Friday, August 30, 2013

Cathy's Story Chapter 1

Here is the first Chapter of my new story.  I am pretty much writing this story as I go, it is not finished, I'm not even sure where the story is going - guess we will find out together.  This is the first draft - I'll try not to make it too "first-draft-ish"  but just the same please remember first drafts need many re-writes to actually make a good book.  Hope you enjoy my story!

Have a Safe and Happy Labour Day Weekend everyone - talk to you on Tuesday!

Chapter one


 It all started in 1963.  There I was, in my box on the top shelf of the doll isle in The T Eaton & Co. store in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba. 
 Where is Winnipeg, you ask?
 Well if you took a map of Canada and folded it in half matching the east coast to the west, then pressed a crease right down the middle – well you’d be close enough to Winnipeg to see the Golden Boy.  But that’s another story; we were talking about the T Eaton store in downtown Winnipeg.

 I wish you could have seen the store that year.  It was ablaze with lights and decorations from the basement to the 9th floor. Christmas was everywhere.  It was the main shopping destination for every man and woman and the toy section was every child’s dream come true.  
 The store windows on the street level were decked out with wonderful winter scenes.  Each window was a different scene, filled with popular toys that were for sale in the store.  Some windows were decorated with toys for boys to play with; others were only for the girls.

My favorite window was the one of a life –sized doll house complete with every piece of doll furniture available; the dolls even had a Christmas tree with presents beneath it.  Oh, it was grand!  There were sleighs for the dolls to ride in, ponds for them to skate across, and piles of snow for them to toboggan down.  A few of my friends got to spend the whole Christmas season, playing in the doll’s window scene. 
 The rest of us - me along with twenty-four other dolls just like me, stood in our boxes on shelves in the toy department on the fourth floor.  Our days were spent watching moms and dads as they searched for the perfect Christmas present for their little girls.
 We were the most sought-after doll that year.  Chatty Cathy, the talking doll that said eleven different things.  
 “Just pull her ring; you never know what she’ll say next.”  Every little girl knew the closing line in our TV Commercial.  They had been watching that commercial for weeks now.  What they didn’t know was how much we wanted to be taken home and played with by our own little girl.
 I secretly wanted a girl of my own, but what I really wanted was the pretty red coat with the white collar that came as part of my wardrobe.  If I could get a girl and a red coat, well I guess I would just about be the happiest doll ever! 

 One by one that Christmas season, the boxes of the other dolls started to leave the shelf.  We had all been born in the same factory, so when a box left the shelf in the hands of a happy Mom or Dad we silently wished our sister farewell, along with a silent prayer that they would live in a happy home, with a nice girl to play with them.
 As the days drew closer to Christmas I waited and waited.  It seemed that every little girl this year wanted the yellow- haired doll with the blue dress and shoes.  My hair was dark – they called me the brunette model, and my dress and shoes were red.  I thought that went pretty well with the colors of Christmas, but I guess the little girls in 1963 didn’t care about such things.
  The doll in the box next to mine was getting sort of nervous that perhaps we would not be wanted at all.  She too had darker hair – not as dark as mine, but not yellow either.  Hers was more reddish, but she did have a blue dress and shoes, only her dress did not have a pinafore with it.

 “Pssssssssst… Cathy, are you getting scared that we are going to be stuck in these boxes forever?”  She whispered when the isle finally emptied of people.
 “Not really, Chatty.  Someone will want us, eventually.”
 “But what if they don’t?  Will that mean that we have to stay in these boxes forever?”
I didn’t get a chance to tell her that everything would be okay because a couple who had been walking up and down the isle for awhile had finally stopped right in front of our boxes and they were staring up at us.

 "I don’t know, Walter; the girls really wanted blonde dolls.  It doesn’t look like there are any left.”  The lady said, her voice rising in frustration.
 The man looked around him,  “We could always go back and get the nurse kits or the baking sets.”
 “No, they told Santa it had to be Chatty Cathy this year; we’ll just have to take what we can find.”  
 “I suppose I could ask a sales clerk, maybe they have more in the back somewhere.”  The man pivoted on his heels and headed down the isle away from her.
 The lady studied us and paced the floor while she waited.  “I think you two are kind of cute,”  she quietly told us.  “If we don’t buy you, I’m afraid we won’t get a doll like you anywhere!  Oh what to do, what to do?”
 “The clerk said these are the last two, once they are gone they will be sold out.”  The man was back.   He reached forward and plucked my box off the shelf and threw it in the shopping cart.  In went my friend’s box, smack dab on top of mine.

