Money´s too tight to mention…

MTTM 21

Yes, yes…directing again. Seems, I can´t stop, because I have far too much fun with it…

This time, I was looking for a way to express the problems, many of us (including me) suffer from, since COVID put all of our economies under strong pressure.

MTTM 23

Since the pandemia started in March 2020, hopes and dreams were shattered and many people lost their jobs or their intire existence, especially, when they were shop owners, independent service providers of any kind or employees at small companies, restaurants or hotels.

I thought about some ways, to give them a voice, but the right idea didn´t came up, until by chance,  I heard an old song, I hadn´t thought about in years.

It was “Money´s too tight to mention” by Simply Red.

MTTM 24

And it was almost perfect. A few changes in the lyrics were necessary, but over all, it was like the band had known in advance, what was there to come many years later… So…Curtains up!

MONEY´S TOO TIGHT TO MENTION

 

MTTM 1

I´ve been laid off from work my rent is due

MTTM 2

But me and the cats….we need some food!

MTTM 3

So I went to the bank to see, what they could do.

They said “Son, looks like bad luck got a hold on you!”

MTTM 5

Money´s too tight to mention!

MTTM 7

I can´t get an unemployment extension…Money´s too tight to mention!

MTTM 4

I went to my brother, to see what he could do.

He said “Brother, I´d like to help, but I´m unable to!”

MTTM 8

So I called on my father, oh my father, my old father…

MTTM 9

He said:

“Money´s too tight to mention!”

Oh, money, money, money, money…

“Money´s too tight to mention…I can´t even qualify for my pension!”

MTTM 11

We´re talking about tensed economies and the virus that kills.

Vaccine´s still on the horizon for us. Are we living to get it? Maybe, we never will!

MTTM 12

Money´s too tight to mention!

Oh, money, money, money, money!

MTTM 13

We´re talking about money, money!

We´re talking about money, money!

We´re talking about money, money!

MTTM 14

Money, money, money!

MTTM 15

We´re talking about the dollar bill.

And that old man, that´s over the hill.

MTTM18

Now what are we all to do?

When money and this virus got a hold on you?

MTTM 17

Money´s too tight to mention!

Oh, money, money, money, money!

Money´s too tight to mention!

MTTM 19

Dinero`money oh!

MTTM 16

We´re talking about money, money and

We´re talking about COVID, COVID!

Yeah, it´s COVID too!

We´re talking about money, money!

MTTM20

Did the earth stop for you COVID?

Did the world stop for you COVID?

Just because of you?

Did our world stop for you COVID?

Yeah, I´m asking you…

Yeah, I´m talking COVID!

Yeah, I´m asking you…

Are you satisfied now?

 

Most Lyrics from “Money´s too tight to mention” by Simply Red

Romeo and Juliet Part 1: Renovate yourself!

Occupying a whole shopping center for a play is nothing new. Be it the real world or the one of dolls. But it was fun, to fill it all with kind of “life” and lots of little props for my actors to use.

Making this play wasn´t easy. I had to prepare almost a whole day and shooting took place late in the evening. That´s why the pictures aren´t the best.

I used a ringlight on a stand, but not even that was helpful, when it finally got to dark.

Renovation 0

The story itself was in my mind for more than a year now. But I never had the right background, some props were missing and there was my constant lack of time.

Renovation 00

Most of the problems could be solved, so I was finally able to start.

“Renovate yourself!” is only part one of a 4-part story. So there´s more to come.

But that will take time. And some more preparation…

Renovation 000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But it´s time now, to start my “boy meets girl” story… See you later!

Curtains up!

 

 

 

 

RENOVATE YOURSELF!

For may years, you walk through live rather content with yourself.

Renovation 3

You go to work and earn your pay, ignoring that little voice inside your head, that tells you, something is missing and you´re not really complete.

Renovation 4

Until one day, you bump into a girl and fall in love head over heels.

From one moment to another, your whole world has changed and if you find out, that she cares for you too, it could be heaven on earth….But instead, you lose your self-confidence completely.

How can a goddess like her have feelings for a dull guy like you? Someone, who´s far from being the hero of her dreams?

So one morning, you find yourself staring  in the mirror and you hate, what you see. She deserves something much better!

Renovation 1

You want to change everything: Your hair, your clothes, your face…Even your name. You  simply need a “self-renovation”.

And you don´t think for a moment, that she might love you for exactly what you are right now. No, of course, you don´t!

You insist on changing yourself. So you have to start with the easiest thing on your list: Changing your clothes style. And that means shopping.

But there is one little issue: You simply HATE  shopping!

Renovation 2

So what are you going to do? You call your cousins, who are also your best friends, for help!

Renovation 5

Both agree to meet you in the evening at the shopping center, to help you find the right style to impress your girl-friend.

Renovation 6“I´m not sure, if I really want to do this, Padraigh!”

“Oh, come on! I hate shopping as much as you do, but I promised to help and now you would change your mind?”

“He´s right! You can´t command us over here for help and then run away! Don´t be such a coward! Shopping is fun, you´ll see! And it´s not Sodom and Gomorrah in there!”

“But you´re a girl, BanQuette! For you it´s different! I feel rather like walking into the lions mouth!”

“I don´t have the time to listen to your wailing! Padraigh, let´s go in. If we further try to convince him, this could  go on forever! He might decide for himself, if he joins us or not!”

