Monday, 1 September 2008

Labour Day

Labour Day has always felt like New Year's Day to me. New cycles of life and living begin in fall, not in spring. For me, I am beginning graduate studies. Tomorrow. Tomorrow! Yes, I'm excited and impatient and a bit nervous about the work load and new professors' expectations ... all the feelings I've enjoyed about every single first September weekend since I was "knee-high to a grasshopper"! Oh, and school shopping! I didn't really need anything, but went out and bought myself a new 3-ring binder "just because". Said binder is now filled with pristine loose-leaf paper (I still write notes the old-fashioned way), and waiting beside a stack of intriguing text books. If only I could access the assignment lists and class forums today ...Subjecting you to a little word play here, Labour Day is also about another kind of labour ... giving birth. (Relax ... no pregnancies involved!) A couple of weekends ago, I had a very serious conversation with Little Madam C. We always have very serious conversations when she comes to visit. She's 4 going on 65, I'm sure! A very bright little adult stuck in a child's body. Anyway, she told me how toy makers should be more aware of toy users' real lives, as toys that need batteries aren't very practical.

Why is that, I asked. Cuz mamas might buy new batteries once, if you don't complain too much, but they never EVER buy new batteries again, and then kids are left with useless toys.

So what would you suggest to toy makers, I asked. Toy makers should make more toys that are fun to play with and that don't use batteries. Like really, I'M capable of using MY 'MAGINATION!

Can you give me an example of a fun toy that doesn't use batteries? DUH! Like a nice dolly. It doesn't have to do anything cuz I can 'magine it eating and playing and sleeping and stuff. (Remember, she was absolutely serious here!)

Did you know ALL dolls used to be without batteries and computer chips? Well I think toy makers should make them all like they did in the old days again.

By the end of Little Madam C.'s visit, we (using this term loosely ... I don't quite recall having a vote in this matter) had decided that I would make her a pair of dollies that will not ever require batteries or computer chips or anything electronic for her birthday in September. We (as in she) rooted through my bin of craft patterns, and settled on Raggedy Ann and Andy, which was fine by me. However, not without further specific instructions:

  1. They have to be 'THENTIC. What's 'thentic, I asked. And promptly received a lesson in the difference between fake and authentic! And don't think I won't KNOW ... I'm going to be FIVE remember!

  2. They have to have underwears and jammies.

  3. Their clothes have to be washable. Why is that, I asked. DUH! Would YOU live in dirty clothes every day for the rest of your life? Point well taken. Funny she didn't mention BATHS!

So here is progress on the births of Little Madam C.'s Raggedy Ann and Andy so far today:Raggedy Ann cut out. Andy is hiding underneath her. I searched every fabric store in town for red and white stripes for their legs/stockings, and the closest I could find was orange and white stripes. I sure hope this is 'THENTIC enough for Little Madam C.!Ann and Andy get faces and hearts. I KNOW I have a brown Pigma pen, but do you think I can find it? Had to settle for black. I think it looks okay.

Arms and legs attached to bodies. I'm following pattern directions here ... and directions say sew up arms and legs, leaving a small opening for stuffing, BEFORE attaching to body. If I had my druthers, I'd stuff first and attach second.Those are some LONG legs! (And does my grotty ironing board cover ever need replacing!) It occurred to me that it might be easier to sew button eyes on BEFORE stuffing, although direction indicate that is the final step. Why Annie! What beautiful eyes you have! (I used circles of white heavy iron-on interfacing to reinforce the eyes ... Little Madam C. is gentle with her toys, but she has a younger brother who isn't!)Ann and Andy, stuffed and assorted openings sewn up, and awaiting wigs and clothing. I've chosen fabrics in an autumn / oranges theme (see bottom left of above picture) to go with their orange and white legs / stockings. What do you think? What do you think Little Madam C. will think???

To be continued ...