Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In which we receive even more good news...

Just a quick update...

We are going to have a new sister! Our person has adopted a lovely little Ingeborg Tinius girl. She tried to adopt one of Ingeborg's girls before but didn't win, so she's really happy. I think she mentioned that our new sister, Treechild, is a bit smaller than the rest of us, so she might be able to live in the lovely dollhouse our person has downstairs just waiting to be fixed up again.

 Not the best pic, but Maddy didn't feel like pulling the table the ShopVac is on out of the way. It has a balcony on the second level and a captain's walk on the roof. It's thirty-five years old and in good shape. At one point, Maddy also had a Victorian-style dollhouse that was about the same age, but it collapsed when she tried to move it off the card table it had sat on for years and it couldn't be repaired. I would have loved to have seen it when it was all wired up with working lights.

 She said the wallpaper and flooring in this one is much more to scale, though. She'd gotten hold of a bunch of old wallpaper samples and used them to decorate the other house - which sounds like a good idea, but prints scaled for a human-sized wall don't always work in a dollhouse, which didn't occur to her when she was in the fifth grade.

You can see it's a tight fit for Emmaline, who's a little over six and a quarter inches. Maddy thinks Treechild is just under six inches, so the house might be a perfect fit. She said the white walls and trim will have to go, though. She grew up in a house that had nothing but white walls and neutral (read: gray and brown) furnishings because her father didn't like "weird colored crap and neon walls." She said that brown is okay - at least it looks warm and natural - but even off-white walls would have been nicer than just stark plain white. She wasn't even allowed a colored rug in her room - it had to be the same plain, unpatterned gray-beige as the rest of the carpeting in the house. An insignificant thing at best, she realizes, but at the same time, everyone wants a little self-expression as a kid....

Anyway, dollhouse or no, I think our new sister is going to love it here!

Monday, April 29, 2013

In which guest blogger Shel pops the question....

"Shel, what's wrong?" Maddy said. She was sitting on the bed next to me, getting annoyed at some idiot Anderson Cooper was trying to interview on CNN. She switched over to the Mets game instead.

"I was just thinking," I said.

"About what?" Always multitasking, she was talking to me, watching the TV with the sound off, listening to Big Country on her laptop and Googling directions to the place she has an interview at Thursday afternoon.

"About before," I said. Seven months ago tonight I was in the NYC Doll Hospital with a broken arm, betrayed by my abusive ex and abandoned by my person....

"Shel..." She abandoned everything else she was doing to hug me. "Why do you do this to yourself?" Her voice was gentle.

I shrugged. I don't know why I torture myself thinking of all the worst-case scenarios that could have been, how I might not have even been alive, how I might still be out in the woods, slowly succumbing to exposure, unwanted...

"Shel, has it occurred to you that maybe you were meant to be with us?" she said. "I just wish the fates had found a gentler way to bring you here."

I liked that thought. It made me feel like maybe someone was looking out for me after all....


"So, are you going to do it?" Caroline said.

"Do what?"

"You know. The big question, dummy. Are you going to ask him are not?"

"I don't know..." I had wanted to take him outside to the tree where he found me, but then I thought that might be kind of - I don't know, macabre or something? Maybe just weird. But then today turned out to be really chilly and damp anyway, so that was out...

"Shel, I know you. If you keep trying to figure out the right time to ask him, you're never going to do it."

She does know me. But oh my God, what if he says no? What will I do then?

And what if he says yes....?


To heck with it. I didn't get any sleep last night thinking about how I was going to do this. I have to - well, just do it, like Maddy said the shoe commercials (which shoes, I don't know) used to go.

I found John-John, the love of my life, looking at the directions for the mini-tower fan Maddy got us for this summer. He's so thorough about things like that, and I'm not.

 "Hey, handsome," he said, looking up at me. "What's up?"

Oh Gods, I was so scared.... "John-John...? Do you have a moment? I - I want to  -- ask you something."

He looked apprehensive. "Shel? Is everything okay? You look freaked out."

"I..." You can do this, Shel... I decided down on one knee would be best. "John-John ---- w-would you marry me?"

"Would I---" He put a hand over his mouth, then scrambled off the box and hugged me "I - ohmigod, Shel, yes, of course I will!"

"I love you, baby, And you didn't even look at the ring..." Yeah, that last part was dumb, but my brain, such as it is, wasn't working any more right then.

John-John kissed me. "I love you, Shel." He finally did look at the ring. "Ohmigod--" He hugged me again. "I love you so much. I'm the luckiest doll on Earth..."

Funny, I kind of thought that was me....


Maddy's note: to Jason Collins - you are now officially our favorite basketball player. We all wish you a story as happy as this one...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

In which Pinky returns...

I'm happy to report that the surgery to repair Shel's thumb was indeed successful. :)

Today was more or less perfect. Sunshine and 72F. We were outside catching some rays and fresh air this afternoon. John-John kept watching cars down at the end of the street.