Renovation 7

“Lions mouth!” Like I said….but I do it for her!”

Renovation 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Now come on! We haven´t got all day!”

Renovation 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Crap! I hate crowded places!”

Renovation 10

“And all I can see is girls stuff! Isn´t there a man´s corner?”

“Of course, there is! Just turn around and then go left!”

Renovation 11

“Wow! That´s something! I´ll bet, you find the right things here….Look at that white coat! I love it!”

Renovation 12

“I´ll sit here in the corner, while you both rummage through the rails….”

Renovation 13

“I need to try that coat and shirt!”

“Wait…I found matching pants for that!”

Renovation 14

“Ta-Daaaa…What do you think? Don´t I look absolutely dazzling ?

Renovation 16

“You do…But isn´t that a bit to “manly” for you, BanQuette?”

“Not if I wear the pants with a sequined blouse or the coat with my little black dress and pumps! Today, girls can wear anything! And some of your man´s clothes are really attractiv!”

Renovation 17

“Now you got something, but we didn´t come here to take care for your wardrobe, BanQuette! We wanted to help him…He already looks desperate enough. Don´t you think, we should do something?

“He´s a big boy! I think, he can manage. And he only asked us for moral support! And that´s what we do!”

“But he doesn´t know anything about fashions, just like me! Most of the time he´s running around in jeans and t-shirts. And the few shirts he has, were a gift from uncle Onslow!”

Renovation 18

“Sorry to interupt, but I think, I´ll try this on. I like the jacket and the pants are something else!”

“Hey! Do they have a second pair of pants like that? Would you mind, if I got them too? They would look lovely with my white embroidered silk-top!”

“BanQuette behave! You know, we should focus on HIM!”

Renovation 19   “Now…How do I look?”

“Well…it´s great. You look dashing! But do you really think, your girl needs that? Maybe she wants you just the way you are!”

“Padraigh! Don´t kill his buzz! She will love his new look!”

Renovation 20

“Now Padraigh… maybe you need a new style too!”

“No!!!! Just leave me alone! I don´t need new clothes!”

“I told you, shopping is fun! Our “Romeo” already caught the virus! And now it´s your turn! I´ve seen something perfect for you in that rail over there!Renovation 21 Ah…Here it is!”

“You look great! Really “adventurous”!  I like that style! But there´s something missing…Try the hat and bag!”

Renovation 22

“Yes! That´s perfect!”

Renovation 23

Now, that all three got the shopping-virus, there are some more styles  to try…BanQuette manages to find the same pants in her size and gets a pair of posh golden pumps and a matching bag from the girls section!

Renovation 25

“Listen…I think, we´re all a bit tired and hungry now. There´s a little self-service café with a pastry-shop on the second floor. We could go there and pick up our purchase later.”

“Good idea! Let´s go!”

Renovation 26

“Hey, Padraigh! Have you seen that cute Zombie over there?”

Renovation 40

“Not worth trying Banquette! He´s already gotten himself a werewolf! See?”

“Pity!”

Renovation 27

 

 

“Could you go up alone? I´ll join you later….”

“Where are you going?”

“Getting my hair dressed….”

Renovation 28

“Ok…See you later….”

Renovation 30

“Getting his hair dressed???? I´ve never heard him saying something like that! Usually, he´s not giving much attention for his hairstyle! He must be pretty serious about the girl!”

Renovation 31

“He is. I´m curious, if we get to see that wonder-woman one day. He didn´t mention anything about introducing her to us.”

“He murmured something about bringing her for grandma Iris´s birthday next week!”

“Oh, yes…Grandma´s birthday…I confess, I´m worried about my mom.”

“Is something wrong with her?”

“She´s been dry since she joyned the AA….The group really did her good. But when Grandma talked her into coming to her birthday party and she heard, aunt Minerva will be there too, she lost her grip and I´m afraid, she will start drinking again.”

“So why don´t she stay at home? Grandma will understand that!”

“I´m afraid not…You know, she can be really stubborn. And it´s her 70th birthday. She want´s to have all of her loved ones gathered around her that day…And even if she would finally understand…Mom is decided to fight against the fear, that always overcomes her, when she has to meet aunt Minerva! I couldn´t talk her out of it, no matter how I tried!”

“Minerva at the party….That´s no good omen, I would say…But…”

“Hey! Who´s that stranger over there? That hairdresser did a good job!”

“You really like it?”

“We do. And we´re sure, your “Juliet” will too!”

Renovation 32

The first (and easier) part is done. Now our young “Romeo” can rest and enjoy a treat.

Renovation 33

To be continued….

It was a piece of work, to deal with my “Barbie Fashion Show Shopping Mall” from 2004. I got it for a low price second hand and most of the original items are missing. So I had to replace them with some of the things, I collected in the last years.

I really love that posh little mall. Almost no pink! That´s rare for something Mattel! But nothing is perfect and so there are (like always)  a few little things, I need to complain about.

First: I love the elevator, but it takes far too much space. It would have been better, to place it on a side wall of the mall and make the hair dresser´s shop bigger. It´s almost impossible to work properly in that shop with such a small space and a crooked one on top.

The corridor leading from the entrance into the mall, is also far to small. Even children with tiny hands might have problems, to play with their dolls there. And it´s definitely not made for male dolls…They stuck and their heads touch the ceiling…

It was hard work, to place the items on the small shelves in the back of the corridor and work with the dolls, without tipping some things over.