 “He could have been more gentle,”  Chatty hissed, as we whizzed down the isle towards the check out area.
 “Yeah, that would have been nice,”  I whispered back as we hurriedly moved towards the store entrance.
 And that was the last time we ever saw the T Eaton& Co, store in downtown Winnipeg.

 The temperature was twenty-nine below freezing that night outside of the store.  We bounced along in the shopping cart across the frozen sidewalks and rutty streets until we got to our new owner’s car.  Grumbling under his breath that he ought to have his head examined he carelessly tossed us into the trunk of the car and then slammed down the trunk lid.

 “Are you okay, Cathy?”  Chatty sounded like she was about to cry.  “I feel like my speaker has rattled loose.”  She whispered desperately.
 “I’m sure it is fine, Chatty.  We won’t be here long, I’m sure.  Soon we will be somewhere safe and warm… I just know it!”
 Of course I knew nothing of the sort, but Chatty was a sensitive doll.  She had been fearful since the day we had left the factory, and I made it my goal to try and be the best friend to her in the absence of a “real girl” friend.
 “Close your eyes and pretend you are sledding in the window scene,”  I said.  “You are dressed in that pretty red coat with the white fur collar and hat.  Some nice store clerk has tucked some thick warm blankets around you on the sled.  You fly down the hill, all the way to the bottom, and when you stop, there is a little girl standing watching you from the other side of the window.  She places her mittened hands on the window and smiles, then waves hello.   You can’t wave back but you can wish that she is the little girl who will be your girl forever more. ”
 “That’s a nice thought, Cathy.  Thanks for helping me feel better,”  Chatty said quietly.

The car finally stopped moving.  Good, soon they would be in a nice warm building again, the two dolls couldn’t wait to get out of the cold.
 “I think we should leave the dolls in the trunk, Bonnie.  That way the girls won’t stumble upon them somewhere in the house,”  the man said as he began to get out of the car.  His wife agreed, but she was in a hurry to get out of the cold, so she left the task of hiding us to her husband.  He grabbed a couple of old car blankets from the work bench in the garage and tossed them over our boxes.  The light overhead went out and we were left alone.

 “Oh Cathy, it’s so cold out here.  C-c-can’t you just feel your front teeth chattering?” 
 “Yes, Chatty.  I wish they would have taken us inside where it is warm; I hope they don’t leave us out here too long, our limbs might crack in this cold!”
 “I wonder what the girls are like that are going to get us for Christmas?”  Chatty sounded like she was about to cry again.
 “I think we should concentrate on thinking about the nice little girls who will give us so much love, maybe then it will not seem so cold.”  Chatty was right, my teeth were really chattering!”

 In the end, we both fell asleep.  We spent several days waiting in the cold trunk of the car before the man returned and moved us into the house. 
 Once we were carried into the house they wrapped our boxes in thick Christmas wrapping paper.  My paper was covered with funny little snowmen; Chatty had  jolly big Santa’s all over hers.  They placed our boxes under the tree almost all the way to the back.  My box sat right under a nice fat tree bulb so I was kept warm, Chatty was quiet, so I knew she was asleep.  All night long I waited for Christmas morning to arrive. 

 I had just started to doze off to sleep when I heard some excited children’s voices.
 “Santa was here!”  squealed one voice.
 “Hurry, go get Mom and Dad up,” yelled another.
  I could hear parcels being rattled, I could even hear the odd tear of paper, and then someone hollered,   “Don’t open anything until Dad gets here!”

 Finally my box was lifted, I was airborne for a moment and then plunked down on the floor.  I heard the Dad's familiar voice as he said,  “This says to Wendy, from Santa.”

 “For me?  Replied a young child’s voice.

