Saturday, December 5, 2015


- don't tell ME blonds are dumb.  My sister wanted the Spanish Dancer so badly, her first bid blew all other contenders out of the water.  And so she shall have it.  I've packed the doll as well as I can and pray it will arrive without damage.  I will insure it for as much as I can - and pray.

Monday, November 16, 2015


-- the poor dear has stood on my desk for at least a month with her skirt and petticoat pulled up over her head and her bare bottom exposed to all who visit my studio.  I did make her a new pair of knickers (long legged underpants) last week, but had to wait until her paint and finish coat were dry, to sew them on her.

But, alas, when I let down her skirt and petticoat, her hair was in such disarray, I couldn't make it look even half-way acceptable.  So, once again, I did a merciless amputation and gave her a buzz cut.  I dabbed black paint on her skull and at her hair line and am now gluing more hair to her head.  Thank goodness, I have plenty of her hair left.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


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This is hysterical.  I tried and tried to post this badge, frustrated to distraction with my ignorance and forgetfulness.  Finally, I just shut everything down.  Today, when I signed on, there it was - ten times larger than I'd tried for, but THERE IT WAS.  or rather, here it is.  This is the issue my Spanish Dancer appears in, the doll I have up for auction.  So far, I have one bid.  My sister started the bidding off with a bid that will probably cause everyone else to throw up their hands and not bid at all.

Monday, November 2, 2015

I DON'T KNOW . . .

I was thinking earlier this evening about the difference between how I make my dolls and how other doll artists make theirs.  I don't "do" fabric dolls so that leaves "the others" - the ones who use polymer or other clays.   I've never mastered  polymer clay, so that leaves me with air dry clay.

Economics is the guiding force behind my choices.  Air dry clay is inexpensive in comparison to other clays,   Chop sticks and kabob skewers can be purchased at the supermarket.  And I found an excellent recipe for an air dry clay I can make and keep in the refrigerator for months.    

Perhaps a half dozen of my dolls have been published in the Art Doll Quarterly but with few exceptions, I've tried to keep my method statement to one brief paragraph.  I realize now that someone may pick up a copy of ADQ, read how I construct my dolls - and wonder what the heck I'm talking about.  I mean, some people don't know what a gourd is.  

But here again, we're talking economics.  A small, egg shaped gourd sells for anywhere from twenty five cents to a dollar. A half dozen each of medium and large "eggs" (check the size of the eggs in your refrigerator) will last me a year or longer. I also use small zucca gourds as the doll's torso.  A zucca gourd the size I use most, will run about a dollar each.  Add the cost of some very special glue which will also last me a year if I'm careful - and you do the math.  For about five dollars or less, I can build a 16 inch tall doll.

And then there are the costumes.  Oh, dear!  I'm almost as bad as the quilters I know; they are fabric addicts.  Fat quarter junkies.  They grow faint at the thought of an entire bolt of coveted fabric for half price, never giving thought to the groceries, the air-cushioned, light-up, autographed sneakers, etc that will be sacrificed to feed her addiction.    But as I said, I'm ALMOST as bad.  When I  let neighbors know I was making dolls and would love to have any fabric scraps they would part with - VIOLA!  Not one, but TWO Fabric Godmothers appeared - both experienced dress makers of long standing.  Suddenly, I had died and gone to Fabric Heaven!  Fortunately, ( I guess?)  Hobby Lobby  has moved out of my neighborhood to way th'heck out by the airport!!  I loved their fabric department.  Not large but chock full of goodies.  My impulse buying has been severely curtailed.

So I shall spend the next few months with a group of quilters, hopefully learning to sew much better than I do now.                                                            

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


I have an unfinished project in every room, including the kitchen at the moment, where the second batch of plum pudding is slowly steaming in the oven.  For another 2 hours and 40 minutes.  Plum pudding HAS to be a labor of love because no sane woman would make it.  If it turns out to be edible (think fruit cake without nuts) I may make take a loaf and some rum sauce to the quilters' Christmas dinner.   So, if I can get my trashed kitchen back in working order by - say midnight? I plan on making a double batch of Thai Pumpkin soup tomorrow morning.  I'll freeze a quart or two for those chilly days when I need to warm up from the inside.

