Friday, November 25, 2011


“Just think, seventeen customers ordered Cajun deep fried turkeys for Thanksgiving.  I bet if we take out an ad in the Picayune, we can get even more orders next year.”

“But you will wear yourself out,” Naveen protested. 

Catering for a Knights of Columbus fundraiser over the weekend had almost run Tianna and Naveen off their feet.   The restaurant was closed on Mondays so the balmy November evening found them cooling their heels on a bench in the park.

   “I know your feet must still ache from standing over that gumbo pot all those hours.  “Let me attend to the suffering dears” said Naveen, drawing her slender calves into his lap and slipping off one sandal.  

“How do you like that?” he said as he removed the other sandal and began to gently massage her arches. 

  Tianna stopped balancing the accounts in her head and surrendered to Naveen’s tender ministrations.

He couldn’t cook.  He was all thumbs with a hammer, and he was likely to be off jitterbugging in some dive with his low life friend, Louis, just at the moment when there was serious work to be done but …

    Naveen’s fingers played lightly over Tiana’s body with the finesse of a master chef mincing celery and onions.  He improvised a medley of sensations, tossing a pinch of this and that into the gumbo pot and then he banked the heat so that instead of scorching, the sauce thickened in a rich blend of flavors.  “I think we have a fine roux,” he murmured as he savored the scent of her desire. 

    Suddenly he pulled Tiana onto his lap

and deftly stirred the pot, running his hands up and down her legs. 

Then he brushed her hair back from her face and gazed into her eyes:  

I’ll be loving you always

With a love that's true always.

When the things you’ve planned

Need a helping hand,

I will understand always
he crooned, tempering the red pepper with a little brown sugar.  He was about to sample the mixture when the pot came to a boil.  Tiana pushed her jitterbug prince down and kissed him, pressing in for a taste of his smoked andouille sausage.  He cupped her hips and pulled her closer.

Their legs intertwined as the gumbo steamed and bubbled…

“I think you folks better take the party indoors,” said Officer Waguespack.

Tiana and Naveen sat up sheepishly 

but after they got home they dished up loving spoonfuls for the rest of the night. 

I can’t promise a foot massage from Prince Naveen but you can make these sandals for your dolls by following the instructions in this tutorial:

Irving Berlin composed “Always” in 1925 for Ellin Mackay whose wealthy father opposed her marriage to a Jewish immigrant.  Berlin assigned the royalties from this song to Ellin so that she would have an income, always, but they remained married and deeply in love for sixty-three years until her death in 1988.

Here is the Ink Spots 1947 recording of this famous tune:

À Bientôt

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Cold Shoulder

Vivienne opened her eyes to a bright new day and reached out for the comforting warmth of her husband but he wasn’t there.

Abruptly she sat up in bed, ruefully remembering the argument that erupted the night before.

“Not now, Bernard,” Vivienne had said as she typed away on her computer.  “I have to finish this project for work.”

“Come on, Viv, you’ve been giving me the cold shoulder for weeks.”

“Bernard, I’m this close to landing a major account.  This project is really important to me.  I’ll make it up to you as soon as it’s finished.”

“Seems to me I heard that song right before you got the project you have now.  When is it my turn, Viv?”

“Somebody has to bring home the bacon.” 

Vivienne winced as the words echoed in her mind.  Bernard was a modern day troubadour.  He had won her heart by serenading her with original love songs and one of them had hit number three in the Billboard charts when a famous artist covered it.  For weeks everywhere she went she felt Bernard’s love pouring out of the radio.  He could move people to tears or make them kick up their heels and forget about their troubles.  From time to time royalty checks might rain down like a princely shower of golden coins but his work didn’t generate a steady income.  As she tried to brush out her tangled locks and emotions, Vivienne felt ashamed of throwing money in his face. 

She got up to dress but when she opened her armoire, she remembered the Saint Regis lace gown her Great Aunt Morgana had given her at their last monthly tea...

It was still folded away in the bottom drawer. 

She shook the gown out and held it against her body. 

“I’ll show you the cold shoulder,” she smiled, shrugging the gown on over her womanly hips. 

The deep burgundy lace set off her creamy skin and raven hair. 

The satin rose that trimmed the front matched the roses that bloomed in her cheeks as she planned an amorous reconciliation.  Then she heard Bernard’s footsteps in the hallway.  She stashed her pajamas under a pillow

and struck a beguiling pose on the bed

just as Bernard came through the doorway.

“Good morrow my lady.  Wouldst thou break thy fast?” he said with his blue eyes twinkling. 