Wendy!  My child’s name is Wendy, and that is her voice!  I closed my eyes and sighed.  Now I too was excited to have the paper removed, I so wanted to see Wendy.  My box shook and rattled, the paper was torn away and forgotten and then I saw her.

There she was; Wendy - my new friend - my girl!  She had dark hair just like mine and she wore glasses.  She squinted at me, and I tried not to smile too brightly, but I was so happy to see her!  She was opening the box - Yes! Finally I was getting out!

She lifted me out of the box with little hands that shook with excitement.  Her little fingers went right for my pull string behind my neck.  She pulled…

“I Love You, “  I said. 

I have no control on the order of my words, but my first words seemed to please her because she hugged me close and told me she loved me back.

I knew then that everything would be okay.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Introducing a New Story!

I am going to be sharing a new book with you - one that I haven't finished writing, but will write as I go, so to speak.  I thought I would do a little background to the story.

This is a departure from the familiar form of writing for me.  I am not sure what Genre this book will be, but I'm gonna write it anyway - because I have to!

By now you all know how much I love the doll Chatty Cathy!  I may have even alluded as to why I love her so much, but I'll refresh your memory anyway.

I was a young child when Chatty Cathy came to be.  I was the only girl in my family, with three older brothers, and a baby brother.  My mom was a housewife, and Dad worked in a factory.  My parents didn't have a lot of money and growing up that never really concerned me over much - until the Christmas that Chatty Cathy came out.

We had just gotten our first television the fall before that Christmas so I, along with every other little girl on our street had seen the Chatty Cathy commercial over and over again.  Seeing a doll who could actually talk was big - real big - and we all wanted one.

That Christmas when we went to Eaton's store to see Santa (this was the REAL Santa) I told him I wanted a Chatty Cathy doll.  But Christmas morning came and there was no doll.

Isn't it amazing how clear a  childhood recollection can be?  I remember running out to the living room Christmas morning, and there sitting under the tree were three of my rubber dolls, re-dressed.  One was dressed as a bride doll with a veil and everything and the other two were her bridesmaids.  In front of them were three doll suitcases (these were new and each case had a key attached to it).  I opened the suitcases and inside were more outfits for the three dolls - one case full for each.

But there was no Chatty Cathy anywhere to be seen.

My friends and cousins all got one - but I didn't.  I asked again the next year - and again I didn't get one.

And then I guess I forgot about it.

But I always loved Cathy - even if it was from afar - my fascination with her never went away...

About 4 years ago, I was telling my brother about this - actually he was complaining about the road-race set that he didn't get.  He mentioned my story to his wife, who informed him that she and her sister both had received Cathy one year for Christmas.

Several months later my sister-in-law's mother was selling her house to move in to a seniors apartment.  My brother was helping her clean out things and decided to climb up into the top of one of the spare bedroom closets.  He reached up and pulled down two dolls.  His mother -in-law was surprised to see them and told him the dolls were her daughter's Chatty Cathy dolls - and immediately my story replayed in his head.  He was so excited he called me that night but he really couldn't understand my fascination with such a "ugly doll".

My SIL's doll's hair had been cut (not evenly of course) and she was dressed in her original dress, but it was in rather sad shape.  A few weeks later my sister in law brought the doll to me and declared it mine!

Finally I got my first Chatty Cathy... 53 yrs later!

I love her, she will forever be special to me.  And since I got her, I have acquired three more Cathy's, a Chatty Baby, 2 tiny Chatty Babies and a Singing Cathy.  All are mute - but I don't care - I love them anyway.

Chatty Cathy is so loved by so many women my age.  I belong to several groups of Cathy lovers... who knew there were so many, like me who love this doll.

Well I know that now - and this new story is for the all the Cathy lovers everywhere.

I hope you enjoy the story...

It starts tomorrow....

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bite-Back Recipe

It may be hotter than hot right now, but fall and much cooler weather is just around the corner here in Manitoba.  In a few weeks we will be pulling out our gardens and cleaning up our flower beds for the winter.

Every year I set a lot of my houseplants outside for the summer.  They love it, and do so well outside for a few months that I would never think not to put them out... but bringing them back in in fall, is always a pain.

Usually they don't fit the spot they were previously in - and worse - they almost always have bugs living either in the soil or on the plants themselves.

