Tuesday, December 5, 2023

A Sister Visit...


More Thanksgiving Leftovers...

I Was able to snag my Sister for a Quick visit just before Thanksgiving, Dear Readers, which I try to do every time she comes North to see her Grandchildren. They live an hour and a half from my home, so it is doable to go get her, bring her to my house for an overnight and take her back the next day. I never know when she will be coming until the last minute... plans change,  so I jump at the opportunity to spend time with her whenever possible! We did a little shopping on the way to my house, buying gifts for the grandchildren. We wrap them together... it makes it so much more fun! On the following morning we have a little time to play with the dollies.... but not until after breakfast. I indulged in a "Bonne Maman's" Advent Calendar this year... a tiny jar of jelly or jam  for each day....! We opened the first one even though it was early... we had "White Nectarine Linden Flower Jelly" on English muffins for breakfast! Oh my! With tea, of course! And then it was time to bring out the little dolls we had started costuming back in the Spring on her last visit...

Here you can see the one I was working on...
These are some of Sandra Morris' little porcelain dolls. 
She has retired and is no longer making them (*sob*!)
but I still have a few that have not been costumed.

Here they both are...  
We had gotten as far as constructing the jackets
 but not the Sleeves. The dreaded sleeves...
They are tiny and have to be hemmed..... 
stitched and turned inside-out.
And then you have to hope that you can get them on.... 
and that they are the right length!
I am sorry to say I didn't take any pictures of the process.

But... Ta-da! 
Here is my dolly with her sleeves on!

For encouragement and Atmosphere,
 we brought Chere Elise in to play for us while we worked.
She was ever so happy to oblige.

And my sister's sleeves are attached!
Then we needed to design the lace collars.... 
we are using whatever materials I have in my stash for this project,
as these little dollies were not kits with all the pieces provided!
It took quite a hunt through all my lace boxes
 to find some that had a small enough, 
delicate enough pattern to be usable.

We settled on one we could just use the edge of...
 cutting off the upper part of the lace. 
Here is "Aria" with her collar added.

And here she is with her hair too!
I managed to scavenge leftover "curls" from previous doll kits...
 we gave them simple all over curls hairstyles.

And here is my sister's with collar and curls.... 
she is named "Savannah".

 Here they are together!
Aren't they adorable?

Alas, we had run out of time, Dear Readers,
 so we were unable to complete them this visit.
They will wait in the Dollmaker's Studio
 until such a time as we can make their bonnets.
For you can be sure that Every Victorian doll must have a bonnet! 
There was snow in the forecast so I didn't want to be driving late.... 
And rest assured I made it home again before the snow started.
(We did get several very slushy inches....)
So that was my Sister visit, Dear Readers... 
except for the leftovers....
Unfortunately, it was I who really caught covid.
 Probably the Grandchildren had it but just thought it was a "cold".
They are young and no long do the testing.
And I will recover......

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Thanksgiving Leftovers....


And Then...

I Hate to be the Bearer of bad Tidings, Dear Readers, but two days after Thanksgiving, Helen came down with a cold. She never gets sick, but took herself to bed with a runny nose and a cough. Charles was worried, but she told him not to worry, she would get over it soon enough if she could get some rest. That meant she didn't want him to hover. So he left her to rest.

Frankly, he didn't know what to do with himself!
They did everything together.

So he checked on her often.
And when she developed a fever,
 he insisted they see a doctor right away!
The doctor told them as kindly as he could
 that it appeared she had caught Covid.
"What?" said Charles, aghast.
"But we have been so careful!" he declared.
"We have seen nobody but close Family for the Holiday!"
"Well," said the doctor, "That is how it happens usually.... 
somebody else has not been quite so careful!"
So they returned home with the instructions to take the decongestants
 and keep an eye on her temperature and call him if it got worse.
Since she was vaccinated,
 he assured them she was not in danger.

When Charles told Joanna and Victor
 the results of the visit to the doctor,
 they were just as shocked.
"How could that be?" said Joanna. 
"We have all been so careful for so long!"
"Maybe we should check with Sallly May," said Victor. 
"Just to let her know what is up."

When Sally May heard that Grandma Helen was sick, 
she was alarmed. 
And she hated to think she might have
 caught Covid at Thanksgiving Dinner!
"I just talked to Mama," she said to Chip. 
"She says Grandma Helen has caught Covid!"
"You don't think...." she started to say but trailed off.
 "Well," said Chip, "Dad has been coughing all week,
 although he pretends he isn't."
"And I suspect he never wears his mask
 when he goes out to the corner market...." he added.
"Darn...." he continued, "should we all take tests? 
Is Grandma Helen okay?"

