Saturday, October 31, 2009

Benjamin's Photo Shoot

After Yren was finished with her Alice in Wonderland poses, my son Benjamin took over the shoot and did his own concepts, props, poses and photography. Here's Yren putting on her make-up and reading a book. He also did the "Pennies from Heaven" song post below.

I'm not sure why Yren is so favored, when he won't even walk down the Barbie aisle with me at the store! But since my daughter isn't near by to appreciate Yren with me, I'm glad my son is willing to do it once in awhile. I think he was proud that I trusted him to handle her, and indeed he was very careful with her.

Usually Ben is more interested in Yren's animals. You can see a little of Noxy's Mouserat in Ben's picures--he just loves Mouserat and the little dog Noxy sent to Yren! I asked him if he wanted her to wear different clothes or wig, but he didn't care about that.

Yren as Alice in Wonderland

Here is the picture I'm putting on the forum as Yren's contribution to the October Photo Project, the theme of which was "Costume Party" for October. (Her hair is not carrot orange, as it appears here--it's soft honey blonde. But we're taking pictures late at night. We'll try again tomorrow.)

My idea all along was for Yren to be dressed as Barbie, in some iconic costume that people might recognize. But then the month ran out, and all I had accomplished was making this new wig for her.

So I put this Barbie pinafore on her. It's from the "Orange Blossom" outfit often seen on Midge as bridesmaid at Barbie's wedding. For Yren's underdress, we used this little blue number that was a test of for Tammy pattern... And suddenly, Yren had become Alice in Wonderland--just as if I had planned it!

Poems for Enchanted Dolls #12

Pennies from Heaven

Every time it rains, it rains
Pennies from heaven.
Don't you know each cloud contains
Pennies from heaven.
You'll find your fortune falling
All over town--
Be sure that your umbrella is upside down!
Trade them for a package of
Sunshine and flowers.
If you want the things you love,
You must have showers.
So when you hear it thunder
Don't run under a tree.
There'll be pennies from heaven for you and me!

Song lyrics to "Pennies from Heaven" by Louis Prima; Enchanted Doll
Yren posed and photographed by Benjamin Wilson.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Memories of Yren's arrival day

I never posted all of Yren's arrival day pictures anywhere, I just looked at them on my computer whenever I wanted to relive the experience. But after being without my computer and all my hundreds of pictures of Yren for so long, I've decided to post a few here where I can always get at them. They look like everyone else's box-opening pictures, but they're special to me because Yren is inside.

So here you have it... The big day: Thursday, August 20, 2009, about 5:30 pm.

The packing peanuts

And the Enchanted Doll box

And here is Yren as she looked in that moment, endearingly bald and vulnerable, strapped in so tight.

Here is the first picture I ever took of her after she had her strappings taken off and was out of her box.

The earrings are the ones Marina gave her.

You can see that I don't have her wig adjusted just right, and the light was terrible, and I'm an Idiot Photographer. But a first picture is a first picture, and this was my Yren's.

I call this her "Lorraine" picture because she just looks like that ought to be her name.

And then, of course, I had to try on her red wig. It fits her a little differently than the brown one, shows more of her pretty forehead.

At the time, I was desperately unhappy with my efforts. Photographing Enchanted Dolls was just not the point and snap I thought it would be! But now I don't think they're so bad. What made the difference? This: I finally figured out that I could CROP them! Cropping is MAGIC!

I think she looks like a Renaissance princess here--she should be clothed in velvets and gold. She hasn't asked for them though--not yet. So far she's mainly interested in Wheels & Doll Baby, Forever 21, and Polyvore.

So that was my pretty girl the day she came into my life. Long may she reign!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yren's slopers so far

A few people asked me what slopers are. Also called "blocks," they are basic patterns that fit the body closely; once you fit them perfectly to the model, you can alter them to make whatever style garment you want. I'm just a beginner at it, learning the sloper method because it is fun and because Yren wants a lot of clothes. No use drafting paper-towel one-offs every time I make something for her, as I used to do for dolls.

