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Sunday, 24 December 2017

Christmas Eve 2017

The Advent period leading up to Christmas is always busy in our home.  I have been doing some sewing and knitting for various dolls (more to be revealed in future posts) however apart from that there has been very little time for doll play, especially with various concerts we have been involved in as well as work and school. 

On 23rd December my younger girl and I were able to spend some lovely relaxing fun time changing outfits and rearranging the Sasha doll shelf to accommodate the Christmas tree which Emma F had kindly given us when she and her daughter stayed with us the weekend of the Chat 'n Snap in October.  With some new additions to our Sasha family this year (Theo, Louisa and Davy) there was a bit of shuffling and swapping of Christmas outfits amongst the dolls and one new outfit made.

Nicholas James wore his Noel sweater and Florence wore her white dress from the first Sasha Secret Santa Christmas swap Lorraine organised in 2011. Trendon Elliot and Reuben elected to wear the 'Hug me its Christmas' and 'Merry Christmas tshirts' which Dorisanne sent us in the 2012 Secret Santa swap.  Timothy was pleased to have the Dollydoodles Rudolf sweatshirt while Miranda changed into her blue and green Christmas trees dress I had made for her a few years ago.  Melanie wore a burgundy and gold party dress we got at a Sasha Celebration weekend and Laura changed back into the blue velvet outfit I made for her Christmas arrival in 2012 (when my daughter wore the identical dress, now well and truly outgrown).

Babies Nina, Amy and Daisy wore the Christmas dresses they received in the 2016 Secret Santa swap, while Mabel and Theo wore outfits I had made some years ago.  Leo wanted to wear the snowman outfit and our most recent baby, curly headed Davy, wanted to be Rudolf the reindeer.  Edmund decided to be very smart - he wore his white shirt with a red bow tie. 

But we didn't have a Christmas outfit for Louisa, except for the new Nordic themed tights I had bought for her at the Chat 'n Snap.  So I set to work making an outfit to complement her new tights.

I decided to make up the Sasha Sundress with brettels from the Sewing for Sasha dolls book in toddler size for Louisa, I used the skirt pattern from the pattern which we received at the Sasha Festival 2017 however I didn't use the top pattern as I wanted to use the bodice and brettels pattern instead, which I resized.  I found small amounts of fabric which work well together and used dark green ribbon, embroidery cotton in 4 colours (2 shades of green) and a heart shaped button to finish off the outfit decoration.  The two toddlers have one thing in common in their outfits - I used the same decorated hair ribbon for Louisa as a cumberband for Edmund, which makes Edmund look very smart and Christmassy at the same time.

Below are our Sasha family of 17 in their Christmas outfits, wishing you a very Merry Christmas 2017.  The toys in the photos are either ones we've been given or ones I have made (the sailing boat, model trains, wooden horse, aeroplane, push along duck and marionette).

Merry Christmas 2017 from our Sasha family

l-r: Nina, Mabel, Amy, Davy, Theo

l-r: Davy, Theo, Leo, Daisy with Edmund and Louisa in the background

back row l-r: Reuben, Melanie, Florence and Miranda

back row l-r: Timothy, Laura, Trendon Elliot, Nicholas James, Reuben

What is going on here?  It looks like Lady Crazie (the green budgie), who quietly spends most of her days on top of my elder daughter's dolls house (Mrs Harvey's shop), decided to join the Sasha family.  Lady Crazie flew all the way from Germany in time for Christmas 2014.

Miranda with the marionette and Lady Crazie

Lady Crazie

But that is not all - it looks like the kitchen has been taken over not by busy cooks preparing for Christmas dinner but by a mixed bunch of reindeer and snowmen with their Christmas teddy friend sitting on the pram!

Reindeer, snowmen and bear invasion in the Sasha kitchen

Dorisanne's Keuka College banner above the reindeer, snowmen and bear invaded kitchen

Edmund, Lady Crazie and Louisa got together to show off how smart they look in their Christmas clothes.

Edmund, Lady Crazie, Louisa

Nicholas James, Louisa, Reuben

Louisa in her Christmas outfit

Edmund and Louisa with the tree (with Nicholas James and Reuben)
Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Curly hair and repainted eyes

We did not expect or plan to buy a doll at the Chat 'n Snap.  We didn't win any on the raffle and I firmly told myself at every table where there were dolls for sale that they weren't in the budget this time.  I was delighted with Louisa my new toddler who had cost the most of all our Sasha dolls.

