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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Sasha Celebration - part 7

Sunday morning of the Sasha Celebration was our final chance to get together before going home.  Theresa made sure the dolls ended the weekend with a party, so just before dinner on Saturday night she set up her doll barbecue and a picnic on the big table which had previously held all the raffle prizes.  On Sunday morning after breakfast we all brought our dolls to join the summer party.  It was fascinating seeing the different outfits, hairstyles, faces and personalities of each doll, each one is unique.  I don't think any of us counted how many were on the table - all 8 of ours were there, however if each person present put 3 dolls on the table this would make nearly 100.

A Gregor boy offers to pull the new trailer for the babies, our Nicholas James in his new beach shorts (made by Lorraine) pulls the wooden cart
Our babies Leo and Mabel in their new trailer, with Miranda watching, while Florence and Laura stood behind on the cart
An Iona toddler came to join the fun, as did Theresa's Twizel
The little Iona talks to the Gregor while Nicholas James looks on
Reuben (in his Chwe-Chwe shirt) went to help with the barbecue - his South African connections mean that he knows about the 'braai'
some babies and toddlers having a picnic
Some girls watch the picnic fun
A pretty little Esther toddler
Twins sit in the foreground while others have some interesting conversations, Trendon Elliott is standing behind the girl with the green hat (alongside Henry)
Somehow my photos of this party don't include a proper view of Trendon Elliott who was wearing the elephant shirt I made in 2013.

We also had a big group photo of all the doll collectors with the doll barbecue as the background (mine didn't come out unfortunately, but Lorraine has some good ones on her blog post), then all too soon it was time to say thank you and goodbye.

It was a wonderful weekend - thank you especially to Janet, Lorraine, Theresa and Tricia for making sure everything went smoothly and to every one who attended and made it so special.  I hope to take photos of all the items we won or bought during the Celebration soon.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Sasha Celebration - part 6

After the restringing demonstration it was time for the craft workshops at the Sasha celebration.  There were 3 tables (with a quick changeover after the restringing demonstration for the needle felting workshop to set up).  The 3 workshops were crochet hats, needle-felted animals and little wooden trains (engine and coal tender).

I had made up 30 kits just in case every single person wanted to make one (I knew this would be unlikely but didn't want to disappoint anyone).  It took a considerable amount of time for cutting and sanding all the parts (each train was made up of 6 pieces of dowel, 2 blocks, 1 base board, 1 funnel, 2 miniature hooks/eyes and 10 press-studs).  I cut the funnels from lolly sticks (they had to be cut and shaped then sanded, which was fiddly).  I also had to drill tiny holes in the cab block and the tender block as pilot holes for the tiny screw eyes, the screw eye in the cab block had to be opened out slightly to become a hook.  All this I did at home before the event.

some of the wooden parts all cut and sanded, blocks with hooks and eyes
the wood parts cut and sanded, with the tiny hooks and eyes inserted
The two little trains we made in advance of the workshop - my daughter made the green train, I made the red train
The little red train I made in advance of the workshop, showing the wheels and hook and eye connection
In total 11 little trains were made up on the day, with some other kits and instructions handed out to those who weren't able to get to my table in the time allowed (we had a long period for crafts).  I made a train for Kendal, whose fingers can operate a camera with great expertise but unfortunately no longer work well for fiddly craft work on this small scale, she requested a red and black train.  My girl made up a train for Petrana who wanted her to make it on the day as she was doing other crafts, she also wanted a red train. My girl had already made a train ahead of the workshop as a test to see if she could follow the instructions and enjoyed painting it green (my prototype train was red).  Most of the trains were black with one contrasting colour (blue, red, green or yellow was available), however Theresa painted hers black with yellow, red and green with an S on the back of the tender.  Some people used the brass colour to add some detail to their trains. 
Gluing the little trains
Applying glue with a lolly stick
watching my girl make a train for her
The needle felting workshop where they made little animals and birds
more gluing, and waiting for the glue to dry
Having fun painting the trains
The completed trains with their certificates
More completed trains and certificates
(the middle train will be painted at home by its maker then the press stud wheels glued in place)
After the workshops we tidied up and had lunch.  Well that was the theory - in fact some people nearly finished off their trains, ate lunch, came back to finish them and help tidy up. I was on a 'gluing on wheels' mission in between knitting a headband and painting a train for Kendal! The half press studs were glued on to the bogies with araldite which had to be mixed in small quantities and for speed I did this for every train made rather than each person mixing a tiny spot of glue. Everyone who made a train helped with tidying, but one person in particular was a complete star (Teddy) cleaning paint off the brushes and outside the green paint pot and helping bag up the half press studs which didn't get used on the train.  I managed to eat some chips but was on too much of an adrenalin rush to get the knitting done to really bother with food (my girl fed me chocolates!)

Once the tables were clear of crafts everyone came back into the hall for the epic raffle.  With over 100 prizes donated we were in for a marathon but what a fun one it became.  My girl pulled the first winning ticket which resulted in the amazingly lucky Theresa winning another doll in a raffle (following her incredible luck at last year's Chat 'n Snap).  Some people won more prizes than others and started nominating others to choose a prize instead, everyone ended up with at least 2 prizes and my girl won 8 or 9 (I still haven't counted all the outfits and accessories she was given) - everyone's generosity and kindness was lovely to see.  I was pleased to win some fat quarters of fabric for sewing, which made people laugh as most people there guessed I have lots of fabric already.  Throughout the raffle I was standing knitting the final headband, just at the end I sewed in the threads and we dressed our 3 girl dolls to model them at our sales table.  Over £600 was raised for Save the Children - this will be sent to the Sasha Festival to add to their Children's Fund Auction total which will be match funded.

