Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Day Trip to Frederick County, MD

Saturday was a beautiful day in Maryland.  Not the usual hot, sticky humid weather we've been living with all summer. We drove up to Frederick, MD to do some photography and see the sites.  We began in the city, walking the Carroll Creek "riverwalk", visiting the old, historic neighborhoods, saw the church spires (steeples), did some shopping, ate lunch at "The Cellar," visited the National Civil War Museum of Medicine, and took a road trip to see three covered bridges.

Louisa was along for the ride, but I only got one photo of her!

Louisa at Roddy Road Covered Bridge

This Flickr set contains all the non-doll photos of the day:

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The End of Summer

Danielle:  Hi, Heather and Louisa!  Haven't seen you in a while.  How was your summer?


Louisa:  It's been okay.  I'm kinda bored.  School will start soon, but I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to it or not.


Danielle:  I'm looking forward to it!  I love the projects we get to work on.


Heather:  I love art.


Louisa:  But recess is the best!


Monday, July 22, 2013

The Search for Sulley

Boo heard something!

Boo heard something...

Was it coming from the closet?














"Mike Wazowki!"

Rawwwwr!  Kitty!

"La la la la la la!"

La la la la la


This story is actually my homework for my Intermediate/Advanced Photography class.  We had to take 12 photos using low light spot metering without using a flash (all manual mode).  Boo followed me home from the Disney store a couple months ago and has been waiting for a chance to have her picture taken.  She has a limited vocabulary, but is naive, curious and loves looking for Sulley (Kitty).  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hearts 4 Hearts Mosi

I have been waiting for this doll for more than a year.  Hearts4Hearts Girls fans were hoping she would be released during the Summer 2012 release (when Lauryce - now known as Lisa - came here).  There were some delays, and  finally the company announced to their fans that she was on her way to stores a week or two ago.  I've been regularly checking Amazon (since the Target site always says they have H4H dolls, but the selection is never what the web says).  I finally spotted her this week on Amazon, and ordered her right away.  I was lucky, because she was sold out by the evening.  I feel really lucky to see her when I did and was able to decide quickly - there are a lot of fans who will have to wait longer.

Hearts 4 Hearts Mosi

I am excited to have another Native American doll in my collection.  My husband's grandmother (mom's mom) was part Indian (Cherokee?), and his father told him there was Indian on his side of the family as well.

She is a really cute doll - even more adorable than in photos. 

I took this photo using something I learned this week in my Intermediate/Advanced Digital Photography class -  how to meter and adjust the flash strength when in a backlit situation.  I'm really glad I know how to deal with that now - will make winter/indoor photography so much easier!  

Saturday, June 22, 2013

New Summer Play Clothes

Greta and Melissa got some new summer play clothes earlier in June.  It took a while to find the time to take a photo of them in their new clothes.  This was a "free" project - the fabric came out of the fabric collection, and the pattern was graciously shared by weemedesigns (Barb W.) with those of us who are members of the Heartstringdolls Yahoo! group.

New Summer Pay Clothes

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Friday Night's Preakness Celebration

On Friday evening, after work, we met a friend at Chik-Fil-A and then rode to Howard County Fairgrounds, where we caught a shuttle (school) bus to Turf Valley for a Preakness Celebration.
Can you tell what kind of celebration it was?

Preakness Celebration Balloon Festival

Here's a bigger hint:

Preakness Celebration Balloon Festival

We saw a lot of hot air balloons, but the highlight of the evening is the "Balloon Glow."  It was really cool!

Balloon Glow at Preakness Balloon Festival

The MC would count "One-Two-Three" and then everyone there would shout "Glow Please!"  And the balloon operators would try to make their balloons glow all at the same time!

Balloon Glow at Preakness Balloon Festival

We were really glad we got to see it!  If you want to see more balloon photos, they are posted here:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Meet Violet Elisabeth

A lot of my doll-friends live with Schoenhut doll companions.  While I love wooden dolls, history and vintage/old dolls, I was able to resist the "bug" to get one for a long time.  But I was still curious, and would look occassionlly at listings for Schoenhuts.  Last month, I saw one that had a repainted face that just called out to me, so after given it some thought for a few days, I placed a bid and waited.  No one bid against me, so she was to be mine!
When she arrived, I discovered that her wig which "needed styling" would never survive anything beyond being displayed on a doll under a glass dome - not what I intended for my doll!  So, I ordered a new human hair wig in a style that I liked.
While waiting for her wig to arrive, I somehow knew her name was Violet.  Under the warm indoor lights, she had such cute, big brown eyes. That's what happens when the only dolly play you find time for is late at night!  When I finally had time to look at my doll in the sunshine, I discovered that her eyes are actually a very deep indigo violet!
I was able to get a photo of her on Saturday, before I glued down her wig.  It fits well, but the elastic made it want to pop up without the glue!

