Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What's love got to do with it?

 During our production of P&P, Madie took off her wig to become her alter ego, Alex, to play the part of George Wickam. Well, Cara Linnea got hold of the wig, and we caught her trying to impersonate Tina Turner, using a birthday candle as a microphone and singing, "What's love got to do, got to do with it? What's love but a second hand emo-otion?"

We don't have an answer to her question, but we do wish a very happy Valentine's day to everyone. May you all enjoy some most excellent chocolate!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sasha & Co. present Pride & Prejudice

In honor of the 200th anniversary of the publication of
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice on January 28, 1813,
Sasha and Co. proudly present their abbreviated rendition of Pride and Prejudice!

Featuring (L-R) Sasha Kaelita as Jane Bennet; Lona Rachelle as Elizabeth (Lizzie) Bennet; (Mary Bennet not pictured); Shyvonne Alette as Kitty Bennet; and Tasha Rhiannon as Lydia Bennet;

Prince FitzGregor Darcy as Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy; Patrick Terrence as Mr. Charles Bingley;
Gregor Vaughn as Mr. William Collins; Alex as Mr. George Wickham;

Kiltie Grace as Caroline Bingley; Pintux Emeria as Anne deBourgh;
Cora Morgen as Lady Catherine deBourgh; and Angela Karinne as Charlotte Lucas.

And now our production....
 Mr. and Mrs. Bennet had five daughters, and Mrs. Bennet was very eager to see them married well, so when Mr. Charles Bingley moves into a neighboring estate, she eagerly sends her girls to the next ball to meet him.
Mr. Bingley and Jane Bennet hit it off very well, but his friend,
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy refuses to dance with her sister, Lizzie Bennet.

The rest of the young ladies think Mr. Darcy is quite the catch. (Wouldn't you?)
But Lizzie is not impressed.

Jane goes to visit Mr. Bingley's sister, Caroline Bingley and takes ill.
Lizzie goes to care for Jane and is often subjected to Mr. Darcy's company.
A bit later, Mr. Bingley suddenly departs. Who knows what he's thinking?

A short time later Mr. George Wickham arrives in town.
Kitty and Lydia can't resist a man in uniform, and even Lizzie soon makes friends with him.
He tells her stories that fortify her prejudice against Mr. Darcy.

About that time, Mr. William Collins, a cousin of the Bennet's, comes to the area seeking a wife.
Seeing that the eldest is already attached to Mr. Bingley, he proposes to Lizzie who promptly refuses.

Not to be dissuaded in matrimony, Mr. Collins proposes to Lizzie's best friend,
Charlotte Lucas, who gratefully accepts his offer.

After the marriage, Lizzie goes to visit Charlotte in her new home.
Again, she is thrown into company with the insufferable Mr. Darcy.
He gradually takes more and more notice of her.

During their stay, they must visit Lady Catherine deBourgh
who intends for her daughter, Anne deBourgh, to marry Mr. Darcy.

Despite Lizzie's prejudices and Mr. Darcy's arrogance, Lizzie doesn't love this plan.

Still Lizzie is shocked and unprepared when Mr. Darcy proposes to her and she refuses him.

There is a great uproar when word gets out that Lydia has run off with Mr. Wickham.
Mr. Darcy saves the day by seeing to it that Mr. Wickham marries Lydia and restores her honor.
He writes a letter to Lizzie explaining Mr. Wickham's past among other things.
Lizzie begins to reconsider her refusal.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bingley learns that Jane was merely demure and not uninterested
and he proposes to and is accepted by Jane.

And just when Lizzie thinks all hope of a second offer from Mr. Darcy is gone,
he is given renewed hope and proposes again.
And this time, Lizzie says yes.

Moving in for the kiss. So romantic, I can hardly stand it!

We had a ball. Hope you did too!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy Epiphany and 2013!

Happy Epiphany or Three Kings Day to Everyone! Here it is the 12th day of Christmas, and if I wait any longer, it will really be too late to show off my new Christmas dress until next year.

The train is not new, but how I love to get it out and play with it every year!

And now for the story of how I got my new dress. MamaT's grand-daughter wanted to sew a Christmas dress. MamaT says she only has very basic sewing skills, so Ryin's mom picked out a one-hour dress pattern with only one button, and Ryin picked out the material and trim. It took them an hour just to cut out the pieces. Ryin sewed all the straight seams and the button on herself. NanaT sewed the curvy seams and trim. They designed the matching purse together. Three days later, they got the project all finished. It wasn't until after Christmas that MamaT found time to sew my dress, so we didn't get a photo together. We think the dresses will still fit us both next year.

