Monday, April 30, 2007


QUEEN ANNE Doll-by: Robert Rakes
Exclusively for: Thieriault's

She's not the prettiest doll in my collection. She's kinda funky looking. and on top of that, they gave her 'monkey arms'. Which means that they are a little too long. That is funny in itself, because the real dolls had arms that were invariably, too short. Talk about over compensation. hah. I was looking forward to sewing for her. But, wouldn't you know, the dress is sewn on and the hair and cap are GLUED on!! No, I'm not returning her. I can make do.
She is 8" tall, and jointed at the shoulders and hips only. The dress is of a sort of olive green silk like fabric. She wears pantalets, no petticoat. Red hair, a house bonnet of cotton with lace trim. And a net decorative apron. The edtion of this doll is a limited edition. She represents the 18th. century period.
She is handcarved of real wood. Not made of papier mache'. She is not made to be a dressing doll. But, made to represent a 'Fashion' Poupee. The original dolls were made and dressed to represent the latest fashions of the period. They were sent around to tailors and mantua makers to show the latest fashions. This was before any magazines or catalogs. All clothing was custom handmade. When the dolls were no longer needed, some lucky little girls got them. Nice for the kid. Bad for posterity. Very few antique ones have survived.
There has been an interest in this type of doll. Thr originals cost as much as a new car. Luckily for those of us who can't afford it. Some artists have begun to reproduce fairly nice reproductions. This a reproduction.

Friday, April 27, 2007


Bullies Do Hurt- they needs must be stopped immediately.

As I was growing up, I always have wondered, why have people treated each other so badly. why can't they be nice to each other. But, you know what? I was left out of things by kids in school, because of just that. I was shy, and solitary. I was 'TOO Nice'. Now, how can a person be too nice?! That is just Absurd.
That really made me irritated. Why, I wondered do people think they can do and say such stupid, untrue things to me? I decided, finally it was them, not me. My perception of People is that, in general can be so thoughtless. My Mom and Dad were always there to talk to me about it. My Mom, being half Irish, knew what it was like to be discriminated against. My Dad seemed to know something about it too. But, he just preferred not to go there. I decided I needed to find some kind of answer to that question. Actually, there is no real answer of course, but many factors are involved. Kids copy their adults. So, unacceptable behavior continues to be permitted.
When I was in elementary school, the teacher's oldest daughter Betty, decided to amuse herself by saying mean things to me and making me cry. She got a real charge out of it. And she believed that because she was the teacher's daughter, she was untouchable.
And my brother just told me not to be a baby. None of the other kids even tried to help me either. I didn't say anything at first, to my Mom and Dad because I was too confused.
My older brother said not to tell Mom because 'Betty' could get into trouble!? (you say what?!) You see, Mom was on the school board. And Mom would not let me be mistreated that way.
This went on for at least a week. It seemed longer. And little miss bitch was having a great time. She was really feeling powerful.
Finally it was that weekend, when I told Mom and Dad about it. My brother called me a crybaby tattle tale little twit. But, my parents grilled him about it and scolded him about not sticking up for me. So, to him, I WAS TWICE IN THE WRONG, because now, not only was Betty caught, but now He was in trouble too, and it was all my fault. Mom and Dad were upset and disgusted about it. . Because there were quite a few factors involved.
Until Mom and Dad could get to the bottom of it. They told me some ways to fight back. Verbally that is. One real cannonade they gave me was: 'is the only way you can feel good about yourself, is to make someone else feel bad? I did get a chance to use that too, And Betty was very taken by surprise.
The families were neighbors we saw everyday. We all lived in the same small valley. And most of the other kids were cousins. However, Betty and her mother the teacher are NOT related. Neither were the Schneider's. So for a few days, Mom and Dad talked to my aunts. And also the Schneider kids. Mom drove up to see Phoebe, who was Betty's Mother and our school teacher, to talk with her.
After speaking to Phoebe and interviewing other kids. Phoebe (much to her embarrassment) and Mom found I was right about Betty. The other thing too, people found out, that you don't mess with my Mom's kids. Because you see, Mom wasn't really accepted up there, because she wasn't born there. My Dad was. To them she was an unknown quantity. Well, now they knew, Mom had teeth. Mom had always kept a very low profile. So, she seemed fair game to them to disrespect.. Kids copy by example..
Betty did still try to torment me . I nailed her verbally a few times, with things that my parents had armed me with. Boy, she was ticked because I had exposed her for the bully she was and she no longer had any 'power' over me. Phoebe noticed too, so, finally, Betty was shipped off to another town to live with relatives, until she graduated to high school. Because, you see, a bully will keep at lt. and they must be stopped. right at the beginning. This 'kids will be kids' is a lot of crap. Children are born barbarians that need to be civilized. Kids will do anything, if they think they can get away with it. No one should be demeaned, be-littled, denigrated or taunted and feel diminished. It is just plain mean and less than acceptable behavior. No it does not make someone 'tougher'. It makes them that much more fragile. Of course I had great parents who were always interested in my welfare. Why aren't more parents like that?
No one tried to tease me again. At least not that way. I just became much more defensive. But, in a 'passive aggressive way.' I chose not to let 'others' define who I am. You can't help what people say, or what they think. You have to not let it concern you. I do have another tale to relate later.
That set me on to reading about people, I found books and articles in magazines that covered those subjects. I determined to educate myself and find out how to handle people who were that sort. I READ.
Oh, yes, wait until I write about when I started High school. I made a change there.
However, I lived my own life in my own way. Because, the very ones who tried to disenfranchise me, have done nothing in their lives. They are still there. Never been anywhere. Oh, they got married and had kids who have grown up, married and had kids--etc. Time itself was on my side.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


