Monday, January 7, 2013

Working With Dolls

   Well I finished all three projects for my doll client and delivered them today. She loved them. Silly me, in my hurry to get them to her, I failed to take pictures. I am really sad about that, because I wanted to share with you. I made a log cabin square quilt for the iron work bed that looked really nice.  It actually was the second quilt. The plans for the first one were just too elaborate for such a tiny piece. My creative mind is always bigger than reality. Hopefully she will let me take pictures when I return in a couple weeks with my latest project.
   When I started this business, I never thought I would be doing doll things. It just never crossed my mind. I was more into children's clothing. And then I took a home decor side path with my pillows. My fabric gal is the one that asked me if I was interested in doing some side work and hooked me up with this lady that restores antique dolls and doll furniture. Side work is always a good thing, especially when it comes to paying the bills, so I met Julie. I love Julie, she works miracles with her dolls. She has such a fabulous talent of dressing them in the authentic period costumes, complete with antique fabrics, laces and ribbons. And she doesn't miss a detail. She makes her own leather shoes and her gorgeous period hats. Each doll has handmade panties. If the child would wear certain undergarments for the time, the doll has the undergarments. There are bow ties for the boys and brooches for the girls. I don't do the antique dolls yet, as I am in the intern stage. A lot of it I have just figured out. But even the newer dolls are required to be complete with every detail. Her house is decorated just like a cottage country magazine. I am always envious when I visit. There is always something new to look at hidden in a corner or a cabinet. We sit and drink tea as we discuss the next project and we visit. Her husband works on restoring the furniture and restrings the doll arms and legs. It is a family business that does very well. I was so surprised to see how big a business fixing dolls and dressing them really is. People will pay good money to have their grandmother's doll restored. Sentiment has no limits in the sense of value. So my side work is pretty steady. She tells me we have enough work for two lifetimes. I thought I would share a few photos of some past pieces I have done for her.
   I have a gypsy free spirit sense of life deep inside of me. This is not a bad thing, because it allows me to take a chance down that side path and see where it brings me. Some of the paths aren't right, and I accept that and move on. Some of them have been enlightening and fun. Some of them challenge me to the limit. Each of them have taught me lessons. And I know they tell me I shouldn't bounce around and settle for one or two categories to be successful. Perhaps they are right. But if we don't take those side roads or walk through those doors that open, how do we know we have found the right categories? The goal is to pay the bills, be creative, make people smile and just enjoy what I am doing. What a wonderful way to live life. Be sure to take a few chances and see what is around the corner. You just might be surprised.

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