Meanwhile, in my office/studio, Spanish Dancer rests gently on her head, her new hips and legs exposed to the air so that she will be dry enough for gesso and paint soon.  And on the dining room
table, a two pound block of fondant, dowels, big plastic straws and several sketches of a dragon's head.  My friend Mary and I have for the past three years, entered the Jacksonville Historical Society's  Gingerbread Extravaganza.  This year, we're making Puff the Magic Dragon's Magical Christmas.   We're limited to a 30" square of space and 85% of the building materials must be edible - discounting the 30" by 30" by 1/2" plywood base.   This can be a real challenge if you're building something higher than six inches.  So since Puff's body is gingerbread, and his neck and head will be made of fondant (my job) I must keep that piece as light as possible while incorporating a means of attachment in addition to his fondant "skin".

And unfinished teddy bears languish on the coffee table in the living room.  My problem there is that any time I sit down, I'll fall asleep.  Progress on the teddy bears is v-e-r-y slow.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


My grand daughter told me that from now on, she would introduce me to her friends as "the surgeon".  I suppose that's better than "the butcher"!

Be that as it may, the Spanish dancers' legs are gone and - so far - replaced from hip to knee.  But she got her revenge!  Since I find it impossible to wear a dust/particle mask, my glasses AND safety glasses all at the same time, I went without the safety glasses while sawing off her clay legs and am paying dearly for my negligence.  My eye lids and  tear ducts are so itchy I feel like ripping them off.  Suffice it to say, my eyelids are so red and swollen, I look like I've been on a month long bender.  OTC drops and baby oil help, but doubt they will be a cure.

SO.  while senorita's clay thighs were drying, I cut out a pair of Teddy Bears.  One will be for my grand daughter's significant other who has a huge collection of stuffed animals.   Teddy is a light brown, will have a shock of curley red hair and  - If I can make a decent pair - flip flops.  I worried about a colorful tee shirt for him until I saw some really loud toddlers' socks at Publix. BINGO!

I also have a hat box I'm going to refurbish for my grand daughter.  She makes costumes for all sorts of events, and I know she has a hat or two that could use some protection from their five cats.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


I guess I'd forgotten how long ago I made the Spanish Dancer because her skeleton is made of wire.  No wonder she wobbled and the clay cracked.  I tried last night to make repairs and even my best glue wouldn't grab and hold.  So, I'm seriously thinking of removing her legs entirely and starting at her hips, build new legs using dowels as the skeleton.  Dowels don't bend and the way I construct my dolls makes them very sturdy.  I simply could not in good conscience,  allow one of my dolls go out if it wasn't at least 100% my best effort.  So I'm going to give the grass/weeds in the back yard a quick cut with the weed whacker then cut off the dancer's  legs.            

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


I've offered the Spanish Dancer doll to auction for the Chachi fund.  Bidding to begin Nov. 1 until Dec. 1.  For almost two years, I've stared at that doll, unhappy with the position of her feet and legs.  So last night, I cut her left foot off and removed her from the base. It wasn't as though her feet and legs were pristine; both legs and feet had cracks due to the stress of being out of alignment with her body.  

So now, I must somehow, set her firmly on her feet in a natural position even if it means reducing the look of action.  And I must make the repairs look invisible.  Get busy, Cora. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015


I really do.  Question is: am I up to it?  Mentally, yes, but the old bod has limitations, as does the old pocketbook.  So I've decided to join the Piece Makers quilting group.  They're creative and the dues are reasonable.  I can always just not show up if things get too "political".

And I've put in an application with Michael's for "seasonal" employment.  Another situation where I'm going to learn (if hired) just what my body can handle.  It's been sedentary for far too long!

And, of all things! I offered to read my own story Peggin" to the kids at Wolfson Children's Hospital.  It's very short, about how a skinny fifth grader out smarted the school bully.  I'm scheduled for Jan 19 from ten-thirty to eleven-thirty.  Provided they feel the story is acceptable.  I sent the entire 12 pages for their review but they may find it hard to read (aside from the 30 year old ink jet printing) because the story took place in the Bahamas and the dialog is in Bahamian dialect.  If they decide against it, I'll be fine with their decision.