This is a new book I ordered from Amazon.
It is a lovely book with excellent illustrations .
And displays the real talent of the artist.
It is not quite what I had hoped it would be.
The artist prefers wildflowers and 'roadsidia'.
Whereas, I was hoping for garden or more showy flowers.
However, I know I can learn a new
technique or two. I have already began a new drawing
journal. separate from the handmade paper one I started two years ago.
When I'm done with this Botanicals book shown here,I will resell it.

Monday, April 23, 2007


I have two sewing machines. One is a 1957 Slant Needle Singer and the other one is a Husqvarna 190, semi-electronic. I don't remember the year. Also, hmm. I had it two years before I could get up the self confidence to start using it. I bought it because I really wanted a machine that could do some embroidery. This one had what I wanted at the time. Only I haven't used them since we moved here. I can't see a good place to set them up. The best place is in the main big patio window. But, I wasn't thinking ahead. I had arranged a bookcase there, and it has our Christmas trees on. Yes, we have them out year round.
As I was blog surfing and ran across a blog where the person does Needle Felting.
She mentioned that she was going to purchase the new needle felting machine by a company named: JANOME. So I went to the internet and looked the company up.
Seems they are the largest sewing machine manufacturer in the world.
Well, I wasn't up to having a Needle Felting machine. Because, I have only just found out about that craft. I don't even do it yet. The other machine are much too complicated. They are computers not sewing machines. Well, that's just my observation. I originally learned to sew on a treadle. Ooh, and that is a really nice story.
So, I didn't book mark the site.
The next week or so, I saw some artist made repro. Queen Anne dolls on eBay. And the description mentioned the artist had been profiled in the Spring 2007 ART DOLL magazine. I had my Hb. go see if he could find a copy. Yeah, well Barnes etc. doesn't have that Mag. at all locations. We called around until we found a copy. He dashed out and purchased it for me.
While I was avidly perusing the magazine. I read an article by a doll artist who wrote about a small portable sewing machine. The brand was JANOME. It was a real machine not a toy.
We looked online and went to the phone book. Whoopee. We found a local sewing shop that carried JANOME. And then Fabric Warehouse also has them So my Hb. dashed over to the fabric shop and picked up the little machine. There are evidently two models. The one direct from a dealer is called 'Sew Petite'. It is white with lt. blue lettering. The Fabric store model is ivory called 'Sew Mini' in dk. red It is the lesser priced of the two. Same model though.
It has four lengths in straight stitch, and two sizes of zig-zag stitch. A drop in bobbin. It says it is a real sewing machine, not a toy. It's 9" tall x 11" long x 5" wide.
So, I have had my new little sewing machine for maybe two weeks. I still have not tried it out. Hah. I have to get my head in the right place, so I can concentrate on it to teach myself how to use it. That is the way I am. And that is how my brain works. And how I ended up teaching myself all my life. I have to learn things : one step at a time, or I get everything mixed up. But, once I learn something, I have it for life.
So, here is my new machine, just waiting for me to feel well enough to use it.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


It was 1 year ago today, that I began this blog. Although I did start out with a different location. I was 'CELEBRIN SILVERLGHT'. Then blogger began to have all kinds of hiccups and glitches. So I changed URL addresses and began all over again.
I do have a silverlight blog site again. I just haven't used it yet. I have been keeping it in reserve. Now that my one year has come round. I may restart with the silverlight site. But, I rather like the 'Over The Fence' title. Seems more relevant for my content. But, I still could have 'silverlight' as my signature again. 'z' is actually my Hb.
Before I started this interaction, I had been thinking of writing a sort of autobio. But, I couldn't figure out quite where to begin. Blogging helped me with that. I was able to find my 'voice' to write with. Going month by month and by season. From there I just started to find other anecdotes of my life and family. My Hb. and I have already formatted my first nine months in a book for self-publishing. I have been polishing it up and the content is a bit more expanded from the blog stories. Because I can name names and be more specific. Yes, I am quite circumspect in the blog entries.
I will tell my nephews about it and ask if any of them want a copy. I have five nephews. But, you know how boys are. Don't do anything today that you can put off as long as possible.

Friday, April 20, 2007


This is one of two dolls I made with a theme. Both dolls are: 11" tall. I made them sometime during the 1970's. Most remiss of me, I did not date them.
This doll is the more whimsical of the two. Sort of a Nature Girl Minstral made in my favorite colors, pink and peach. The main thing about them is that the embroidery is the focal point. I designed and embroidered the design on the dresses. For the doll herself, I adapted the pattern from a craft book I found at the library. I wish I could get enthused again like I was then. I do have another embroidery pattern for a doll like these.
Duet is made of a homespun look weaver's cloth. Mostly in peach. Her hair is a rose color soft worsted yarn. With beads individually strung. Her face is embroidered. The bird companion is made of felt. The dress is her only garment. The mandolin is made of a pink cloth and I embroidered it. It really ought to have a twisted cord for the shoulder strap and a tassel.
Very 70's retro.
When I'm feeling down. My dolls cheer me up.
In the photo it appears her feet are soiled, but, not. That is a reflection.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I can't come up with something that would be fun or interesting. I have several stories already written. But, considering the tradgedy this week, I deem none to appropriate. I am also upset, because I have some dental repairs I have to figure out.

Something that ticks me is: why can't I co-ordinate my hands so when i hit the shift key to make a capital 'I', most of the time it comes up'i'. Then I have to go back and fix it.

Ok, so now I have short blog entry.

Here is a pic of a scented leaf Geranium. It is very finicky. It was here when we moved here. The Hummingbirds love it.

Monday, April 16, 2007


After such a Terrible day,
I have nothing to say.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Yesterday it rained all day.
Stopped for awhile
Then the sky became dark and heavy,
This is a shot of the Sunset from our patio.
Facing east. Very eery and surreal.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


On my back I want to lie,
and watch the clouds as they drift by.
all across the sky they flow
rent by wind as they go,
Streaming, shifting
in their course,
In the air they metamorph.
now a dog
and then a horse.
Or perhaps
a swan up there
a cloud shifts
it seems a deer.
A Carousel of visions
drifting by,
as the clouds
move through the sky.
Orig. Poem-byCGZ-2007

Friday, April 13, 2007


I hadn't been blogging or leaving comments because the weather was cold and wet. I wasn't feeling well and am somewhat depressed. So, I don't care to visit much when I'm like that.
Although I do visit otherwise.
But, I had read the coyote stories and so that is why I put up that story. It is actually the first part of a longer story. The Moutain Lion encounters are very disturbing. I actually lay the blame on Walden. All the romantizing of nature. But, maybe the Mountain Men own some of it too.
Well, let me say this. I can appreciate the beauty of of seeming untouched nature. But, I know to respect it. We need to just let some of it be. Because without some untouched wilderness, everyting dies. See, Global Warming is real. The Native peoples that were here when the europeans began arriving. They knew how to live from the land. But, the invaders thought they were entitled to 'wrest' from the soil anything they wanted. They ripped and tore they shredded. They killed anything that came in the way.
Pure sillyness. Complete selfishness. Nature sustains us. Be gentle or it all goes away. I do not anthropomorphize nature, however I am an Enviromentalist. I was raised one, because of my Dad's business. Just as I was raised as a feminist before there was such a movement. My Mother called herself a Suffragette. the Feminist movement was actually the same, only the name was updated. But, that is a different tale.
I do get a little apprehensive about people not taking care when they go out. Yes, coyotes attack people. They will even attack full grown people.
I do like gardening. It is really Nature, but controlled.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I decided to put up this story, now, because of so many wild life confrontations between man and wild beasts. That have been in the news and mentioned by other bloggers. This is only the first section.
When I began writing my stories, it was after I started blogging and reading other blogs. Most of the first blogs I read, were very personal items that are journal material, or about nature, and that is not my thing. Well, I discovered journaling is. I have been keeping a Diary since 1965. Getting to read other's stories gave me ideas and insights as to how and where to begin. Gardening, now is something else. I appreciate nature yes, but it is just an everyday thing to me. There is a quote by Einstein where it says: the monotony of isolation stimulates creativity. Well, I guess, or else die of stone cold boredom. That may work for an adult, but not for a child.
People who have never needed to make a living relying on the country for their living have the false impression that everything is so serene and easy. WRONG. What they do not factor in is, they have never had to contend with: cougars, rattlesnakes, coyotes etc. Also, Bobcats, Pumas, that kill tame cats and dogs. However, as our population explodes, people are crowding the wildlife and with serious consequences for both man and beast. The animals that are left today are the survivors of a long time adaption. They are oppertunists. One time a bear attacked the watchman tent at the logging landing. The Guard got away ok. Because of course the bear was after the food. Coyotes attacked and killed our dog Rover. He made it home to us. But he died that night in front of the the wood stove where we had made a bed for him. Another time, my Mother was awakened by a lion's scream right outside her bedroom window. We could hear all the dogs scrambling around under the house to hide. After that my Dad kept a gun by their bed. One thing about 'Wild', is that rabbits at night were never able to figure out how to get out of the road at night.
Bouncing miles down the road, ahead of the car at night. Caught in their own shadow in the headlights. We tried different strategies. None worked. Because we knew it was the placing of their eyes. And deer just jump out in front of the car, with negetive results for both. I hit a couple with my big Buick. Knocked the head clean off the second one. A friend from college was with me and of course, she was horrified. Only left a small streak of blood on the chrome-plated rim of the right front headlight. So, I do not have any illusions about country living. Nor am I the least bit romantic about the woods. Although Nature may seem eternal and unchanging, it is not benign. It is extremely dangerous. And completely life threatening to the unwary.
Because, you see, I grew up in the northern part of my state. I was so far away from civilization, it was mind numbing and soul starving. We lived there because that is where my Dad was born and he and his Father went into the Lumber business. You can't run a successful sawmill business if you live in town. The main economy is based on: cattle ranching, crop farms and lumber. All very labor intensive livelihoods. No room for the niceties of life. Such a life may seem simple, but it is all hard work.