And we wish you all a very wonderful 2013!
--Margot Monique

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pintux Emeria - the Neglected Doll

Hi World, I'd like to introduce myself as Pintux Emeria, the neglected Sasha Doll. You see I am over a year old, well actually I'm well over a year old, but I've been in this family for over a year and have just now gotten the opportunity to introduce myself on Sasha's blog. I arrived circa February 2011 with loose stringing. I was relegated to the closet for several months until MamaT attended to my strings, so I could stand and play properly. It was just about a year ago that we did this photo shoot, and MamaT only recently got around to sorting through the photos to keep the best and delete the rest. In fact, the previous post with the babies at play occurred after this photo shoot, but that got posted before my introduction. Life is so unfair, isn't it? And now a full 11 months have slipped by since the last post on this blog.  MamaT only says, "Where does the time fly?"  Her granddaughter was over more in the past year, so that took some of her time, but that's not the only excuse. She'd come up with a very long list if I let her, but I'm not giving her the floor. However, I did overhear her saying something about not getting a new doll until the last one was introduced, so is she really excited about letting me introduce myself, or is it just because she wants to start looking for a Velvet?

Oh, if you're wondering where I got my name, I was named for MamaT's great-great grandmother, Laura Emeria. She's never seen anyone else with that name, but she liked it, so she gave it to me, so maybe I'm not entirely neglected after all since I've been given a very special name. I am also unique because I am a limited edition doll produced only in 1982 (#2273 of 4600). My hair is real human hair, and my eyes were originally brown, but later turned blue. Kind of cool, huh? And in an extra rebellious effort to establish my individuality, I've decided to spell my name Pintux instead of Pintucks like all the rest of them.

While we were outside, I found this sweet early, blue violet (Viola adunca).

Don't you think it looks nice in my hair?
The family is almost getting too large for lots of big family portraits, so we just got the blondes (and strawberry blonde) girls out to pose together.
Sasha and Kiltie Grace stole my idea of putting flowers in our hair, so we all got to be flower children together.
Me and Sasha
Kiltie Grace and Pintux Emeria.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Babies at Play on a Fine Spring Day

We can't believe it's been 5 months since the last post. We apologize to all who have been watching for the next. Life has just been incredibly busy with one thing and another, and besides it has been the coolest, rainiest spring we can ever remember.

At last we had a fine spring day, and babies Sandra Varlene and Cara Linnea got out to play in our new playclothes sewn by Ebay seller, Shadowdancer9423.

First, they tried a game of row, row, row your boat by a stump piled with squirrel middens

They were delighted to discover that with all of the rain we've had, we have carpets of moss growing everywhere, and so many different kinds too.

Do you know this moss is called "scared cat's tail moss" (Rhytidiadelphus) because it looks like a bristly cat's tail? Don't forget you can click on the photo for a close-up view. It is also nice and cushioney for doing somersaults on.

Check out this moss with the cute little red stems!

Sandra says, "My moss looks like miniature Christmas trees (Polytrichum)," and Cara says "Mine is like soft turfy grass."

Even the roots of this old tree that fell over are covered in moss.
This looks pretty fun to climb and explore.

So let's go climbing!

My, how babies love to climb...

and climb...

and climb...

and climb!

Here, let me help you up this last bit. We'll be queens of this giant stump!!!

Whoa, it's a little scary standing up on this giant fallen log.
Hold on to me, so you don't fall!
Wave bye to everyone.

Hope you all enjoyed exploring with us today!

Little Miss Cara
Little Miss Sandra

Sunday, January 9, 2011

On Sasha Morgenthaler Course Dolls

Happy New Year!
I am the newest doll in MamaT's Sasha family. MamaT has tried out a few different names on me, but the only one that seems to be sticking is Talia Jaelle, just because. I am not technically a Sasha doll. I am a homemade doll from Switzerland. Doll making was a very popular hobby in Switzerland for some years. Most likely I was made from a Glorex doll kit or something similar. These kits are still available (click Glorex for more info). I am 14 inches (35cm) tall (positive proof I am not a "course doll" which we'll discuss below). I have a firm (probably plastic) head covered with tricot cloth, real human hair, and a soft, stuffed body. While I am not a "real" Sasha doll, there is no doubt in our minds that I was made by a collector of Sasha dolls and I was Sasha inspired. My unmatched eyebrows and eyes are very similar in style to those painted by Sasha Morgenthaler, and while we don't know who the artist was who painted my face, we agree she was very talented.

Besides my face, the second reason we believe I originally belonged to a Sasha collector is based on my dress. It is a handmade dress, but it emulates the gingham yoke dress that was a classic Sasha dress made during all the years of the English production, and also found on some Gotz and studio dolls.

