Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas from the S-kids!

MamaT almost got Angela out to be the Christmas girl AGAIN, and we all started to whine, why does Angela get to stand by the tree EVERY year? So MamaT stopped and thought about it and picked ME, because my name is Tasha (which is a variant of Natasha, which means "child of Christmas," a traditional name for girls born near Christmas in Russia, like MamaT's sister (my namesake) who was born ON Christmas (even though she isn't Russian). So her family always got to have birthday cake on Christmas, which somehow seems appropriate. It is also Sasha's birthday, who is going to be forty-one-derful this year. None of the rest of us have specific birthdays... Many of us don't even know exactly what year we were "born." Here you see me holding the stocking with all the symbols of Christmas. If you want to read the poem about what they all mean, you can find it here.

But I'm not the only one out by the tree this year.
I'm joined by Patrick and Sandra, which is good, because they make good company while MamaT and her DH are busily preparing for the holidays.
Here we all are, ready to spread some holiday cheer!

Patrick sings, "Glad Tidings we bring to you and your kin, glad tidings for CHRISTmas and a happy new year!" He has a nice soprano voice.
If he would ever age past 7, he might make a good tenor.
Oh yes, and a note on Patrick's scarf. MamaT's mama taught all her grandchildren how to knit, both girls and boys. This little scarf was knitted by one of MamaT's nephews when he was about 10, and he gave it to MamaT who recently discovered it was in perfect Sasha scale by pure coincidence and gave it Patrick so he wouldn't catch cold while he was out caroling. Now MamaT wishes she had learned to knit from her mama.

Here is Sandy, playing with the train set again,
and licking on her everlasting candy cane!

Yours truly, Tasha, a child of Christmas,
thinking about Jesus, the real Child of Christmas.

We're feeling mighty cozy in our corner by the tree
as we eagerly await the big day!

We hope you had a peaceful solstice, and wish a joyful Christmas
and a fabulous new year to all of you and your dolls!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ted's Pinafore Challenge #72

Hey There! Now that all the voting is over for Ted's pinafore challenge, we can post our entry here. This was not the original planned entry. The first one planned was to be out of a nice corduroy fabric with a delicate print perfect for Sasha scale. There were a lot of complicated ideas in the plan, and MamaT was just figuring out where to begin when the idea for this dress flashed into her head. The fabric for this dress was a fat square for quilting MamaT found while looking for fabric for the baby cradle quilt (shown previously). She found this piece of fabric to be literally irresistible, because she purchased it without having a clue of what she might do with it later.

Once she got the inspiration for this dress, she decided she better try it first, because it would be much easier to start with than plan A, and would be good sewing practice. While the result isn't perfect (and the flaws don't show in the photos much), it's not bad at all for her experience level, we think. One of the most interesting parts of adapting the original pattern was in lengthening the skirt, since the bottom hem is curved. She figured out how long she wanted it to be at the edge and at the center point and made pencil marks there. Then using her arm like a "compass" and her elbow as the pivot point, she just free-handed a line between the 2 points, which came out perfectly first try. Those moments are so rare it's very exciting when they happen.

So as you might guess, the first pinafore planned has never been completed, and probably won't end up as a pinafore (or jumper) now, but MamaT still hopes to make a dress with it, maybe over the holidays when she has some time off work.

Cora claimed the dress immediately as hers alone when the dress was finished. She found a choker of MamaT's made from juniper berries that was the perfect accent for the dress. Juniper berries are supposed to ward off bad dreams, and Cora confirms that she hasn't had a single nightmare since she put it on. She won't say whether she ever had one before though. She also tried out a beaded hair tie as a necklace, but it was a bit much. Lona doesn't care about that and is wearing it now anyway, as you'll probably see in our next post.

One more thing to notice is to see all the photoshopping Ted did in the top photo to remove the back edging off Cora's modeling platform/dresser. He also improved the lighting. He said he even added legs to some of the models, so you can see he spent a lot of time on some of the photos. We'd really like to thank him for his huge investment of time on the project, because it was very fun, and the perfect motivation to get MamaT to start and finish a project. And THAT makes us dolls happy.

Lastly, we'll include a link to Ted's blog post that shows all the entries with comments by his fashion model daughter, Alex. She made positive, constructive comments on every single entry, another big effort. We really liked her comments on this dress. She said, "This elongated pinafore with overtones of an ethnic influence shows how any simple pattern can become the basis for completely different garments. Excellent solution."

If you haven't already seen them, I encourage you to check the link and see all the amazing creativity generated from one simple pattern and one challenge.
Alex's comments on Ted's pinafore challenge entries.