I found a great recipe for getting rid of these miserable bugs before they spread to other plants in the house.

Here is the House and Garden Bite-Back Recipe for Plants.

You need a one gallon jug.

2 tablespoons dish soap (sunlight is the best)
1 tablespoon rubbing alcohol
a dash of Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon of Canola oil
and enough water to fill the jug.

Pour mixture in a spray bottle and apply as needed.

I wash my plants with sunlight soap and water and then apply one treatment of the Bite-Back prior to bringing them inside, and then repeat the treatment inside until all signs of bugs are gone.  This recipe works wonders on aphids and fruit flies too, keep some on hand to use on any new plants you bring into your house - your plants will love you for it!

Happy Gardening!

Monday, August 26, 2013

A plug for a another talented lady!

You don't have to be a doll person to appreciate this beautiful doll.  

This is  Chatty Cathy that has been restored and dressed by a friend of mine.  Anna Rhodes.

Anna is an amazing talented seamstress and doll restorer who has started her own restoration business.  She has her own page on Facebook -  AMR DESIGNS.

I love this doll - of course I do -  it's a Cathy and by now you all know she is my favorite doll... But Anna somehow has managed to put the expression back on this dolls face.

Here is what she looked like, prior to restoration.  What an amazing difference.


There are many steps involved in restoring a doll, but in Cathy's case there are many issues that can become very frustrating during the restoration.  Most restorers start by taking the doll completely apart so they can repair the talking mechanism inside.  I most cases Cathy can be made to talk again by replacing a little o ring in her record player.  The problem lies is taking the body apart.  Cathy's torso and neck are made from a very hard plastic, that given her age, breaks very badly when she is opened.  Often the neck flange is ruined to the point where the neck has to be rebuilt in order for her head to be able to go back on.

I have restored a couple of Cathy's - but I haven't gotten up enough nerve to tackle the player. 

Cathy's also suffer from a condition called green face.  Over time, and normal wear, weather etc, her skin turns from a pretty peachy skin color to a gray-green color.  If the whole doll is like that it is difficult for one to even see it, but after time she develops a "sick" look about her.  This condition takes awhile to fix, time and patience are required to get her skin looking peachy again.

The solution for this problem, is human acne cream.  Yup - the more expensive the cream the better it works, of course.  The active ingredient must be Benzol Peroxide.

Restorers can go through many tubes on one doll.  You rub in on the face or whatever area you are treating and leave it on for several days.  Some set the dolls in the sun to speed up the process, but I have never found that makes much of a difference.  The application is repeated over weeks and eventually you begin to see the green face disappear.

Here is one of my Cathy's who's green face is almost completely restored.  I don't know if you can see it, but look near the hair-line and around the ear, and you will see the skin has a  grayish purple hue to it.  I should have taken a picture earlier on when it was much darker.  A few more weeks it will be completely gone, and her face will look like it did when she was knew.  It has taken me most of the summer to get her this far.

Anna is a master at what she does, she re-roots hair, replaces teeth, and repaints lips, brows, freckles and she completes the dolls with a beautiful outfit, right down to the socks and shoes.

If you are interested in seeing more, check out her site... she sells her dolls, and her dresses and she will custom make any outfit to fit any doll.  Christmas is coming - if you have a young lady who loves dolls,  and you are on facebook - check out Anna's work.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I found my MOJO!

I tell you it is very painful getting one's MoJo back.  Since last weekend I have been on rather a creative kick.  I'm happy about this, but it is starting to interfere with my daily life.

It all started with Fiona's challenge - Yeah - I'll blame Fiona!  LOL!

I thought I had that project done.  I DID have that project done - but I was not happy with the hanger portion of it - and when I am not happy with something I make, it won't let me rest.  For the past couple of days I have been thinking about this project and trying to come up with a reason why I hated the hanger, or a solution to fix it (even though it is already wrapped and ready to ship out).

So I unwrapped it, and set it on my work table where I could glance at it from time to time when I was working there.  Nothing came to mind - except that I still hated the hanger...

