Thursday, December 31, 2009

Yren in Her Miss Orchid Original!

The top is a very elegant bodysuit which can double as a swim suit, and the skirt ties on obi-style with an ingenious double closure of snap and ribbon tie. Miss Orchid is going to revolutionize couture with her fresh new approach to style and her technical innovations.

Thank you to Emily for reminding me that files can move from computer to computer with a flash drive and that I do actually own one. Sorry the pictures do not do justice to Miss Orchid's incandescent creation, but then, they couldn't possibly! Yren is very pleased.

Do I have the skirt pouffed out properly, Monika? Tell me if it needs to be adjusted...

...And Happy New Year, Too!

Yren and I are wishing for the very happiest of New Years to bring many sunny, funny wonderful things your way.

Miss Yren looks simply smashing tonight in a new couture creation from the house of Miss Orchid, her favorite designer. We took pictures of her modeling it earlier today, while it was still daylight, to show her off to best advantage.

Just wait till you see! I'm afraid we won't be able to post the pics yet tonight because the party will soon start--and also because sister Emily has siphoned off our Internet connection to her lap top so we can't upload a thing. Yren is just a little put out about that, let me tell you.

But here's a hint--her new ensemble looks spectacular with Biscuitbear's red hat!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Yren's Christmas Card to You

Wishing you peace and joy
during the Christmas Season
and every day...

...and may the Enchanted Doll
of your dreams
be dreaming of you.

~Ruth and Yren~

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Presents Part 2: for Yren

In an old copy of Barbie Bazaar magazine (May 2006) I found a Randall Craig pattern that was supposed to fit Model Muse body Barbies. Now I did not know what a Model Muse body Barbie was like, nor did it seem pressing to try to find out, but it looked like a fun pattern to try out. And here was this naked Barbie sitting there.

So I started out sewing it together just as designed, making no alterations or changes, except for using interfacing instead of lining on the bodice. But as I went along, I kept trying the pieces on Yren, and they kept fitting!

And I really liked the idea of this particular dress for Yren--really, it suits her much better than a 60s era Barbie anyway, and Yren needed a new sundress to go strolling on the beach at Christmas. Monika told us that's something people like to do at Christmas in Australia, and that they wear Santa Hats, so we had our minds made up that way.

There you have it. It was completely dark out when I was finally ready to take pictures, and I'm not skilled enough to compensate for it. The originals were the color of rusty cocoa!

But I did my best, and with a little luck I'll have a chance to take the shoot over again, and get some better ones. 

She got to hold her letter from Fern in this picture, but she wants to take more showing some of the other things Mayple, Biscuitbear, Noxy, and Blue Dot sent her. All we need is a sunny day off work, and this is the season to snag one!

Christmas Presents Part 1: for me

Merry Christmas! What a pleasure it is to say it. To the more people, the better. Tune in next week and hear me wish you Happy New Year!

The highlight of my childhood Christmases was a new doll under the tree. That's the only time we got dolls; Christmas dolls were the only kind there were. I can remember four: a 12 inch Tiny Tears, a 21 inch baby doll, a Chatty Cathy, and a Barbie. (Update: Just remembered we got 12" Thumbelinas one year too--the kind that didn't wriggle. That's five dolls.)

Barbie was the last one, because my father believed that if a girl asked for a Barbie, a "grown-up" doll, she must have outgrown dolls altogether. So my Barbie year was the year he told me and my older sister, who had asked for a Tammy doll, that we would no longer get a doll at Christmas ever again. Don't judge him too harshly--he really was a good man. He just didn't understand dolls.

And anyway, you see what comes of telling little girls they'll have no more Christmas dolls. They become collectors; they grow up to spend more money on a doll than their father spent on a car; they have the last laugh.

Now that I think of it, the year I began collecting dolls was the same year my father died, 1984. That was when I discovered Sasha dolls, and wanted one so much, but they were *gasps* $70 at that time! But I was pregnant, and gave myself permission to buy a doll that my baby, who might be a girl, could play with. And I did have a girl, and bought six more Sashas, and she did play with them, very carefully so they are all still nice. Sashas got me used to spending more than $14.95 on a doll.

All this was to tell you that I've bought a new Barbie doll. I know--you want to ask why a person who is lucky enough to own an Enchanted Doll wants a Barbie. Well, I wanted a Christmas doll. And I found one that was just exactly what I wanted at a good price. So I bought her.

Here she is. She doesn't have any clothes yet. I started making a dress for her today, but surprise surprise, it turned out to fit Yren! So that's how we went from Christmas Presents Part 1 to Christmas Presents Part 2.

BTW, I was very happy with the business that made this doll available and sold her to me. It's out of Dixon, Missouri. They have an amazing selection!  This photograph of Barbie is from their website.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Poems for Enchanted Dolls #14

On Beauty
From The Prophet

And a poet said, Speak to us of Beauty.
And he answered:
Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide?
And how shall you speak of her except she be the weaver of your speech?

