"Mom, please can I have a pet," she had begged, many, many times. But no matter how many tantrums she threw, or how many flames she belched, the answer had been the same.
"Having a pet is a big responsibility and you have to show me that you can take care of a living thing."
"But, Mom ...."
"Don't 'But Mom" me! Can't you see I'm busy? Show me that you can be responsible, and maybe I'll think about it."
Well, DeeDee worked very hard to prove that she was mature and responsible. She ate everything on her plate, went to bed without grumbling, did all kinds of chores around the cave, even practiced her flame throwing and her roaring without being told.
She even ordered a book from Amazon.com. with her allowance money. (Some of it she spent on nail polish and a new necklace.)
She read it through and through.
She could be heard, night and day, reading it aloud to herself.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR PET HAPPY
1. Feed it well.
2. Keep it out of the cold.
3. Play with it.
And all that hard work finally paid off.
She now has a pet! She named her CeeCee.
And they are getting along amazingly well.
As for CeeCee, she is doing her part in this relationship.
She also ordered a book from Amazon.com and reads it daily.
HOW TO BE HAPPY AS A PET
1. Love your owner.
2. Come when you are called.
3. Be loyal.
Jenna says they both seem quite happy.
DeeDee is showing great responsibility.
She carries her book The Care and Feeding of Little Girls everywhere and constantly reads it as a reminder of how to be a good pet owner.
And where she goes, CeeCee follows.
I have been planning a setting with a dragon for a long time. Once when Jenna was visiting I mentioned what I was wanting to do and she said, "Nana, I would like to do something with a dragon, too. What I can see is a dragon reading a book called How To Catch a Little Girl, and a girl reading a book called How To Catch a Dragon."
Well, I thought that was a splendid idea and when I saw a pair of MacFarlane dragons online, I ordered them. They are simply wonderful, but quite a bit larger than I had thought they would be. One may work for my setting, but I just couldn't picture the second one for her setting as it is so large.
As luck would have it, however, I found a smaller dragon at Hobby Lobby (or maybe it was Michaels) that was much more appropriate and with the hands at a perfect angle to be holding a book. And I knew I had somewhere in my stash a little girl that would work for her idea, as well. Basically all we would need to do would be to make the books and dress the doll.
Things have a way of evolving, however, and by the time Jenna came to spend five days with me recently, she had developed a full blown scenario that she wanted to do. Having had to prove herself a responsible person a few years ago in order to have gerbils, it was only one step from that to developing her Pet Story about this dragon, who now had to be a girl, of course.
I KNEW I had that doll somewhere, but naturally it was in the very last baggie in the very last drawer. Even now I still have dolls and doll parts strewn all over my work area. Oh well, it all needed reorganizing anyway, so I now have the opportunity to do a better job as I put everything back.
This old lantern looks like a good choice to hold the two. Before she started she cleaned the glass throughly inside and out.
She used kitchen foil to make a pattern for the base.
My husband always makes sure there are plenty of treats on hand when the kids come, including small bottles of Coke. I have been saving the lids for possible future mini cake baking projects - and who knew? They are the exact depth of this candle ring and will provide a better surface for the base!
In case they might show, we decide it might be best to paint the lids black before she glues them in place.
My son gave me a big box of 8x10 cardboard sheets recently; perfect for making bases and who knows what. Jenna wanted the base to look like stone, so here she is spreading a mixture of Tacky glue and acrylic paint.
She remembers, of course, that if you get it wet on one side, you better get it wet on the other "or else it will warp, Nana." Consequently, she painted both sides, but only added sand on the upper piece.
Here she is testing the back piece, which has sand on both sides. (We did remember to remove that tag! lol)
Jennna adds a line of glue along the upper edges of the back before pressing it into place. She uses weights on the back to hold it down tightly and puts it aside to dry while she works on her little girl.
I don't have a clue where I got this little doll which is much tinier than it looks here. She dates way back. Fortunately, her face is already painted, so Jennna breathes a sigh of relief that she won't have to do that.
Fortunately, she can sit and hold her book nicely, but is strung with elastic, and those knots are huge!
We decide that it would be better to remove the elastic, so Jenna cuts off the knot and pulls out the elastic.
She cuts a bit of lace to form panties.
Jenna says this was the hardest part of the whole project, getting that little doll to sit in the right posture. The legs have to be a little closer together so that the book can rest on them, and even with a drop of super glue, the legs keep sliding or falling over. After great frustration on her part, she removes the panty piece and I get a piece of wire to run through the legs and body to help hold things in place while the glue dries. She puts it aside to dry overnight. "I don't want to TOUCH it any more today, Nana. I want it to be COMPLETELY dry!"
