Friday, September 21, 2012

Here Lately....

  My darling Middle Child is a splendid essayist (find her at and her bloggery is a continual delight to me. I look forward to her thought-provoking analytical musings.
   I, on the other hand, am more of a catch-up-on-the-news blogger.  I live in an isolated valley far from my dear ones, and this is how I let them know I'm still alive.  Here's what's been going on in the valley the last couple of weeks:

I've packed a good many boxes of stuff in the loft. (I wish I could rotate this picture for you)

I've loaded up the pickup truck and hauled the boxes off to Goodwill.  For a long time I was stuck in the decluttering process because I kept remembering how much was spent on my heaps of un-needed things. Shouldn't I sell them to get some of the money back?  Shouldn't I personally give each and every item to someone I know will take good care of it?  Then I began studying Ebay and other online sales venues. There's an awful lot of stuff in the world and most of what gets listed never sells. Things I don't want to keep other people probably don't want to pay auction price plus postage for. And I honestly don't want to have the troublesome task of listing, selling, packing and hauling things item by item to the post office.    Finally, I hit upon my new mantra: That money is Already Gone.  I repeat this to myself often as I pack stuff to be given away.  Yes, I've given the thrift shops a lot of things that are "actually worth  money."But isn't that the point of thrift shops? I estimate this summer I've saved YEARS of time by giving things away by the boxful and truckload instead of trying to sell them or personally find adoptive homes for them.  The way I see it, I've spent half a century accumulating these things, and it could easily take that long to get rid of them if I do it one item at a time.  I feel I haven't another half-century to waste on the same darn stuff.

Here's a pretty sight--empty floorspace in the loft. It makes my little heart sing.
And look! There's some in the other direction too!

I've also been stitching up a doll.    She's number ten in a series of embroidered and embellished cloth dolls made in the 1940's-50's and every one of them start out really showing their age.  When I get them they look like this--generally stained and with some holes where the 60-70 year old cloth has worn out or been  moth bitten.   Sometimes they have limbs missing.

Mouth stains are very common, children like to feed their babies. 

The hair is usually moth nibbled as it's made of wool yarn which is apparently delicious to moths. It also is generally wonky looking.
There is a  secret to making good looking rag doll hair, and this secret is unknown to most home sewers, so wide  and crooked parts and bald spots are par for the course. Not a problem to me since I'm going to take the hair off anyway.

As you can see, she's got an odd torso. Not sure why her head is bowed like this.

A trip through the washer will take off a lot of the staining and eliminate any musty smells. This girl wants to float, so I had to pin a heavy bath towel around her neck to drag her underwater.

Once she was through the wash I found three holes in her, two in her neck where the seams are and one on her forehead where her hair was stitched in.  I had open her up and  empty out her raw cotton stuffing in order to get her dry. While she was gutless I patched her gaps with some pink gingham from Grandma's old bedroom comforter. It doesn't match her skin very well, but for my purposes that matters not a pins worth! When I put her back together I added a dowel inside her to strengthen her neck. Cloth doll necks so often become floppy, which weakens the seams.

Here she is with a bit of her embellishment done.  There's a lot more stitching to do before I put her back together.  I'll get back to her next week.

This week I've been busy stitching up some clothes for First Granddaughter's Lalaoopsy doll.  For sewing enthusiasts interested in decluttering their fabric stash I must warn that making doll clothes for grandchildren's dolls is the slowest way of getting fabric scraps out of the house.
 A box and a truck is much quicker.


  1. Thanks for the praise!

    Your loft is looking better all the time. And what a doll! You do great work. Etsy ahoy?

    Doll clothes are so fun to play with, and so torturous to make. You must think very highly of that First Granddaughter.

  2. Gosh, I admired the Brave and Decisive way you tackled that doll!!

    Well done for the loft clearing - I wholeheartedly agree with you about eBay etc - life is too short. The way I look at it is the world is full of money and stuff, you have to keep the flow going. We have an optimistic idea in this house that if you want some more money you have to create a vacuum to suck it in. We're good at that.

    Thank you SO MUCH for the wonderful happiness parcel that arrived at my house!! That was just so kind and thoughtful. The dyed roving is glorious - the red is my favourite, but I tend to blend as I spin so all sorts of colours with come out of that. And the cards you sent are PERFECT for the many many times I want to send notes but have nothing to say . . .
    Thank you! xxx

  3. MC- Yes, Etsy ahoy, in time. They advise you start your shop with 100 items, so I've got a way to go before I'm ready to open for business. The goal, of course, is to eventually become a proficient enough artist to give up the day job. This of course is the goal of probably every artist, musician, actor on the planet. Working on the loft keeps my art making pace fairly slow, but I need the loft as a workspace so I do need to finish it.

    Ember-My pleasure my dear. Shared blessings are twice the fun. I quite agree with your vacuum theory of money, it works that way fornme, too. Alas, it seems to also work with STUFF...the more I haul out of the loft it is seeming the more the Manimal is hauling into the rest of the house. Yikes!

  4. Rapunzel---- some of the most successful Etsy shops I know don't keep anywhere NEAR 100 items available. Don't they charge you per item listed? Is this their sneaky way of making money off new shop owners?


If you disagree with me try to keep it clean, or I'll wash your mouth out with homemade soap.