The aggrieved and the injured say, "Beauty is kind and gentle. Like a young mother half-shy of her own glory she walks among us."
And the passionate say, "Nay, beauty is a thing of might and dread. Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us and the sky above us."

The tired and the weary say, "Beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit. Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow."
But the restless say, "We have heard her shouting among the mountains, and with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions."

At night the watchmen of the city say, "Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east."
And at noontide the toilers and the wayfarers say, "We have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset."

In winter say the snow-bound, "She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills."
And in the summer heat the reapers say, "We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her hair."

All these things have you said of beauty, yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied, and beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth, but rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.
It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear, but rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.
It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw, but rather a garden for ever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.

People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.

--Kahlil Gibran

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Finally, Yren's New Bikinis

As daylight was dying in the west, we sat by the window of the sewing parlor and photographed Yren. She was pleased on two counts: first, not to be modeling out in the snow, and second, to have had her lips done special for the occasion.

I've done pinky-red on her lips before, but the new tawny-orange color we tried out to go with her red wig was just smashing. It really brought out another side to her we haven't seen before. Now I'm anxious to try photographing it again with natural light, but for now we are both happy enough with these shots to share them here.

So here you can see the pattern tweaking I did with Yren's bikini bottoms. It's just a small thing, but as a bumbling beginner I have to encourage myself with small things. See, in the blue bikini, how the bottom goes absolutely straight across her middle?  I changed that a little so that it curves down a bit in front, to accent her own curves a little more. 

This is a very easy pattern and I thought of putting it here on the blog so that anybody who wanted to could make one. But maybe I'm the only ED person who's this obsessed with making the silly things!

And while I am confessing to sartorial obsessions, I may as well admit here that I'm also exceedingly fond of Biscuitbear's "18th Century Inspired" gown. I've made it twice so far, but have another two all cut out and have selected fabric for two more. Every time I visit Field's Fabrics another piece leaps out at me as being perfect for Yren and perfect for that dress.

Let's see--six 18th Century dresses is two more than the number of bikinis Yren has. (Blue, red, zebra, and also an "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" that I made for her just to go with the old 50s song, but the color doesn't flatter her.)

I think the message here is that I should start thinking about sewing something else for her! The poor child doesn't own a skirt!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Lolita Look

Yren has two new bikinis, just because ED bikinis are so fun to make, and because my pattern needed a little extra tweaking, and most of all because an Enchanted Doll wearing a bikini can be appreciated almost as much as she can wearing nothing at all, but without shocking strangers who aren't used to them.

One bikini is a charming little pink-on-cherry-red pin dot, and the other, which she wears with her red wig, is a zebra stripe. And I did try to take pictures of them too, but didn't get a single good shot. Took her outside; she was patient, but the light was harsh. Tried again indoors near a window, but the shadows showed up way too much.

Rather than post nothing at all (for another week!), and blithely ignoring any connections bikinis might have with my next topic, I shall now talk about how Yren was accidentally introduced to my book discussion group.

My book discussion group is called "Classics Revisited" because we read all classic titles. Our title for November was Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. When I started reading the novel, I very soon needed a bookmark--but did I go upstairs and choose one from my extensive collection of bookmarks? No I did not, I did what I usually do--grab anything flat and handy. In this instance, I grabbed a picture of Yren that was lying around--this picture of her--and used it for my bookmark.

The night of our book discussion, I was seated at the table next to the other discussion leader. I absently put the picture down beside me with my other papers...but Yren in her red pajamas caught his eye. He didn't know anything about dolls, but he immediately ceased upon her image here as being a Lolita type, and he said I must have chosen it subconsciously to suit the title. And then he passed the picture around the whole table so everyone could see her! Oh yes he did!

People just never know what to make of a fellow grown-up who likes dolls, do they? I felt sure this group didn't. But since some comment had to be offered, I told them about the artist, and her real Lolita doll, and what she sold for and where. And then a little about Lolita's fashion influence, for good measure. And so the whole doll/fashion idea became part of the book discussion; one participant said she thought Lolita as she exists in the book seems to be rather different from the popular idea of what a "Lolita" is like. Maybe the popular idea is closer to the way Humbert Humbert defined nymphets. I thought of reading the book a second time to clarify that for myself a bit, but truthfully, I didn't want to spend any more time in Humbert's company for awhile.

A critic once asserted that unless you know something about butterflies, it's impossible to understand the novel Lolita. I thought he meant Latin names and such lepidopteric stuff. But now I'm pretty sure it was the process of collecting butterflies that he intended.

One last thing: It's interesting that butterflies are associated with Enchanted Dolls too; not only because of their beauty and fragility and magical quality, but also--maybe--because they bring out the obsession and passion of the collector who wants to possess them all--one of each kind! I know what that's like.