Friday, February 21st, 2020

Hiking Friday with Grandfather Tree

Above the overlook to the island there are two grandfather trees. You will recognize them. They are two of my favorite trees in the forest. What is the cause that there are two, standing on a high point, with no other trees of comparable size for miles around? What was this place like when they were young? 





Above the overlook to the island there are two children. You will recognize them. They are my two favorite children in the forest. What is the cause that they are young and I am old, with no children of comparable size for miles around? What will this place be like when they are old?



Saturday, February 15th, 2020

The Tea Party Doll Dress

I don’t make many dolls anymore. Despite this, I got the itch to make a new style of doll dress. The pattern company Oliver + S has a cute little dress pattern for 18-inch dolls called “The Tea Party Doll Dress.” My dolls are neither 18 inches nor do they have the proportions of an 18-inch doll, but the style is adorable! I decided to alter the pattern to fit my dolls.




The problem with my dolls is that, unlike a factory-produced doll, they are all a bit different. I therefore have to make a dress for the largest potential doll I might make using my current pattern & let it have more wiggle-room on the smaller dolls. To alter the pattern correctly, I used my favorite method: trial & error.




The first dress I made, using the very last scraps of some lovely polka-dot fabric and a few tiny scraps of batik, turned out to be to small for any of my current, chubbier dolls, but it fits Iris’s doll Peggy quite nicely. Peggy is a beloved doll with a shock of orange hair. She accompanied Iris through the trauma of kindergarten and will forever be the doll I hold closest to my heart.




The second dress I made uses the very last scraps of an aqua batik that I used on a dress I designed for Iris, plus some scraps of an orange batik that I found in my large bin of tiny batik scraps. It fits my current, more full-bodied dolls quite well.




After a few weeks of agonizing over design and fabrics, sewing into the wee hours of the night, and ignoring my children in the name of entertaining them (don’t ponder the conflict of interest: art should not be reasoned out too much), I ended up with two lovely little dresses.




Most likely, I will never make this dress again. The true art is in the design. Production is mere craft.




Akiva was jealous that I was taking a lot of photos of Iris. Here’s one of you, too, Akiva!



Sunday, February 9th, 2020

On the Playroom Overpass


By the time I arrived with my camera,




the shenanigans had been going on for some time.




It was Martin who built the overpass in the playroom,




but I couldn’t make sense of the commotion.




A loaded bus brings some people to the off-ramp side.




They join what is, in my eyes, a sit-in (or lie-in) of sorts, protesting traffic on the bridge.




A womanβ€” played by the dollhouse mamaβ€” seems to be in charge.





A swing set is erected on the overpass.




Deals are made, people exchanged.






Abruptly, the mood turns.




The dollhouse mama, whatever her mission had been, is now cast to the shadows.




Traffic is returning to the overpass!




Engines ROAR as the truck ascends the ramp!




People load up the bus to go. Their blankets are hastily removed.




The arc and the swing set are removed; the ATV is loaded on to the car transporter.




Fully loaded, the great truck begins its perilous descent.




Calamity! On the way down, part of the bridge collapses!




The engineer is brought in to administer repairs.




Brrrm brrrm brrrm…




The arc and the controller return to the bridge.




The truck makes its way under the overpass,




circles on the cloverleaf,





and ascends.




*   *   *


Later, we go for a walk in the woods.

Iris takes out a magnifying glass in attempt to determine whether the green on a tree is a moss or a lichen.

She determines it is a lichen.


Sunday, February 2nd, 2020

A Driveway Full of Snow

It snowed.




While Iris detailed the front steps, building cairns from crusted icy snow,




Martin cleared (a small part of) the driveway.




Instead of shoveling the snow off to the side, he decided to take it elsewhere.




He filled the sled with snow




until it was full,




then pulled it to the back yard




and released it




down the hill.




He dumped the snow-filled sled




just outside the fence



and went back up the hill to get more.
















Sunday, February 2nd, 2020

A Dollhouse on the Shelf

When I was little, I wanted a dollhouse in the bookshelf. I think it was because of the Dollhouse Place. There, they had glass-fronted display cases filled with little dollhouse dioramas. Sofas and chairs, a woman in a kitchen, a man in a bathtubβ€” room after room of people. It was like looking into a glass-fronted apartment house, only one did not have to be afraid of one’s inclination to stare.


In this photograph you will see, on the shelves, the Fisher Price dollhouse. It needs to come off the shelves to be played with. The house opens wide, the garage door opens and closes, and the doorbell rings. To the right of the house is a whole basket full of accessoriesβ€” a couple of bathroom sets, a few dozen people, six dogs, a knight, king and squire (which are, technically, people), some living room sets, a complete kitchen, a staircase, a handful of beds, some dining tables and chairs, and five cars. Iris used to play with that house a lot. Sadly, my photoblog entries are not indexed for dollhouses, or I could give at least one example. Currently, the accessories for itβ€” especially the carsβ€” are Akiva’s favorite bathtub toys. The Fisher Price houseboat and dinghy live in the bathroom.


In the red storage container to the right of the brown basket are the Creative Playthings wooden dollhouse accessories. In this scene, the papa and the boy are living in the house on the left, in front of Akiva; the mama and the girl are living in the house on the right, in front of Iris. This is my solution to dollhouse on a shelf, and I think it works quite well. There is a connecting door between the two houses and doors to go out the back and sides, but do not let these doors confuse you into thinking that the two apparently linked houses are one house. They are, as the rooms on the selves in the Dollhouse Place, separate apartments.