The shop areas in common are extremely small.

The clothing-rails are separate from the mall. I would have prefered them to be attached to it, in the same way, some of the Barbie folding houses work. But that´s a minor problem.

My solution was to work with double-sided printed papers, usually used for model-building. So I could add some space on the outside of the actuall mall building and fake walls and wooden floors, where I needed them.

If you look very close, you will find BanQuettes wig doesn´t sit properly on her head and the neon-green flocking is looking through in one scene…No, I don´t tell you where. You have to look for yourself!

The “bathroom” scene was another thing…The sink and mirror ensemble was actually made for Ken. But if you put the doll right in front of it, you find out the mirror is to short and the whole construction to deep and low. All a “shaving fun” Ken would see, were indeed his throat, but not his face. And the head of the doll already looms over the edge of the mirror! The only solution was, to bend the doll forward, until it stood more like an ape instead of a human being. But in that position, it was possible to make the reflexion of the dolls face visible in the mirror.

As always, there are some mistakes in this play, but that´s the best I can do for now.

 

Their Fashions Are Terrible!

This is a satire!

It´s based on the song “Your makeup is terrible” by Alaska Thunderfuck 5000.

Thank you Alaska for that song. I simply couldn´t resist!

When I started to work with 16″ dolls a few years ago, I didn´t imagine, I would ever go back to Barbies or 12″ dolls in common.

But one should never say never and I had to change my mind, when the first Made to Move and BMR1959 dolls came to the market.

TF7

Their articulation is great, they come in different sizes and skin tones and a few of them are (to my opinon) the most beautiful dolls Mattel ever made! They became some of my favorites. TF8

But there´s something, I don´t go along with …Sorry… But THEIR FASHIONS ARE TERRIBLE! (That´s my personal oppinion. Others might love them!)

I´ve never seen anyone wearing clothing like that in public, no matter where I went in this world.  Not even in the 90s.

I remember vaguely a fashion show, some years ago, where models wore similar things. But that was only a designer´s dream. Not meant for reality.

The quality of the fashions is a bit better than the usually Barbie clothes. But the patterns and colors are extremely mismatched and some of the pieces don´t even fit the dolls.

The jacket for the petite for example,  is much to big and actually fits the standard dolls. Some of the sleeves are far to long and the cap for the blonde Tall is to small, to hold on the head. And the shirt for the Latino girl actually fits the Kens much better.

So it´s curtains up again!

 

“I don´t know about you, little Miss Streetwear, but my fashions do sooooo much more for me than yours…That´s an issue that´s recently came to my attention and we should discuss it right now!

YOUR FASHION IS TERRIBLE!”

TF13

THEIR FASHIONS ARE TERRIBLE! (Not even Monsters like them!)

TF1

But I bought them anyway….

THEIR FASHIONS ARE TERRIBLE!

TF2

THEIR FASHIONS ARE TERRIBLE!

TF3

But I love them anyway!

TF4

 

TERRIBLE! TERRIBLE! TERRIBLE! TERRIBLE!

TF5

But I bought them anyway!

TF6

 

“Fire brigade? I´ve got an emergency : THEIR FASHIONS ARE TERRIBLE!”

TF9

 

TERRIBLE! TERRIBLE! TERRIBLE! TERRIBLE!

TF10

But I love them anyway!

“So, WHO do you say you are? The “Fashion Police”? And you want my ID?

Listen, this outift is my ID!”

TF11

Her fashion is TERRIBLE! Her Fashion is TERRIBLE! But I love her anyway!

TF12

THEIR FASHIONS ARE TERRIBLE! THEIR FASHIONS ARE TERRIBLE!

TERRIBLE! TERRIBLE! TERRIBLE! TERRIBLE!

But we love them anyway!

TF14

“We´re always been proud, to have the best fashion store in all the land…

Hope, that´s correct…

Well, it better be, because we have some cases of really bad fashions here to care for!”

TF15

THEIR FASHIONS ARE TERRIBLE! THEIR FASHIONS ARE TERRIBLE!

But we love them anyway!

TF16

I wanted to be fair about it, so I tried to combine some of the clothing in a different way…It worked on 4 outfits at least, the rest simply can´t be combined with other BMR fashions. But is that really satisfying?

I´m not so sure! Decide for yourself!

TF17

I confess, I´m waiting for Wave 3 of the BMR1959 to come in 2021…I hope for some more Kens, maybe a second Curvy or another Petite in different skin tones….But I also hope for fashions, that will enjoy us and give us the feeling, that buying them is worth it, instead of keeping us annoyed.

Since then, I store my dolls clothing away and they have to go with FR12 fashions and the humble things, I sew myself.

Dressing Zombies and other Calamities

Dressing Zombies 1

“Directing “can be very exhausting and tiresome. Especially, when you have to deal with unwilling actors.Dressing Zombies 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last November, I hired two new actors for my humble little doll theater: The zombies Eliza and Zed.

I thought them a good addition for my werewolf and the three witches.

But as soon as they arrived, they insisted on going back home again. They told me, they didn´t know, they were send to Europe and refused to stay and work with us.

Of course, I rejected. A contract is a contract. They´re mine and will be for a long time, if not forever. So I found a cozy little catacomb for them, thinking of their special needs.