SO.  I've obligated myself to do these things and now must put my money where my big mouth is.

Saturday, September 5, 2015


MY September song is usually a loud, frantic clashing of unfinished projects.  I really need to put aside my current doll (she of the Styrofoam head) since she has no deadline, finish the re-design of my Christmas stocking pattern then get cracking on Stella Skelly, because she has an ADQ deadline of March 15.  But with the holidays taking a big chunk of that time, I will have to pick up my pace.

AND - I'm working on head number THREE for current doll.  The original gourd head was too big.  the second head - of Styrofoam - was a good size, but I sanded it until it was TOO SMALL!  I'm now working on my very last small Styrofoam egg.  If I screw this one up, the whole thing gets put away until after Christmas.

Saturday, August 29, 2015


I KNEW her head was too big.  But I kept working on it.  I painted her face and hair pattern.  I'd put glue on her neck and before it could dry, pulled her head off the neck.  There are times I simply don't listen to my gut - the voice in my head - whatever.

SO.  since I have no smaller egg gourds than the one that now resides in the "spare parts" box, I've cut down a small foam egg and covered it with clay.  Maybe it will be dry tomorrow.  I really hate using the soft white foam because it simply can't stand up to the man handling I tend to give it.

I will eventually get this new head finished - or make yet another if necessary.  Of all the dolls I've made, I've given up on only one and she could still be salvaged.  She is the victim of my inability to think far enough ahead - like I had to cut off both of her hands at the wrist because they were molded to her hips which left no way to get her slacks on.  Chalk it up to just one more "self-taught" lesson

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


I seem to be making zero progress this week.  Right shoulder so painful it interferes with my driving and wakes me at night.  Aspercream and OTC pain pills offer only temporary relief..  Consequently, I'm getting very little sleep and can't stay focused on anything.

Wound up last week with a package from my sister in CA.  She belongs to a sewing/craft group and always checks the members' scraps after class.  She collects those pieces she feels are big enough for making doll costumes.  She checks out neighborhood yard sales and snaps up anything - usually a piece of fur or jewelry - she feels I could use.  When there is enough to fill whatever box she has on hand, she mails it to me,   Receiving that box is like having an extra Christmas or two each year.                                                                                                 


I've been invited to  a quilt group meeting the second Thursday of each month.  Being a doll maker,  I may or may not fit in, although the president makes stuffed animals and toys.

Well! 43 quilters showed up as well as ten guests.  There was a social hour of sorts, then "refreshments" although I felt like a glutton for taking a small helping of everything but the sweets which were just store bought coffee cake.   I was introduced to the doll maker, although she isn't the current president.  She too, had a book of dolls she'd made that she carried with her.  Her book is much thicker than mine.  But she makes cloth dolls which can be made much faster than those sculpted from clay.  If I attend the next meeting, I'll take one of my dolls for "show and tell" - the fairy queen perhaps, since I have five or so copies of the ADQ issue it appeared in that can be shared with groups for the evening.

So - I will attend another meeting or two, offer copies of my teddy bear and Christmas stocking patterns, and have offered a Tea for Two gift basket as a door prize for the November "Tea and Scraps" party, but I don't see me becoming a dues-paying member.        

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


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Flynn didn't win any prizes at the Houston Doll Show, but she DID get published in the fall edition of Art Doll Quarterly.   She was a finalist in the Superhero Challenge.  Flynn now lives in her permanent home with her owner.

Monday, August 10, 2015


"I am dying - just as I am about to learn the alphabet of my profession."

I don't know if he actually said it, but I can certainly understand how he must have felt if he did.  Dispair, panic perhaps, when you realize your eye sight is fading or your hands no longer have the strength or reach or sensitivity they once had.  When you can't recall things you KNOW you know.  People laugh and call such episodes "senior moments"   But they can't see the fear you feel when those "moments" seem all too frequent.

I suppose the above has been brought on by the difficulty I'm having with my current doll.  Her face has been particularly frustrating.  I'm trying for the narrower face and slim, straight nose and cinnamon skin of  North Africa.  Arab, perhaps.

