Easter

Easter
Lily in Autumn

Tigress by Ellen Tsagaris

Tigress by Ellen Tsagaris
This is a story of Jack the Ripper with at Twist!

Ellen Tsagaris' The Bathory Chronicles; Vol. I Defiled is My Name

Ellen Tsagaris' The Bathory Chronicles; Vol. I Defiled is My Name
This is the first of a trilogy retelling the true story of the infamous countess as a youn adult novel. History is not always what it seems.

Wild Horse Runs Free

Wild Horse Runs Free
A Historical Novel by Ellen Tsagaris

With Love From Tin Lizzie

With Love From Tin Lizzie
Metal Heads, Metal Dolls, Mechanical Dolls and Automatons

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The Legend of Tugfest

The Legend of Tugfest
Dr. E is the Editor and A Contributor; proceeds to aid the Buffalo Bill Museum

Emma

Emma

Like My Spider

Like My Spider
It's Halloween!

Moth

Moth
Our Friend

Little Girl with Doll

Little Girl with Doll
16th C. Doll

A Jury of her Peeps

A Jury of her Peeps
"Peep Show" shadow box

Crowded Conditions

Crowded Conditions

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Opie Cat's Ancestors

Opie Cat's Ancestors
Current Cat still Sleeps on Victorian Doll Bed with Dolls!

First Thanksgiving Dinner

First Thanksgiving Dinner
Included goose and swan on the menu!

Autumn Still Life

Autumn Still Life
public domain

Boadicea

Boadicea
The Original Bodacious Woman

Angel Monument

Angel Monument

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Kiowa Doll

Kiowa Doll

Sketch of children playing

Sketch of children playing
Courtesy, British Museum

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Small Dolls, Clay and Cloth

Small Dolls, Clay and Cloth

A Goddess

A Goddess

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

It is Halloween; A Happy One to All, and a Blessed New Year/Samhain to our Wiccan Friends. The Celts are my favorite people, and they have some awesome ritual figures in bronze and stone, including sculptures of Epona. For those who want to read, I recommend the works of Morgan Llewellyn, especially The Horse Goddess, Anne Rice's early Vampire Chronicles, Parke Godwin, and nonfiction on the Celts by Nora Chadwick, Jean Markale, Antonia Fraser and Joy Chant [The Warrior Queens and The High Kings]. The Sci/Fi fantasy of Evangeline Walton [The Island of the Mighty Series], Patricia Keneally Morrison [yes, Jim's widow], and Julian May also satisfy. For myth and legend, there is Bullfinch’s Mythology and my article in a 1987 National Doll World, "The Golden Girls; Modern Celtic Ladies." Halloween is always elegiac for me. My best memories are of carving pumpkins with my Dad, my mom making awesome costumes; a Greek Gypsy when I was 5, a fantastic Raggedy Ann outfit, a Pioneer Girl, a witch, a vampire, my Flamenco outfit, this one bought in Madrid. She was hard to top. We always had the tradition of decorating our picture window, and I had a headless Anne Boleyn cutout done when I was 9 or 10, and dozens of haunted graveyard drawings with Henry's hapless victims looking for their heads. I loved my plastic Jack O' Lantern pails, and my Aunt Connie would send awesome goody boxes with candies and Halloween dolls. My little figural candles were all parading around the house; we had amazing ones on display at our old M.L. Parker's dept. store. My Aunt Rosie would have theme parties for every Holiday, complete with favors and ceramic figures she made. No little girl ever had it better. Now, only my dad is left, and he hates all holidays. We don't carve pumpkins, though I display various varieties. Our kittens limit what we can have inside, so my great haunted houses and witches, my vintage lanterns and ghosts, the skeletons mom and I dressed, all wait for The Museum. I watch The Great Pumpkin every year, as I have since it debuted when I was six. I go over albums of my old cards and take out the carefully preserved, very vintage but well-loved cutouts, some jointed and dressed. I look at the monster dolls my mom used to knit for and dress. I get out the Dia de Muertos dolls and figures, and think of Frida K, who loved dolls as I do. Yesterday, I had to take lunch money to school for my 15 year old. These are harried, forgetful times. My mother taught Spanish there 38+ years, and it was my alma mater, my husband's, my late Uncle George's. My aunt worked for the school district, too, so there were many memories. I lost my mom five years ago, and though I try not to get personal on my blogs, let me say that I will never get over it. When I am in the high school, she is there. I feel here everywhere, and I can hear her voice in the halls. We use to laugh; she was so loud when she taught, that the secretaries at the other end of the building were learning Spanish along with us. I'm loud, too, when I teach, and it is a compliment when people say they can hear me everywhere. :) Our city is tearing down another of the schools where my aunt worked, and where my son attended. I use to go to the frolics there, and knew the staff like family. This Halloween, all is sad but not because of the goblins. I see bits and pieces of my life chipping away, and while I don't feel old, I think perhaps I may be. This is why people collect dolls, or books, or coins, or whatever. Study material culture, and read The Grapes of Wrath. Our things, and least the cherished objects, do matter. They are our memory triggers. Without which, we disappear into the void.

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: With love from Tin Lizzie: A History of Metal Head...

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: With love from Tin Lizzie: A History of Metal Head...: With love from Tin Lizzie: A History of Metal Heads Metal Dolls Mechanical Dolls and Automatons by Tsagaris, Ellen: New, Softcover, $20.00 a...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Memoir; Writing your Life Story: Books Still the Majority and a Question for my Rea...

