Running Away From Home

(As always, please excuse these stupid out of focus pictures. I’ve still not managed to get my camera problems resolved – too much going on! Also, at least as of this moment, I’m finding the photos to be showing up somewhat sporadically. If you see a big blank spot with the word “Atlanta” and a number, it means a picture is supposed to be there. Try clicking on the title of this post. For some reason, I’m seeing different photos when I do that.)

So, last week, on rather short notice, I ran away from home. A friend wrote in the middle of June, asking if I’d like to go to Atlanta for the UFDC Convention. I had next to no money, but I couldn’t resist the draw of some time away from home, so as crazy as the idea was, I said yes. 🙂 I knew I could scratch together enough for my flight and my share of the room (which wasn’t inexpensive!), but past that, I would have to depend on peanut butter crackers, potential birthday money, and whatever sales I could stimulate in the few weeks before the trip. Happily, I came up with enough that I could eat one cheap meal out each day and have something to spend in the sales rooms, and a last minute addition of another roommate made it even a bit better. Still, I have to say that it was really tough being in such a fantastic sea of awesome dolls and accessories with so very little money, and there were a couple of wonderful dolls I lost out on because they were just a little beyond what I had in my pocket. But I didn’t come home empty handed –  and now that it’s a week after the event, I don’t even mind having eaten so much peanut butter. 😉

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Hotels that look like this inside don’t come with cheap rooms…

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View out our window – see the capitol building?

Martine and Hitty Darlene went along with me, so they did a bit of looking around for treasures. Hitty D. found little in her price range that she liked, but she was quite pleased with the pretzel, which reminded her very much of the huge German pretzels one can purchase at Englischer Gartens in Munich.

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She really wished she had money to purchase the great bobbin lace pillow, but it was definitely out of her price range,

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and the horse was fun to ride, but she couldn’t imagine paying $200 for it!

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Martine, with some judicious bargaining and her sweet smile, brought home all sorts of goodies for her brothers and sisters, and a pair of Joyce Nicholsen’s espadrilles for herself. The little doll in the trunk is one of Alison Harwood’s fantastic creations. Jean-Paul apparently already ran off with his little wooden floor puzzle. Martine has promised to teach Gayelle to knit with the dress kit she bought for her. The purse is “so Malloree” that I chipped in a little bit of my money when Martine found herself a bit short at the end of the day.

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We also picked out a few pieces of fabric.

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And I bought a little something for my sewing room…

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I really had a strong desire to bring home a new doll this year, but on my budget, the only things I was finding I could afford were the mundane – which I really don’t need. I’m definitely sufficiently stocked with those. If money were no object (That will be the day!), this is the one doll I’d have had to have owned. She wasn’t the most expensive doll there by a long shot, but she’s the one who stole my heart most completely.

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This beautiful Kestner pink tint, covered wagon, china I thought was going to be mine. She wasn’t priced too badly, but still out of my range, but since it was the end of the last day of the show when I found her, I took the info and intended to contact the seller in a few weeks. However, I went back a half hour later and she was gone – sold. I embarrassed myself by crying. I’d so wanted her! However, she was $25 more than every penny I’d brought along, so…

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I did find someone to come home with me, though, and she’s a pretty little gal who is unlike anyone else I have, so a nice addition to the family. And I could actually afford to adopt her, which was a big plus. 😉 She’s an ABG Dolly Madison china doll, from the early 1870’s, about 25″ tall. Clothes are not original, nor do they come remotely close to fitting her. In fact, they are so small that it’s going to be a trick getting the dress off of her. Her seller was a bit of a sourpuss, too, so she was more than happy to come home with me. I’m looking forward to having some time to dress her more appropriately, and I’m hoping I happen to have at least some underthings to fit her – though I’m not holding my breath on that count.

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On Friday, we went to the Atlanta History Center. We saw some wonderful stuff there, but sadly weren’t allowed to bring any of it home in pictures, making it hard to retain what we saw and learned during our visit. These are two of the period homes which we toured – the Swan House and the Tulley Smith Plantation, two totally different types of homes, and each utterly charming in its own way.

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And our trip through town netted me one of my favorite styles of city pix. 🙂

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And in addition to the touring and shopping, there was all sorts of great fun, meeting a number of people I’d only known online until now, room parties, aching feet, and the pride of conquering the public transit system in Atlanta… All in all a very nice week!