Dressing Zombies 3

But both didn´t feel at home there. They turned their heads away and Zed murmured something about “Addison not here”, while Eliza complained about “The flat being more shabby than the shabbiest Zombie-crawl space” and that she “wanted to know, who on earth made that weird design and who took her laptop!”

I tried everything to calm them down, but finally gave up.

I needed some help, so I called on two of my employees, Billy and Wynter Barkowitz, my werewolf. I know, both have a “sweet tooth”, so I invited them to a  café, where we met late in the afternoon.

Dressing Zombies 4

I told them all about my difficulties and they agreed to help.

Dressing Zombies 5

“You need to bribe them!” Billie said. “Both love cool clothes, but Zed is a bit more vane than Eliza. He will give in, if you let him have a bunch of posh fashions. For Eliza, it will be a new laptop besides the clothes, to make her stay.”

“You´re a clever girl….That could solve most of my problems….But what about Addison?”

“Oh,” Wynter said. “There I could be at help. I have a crush for the guy myself and when Addison  never turns up, it might be “out of side and out of mind” for her.”

No danger there. Addison was never on the list of dolls, I wanted to engage.

Dressing Zombies 6

“So it´s settled”, Billie said. “And we both would agree to go shopping with the zombies. I know a place, where dolls like us get everything we need.”

Wynter smiled and her eyes brightend with exitement.

“There are just two little things: First, Billie and I won´t do it for free. We want some clothing too. And second, you have to pay for it!  So be a good director and hand over your credit card!”

She held out her hand, still smiling. I didn´t feel well with it…Cunning little blackmailer she is!

To hand out my credit card to a werewolf…But I didn´t have any chance. So I droped the card into her expectant palm. For a moment, there was a hint of greed in her eyes, but I decided, to ignore it.

Dressing Zombies 7

“I could leave earlier and get a laptop for Eliza, while the others go on shopping!” Billie said.

I aggred to that too. But told her, not to buy the most expensive model…I would have to pay for that later too!

Soon after, I left for my job and the girls waited until dark, to pick up the zombies.

The little boutiqe in one of the darkest corners of “Puppet Creek”  is called “The Cave”. The owner is a smart little witch and so, with a bit of magic, the perfect clothes find their wearers rather soon.

The shop opens at twilight and customers come in during the whole night. You can imagine, what kind of customers that might be!

Dressing Zombies 8

Billie and Wynter needed a lot of persuasion, to make the zombies leave their catacomb and stop sulking and when they arrived at “The Cave”, Eliza was still unwilling. But the witch is clever indeed and she convinced the zombie quickly, to try her luck with the magic fashions.

Zed and the girls had already started to rummage through the rails and shelfes.

Then the witch had an idea: Why don´t they put up a little fashion-photo series for the generous and benevolent lady, who´s paying for all the fun?

That´s, when my cell-phone started to hum and every 10 minutes new pictures came in…

Dressing Zombies 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Look at them!” Billie texted. “Gone totally nuts!”

Dressing Zombies 10

They were polite enough to ask me, if some formal wear was included…”Just one ensemble each”, I told them. “Formal wear is expensive!”

20210103_202702

Nevertheless, they send me another photo a few minutes later with some more formal wear and asked innocently, if I like the style…I started to get a bit nervous.

Dressing Zombies 11

Next time my phone started humming, they showed me some cool streetwear. I felt my hands getting wet.

How many fashions can a shop, so tiny, contain? I saw the shelfes and rails get more and more empty with every new picture, until only the fake wallpaper gowns remained…At least Billie had left to fetch the laptop, so her pile of clothing wouldn´t be that high.

Dressing Zombies 12

Dressing Zombies 13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We need different things for summer and winter!”

Dressing Zombies 16

What hypocrites they are!

Dressing Zombies 14

“Say, don´t we look amazing?”

Yes, they do….And that´s the problem!

Dressing Zombies 19

The next hum brought a new row of fashions. But they told me, they came to an end and Wynter had gone to the cashier to pay….I felt really ill at that time!

Drressing Zombies 20

Then a last photo came in….I couldn´t believe it…They had literally plundered the shop!

I could only sit and face my doom.

As soon, as the payment was done, the witch used her magic for a last time and the shop disappeard and made room to a small café.

Dressing Zombies 21

“We need to celebrate a bit!” Wynter texted me…

Thank goodness, they got their weird food and drinks for free. The witch wouldn´t charge me for that too. “Kind of discount for a very good customer!” she told them.

Billie had arrived in the meantime and as soon as Eliza got her new laptop, the world looked much, much brighter to her, even in the middle of the night. She already started to type.

Meanwhile, Wynter took her chance on Zed and I think, his reaction was promissing.

Dressing Zombies 22

We got that enormous pile of fashions for the zombies delivered to the catacomb, while Billie and Wynter had taken their share before and dissapeared, as soon as they got it. Now my zombies are asleep and might have sweet dreams.

I don´t know, if I can dare to sleep at all….My dreams would rather be nightmares!

I´m broke for the next 20 years or so and I don´t know, who to finance my next play. But a good director does a lot for her actors! So I have to live with it!

 

Afterword:

Don´t most of us dream of buying a large amound of stunning clothes on someone elses account? Forget about, that can only happen in a doll play!

I never understood, why so many doll producers throw doll lines on the market and don´t provide at least one or two more fashions, shoes and accessoires for them.