Further evidence is that while the dress actually doesn't fit me all that well (wide in the collar and a little too short), it fits a Sasha baby doll perfectly, and we believe that's what it was first made for.

Now enough about me, you probably didn't pull up this entry to learn about Glorex dolls. Because I resemble a Sasha course doll in some ways, I have been tasked with telling you all we know about Sasha course dolls. And in truth, almost all we know about course dolls, we learned from Dorisanne Osborne. Dorisanne was kind enough to give MamaT permission to let us quote most of a post she made on the Sasha-L list on 2/7/08, adding in a few bits from other posts of hers.

“I don't know when Sasha Morgenthaler began her doll making classes, but I think they were held for 25 years or more with Sasha teaching them before her death in 1975, and then her assistant Trudi Loeffler, continued teaching them until 1993.

The classes were held in Sasha's workshop in the basement of her home. There was room for 5 or 6 women to take a course which was usually held one day a week, for about 5 weeks. This limited the classes to women who lived in Zurich and the towns around Zurich. They would work on their dolls at home during the week in between classes.

I was a member of the last class that Frau Loeffler taught in December of 1993, which was put on for a group of 6 American women. We were in Zurich the end of November of 1993 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Sasha's birth so our doll making class was a very special time. Our classes were held all day long for a week, since we were only in Switzerland for two weeks. It was intensive to complete the two dolls in that time period.

The course dolls had Type A (non-jointed cloth) bodies and were about 20” (50cm) tall, varying both in girth and height because they were stuffed with excelsior (wood chips) by many different people with variable experience levels. The hardest work day was when we stuffed the excelsior into the cloth body parts as it had to be packed very tightly. We were exhausted after our day of stuffing our two course dolls because they have to be packed very tight, but I've seen some that are not so firm.

Hemp was supplied for the hair, but you could pay extra to have a hand-knotted human hair wig made by Sasha's own wigmaker. I used the hemp hair for my boy and the wig for my girl, as both were applied differently and I wanted to experience both processes. For the hemp hair we dug out a hole in the middle of the head and pushed the "hair" into it, then arranged it, glued it down, and styled it. We started with dyed raw hemp and spent an afternoon brushing (and brushing and brushing) the hemp with a dog brush, to make it silky. With the human hair wig, we sewed it to the head.

We practiced the eye and face painting under Frau Loeffler's direction before we actually painted our dolls' faces. Frau Loffler taught us Sasha's method of painting eyes. We painted a round eye in the color of our choice and then were instructed to put the pupil right in themiddle of the iris. If you stop to think of the human eye, it is a ball, with the pupil "dead center". The secret seems to be what you do after you have the pupil in the center of the eye. The lid is what changes the character of the eye, as it can come down and cover much of the eye, or be high for a wide-eyed look. And the addition of eyelashes can change the look too. The pupils on Sasha's studio dolls range from very large, to rather small. She tried to make individualized eyes. The "star pupils" on some of the early English dolls were made made by painting the pupil with a fine brush--I've heard that it was a brush with five "hairs,” but can't confirm so.

We dressed our dolls at home, though some people were able to find clothing and shoes to fit at the toy stores in Zurich. It was an amazing experience to make Sasha's dolls in her own studio. We expected her to walk in at any minute. Many women in the area took the class over and over, making two dolls each time. Some of them sold their dolls, and others still have them. Probably, hundreds of these dolls were made over the years.”
--Dorisanne Osborne

Thanks again to Dorisanne for her all of her wonderful information and first hand experience in a doll course. We have very little information other than what Dorisanne had to offer. We found no information on when Sasha Morgenthaler began giving workshops, how often or how many classes or how many dolls were made. She continued teaching them until she passed away in 1975.

Frau Trudi (Roos) Loffler, who began working with Sasha in the late 1940s, was considered her closest collaborator for the next 25+ years, continued teaching the workshops until 1993. Frau Loffler was also involved in preparing exhibits at the museum in Zurich and did a lot of hand sanding on the studio dolls, among other work, no doubt. According to Dorisanne's book, the course dolls had Type I faces (square shaped with medium full cheeks). We've seen a course dolls described with fleece hair, which was likely hemp fleece.

Here are some current links to photos of course dolls (for sale or already sold):
Previously sold doll on Ebay. (Scroll to bottom of the page). This page also has information on how to contact Dorisanne to get a copy of the book, “Sasha Dolls Through the Years” which we HIGHLY recommend.
--And as Tigger would say, Ta-ta for now! Talia Jaelle