Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Caroling

The Minifees have just had the photos developed from their caroling event on Christmas eve.  Heath (MNF Karsh) stayed home with a sore throat, so the girls went with their friend Alastair (Luts Model Delf Avalanche) for company.  Despite some lingering snow on the ground, it was actually a balmy 42 degrees Fahrenheit outdoors, so those without coats were not as chilled as one would imagine.

"It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old
from angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold..."

"Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her king!"

"I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus, underneath the mistletoe last night..."

"Rocking around the Christmas tree at the Christmas party hop..."

"We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a
Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas..."

"And a happy New Year!"

Sunday, December 21, 2014

How Many MiniFees Fit on an American Girl Daybed?

I bought an American Girl daybed for my Mini BJDs.  How could I not?  It was on sale for half price.  Still, it seems I never learn.  AG dolls are considerably larger than Mini BJDs, with the result that AG furniture is out of scale.  The first AG item I bought--Caroline's Parlor--was perfect for both Minis and Tinies, seeing as it consists of three wall units.  If anything, it is too small for the AG dolls for which it was intended.  With that encouragement I bought Rebecca's sofa.  It's a little too big but it passes, so long as you overlook (or disguise) the fact that the dolls' feet don't touch the floor when they're seated.  The hinged desk and chair I bought next almost works with my Model Delf boy if you ignore the item's bulk.  On the other hand, I can't picture an AG doll using the desk either.  It's hard to sit close to a desk when your knees don't bend.  The daybed is designed to accommodate two American Girl dolls.  I decided to test it with FairyLand MiniFees.

Here is the bed pictured alone.  The bottom drawer pulls out, revealing a trundle bed, hence space for a second doll.  I suspect you can fit more than two AG girls on it if they are seated, but the company's advertising never shows more than one in that position.

This photo reminds me of the old Castro convertible ads, where a little girl easily opens a sofabed without help from an adult.  Actually, the trundle on this bed is not easy to pull out unless it is placed on a smooth surface.  Carpet pile raises it enough that it cannot clear the bed, particularly with the mattress in place.

Lishe has climbed aboard.  She is soon joined by Siean.  We'll give them a few moments to get comfortable, and then we'll introduce a few more Fees.

Here are Siean, Mirwen, Shushu and Lishe.  I could squeeze them together and fit one more girl in that row, but I'll let them enjoy the roomy comfort and start on the trundle.

The girls have been joined by Chloe and Juri '08.  (I'm not using the names I gave them because I can remember only half of them.  The names you see are sculpt names.)  The trundle has been pulled open only partway.  This allows dolls in the front row to lean back while still having their feet on the floor--except for Chloe, who decided cross-legged was the way to go.

Karsh has joined the girls, sprawling as boys like to do, and there is still room.  What to do?  I've run out of MiniFees.  Guess it's time to invite the LittleFees to join in the fun.

The big kids have made room for Little Lishe, Shiwoo and Ante.  There is still space in the back row.  Too bad I didn't think of it at the time, as I could have added the three RealPukis.  They're so tiny they don't take up much room.

Originally my plan for this piece was to use it instead of individual doll stands.  I gave up on that idea when I saw how big and heavy the daybed was.  It took up most of the top of my bureau and weighed a lot more than the doll stands it would have replaced.  I looked around the room for a place to store it.  Seeing none, I put it back in its box and placed it at the bottom of a pile of plastic totes, but not before trying it with a different size doll.

FeePle60 Moe line Mirwen is taller than an American Girl, but seems to be in better proportion to the daybed than the MiniFees.  She'll need a pile of pillows behind her in order to sit with her feet on the floor, but that's something I can manage.  And in a few short months she'll have a same-size companion with whom to share the space:  I placed the order for Sionna Fomhar on Friday.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Too Much Snow for Sledding

Max and Yuri were looking forward to the first measurable snowfall of the season.  They couldn't wait to go sledding!  Though snow had fallen a few times this autumn, either there wasn't enough of it, or it didn't stay on the ground long enough for them to get the sled out.  Finally, this week the snow began to fall in earnest.

It fell...

And it fell...

And it fell.

Before anyone could say "Jack Frost", there was a lot of snow on the ground.  The boys got the sled out of storage.  Put on hats, goggles, boots and muffler, opened the door and looked out.