If you are interested in trying it, or at least reading more about it, have a look at this neat website. Unlike other, more recent books on the topic, this one actually explains things. And while you're there, be sure to look at Vintage Sewing Info's home page too: you'll see they have reproduction texts of lots of other great stuff--books on millinery, glove-making, even home dry cleaning, as well as basic sewing.

So now Yren has a few bodice slopers, each with the darts in different places, to get us started on her wardrobe. The back bodice sloper was the first one I did, and I drafted that one according to her measurements. I started doing the front one that way too, but then ended up just using the ol' paper towel method to get the first sloper--it's so much easier. Then I made the rest of the front slopers from that.

We did her first skirt blocks today too... I didn't notice that the back and front were drafted separately, and I ended up sewing too fronts together! Turned out kind of boxy! Then, LOL, I read the fine print. Oops--told you I was a beginner!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Yren in fall

Only last night in a note to Monika I was despairing of ever taking pictures of Yren that show her as I see her. And I'm sure Yren was despairing of it too--it's an affront to her singular beauty to have such an incompetent as I attempting to record it.

But today we ventured out into rain-soaked nature to set up a shoot so that at long last anyone who was wondering what Yren looks like with brown eyes and eye-liner might be satisfied. And here she is, giving you the kind of look she beguiles me with every day.

When we came back in, her hands were so cold, I couldn't ask her to go back out for a second session right away. So we begged a little computer time from my husband, who is eager to shoot aliens, and Yren is warming up again while I blog.

Modest success at photography is inspiring me to go back up to the Sewing Parlor and finish Yren's front bodice sloper, and then see what fabrics I might have that suit her, and then maybe try on some more blushers and lip colors. On n'est pas belle par hasard!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hooray! Computer's home!

Our computer arrived home safe and surprisingly sound yesterday afternoon. We had two brief scares: one when the monitor wouldn't interface, and the other when my iTunes folder wouldn't open. But both issues have been resolved and all is well.

Now I just have to wait in line to use the thing: my husband wants to keep his Peggle chops up, and my son has more Webkinz to adopt, not to mention aliens to battle.

Yren has no new clothes to have her picture taken in, and she's feeling a little peevish about being photographed nude. She says that was fine when she'd just arrived and didn't own a stitch, but now that she's been with me two full months, she thinks I ought to be producing clothes for her at a snappier rate.

Well, I am *trying.* But I've only just started drafting slopers for her. (Only her back one is done so far; it looks very elegant even in muslin! Because she has a very elegant back, that's why.) So it's going to take a while longer to create the other blocks and then turn them into something. Not sure if I'll make the Forum's October "Costume Party" Photo Project or not--I do have an idea for it this time.

I'd better at least get her portrait while she still has brown eyes because she's impatient to have blue ones again. She likes her lipstick, blush, and eye-liner though. She's not quite so much of a nature girl as I expected her to be, back when I was only dreaming of her. More of an Uptown girl, is our Yren.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Still No Computer!

Waah! We couldn't go to Chicago and pick up our home computer, newly repaired and upgraded, because first my husband caught a bad cold and then I did. We might have been well enough to make the drive but we didn't want to bring our germs into my nephew's house and risk infecting all of them, especially the baby.

So we're planning to make the trip this coming weekend, and I have to go through another week with boring posts and --sorry Terri!--no new pictures of Yren.

I've mostly spent the down time working on a quilt for said nephew & family. (It's coming out really neat: it's made with squares of bright fabrics they brought back from Hawaii with them, set with oceanic blues and greens.)

But I have been working on dressing poor shivering little Yren too. She's not used to Michigan! Yesterday morning when I woke her up her whole little body was c-c-c-cold! So she definitely needs a flannel nightgown, and some thermal long underwear too. But was I working on something practical like that? No I was not. I was making a sleeveless summer dress out of a very sweet Liberty of London cotton print. Wishful thinking, I guess.