Meet Violet Elisabeth

Yesterday, we oiled her squeaky joints.  Today, I wiped down her body, glued down her wig and redressed her.  I am very glad to have her here.  Now I understand the Schoenhut love!

Melissa at Skyline Drive

Last month, we took a Saturday day trip to Virgnia.  In the morning, we visited Luray Caverns.  Our tour was very full, so it was hard to take photos.  After lunch at the Artisan's Gril (yummy hamburgers there), we went for a drive on Skyline Drive, which goes through the Shenandoah National Park.  We stopped at the overlooks and took a lot of photos.

Melissa on Skyline Drive

Melissa on Skyline Drive

Melissa on Skyline Drive

There are more photos of the trip,without Melissa, here:

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Melissa's ready for warm days!

The first half of last week was really warm for April in Maryland!  On Tuesday afternoon, my car thermometer said it was 97 degrees!  Definitely NOT typical temps.  Melissa begged me to let her put on her one-and-only and brand-new shorts outfit - Jo Flitton's Cotton Candy outfit with a knit top by her sister, Patt.  She loves it so much, that even though the temperatures are now in the more seasonal 60's, she's not ready to change into something a tad bit warmer.

Melissa's New Cotton Candy Sweater & Shorts

Melissa's New Cotton Candy Sweater & Shorts

And now she says she needs a lot of summer play clothes!  I think I'm in trouble!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bleuettes and a Rosette

I just love history!  I hadn't heard of Downton Abbey until fairly recently, but watching one episode on Netflix was all it took, and I was hooked.  I think my husband, daughter and I watched all three seasons in only a few weeks - if that!
All that retro viewing has me in a "historic" frame of mind.  One thing leads to another, and before you know it, my Bleuette duo has turned into a trio, with an "older sister" Rosette repro joining into the mix!  I'm so bad at resisting these lovelies!
I took this photo late Sunday morning after church.  By Monday morning, we had snow on the ground, and now all my poor daffodils are struggling to upright themselves, even though the snow is mostly gone.

Annette with the Bleuettes

So, shall I introduce my lovely girls?  You know my first girl, Nicole Patrice.  She is a "Seeley Gold" mold made by Pat Neff, with a dark blond, human hair wig that I purchased from Janice Naibert.  She arrived June 22, 2005.   It is hard to believe she's been here almost 8 years!  She's wearing a new sleeveless dress and wool felt jacket that I made for her a few weeks ago, and brand new pale pink shoes from Georgette Bravot in France!  Oh, la, la!

Nicole Patrice

You also know Gabrielle.  She is a Unis France 301 reproduction by Madelyn Baughman.  She arrived on May 9, 2011.  She's wearing a dress that I received in a Bleuette Round Robin exchange.  My theme was "A Few of My Favorite Things," and Nicole Patrice received many lovely things inspired by one of my favorite movies (The Sound of Music).  I'm sure I have a note somewhere regarding who made it, but haven't searched it out.


Now for the new girls!  First, Chloe arrived.  Technically, I suppose you'd say she is a "Bleuette Friend."  She is a Tete Jumeau mold and was made by Candy Anderson.  She is wearing a dress I made in 2011 - The pattern, by Linda Deiner and published in a magazine in April 2004, comes from the Gautier-Languereau 1930 catalog.  Chloe's hair looks more red in the sunshine than it does when she's indoors!  She arrived on February 21st, this year.


And finanlly, the newest girl, Annette!  She is a Rosette, also by Candy Anderson.  She is the Byron mold, that is also used by Bravot. Rosette appeared in the Hiver 1955-1956 G-L catalogu,e with outfits and
accessories matching Bleuette's were available for sale.   Rosette is 35 cm tall and articulate with real lashes. The original Rosette is marked UNIS FRANCE 301 71 149, with a 3 at the base of the neck and 3 on her foot.  I suppose Annette technically isn't exactly a Rosette, since she is a different mold, but there are several Mamans who say she is, so so will I!  She is still wearing the lvoely black and white dress she arrived in, since she just got here last week, on March 20th!  I am afraid I have a long line of projects ahead of a new dress for Annette, but she might just convince me to reprioritize!