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Travel Logged…

Noodling about on Ravelry, looking for a finished project a Yahoo group member shared, I stumbled upon the coolest thing! She had a map of the world marked with the countries she’d visited. I’ve kept a color-it-in chart of the states to which I’ve traveled for many years, but to find an online log – wow! I wrote to her instantly to find out where I could get my own, and not only do they offer a world map, but also a U.S. map, and even better, there is a count and percentage visited. My maps are now happily filled in and residing on a page link in my side bar – or just click here: Travel Logged. Happiness is! 🙂

Now for my next trick, I still need to figure out how I’m going to color in a new state or country before the end of the year…

Published in: on July 13, 2009 at 3:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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There Wasn’t A Parade…

So, it rained where I was on Independence Day, but at least there wasn’t a parade scheduled. I guess it could have been worse, right? 🙂 The traditional picnic moved indoors and bore a distinctly different flavor, but the silver lining was that there weren’t any flies or mosquitos to swat, and the food was as good as ever, if not better. However, one tradition that was upheld would make me just as  happy to not continue. Even though my order was taken for a hamburger on the grill, by the time I got through the foodline, there wasn’t a single burger left, and only two hotdogs. I seriously dislike hotdogs, and there were two people behind me of a different opinion, so after I made a few bitter complaints, I resignedly grabbed a burger bun (there were LOTS of those left…) and heaped it with sauteed onions and pickle relish. I’d never had an onion sandwich before, but it actually wasn’t half bad so long as I didn’t think a lot about the burger I’d been eagerly anticipating. Besides, not wanting to risk a further shut out, I went through the dessert line without waiting to politely eat first, so I was looking at a double helping of Aunt Joyce’s Black Raspberry Cobbler. That little delicacy made it tough to keep pouting. 😉

My sister and I both have June birthdays, and we live far enough apart now that we’ve begun waiting to exchange gifts on the Fourth. I’ve been bothered in recent years by the fact that no matter what I get her, it seems as if I end up with the better present. This year I was sure I’d done well – until I saw what she’d found for me!

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Is this special or what?! I was nearly speechless! I don’t know how she finds things like this – or lets me have them instead of keeping them for herself – but she’s good at it! I was so overwhelmed, though, that I was suddenly very much afraid that she wouldn’t like her own gift. All that assurance blew right out the door!

So what did I get for her?

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I’ve gone from avid ebayer investing hours searching for special deals to checking in once a week or so for literally a couple of minutes. They’ve so managed to ruin everything that was good about that site… but that’s beside the point. A couple months ago, I DID check in for a minute, and someone had listed this little doll for sale on a BIN just minutes earlier. Now my sister collects Victorian and Edwardian wedding memorabilia and has a definite soft spot for dolls. This is the first time I’d ever seen one of the older German all-bisques dressed as a bride, and I didn’t even hesitate. That doll was bought and paid for in moments. Never mind the fact she came bald… or rather, never mind that fact until I was faced with the fact that she still needed hair the day before she was to go to her new home. I’d just not been sure how I was going to managed such a delicate operation. She’s only about 3.5″ tall (forgot to measure!), and her veil and crepe paper gown are most definitely fragile – not to mention her headpiece was still firmly glued in place. Finally, my spinning experience proved the solution. After I cleaned her (which was also not so easy to do without damaging her finery),  I took a tiny tuft of merino that  matched her eyebrows to perfection… and stopped dead. I couldn’t just glue a hunk of merino on her head. She needed some sort of a part or something to create a tiny bit of style, but I had no matching thread. Hmmm… go knit for a while… VOILA! Thread! It’s a spun substance! 🙂 I fingerspun enough of the merino to tie around the tuft, and I was back in business! I found my sewing up needle to be far better than a toothpick for placing the hair, as it didn’t stick and pull, so all in all, it was my spinning and knitting that were the basis for restoring this little sweetie. I loved the irony of that!

And – if you are actually holding your breath in suspense, my sister absolutely loved her doll, and like me, despite the many hours she’s perused the antique wedding stuff, she’d also never seen a doll of her type, so as the saying goes, I done good! We were both very happy people. 🙂 I’m trying hard not to worry about what I’m going to find for next year, though…

One other happening of note on the Fourth… My little niece had eyed my knitting on several occasions, but she also lives at a distance from me, so I’d not had the opportunity to sneak knitting needles into her hands yet. Having seen the weather forecast, though, I’d slyly slipped my beginner kits into my basket when I was packing Saturday morning. Sure enough, the weather cooperated with me, and shortly after supper, I had a six-year-old on my lap, intently wrangling knitting needles and lavender wool, cheerfully announcing and displaying every single completed stitch. Now THAT is what I call fun – and a super end to the evening!

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Oh… and she dropped some very  strong hints that perhaps someday I might make her something… GRIN! 🙂

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