The thing about glitter is if you get it on you, be prepared to have it on you forever. Glitter is the herpes of craft supplies.
Demetri Martin

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Works in ... Progress

We have a few things in the works here on Third Street, so I thought it would be helpful to make a list - sort of a social contract - to keep us on tract. A little self-manipulation never hurt anyone and let's face it - I probably won't even notice that I'm manipulating myself anyway... And it's for my own good whether I know it or not...

Sonia is working hard to get our new collection of dolls onto the production line. Remember this post...

The VERY FIRST of this new, yet-to-be-named line has made it to my sewing table and will be constructed and brought to life very soon, so keep an eye here and on our Facebook page for updates on that work. 

After a recent stuffing frenzy, Sonia has passed along these little friends for their finishing work. 

I sewed for a bit last night and am fairly confident that I have attached all of the proper limbs to their intended doll. Sorry, no alien-limb B movie endeavors for TSH this time around. We unfortunately don't have that much time on our hands these days...

Also, much of my time has been spent "researching" various Internet sites like Pinterest and Instructables for tips on how to sew panels into jeans to create bell bottoms. My daughter has been cast to the chorus of a local theater group's upcoming Christmas production  and I get to work on her costume for the 1970's portion of the show. How exciting is that!!

And, I've begun a doll restoration project in my "spare" time... A friend was recently downsizing a storage unit in preparation for a cross country move and she asked me if I would be interested in some of her old dolls. She had 4 dolls stored from travels as a child and was looking to offload - being a GREAT friend and a celebrated "off-loader" (hoarder?), I eagerly accepted the offer.

This little pretty particularly grabbed my fancy. 

She's button jointed with braided black yarn hair, felt facial features, and a prim little stitched nose. This is her as she came to me, well after my daughter had fully disrobed her! She came fully attired in cotton bloomers and a crochet-fringed cotton slip, with an emerald green dress shirt paired with a bright pink skirt and purple apron, to boot. She's wearing a red beaded necklace and has a lovely woven scarf for finishing accessories. All are photographed below drying after a preliminary hand washing (disregard the upper middle and left pieces, these are for other dolls).

I've begun with the doll's body, tidying up her hair, cleaning up stray threads, and mending some open seams. The shirt need a little repair at the shoulder so some hand stitching was employed - although I'm not overly pleased with the result and may have to revisit this part. Once I have the other pieces mended and pressed and get the poor dear re-dressed, she will make a beautiful decorative piece for my daughter's bedroom. I'll have to get Dad to fire up the workshop and make her a fancy display chair. 

More pictures to come!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Why I Need to Travel More...

Just spent some time looking  at various handmade dolls on Pinterest and stumbled upon this picture from the Brooklyn Museum's 2010 exhibition Healing the Wounds of War: The Brooklyn Sanity Fair of 1864.

  Doll and Wardrobe, Sanitary Fair. United States, circa 1864. Mixed media, doll approx. 12 in. (30.5 cm) high. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Ira B. Downs, 24.311mn

The photographed doll and her elaborate trousseau were made by Eliza Lefferts and sold at the Brooklyn Sanity Fair in 1864 in support of the Civil War war efforts. 

How awesome would it have been to see this doll? I want to see her in all the different outfits! I need to get out more... 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Craft Fair Encounters of the Endearing Kind

In addition to creating fun things with our hands and imagination designed to delight and entertain children... it is highly enjoyable observing people's varied reactions to our dolls. On occasion, someone will exhibit a rather captivated persuasion ... a child in a stroller exhibiting an inherent need to hug every doll they can get their hands on, even if that induces near-strangulation from their stroller harness ... adults fluttering excitedly from one doll to another conjuring memories and emotions deeply rooted in childhood innocence ... elderly ladies who tell us stories about dolls they made for their children years and years ago ... or the quiet observer who smiles to themselves while running their finger along the cheek of a doll.

It is these fully invested reactions we especially enjoy.

One of our fondest craft fair memories is of a young man who came to our booth to buy a doll for his wife a short while after they had been to our booth together. His lovely wife had fallen in love with our Third Street dolls, moving frantically from one to another and showing them to her husband excitedly. He too was lovely, returning her enthusiastic reaction and pointing out others he thought she would like. They spent a lot of time looking through our display, with the young wife cradling various dolls in her arms as they perused. They eventually moved on, leaving us feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

A while later, seemingly out of nowhere the man returned to our booth with a gusto. He was a wee bit panicked, his movements erratic and his presence radiating energy within the booth. He was searching through the dolls and spouting gibberish - strange craft fair behavior to be sure! We derived that he had wandered away from his wife and hurried back to our table to get her the doll she liked for a surprise Christmas present - he was rushing in fear that she would come looking for him and discovered what he was up to. He frantically flipped through his wallet for cash because he couldn't use credit for fear that she would see the purchase on the statement. "She watches the accounts like a hawk!" he told us. Before we could get the doll in a bag he jammed her inside his jacket and sprinted off. We saw his wife a minute later obliviously admiring the wares of a booth further down the isle, completely unaware of the mayhem ensuing on her behalf.

We still laugh about that strange craft fair encounter, using the memory to lift our spirits during slow shows and periods of intense deadlines.

This is one of the many reasons we do what we do!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fall Shows

One fall show down... East Coast Mama Collective Fall Pop-Up Fair was this past weekend here in Wolfville. Check out my brave girl working at the door as a greeter handing out fliers and apples. She did an amazing job!!

Setting up our display with a single table is always a challenge, but I think we managed to pull it off. On the flip side, setting up a table instead of a booth usually doesn't require extra lighting which can be tricky to manage. While we weren't able to get all of our available dolls out for display, this was the first show we've done in early fall - before Halloween - since adding our Third Street Witch Dolls. It was nice for them to get some time front and centre.  

Next show is the ECMC Holiday Fair 
Alderney Landing, Dartmouth

November 22nd – 23rd, 9am – 3pm

More to come as the date draws near!


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