the atrium, Goldie and Geoffrey are having a picnic.

Goldie reaches for the wine bottle
The chair on the right is one I made from a box of milk.

There is something really wrong about (non-refrigerated) milk in a box and there's something really, really wrong with 1% lowfat milk. Why not just use water? I got the idea from a web site called Grandmother's Dollhouse There is a whole section on making cardboard box furniture. Many of the items call for corset boxes, which are in short supply nowadays so I had to turn to milk boxes. Once it was painted, it looked quite nice.

In case you are wondering about the progress of the toilet, well it's not a pretty picture.

After I dropped it in the dirt and it dried and I scrubbed it, I realized I was out of spray paint. Shiny appliance spray paint. So I asked my Husband-Like Person to get me a can at Walmart while he was there. When he returned, he was paintless. "I didn't have enough money," he said, quickly shoveling the last spoonful of a pint of ice cream down his throat and trying to hide the carton. Later (overcome with guilt, I hope) he gave me some flat white interior paint and I attempted to apply it evenly with a brush. You can see the results. Auntie Berman consoled by telling me we could sand off what I'd put on, and meanwhile HLP came up with a can of interior/exterior white spray paint and one of Crystal Clear Gloss. So we shall see.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Why I Don't Do a Lot of Crafty Projects

Or, The Making of the Toilet

As I wandered outside on a break a few days ago, my eye fell on a bowl-shaped piece of plastic that turned out to be some kind of candy container I had never heard about. It could be a toilet bowl, I thought with a sudden flash of genius. (I also found two dimes. It was my lucky day.)

I didn't crop the picture so you can get an idea of the size.

Here I must digress and mention two Public Service Announcements that impressed me as a child. One was about how now that it was the Space Age, people were always looking Up. But there was a little boy who always looked Down and saw the beginnings of a forest fire and Saved the Day.

The other was about the dangers of strange metal objects on the ground. "If you see one of these, DON'T TOUCH IT!" This was less than 20 years after the Japanese Balloon Bomb incident:

Since my grandmother had known the minister's wife and had pointed out the spot where it happened, I took these warnings very seriously, and I only pick up metal objects if I'm sure they're not balloon bombs.

But this object was plastic (it never occurs to me that there are plastic bombs now) and I was pretty sure the dimes were safe . . .

Okay, I removed the wrapper and spray-painted the bowl white. I learned a very important lesson about spray painting: If the nozzle is clogged and you decide to stick a pin into it, be sure the nozzle is pointed away from your face.

Painted white

Now I learned another important lesson. If you decide to turn it over and paint the inside before the paint is dry, don't drop it!

After I dropped it
I have a piece of styrofoam that will be the toilet tank. They will be connected by a straw.

This will have to be continued because I need more paint. The bits of dirt and gravel came off easily enough but the dog hairs were another story. Meanwhile, I will be studying bathroom furniture to get inspired. I found this site:

and got lots of good ideas.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Some Wonderful Finds

Just as we were getting in line at Goodwill Bargain Bin, I looked down and saw--the Avon Grandfather Clock!

Reginald, Mr. Constantinople, and Starla are thrilled that they will now know what time it is.
I knew we would find it sooner or later, but I thought it would be much, much later. And it only cost $1. I'm not sure if we're going to leave the little gold thingy on top.

We also found picnic food.

Fine wine, good cheese, grapes: what's not to like? I'll move this up to the atrium. Which reminds me, Auntie Berman spotted this lovely chair:

Goldie seems overcome by the thought of the new chair
And then, for the Glitter Room, we found Disco Balls!

Glorious Dolorious, Lola Gladiolus, and Chardonnay think the Disco Balls will add a certain je ne se quoi to their show.
The three hanging from the ceiling are Christmas ornaments, while the one on the floor is actually a pear. A Disco Pear. It will go right in the center.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lola Gladiolus

It's official. The new dolly's name is Lola Gladiolus. She and Glorious Dolorious are thinking about having a Show in the Glitter Room.

Glorious, Lola, and Charlie talk about their new Show.
Chardonnay is thinking she might want to join. She would have to have a new dress, of course, with lots of fruit on her head.

Yesterday at work I found a marvelous bag of miniatures.

Georgia, Mr. Philadelphia, and Mary Rose are enchanted with the new victrola
The victrola has a magnet on one side and the other side says "Acme Home Phonograph." On the bottom it says 1996 Acme China.

Bonnie and Lauren prefer the new radio
The radio has no markings on it at all.

Starla, Reginald, Edward, and Flora think the children will love the Noah's Ark
Again, no markings on it. (We really must get a better dining room table.)

Very nice telephone
Unfortunately, the telephone is way too big for them. It is from Durham Industries, made in Hong Kong and is from the late 1970s.

Meanwhile, a few other projects:

The beginnings of the new bathtub
Dorinda and Alice can't wait to have a real bathtub. It just needs some sort of frame.

Goldie and Edward wish their legs were jointed so they could sit on the newly painted bench
The garden bench for the atrium has been painted.

Lauren and Glorianna in the music room
In the music room is a lovely fan donated by Auntie Berman, and one of the two Avon pot-bellied stoves we've found at thrift stores. Glorianna is standing by the music box I got when I was 4 years old.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Another Doll Followed Me Home

I have been working (very part time) at Savers (aka Value Village), a thrift shop, and so far I haven't been real impressed with the dollies there. Yesterday I found out that we are supposed to wear green tee shirts on Saturdays. I was told I could pull one off the racks and wear it. I got off early (business is slow) and I decided I might as well buy it, since I don't have a plain green one at home, and thinking it would be a shame  to buy just one thing, I started looking at the dolls. Many of the toys are bundled and bagged and one contained a Barbie and--another Carmen Miranda doll! She is from the 60s, vinyl not hard plastic, but with a wonderful outfit. I couldn't resist. It seems there were many sales going on: since it was a "work shirt" the supervisor only charged me 99 cents for the tee shirt (originally $3.99), and then it was half off, and the "toy bag" was $1.99 minus 50%. So I only spent $1.62 including tax!

The New Girl poses in the Glitter Room

Auntie Berman thinks we should get one more CM doll (we think we saw one somewhere and they can have a Show in the Glitter Room.

Mary Rose admires the exotic outfits, although she's secretly glad
she doesn't have to wear such outlandish clothes

Posing in the Glitter Room while the Other Dolls look on

(The Other Dolls are in the Glitter Room because at this time they have nowhere else to go.)

Now I need a name for her that is as wonderful as Glorious Dolorious.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Moving In

I know many of you will not be able to sleep until you know that the dollies are safe in their new home. We still have a lot of rearranging and setting up and acquiring to do, but we did get moved in tonight.

The left side of the house. Georgia is upstairs where the bedrooms will be, while on the floor below Starla and Reginald admire the dining room and Juliana and Mary Rose plan what will go in the den/ library

A close-up of the den/library. It will have chairs and a bookcase.

The right side of the kitchen. Goldie likes the spaciousness while Jeff wonders where his food bowl is. It seems to have gotten lost in the move.

The left side of the kitchen. Bonnie, Glorianna (is that what I named her?) and Flora wonder if things should be arranged differently.

Overall view of the right side of the house.

I put the children's room in the basement. There really wasn't room for them anywhere else. Yes, there are monsters on the floor.

Chardonay and Lauren check out the music room. It needs a bit of decorating.

Now the only big problem is where to put the Glitter Room. It's too fabulous not to include. It may have to be across the room from the house.