 "John-John, is that it?" Ghoulia saw the cab before he did. And here some of the other dolls laughed at us for taking that ZSL (Zombie as a Second Language) course awhile back.

John-John was already off the stairs, yelling "Pinky!"

"How did you know I was coming back today?" she said, hugging him.

"I just knew," he said. "I missed you so much, P.T."

Maddy grabbed Pinky's bags from the cab while Pinky sat down to get acquainted with everyone. She hadn't met me, Emmaline or any of our friends in person yet, although I've talked to her on Facebook. She said the tour was fun, but it's going to be nice to be off the road for awhile. The band is planning on taking a break before starting work on a new album. Then she said she wanted to show me something...

She had picked some stuff up in Japan for me and my Hitty sisters! I was so surprised. She brought us back this cute little cafe table and chairs...

With a gorgeous matching tea set to go with it. I was a little nervous about unwrapping the cherry stirrers. They're so tiny...

Everything has wooden storage boxes, too. She also brought back a couple of tea kettles.

Maddy had mentioned that our ancestor Hitty had an Asian screen in her bookcase apartment, so Pinky brought one back for mine. The panels are frosted glass.

I'm already planning my housewarming party. I feel like the luckiest Hitty in the world.

But the most important thing Pinky brought with her were the rings a friend of hers designed for Shel and John-John. She did an engagement ring and matching wedding bands. I don't know what Shel has in mind as far as the actual proposal. I don't think he's going to do anything public - he's far too shy. And Maddy has already lined up Clawdeen, Darci and Pinky's friend (and drummer/aspiring designer) Whitney Walker to help outfit the wedding party. She said she's only just now realizing what she's about to get herself into....

Stay tuned....

Thursday, April 25, 2013

In which poor Shel breaks his thumb....

Poor Shel....

Today I was hanging with the ghouls, talking fashion and stuff - the usual, you know?

Meanwhile, China Girl and Shel were talking about the upcoming Proposal. I think she's going to invite her wizard friend and one of his friends to join us for the wedding...

When all at once, Coco rockets out of Shel's lap. barking. Shel yelled for him to get back, but he didn't listen. He told us later he was afraid Coco was about to go after Howleen Wolf's hedgehog, Cushion.

So Shel started to go after him, but he lost his balance...

And before China Girl could do anything, he fell the three or so feet to the floor.

We all hurried over, fearing the worst, but he hadn't been knocked unconscious or anything. The good news was that he hadn't hit his head. The bad news was that he hadn't hit his head because he'd landed on his left arm. He thought he was okay until he tried to move his fingers and couldn't move his thumb.

Howleen just took a first aid course. She looked at it and said it looked like it was broken. China Girl went to get Maddy and John-John.

Maddy took a look at it and confirmed Shel and Howleen's fears. The armature in his thumb was broken.

Howleen felt terrible. She thought it was her fault for having Cushion out of his cage. I told her it wasn't, that nobody else was going to blame her, either.

Maddy, meanwhile, had fetched an elastic bandage - well, a piece of elastic, anyway - and set Shel's hand so he wouldn't be in pain until she was able to repair it.

She said she thinks that the armature might have been damaged in the fall (push, really) that shattered his other arm, because normally, a fall from that height wouldn't even faze a cloth doll, especially with a carpet to land on. Howleen didn't know the story, so Shel told her. (He's getting a little braver about opening up now.) Howleen told him that if his ex ever turned up around here, he'd have her, Clawdeen and their brother to deal with, and he wouldn't like having to deal with a bunch of pissed-off werewolves. I think Shel got a laugh out of imagining that. I know I did....

Nevertheless, it did bring up a bunch of nasty memories. But now he's got someone who's actually there for him.

And as for Coco and Cushion.....

Well, we shouldn't have worried. *facepalms*

*Maddy's note: The chenille stem armature in Shel's left hand really did break - I wish I could figure out something better to use that would still give me some degree of flexibility...*

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

In which I have a typical school day and Shel reveals big plans...

Like all dolls of a certain age, I attend school. (I can't get by on these good looks alone, you know!) After some consideration, Maddy enrolled us in Monster High. Turns out all you have to be is "not human," and as dolls, we certainly qualify.

From left to right: Ghoulia Yelps, yours truly, Valentine, Draculaura, Spectra Wondergeist, Frankie Stein, Clawdeen Wolf and Emmaline. We're all taking Fashion History and Design Theory and we're all members of the Design Club. Clawdeen is just amazing, She's one of the most talented designers I've ever met. Darci (yes, that Darci!) wants to have Clawdeen intern with her this summer.

Val, Frankie and Spectra. They're still discussing what they're going to wear to the Spring Formal.

