Thursday, February 27, 2014

Historical Doll Art by Debbie Ritter

Profile of doll artist Debbie Ritter, Uneek Doll Designs at I met Debbie after finding one of her dolls featured on a blog about Lady Jane Grey. I couldn’t wait to buy the doll, and soon bought others, including the portrait of writer Barbara Pym, featured on my blog Miss Barbara Pym meets Miss Charlotte Bronte. Debbie is a transplanted Hoosier to Alabama as of summer 2013 with four grown children and one grandchild. She has been married 25 years. Besides making dolls, her interests include reading, walking, art work, and cooking (when she has time!) Debbie is a born artist, and as she says of herself; “I grew up with a pencil in hand and carried paper everywhere I went- got in trouble a few times with teachers for drawing on my homework, and art was my best subject in school.” Debbie does not collect dolls per se, but likes to create them as a favorite art form. A doll house kit first inspired her miniature creations: “I got inspired to create my art dolls when my husband was given a dollhouse kit by my mom, who despaired of my father ever putting it together. Being the tooling engineer that he was, he put it together and I decided to make some dolls to go in it out of clothespins. She loved it so I continued and I made up my own technique and developed it over time.” I can really relate to Debbie over dollhouses and the need to populate them. My dad was an electrical engineer who built one fantastic dollhouse for me from scratch, and another from a kit. He is an electrical engineer, and it seemed to take forever. He didn’t electrify my houses, and when I asked him why, Dad answered, “We’re Victorian.” Debbie’s dollhouse adventures began a chain of thinking; she decided to combine her love of classic literature, history, and the observation of ordinary people into creating her art work. Debbie finds people in general inspiring because if you study someone long enough, you will see some features that stand out. It is those features challenge her. She started selling her creations when by chance a lady waiting on her at the craft store mentioned Etsy. Debbie wrote the word down and forgot about it for 2 months, then decided to take the plunge to see what would happen. The rest is history and she has been doing well at it ever since. The artist’s work has been featured at “The Today Show” where the crew gave Susan Boyle a replica of herself that Debbie had made during a live interview between Boyle Meredith Viera. . Debbie’s work has also been featured in Vanity Fair online, The Art Doll Quarterly, Doll Collector Magazine, New York Magazine, -Show Time series on television, -Mystery Scene Magazine, New York Magazine, CI Living in Champaign Illinois, and my blogs Dr.Es’s Doll Museum, Dr. E’s Greening Tips for the Common Person, An Apologia for Countess Erzebet Bathory, and Memoir; Writing your Life Story. She can be reached through me or her Etsy store,

Monday, February 10, 2014

To my Readers; An announcement and Doll Collecting

To all my dear friends and readers, please note that I am the new doll collecting guide for; this does not mean I am abandoning you. On the contrary, I will keep up all my blogs as regularly as time allows. If I am a little slow while I get acclimated to About, which has its own blog, please do not give up on me. My blog readers are my second family, and my blogs my second home. As far as other topics, the current Readers Digest has many good articles on food for health and green living. This week's Radish talks about natural food cures and farms that hold country weddings. More on these later. I have started seeding plants and potting soil in my office where I am winterizing several plants; so far, there are some celery seeds coming up. I'll keep you posted. Our cat Miss Bangles has learned to turn on the electric keyboard, and to play easy listening music from its recording library. She is a cool cat indeed. Watch for more this spring, and Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

An Excellent Woman, not so far from Barbara Pym's Ideal

We are about 57 viewers short of reaching 10,000. Thank you! I was pondering my other blog on Barbara Pym and Charlotte,, when it came to me that Erzebet was an Excellent Woman, too, of the type addressed and sort of sneered at by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz and defined by John Donne, who originally coined the term. See, "The Subversion of Romance in the Novels of Barbara Pym," [using AP citation style]. Erzebet was well bred and educated, and as her letters who, concerned herself with running her 37+ estates and properties and addressing family issues and illnesses. If she didn't make tea in a crisis, she knew how to handle them and confront those who caused her problems, like Miss Clovis, the excellent "dog haired" character in many of Pym's novels. Erzebet did not speak peasant dialect, but was truly the Chatelaine, especially after Ferenc died. She was vulnerable when widowed, as many woman left alone are, and were, even in Pym's gentle books, or in the cozy novels of Miss Read, lone women are an eccentric problem to be taken care of. Pym's best friend, mystery writer Hazel Holt, even has an occasional spinster killed off. What do we do with those pesky, strong but rigidly correct excellent women like Erzebet, who do their domestic engineer/management chores too well? Like Rapunzel and Anne Boleyn [who also had gorgeous hair] we lock them up in a Tower.

Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: Susan Glaspell

Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: Susan Glaspell: Here is a photo of my lovely friend, PR, who is dressed as Susan Glaspell for a talk she gave about the beloved author. She did a fantastic...