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Friday, 31 October 2014

A Sasha Halloween

We don't 'do' Halloween in our family, though 5 years ago I did make some outfits for the Gotz dolls which they wore for an indoor picnic.  Today we've had a busy day away in London seeing the poppies around the Tower of London (breathtaking, especially with glorious blue skies and unseasonal warmth) and this evening my younger girl was tired and a bit sulky that we weren't taking her trick or treating (even though she knows we never do).  So I dug out the outfits and suggested she create a little scene for me to photograph.  It includes some of the items which Anne from Germany sent me last year in the Autumn pinafore swap.

Laura the pumpkin, Nicholas James the wizard,
Florence the witch, Reuben the ghost and baby Mabel as a baby ghost
So to everyone who celebrates Halloween, this is my daughter's greeting to you.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Chat 'n Snap 2014 - part 2

For Part 1 of the Chat 'n Snap 2014 see

These are the photos I took of the amazing fairground which Dee and Paul had created for the Chat 'n Snap.
Hattie supervises the babies and clown in the Tea Cup ride
Sian (from Spain) has her hand read by Mystic Meggie
Sian looks a little unsure about having her fortune told
Sian is a lovely repainted and rewigged Kids 'n Cats doll who received her makeover by Sharon in Spain who had travelled to England specially for the CnS. You can read about how Sharon made Sian look so different from the KnC Grace doll she was originally on Sharon's blog at 
Laura comes to meet her friend Hattie in the Tea Cup ride
Hattie tells Laura that it isn't really safe to wear ice skates on a fairground ride!
I think Hattie is quite right!  I wonder if Laura was hoping that there would be an ice rink at the fairground as well.
Paul's amazing carousel for Sasha
with one of Theresa's clowns alongside it
The carousel had some fair organ music playing on a recording (in the background).
Hook the Duck and Coconut Shy
(my photo of the Hoopla stall, using DollMum's quoits, was blurred)
Dee looks at her amazing fairground set for Sasha
as some boys enjoy refreshments
The various stalls are easy to pack away and reuse (just like in a real fairground), I later saw Paul carefully dismantling the Carousel which took more effort.  This reminded me of watching the Gallopers being pulled down at the end of the Great Dorset Steam fair and moved to St Giles Fair in Oxford in the same night: it is hard, heavy work especially if the horses are made of real wood rather than the more modern fibreglass versions.  The horses are usually carried on the shoulders with their heads looking down the person's back as the person holds the front hooves, fortunately Paul didn't have to do that with the Sasha Carousel.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Chat 'n Snap 2014 - part 1

In preparation for the Chat 'n Snap my younger daughter helped me box up the planes and boats, she also decided on outfits and dressed our Sasha family (7 dolls) and we decided to take my Kids 'n Cats doll Jakob as well, because we knew that there would be a few others at Dee's Chat 'n Snap.

When we got the hall, even though it wasn't officially opening time yet, the place was buzzing with conversations about dolls.  People were busily setting up their stalls and discussing the many course dolls, the Studio Doll project dolls, the table load of toddlers and crowds of other Sasha and Gregor dolls who had travelled from far and wide to a village hall in Hertfordshire for the day.

It didn't take us long to set up our Toys & Games for Sasha & Gregor table as we didn't have many items to sell.  It gave us a chance to look around at what everyone else was selling and have some conversations too.  We met friends we had only ever known online (such as Sharon from Spain).  Sales were not permitted until 12 noon and no one was allowed to reserve anything in advance, so when Dee announced that sales were open there was a mad dash to the sales tables as people swooped on the items they had spied earlier.  My girl tried to get a coat and hat set from Vintage Sasha but the crowd around the table was too much for a small girl and she stood back while all the coats and hats disappeared within 30 seconds!  She did however manage to buy a gorgeous pale blue dress with pink flower decoration from Sarah and hopefully we'll get a Vintage Sasha coat and hat set soon.  Miranda changed into the dress straight away and soon had a parasol (which my girl found on Jane W's stall).