Well, Dear Readers, Joanna spent all week nursing Grandma Helen.
And slowly but surely, she is feeling a lot better.

Helen insisted she didn't need so much attention... 
and she didn't want anyone else to get sick!
Joanna insisted that she was just making sure everything was okay
 and nobody else seemed to be having symptoms.

"I just don't want to make any trouble for anyone..." said Helen.
"I'm really feeling a lot better."
She said this every day.
"Well, tomorrow we'll bring you downstairs
 to sit if you feel like it" said Joanna cheerfully. 

"I think that sounds like a good idea..." said Helen.
"We can see in the morning how you feel...." replied Joanna.
She certainly didn't want to rush things... 
but she was sure Helen would enjoy getting out of bed for a while.

Well, Dear Readers, I hope you will not worry for Helen.
She is getting better by the day
 and is only embarrassed that after being so careful for so long...
 she caught Covid after all!
Thanksgiving Leftovers of a very different sort!

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Time To Talk Turkey....


Gobble Gobble Gobble....

It Was Sally May and Chip's turn to host Thanksgiving Dinner, Dear Readers, and Sally May had been preparing the dinner for days. It had been a while since the Family had all gathered at their House, and Sally May was eager to share the Traditional meal in her own home. Chip's Folks practically lived with them ever since the Covid pandemic, but it would feel so much more wonderful to have her folks there too. She loved Chip's parents, but there was no substitute for her own Family.

Chip's folks, Blanche and Ernie were happy to watch TV in the living room.
Chip was happy to sit with them. 
He was sure Sally May would not need
 his help in the Kitchen...
But as the hours passed and nobody arrived, she began to worry.
Was anybody coming?

Meanwhile, over at The Lovely Old Dollhouse, 
Helen was worried about the Weather.
It had snowed overnight and the roads would be slippery.
"Are you sure their driveway will be plowed?" she asked Charles.
"Well, it didn't snow very much" replied Charles.
 "Only a few inches fell, they might not even need to plow" he added.
That did not reassure Helen!
"But their driveway is a little steep...!" she declared.
"What if we get stuck?" she added, clearly worried!
"Oh, I am sure we will manage just fine," said Charles, soothingly.
 "We will go over with Arthur and Pollyanna" he added. 
"They are young and know what to do."

Pollyanna and Arthur spent a lot of time
 up in the attic in Pollyanna's craft room. 
They knew they were not needed in the kitchen. 
"Sally May just called," said Pollyanna. 
"She is wondering where everybody is" she added.
"I guess she thought everybody knew
 she was making the dinner for 2 o'clock!"
"Well, I guess we better get going!" declared Arthur. 
"It is already one thirty!"
"I hope the pies are finished!" said Pollyanna.
Charles and Helen were thinking the same thing. 
"I think it is time we went to Sally May's house" declared Helen.
"Are the Pies ready?" she asked.

"I just pulled the Pumpkin Pie out of the oven" called Joanna.

"We'll wrap them up and follow you right over..." she added.
"I can carry the Pumpkin Pie on this platter" said Victor.
"That way we won't have to wrap it..."

"We better get going..."said Arthur.

Sally May went to tell everybody that the guests would arrive shortly...
"Maybe we should turn the volume down on the TV..." she hinted.
"You know your folks turn it up pretty loud" she added. 

"I'm not sure the others will want to hear it..."
"Don't worry, Hon," said Chip. 
"I'll take care of it when they get here."

"What are you watching...?" asked Helen loudly
 when they arrived a few minutes later.
"It's just old reruns of "I Love Lucy..." said Chip,
 turning the volume down a bit.
"Goodness...!" declared Helen. 
"I never watched those shows" she added.
(The Lovely Old Dollhouse did not have a TV...!)
"We can find something else if you like..."said Ernie kindly.
"Don't bother on my account" said Helen. 
"I believe it is almost time to eat anyway" she added.

Pollyanna and Arthur followed them in. 
"I think I'll go help Sally May in the kitchen" said Pollyanna.

"I'm sorry we are so late!" she said. 
"Tell me what you need me to do!"
"If you could carry the vegetables out to the table...." said Sally May.
"Are the Pies coming...?" she added anxiously.
"Mom and Dad are bringing them" said Pollyanna.
"They'll be here in a minute!"

