Tuesday, August 24, 2010

UFDC - Wednesday continued

We continue with Wednesday, as there was a couple more things on which to comment. Right after supper, (I have no idea what I ate, no notes. Probably something I ate all of since I seem consumed with food this week. Or is that consuming food this week?)
AT 6 PM sharp, I entered the competition rooms to take pictures. I did not know where to start, so I took pictures of those dolls that really interested me for some specific reason. Each table, each category, had a mystery and a beauty, all of them were wonderful. I read an article once; today I cannot remember the particulars, of a woman who purchased an antique needlework sampler. She became curious about the maker and made her work to expose the child and tell of her life. When I look at the dolls we revere, I think of the “child” who received the doll as a plaything. What happened to her, why is the doll here today, what history is there to explore? Vintage and contemporary dolls today have quite a recorded history. We understand our own history. The pictures I took are pictures of beautiful dolls, an interesting detail, an idea to remember, something I learned this week.
One picture I will share today is of the “Study Set”. I had to ask Susan Sirkis, see meet an idol; make a friend, what a Study Set was. She explained that sometimes there comes along a collection of things that are as complete and valuable as a set that a special case is set up just for this viewing. What an opportunity for people to see this exquisite set. The case contains a nursing Bru and quite an extraordinary layette. Susan tells me there is often a slide program or video of these sets that go into more detail. I cannot remember exactly, but I believe I read in “Antique Doll Magazine” (or possible another periodical) more about this particular set. Please enjoy my photos, as the set is quite possibly the most exquisite set of sewing you will see for quite some time. The photographs do not do justice to the beauty.
Time’s Up! At 6:30, I photographed the Special Exhibits. I made my way through those exhibits as well. This year my own sewing for the French Fashion Doll, Ultimate Fashion Doll by Alice Leverett Henderson had joined the table with other fine dressmakers.
I attended the “Around the World with BJD’s” program and learned so much about the new sensation in modern dolls. Ball Jointed Dolls, which I discussed in a previous post, are a fabulous medium for dressmakers to free themselves of the constraints of antique fashions and let the imagination soar. I intend to make time for the one I purchased earlier in the week. I think I learned a new doll language in about an hour and many questions answered.
“The Gathering for the Ultimate Fashion Doll was to end my excitement for the day. The room filled to Standing Room Only of doll collectors. Fashions and books were on display. Alice presided, among others, over us all. A quick game of Jeopardy pitted left of room against right and all had great fun. I buzzed out of the room quickly as I needed some sleep. Out the door, down the hall, around the corner and up the escalator I went. Up another escalator and another, to the elevator I progressed. I took a chance and mashed (pressed for no-southerners) and oh, my word, an empty elevator! I stepped in and waited. The door closed and zipped me to my floor, what a quiet closing to a busy day. I called my husband, read a chapter in my book, and then precious sleep. Tomorrow is another day!
Revlon Special Exhibit
The Study Sets