The amazement as the first prize was drawn and T won the lovely boy doll
Lucky winner T drawing a ticket for someone else
After the raffle the hall was cleared again as people went for cups of tea and scones while those of us with things to sell set up our sales tables.  I shared a table with 3 other people and am pleased that all three girls wore their now completed outfits I had designed and made (shoes and socks not included).  During the sale 2 of the 3 outfits were sold so Miranda (in the turquoise) and Laura (in the lime green) changed into one of the dresses my girl had won on the raffle and a dress which Liss bought for my girl from Petrana's table (my girl was very indulged at the Celebration weekend by lovely people).

The three outfits I had made were a dress, pants, lacy cardigan and headband, all my own design (adapted from other patterns - the lacy cardigan was a combination of 3 different patterns, the dress was a redrawn version of Ted Menten's pinafore). 
Florence in the navy and turquoise outfit, Miranda in the turquoise and Laura in the lime green outfit
3 outfits for sale along with the boats and planes
Close up of the lacy cardigans and dresses
My daughter was delighted I sold 2 outfits as this counted towards her toddler fund.  We didn't sell any of the toys but we bought some items from other tables (more about them in another post).  We packed everything away and returned to our room to get ready for dinner.
A Sasha in her new evening dress, won at the raffle, at dinner
Laura wearing the gorgeous bridesmaid's dress handmade by Tricia
Lorraine and the famous well travelled Henry at dinner
At dinner time Janet was presented with a wonderful bouquet of flowers to thank her for leading the organisation of the Sasha Celebration weekend so expertly.  We all hope she wants to do another one next year.
Janet with the gorgeous thank you flowers 
It was a long, enjoyable and very packed day, however after my short night sleep on Friday I was glad to go to bed in good time.  The next part is about Sunday morning and the final Sasha and Gregor gathering of the Celebration weekend.

If you've missed the five previous posts about the Sasha Celebration you can find them at:

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Sasha Celebration - part 5

Restringing demonstration - the Trendon boy who was strung too tightly

Brigitte restrung the Trendon boy in the same way as the Trendon girl before him.  His original stringing was way to tight and it was amazing that his chest wasn't very caved.  He proved quite a struggle to unstring, and seemed much more comfortable once his new stringing was in place.

Trendon restringing 1 - undoing his leg hook
Trendon restringing 2 - capturing his leg hook
Trendon restringing 3 - his head with the old tight stringing attached
Trendon restringing 4 - getting the old stringing out from his neck (really fiddly and tight)
Trendon restringing 5 - removing the old stringing
Trendon restringing 6 - looping the thread looped through his neck ring
Trendon restringing 7 - the thread looped through his neck ring ready to help get the new stringing in place
Trendon restringing 8 - tying the reef knot in his new elastic
Trendon restringing 9 - putting the thread through the new elastic to pull it through his neck ring
Trendon restringing 10 - new elastic looped through his neck ring
Trendon restringing 11 - putting the pull cord through his new elastic
Trendon restringing 12 - pulling the cords through his leg hole
Trendon restringing 13 - the pull cords go behind his arm elastic
Trendon restringing 14 - pulling the cords past the arm elastic
Trendon restringing 15 - pulling the cords through his legs
Trendon restringing 16 - hooking his leg onto the elastic
Trendon restringing 17 - a third hand was needed to hold him as his second leg was about to go on
Trendon restringing 18 - second leg goes back on
Trendon restringing 19 - standing tall and proud again and much more comfortable
The Gotz and Trendon stringing differences were interesting to observe - Gotz stringing uses one piece of elastic for all four limbs and the head, whereas Trendon uses a separate piece of elastic for the arms.

If you've missed the four previous posts about the Sasha Celebration you can find them at:
Part 3 -

Sasha Celebration - part 4

Restringing demonstration - the Trendon girl

Brigitte's second restring at the Sasha Celebration weekend was a Trendon girl who had become floppy.  She was a lot more complicated to restring than the Gotz girl before her. It involved using another cord (the stripy one) to help pull the main double cord through her body.  Apparently Brigitte has made a video of the whole process which will be on her website soon.

Trendon restringing 1 - checking her neck ring
Trendon restringing 2 - removing her leg
Trendon restringing 3 - using pliers to undo her leg hook
Trendon restringing 4 - removing her head
Trendon restringing 5 - inspecting the neck hook
Trendon restringing 6 - fascinated audience
Trendon restringing 7 - only the arms still attached
Trendon restringing 8 - tying the reef knot in the new elastic
Trendon restringing 9 - adding string to elastic to make the ends lie flat
Trendon restringing 10 - looping through the pull cord
Trendon restringing 11 - the elastic and pull cord all wrapped around her hand, threading the cord through the neck
Trendon restringing 12 - complicated elastic and pull cord loops
Trendon restringing 13 - using the crochet hook to reach the other pull cord
Trendon restringing 14 - feeding the pull cord through
Trendon restringing 15 - grabbing the pull cord through the leg hole
Trendon restringing 16 - new elastic poking through the neck hole
Trendon restringing 17 - refitting the neck hook to the neck bar
Trendon restringing 18 - hooking the elastic at the neck
Trendon restringing 19 - pulling the cords to hook the legs onto the elastic
Trendon restringing 20 - hooking on the leg
Trendon restringing 21 - hooking on the other leg
Trendon restringing 22 - standing again
The next to be restrung was a Trendon boy who was too tightly strung - see the next post.

If you've missed the three previous posts about the Sasha Celebration you can find them at: