Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Doll Hospital

Poor Belle. She was in a terrible car accident today and
suffered decapitation. Luckily, a skilled surgeon was at hand.
I'm not terribly sentimental. Usually, when something is broken, I'm all for throwing it out, de-cluttering, making more room for living. No need to keep broken toys around. However, I do have a soft spot for broken dolls.

When I was a kid I read the book, The Doll Hospital about a sick little girl who made her own doll hospital, patching up broken babies and teddy bears for all the kids in the neighborhood. I don't really remember what the rest of the book was about, but it was a good book and parts of it have stuck with me.

My Aunt Melinda used to patch up my broken Barbie dolls, and now it's my job to put the dolls my kids inadvertently break back together. Today it was poor Belle who lost her head, probably the most common Barbie injury. 

I don't know if you've ever taken a Barbie doll apart, but basically there is a hard plastic bead that holds Barbie's head onto her neck. The head is made of rubber, so it has some give and rarely breaks. The neck, however, is rigid and will crack. That's how Belle was injured.

The pink thing barely sticking out of her head is the piece that
holds her head on.

There's little you can do to fix the plastic, but if it's not torn
up too bad, you can often pop the connector back in and
put the head back on. That was my plan.

The hardest part about fixing a decapitated doll is removing the little bead from her head. This little bugger is designed NOT to come out, so it's a challenge to say the least. I started with tweezers, and after they started bending I moved up to needle nosed pliers.
Nurse, skip the scalpel and sutures, I want the
 needle-nose pliers.

Harder than it looks to extract this little piece.

I got it mostly out by myself, but it seems that Disney has even higher standards than Mattel when making these little pieces, so I had to have the husband help in the end. Normally, these little beads are shaped kinda like a snowman with a tight belt-- round on the top and bottom, and skinny in the middle. This one had a secondary spear-shape on the top half to make good and darn sure that Belle's head didn't pop off. It would have worked swimmingly if it weren't for the crack to the neck. 

Once I finally got this piece out, I jammed it back into her neck and added some nail glue, the only glue I had that I figured would work on plastic. Because there was still a chunk missing from her neck, I taped it tightly with medical tape (after all, this was a medical problem).

I popped the piece back into her neck. I do believe that
this is the most difficult doll surgery I've performed to date.

It was almost as hard to get her head back on as it was to take it off the little pink connector. But I managed it without the husband's help this time. Once I got her put back together, I threw together a little hospital gown and made her an ID bracelet, after all she will need to take it easy for a while to recover.

She looks a little more comfortable now. This
was one of my favorite parts of The Doll Hospital--
the little girl in the book would make casts
and use band-aids and patch her patients up
just like they were real.

I would have put her in bed, if my kids hadn't torn up the Barbie bed this morning. Ah, well. It was made out of cardboard, so what can one expect? Time to throw it away and make a new one, perhaps. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Taking a Break

It's been a while since I've posted, and even longer since I've posted regularly. I feel bad about this. I was really enjoying the crafting and the sharing and the feedback, and I'm disappointed that I haven't been able to do this recently. My going back to work has been a positive thing for my family financially, and it has given me an opportunity to stretch some muscles that I haven't in a long time. But it has been a drain on my home-time and energy. There have been days that I haven't seen my at all. There have been more days when I have been so exhausted when I get home that all I do is crash on the couch until I roll into bed. And there have been some good days when I got home and still had energy and it was early enough for me to head into the sewing room--just not the time to write about it.

I'm writing today to say **to myself** that I'm going to stop feeling bad about not posting. I'm going to take the pressure off myself. I will share things when I can, but will stop feeling guilty when I can't. This blog is supposed to be fun-- for me and for anyone reading. It can't be fun for you if it isn't for me. It can't be fun for me if I am putting pressure on myself to make this blog **be** something. It is what it is. I'm not going to make Blogger's "Blogs of Note" list anytime soon. I'm okay with that. I can deal with reality.

So-- I'm going to be "taking a break" for a while. That's not to say that I will stop posting. It just means that I will post when the spirit moves me, not because it's been too many days since my last post, or because I've done something around here that I **have** to post about. It's not just about the projects, it's about the words, too. If I force myself to write when I don't feel like it, then my writing will be crappy. I've done this-- you've read it. I am guilty of writing the occasional crappy post (and will probably continue to occasionally write crappy posts).

And don't you feel bad-- as my readers, you haven't done anything to put this pressure on me. It's all me, in my own head. My own neurotic need to prove something. To whom? you may ask... Well, to "them," I guess. To the world at large. Only, "they" don't give a crap, so really it's for me. And I don't need it, so I'm just going to chill. That's the plan, at any rate. Wish me luck, and see you some time :)