Monday, April 9, 2007


I've not been doing much lately. And I became stalled on the last little horse. The mane is pinned in place. Just needs to be sewn down. Poor thing. I didn't get to a bunny made for Easter. Although, I did cut one out of a peach velour. Then decided I didn't care for the feel of the fabric for it. The velour was originally intended for doll making.
I hate it when I do that puts me out of countenance and makes it hard for me to get back to it.
I've been plagued with my IBS and headaches again. Let me tell you, it is very annoying.
I am working on a pattern for a small Lamb toy now.
I had believed that once I had retired, I would have all kinds of time to make
dolls and my toys and sew for my special dolls. Well, 'taint happenin'.
I don't know if I mentioned this before, but, I had told my Hb. that since our surrounding isn't really very conducive to having a garden. We just won't have one. What there is does cover up the dirt. So, at least I had green to look at. Well, he went out and found some plants and put them in pots to see if we can get a container thing going. so, far it is rather nice. However, come the hot weather, everything will go down.
But, oh well, what the heck anyway.
And there will be no more Primroses until this October and November!?!?
The Iris in the common flower beds are blooming but the snails are having a real feast, so the flowers do not last long.
The Apple Tree outside our bedroom bloomed nicely this year. Last year there was so much rain for so long, that there were not many blooms or apples. However, this year we have a shortage of rain. so, come Summer there will be conservation in place again. The Water Co. will love that.

Sunday, April 8, 2007






Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Instant Cake

I know, hey what's with all the cake thing. Well my family liked cake. The guys all worked hard and they liked their calories. Because, when guys work hard, they burn it right off. I will get to pie another time.
At home Mom and I made all kinds of cake. As to my question, 'why cake?'. Well, when you live out in the boonies. And it was before TV, it was something to do. Besides being a treat. And it's creative too.
At that time jello cakes were the thing. You know, you add jello to the cake batter to flavor it. and save some back to make a matching seven minute frosting. Now there are pudding cakes. Same idea, only using pudding instead of jello.
Mom and I pretty much perfected our angel cake. My Dad liked vanilla cake with whipped cream for frosting. Tasty.
Actually after I married, I never made that many cakes. Because it was me and Hb. So, if we wanted cake. We just bought a cupcake.
Somewhere along in here, I decided to make a 'mayonaise' cake. I went blithly along and made my cake. Then tee, hee, hee. When I cut a piece, took a bite, how silly LOL, I forgot, we only use Miracle Whip. It has vinegar in it. When I began to laugh at myself, my Mom and Dad gave me an odd look. I said, 'geez, dumb, I didn't even think about the difference, when I made the cake'. So, I ended up with a 'vinegar chocolate cake. LOL. Dad couldn't eat it, as he doesn't care for 'sour'. Hb. and I ate it.
Then in the 1960's along came the infamous 'Hippie' Carrot cake. ( Well, the appellate is mine.) With the awful sickening sweet cream cheese frosting. I don't know how many of those I made. We just finally got sick of it. I only made those for company or doll club meetings. Or a party.
A friend of ours made the most terrific Harvey Wallbanger Bundt cake. But, they moved and I didn't get the recipe.
Our social life diminished and our lifestyle changed. So, I didn't make cakes any more. The stores began to sell squares and individual slices of cake. So, no deprivation there.
Then one day Hb. came home with something really nifty. One Minute Cake!! Wow. Perfect. It comes in three or four flavors. Super. Only thing is, don't eat it by yourself, because one cake is 400 calories. So split it it someone. If you must eat it all yourself, count it as a meal and/or go for a very long walk. The cake packages can be hard to find. I think it is something the company is testing.