Michigan Dolls – Ruth

If you follow me on facebook you know I made a trip to civilization last weekend to pick up some new supplies for my dolls. I obtained a small loan of sorts to finance these initial costs. It was positively marvelous to walk into the fabric store and be able to buy any sort of fabric I needed. (I did refrain from buying one of everything that I liked…) After a few hours walking up and down the aisles touching and looking at everything, I walked out of the store with about a dozen different dress fabrics, and odds and ends like scissors and thread. Thanks to sales and a 20% off coupon I saved $50!  That’s enough to make any shoppers heart pitter patter. Also, the kind lady who cut my huge stack of fabric bolts was named Eleanor, the name of the first Michigan Doll. A coincidence? perhaps, or perhaps the craft gods are indeed smiling on this endeavor. 😉

First order of business. Destroy the craft room.

chaos ruled for three days
chaos ruled for three days

I’ve been meaning to sort through all my crap. The closet was stacked with boxes whose contents have not seen the light of day since before we got married…in 2010. The shelves held papers, sketchbooks and notebooks of similar nature. And so the time had arrived to pack away another chapter of work. Drawings, writings, notes, letters and things of that nature to be unearthed many years in the future when the next generation wishes to know me better. (Yes I think about that a lot, and to be perfectly honest it drives a lot of my weird, moderately obsessive personal record keeping. But that’s a post for another day.) It’s always sort of surreal and bittersweet going through these things that really aren’t that old. But the girl that created those things is almost an entirely different creature than the one that writes to you know. It is also somewhat peaceful to look back, and then to the present and be happy knowing that I am quite content with life as it is each present moment. I don’t think everyone is blessed with such a peace. I know quite a few people who dwell either in the past, or drive tirelessly towards the future. Heaven bless them both, I can only take one day at a time.

Things were purged, the important things were put in a box, another larger box is ready to go to the thrift store, and (yay me!) Even more of it has gone to be recycled or thrown out. Which means!!!! *drumroll*

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nevermind that it’s a bit untidy, never said I was perfect 😉

I was able to make room for some lovely large shelves to hold my craft/business supplies in a much more organized fashion. And I freed up another shelf entirely to devote to information and resources for all my Historic Interpreter job stuff. Oh, and I can walk across the floor in the dark without fear of being impaled or bruised. This is starting to shape up to be one of the most epic creative spaces I’ve ever worked in. (It helps that it’s not also a main living space…like a bedroom or kitchen…)

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I have been rather busy this past month finishing all the doll bodies. There’s about a dozen of them as you can see above. I laid them all out along with all the dress fabric I bought. Isn’t it glorious?!

So without further ado, allow me to introduce you to the newest member of the Michigan Doll collection:

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Ruth

I’d like you to meet Ruth! She has a medium complexion and has been outfitted in this amazing yellow & grey fabric, with a white collar and white lace trim.

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I finally figured out a quick and more tidy way of attaching and styling their yarn hair. (I’ll share that secret another time)

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So her’s is probably the most fabulous (except perhaps Eleanor). Here’s a view of the back. The best part about this hair do is that there is little in the way of loose ends, and it required zero stitches to keep it in place. Which is perfect for little girls who love to change their dolls hair-do’s.

I had a very small window for photo’s, it still gets dark fairly early and it’s been cloudy all day! But I wanted to take a picture of the set-up I devised for her photo shoot.

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I use the straightening iron you see in the window to iron small seams and hems while I’m sewing. Way easier than using a big one!

I set up on the craft table like usual, but kept the window to the side rather than in the back. The “reflector” you see on the right is just a piece of heavy cardstock with kitchen foil (dull side out) wrapped and taped to it. It illuminates the dark side of the doll perfectly with daylight. That’s a big piece of drawing paper propped up behind her and one of my great-grandmother’s scarf thing draped to hide the riggings. She’s sitting on a stick type window shade.

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Racks and stands that a blacksmith made for me are helping to hold the it all up. It’s not the sleekest set-up, but it was fast and made good use of the things I had lying around. So which is you’re favorite doll so far?

Doll Lineup

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