Saturday, 28 January 2017

Day 28 - String 'em up...!

Phew..... finally on the final lap of the dollmaking process, and although it's also fiddly and time-consuming I can at least take comfort in the fact I'm on downhill slope towards the fun, creative stuff.

The final stage in the dollmaking process is attaching arms and legs to the various bodies in a process called stringing.

When I first started dollmaking, back in the mists of time, I used fine wire for stringing, but it was never ideal.  It was difficult to manipulate and no matter how tightly I attached the limbs, they would droop and hang limply.  Also the cut end of the wires would regularly catch on clothing.

I really wanted my little dolls to be able to hold a pose, so the hunt was on for a better way to string.  After a period of trial and error, I devised a method which is just perfect.  It's relatively unobtrusive and the limbs will stay in position when posed.

I can't divulge exactly how I do it (I am allowed some secrets!) but it involves a special elastic and some homemade tools.

Seven years ago I posted about the special elastic, and the fact that it was being discontinued. Fortunately I have found an alternative which, although not quite as perfect as the original, is still very good.

The stringing process is both time-consuming and relatively mindless.   Over time the mechanical, repetitive motions become calming and soothing.  

Thread, pull, tie, cut, pull, tie, seal.
Thread, pull, tie, cut, pull, tie, seal
Thread, pull, tie, cut, pull, tie, seal

However, when enough dolls have been strung, that's usually the cue for shenanigans to begin.....

Invariably, Smallest Small Dog and her best friends Archimedes the rat and Peter Rabbit arrive to join the hilarity.

Peter struggles to understand the rules of Hide & Seek

Archimedes loves amateur operatics and entertains the company with a selection of arias.
I'll be stringing off and on over the coming week till every little doll and toy has been reunited with their limbs.

So there you have it.... an entire month of dollmaking.

I'm nearing the end of my blogging challenge, and the end of the January Giveaway Competition is also in sight.

Just one more task to complete before the draw on Tuesday......  ðŸ˜


Helma said...

Oh that Bunny.....peter rabbit!


NarinaNäpertää said...

They look adorable to me already :)
(Seeing these little cuties make me start to think, that maybe I would like some kids/babies in my dolly world too - haven't just found the right one yet... Well.. Haven't much looked for them before, but feel like "baby-boom" is in the air because of these little once..)

Can't wait to see what kind of hair they will get - and what kind of clothes they get..
Mostly I wait to see how your "Frankies" turn out. So thrilled to see how your hares are going to look when they get ready - what color they are - is there going to be a "white rabbit" or do they go more like Peter Rabbit..

For me this sure has been a lot of fun and VERY educational.
I'm very humbled by your talent and I have to say I have a great admiration for your patience, I think I would lose my nerve many times on the way if I would try this - my temperament would not suite in this kind of work.. Well I've never tried it so I can't be 100% sure, but knowing myself I would probably end up flying around my room throwing things all over the place with very naughty words (^^)

LOVE the Small Dog too - so cute!

Hugs, Irina

Kathy Moore said...

I love the shenanigans!! Soooo cute!

Esther Westcott said...

Sandra, how big is the doll in the thimble? It must be very tiny!
Also, when I looked at folk art pictures of girls with dolls, the dolls were sometimes dressed as adult ladies. I was wondering if you've dressed any of your dolls like that? I was thinking that one with the china head would look very nice dressed as a lady.
Finally, so nice to see Small Dog in print again!

Sandra Morris said...

Irina..... hoping to start dressing the Frankendolls next week, stringing duties permitting!

Esther... the tiny baby in the thimble is just 1" tall. It's the smallest doll I make.
Yes I do dress some of the toy dolls as Fashion Ladies, especially the china dolls.

I'll write some blog posts on the dressing and wigging process during February. :)

Daydreamer said...

It is so much fun when all the hard work has been accomplished! They look lively and happy and ready for a wonderful "life" ahead! What a marvelous thing you do to bring so many tiny wonderful creations to life!!! I love to see them playing!!!

Elizabeth S said...

I LOVE the "shenanigans" and all of the creative playtime which your little dolls and critters are getting up to! Lots and Lots of Fun!

Maria Blanca "AyamontinoMaria" said...

Increíble lo bien que quedan! Perfectos, no importa que haya sido trabajo de un mes si el resultado es así de bueno. Cuando tengan su cabello y su ropa, serán una maravilla. No me extraña que Peter Rabit haya acudido a verlos...Un beso