She has been suffering from allergies and her eyes are watering, so we take a well deserved break.
The next day the doll is firmly fastened, although she doesn't look too great. That is the posture Jenna wants, however, so I cut the wire close to the body for her. If I had thought about it, we could have added some cotton to fill out the gaps. Oh well ....
Here the lace panties cover up the awkward angle at the back. At this point Jenna was a bit doubtful that this bald little girl with her wide hips would ever be pretty. l assured her that a dress and hair would make all the difference. She puts the girl aside to work on her dragon. And after all that work, the panties don't even show! However, it was a good learning experience, and as we all know, our dolls need underwear whether it shows or not!
What can one do to turn a dragon into a girl? Well, give her a name like DeeDee, Jenna decides. A hairbow, nail polish and some jewelry should do it, too. The first thing she did was to paint the nails, and I suggested she begin with the toes so that by the time she got to the smaller nails on the hands she would feel more secure. Even so, she had some oopsies as she painted. Well, who wouldn't, painting a dragon?
Then she put DeeDee aside for the paint to dry while she worked on a hairbow and decided on jewelry. I had a lot of jewels and such that she could have used, including everything from a crown to bracelets, but she said that a length of chain alone was enough to show that it was a necklace and she didn't want anything else. Smart girl; Jenna is learning that less is more.
Purple was her choice for DeeDee's hairbow and I let her look through a bag of ribbons to choose the appropriate piece, an ombre rayon. She was very impressed when she saw my ribbon stash. I explained how important it was to have natural fabrics like silk and rayon because they glue so much better and manipulate so easily to the shape we want with an appropriate stiffener.
I showed her how to tie a bow in the length of ribbon, pulling each loop smaller and smaller until we got it to the size she wanted. She decided where she wanted the bow and glued it in place. It was a good learning experience showing how careful one has to be working with glue and silk or rayon, and she also learned the term ombre. We were so absorbed with all this that I forgot to take a picture of the bow making.
We needed a break so she took some time off to do other things, like playing her games and resting. She saw a book that I had read recently called The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman. "Oh, Nana, I saw that movie. Can I read this?" It's a big book and quite complex. We discussed the story and I speculated what the "daemons" in the book might be - she says it's their souls - and then she went off to read and I went off to take a nap.
We then spent some time at the computer designing her books. We printed out several samples until we got the right size. She told me what she wanted the book to say and then I created a cover and typed the words for the open pages. She cut out the cover, creased it to form a spine, cut pieces of paper the same size as the printed pages for the additional pages. She folded and glued these pages in place first, then glued the printed pages on top to complete the book. It was remarkable how easily the book then fit into the dragon's hands.
(We were so relaxed that she stayed in her jammies all day and I stayed in my robe.)
I also forgot to take a picture of the making of the dress! Since the doll is so small and we wanted it to drape well, I suggested that perhaps Kleenex would work for her skirt. So, Jenna put a line of glue at the neckline and finger pressed some pleats in a rectangle of tissue to fit it around the neck. I told her not to worry about covering the armholes because she would be gluing the arms over them later anyway. We discussed how fabric falls in our real clothing, so she arranged the skirt in natural folds for someone who is sitting.
To create the sleeve, she coated the doll's upper arm with glue and cupped the lace down over it, with the finished edge at the bottom. She couldn't get over how easy it was to glue the arms in place after all that trouble she had had with the legs.
We followed the same procedure to make CeeCee's book. Here Jenna is preparing to glue the book in place.
That little bald headed doll is looking much better now, she agrees.
Another new technique that Jenna learned was pulling bunka. Not easy to get that first thread going, either. I explained how many ways miniaturists use it and she was delighted to see how it curled when it was pulled. She snipped a bottle cap full of little curls for the little girl's hair. However, we did use one little curl of viscose on top of the head as a base. In retrospect, we could've just as easily done without it since we added all those curls, but when she started wigging she wasn't sure how she wanted the hair to go.
CeeCee reads quietly while glue is applied to her little head.
Jenna had definite ideas on how she wanted this little girl to look - a bit ragged, all in white, and with a black hairbow! "Black looks good against blonde hair," she said. She made the bow with silk ribbon and then added curls around it.
Setting CeeCee atop this old glass made it much easier to work on her.
She liked the look of the dragon sort of protruding from the lantern, so we did not have to worry about fitting it completely inside or attaching the door. It is going to be inside a glass doored cabinet at her home so she won't have to worry about dust, she says.
Here is Jenna just before her mom arrives to take her home. Another great project, Jenna my girl!