"Here we are!" cried Joanna, entering with a pie.
"I'm so sorry we mistook the time!" she added.
"I don't know what happened!"

"And here's the Pumpkin Pie!" declared Victor.
 "It is still hot from the oven!" he added.
"I'm sure it will cool enough while we eat dinner" said Sally May smiling.
"I'm just so glad you are here!" she added.

She carried the Turkey out to the table.
"Do we have everything...?" asked Pollyanna.
"I want to eat!" declared Annabelle loudly.
"Hush darling, you can gobble all you want
 after we all say Grace" said Sally May.
"Let's call everyone in," she said to Pollyanna.

The whole Family crowded in around the table.
"The food smells Divine..." declared Helen.
"Who will say Grace...?" she asked.
"I think our Host, Chip, has the honors..." 
said Charles, nodding to his Grandson-in-law.
Chip cleared his throat... 
(he was not used to being the center of attention)
"For the Bounty set before us, 
and the Family with which to share it, 
we humbly give our thanks" he said.

"Amen!" added Charles.
"Here here!" said Victor.
"Gobble Gobble.... !" said Annabelle.
At that, Everybody burst out laughing!
"I will carve the Turkey declared Ernie"
Sally May had nothing to say....
 she felt a lump in her throat 
at the Love surrounding her.
She spared not a thought for the dogs in the kitchen...

....Guarding the Pies!
"Don't even think it..." said Honey to Oreo...
"You heard them.... they are too hot!"
"I guess we have to wait for crumbs.... ?" asked Oreo.
"You have so much to learn...." sighed Honey.

Well, Dear Readers, Once again... 
Thanksgiving Dinner is almost Late!
But I hope you all have a Wonderful Thanksgiving.... 
and if you don't celebrate the Holiday, 
I hope you will find Plenty to be Thankful for anyway.
And perhaps you can even "Gobble gobble" a little bit too!

(And for those unfamiliar with Turkeys, 
a large bird native to  North America, 
the "voice" of the bird sounds like
 "gobble gobble... gobble gobble.."! 
I kid you not!)

Wednesday, November 8, 2023




The Seasons changed rather abruptly in this part of the World, Dear Readers, bringing a shocking taste of Winter the day after Halloween. This following after weeks of warmer than usual temperatures and virtually no hint of frost. Fortunately, the offending white stuff melted rapidly, but it left that keen awareness of Impending Winter!

It definitely hastened the falling of the remaining leaves....
and turned my focus to cozy indoor pursuits!
Like stitching mini carpets...
You can see from the first photo that I have
 nearly completed the Baktiari carpet!
All it requires is the last couple of rows 
of edge stitching and binding and then the fringe.
I have been working on it all year,
 but had to "stitch less" while my
 sore arm was mending last spring.
And since it is so nearly finished, 
I have launched a couple of new projects to take it's place!

This is the very beginning of a quite Ambitious project...

This is another kit by Phyllis Stafford,
 who also designed the Baktiari carpet kit.
It is also stitched on 40 count silk gauze
 and the finished size will be 8x10 inches.
I expect this to take me a long time to complete, 
and I will warn you now that I am 
re-designing the central portion of the kit.
I just feel that the "central medallion" 
needs to be much more prominent.
And because this is one of those "tiny stitches" kits,
I also started a larger, easier on the eyes carpet kit.

I thought it interesting how similar the start was for both carpets!
This is another of Janet Granger's kits, a wool carpet...

It is unusual in that it is square and will be 9x9 inches when done.
It is described as a William Morris era style and the colors are quite bright.

As you can see, I've made good progress already!
(Sorry the photo is dark.... it's been a cloudy day...)
So that is my Stitching Update, Dear Readers...
Two new engrossing petit-point carpets
means Hours of cozy stitching 
Are in the Forecast!

Monday, October 30, 2023




When the Children's Father returned home that afternoon, Dear Readers, and found that Tommy's Pony, Prince, had come back without Tommy, he was worried. Tommy was a decent rider and usually had no trouble from Prince. But when he realized that Beatrice was also missing, he went looking for her older sister, Caroline to find out why. You can imagine that when he found no sign of Caroline or their dog Snowy, he became truly alarmed! This was beyond troubling! Caroline was so sensible and rarely went against the rules... where would she have gone? His wife, Charlotte had been with the baby all day, who was excessively colicky, and the Housekeeper had been at the market all afternoon. He was afraid he knew that the children had gone to the Castle Ruins.... they knew that was out of bounds! And on top of it all, the evenings came so early at this time of year and a storm was approaching.... he must hurry to find them before it was dark! He grabbed a lantern and headed off across the meadow.