As we were packing up at the CnS and loading the car I noticed that a few dolls still remained on the doll adoption table.  There was a naked early (sexed) baby boy with greened eyes and wayward hair.  My girl picked him up and looked at him and looked at me.  I said "no", then said "he would be a good one to try Dawn's curling technique on and his eyes need repainting" so my girl begged me to buy him.  But his seller had left and accidentally left him behind!  Dee told me to take him home and she sent me the email address of his seller, so I paid for him later that evening after we had an email conversation about him.

He had a wash and shampoo then my girl got to work with the pipe cleaners.  We didn't have enough white ones as she wanted to do tight curls like the ones on Dawn's wobbler (Sasha baby with legs straightened), so until I bought some more pipe cleaners she used coloured ones as well (risky, as the dye in the fluff might have stained his hair - it didn't).

Hair curling took place over half term, she did a few at a time until she was more than half way then suddenly she sped up and finished the remainder in one sitting.

Then we did the scary bit - the boiling water over the head trick!  We didn't want take his head off and do Theresa's technique of boiling his head inside 3 plastic bags, so poured a kettle of boiling water over his head, then used a towel to get the drips off and pegged a face cloth around his shoulders to catch any drips while it dried naturally for the next 24 hours.

Before she removed the curlers I got the paints out to try my first Sasha eye repaint.  I did not remove the old paint, I used the existing eyes and repainted the brows and edges, then changed the colour of his pupils to a pale blue (I used acrylics).  I also touched up his lips a little.

My daughter removed his curlers, it did not take as long as putting them in but still took a while as there were more than 120 of them! (we counted 128)

Curling begins (notice the essential music provided via ipad and headphones while she curls his hair)

Getting the hang of pipe cleaners for curlers

Twisting as well as curling the hairs around the pipe cleaner

Front row

Front row and his greening eyes
Several rows, including colourful pipe cleaners

More than half done and suddenly curling sped up

The last few curlers (at the back)

Very pleased the curlers were all in - what a job!

Hair drying after the boiling water treatment

Curls drying and his greening eyes

Curls dry and new eye paint

Making progress removing the curlers

Curler out

Carefully removing a curler

All out - that is a relief, thanks Mum! Look at all those pipe cleaner curlers

Feeling his new curls

Proudly wearing his new Sashapotomus onesie (2017 Sasha Festival souvenir) and sporting his new look hair and eyes

New eye paint and hair style

He looks pleased

I think that is a smile
A close up of his repainted eyes
We have named him Davy.

Now there are four blond Sasha babies in our combined collection, 3 boys (Leo, Theo and Davy) and a girl (Daisy).  Davy is the only one with blue eyes.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Chat n Snap 2017

This is a picture heavy post of the fifth Chat 'n Snap organised by Dee in her village hall in Hertfordshire.

Christmas Shop Window display, Chat 'n Snap 2017

At the Sasha Celebration in May, Emma F and I worked out a plan to make it possible for her to attend the CnS again, this time with her young daughter, who had not attended a Sasha event before.  As a result of our planning, on Friday afternoon I collected two happy, excited Sasha collectors from the station and brought them to our home.  Emma's daughter was thrilled to discover that my sewing/doll room had been converted into her bedroom for the weekend (fold down bed) and she didn't mind having a shelf of dolls and their furniture with her in the room all night!  She also found a knitted outfit for her baby girl Sasha which my girl been given from the raffle at the 2016 Sasha Celebration weekend but had never put on her doll.

Before and after dinner it was non-stop dolls and miniatures talk for Emma and me. My girl helped with changing some of our dolls into their outfits for the CnS and my husband showed our young visitor how to hand-turn the little street organ to get music from it. Despite all the excitement, Emma's daughter did get to sleep in good time (she was tired after a day at school and travelling). 

On Saturday morning we picked up Jocelyn on our way so we had a car load of happy people and dolls travelling to the CnS.

We brought four dolls and one teddy bear to go in the big display which this year was a Christmas toy shop window - the kind that made you press your face up to the glass with excitement as you spotted the dream doll or bear you wished you could have for Christmas.  Dee's husband had made special staging for this display and various people had brought some props too.  I helped a bit with positioning some of the dolls on the staging under Dee's direction when I was setting Susie (my first doll, Palitoy Petalskin) and Anna (my Gotz Christmas 2008 doll) side by side in the non-Sasha section.  Then I placed Laura and Florence, wearing their 2017 Sasha Doll Festival souvenir outfits in the Sasha section.  I put Bruin (my late mother's childhood JK Farnell teddy bear wearing a coat and hat she had made) in the teddy bears' picnic section.

