Friday, 27 March 2020

Life in the Lockdown!

Well I was going to write about something other what is happening in the world at the moment, but the truth is, I haven't really got much else to write about but wanted to post something on my blog.  So I thought I'd try to show a more creative side to being locked down at home.

Firstly a little about the lockdown.  We are currently on Day 13 as lockdown started for us from midnight on Saturday 14th March.  It's been very strict from Day one, which I feel is the best way to go. I do not feel that my freedom is being taken away from me, I hope that this will help save lives and certainly help to ease the strain on the Spanish health service.  For example, we are only allowed out to go to the supermarket to buy food, to the pharmacy for medication, you can walk a dog but only 50 metres from your home, and it must be just one person, you cannot walk in pairs.  No cycling or jogging, no meeting up with friends or family, you can only stay with those you live with.  And only one person per car except if you are taking a vulnerable person to a medical appointment.  And fines are pretty high.  Police are checking where you go and you have to prove where you've been.  So yes, pretty strict.  The number of people who've died from the virus is very high here in Spain, so if it works, and saves some lives then I'm more than happy to do as I'm told.  

So what have I been doing with myself?  Well I started out with the intention of making some doll outfits.  I got all the pattern files out, I printed off some new patterns, I sorted through my fabrics and cut out a few outfits.  I started by making a pair of tiny overalls for my friends doll.  I cut them out wrong, and then when I'd recut them, so I sewed them up back to front.  I really could not concentrate, so I decided to stop that and sit and read.  I've read two or three books but my mind keeps wandering.  I've been spending so much of my time chatting on line, looking at the BBC news, Facebook, YouTube, everything apart from doing something productive with my time.

That is until a couple of days ago when I had the idea to sew some face masks for myself and Brian....then I thought "what about the neighbours?"  So I got started, it was fun to match the fabrics to the personalities of my friends....and so it started!  I have now made 22 masks and distributed them amongst the neighbours.  One friend has a fabric printed with items of clothing, another has one with little Scotty dogs all over, another has doggy pawprints.  A few of the men have skull and cross bones!!!  Others have fish, or flowers.  I even got an offer from someone who doesn't live here to buy some but instead she has made a donation to our local Animal Rescue charity because with the lockdown they cannot open their charity shop which they depend on for income.  So that's what I've been up to!

Waiting for the pleats to be put in.....

All neatly ironed!! 

I asked my friends to share selfies with me of them in their masks, so here are a few of them!!!

Thank you to my lovely friends and neighbours for being good sports and wearing the masks, I hope they help to keep you safe and free from harm when you go to the supermarket or walk your dogs.

I hope every one of you who reads my blog keeps safe and well.  Please don't take risks with your lives or those of your loved ones, it really isn't worth it.  And I would just like to add a special shout out for all the health care workers, street sanitisers, refuse collectors, supermarket and pharmacy staff, and anyone else in one of these critical jobs, who're helping to keep us safe.  THANK YOU!!

Big hugs Sharon in Spain xx


Friday, 21 February 2020

My UK Trip and a Stowaway!

I got back on Tuesday from my five day trip to the UK and I felt exhausted, which is odd because I didn't do that much really!  I was really happy to see that my mum is doing so well, she is now walking quite well with either the walker or her crutches, she's also cooking and able to do light housework.  The only thing she's not doing is going outside on her own, which is fair enough as the weather isn't good and I'd hate for her to slip over.  

Whilst there I did a little bit of shopping and met up with friends.  My friend Sue, who I've mentioned several times before here on my blog, brought a parcel over to my mum's house, which I'd had sent to her from Dollstown in South Korea.  I will share more of that in a future post.  Anyway, it was lovely to catch up with Sue again if only for a brief time.

One of the dolls I brought back with me is Sienna by Kaye Wiggs.  I bought her from a friend in the UK who is downsizing her collection.  In fact I bought two dolls from her but will show them seperately.