I worked on fairies for my Etsy shop all evening, had a wonderful time making them and by the end of the evening - still nothing came to me about the hanger.  So I made my lunch for work, fed and watered Chip, got ready for bed and then retired for the night.

And there I lay awake for 2 hours thinking about a stupid hanger!  Darn it all - I get up for work at 5:30 in the morning and I heard the clock gong midnight!

I was finally feeling like I could go to sleep - and the solution to fix the hanger came to me.  I was tempted to get out of bed and see if the solution would work, but I didn't.  I should have though, because it was another hour of thinking and imagining before I finally no longer heard the clock gong.

Fixing the hanger entailed possibly ruining the whole project, so I decided to get a second and third - maybe even a fourth opinion.  I took the project to work and showed it to a few people who all suggested I leave it alone.  Did they say that because they really liked it - or because they really like me... hmmm!

So I am leaving it alone - more because I am afraid of really wrecking it by taking it all apart...  It has been repackaged, and is going in the mail tomorrow morning.  Done -

And I promise I am moving on to a different subject!

But first I have some work bench cleaning to do...

And another thing - why is it that one works on a 3" square area of a work table that is 6 ft long and 3ft wide?  Anyone know the answer to that question?

Have a nice day - talk to you next week!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

And So It Goes!

The pile of dolls I found buried in a drawer has been on my mind - of course it has!  I did keep one out to work on ( the dark Bilo Baby) and returned the others to the drawer.

One in particular is bugging me.

This blonde one.

She reminds me of my 3rd grade school teacher Miss Crab.  Seriously that was her name, can you imagine what the school kids said about her at recess every day?  But she was very nice - not crabby at all, but that didn't stop the kids from being little nasty snots.  My 5th grade teacher's name was Miss Cross - I kid you not - poor woman put up with so much.  Bless them both for the job they did - it couldn't have been easy!

Back to Miss Crab - she looked like this doll - pretty in a delicate sort of way.  She was probably in her 30's when I think of it now - but at the time I'm sure we all thought she was "OLD".  She dressed old - but that was how maiden schoolteachers dressed in the early 60's.  She always wore a dark blue suit.  Always.  Navy blue skirt with a jacket to match - it had shiny buttons - brass or gold - I did take notice of those sort of things back then because my Mom was a seamstress and I spent a lot of time sorting buttons for her.  Those were the days when sewers didn't buy buttons - they harvested them from any piece of clothing that came their way.  Mom had huge boxes of buttons  - I still have some of her buttons - though I must admit, I rarely use them...

So now I am tempted to retrieve Miss Crab from the drawer and make her an outfit.  Miss Crab wore those heavy black leather old lady shoes that looked like a boot - you can't see it on this picture, but this doll has those type of  shoes painted on her feet... it was meant to be - don't you think?

Ok, ok - so now I am going to have 2 dolls out to work on!  I think I will crochet Miss Crab's navy suit from cotton thread.  

Hmmm.... all of a sudden I feel the urge to find my #7 steel!

And so it goes!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I found a treasure!

I did manage to finish my "challenge" last night.  In the end I scrapped the really small hanger I had made and went with a medium-sized one I had also made.  I don't like the hanger at all - but it is what it is, and I can't change it now.  The project is done and wrapped and in a box and ready to be mailed.

I still haven't found my wire cutters and pliers - and believe me I have turned my work room upside down looking for them.

I get very huffy, when something goes missing from my workroom.  I am pretty organised, in a messy sort of way - but everything has it's place and when I am not using things they do go back into their place.  I don't remember when I last used my pliers and cutters, but I do know they would have been returned to the "Tool" drawer.  Well they are not there, and you can imagine the NOISE that was created on the weekend, because they were missing.

I did however find a forgotten treasure in one of the large drawers of my trolley.

Take a look...

Ha!  I'd forgotten about these !  Eight china doll-house dolls, and 4 other dolls.  Well I guess I have more dolls to work on ... some bodying, and a lot of dressing!  
Fun  - more sewing  :(
Or I could just knit or crochet all the clothes...  :)

Thing is I have kinda switched gears and was planning to do some quilting projects for awhile.

What to do, what to do?

Well I could always return them to the drawer they were in and put a label on the outside of the drawer - that would work!