Dolls gradually joining the non-Sasha end of the display, Susie and Anna in the middle
Once we'd put all our dolls on display (including the others who were standing on the tables at the other end of the hall), we had a look at the stalls setting up to sell dolls, clothes and accessories.  There was strictly no buying before 12 noon, but plenty of chatting and looking.

Making final adjustments to a stall

Jane's knitting

Two gorgeous NP girls for sale (I wish)

Time to chat now their stalls were set up

Loads of variety

Marilyn's lovely smocked clothes and patterns

Michelle's stall

Dee's daughter selling raffle tickets

Dawn's dolls for sale

Some lovely things on Chris's stall in the foreground

Back at the display I found that Bruin had been placed in one of the picnic chairs, I had put him in front of the table as I wasn't sure if the chair was reserved for another bear.

Bruin presiding over the picnic tea

The Sasha side of the display with teddy bears too

Two lovely bears on chairs

Florence and Laura with Dawn's guardsman

Florence and Laura in their 2017 Festival outfits made by Karen W

Wonderful studio dolls dressed for winter fun

Beautiful studio dolls in Dee's magnificent bed and bedding

Cuddled up for a Christmas story in bed

The non Sasha side included a great variety of different types of doll

The stalls were almost ready and it was approaching midday when I took this photo of three gorgeous red haired Sasha dolls on one stall before the rush began.

A trio of superb reds

Dee counted down to opening time and the shoppers were soon purchasing the items they'd seen while waiting.  My girl went straight to Dollydoddles for a pair of baby sleepsuits she wanted for Leo and Theo. We also bought some pretty smocked clothes from Marilyn, some Christmas tights for my toddler girl Louisa and a few other items.

Buying begins

It was lunchtime but that didn't stop people from chatting about dolls! My girl did a bit of smocking too and received some helpful advice from Marilyn and I did a small amount of knitting while chatting.

Deep in conversation about tiny doll makeovers as I knitted

The raffle had two tables of prizes donated by people as they arrived.

Raffle dolls

Raffle prizes

On the side tables people had placed their dolls which weren't for the shop window display.

Four lovely friends

Pretty girl in her best dress

Laura's Dolls in Devon book with her Studio boy in the background

Dolls belonging to Emma and her daughter.  The baby wears a knitted outfit my girl gave to Emma's daughter when they arrived at our home.

Two girls in Dungarees

Dawn's curly haired baby and wobblers

Serie dolls, Course boy and a bear

Serie dolls and the course boy

Such a lovely lineup

Some lovely dark rerooted girls, including Jocelyn's dolls

Jocelyn's girl resting between chatting

Two super re-rooted girls

Knitting challenge fairisle sweater wearers and friends

Beautiful knitwear on these girls

Our Sasha dolls who came to the CnS with my pram

Wonderful Studio dolls

Yet more dolls were arriving for the Shop window display and the big chair at the top of the display had someone to sit in it.

The Sasha side of the display

A sumptuous Santa cape

The middle of the display with a big doll in the chair

Ice queen fur cape on this newcomer to the display

A collection of Natterer dolls

Two NiNi dolls enthroned in chairs

The non Sasha side of the display

My Susie and Anna in their original outfits (my first birthday doll in an outfit knitted by my Nanna and my 2008 Christmas doll)

My Gotz Anna in her original outfit - Sissel Skille face sculpt and painted eyes

Two Natterers and a Little Darling in their best outfits

A Schoenhut boy

Two Xenis dolls

Kathe Kruse doll

Closer view of some of the Sasha dolls

A big teddy bear joins the picnic

A little girl and her polar bear

It was raffle draw time.  We didn't win any of the dolls however my girl was pleased to win some items she had her eye on and other people were very generous and gave her things they had won.

The first winner of the raffle

One happy winner picks the next ticket

Another happy winner with a baby

The youngest winner picks a prize

My girl chooses a prize

It had been a wonderful day at the Chat 'n Snap.  We packed up and loaded the car, said goodbye to people, made an unexpected purchase (more about that in another post) and drove home.  It was another evening of eating and talking.  Then the next morning I took Emma and her daughter back to the station for their train home in the north.  It had been such fun hosting visitors for the CnS weekend and now a certain little girl knows what a Sasha event is like, I'm sure she will be hoping she can attend some more doll events in the near future.

Thank you Dee and all your helpers for organising the Chat n Snap 2017 so that everything went smoothly, it was great to catch up with other doll friends and that wonderful display was a simple idea but extremely effective and eye catching.