Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Congratulations, Annina!

Yren sends her best congratulations to Annina, who won the book giveaway on my daughter's blog at!

You will love the Mysterious Benedict Society, Annina! Great choice! I can't wait until the third MBS book arrives at the library so I can read that one too.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The smell of burning leaves...

Yren was feeling a bit unwell this morning and spent most of her day indoors. But later, when our country neighbors came out to work in their yards before dinner, she wanted to come out too, to rest in the warm afternoon sunshine and breathe in the crisp, magical scent of burning leaves.

No, she wasn't sick exactly... To tell the truth, she stayed up past 3 a.m. last night to finish reading Wuthering Heights and so this morning she woke up with a headache. She's always been rather a night-owl, but she still needs plenty of sleep and this time she just overdid it.

And to tell even more truth, she had been lounging about in her flannel robe, not her little Poiret gown and skimpy shawl. But when she heard that I was going to take photographs for her blog, then that un-glamourous bathrobe very quickly disappeared.

So here she is, to wish you happy fall days--or spring days, if that's where you are--and to recommend Wuthering Heights as a very absorbing read.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Poems for Enchanted Dolls #13


In the town of Odessa
There is a garden
And Dvonya is there...
Dvonya, whom I love
Though I have never been
in Odessa.

I love her black hair, and eyes
As green as a salad
That you gather in the
Woods in August
Between the roots of alder,
Her skin, with an odor of  wildflowers.

We understand each other perfectly.
We are cousins twice removed.
In the garden we drink tea,
As evening falls and the lights begin to twinkle.

But this is only a dream.
I am not there with my thin hands
And citified speech,
And the old woman is not there
Peering between the curtains.

We are only phantoms, bits of ash,
Like yesterday's newspaper
Or the smoke of chimneys.
All that passed long ago
On a summer night in Odessa.

Poem by Louis Simpson. Photograph of Emerald from the Enchanted Doll website.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Books, the Universe and Everything

If you love to read, or bake, or both, you might enjoy a visit to my daughter Emily's blog, "Books, the Universe, and Everything."  She has a new blog-home on Wordpress and a new domain,

And she's celebrating her new home with a Book Giveaway...Check it out! All you have to do to be eligible is become a Facebook fan of her blog, or else Tweet or post about it--you'll see the details in her first post.

Which books can you win? Well, she has a list of some of her favorites, and you can take your choice among them. If I win, I'm choosing Billy Collins's "The Trouble With Poetry."

Unfortunately, I do not automatically win just for being her mother. And giving life to her. And raising her and and sewing ruffles on her anklets, and baking endless batches of cookies with her, and making SEVEN identical American Girl outfits for her friends' dolls every time she had a slumber party...No, I do not automatically win.

However, at Christmas time, I do get books from her, though automatically is not quite the right word. More like "reliably."  She gives me the books I think I want to read and the books she things I ought to read. Never known her to be wrong about a single one.

So it's okay with me if you win one of her books instead of me. Pick anything on her list--you can't go wrong. If you can't make up your mind, I'd say go with "A Girl Named Zippy." I've never met anyone who didn't love Zippy.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

New Baby in the Family!

...Welcoming a new baby girl to the family...

♥Addison Ruth♥

6 pounds, 11 ounces
Born today
to my much-loved nephew and niece, Mark and Melissa.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Yren's Bikini: Protesting the End of Summer

It is a damp, drizzly November in my soul, and out the window too. Rather than grow grim about the mouth, I am protesting Winter's onset by making a totally frivolous and impractical bikini for Yren. Here she is on her favorite beach blanket.

In fairness to her, I should follow it up with flannel pajamas, as I have promised her I would do. Stylish flannel pajamas--she gets cold at night, but she won't wear anything grandmotherish, you know. And you can always tell when she doesn't like something you've put on her: she freezes. Then when you change her into something she likes, she looks all warm and friendly again.

Which brings me to my point about the bikini: you don't see her protesting that little article. Cold as it was, she didn't freeze. Oh, she just wants it all, this one!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Five Favorite Portraits of Yren

Yesterday I went through all the pictures on my hard drive and chose some favorite portraits of Yren I haven't posted before.

This is the only picture we'll ever see of Yren in that wig. A size four, it is too small for her--despite clipping the edges--and kept popping off her head. I wedged her crown down around it just to keep it in place long enough to take this picture. I think she looks nice in lighter wig colors; this one is Monique's "Paris" in chestnut brown.

I'm sending the wig to Monika in hopes that Fern's head might be just enough smaller to be able to wear it.

This is another shot from her "dark gown" session. I like how the angle of her head shows the exotic cast to her eyes...You don't see that so much in her full-face views.

In pictures like this, it's easy to imagine her as the daughter of an English sea-captain and a beautiful island girl.

Unlike most of my photo shoots, every shot in this one looked good! Yren was very pleased with me for working hard and improving.

This was from the last set of pictures we did of her unclothed--after that she said she wanted me to get busy making her some photo-worthy apparel, sooner rather than later.

We went outside to the backyard for the natural light. The background of dark pines just makes her skin look so glowing, and her eyes so blue.

Taken Yren's first day. I didn't like this one at first, not just because of the stray hairs in the way. It just wasn't how I thought she should look. But now I like how Yren's pixie-ish side shows.
As I get to know Yren better, I'm not expecting her to conform to my expectations of her as I used to; I'm letting her be herself. And this is part of who she is.

And finally, here is another one of Benjamin's pictures. I just like the way he posed her leaning to the side like that. Hmm, so far I've let only two other people handle Yren, and they both pose her better than I do! Oh well, I'll just call Ben in as a consultant on her photo shoots, I guess. I'll have to bribe him with MacDonald's fries though--talent doesn't come cheap!