Note for Terri: no, Yren has no shoes. :-( I had asked Marina about buying some stilettoes, but no response. So my plan is to make some shoe lasts for her, and then make some shoes, but haven't done it yet--I'm intimidated by the mold-making process.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why so sad, Yren?

Last night when I looked in on Yren to say good-night to her, she looked sad to me. Now why was that? Makes me wonder if there was a disturbance in the ED force. Maybe she just heard the news about her cousin Selena's hand being hurt.

It's possible she was distressed that I was not able to immediately start sewing her new dress out of the glorious new fabric I found for her, but she's generally not pouty like that. (A good thing too, because I won't get to that new dress for at least a week. )

So why so sad? Maybe she'll tell me, now that I've noticed. Maybe the date was an anniversary of something sad...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Barbie Photographers

I have been so anxious to tell you this story about my cousin Karen. She was at the family gathering too, and I introduced her to Yren. I spent awhile explaining EDs to her and going over the website because she'd never heard of them before.

Her first reaction was, "She looks dead!" And I have to admit, Yren is rather pale. Her body doesn't have much blushing on it, but that's another story. Anyway, Karen got over it pretty quickly, in her fascination with the articulation and the general unusualness of an Enchanted Doll. She had her camera with her and wanted to take some pictures of Yren, but the light wasn't very good inside so we went out to the garden, where the sun was going down but there was still enough light for some good shots.

Now here's the thing you need to know about my cousin Karen: she and I had the same Barbie dolls (1967 Twist-n-Turn Barbies with bendable legs and long brown hair) and we played with them constantly whenever our families were together. Our very favorite thing to do was to take off all their clothes and pose them outside, in the woods or by the river with their feet in the water. We didn't own cameras so we pretended to take pictures of them. This was ummm, okay, a lot* of years ago and I had pretty much forgotten all about it.

But there we were, out in the garden, me holding up Yren so Karen could get a good angle on her with her camera. She snapped the picture--and looked up at me and said, "Oh my god! We're doing it again!"

* I guess there is no reason to be coy about how many, since you can subtract 1967 from 2009 if you want to know. But let me tell you: those bendable legs were a sensation.

Yren Meets My Sisters

With my home computer down, I haven't had much of a chance to talk about Yren's introduction to my extended family last month. But I have a while now. There are three reactions I want to talk about: we'll see how far I get tonight.

Yren made the trip north inside her box, tucked up cozily in Noxy's comforter for security, and the box in my arms the whole way.

First I showed her to my oldest sister, Mary. Jean was near-by too, but she had her apron on and was stirring and fixing up dinner. And she isn't quite so interested in dolls as Mary and I are; Mary and I were all dolls and ballet while Jean was more BB guns and horses. But she does take an interest in EDs for my sake.

Mary said that Yren is very beautiful, and that made me sigh with happiness. I could never be 100% content with a doll that Mary did not think was beautiful, if the doll was supposed to be beautiful. It's not just a Little Sister thing: Mary really does have wonderfully good taste. [Want to know who Mary's favorite ED is? Okay!]

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but Mary is better at posing Yren than I am. Much better. You know that picture of Yren lying on her yellow comforter? Well, that was just a poor imitation of what Mary did with that pose. Yren looked like she really was resting, all natural and relaxed, while in the version I did she looks all tense, like a strange noise just woke her up in the middle of the night.

And Mary said something else that made me very happy. She said that Yren has a pleased expression, that she looks happy to be with you and to be held in your hands. That is both true and important to me. When I open Yren's box to greet her in the morning, she never looks like she's thinking "OMG, how'd I end up with HER! Please, somebody, ship me back to Vancouver!" A few Enchanted Dolls I can think of would not enjoy living with me, I think--they are too high-powered for me. But Yren is just right.