Here we are at year-end and I am joyful. It is not whether I made a profit or not but that this doll-making career of mine welcomes crooks in the road or open windows when the paths are not on the straight and narrow. And I adjust. Right now I am pleased as punch that this business has no debt. Interest free now too.
Weather sure put kinks in our trail and we had few visitors to the gallery. First there was the repair of two bridges south of town, then tropical storm Irene and the mixed messages about getting into and around Vermont, and then the rainy fall. But returning Yankee customers and local fans kept the team and me busy. We lost stitcher Bunny but her last outfit belonged to Destry and her niece wanted to have that doll for perpetuity. A favorite customer won the Bunny Camilla with her generous purchase of $15 in raffle tickets. Danny ordered Colleen with corgi eyes for Julie's birthday. That both dogs had gone to God filled his wife with joy and tears. Then Ann bought Olivia for her 95-year-old mother for Christmas as she longed for a baby. There are so many lovely stories to share.
Calico Paper Dolls seem to have run their course; but Gurion, our grandson, their creator, shared that we should just create a new product. He hangs with a white velour bunny named Peter I gave him at birth (now ten years old) who had a head injury that I repaired. He pointed out that Peter's ears were not just exactly alike. Wait until he measures his Christmas gift Morgan's limbs. From our home schooling about the art masters and the human body, he began to realize that we are not perfect. His mother Kara amazingly found time to make a dress, a skirt and pants for her sisters and mother. Talk about hand-me-down talents. My grandmother sewed dresses for Mrs. Vanderbilt!
The best fair day all season was a rainy Saturday in September in Chester. It was full of surprises. The plea from local moms to sew outfits was answered. The trend for 2012 is a January booked with sewing lessons. I have the image of Zoe on her sewing machine making Stephanie a nightie. Piper shared that her piano practices go best when her Zoe doll sits on the piano. Her younger sister made a puppet with me and selected her Bundle for her October birthday party. Everyone loves those parties. Kam sleeps with eight Bundles every night.
Special friends Matt and Myra do stop-bys. The anniversary of the bear/doll wedding was great fun, the highlight being the creation of a large hot air balloon poster from Bonnie's scraps. Marketing meetings with my sweet vice president produce great ideas, so in July we're having a reunion that you will hear all about in the new year. Count your people!
We added social networking with a business page on Facebook. So reconnect if you are so inclined. Our web homepage has a friends' link if you care to recommend us. Finally, we have begun experimenting with Google AdWords. Lew finds it a bit daunting but also fun for an old advertising guy.
Perhaps the nicest thing is that our porch stained glass window, created by Karen
Savage years ago with mascot Andro, is the highlight of our solarized porch with its new lighting. The porch will be the entrance to the house and galleries for the winter months. Four display Camillas welcome you. Finally, just fewer than fifty dolls remain here with 5 to 25% off. In 24 hours they will not only go back to their 2011 prices but can be set aside in the Promise Room. Call quickly. I am already busy creating some new designs in my lovely journal given to me by daughter Kate for my birthday, including a pie doll for little sister Kelly. Happy New Year all.