Virtual convention & then some

Sorry to miss last week, but the Bean refused to let me use the computer so that she would have any reduced bandwidth while she watched every minute of the Virtual Doll Convention, hosted by Rachel Hoffman.  There were  constant “oohs” and “aahs” and “I’ve got to see that again!” Apparently, there were amazing workshops, programs, sales, films, interviews, and even a banquet. If we needed the Bean to stay out of our business, this provided us with the perfect opportunity. Unfortunately we didn’t plan for this very well.

But she says one of her favorite best moments was “meeting” Izannah Walker doll maker, Paula Walton, a fellow convention attendee.  Bean has always admired the early dolls, many of cloth and often primitive, but especially those produced by the hands of women, some small cottage industries. Izannah Walker created these neat dolls of cloth with heads molded of pressed linen, probably with a lot of paste in between layers. She patented them, sewed them, painted them with oils, dressed them up, and sold them.  And now Paula is one of those women who recreates Izannah Walker’s techniques and dolls.

Bean and she became FB friends, and Bean found the website and blog with all the eye candy, and she was totally hooked when she got to the kit form, then stymied by reading that one needed experience painting with oils. Oops.  Lots of painting experience on porcelain and wood, but only with fired on paints or acrylics. Fortunately, Paula (for an addition fee) paints the kit heads for buyers, letting them do the rest of the doll.  Now the kit dolls aren’t the pressed cloth head ones, but rather are molded paper mache.  Still, it’s really close when viewed, and for now, Bean is very happy, waiting for her painted head and the patterns to arrive.  Which will be weeks from now.  We may need to find ways to entertain her.

The weather was nice this past week, though sometimes cloudy with rain. The puppy is a pain – Bean takes her out faithfully, yet housetraining seems to be beyond them. Today, she took her out 6 times before 1:30, and still the dog seems to prefer to put her little packages on the rug. Bean is not happy. She says it’s good that Cali is so cute: it’s all that is keeping her alive after these incidents.

Good thing we dollies are already trained.


Cold and rainy comes with the territory, but slow and unwilling …

It’s no fun at all having to go outside with a dog that diddles about and can’t make up her mind and is completely, utterly, and totally distracted by everything and everyone. Bean says she barks at other dogs, but only till she meets them.  People she likes.  Mostly she barks at the air and signposts.  Weird.

And so naturally, it is miserable out with the cold, wind, and rain.  When said puppy takes 50 minutes to decided, choses no, then comes back to do it on the rug, the Bean is wet, cold, and ultra unhappy. She resolved to be ultra vigilant, and it’s been much better since she decided to use the patio instead of walking. This has made a big difference in the housebreaking and for the Bean’s state of mind.  Cali still suffers greatly from separation anxiety, but she’s making improvements, so we will accept the small successes.

We follow Cali’s progress with great interest since progress makes the Bean happy. We like her that way.