Meet Annette

I believe that there is one more Bleutte out there calling my name, but then that will be it for awhile.  The Christmas, anniversary, bonus and Mother's Day money will all be spent, and these lovelies will be demanding new patterns, fabrics, laces, ribbons, and shoes!

Adieu pour aujourd'hui, mes amis!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Flowery Day!

Last Friday, we went to a place called Longwood Gardens. They were having an "Orchid Extravaganza."
There were orchids all over the conservatory, but there were also a lot of other pretty flowers in bloom!

Melissa's Trip to Longwood Gardens

It is hard to imagine how big the Conservatory is - it is much bigger than our backyard!

Melissa's Trip to Longwood Gardens

We saw a lot of Columbines.  These were a very pretty pink, but they come in other colors, too!

Pretty Columbines

We discovered the Children's Garden in the conservatory, too.  It has fun scultpures and fountains, walls, spiral stairways and lots of surprises!

Melissa's Trip to Longwood Gardens

We brought home 2 miniature violets to remember our visit.

Our souvenirs from Longwood Gardens

You can see more photos that we took of the flowers in this Flickr set, beginning here:

Melissa (and Jen)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Melissa's Valentine

Melissa was so excited to get a new Lalaloopsy for Valentine's Day, it was hard to find a quiet moment for a quick photo, but we did!

Melissa's Valentine Portrait

Sunday, January 20, 2013

January Sweater Weather

Melissa heard a hint that maybe somethings for Riley might fit her. so we got out the box of Hitty clothes and found the sweaters that they inherited from Riley.  She picked out the one in her favorite color.  It was a tight fit over her top, but with some careful pulling, we were able to get it on.  I don't want to stretch the sweater out by attempting to button it up.  
Sweater Weather in January!

It was really warm today, and a sweater was enough to go outside.  She was surprised by what she found - a big hint that Spring will be coming.  I think there's still a chance we'll see some snow before Spring really arrives.  Weather in Maryland fluxuates a lot!
Winter Sunshine
Everyone in the Baltimore metropolitan area and suburbs is wearing purple today, but Melissa only has lavender!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Melissa's Winter Dress

Melissa is a little clothes horse!  She wanted to show off her dress.  It is warm, cozy and a little flowery!  She is thinking about Spring, even though it is very cold outside!

Warm, Cozy and a little Flowery

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Meet Elsi

This is Elsi.  She is a 2005 Zwergnase Little Junior who has found her way here to Maryland from Germany, via Wisconsin.  I've been curious about this doll line for 7, maybe 8 years. They remind me of hobbits, dwarves, gnomes and the like..  She will be fun to sew for - I think an old-world style with a lot of whumy is in order!
She is 13.7" tall and all vinyl.  When I ordered her, I thought she might have brown eyes, and was surprised when she emerged from her bag with blue.  I have a thing for blue eyed brunettes, maybe you've noticed that?  My husband, children and I all have various shades of blue eyes, so yes, I really do like blue!    Elsi's eyes are a bit wonky and out of line - the way mine would be if it weren't for the eye surgeries and so many eye therapy appointments that I had in my early childhood.
Meet Elsi

Her little hat has flower petal edges.  The blue stripes you see at the bottom of her dress are actually an underskirt or slip that's separate from her overdress.  Her shoes are much larger than her feet.  They are well made of a grey suede with rubber soles that have tiny treads.  I may see if she can borrow shoes from other dolls here, but I think the big shoes are a fun look for this gal.

Yearning for warmer days

Her gently curved arms look like they were made to hold things - she needs her own teddy bear, little doll or a big bunch of flowers, don't you think?

Elsi close up

Her face seems to have a large variety of expressions, depending on the angle you look at her.

The many faces of Elsi

Her auburn hair is a bit wild and coarse.  The back part is longer and was in a rubber band ponytail, but I took it out to keep it from damaging her hair.  Her hair seems dry and has a mind of its own - could be the dry air and spending 7 years in a doll bag!  I may see what I can do to tame it.

Seeking other Zwergnase Little Juniors!

I am still getting to know Elsi, her story and her personality.  She is wondering if there are any other Little Junior Zwergnase out there who might like to play with her?