It was fascinating watching (from a stall holder's perspective) what people were going for in the sales - most people were purchasing outfits and shoes for their dolls, though wigs were popular too. Even for seasoned sellers it was hard to predict what people would want, Lisa H had made up lots of winter boots but people wanted sandals!  There were more stalls and more stock to choose from than last year, I think only Vintage Sasha sold out.

On my toys and games stall I sold two aeroplanes, a boat, two glove puppets, one skipping rope and one hobby horse.  My girl knew that I was giving her money from our stall and when she saw that sales were slow she didn't ask for more cash though I did give her some more.  She was lucky enough to receive gifts from 3 people during the day which was really kind: a panda hat from Gayle, a guitar (I think from Chris M) and some money to spend from Kendal - she purchased a mini slinky and had great fun with it that day and the next. I went around the sales tables and bought some items as well (which will feature in future posts) - I had come with cash to spend.

During the afternoon Dee drew the two raffles.  We'd bought several tickets for each but didn't win anything. We also admired the amazing fairground which Dee and her husband Paul had created on the stage (for another post) and had several more conversations with various people.  My girl was thrilled when Dawn L allowed her to hold her toddler and a baby, Dawn had curled the toddler's hair and she was delightful.  My girl decided she had to start saving up for a toddler, so saved her last £10 of spending money towards this goal (it has now been banked and she has a cash book to keep a running check on her toddler fund).

To help her toddler fund I have listed all unsold items from the Chat 'n Snap on the playthings page.

The day was over all too quickly.  I'd like to thank Dee and all her helpers for a great Sasha Chat 'n Snap, it was lovely to meet so many Sasha enthusiasts again and admire the dolls.

DollMum's Glove puppets, sailing boats, spitfires and hobby horses
Florence, Reuben, Miranda and Nicholas James with the Garden Games
(with Clemence the bear)
The model boats before the sales started
The model spitfire aeroplanes on sale
close up of 3 of the planes
close up of the other 2 planes, the one my elder daughter painted is on the right
Jakob holds the DollMum contact cards 
Miranda in her beautiful new Vintage Sasha dress with a parasol 
Raffle 1
 Raffle 2
The baby from Raffle 2
Dawn's gorgeous toddler holding
Clemence the bear who had sneaked into our bag
to see the Sasha's at the CnS

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Planes and boats for Chat n Snap

I have been very busy with my day job and with a big voluntary project this year, so time for making things has been severely restricted.  However when Dee of Sasha Village sent out invitations for her Chat 'n Snap I booked a sales table.  I like a deadline and this gave me a target date to produce a few toys for Sasha/Gregor.  Dee had put enticing colour wheels of items that others would be selling on the day on her blog this week in the run up to the event and I was finally ready to send her a couple of (poor quality) photos the night before the CnS which she has added to her blog in a post called Planes and Boats.

Miniature sailing boats (photo taken in poor light on an ipad) 
Miniature Spitfire aeroplanes (photo taken in poor light on an ipad)
I have designed and made some miniature toy sailing boats and Spitfire aeroplanes.  I made them from wood offcuts in our workshop, so got to use my favourite machine tool (the pillar drill - for mast holes) again, as well as a razer saw, chisel, rotating sanding machine, table top vibrating jigsaw, sanding block and hammer.  10 boats and 5 planes are the result.

The boats were made first, the planes I only started with a week to go (eek) and were much more fiddly, with more processes than the boats.  They were also more complex to paint and 2 nights before the event my elder daughter, who is very artistic, helpfully painted one of the planes its camouflage colours while I painted the others (she asked to paint one) and did a great job.  The propellers on the planes rotate (carved matchsticks fitted with pins). My husband is an aeroplane enthusiast and he was impressed with the planes, so I am really pleased as his praise for creative work is hard won (his motto is "it's got to be right").

We also made some felt glove puppets for Sasha/Gregor (both daughters helped a bit), however I'll write about them in another post.  I will also take better photos of the planes and boats as these are really grainy.