I'll have to think about this for awhile.. - Okay - I'm done thinking - they will go back to the drawer as I am still working on the monkey, and then I have plans to re-open my Etsy shop in the next few weeks.

Yup - back to the drawer they go...

Sorry babes....

Monday, August 19, 2013


Another week has come and gone.

This past week was the 7th Anniversary of my second surgery for breast cancer - my mastectomy... at times it seems so much longer than that, and then sometimes it really feels like yesterday.  I am thankful that I am still here to count these Anniversaries.

Last week was a gruelling week at work, and I only have 2 more Friday's off before I return to regular full-time hours, which means summer will be over.  I'm not liking that idea at all.  I have had 14 weeks of working a 4 day week and I have become very accustomed to having an extra day at home.  Not that I really accomplished much for having that extra day.  At the beginning of the summer I had promised myself all kinds of completed projects -but in actual fact I fell terribly short of the mark this summer.

Still I am not going to beat myself up about it - The Friday's off were after all my "Vacation" so I can actually say I did take vacation time in a weird sort of way.

If you visited Fiona's channel, you will have seen that she has set out a "Challenge" - and yes, I have entered it.  The challenge is to create a hanger from wire and make a plaque to hang from it.  So I registered for the challenge and got right down to creating and making it.  I finished the plaque part in no time basically because she had no restrictions as to what the plaque was to be.  Believe me - my plaque will be non-traditional as far as plaques, go - but I'm sure she will love it anyway... in fact I know she will.

The hanger - well that was the real challenge for me.  She said to use a 1.5 mm wire - such a thing I have yet to find anywhere here.  However I did try to use several gauges of wire - all were too thin.  Because time is an issue ( I have to get this in the mail if it is to reach the UK by the deadline) I decided to make my hanger out of a coat hanger... that wasn't easy either, as my wire cutters and pliers have gone for a walk... Oh Bother!

My end result is less than satisfying, and small.  Small mainly because of my non-traditional plaque, which also is small to keep the shipping costs to the UK to a minimum.  So this was indeed a CHALLENGE.

I haven't done a challenge in a long time - but this one was fun - wire woes and all.  Tonight I'll finish it up, wrap it up and hopefully in a day or two it will be in the mail to Fiona!

Then we'll wait and see the results!

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Introducing Fiona!

I was going to work on the Monkey after work yesterday, but after pretty much a day from hell at work I didn't even have the energy to cut out a pair of overalls for Mr. Monkey, so instead I sat in my rocking chair and had a sleep, then I ate supper, then I returned to my rocking chair and spent pretty much the rest of my evening catching up with Fiona's video's on you-tube.

Who's Fiona?

She is an awesome crafter from the UK who as roughly 3000 videos (mostly tutorials) on how to make things.  I love her.  All you ever see is her hands which are never still - she is an amazing talented woman who gives generously of her talent and time to anyone who wants to spend a few moments and watch her video's.  She has an amazing Etsy shop as well where she sells her creations, her kits and things she picks up at her Cabot sales in the UK - wonderful stuff....

She does a lot of Shabby Chic, but she is also into Fairies, miniatures, well  just about everything.  Of late, I have been catching up on flower making... she makes beautiful fabric flowers for any occasion.  I thought I'd share one of her video's here with you today.

If you want to know how it's made - Fiona is your gal.

So without further ado -


Monday, August 12, 2013

Touring the World!

Every year for two weeks in August, our beautiful city hosts Folklorama.  If you have never been to Winnipeg this would be the time to visit us.

Folklorama is two weeks packed of touring the world - without ever leaving the city.  It is an experience like none other, and we are the only city in the world that celebrates the world's cultures in just this way.

This past weekend, our friends Bill and Deb drove up to Winnipeg from Fargo to experience Folklorama.  I had not been to Folklorama in years, and although Gary has lived here for many years, he had never been before.  We decided we would try and do three pavilions on Saturday night... so shortly before 5 pm we headed to the first one we wanted to see.  We chose the Greek Pavilion first.  It was held in a beautiful Greek Orthodox church.  The place was packed, the food was awesome (especially the Baklava) and the dancers were wonderful.  What a way to start and incredible evening.
We were allowed to go into the church and take some photos after the performance... Is this not beautiful... sorry the picture couldn't have been better -

The second stop was the Russian Pavilion.  All I could think of was the Russian dancers, but let me tell you there was so much more.  The music, the costumes, and yes the dancers were outstanding.  And the food - oh wow, my mouth waters just thinking about it.  Have you ever had real Russian Borscht?  So good - amazing.