Sienna is in Coffee tan resin and I have to say that her sculpting just blew me away, she is so beautiful.  I think that she is my favourite Kaye Wiggs doll sculpt so far.  She is so realistic!

Please excuse the dust particles on her face, I forgot to blow them away before taking the photos.  

This girl is 43cm tall and has the 'Abby' body, which is the smaller of the two MSD bodies released with Kaye Wiggs dolls.  She has beautiful Coffee Tan resin which is darker than my other Kaye Wiggs dolls and is such a pretty dark tan.  There were only 50 of this doll released in this colour resin and all of them have had their faceups enhanced by Kaye herself.  My girl is number 29.  

The wig in the photos is a very dark Tibetan lambswool and although it's very full, I think it's absolutely perfect for her face sculpt.  The only problem is, I don't see all the stray hairs in the photos until I've uploaded them and put the doll away, so apologies for all of those!!!

My friend sent her with this outfit as well as two others, so Sienna has some different clothing options until I can sew for her.  I love her in these colours, I think they really suit her.

I believe these glass eyes are the ones she came with from Kaye.

I think in the past I read an interview with Kaye where she was asked where she got the inspiration for her sculpts and if I remember rightly she said that she sculpted the faces of the children she saw around her in her home country of Australia.  If this is the case then she really is spot on with this one, she so reminds me of the little Aboriginal children that live down there in Oz, she's just gorgeous!!!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Big hugs
Sharon xxx

Sunday, 9 February 2020

February Already! And finally some dolly time :)

Most people complain that January goes by so slowly after the rush of December and Christmas but I must admit, that having been in the UK from the 3rd to the 11th, the month seemed to whizz by!  I was hardly home when the 31st arrived and brought with it my son Brendan who came over for a week's holiday with us.  He mainly comes to see us on his own as he has more holidays than his wife Virginia, so when she comes to Spain she naturally spends the time with her family.  Anyway, it was a great week, we did lots of chatting and laughing and of course shopping, Brendan always wants to buy things here that are apparently much cheaper than the UK, so he keeps us very busy!!

Lucy loves having Brendan home! 


On the dolly front I have sold a couple of dolls and done a bit of sewing as well as have taken some photos of different dolls who've had a change of clothes or wig.  The weather has been lovely, very warm and sunny, perfect weather for taking my girls outside to photograph.....

Here is Holly (formerly Wentje, the doll I showed in my last post), she is a Zwergnase Junior and is 55cm tall.  I changed her into this dress that I made ages ago for another doll that has since left for pastures new.  I then added a 'shirt' underneath so that it looked a bit different from when the last doll wore it. When I first got her I wasn't sure about her but since I got back from the UK and have had a chance to 'play' with her, she's really grown on me. 

 Also today I changed the wig on my Little Cosmos Dolls Robin.  I've always thought of her as a dark haired girl but yesterday I received this wig from a group order I'd participated in back in the autumn.  By the time it arrived, I couldn't remember who I'd ordered it for!!!  So Dylan (Robin) tried it and I really think it suits her so she will keep it.  

Who'd have thought she'd look so angelic as a blond!  Funny how looks can be so deceiving though๐Ÿ˜‰

I also changed my little Sienna (Bastian, also by Little Cosmos Dolls) into this cute outfit by the Gorjuss company.  It seems odd to have a coat with short sleeves but it's not cold here now so little Sienna doesn't mind ๐Ÿ˜‰.  This girl's face so appeals to me, she always looks so worried, like she's scared she's about to be told off!!!

I made a couple of outfits for my Kaye Wiggs girls, here is Gracie modelling the outfit I made for her....It wasn't quite finished in this photo, I'd forgotten to put the cord through the bottom of the sleeveless hoodie!!

Here we go, the cord is now done and I made another outfit, this time for Hope. 

I have a third outfit cut out and ready to sew for Layla, I'll get to that soon I'm sure!