I think Emmaline feels like she doesn't really fit in sometimes, but the rest of the girls and I do our best to make her feel like she's one of us. She is, after all.

Abby Bomidable, me, Emmaline and Lagoona Blue. Like our ancestor Hitty, Lagoona's family is also from New England, but they hail from Innsmouth, MA. She's told us some interesting stories about her Uncle Cthulhu.

The girls all love it when John-John picks me and my sisters up after school. They all think he's cute. I don't think he quite knows what to make of it. He's really quite shy.

Even the most fashionably fierce have an occasional shoe malfunction...

Today, however, Shel picked me up right after school. He said he needed to talk to me. I wasn't sure whether to be nervous or annoyed (I mean, I do have an actual social life!) but it turned out to be for a really cool reason. He's going to ask John-John to marry him! How awesome is that? He needs our help getting everything set up and keeping it a secret. Pinky is bringing the ring back with her. Her telling John-John she was in Japan with the band still was a little white lie. She's actually visiting a friend in England who's designing the ring. This is going to be so awesome....

Monday, April 22, 2013

In which we celebrate Earth Day...

For Earth Day, we decided to check out some of the latest signs of spring.

Remember that forsythia that was about to bloom? Well, it did. Maddy said that she loves the way that, after months of drab and colorless weather, the first color to come back is the brightest one in the spectrum.

These daffodils, however, will turn pinker and pinker as they mature. I like that. 

The deer didn't quite get all the tulips, apparently. They did, however, destroy Maddy's bed of Queen Of The Night tulips interplanted with "a
bunch of big ruffle-y white ones - I forget the name."

Classic yellow is always in style.

In another couple of weeks, all this will be green.

 Maddy said she once read an old Persian proverb that "if you have two coins, buy bread with one to feed the body and with the other, buy hyacinths, to feed the spirit." I can see why.

Daffodils Gone Wild!!!!!!

I don't think this is lily of the valley, but it's pretty.

Here there be bluebells...and a bit of overexposure. Maddy took this shot not looking at the camera screen because she didn't want to get tangled up in the rosebush these are growing around.

This is another causality of Superstorm Sandy - although it is coming back out. Maddy thinks its honeysuckle, but it hasn't bloomed once since it was planted ten years ago, so she isn't sure.

Catching some rays.

Soon, there will be poppies....

Saturday, April 20, 2013

In which we learn a little about beads....

"Hey, Maddy? What are these?"

Maddy looked around to see what Shel had. "I think they're quartz crystals, but I don't know what that coating is. I hope it's permanent. I got those at the bead show a few weeks ago."

"How long have you been making jewelry?" Shel, John-John and I were looking through part of her ginormous bead stash while she tried to find a bag of gunmetal lobster-claw clasps.

"I started in high school. I took a couple of classes there and loved it. It was a good foundation in the basics of metalworking," she said. "I started beading a few years later and I've been doing that ever since."

"How would you like a coral necklace like this?" John-John said to me.

"Those are polymer clay, not coral," Maddy said. "I learned the technique from a book by a woman named Tory Hughes. Her techniques are great, but sometimes she gets a little heavy-handed with the messages."

"Messages?" I said.

"She had this one part about, before you begin, sit down and consider why you wish to create this Art, right now. Is to answer your own spiritual muse? Is it for your creative spirit - something like that. I already know why I'm doing it. I like to make cool stuff." She shrugged. "I mean, nothing against introspection, but I'm just not introspective, I guess."

"Are these polymer clay, too?" I said, meaning a brown and green necklace.

"The brown beads are.The green wooden ones were, I think, a Bead of the Month selection a couple of years ago. My father said that was the ugliest necklace he'd ever seen. Then, two days later, he was making a big deal over the fact that all the beads were the same size and he couldn't figure out how I did it. I just eyeballed it." She looked thoughtful. "He was a craftsperson, but he wasn't creative. I mean, he could put together a train model or whatever and make it look exactly like the one on the box, but if it didn't have all the instructions including exactly what colors to paint it and what decals to put where, he was lost. He could recreate, but he couldn't create. I think he was a little bit jealous of both me and my mom."

"I think they're cool," John-John said.

"Did you make these?" Shel was looking at something else.

"No, those I got back in August, I think. They're decoupaged. They were made by a woman from the Philippines. I'm not sure who all the faces are on them."

"I like these," I said. Naturally. :)

"Vintage Lucite," Maddy said. "Moonglow, regular and textured. Those were really popular in the fifties and early sixties. I've got some glass beads dating back to the 1920s. Actually, I have some older than that. I like the older pieces. I always wonder what kind of stories they would tell if they could speak."

She thinks she knows what she did with the clasps, but doesn't want to go rummaging through the house this late at night looking for them, so the rest of the necklace will have to wait until tomorrow...

And if you're interested in Lucite or Beads in the Mail, here's the link: The Beadin Path