Friday, August 20, 2010

UFDC - Wednesday

The days are growing less hectic. This is good as some of my energy is waning. Not really, I was getting into the sewing of things mostly; knowing where to go, familiar with east and west, silver and gold, up and down. It was nice to manage my time so well. Wednesday, was still a busy one for me.
My morning routine was wonderful. Chat with hubby over coffee, read some, project some, and shower and dress. Always ready and waiting for class at 9:00 AM. This particular morning was no different. Some of you know me and know that I am quiet. Not necessarily introverted, but could be if I let myself. Could be a hermit and be happy, too! In my cave, with my toys, mail order items delivered straight to me and left on my doorstep. However, I digress.
For the first time, EVER, I went straight to the front of the class and sat down in front of the teacher. (I have sat in front before but not usually by choice.) I got a pink bag! That is a big deal, as I love pink. Today I was dead front with one of my favorite teachers. Sheryl Williams. Today we were making a Hat, muff and stole to fit our 12” French Fashion Dolls. In addition, she and her sister made us presentation boxes to go with them; so sweet. At the end of three hours, I had not finished, but I was close.
It was lunchtime now. I will never again complain about the walking, as I was able to get my sandwich some fruit and a piece of chocolate cake. I adore chocolate cake. (With white icing) During this year of dieting (no carbs, no sugar), I have learned to live without bread and pasta. I no longer pine for cookies, pies, or even chocolate candy as sacrilegious as that sounds. Nevertheless, I have NOT been able to get over chocolate cake or PIZZA! I need them as surely as I need air and water. This week only, I eat cake! We already know it did not matter I still lost weight. One pound! I will take it and be thrilled. (Yes, I think about food a lot!)
I took my lunch to my room to eat; and was able to finish my project. I am so proud. I worry real life will get in the way and I will not get back to finish my projects.
Two o’clock came fast and I went to the “Artistry of Kathy Redmond” seminar. Last year in the blog regarding my purchase of two half dolls, I learned they were Kathy Redmond half dolls and have learned a bit more about her since then. The seminar was wonderfully informative and now I know more about the artist who made them. I did not know how to finish them and had to learn much about the process before the convention. There was a category in the competition room for Kathy Redmond and I decided to enter. (Crazy me, if you do not try, you will never know.) Jennifer last year suggested in her comments that I should do one in her wedding dress and one in an anniversary mode. I took her advice. http://creativedoll.blogspot.com/2009/07/ufdc-report-day-4-still.html
The wedding dress is not completed. I have a picture of the finished pincushion doll for you today. Thanks, Jennifer I could not have figured it without you.
I had another two hours before the “Around the World with BJD’s” program and at 8 PM the Gathering for the Ultimate Fashion Dolls. I think there is too much to say here for one day, so will continue in another blog post.

UFDC Wednesday

Thursday, August 12, 2010

UFDC - Tuesday

It’s Tuesday and I awoke rested. Wonder of wonders! Do you think the previous day’s activities helped? I hit the individual coffee maker (cute I need one of these in my studio for winter, hot chocolate, spiced teas, and flavored coffees, yummy) There were no real time pressures that morning. I relaxed, read, showered at my leisure until 9 o’clock. At 9:00 AM, the Special Exhibits opened. I wanted to see all the wonderful Ultimate Fashion Doll ™ clothes and other surprises they had in store. This was the first time I had ever loaned my things to an exhibit, so I was anxious to see the displays. The competition room would open this night at 9:00 in the evening. It would be another long day. (More than likely, a fun one, too!)
Each year the theme emphasized with Special Exhibits. Topics are developed that member with collections can share their passions. This year’s theme, “My Favorite Things” brought four Special Exhibits to fore. Alice Leverett Henderson, the year’s souvenir doll artist, also created the Ultimate Fashion Doll, and other exquisite dolls, brought her sculptures and some lovely items from her collection. (www.justalice.com) Those of us who owned the UFD and sewed for her brought some articles from our doll’s wardrobes to share in the exhibit. There were also some EXTRAORDINARY favorite things gracing the cabinets allowing all of us to enjoy their doll passions, too.
The other Special Exhibits were just as amazing. Ladies and a Woman of Glamour featured Miss Revlon and the extraordinary collection of Robert Tonner. (http://www.tonnerdoll.com/) Miss Revlon hails from my childhood days in the mid 50’s from Ideal. Raggedy Ann is celebrating her 95th year. (http://www.raggedy-ann.com/patty.html) Can you believe that? Finally, a room filled with beautiful collection of dolls from Jessie McCutcheon Raleigh of Chicago. (http://lmmontgomeryliterarysociety.weebly.com/uploads/2/2/6/5/226525/the_good_fairy_1916.pdf)
I finished looking early and really wanted to see a Program regarding Fashion Dolls of WWI. Seeing the first program underway, and a seat in the back, I popped in to hear Andy Ourant and his program, Inside the Antiques Road Show.” I am so happy I did. What a wonderful speaker and his insights and descriptions of the inner workings of the show were so interesting. Another reason to be grateful for Andy’s program, he went a bit overlong as our next Program, yes, the one I really wanted to see, canceled. Sigh! However, his program was a delight and I was glad I stopped in. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/index.html
Well, my event was exciting. I thrilled to be selected to go the themed luncheon, “Snowflakes that Stay on My Nose and Eyelashes”. The luncheon hosted by the Maryland Doll club, honored Alice Leverett Henderson, and Ann Coleman presented a lighthearted slide show and discussion of doll clothes. What a delight! Since I have been discussing food choices this week, I thought I would tell you, the menu did not sound great at all. My lack of sophistication is showing. If your menu stated the first course was Avgolemono Soup, what would you do? I tried it! It is a Greek, Egg-lemon soup. Delicious! I am going to run out of superlatives. I had bread, with real butter, and Mascarpone Cheesecake with fresh fruit. I ate those, too. It did not matter; I was going to take the stairs. The beautiful Winter Ensemble, prize for attending the luncheon, for our souvenir was so pretty. I felt like a child at Christmas!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Monday UFDC - The Begining....