In the meantime, I am off to the UK again on Thursday to see my mum and brother.  My mum has been doing very well since her fall and is completely on the mend now, thank goodness.  She was recently discharged by the physiotherapists and is now walking well with the aid of a walking stick or a walking frame.  I'm only going for five days but looking forward to it....apart from the weather!!!

I have some dolly purchases to pick up whilst over there so hopefully will have some new arrivals to show you on my return.

Have a great week ahead, and for those of you being affected by Storm Ciara, keep safe and warm.

Big hugs
Sharon in Spain xxx



Thursday, 16 January 2020

All the best laid plans.....

Firstly I would like to wish everyone who reads my blog, a very Happy New Year!  I hope that 2020 is a great year for all of you.

Secondly I would like to apologise for not wishing you all a wonderful Christmas, but the truth is everything went pear shaped for us here just before the holidays and I never got the chance to post on my blog as planned.

I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I was going to the UK on the 14th December to meet up with my mum and my brother John and travel back with them to Spain on the 15th for them to spend Christmas and the New Year with us.  The journey to the UK was uneventful and although we had a slight delay on the way back to Malaga, all went well and we arrived home to my place at about lunchtime.

We had lunch and chatted for the afternoon, I think, if I remember rightly, my mum started to knit a woolly hat for one of my dolls.  Then my mum went to my friends place (she was away and offered my family her place to stay in as since moving we haven't a lot of room), just a minutes walk away, to unpack.  

A little while later my brother came running back to tell me that my mum had fallen over and he couldn't get her up.  I ran with him back to my mum and she had fallen backwards down a small step......

The ambulance came and took her to hospital, she was in a lot of pain and having a panic attack because of this pain.  

To cut a long story short, my 83 year old mum was hospitalised with a broken hip and was operated on the following day.  Here in Spain, you're more or less expected to stay in the hospital 24/7 with your person, so I slept in the chair next to her bed for four nights.  We went home on the 19th and from that date on I looked after my mum at home, she was encouraged to walk using a walking frame, and has been doing really well, thank goodness.

My mum needed a lot of help at first, especially with her personal care, and I stayed with her at my friends place whilst my brother stayed with Brian and the dogs at ours.  My brother John has learning disabilities so he needs a certain amount of supervision too.

Christmas Day was nice though, if hard work.  We had our dinner outside on our deck as it was such a lovely day.  I didn't get time to wrap the presents until late on Christmas Eve, the Christmas cards remained in the box, the proper linen napkins and table cloth remained elusive and we had to resort to a paper tablecloth and paper napkins....the prawns for my seafood starter were uncooked so we couldn't eat those, and I had to substitute them for some crab sticks that were in my fridge that were barely in date.....and it wasn't until halfway through lunch that I realised I'd forgotten to put glasses on the table and wine in the fridge...but apart from that the food tasted good and there was plenty of it!!!!

After Christmas mum's insurance company sent a nurse from the UK to travel back with her to her home on the 3rd January, I had planned to go with her for a few days but decided to stay for just over a week so that I could help her in her home as well as get a care plan in place for when I came back home to Spain.

I arrived home last Saturday, 11th January, and slept in my own bed, with my husband for the first time in almost a month!  I have never appreciated my own bed so much! ๐Ÿ˜Š

In the meantime my mum has a carer visiting each morning and a physiotherapist has been each day this week to help her to regain a good level of mobility.  She seems to be doing well and hopefully when I return to the UK again next month to visit her, she will be able to go back upstairs in her house as so far she has had to remain downstairs.

So today I got back to my Christmas present doll from my husband Brian.  She is a Zwergnase Junior Wentje and she is 55cm tall.  Wentje is one of a limited edition of 50 dolls worldwide, she is handpainted and has a human hair wig.  I haven't had time to sew her anything yet but hope to do so soon.  