 What I do know is that I've chosen a warm, butterscotch yellow for her gown.  I want to applique large embroidered flowers from hem to over one shoulder.  Several flowers at the shoulder will be stiffened with a backing of some sort to form a large semi-ruffle.  Hopefully, it will be very dramatic.
The flowers I'm using are decoration cut from sheer curtain samples.  The colors run from a pale cream to a soft sienna and from a pale yellow to a faded lime green.  Fusing sheer fabrics together will be a new challenge.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Saturday, July 25, 2015


I've often thought that if I charged just a dollar an hour for my time spent making a doll, I probably wouldn't have a one that would cost less than $100.  That price wouldn't include the cost of fabric, threads, trims, glue, paint, clay, etc.  Clay is the most expensive product I buy, and then, I use it only for the finish layer.  I make the primary clay myself.  Chop sticks are cheaper than dowels and I have two huge storage bins full of fabric, most   of which was given to me.  So, as a rule, I don't have to put out a lot of money per doll.  I DO have to put in a lot of hours.

Which leads directly to the question of how much can I reasonably charge for a doll?  They are often imperfect - with crooked noses  and ears that don't match.  And my sewing skills are  sometimes downright embarrassing - but the finished costume looks good - if one doesn't go snooping  under skirts or tugging at shoulder seams.  I don't use molds and make my own patterns.  Time consuming tasks, to be sure.

So what is the "rule of thumb" these days for pricing one's creative work?   We've all heard of the starving artist.  I think that artists "starve" because the average person never stops to think that artists have mortages, car payments and bills like everyone else.  They seem to think that because the work looks so effortless and fun, it must be a hobby and of little value.  They're wrong, of course.  A good artist, like a good doctor, will spend her/his life learning - new techniques, new equipment, or just something that grabs their curiosity.   It's all relevant, it all has value.  It's worth the price you put on it.                                                            

Sunday, June 28, 2015


I watch very little television and when I do actually sit down to watch a show or news, it's on a PBS channel.  This has been true for years as television fare seemed to become more inane and more violent..  And then there was Comcast, whose "lineup" skillfully kicked the good and useful channels from the group one could afford.  The Public Broadcasting Stations, on the other hand, operate mostly on donations from the viewers.  Their auctions of donated goods and services are quite profitable and I always felt guilty that I couldn't afford to make a donation.  But now I can.

When I contacted the local PBS station (via their email) I got an almost immediate reply with a request for my phone number.  Almost minutes after I emailed my phone number, I received a call from a person who accepted and organized auction donations.  She assured me they would love to have a doll to auction, but felt their November auction would be the best time to auction a doll since it was so close to Christmas.  I wasn't aware the station held more than one auction and quickly agreed that a doll would surely bring a higher bid at Christmas time.

Then I started to consider which dolls I would willingly part with.  I love my two Gypsies but they could possibly fetch a very good price if offered as a pair.  The Bride doll would probably go easily as would the Mardi Gras and perhaps the Falconer.  I couldn't see the Circus even being considered.
The large dolls, Fairy Queen, Witch and Masquerade, should bring at least 25% more than the smaller ones.  So here I am, trying to think for the judges.  Not good

Instead, I must check each doll for any needed repairs, find their back stories - I hope I still have them on file, and make a "birth certificate" for each doll, all before November.

Friday, June 19, 2015


About this time last year, my sister attended the doll and teddy bear show in Asheville, NC.  While there, she purchased a year's subscription for me to Haute Doll and DOLL, a two for one show special.  They're great magazines and I love all the great costumes, the dramatic photos, even the paper dolls and patterns for clothes.  But for all their glamour, the dolls themselves turn me off because of their visible "poseable" joints.  So I was delighted to find a 100% silicone, fully poseable, 16" Janette Lamont doll in the current issue of Haute Doll.  She had not one visible joint although she did have an unnatural hank of hair which seems to be common among the doll makers.

A second silicone skin doll by Phicen was even more flexible with beautifully articulated facial features, and natural looking hair.  Her wrist joints are visible but are nothing more than a seam line.  Comparing her two photos, I'm guessing her fingers have a full range of individual motion.   The only drawback with these dolls is that their soft skin makes them more difficult to dress than their hard skinned cousins.