Sleeping has been my number one enemy, as I have grown older; add excitement to the mix and the problem compounds. Luckily, I brought toys to kill time. (Kindle, Nintendo, sewing) For the sake of this writing, let’s say I had some time to kill before going to my first event, the 7:30 breakfast entitled “Wild Geese That Fly”.
As all good people, event goers we filed in and grabbed up seats and began a round robin of introductions. I love to hear where people are from, what they collect, we had a diverse crowd at our table. There were a couple of costumers in the crowd, too. Delightful conversation. (Might I digress a bit? It has taken me a year to lose 65 pounds. I am quite the chubby miss and with a bit more to go, I was appalled when the plate set before me had pancakes and sausage. Let me tell you this. When you go somewhere like a convention, forget the diet. Make as good an eating decision as possible and enjoy yourself. Do not bother other people with your diet concerns. It is boring. I lapped up half the pancakes with all the syrup I could get my hands on, ate all my sausage and fruit, and enjoyed every minute of it.)
The Southern Illinois Doll Club hosted this occasion for us to look at the world of BJD’s. (Ball jointed dolls) with guest speaker Jill Kaar Hanson. Her presentation of BJD’s and Maxfield Parrish art kept me glued to the screen. The delightful souvenir was from the Goodreau Doll Company, my very first BJD. (I was going shopping after wards for my first, which would become my second.)
What fun that was, but I needed to hop to it and drop off my doll so I could go shopping at National Doll Festival at a nearby hotel. Elevator full, I took the stairs. Flapjack number one was gone. I waited on the bus merrily chatting with like-minded women. Arrived at the show and purchased a present at the first go. That felt good! Next stop; find a BJD. Did you know that they are thoroughly customizable? I did not. I said I wanted a doll that looked like this, and was this size and this hair, etc. No problem says the shopkeeper, off comes the wig, pop goes the head, out come the eyes, and 30 minutes later, I have the eyes I want and TWO wigs. Now is that service or what? She is taller than I like, but I have a plan. On to Luc, I need laces. One hundred dollars later, I am almost out the door and oh, no! Is that not the cutest thing you have ever seen? I need to do another picture for you all. I forgot to put the Cat’s Paw chatelaine in the picture. To die for! I got the last one. They can be ordered, of course. I am almost out the door; time is getting away from me. Oh, please, yet another beautiful display! I had to get her card as I was running out of time. There is currently no website, but if you need anything for your French Fashion like hose and other accessories, you must see Dollie-Wrap™. I will not bother to make stockings again. Pat and Laura Allen are from Phoenix, AZ. As soon as I get a pair, and I will, I will show you how beautiful they are.
Finally, I made it out without spending everything and there is no bus. I decided to walk! Go up the stairs, across the river, up another set of stairs, across the street and into the hotel, it is time for a quick salad. Say goodbye to flap jacks I just burned those calories walking. The salad was great, service impeccable, but I needed to get to my first workshop. The elevator was full again. Now I really am grateful for the lower floor as I needed to climb the stairs.
I picked up the dolls for competition and my tools for class and was on the way down again. I had never entered into a competition, it is a little hectic, but the method is down to a science so if you wait your turn and do as you are told you can be in and out in a jiffy. My Workshop was WONDERFUL. See my little Nellie’s Necessaire. The project is easy, especially since Nellie did the hard parts for us. I pictured my finished project, but there are no contents yet. I have not decided all that will go into the basket, but I will share when I do. (See Nellie’s original here: http://www.pnbdoll.com/store/Default.asp)
Are you tired yet? Well, it is just 5:00 pm and there is still more to do. I need supper! I found a deli around the corner; (Bockwinkels) picked up a basket and ordered my supper, a snack and breakfast the next morning. Walked back to the hotel and up the stairs, are you getting the walking picture here? Hint, hint, I lost weight while I was there. Never underestimate the value of walking. The opening ceremonies were sweet, too, with another presentation via screen about two best friends separated and brought together again in Chicago, such a sweet and funny story. I loved it.
Finally, the 2010 convention declared convened! Ladies and Gentlemen, the shopping was about to commence. Cheers heard upstairs I am sure. Lined up as lemmings to hit the salesroom, I waited patiently for about 15 minutes. I was petering out fast. I can’t believe what I am about to say, but I exited the line, grabbed the first empty elevator I had seen since I arrived and took it to my end of the hall and around the corner digs. I mean the very last room. I chatted with my husband and slept. I slept the whole night through!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

