I'm so excited about this project. It was a gift for my friend Laney. A baby gift, actually, for her little girl who (you may notice) is no longer a newborn. Milly was born in June, but the idea was born at a service auction in March. I'd donated a couple of dolls, customizable to the winner's specs, and Laney, our enthusiastic auctioneer, suggested that the winner could have a husband and wife set made. She was really excited about the idea, and credited her prodding with driving up the auction price. I thought it sounded like fun, but I wasn't sure how Black Apple doll styling would translate onto male dolls. So I was kind of glad when Sara, the winner, had something else in mind, and the doppelganger doll idea was dropped.
I picked it back up again, though, a few months later while contemplating a gift to make for Laney's baby shower. Unfortunately, I knew I didn't have time to execute it before the shower, so I gave her a note that said something like "I know you like surprises! And that's what your gift will be! Later!"
Part of the surprise, I'm sure, was just how much later this gift would arrive. Days before sweet baby Milly's six month-iversary, I finished and delivered this little family.
Maybe you have to know Laney (an endeavor I recommend wholeheartedly) to appreciate this. But I'm going to go ahead and point out some of my favorite details.
|Prototype Milly with fancy earrings.|
She's wearing velvety pink baby pajamas harvested from a pair of velvety pink baby pajamas Grace used to wear. I added a little bum flap cause I think that's cute, and a tiny pink bow cause Milly's not allowed to wear giant flowers in her hair.
Henry was next. His best detail is the tiny pocket, just big enough for a Lego mini-figure rifle. I know cause Sam tried it.
He's also got removable shorts and a fetching little chunk of spiky hair.
And now we come to the best thing about the whole set: the (almost) (sort of) completely-to-scale sizing of the happy couple. Taylor is the perfect match for Laney, smart and funny and clever and remarkable in hundreds of ways. But if you meet him (and I recommend that you do), I guarantee that the first thing you'll notice is his height. He's nearly 12 feet tall.
Laney, for her part, is a bit more down-to-earth, and the juxtaposition between them in real life is (bless their hearts) a little comical. So that's what I was going for here. And I hate to brag, but I think I nailed it. Doll Taylor's crazy doll height had me giggling through the whole construction process, and because I was having so much fun, it was really hard to keep it a secret. But I did, even though it took me months and months to finish.
One of the reasons it took so long was that I had a hard time conceptualizing how to create and attach Taylor's tie. In the end, it was pretty simple (and not all that different from the human-sized tie modeled by Sam here). But for some reason I just couldn't wrap my mind around how to do it, until I just sat down and did it.
previous dolls have been drawn on with Sharpies. I never loved the results, but I was scared of paint (Emily Martin's technique, seen here) and thought stitching would be too time-consuming. I was wrong. Taking a few minutes to hand-stitch is totally worth it. So much cuter, isn't it? And the added bonus is that unlike drawing with a Sharpie, stitches can be easily removed if I make a mistake. (I won't tell you how many times I re-did Laney's lashes. But isn't she a looker now? Oh la la!)
After her eyelashes, the next best part of Laney's ensemble is the little fabric flower in her hair. It's attached with a tiny dot of Velcro, so she can take it off on days when she's feeling not-so-flashy. The pink button matches her fuzzy pink scarf, which, incidentally, matches a pink scarf Laney happened to be wearing the other day when I finally gave her the set. Also, she was wearing black. (Am I good or what?)
I meant to add earrings, but apparently I forgot. Also, I contemplated cuffs and cuff links for Taylor, but decided it was time to just be done. Maybe for his birthday. Or Laney's. In 2015.