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Hurricane season is upon us.  Even here in north Florida, that means viscious heat, daily afternoon thunderstorms - and bugs.  Mosquitos, for sure, fleas, and gnats, called no-see'ums here in the south.  And with all those bugs, spiders, which serve as a sort of creepy insect control.  I much prefer our little green anoles (lizards) and pretty little tree frogs who sing all night long.

By this time of the year, the avid gardeners have harvested most of their spring garden and are taking a breather, preparing for the cool weather crops.  And then, there's the citrus, getting ripe in time for the holidays.  

Which reminds me that Stella Skelly  (read sexy bones)  hangs in the closet waiting for the cups of her black and orange bustiere  to be adjusted.   Making her black stockings - I've not yet decided if they'll be net - and her very high heeled shoes are going to pose a brand new set of problems.  The stockings, especially.  I'm going to try to have her ready for ADQ's March deadline for their 2016 fall (Halloween) issue.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


The doll I'm working on now -between bouts in the yard and garden - is turning into one of those exotic dark skinned beauties seen only in the European Fashion Week shows.  Which pleases me but getting those exotic features just right is a slow and frustrating journey.

The shape of the head gourd dictated the ethnicity, in this case.  A long, narrow face, with high, prominent cheek bones, a straight, narrow nose and not-too-full lips.  Her hair will be long, straight and shiny.   As for her skin, I want it to have a rich golden glow.  Which will mean stirring up an entire jar of the final color because I will never be able to make a second batch the exact same color.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Fairy Queen Made the Scene

My entry to the ADQ Mother and Child challenge was published along with numerous other entries - all of them very good and with one other fairy and child.  I was sent a medallion for that issue, but I either don't know how to use the link or it has expired.  Posting photos has been my personal hell from day one.  Every time my family geek "fixes" my computer, every thing gets scrambled from how I had it and it takes hours just to find a photo I KNOW I have.  And if I should stumble upon the thing I seek, I don't know how to post it.  AND - should I accidently manage to post something, I probably won't remember how I did it because of all the frustrating detours it took to get to this point.
So.  That's why I've not posted a photo of the Fairy Queen accepting the gift of her little princess, being delivered by a Monarch butterfly.

Friday, May 8, 2015


Having a lot of problems sculpting the current doll.  One arm was 'way too long, the other almost too short.   Cut off the hand of the too long one and got rid of a quarter inch of arm.  Discovered leather glue works fairly well to hold damp clay until the clay can harden.  Popcicle stick and blue tape held it all in place.  Don't know how I managed the mismatched arms.  Probably trying to work and sleep at the same time.

Numb, crooked fingers are a problem, too.  They don't always go where I point them, then don't know when they have actually touched something.  Fabric can be especially difficult to grasp.  And I must always moisten my fingers in order to hold on to pins, needles - anything smooth.

But I shall carry on as long as I can.  I will make things until I can't make things any more.  This is what I do.  This is who I am.  I make things.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Designing anything from scratch is fraught with problems.  It's disheartening when your great idea turns out to be near-impossible to achieve.  At least not the way you THOUGHT it could be done.  Nine times out of ten, it's much more complicated than you anticipated.

And so it is with clothing design.  Many years ago, I took a European pattern making course.  It was my first experience with templates and I was so excited when I created a pattern for "hip huggers" that actually fit me.  With a full time job and a full load of domestic chores, I didn't have time to use the course often, but the confidence stayed with me.

Now, I'm designing costumes for art dolls, those dolls that are somewhere between Barbie and American Girl; and I'm grateful for those years of drafting at CDI Marine as well as the pattern making course.  Ships' curves work just fine for doll clothes.

Case in point is the aforementioned Opera Cape.  After the first pattern and first revision, I made a "muslin" and revised it before I could finish pinning the thing together.  The pattern now is two inches shorter, and almost two inches wider at the shoulders in back.  That extra space will be taken up with a deep pleat on each side which will (I hope) add volume to what will be a "bubble"  created by a gathered hem.  Finished, the hem should reach about mid-thigh.  I'm sure there will be more about this cape.  The fabric I've chosen for it is terrifying just to contemplate.