UFDC 2010

I went to Chicago to the Convention this year and I am back. In fact, I have been back about a week. It never ceases to amaze me how long it takes to “catch up” when I have been gone for a week. I am so OVER stimulated I hardly know where to begin, so let us start at the beginning and take it as we go. My decision to go to the convention this year came late, and on top of deciding to go, I decided to enter a competition for the first time. Well, it takes courage to fail is all I can say. It is a real learning experience and I am glad I did it.

I met, finally, my “idol” Susan Sirkis. Since I first read of her in Needlework in Miniature, I have strived to create as beautifully as she does. Susan was wonderful and we were able to chat about new things she is doing and more things in which to look forward. Not understanding how the judging works in competition, Susan introduced me to Pat Gosh, judge and writer of wonderful and informative Costumer’s Guild Newsletter. Pat explained the details of the decision-making and frankly helped me past the belief that it was my sewing, but where I missed on the theme. I have still so much to learn. Do we really ever stop? I find myself looking forward to the possibility of a trip to Indiana to learn more from Pat and to seeing more of the items Susan will be sending our way. More delights to temp us!

Other than a late flight, what’s new, once departed the flight was uneventful, which is the best flight to have. Bags were claimed and a shuttle caught to arrive at the hotel amid crowds watching the filming by Paramount for “Transformers 3”. All I can say is I wound my way through the people and into the lobby just in time as the sky opened up and we had a quick torrential rain. Initially, I was confused about the hotel layout, but after a trip or two, I was familiar and negotiated the halls, and stairs, quite well. I opted for a lower room from last year as there were not elevators with windows, but that meant I was to use the stairs often, as the elevators were full. It didn’t kill me!

I settled in and looked forward to my routine of breakfasts, luncheons, shopping, seminars, workshops, shopping, walking, eating, and meeting new people. My dolls were dressed and my special exhibit items were delivered, I had found a deli (for me to stay on budget on diet). Life was good. Tess Gerritson was in my Kindle and I relaxed with a little TV and a phone call home. There would be no more TV for the rest of the week.

More to come.