The “Zombies 2″ dolls were extremely successful. Almost sold out everywhere in the USA (unfortunately most of them were never available in Europe) and the last ones are only to get for insanely high prices somewhere on Ebay right now.

So why not produce a few fashions for them after they turned out to be a bestseller? And maybe some well made clothing, because the ones they came with, are crap.  (Sorry to say!)

And why did they get such big feet? Most of the other doll lines have smaller feet, so their shoes can´t be shared.

(Apart from that, they can share most of the Barbie and Ken fashions.)

I love the dolls, but was not satisfied with the quality of their clothing and the ‘”just one outfit”- limit. So I sat down and sewed some fashions for them.

I had a lot of fun making weird  clothing and so I decided, to put up this little fashion show.

The shoes were another thing. I can´t make them myself, so I had to improvise once more.

That´s what I found out (maybe helpful for those, who own that dolls too and don´t want to stick with just one outfit and shoes):

-A few of the Monster High shoes, classic pumps and laced up shoes made for FR2 fit Eliza and Wynter

-Most of the Monster High shoes for boys and the shoes for the BTS boys fit Zed. Also a few Ken shoes, but only the bigger/wider ones

-Billie has the worst: A few of the older Barbie sneakers from the 80s and 90s and vintage boots fit her, but it´s narrow with the boots.  A very few of the bigger Monster High shoes fit her too, but you have to bend them a bit.  Also some of the small vintage shoes for Ken.  Wearing boys shoes? Billy won´t mind!

I had to shoot the entire play long after dark, so it was only natural to let the story be a “nightly-one”

And I didn´t see in the first scene, that one of my directors shoes is broken! Bad luck. That´s my only pair of blue sneakers!

 

A Special New Years Eve…

New Years Eve. And the world has changed a lot in 2020.

Nothing is like it was before and there´s so much things, we are not allowed to do for a good reason-COVID still reigns!

So no dressing-up and meeting for diner at a fancy restaurant…

Newyear 2020 1

And no theater or show afterwards…

Newyear 2020 4

And of course no New Years celebration with all of your friends at your favorite club!

Newyear 2020 7

No “Should old aquaintance be forgot”….No fireworks, no family feast. No concert in the park, no roaming in the streets…Instead of this: Curfew.

But what is a curfew, if you can keep yourself and others safe by staying at home? No big deal!

I don´t worry about the things I can´t do tonight.

I  decorate and make it cozy for myself.

Newyear 2020 8

And when its time, I zoom my friends and beloved ones or call them on the phone.

Newyear 2020 9

So stay safe, stay at home and don´t give up.

Every pandemia ends sometime.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The Wrong Gone Christmas Play

20201224_122645

This year, simply nothing went the right way. Not even my humble Christmas-play!

I wanted to do something special and big this time.

Script was finished, props prepared, I had my doll-crew ready, the actors were waiting behind the scenes…We started shooting….And then a lot of things happened and I had to take care for more than one emergency, until time finally ran out and it was far too late to finish my play.

But giving up that easily? No!

So I finally decided, to use 3 of the 5 scenes and change the story. The left-over scenes can´t be used, because the connection part is still missing. So that has to wait for next Christmas, to be “recycled”.

It´s a rather short story now and more humble than ever. But that´s the best, I can do in this situation.

And hey! What´s a wrong-gone doll-play in times like this? Right, NOTHING! So no reason to wail!

Curtains up!

Christmas 2020 2

We had lots of joy, meeting with friends at the hot chocolate stand in winter, go skiying, sing in choires or visit Christmas-markets….But COVID came and all of that vanished.

But we still have other chances.

We can have a cozy, silent little Christmas at home, see our friends and family on zoom or just call them on the phone or mail them.

We can watch sentimental old movies or check the dolls on internet. We can read good books and hear our favorite music. And we can keep up our hopes for better times to come.

Christmas 2020 1

Some of us  can go out for a walk.  And after a while, the magic of winter might change a simple bunch of trees into a sparkling, colorful wonderland. The wonderland of our childhood, where we escaped to in our dreams? Maybe…And maybe, we need those dreams more than ever!

Christmas 2020 3

So keep on dreaming. And don´t give up!

Stay safe!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Shiny Happy People….

Hi… and welcome to another play by the “Humble Little Doll Theater”.

This time, it´s not a funny one….Sorry!

Shiny 1

 

Dolls have always showed the changes of times and society by alter their fashions, hairdoes, make up or their body shapes. One doll in particular also showed the changes for women, having more rights, the progress in taking on professions and having new carreer possibilities.

But what, if we add on another dimension? If we not only let dolls react on changes in  fashions and culture, but let them respond to some different things, going on right now?

Can fashion dolls go serious?

I think, they can.

So I tried to do it with a song.

Shiny 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Shiny Happy People” by REM has always been one of my favorites.

It has a strong hippie-vibe, even if the times of flower power were long gone, when the song was released in 1991.

The “fall of the wall” was just 2 years ago and the cold war had finally ended. Many things changed in a peaceful way and we all hoped and believed, that the world would finally become a better place.

But it never turned out to be like this. And now, we´re facing some of the biggest crises in the last decades.