He tried to comfort himself with the thought
 that their dog, "Snowy", was with them....

And that they had each other to rely on....
he Hoped they were safe....!

And I hope you will understand that when 
Caroline and Snowy had neared the Castle, 
Snowy had dashed ahead, following the scent of Beatrice,
 who had gone around to the cliff side hoping to find the caves.

Snowy rushed down the path right to the water's edge...
But Beatrice was not there....

He could not see her in the water.... or anywhere nearby...!

He would wait right here...! 
She would come back... he knew she would....!

As for Caroline, hearing the enchanting music,
 she had gone inside the Castle and found the little doll...

It was all alone in this Deserted old Castle Ruins.....
Oh how she wanted to pick her up and take care of her....!

She was heavier than Caroline had thought she would be....
"Just like a real baby...!" thought Caroline,
 who had been allowed to hold her baby brother JoJo.

But what should she do with her? Who did she belong to...?
Maybe she could find somebody who could help her....

Caroline turned for the door.....
But suddenly she began to feel reluctant to move.... 
She didn't know what to do or where to go....
And she hadn't noticed that the music stopped
 the moment she touched the doll...

Meanwhile, Dear Readers, 
you must have wondered where Tommy had gone?

Tommy had been to the Wizard's cave a number of times,
 so he knew the way.
He had been hoping to find the cave empty....
 because he knew it led to another cave...
 where the dragon had taken the sword...
Or at least he thought he remembered going there once....
but this time the Wizard was in the cave....

As though he expected to see Tommy...
and he was blocking the path to the other cave....

And he spoke! 
"Young man...." said the Wizard,
 "You will not find what you are looking for on this path..."
"Your task is not to find Treasure that is not yours,
 but to guard the the Treasure that is!"
Tommy had no idea what he meant.... but he nodded all the same.
"Your sisters,..." continued the Wizard,
 "Need your help and protection... 
if they are not to come to harm!"
"You will find them on the cliff paths... 
they are looking for you...." 

 Tommy turned and headed for the cliff paths....
he could hardly believe he was supposed to care what his Sisters did....!
But in his heart he was worried...
Beatrice was on the cliffs.... ?

Meanwhile, Deep in the heart of The Castle,  
Old Meg had felt the shift...

She nearly always could be found
 in her corner by the kitchen hearth...
 yet Sometimes.... 
she knew she was needed elsewhere...

 She could feel it in her Bones 
when trouble was afoot!
The Wizard needed her help with Potions...
The Children had strayed into realms where they did not belong
 and had seen that which they could not see!

She would need to dip her hands into the Spring of Dreams....

And chant a charm of "Forgetting"....
And summon the Little Dreamers 
from the Lands whereof they Dreamt....

And in that moment the Little Dreamers
 were standing before the Spring of Dreams...

She turned to the Little Dreamer Beth...
for even though she was blind... Old Meg could "See"...
"This potion you must carry to the top room of The Castle Tower..." she said...
"And tell the child you will find there
 that she cannot leave the Castle if she holds the doll!
 It is not of her Time.... it must not be done!"
"She must return it where she found it...." said Old Meg, clearly...
"And when she does, you must pour the potion over her head!"
"Only then can she leave and return to her Time!"

"And your sister..." she says, turning to Little Dreamer Amy,
"Must wait outside the Castle by the Cliffs... 
and tell all the children they are to not enter The Castle,
 and especially tell the boy he is to wait
 for both his sisters before he takes them home...!"

Little Dreamer Beth headed straight for the Castle...

She knew her way upstairs... 
she had been here many Times before...
 but there was no child in this room.... 
 was there another room above... 
she was not sure she had been up these stairs before....

At the top of the stairs she finds a girl holding a beautiful doll....
"Old Meg said to tell you the doll is not of your Time..." said Beth.
"You will never be able to leave The Castle as long as you hold her!
"You must put her back where you found her..." she added.

The girl said nothing at all... 
but turned and took the doll back...

At that moment, Beth reached out
 and poured the potion over Caroline's head...

As if in a trance, she walked out of the room....
She had not seemed to even notice... 
that the enchanting music had started to play again...

But Little Dreamer Beth had heard.... 
and was enthralled by the beautiful little doll....

