Wednesday, August 19, 2009

UFDC Convention – Day 6 - 3 of 3

Day 6, Friday
We finally arrived at the time everyone has been anxiously waiting, the Convention Banquet. Each year a doll is created especially for the convention. How people are able to create this many dolls is extraordinary. Each one is a handmade beauty.
When everyone arrives at the table we count heads, take tickets, and do a little tiny bit of convention business. My table mates and I share gifts for everyone at the table. (I’ll show you mine in another post.) Each gift is original and fun and really represents the giver in special ways. Perhaps it is a way to share a love of dolls, something representing your area or country, something made by you. It is all great fun to receive 10 separate gifts. It’s like Christmas.
The program was a power point type of presentation with beautiful music, pictures of the people, places, and classes, luncheons of the entire week; a retrospective of dolls, where they started, where they are today and all those in between. The show was nostalgic, emotional and well done. I enjoyed it immensely.
Okay, now I get to say it, the food was GREAT! Dinner was all about fillet and vegetables and potatoes.
The convention doll, Grace, which you see in the photos, was created by an extraordinary artist, Beverly Walter. Beverly began her career in doll making in 1969. She creates one-of-a-kind period ladies. Each piece of porcelain artistry is a combination of porcelain sculptures, add-ons and multiple china paint firings. Her pieces have semi-precious stones applied. The costuming, completed by well known dressmakers, is period correct, meticulously sewn and embellished. I took so many pictures of her work at the special exhibit; I hope to share them with you in future posts.
There is one really serendipitous moment in all of this that I must tell you. I arrived at the special exhibit for my appointed time to photograph and was stopped in my tracks at the beauty of the dolls before me. I started taking pictures like crazy. I could not believe what I was seeing. While photographing I stopped at this small doll, always my favorites, and stared, appreciating all her little details. Her clothing was perfection. She had a chemise a la Reine (the peasant dress style of Marie Antoinette), she was dressed in a Robe a La Francaise, an additional court costume was placed on a mannequin and a wonderful little lace mantle was created for her. I enjoyed at her for a long time. Another thing I noticed is that I had somehow picked out and purchased or even had in my stash at home the same fabrics as this wonderful little wardrobe.
When I opened the box with the little lady in it, I cried. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I had in my hands the doll I was mesmerized by in the exhibit room. Imagine my surprise, when I had fallen in love with, and been photographing the convention doll. She was a secret and hiding in plain sight. And the surprised did not stop there! Within the digital journal of the week we received on Tuesday night are the patterns for this exquisite doll created by Sheryl Williams. I have the patterns, I have the fabric, and I have the doll. Can life be anymore fortuitous? I am so lucky. (And grateful, as now I do not have to envy all the people who have own one of these precious dolls.)

Thus ends my story of the convention. But there is more to tell you and more to show and more inspiration coming. So, hang with us and we will find more things to inspire you. Thank you for all your comments.

p.s. This is Kathi's first published Digital Scrapbook page...Bravo Kathi!! Michelle


Grandma said...

HI Kathi,
What fun it has been to read your convention report! I have especially enjoyed this last one about "Grace". It was great to read about how thrilled you were with the Friday night souvenir. I so enjoyed preparing the Bev Walter exhibit for convention and every day I would go into the exhibit room listen to people's comments on her dolls. I held my breath when they came to the cabinet where "Grace" was standing incognito. I do not think many people guessed that she was the doll for Friday night. Thank you for your overview of convention. It was fun and I hope more can come and enjoy it too.
Great to meet you and thank you again for lovely gift the last night!
Sheryl Williams

michellemahler said...

Thanks a bunch for your convention review! As one of the team that worked many long months to bring this year's convention into reality, let me tell you how much I have enjoyed your convention comments. It is wonderful to see the convention through the eyes of a new and enthusiastic person! Have fun with your dolls......and come back to the UFDC conventions as often as possible.... we love folks like you!

As a note, I tried unsuccessfully to post this on your blog, Couldn't get the Yahoo password recognized. Sorry!

Have a great day!

Susan Sirkis