Memoir; Writing your Life Story: Books Still the Majority and a Question for my Rea...: Today as I was driving to work in the rainy fog of chilly October morning, I heard on NPR that books are still 80% of the publishing industr...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Silence of Driving

Usually, I drive listening to a CD, audio book, or the radio. I lived for Sirius and The Martha Stewart channel, the Halloween and Christmas Channels, The Book Channel, etc. Yet, lately, I can't seem to listen at all. My head spins, or is too heavy. I crack the windows to let in the air that is finally cooler, and I drive. I sometimes feel like I'm on autopilot, but I've always been very good driver, with an fantastic safety record, knock wood, or the dash board. :) I almost grew up in cars, on great roadtrips across the country, into Canada and Mexico, in all kinds of weather. We had one or two "A Good Man is Hard to Find" "almost" situations, but nothing really bad ever happened to us, and we have the great memories and rock collections as proof of our travels. Now, I like to watch the leaves change, and feel the bite in the cool air. It is fun to speculate about the houses and business I pass at different times of the day, and to ponder what goes on there. My best driving skills were honed cruising yard sales; I learned quickly to read maps and plot a route. Now that the "season" is near its end, there will be other adventures to plot. At least, I hope so.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Red Green; Ultimate Recycler

It dawned on me tonight as I was watching R/G that he is the ultimate recyler, maybe the Rube Goldberg of all recylcers. Where else do you hear someone using the words "duct tape," "manifold," "toilet," and "car" in the same sentence. Whether ridiculous or sublime, Red "repurposes" with a purpose. Tonight he was working on a folk art convention, that didn't work very well, but from the Possum Doll mascots of Possum Lodge to his bent over fat lady lawn ornaments, Red thinks outside the box. The man's prayer is an inspiration to everyone, and some of his props wouild tempt The American Pickers big time. Necessity is the mother of invention, someone said. If that is the case, then maybe Red is the "mother" of all inventors. Don't change, Red, not even if you have to, we guess.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Perhaps 100,000 strong!

Thanks to the 10,332 who have read and/or follow this blog. We love our viewers, even if you only visit once. :) For all 8 of my blogs, I am near 100,000 readers or so. Thank you!!!Writers write to be read; this I believe. Money is wonderful; to be able to support yourself and your family doing what you love is a privilege, but it is to be read and appreicated, or even debated, and even scorned---[no publicity is bad publicity!] that writers crave. It is what drives us. I would write in expectation of an audience if only the scorpions and desert snakes were my audience, or even if I were the last person on earth. I read today a headline that as a race, we humans can count our days. I don't know that I believe our days are numbered, or that the world can be destroyed, but I respect Mother Earth. Does anyone really go away completely when they die? Are there remnants and memories of the DNA of lost species, like the dinosaur traits many reptiles share, or the ancient plants that still grow on the earth? Some of us bear traces of our Neanderthal ancestors, and others have collective cultures and memories that seem to predate all time. But, back to the mundane, wonderful world of now. I have a few days off, "three rare and wonderous pearls" as Virginia Woolf would say. I have nowhere to go tonight, except to my family, to cook, to walk later in the cool fall air. It is relief, and much needed.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Halloween and Dolls and antique Wax Models for Ana...

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Halloween and Dolls and antique Wax Models for Ana...: One of the things I enjoy is posting on Pinterest. I have a Holidays Board and a Doll Collection Board; both contain images of Halloween an...

Finding Betty Crocker: More vintage Betty Crocker

Finding Betty Crocker: More vintage Betty Crocker: Foods Men Hurry Home For! By Betty Crocker recipe pamphlet circa 1931 Any guesses to what menfolk hurry home for? It's mostly cake...

Finally, Fall

We spent part of weekend following a local river for its annual Scenic Drive. Here and there, there were some colors. Mainly, it was still wildly, unnaturally green, a Stephen King landscape for Children of the Corn. It was hot and humid; enough rain had fallen to make everything steamy. The pumpkins and gourds were thriving; all colors, shapes, and sizes, and photos will follow soon. There is pumpkin spice everywhere, but if we want coffee, it has to be iced. Best Halloween decorations? Bittersweet wreathes we made by using our own bittersweet, plucking the leaves, and shaping the vines into wreathes, tied with orange yarn recycled from a knitting project. I read that John Ashcroft makes wreathes from vines and trees in his own yard, and that he and his wife gave them to visting dignitaries as gifts. My fingers twitch to make cornhusk dolls this time of year, and apple headed figures. Some of mine are over 100 years old; they will last that long if dried properly. The sumac is deep red, at least, and cattails and long grasses wave in the wind, while our rural roads are punctuated with bachelor buttons. The cool days are the best; spent yesterday in the cold, putting up more Halloween decorations, and noting what needs to be raked and mulched to the end of my ravine. It helps to build a foundation for the ground. My gincko tree is not gold yet, but my tomatoes and tiny peppers seem to bear fruit now, and one rose bush has a new shoot. One of my pleasures growing up was a rose bush, the last my grandfather planted, that came up in October, blushing red, perhaps embarrased to bloom so late, yet gorgeous. It was over 25 years old then, a late bloomer in more ways than one. Our city deer meaner in our yards, tame as dogs. "Good morning, Ladies," I greet them everyday, and I fear for them. Despite the need to thin the heard, despite their taste for hothouse plants and vegetable gardens, these are my deer. I would let them live in my ravine, and build them a shelter, if it were not for Horrible Harry across the way, who wants all others' yards and ravines, and who hates all living things. Autumn is in the air; I like the chill. I like being cold. I like the colors and the jackets I have to wear. It is puppy weather, as I used to say to my dog, or sweater weather. November beckons. The Snow Queen waits.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Memoir; Writing your Life Story: What to do at a Reading

Memoir; Writing your Life Story: What to do at a Reading: I did a reading tonight with some friends at our local library. There is a community program done every year called Read Local. Tonight, I...