Tommy had headed for the cliffs, Dear Readers, 
hoping he would not find Beatrice in danger!

He didn't see Beatrice anywhere,
 but he was a little surprised to see Snowy
 sitting on the rocks below!

"Snowy...!" called Tommy.... 
"What are you doing out here...?" he demanded
 as Snowy ran toward him. "Where's Beatrice...?" he added.
But Snowy could not answer him....

 And as you might recall, Beatrice had gone to The Cloud Palace
 with Hamish Harry 'Hotcakes' McCloud!
Beatrice had wondered about The Cloud Palace
 ever since she had heard there was such a place....
(she had not been sure it was possible!)....
But now she knew!
It was very beautiful... and airy..... and Cold!
And to tell the Truth... 
she was quite afraid she might fall off....
Clouds... after all... were not very solid!

Blue, the Blue Fairy Beary came to 
welcome Beatrice to The Cloud Palace.
"You are welcome to look around she said.... 
but I can grant wishes too...
(she was fairly certain that Beatrice wished she were someplace else!)

The only thing Beatrice could think of to say was 
"I want to find my brother Tommy!"
Suddenly there was a golden wishing star in her hand..... 
and in the very next instant.....

Snowy was running down the cliff path....

And Beatrice was there to meet him!
"Woo-woo..." said Snowy excitedly...!
He had found her!

"Woo--wooo-ooo!" he said louder... 
he was so glad to find her!
"Where have you been?!" declared Tommy,
 (he was a trifle upset.)
"I wanted to find you ..." cried Beatrice.... 
"but you were not here!"
"You are not supposed to follow me to The Castle...!" he said loudly.
"You are not supposed to come to The Castle either....!" she said.

Just then Tommy noticed someone standing on The Castle stairs....
"You must not enter The Castle..." she said.
And Old Meg says you must wait here
 for your other sister before you can go home.

Fortunately, they did not have long to wait....
no sooner had Little Dreamer Amy stopped talking,
 when Caroline appeared at the top of the stairs.

At last they could set off for home!
(Tommy wondered briefly where Prince had gone....)

When suddenly there was Papa coming towards them through the gathering dusk...

"Papa, Papa....!!!" cried Beatrice...
"We wondered where you were for so long...!"

"Well, you have found me...!" Papa declared, picking Beatrice up...
 she was much too little to walk all that way herself!
"And now you must take me home!" he declared. 
"We don't want to be late for supper!"

Well, I suppose, Dear Readers, you might think
 that is the End of the Enchantments for this evening...
But I must remind you that 
The Castle All Hallows Eve Party
 is just getting under way...!

Gabrielle and a few little Princesses are gathered
at the Gypsy's Fortune Telling table...
waiting to hear their Fortunes for this Night....

Helen and Charles have just arrived
 and Helen is a bit disconcerted to learn
 they are not the first guests!
"Are you sure we are not late, Charles?" she asks.
"I was so certain the Party didn't start until Dusk!" she added.
"Well, I'm sure everybody is as eager as we are
 to get here in Time!" said Charles soothingly.

Fleur has come as a "Lady's Maid" 
the better to look after all the little Princesses.

Fred And Cherie Aileen are a Pirate and his Moll....

Jack 'o Lantern is glowing away....

Snacks are available for those in need of.... Enchantment....
(Be Careful what you eat or drink on All Hallows Eve!)

Pollyanna and Arthur are ready for Magic.....

Sally May and Chip have arrived ... she's a Witch like her sister,
and He's sporting his "Award  Winning" Regular Guy costume!
(Although he swears he doesn't "do" costumes!)
And their daughter Annabelle....

 is the cutest Fairy ever!

Victor and Joanna are Robin Hood and Maid Marion....

And Great Aunt Agatha is lurking in the corner... 
keeping an eye on Stray Time Travelers...
She brought her pet Albino Spider along......

And above in the Gallery... everybody's Favorite band
"The Deadly Nightshades" are just getting started
 on a Wild Night of Rock and Roll Classics....

Shaking the Bats from the rafters....
with "Werewolves of London...." Awoooooo!

It seems as though everybody is having a Ball!

Except, perhaps, for the Little Dreamer Beth...
who can hear nothing but the Enchanting music played by the little doll!

Well, Dear Readers, they say that
 All Hallows Eve is a Time of Magic....
Spells and Enchantment are in the Air!
I hope you can come to the Party....
and Take a little Magic with you...
 Enchantment Forevermore....!