Today, we took a new set of shots of the Spanish Dancer doll.  The first set was just too dark and couldn't be photoshopped.   This new photo will be sent to Art Doll Quarterly and hopefully, be published in the Winter Dance Challenge.

 This will probably be my last ADQ challenge for quite a while, as I have two very special dolls I want to make.  One and perhaps both will be offered at public auction, the proceeds to go to a children's hospital and to a seaman's fund.

The Spanish Dancer doll has already been donated to a fund to help a dear friend who has been hospitalized for almost three months.  She is a very talented freelance artist and as soon as I know whether or not the doll has been accepted (or rejected), it will be sent to her daughter who will put it to auction or sell it, however she feels would be best.                                                  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

She's a Winner!

Of the two dolls I took to Houston last fall, the one entered in the Gypsy Challenge took a Judges' Choice award.  The theme of the challenge was Mardi Gras and as usual, the winners are featured in the Art Doll Quarterly, which thrills me to pieces..

The second doll I took to Houston was my  grand daughter's D&D figure, Flynn Hollysharp.  Our participation in the "In Celebration of The Doll", was by invitation only - which is why we were in Houston in the first place.  And while Flynn didn't win anything, she was accepted for publication in ADQ's Super Hero challenge.  A fitting place indeed, for Flynn.  We will see her in the fall issue of Art Doll Quarterly.

Meanwhile, my Geeky Grand Daughter is mucking out all the thousands of duplicates and just plain trash from my computer.  A two day job at least.  I take  LOT of in-progress photos.  They're my way of stepping back to check proportion or balance, etc with a new eye.  Many of them could be deleted as well, but I can do that another time, one project at a time.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Well, I blew it.

----- was pretty sure I would.  Guess I need an over seer or something.  Naw, even when I had one , I'd get up in the middle of the night to heed the call of an urgent idea.  Okay - I have NO self-dicepline.

SO.I came up with an idea for a gorgeous black evening gown.  We're talking 70's and 80's uber glamor here.  The drawings were making me salivate.  Even did her sexy undies.  And you know what's coming next.   The doll is tall and slim and I'm trying for that glamour pout look on her face, like the fashion dolls in Haute Doll magazine.

Although I hate the idea of covering the gown, I've also designed what I call an Opera Coat - or perhaps a cloak - made of stunning gold and silver brocade.on sheer black.  It will need lining, of course, which will be a major challenge.  The cloak is sounding better by the minute.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Promise to Myself

I promised myself I'd devote the summer to garden and home improvement - but that doesn't stop the "doll dreams" from popping into my thoughts and demanding action.  Any kind of action.  So I gave myself permission to put the idea on paper, even pull fabric, put it in a shoe box, label it and shelve it.  If I am very, very diciplined, I will have a half dozen dolls at least, waiting to be made by August/September.

Of course, the holidays seem always to blindside me - I'm never fully prepared for the baking and shopping and spur of the moment crafts.  And I always get a kick out of showing my little artist friend Jacob how to do something new.  I think this year, we'll try decoupage.  It's just messy enough that he should love it.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Dolls are Done. Long Live the Dolls.

Both Flynn and the Spanish Dancer were photographed yesterday.  They are my response to the  last two ADQ challenges - mostly because both were already made.   I've decided I must ignore future challenges, no matter how they tempt me because years of newspaper and television work have shaped my automatic response to the word "deadline";  that is to shut out all other distractions until the job is complete no later than the deadline date.

The photographer for these last two dolls is a young man I met Thanksgiving at my grand daughters' house.  He showed me some of his work and I was quite impressed.  I asked if he would photograph my dolls and he was eager to do so.   For FREE!  So I fed him lunch and made him a batch of cookies.   Now, I'm waiting for the proofs - or whatever they're called.  One of the dolls must be in CA no later than the 15th - which is coming up fast.  The second doll isn't due in CA until  the 15th of  June.  If I'm really strong, it will be August before I make another doll.  

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Spring is here-----

the redbud and dogwood are blooming, as well as the azaleas.  Despite all the snow up north, I''m sure I'll see flocks of robins very soon.  They will stay one day, over night and leave the next morning.  This is the day I keep Sassy in the house as much as possible because she will not tolerate ANYTHING that moves on it's own, in her yard.