Vivienne drank in his manly form and sighed.

“Bernard I’m sorry…” she began

but Bernard clasped her hand, 

raised it to his lips and began singing:

Lady, I am one of those who willingly endures
your wishes, so long as I can endure;  

but I do not think I can endure it for long
without dying, since you are so hard on me
as if you wanted to drive me away from you, 

so I should never again see the great and true beauty
of your gentle body, which has such worth
that you are of all good women the best.  

Alas! thus I imagine my death. 

But the pain I shall have to bear
would be sweet, if I could only hope, 

that before my death, you let me see you again. 

A long while later Bernard cradled Vivienne on his lap and tenderly fed her like a child.

“Corn crashos?”

“You know I can’t cook, Madame Ventadour.  But

Lady, if ever my heart undertakes anything
which may honor or profit my heart,
it will come from you, however far you may be,
for never without you, whom I love very loyally,
nor without Love, could I undertake it or know it.  

The lyrics above come from “Dame, je suis cilz”  as quoted in “Study Guide for Medieval Love Songs” created by Dr. Paul Brians, Emeritus Professor of English, Washington State University.  I named Bernard after Bernard de Ventadour, one of the most famous troubadours in the “courtly love” tradition.  He lived in the 12th century and was attached to the court of Eleanor of Aquitaine in England.  Vivienne was originally a Disney fairy named Vidia, but I named her and her great aunt after characters in the cycle of Arthurian romance tales.

If any of your ladies wants to show a valiant knight the cold shoulder, here is a tutorial on making the gown:

À Bientôt

Friday, November 11, 2011

Collector's United Doll Show 11/05/11

I'm only working part time right now so a doll show could be a really detrimental to my budget, but I had earned enough money from a copy editing gig to have a good time.  By shopping the bargain bins for articulated bodies, I was able to leave with twenty-one new (to me) dolls and still make rent!

Seeing doll friends is as big a thrill as finding doll treasures.  I bought this silver sprite from Mattie Eley, one of the artists I profiled after the Atlanta Doll Collector's show back in May. 

Although these charming dolls are designed to hang on your Christmas tree, Miss Mattie was wearing one of these creations on her lapel.  At $5 a piece even I could afford to patronize the arts.  If you fancy one of Mattie's People, visit Miss Mattie's Etsy store or check out her website for a full gallery of her work.

I saw several Atlanta Doll Collector's members when I walked in.  A little while later I met up with Vanessa of Van's Doll Treasures.  She gave me three clones including this early Janay.

After a doll show my house reeks of pinesol because I soak everybody in a disinfecting bath first thing.  Then comes the hair pulling.   All the fake, hair weave-looking tresses have to go.  I had to cut off half of this lady's hair before I could scalp her because her locks were so tangled but she cleaned up very nicely.

I passed on the Flavas when they were originally in the stores.  I thought Mattel must be in league with the manufacturers of colored contact lenses since so many of their dolls of color sported blue, green or gray eyes.  Don't they know the majority of the world's population has brown eyes?  I colored Kiyoni's eyes brown and also darkened her lipstick. 


Being somewhat vertically challenged myself, I like having doll characters who are not fashion model height so I will keep my eyes out for more Flavas in the future.

I got Kiyoni and nine other dolls for fifty cents each.  Then I splurged on this Just Girlz Asian princess:

Bruce Lee and Mr. Sulu (played by George Takei) are about to come to blows over her

but I think she has her eye on Toshiro who serves as the fit model in the following shoe tutorial:

Hasbro's movable fighting men may be a little short, but those big feet might be an indicator of sizeable endowments in other areas :-).

À Bientôt

Friday, November 4, 2011

What Goes up Must Come Down

Splasing in the waves and building sand castles was fun, but what Courtney really wanted to do at the beach was ride the ferris wheel.


"I bet you can see all the way to the other side of the ocean from the top of the big wheel," she thought.

The line took forever. 

But finally Grace stepped up to the ticket booth and paid for their tickets.  

Once all the riders were safely strapped in their seats, the big wheel started to turn. 

“Whee!” said Shani. 

“Whee!” said Asha throwing her arms in the air. 

But Nichelle just smiled sweetly. 

When they got to the top of the wheel, Courtney looked out over the water and felt butterflies in her tummy but Grace wasn’t afraid.  “What goes up must come down,” she said.

The sisters threw their arms in the air and whooped as the wheel started its descent. 

“Let’s do it again!” said Courtney


Here is a tutorial on making Courtney’s natural texture wig:

À Bientôt