COVID with many thousands of victims, protests , vandalism  , political problems, lockdowns around the world, economy breakdowns, thousands of people losing their jobs and homes, police brutality at one place, but police fighting against crowds of COVID deniers and illegal COVID-parties in other places …

All that turns  the hopes and messages of love, this beautiful song holds, into  some kind of bitter real-live satire.

But really everything? Isn´t there something good left in the end? Decide for yourself…

Curtains up!

SHINY HAPPY PEOPLE (REM, 1991)

Shiny happy people laughing

Shiny 3

Meet me in the crowd, people, people

Shiny 6

Throw your love around, love me, love me

Shiny 5

Take it into town, happy, happy

Shiny 35

Put it in the ground, where the flowers grow

Shiny 14

Gold and silver shine

Shiny 7

Shiny happy people holding hands

Shiny 9

Shiny happy people holding hands

Shiny 13

Shiny happy people laughing

Shiny 10

Everyone around, love them, love them

Shiny 30

Put it in your hands, take it, take it

Shiny 36

There´s no time to cry, happy, happy

Shiny 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put it in your heart, where tomorrow shines

Shiny 15

Gold and silver shine

Shiny 23

Shiny happy people holding hands

Shiny 11

Shiny happy people holding hands..Shiny happy people laughing

Shiny 8

Woa,here we go!

Shiny 12

Shiny happy people holding hands…Shiny happy people holding hands…

Shiny 25

Shiny happy people laughing

Shiny 35

Shiny happy people holding hands

Shiny happy….

COVID is bigger than we are. You simply can´t dicuss with a virus. So we need to wait, until that danger is gone, no matter how long it takes.

But we have the power to protect ourselves and the people around us, as good as possible. And we can decide, how we react on the ongoing political and cultural changes.

Will we respond radical, irresponsible and egostic or reasonable, compassioned and patient?

That depends on everyone of us. We have the choice. And all those choises will finally make the world of tomorrow.
—————————————————————————————————————————-

It took almost 3 weeks, to finish this play. I was often interupted and sometimes, a lack of good daylight or missing props held me up.

Am I really satisfied with it?

I don´t think so…It´s still humble and full of mistakes. But that´s the best I can do at the moment.

There was some trouble with backdrops:

  1. Impossible, to iron those, that came folded enough, to make the folds really disappear…So you will see some fold- wrinkles in some of the pictures.
  2. No matter, how many backdrops I buy, it´s never enough or the right one for a special scene. I realls need more city sights!
  3. Most of my backdrops are simply to narrow, to use more than 5 or 6 dolls. It got a bit better, when I started to work more with 12″ instead of 16″, but still mass scenes are a problem. I used 40 dolls in total for one of the protesters scenes, but ou can only see around 17 or so, because I had to cut ut a lot, to make the crowd fit into the backdrop. But anyway….the vibe of a large crowd of people is still given.
  4.  The narrow backdrops caused another problem: I couldn´t make my dolls have the right amount of social distancing. They had to stand a good deal closer, than I actually intended. And in some scenes, they hold hands or hug,  where they simply shouldn´t…But I wanted to show the importance of social contacts (personally or via mail/phone/zoom…doesn´t matter how!). And remember: The dolls life in the same household!

And its a premire too! First cooperation between my beloved 16″ dolls and my precious 12″s! (They insisted on working together!)

The 12″ had to do most of the more intricate jobs, because they´re more easy to handle, don´t need that much space and I have much more props for them.

I think, this kind of “cooperation” will go on in the future…We´ll see!

 

EVERYTHING´S PINK!!!!

That play is inpired by “Morgens Pauken” (“Cram in the morning”), a song by the famous German rock band “Die Ärzte” (“The Doctors”).
The original refrain is “Alles ist Punk” (“Everything´s punk”).

Curtains up!

This one, dear Barbie, is for you….But I don´t think, you´ll like it!

You´re living in a pink chalet,
while other dollies lives are grey!

Pink 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything´s PINK! Really everything´s PINK!

Your home is just a crazy dream, something the world has never seen!

Pink 2

´Cause everything´s PINK, almost everything´s PINK !

You are… you are… you are… you are… PINK!

Music is PINK! (Really?)

Pink 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rockstars are PINK! ( What else!)

Pink 4

And cooking is PINK! (Of course….)

Everything´s… everything´s… everything´s…. everything´s… PINK!

Pink 5

Everything´s PINK, simply everything´s pink!

You´re shopping in a pink boutique….Some people think, that you´re a freak!

Because everything´s PINK! Always everything´s PINK!

Pink 6

And you are…you are….you are….you are…PINK!

Pink 14

Stores are PINK! (Well…almost!)

Pink 7

Hair dressing is PINK! (Latest thing!)

Pink 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even SCIENCE is PINK! (Are you kidding!)

Pink 9

Everything´s…Everything´s…Everythings´s…Everything´s… PINK!

If Santa trims your Christmas tree,

it must be PINK, as we can see!

Pink 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your doggie goes the pink-vet way

(Tries suicide the other day….)

Pink 11

Because everything´s….everything´s….everything´s …. almost EVERYTHING´S PINK!!!!!

You are….you are….you are….you are…PINK!!!!

Hospitals are PINK! (Get well soon!)

Pink 12

And laundry is pink! (So what!)

Pink 13

You are…you are…you are…. you are…PINK!!!!

Pink 19

Everything´s PINK! Simply Everything´s Pink!

Pool-live´s still PINK (Even the water?)