For weeks now, I've felt the growing need to get outside and DO something, get my hands in the dirt.  I've bought potting and seed starting soil and of course, herb seed.    But, I've saddled myself with yet another deadline.  I hope it's the last for a while.  All those years of working for newspapers and tv stations have left me with a Pavlov-like response to the word "deadline".   So all other chores and responsibilities are left half done at best, until the deadline is met.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

B.A.M. was a BUST . . . .

. . . . . seems someone dropped the ball and - trusting soul that I am - I didn't check with the store the day before the big deal was to happen.

I showed up with all necessary gear, full makeup and a pound of candy hearts.  NO one knew I was supposed to be there.  But I must give them credit.  In nothing flat, they had set up a table for me, provided a classy black table cover with the Books-A-Million logo in big white letters and two chairs.  There were NO copies of the current edition on the shelf, nor had the extra copies promised been ordered.  An hour into the afternoon, they found three copies of the current ADQ.  Sold one copy to a neighbor, bless her heart.

When I realized how empty the store was on a Saturday afternoon, I pulled as many Stampington publications as I thought would fit on my table, to promote Stampington's beautiful craft magazines in  general and Crafts Month (March)  in particular.   Bria, my photographer, was there for about half the afternoon until   her Mom called her home to sit with her baby brother.  Meredith and David showed up  just as we were about to leave.  She had misread my notice, thinking the event started at 4 p.m.  It was from noon until 4p.m..  My neighbor, her sister and I were headed to Sweet Tomatoes for an early supper and invited Meredith and David along.  It was nice to have such a congenial group and a good meal.   It took away some of the pain of disappointment.  

SO.  There was mention of another chance May first when the summer issue hits the stands.   I must make a note to talk to the manager about ordering extra copies and getting some PR out there for me.  And for sure, must learn how on earth one arranges to talk to a human at the T-U.    I'm considering sending this to Jana.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Book Signing -- of sorts

I have arranged to do a book signing at Books-A-Million next Saturday.  I'm steeling myself for it to be a big flop.  Primarily because I'll not be signing an actual book but a quarterly magazine - Art Doll Quarterly.  I don't know how well this magazine sells here in Jacksonville.  I suspect not very well.  I've certainly not managed to contact any other doll makers any closer than Palm Coast.

But, I've stuck my neck out, sent a "press release" to the Times Union, the Folio Weekly and BUZZ, another weekly entertainment tabloid.  If I get a dozen people to stop at my table as a result of those ads,  I'll be pleased.   I've asked Bria to come too, since she was the photographer for several of the dolls.  If she can leave plenty of her cards, she won't have to stay.  She's young, will probably have her boyfriend with her and I can see her getting bored very quickly.

Meanwhile, I've selected the clothes I will wear - sorry, sisters, I don't own a blazer.  On the other hand, this is FLORIDA.   AND - I stumbled upon a panic situation.  I forgot that all my business cards have my OLD phone number on them.  So, in the wee hours, I paint out the old number and hours later, hen the paint is dry, carefully print in the new.  Hopefully, there will be no more panic moments.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sometimes . . . . .

. . . . sometimes, I feel like I'm advancing backward.  Good things happen but I can't take part or must limit my participation.  Houston was good - but I was burdened with a (borrowed) walker and slowed us down.  My Mardi Gras doll won a Judges Choice award - but Flynn's fingers were broken.

Friday, January 2, 2015

My New Year's Resolution

-------- is to make NO resolutions.   But I am going to try to make this the year I learn how to post a photo - on my blog, on my facebook page - anywhere.   And I have a couple of dolls started that need to be finished.  Of course, I always have sketches of figures I'd like to make, have even pulled fabrics and trims for  some of them.  I hope to improve my pattern making skills, too.  Must check with Jo-Ann's to see if they carry the red "lay out"? tape the designers on Project Runway use.  It looks like such a logical way to create a pattern.   Goinag to try to get rid of all the paper clutter, too.  In a year's time, I must surely recieve a TON of paper in the mail alone.  Hope my shredder is up to the job.