Here are a few photos of her.  I think she is one of those dolls that really benefits from being photographed in natural light as she looked quite plain inside my doll room, but I think she came more alive when I took her outside this evening just as the sun was starting to set.

So there you have our Christmas.  My mum falling was a horrible end to what had already been a really awful year.  I am hoping that 2020 will be better for all of us.  I'm very glad to see the back of 2019 to be honest and am going into this new year with a positive attitude. 

I hope 2020 is great for all of you.  Thank you for continuing to visit my blog, please keep coming and commenting as I really appreciate it.

Big hugs to all of you

Sharon xxx  


Sunday, 8 December 2019

December Already!

I've been incredibly lax recently with my blog and thought I'd get a post in quickly before it's the end of another year!  I last wrote that it was Autumn already....and here we are, it's winter!  Thankfully though, the winters here in southern Spain are short and mild, we've had some rain, which we really, really needed, but apart from that it's been sunshine during the day, temperatures of around 19C - 21C, and cooler nights.  Perfect winter weather for me!

So what's been happening in my world since I last posted on here?  Well my husband Brian was really sick about 5 weeks ago and I was extremely worried as he's rarely unwell, but he was bad, really bad, collapsing a couple of times, which was very scary and this was just before he was due to go to the UK to visit with his family.  He wanted to leave going to the doctor until he returned from his trip but I was concerned that he was sicker than he was letting I made an appointment and it turns out I was right, the doctor took his blood and his sugar levels were sky high....he was immediately diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and she injected him with insulin straight away in the surgery.  Now, 5 weeks later he's doing so much better.  Obviously he had to cancel his trip, which was a shame for him but at least if he's going to be sick then he is close to home.  But thank goodness he's doing well, he's testing his blood and injecting himself every day and although his legs aren't great, they're at least working to hold him upright!!!

Brian also bought himself a mobility scooter which he's enjoying!! He tells me he's named it Thunderbolt 2!!!  It means that we can get out together, he can ride his scooter and I can walk along next to him with Lucy, our Miniature Pinscher, which is great!

On the dolly front, I have been enjoying my new Dandelion by Bimong and also I recently received my Xiao Yu head from Black Cherry dolls, a Russian artist.  The head sculpt is beautiful and has a gorgeous faceup by Blisslacosta, who is also Russian.  Four months ago I ordered her an Elf body from Dollstown and hopefully that will arrive soon.  In the meantime she is using my Volks SDMidi body, the colour match is really good (the head is Oriental Copper and the body is called Sunlight).  But my Volks girl is looking forward to getting her body back I'm sure!!

I love the way this faceup artist paints the lower eyelashes on dolls, they looks so incredibly realistic.

I have also received some gorgeous gifts from two of my lovely dolly friends.  One of my friends in the US said that she wanted to send me a gift as she enjoyed reading my blog.  I don't like the idea that people think I 'deserve' anything for the fact that they enjoy my photos, I just am happy that people do enjoy them....but this lovely lady asked me what I would like.  I finally suggested that maybe she would like to send me a fat quarter of fabric which I would use to make an outfit for one of my girls and would think of her when I looked at the dress.....and then lo and behold not one fat quarter but THREE fat halves (I think that's what they're called) arrived from her, such pretty fabrics, thank you so much my know who you are!!!

Using two of the fabrics, I made this dress for my Dandelion, I hope you like it D, and that you think I'm making good use of your very pretty gifts!

Another present I received was a complete surprise from my friend J who also lives in the US.  She sent me a box and inside were two BJDs (ball jointed dolls), both BIDs (Yosd size) from Iplehouse, an extra BID head, another manikin doll (you'll remember seeing two others that she sent me earlier in the year), some outfits, a wig and a pattern!  

Here is one of the new Iplehouse dolls, she is a Elin and I enhanced her face a bit as she was a little pale, I gave her some new eyelashes, new eyes and new wig.  She then went through the dolls clothes box and found herself something to wear!

I haven't taken photos of the other doll and the spare head, but will get to that soon.  