Pink 15

And wellness is PINK! (Can you believe that!)

All is…all is…all is…all is… PINK!!!

Pink 16

Your chandeliers are always PINK!  (Do you really want to know, what I think?)

Pink 17

In your world even BBQ´s are PINK!

Pink 18

Because you are….you are…you are…you are…..PINK!

Everything´s PINK! Almost everything´s PINK! Everything´s……..Everything´s….

PINK…..PINK….PIIIIIINNNNNNKKKKKK…..PIIIII…..NNNNN….KKKKK…..

Pink 20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Barbie was young, the fashions and props were high-class and looked almost realistic, with a wide range of colors.

But with the late 60´s, many things changed. Now the clothing became more and more cheaply and pink danced into the spotlight. The other colors might have been fighting, but in the 70s, the war was already lost.  Pink was the sun, surrounded by small planets in different colors. And even if some things have changed in the last years, it´s still Barbie´s most significant color.

When you think of shocking PINK today, your first thought is not “Oh, Schiaparelli!”, but “Ugh! Barbie!”

Honestly Mattel….There MIGHT have been a time, when little girls (and their moms) demanded nothing but PINK (I doubt it!), but those times are over.

Today´s children want the props and fashions back, that represent the real world.

Girls are no princesses. They want to be scientists, nurses, teachers, pilots, managers and discover their talents, as you finally realized. But there are still too many mermaids and pink castles in the air. Just let pink be a color like all the others.

Parents and adult collectors will be thankful.

I confess, I don´t like pink that much and never did. And whenever I buy Barbie stuff, I try to avoid that color. But that´s still a hard thing to do.

Every prop or doll I bought, no matter if new or second-hand, brought in more or less unwanted pink items.

Sometimes, I accepted parts of the props to be pink…In other cases, I just had no  joice, because there was nothing other to get but pink…

When I finally finished the shooting for this play, I was almost mad.

I don´t think, I can see PINK anymore for a long, long while!

Ain´t Got No/I Got Life

“Aint´got no/ I got life” is a song, written by Nina Simone, released in 1968 and best known from the musical “Hair”,

I never really knew, if I like the song or not.

On one hand, it´s telling you, that no matter how miserable, lonely or poor your life is, its still worth living and the song gives some of the 60´s vibes, when the young generation was hoping and fighting for a better world.

But  on the other hand, the song also gave me some questions.

Is it really enough, just to be alive without love, friends, family, knowledge or a home?

Without a sense, work, a function?

There are some people, who can easily survive without perfumes, sweaters or shoes.

Some without any possessions at all.

But it´s not easy to live without some of the most important human needs like social contacts, a sense in life and a safe place to stay.

At this times, in the middle of the world wide COVID-crisis, we need save homes, a function and social contacts- even if they´re only virtual for the moment- more than ever.

And one of my self-chosen functions is, to make humble little doll-plays…Could have gone worst…

So I started working on the analysis of this song a few days ago.

Some of the lines in the song weren´t easy to bring into a picture…Mostly because I didn´t have any matching props or possibilities. (How to show a liver or a tongue at a doll without making a real big mess? And what about “ticket and token”? )

So I had to work with symbols a few times and  I´m not really completely satisfied with the result, but I did my best, as always.

Some other parts of the song´s lyrics literally “screamed” for a satire. And others, I wasn´t convinced with. So I had to bring in my own thoughts about it.

This time, I worked a lot with nude dolls…My consequence of the  parts, where we are told,  that the person in the song got no clothes, leads to the fact, that she simply must be nude….But don´t be afraid, I won´t show anything disturbing.

Another reason why, was that I wanted to focuse on the songs content in some parts and skip everything, that could distract.

The “liver” is actually a plastic steak and as you can see “made in Thailand”.

Some of the scenes are very simple, others made with more effort.

That makes sense, because some parts show the poverty of the woman, others  are about the many parts or her (and in my version also his) body. I wanted to show that as good as possible.  But also with a hint of irony sometimes.

Another question was about freedom.

Freedom is one of the most important things for a human being.

But is freedom everything, if you got nothing else?

I wanted to show, that freedom in itself might not be enough for most of us, that´s why I made the scene with the free, but homeless man. Maybe a bit hard to chew, I know.

Another point was “Nobody can take away” and “I´m going to keep it”.

It´s not our choice alone, if we can stay alive. There are illnesses, accidents or natural disasters. And far too often, other people make the decision,  to take away another humans life.

So I couldn´t agree with that and made the “gun scene”.  I wanted to be “drastic”, but didn´t go into a splatter, don´t worry.

When I had to do the parts with “arms” and “legs”, I had some pictures from showgirls in 1930´s chorus-line movies in my head. I tried, but it turned out to be a chaos instead of a straight line….The reason was the different articulation of some of my dolls. Not every doll is MTM!

Curtain´s up!

Ain´t Got No/ I Got Life

I ain´t got no home….

Got no home 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ain´t got no shoes….

Got no shoes 2

Ain´t got no money…

20200918_141115

Ain´t got no class…

Got no class 4

Ain´t got no skirts….

Got no skirts 5

Ain´t got no sweater…

Got no sweater 6

Ain´t got no perfume…

Got no perfume7

Ain´t got no bed….