"It's awfully quiet.  I don't hear anyone.  And there are no cars."

"It looks deep.  How will we get up the hill?"

"Follow someone else's footprints, I guess."

But there weren't any footprints to follow, and anyway, Mother put her foot down and said, "No.  Absolutely no sledding.  There's too much snow."

Too much snow!  How could there possibly be too much snow?

"I wanna go sledding!"

"Maybe we can go tomorrow."

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Poet Shirt for MiniFee Karsh

I've had this pattern forever--I just haven't had a doll who could wear it.  Let me elaborate.  I bought Gracefaerie pattern #23 The Poet for MSD Boys back when I had a Limhwa Limho Mono and needed to make him some clothes.  It was the closest I could find to his measurements; unfortunately both garments ended up being too small.  The pants went into a plastic bag to await a future doll that might wear them.  The shirt ended up in the trash.  Normally I don't throw away doll clothes, but I made a major error on this one.  Instead of placing the sleeve pattern piece on the fold of the fabric, I cut all around it, then couldn't figure out why the sleeve was so narrow compared to the photos on the package.  There are times, I swear, I shouldn't be allowed near a pair of scissors.

Enter FairyLand's MiniFee Karsh.  I wouldn't have expected any part of this outfit to fit him, as he is smaller than the Dollzone and Angel of Dream boys it was designed for.  But because I eventually try these pants on every mini boy (and girl) who enters the house, whether or not I think they will fit, I tried them on Karsh.  They were a bit loose, but I moved the snap and he is able to wear them.  Score one for pattern #23.

That led me to rethink the shirt.  A poet shirt is naturally loose and blousy.  In other words, it didn't need to be an exact fit.  I had some white cotton gauze and some lace trim, so I set about making the variation on the pattern that Gracefaerie calls The Prince.  (It would work equally well for a pirate.)   The pattern calls for a couple of hooks and eyes sewn inside the garment so you don't see them from the outside.  I cheated and sewed a couple of snap sets instead.  Once the waist cincher is in place, either method of closure is a moot point anyway.

You may have noticed that I rarely take measurements, and only make adjustments afterwards, when it's obvious something doesn't work.  I need to see the garment on the body to see where it doesn't fit; only then can I alter it.  Looking at a flattened pattern piece, I can't see where or how to take it in or let it out.  I need to manipulate the fabric on the body--after I've put it together.  Now that I see the finished shirt on Karsh's body, I know I can't take in the side seams, because that would make the shirt too tight around the hips.  The dropped shoulders are part of the design, not a sign that the shirt is too large.  On the whole, it's not a terrible fit.  And the waist cincher, being a bit wider than the red ribbon, might take care of the excess fabric.

I ran out of daylight hours before I could make the waist cincher (pieces shown in the first photo above), so I tied a ribbon around his waist to hold the shirt together until I can finish sewing.  Darkness comes so early this time of year.  I'm always surprised when 3:30 p.m. rolls around and the sun has reached the back of the house.  I know that whatever project I'm working on had better cease for the day if I want to get any photos without the dreaded flash going off.  Today I stopped sewing fifteen minutes too late and paid for my folly with a succession of photos that I had to delete.  In an effort to override the flash I changed a few settings.  I thought the pictures were good until I got them up on the computer screen and saw how grainy they looked.  Two more weeks to go before the Winter Solstice.  After that the days start getting longer.  I can hardly wait.

Karsh doesn't get much camera time--he tends to be overshadowed by the girls--so here are a couple of extra shots of my handsome elf.

Monday update:

I finished the waist cincher.  Actually I had to start over.  The fabric I selected initially was from a sample book for home interiors.  It was a small piece, and much of it was covered on the back with a paper label containing the fabric content info.  I had stripped most of the paper off.  What was left looked usable, but when I ironed it the remaining glue suddenly bloomed and stained the front of the fabric.  There was no washing it, because it was marked dry clean only.  I found another sample, this one without any label, and used it instead.

I also changed Karsh's wig.  I don't know if cold dry weather causes resin to shrink, but his red wig kept falling off.  I could have put a wig cap under it, but he's been wearing this wig for a while so I decided to go with a different one.