And then were heading to the Korean Pavilion for our last stop of the night.

This was my favorite Pavilion of the night.  The Koreans are such beautiful, friendly and warm people... everyone bows and smiles, and you just feel so special - and that was even before the performances.  The entertainment for the evening was so wonderful.  They started with little children dancing -in traditional costume, I might add - OMG they were so beautiful.  Then came the Drum dance.

This was really something to see - this video was taken a couple of years ago at the Korean Pavilion and the same young woman performed this year as in this video - be prepared to be wowed!

Then a stage full of beautiful young women did the Fan Dance.  If you ever get the chance to see this dance you will never forget it.  It is breath-taking beautiful... as were the young women who performed it.

What a fun evening we had travelling with our friends.  We are already planning next years Folklorama event with our friends, in anticipation of seeing so much more of Winnipeg's cultural diversity, talented performers and enjoying the wonderful flavors of the world.

Thanks Bill and Deb - we had a great time!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

This and That - And The Next Thing Too!

Here a few of the crazy-quilt patches I made over the last few days.  I love crazy quilt, and making these is sort of like eating popcorn - once you start, it's really hard to stop!

Back to the monkey:

I let the poor monkey lie around for a few days, all the while pondering how best to restore him.  I like him a whole lot better in his blue and white striped suit than the fur that I had removed.  I could almost picture him with a bright yellow pair of overalls... but the very worn material and the huge gaping hole in the arm really had me worried.

I considered trying to find material to make a new body, I even thought about new material for the head and arm, but I really just wanted him to stay the way he was originally made - so that meant fixing what was wrong.

First he needed to have his rubber or vinyl parts cleaned - so we had a spa day.  Good old plain soap and water and a little Magic Eraser worked wonders on his face - although there is still a marker mark on his chin.  No amount of scrubbing is taking that off - so he will have that scar to keep.

A bath for him, and a day spent hanging around the yard to dry.

The bad arm is off, and he's looking mighty clean!

Feeling pretty happy, all things considered... and a bit of fun with a photo shoot  as well:

Well that was fun!  But now the hard work begins... fixing what is broken and missing so he can be put back together...

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Baby Dear is done!

I took a bit of a break from posting here last week - it was a hectic week and I honestly couldn't find a spare moment to think of anything to post let alone settle down to actually write a post.

That busy week was followed by 4 days off from work, which really helped to rejuvenate me (somewhat)!  I have had so much piling up for me to do at home that I just had to spend some of the 4 days getting some projects finished... and I did.

I spent the better part of Friday and Saturday working in the craft room, and I really got a lot accomplished for once.

I worked on the doll (baby Dear) that I am restoring for a friend.  The doll needed a new body and there was a lot of work needed to clean her head.
  This doll has a top knot hair style - meaning all the hair comes from a central spot on the top of the dolls head.
 Over the years the hair clumped up and would not lie down on the head.  At some point glue was used to try and get the hair to stay down, but all that really accomplished was adding glue to the scalp which later discoloured with age and dirt.

The glue was the most difficult thing to remove from her head.  I used all kinds of things to try and get it off - repeated washings, and even so I was not able to remove it all, but what remains is no longer visible.

The hair had to be trained to stay down so after it was washed I encased the head in a plastic bag with holes punched all over the bag.  I left the bag on for well over a week as the hair dried.  And the end result was this.

Then it was make a new body

and put her all back together again.

I think she was praying that I knew what I was doing!

My friend had an outfit she wanted put on the doll - one that was worn by her grand daughter, so once she was all back together, I dressed her in her new clothes, and here she is...

All done and ready to go back home - she's good for at least another 50 yrs of play now!
  This doll was created from this little golden book, and I was so lucky to find one at the thrift store.  

Next -  I really have to tell you about the Monkey!