Got no bed 8

Ain´t got no man…

Got no man 9

Ain´t got no mother…

Got no mother 10

Ain´t got no culture…

Got no culture 11

Ain´t got no friends…

Got no friends 12

Ain´t got no schoolin´…

Got no schoolin 13

Ain´t got no love…

Got no love 14

Ain´t got no name…

Got no name 16

Ain´t got not ticket, ain´t got no token…

Got no ticket got no token 17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ain´t got no god…

got no god 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey, what have I got?

Why am I alive, anyway?

Yeah, what have I got

Nobody can take away?

Got no what do I got 19

Got my hair…

Got no got my hair 20

Got my head…

Got no got my head 21

Got my brains…

Got no Got my brains 22

Got my ears…

Got no got my ears 23

Got my eyes…

Got no got my eyes 24

Got my nose…

Got no gotmy nose 25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got my mouth…

20200918_191923

I got my smile…

Got no got my smile 27

I got my tongue…

Got no got my tongue 28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got my chin…

Gotno got my chin 29

Got my neck…

Got no got my neck 30

Got my boobies…

Got no got my boobies 31

Got my heart…

Got no got my heart 32

Got my soul…

Gotno got my soul 33

Got my back…

Got no got my back 34

I got my sex…

Got no I got my sex 35

I got my arms…

Got no got my arms 36

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got my hands…

Got nogot my hands 37

Got my fingers…

Got no got my mfinders 38a

 

 

 

 

 

Got my legs…

Got no got my legs 39

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got my feet…

Got no gotmy feet 40

Got my toes…

Got no got my toes 41

Got my liver…

Got no got my liver 42

 

 

 

 

Got my blood…

Got no got my blood 43

I´ve got life!

Got no got hte life 47

I´ve got my freedom!

Got no got my freedom 45

I´ve got life!

Got no got the life 46

I´ve got the life! And I´m going to keep it!

Got no going to keep it 48

I´ve got the life!!!! Life!!!! Liiiiihhhhhiiiiiffffeeee!

Got no got the life 49

It took 6 tries to make the “Hippie orgia-scene” at the end of the play.

Whenever I had all dolls standing in the right possition, one of them decided to fall and cause a big domino-effect. Finally I gave up trying to work completely without stands and other little helpers and tied 3 of the dolls to the bench in the middle. So they could hold the other dolls. That worked!

And now I could add on the “medias” with their cameras…

Losing my mind

I remember last year…It was a hot summer day and  a friend drove with me along the highway. We played this song and both sang along.

It´s from the musical “Follies”.

Since then, the tunes never really left my head and I finally decided, to make a play about it.

Curtains up!

“The sun comes up- I think about you”

L The Sun Comes Up

“The coffee cup- I think about you”

L The Coffee Cup

“I want you so, it´s like I´m losing my mind!”

L I want you so, it´s like I´m losing my mind

“The morning ends-I think about you”

L The Morning Ends

“I talk to friends and think about you”

L I talk to friends

“And do they know, it´s like I´m losing my mind?”

L I talk to friends 2

“All afternoon doing every little chore…”

L Every little chore 1

L every little chore 2

L Every little chore 3

“The thought of you stays bright…”

L the thought of you stays bright

“Sometimes I stand in the middle of the floor… Not going left- not going right”

L sometimes I stand in the middle of the floor

“I dim the lights and think about you”

L I dim the lights

“Spend sleepless nights to think about you”

L Spend sleepless nights

“You said you loved me…Or were you just being kind?

L you said you love me or were you just being kind

“Or am I losing… ”

20200901_191820

“Losing my mind…”

L Losing my mind 1

“Losing my mind….”

L Losing my mind 2

“Losing my mind…….”

L Losing my mind 3

It was a long time, since I last did something  “Art Decó”. I really missed it.

I love to work with my Jazz Age dolls-And so the Devereaux sisters, Velma and my OOAK “Phryne” had their (small) share in the play.

But for the leading lady, I chose Sybarite Magic.

She ist not only one of my favorite dolls, but also has this distant, forlorn look in her eyes,that the song requires.

She´s a bit too much of a bombshell, I know….But I decided to ignore that fact.

The musical “Follies” ist located in the 1920s, so I tried to make my play look as authentic as possible.

Some of the props are vintage, but none from the 20s…A bit Art Nouveau, some from the 1930s and a few from the 50s.

Almost all of the costumes are also made from vintage fabric, trims and lace, most of them genuine Art Decó, but again: No 1920s. But at least early 30s to 50s and some of the lace is around 1900.

Most of the clothes are made from two genuine Jazz Age sewing patterns, taken from original remaining cloth from that era. That simple patterns can endlessly be repeated in variatons of colors,  details and fabrics and each result looks totally different.

Some Art Decó designs were so popular, they didn´t change for decades and survived until the end of the 50s….And still exist in different forms until today.

So I could use my Art Decó stuff without any problem, even if it´s a bit after the Roaring Twenties.

Ok…I confess, the diner is more inspired by the Rock´n Roll era, but acutally, diners never really changed in common.

Some of the interieur and the bar is in a very similar style until today.

It´s not perfect, I confess, but I had only a few hours to set up the play, shoot and put in on my blog. (And the light was far from being perfect again!) So I hope, I´m forgiven.

And YES, there are a few folds in the backdrops….I simply couldn´t remove them, no matter how long they were under the iron!

 

Song by Stephen Sondheim from the musical “Follies”