Thank you both, D and J, for my lovely gifts, I'm just so incredibly lucky to have the dolly friends that I have. 

I'm off to the UK on Saturday for nine hours....yes you read that right, just nine hours!! I'm going over to meet my mum and brother and bring them back to Spain with me on Sunday morning and they are spending Christmas and New Year with us.  I will then go back with them to the UK on the 3rd January and spend a few days there meeting up (hopefully) with my friend Sue and my son :)  

Well hopefully I will get to post maybe one more time before Christmas.  Thank you so much in advance for visiting and have a great week ahead!!

Big hugs Sharon xxx


Monday, 28 October 2019

Autumn already!!!

It's been more than a month since I last wrote anything here on my blog but now that the evenings are darker, I'm more inclined to be sitting inside using my laptop, rather than outside so thought I'd do some catching up!  I don't like putting the clocks back, the sun sets here at about 6.30pm and I thought that was bad enough until my son, who lives on the south coast of the UK, sent me a photo this afternoon at 5pm UK time, and it was completely dark!!!!  We are very lucky here to be honest, as even in the middle of winter, it never really gets dark before about 6.15pm.

That aside, the weather here has been beautiful.  The temperature during the day is still in the low to mid 20s centigrade, so I really cannot complain.  I think waking up to bright mornings with blue skies and lots of sunshine really does help my frame of mind. And it has certainly made my morning walks easier to get up for!!!

On the dolly front I have been busy.  I have recently sold another 6 dolls and a Super Dollfie sized body, so of course that money was burning a hole in the bottom of my paypal account.  I ended up buying two dolls, one was an impulse buy and the other was a doll that I have wanted for absolutely ages but had not been able to find within the EU and I was not prepared to buy from elsewhere as I didn't want to get caught for customs charges.

So the impulse buy is by an artist that I've admired for a while but never thought I'd find one of her dolls for sale within the EU.  She is a Madeleine by the Australian artist Liz Frost and she is approx 12 inches tall.  Madeleine is a tan resin ball jointed doll (BJD) and I adopted her from a friend in the UK....I am thinking that I might give her a new faceup or at least partially redo her as I'm not sure about her current blush.  We shall see.  The good thing about this doll is that she can share the clothing belonging to the Little Darlings, so that gives her a lot of options as they have a lot of clothes!!!

Here she is on arrival day:

The second doll that I bought recently is one that I have wanted for AGES!  I mean a really long time!  Probably since she was released back in about 2011.  I remember wanting to pre-order her but again the customs charges put me off as she would be shipped from the US.  So I decided that if I was to get her then it would be secondhand ... but each time she was for sale within the EU, so I was broke!  In the end I sort of moved on.  However about three weeks ago I saw one for sale on Ebay and she was being sold in France.  The seller had stated she'd only ship within France but several messages later she was coming home to me!  She is just what I was looking for.  A Kaye Wiggs Gracie in sunskissed skin tone with a default faceup.  She arrived last week and she is just so incredibly cute, I'm really glad to have found her and can honestly say that she was worth the wait!!!

Also my new body (I wished!!!) arrived for the Dandelion head I bought back in September.  I bought this head actually as a full doll but I didn't like the body so I sold that body and ordered an Elf body from Dollstown.  Now I'm very happy with her new look.  I took a few very quick photos of her when the body arrived and some photos of the head on the first body....

And some quick photos of her with her new body.  I will take more detailed photos soon.

I quickly made her this blue top but need to make her more of a wardrobe of clothes, as I don't have much in this size :)  I'm actually looking forward to sewing in this bigger size again after years without a Super Dollfie sized doll, even if she is actually considered to be a 'smaller super dollfie'. ๐Ÿ˜‰

There are some other 'newbies' here but I will leave them for another post.  I hope you've enjoyed seeing a brief post of what I've been up to.  

Have a great week ahead!

Hugs Sharon x