Sunday, July 1, 2012


I had a good day today. Set out to finish the clay portion of my doll and assemble the body. And I did it! If I can beat my fears tomorrow I can attach the head and move on to costuming. The work could take as little as thirty minutes, but I will probably fret about it all day. There are lots of imperfections, and I am ok with that. Really! It's my first one in this style. I've decided that individual fingers are not necessary and detract from the rest of the doll. This first one goes to my best friend, so it's ok for it to be less than perfect. Really! I'm trying to convince myself! The next hands will be mitt style. For the wig, I'm going to mold a wig cap from buckram. I will cover it in satin stitch in embroidery floss and then attach lengths of embroidery floss coils to that. Then I can embroider flowers onto that for decoration. These dolls are in one third scale, but I'm also interested in direct sculpting some dolls in one sixth scale. I finally bought the Katherine Dewey book on sculpting small figures. Maybe I can learn to use super sculpey without covering it in filth. I would sew the clothes onto these dolls if they even happen. I bought two, no three, other books on this paycheck. First, a book on the Danish lace Tonder. I have a really good Danish friend who told me how to say Tonder! Next, I bought a book on Dresden lace, a beautiful white work embroidery style. Last, a book on Nineteenth century embroidery. I can't wait to get all these books! I am a book freak! Lace is going well. I'm working on growing a callus on my pinning finger. It was too sore to work today, and tomorrow, well, I'm stretching that thirty minute project into an all day affair. Still, I should do a little lace to keep up my callus building. I feel good!


  1. I'm so glad you had a good day. Doesn't it feel great when it's going well? And isn't it crushing when it doesn't? It always takes longer to make something than you think it will. I can say that because today was going to be dress making day and I spent All Day hunting for a tiny scrap of yellow cotton I knew I had, knew I needed, but just couldn't find... I have it now, but I don't like sewing after dark. Dark is for snuggling on the sofa with Hubby.

    The Katherine Dewy book I found really useful. I didn't go for her measuring of each piece of clay, but it did help me sculpt ears. Let me know what you think of it.

    Cloth hands with separate fingers are over-rated. There aren't many people who can do nice ones. Yours are pretty and Susan McMahon's are lovely and gracefully proportioned, but others? They might take a lot of skill and specialist turning tools, but they looks like scary claws. Scary claws in a spasm! It's ok for a doll to have mittens.Honest.

    1. Oh, I worried I freaked you out with disclosing! I'm a severely open and honest person, and will tell people anything about me with no sense of TMI at all. I figure the ones that don't come along with me aren't worth it, and I really value your friendship.

      I only work on lace during the daytime. I have a beautiful workspace with a huge window. So much light floods in, even on cloudy days. I can see downtown Austin in the distance. Gorgeous view. I feel so fortunate to have this space, and I want to make something every time I come in here. Night time is for embroidery in the living room with my sweetie.

      I'm tempted to do the arms over again to change the hands. But like I said, this doesn't have to be perfect, and Lovee might like the fact that her doll, Number 1, is different from all the rest. Making this doll has taught me that technical expertise isn't what's most important. Most important is the expression of the vision, the general look of the creation. My favorite artist dolls these days are very simple in construction. There's no reason for me to beat myself up over an imperfectly stuffed limb.

    2. I actually wrote a long comment about a good friend I had at college who was getting ready for surgery. Her name was Pat,which she said was very convenient, moving from Patrick to Patricia. In Britain the surgery is free on the National Health, as the physical alteration is recognised as the gold standard remedy. (This was some 30 years ago)To qualify, though, a person has to go through an arduous series of psychological tests and fully embrace their change; tell everyone, take the hormones, dress appropriately, be the man/woman they want to be, before the go-ahead is given. It seems harsh, but it does weed out wannabes (Yes, I was surprised they existed, but they do) and sifts out people who have other personality issues that need different kinds of help. I was very proud to know her and sorry that I lost contact after I graduated.

      I didn't post this comment because I thought it seemed clumsy of me to make everything about your gender, but I felt awkward, too, about not recognising your honesty and directness. I value your friendship and I'm in awe, on an artistic level, of your skill and your craftsmanship. To me, you're a doll-maker slowly uncovering a wonderful talent, and heck...we need more male doll-makers.

    3. We have rules in the States about progressing with hormone therapy and surgery, and they're mostly upheld. Typically you need three months of therapy to get a letter authorizing hormone therapy. My doctor didn't need one and just wanted to get me started as soon as possible, probably because I was highly feminized (not any more). I think you need a year (?) of living full time to get a letter for surgery. My surgeon didn't require that letter, either. Basically, I didn't need therapy at all. I didn't even like that therapist, but she/he is THE therapist for transsexuals and transgendered people. And in general, I hate therapy.

      I would be open to cognitive behavioral therapy, but the therapists aren't categorized by therapies given, and once I find them, they want to hand me off to one of the two transsexual/transgendered therapists in town, the one I don't like and the one that's a close friend.

      I could go on about therapy, but I won't.

      Transition went very smoothly and easily for me. I chose a completely different name, although my given name was gender neutral. I wanted a fresh start. I ended a ten year marriage because it was oppressive to my spirit, but my ex wasn't really looking for a divorce and would have stayed with me and been supportive. I found my current partner the week my divorce became final, and he is hyper supportive and also completely gay, which was a score for me--it meant I was masculine enough to attract someone who is only attracted to masculine people.

      I had an excellent "top" surgeon that I paid for with my huge divorce settlement and had my other -ectomy paid for by insurance. Insurance also paid for my lap-band and I'm finally losing weight. Once I get to a healthy weight, I can choose to have more transsexual surgery or I can choose to have a paniculectomy. Difficult choice.

      That's probably all more than you want to know, but it's good for me to talk about it sometimes. I have an impulse to out myself every now and then.

    4. And one more thing: I didn't make up the name "Purple". That was the last name of my ex. I earned it through ten years of misery with him and his parents.

    5. Ok, I took all of that in my stride, everything but the actual name 'Purple'. That's a real name? A real last name? Wow. Imagine being called Violet...

      I still think you should write a book. Starting with a doll making book. We all want to know about your doll's heads and knee joints!

    6. It's actually my real last name. My full name is Jacob Simon Purple. At the time, my dad was being an ass, and I didn't want to go back to his name, Stevenson. Now I wish I had taken the name Simon James Stevenson, because my dad and I are close again. But for a business, Simon Purple is a better name, I think. I may still change to Simon James Purple, (James is my dad's name), because I don't like having to use Jacob all the time. It would be easier if Simon were my first name.