If I ever have the pleasure of being granted a wish, I’d ask for more time. And probably better eyesight. There is just not enough time in the day to do everything I want to do. I had experimented with cutting down sleep and replacing it with 20 minute naps 4 times a day. That didn’t work out too well. I was Zombie-Vampire Irene and had often caught myself sprinkling salt into my coffee. But I came to the realization that my circadian rhythm is vastly different from most people’s and it’s taken me that many years to realize that. It explains why I’m never fully alert until after dinner!

During one of my many late night working hours, I managed to cram in 15-45 minutes of fun painting time in which I’d work on some side projects. This was designed to keep myself interested in painting dolls day in and day out, because without some new and interesting challenges, I would have abandoned the babushka game a long time ago. I wasn’t allowed to watch TV growing up, but since I was also a latchkey kid, my brother and I would happily ignore the restriction by lunging for the TV as soon as we got home from school. Often, after a healthy dose of cartoons and my brother’s wandered off to do whatever big brothers do in the 80s, I’d continue to watch some old reruns of The Brady Bunch, Batman, Bewitched, and, of course, I Dream of Jeannie. I’d been feeling quite nostalgic these days and decided to tackle I Dream of Jeannie because it had always brought me so much happiness. I wanted to work the bottle in, but didn’t want it to be a mini version so the Hubs and I looked at some designs for Jeannie’s bottle and I found a fairly round doll to fashion it into one. The bottom bit wasn’t as wide as I had wanted, but it does keep the original nesting doll aesthetics!

It took several months and some tears of frustration to paint the bottle, largely because, at 3 AM and after a night of going through a heavy painting session, I wasn’t as sharp and with it as I would at 7 PM and kept making some glaringly obvious mistakes. But I would prevail after giving myself a good pep talk and put on some quirky TV shows and fix whatever boo boo I had made.

Painting Jeannie and Major Nelson wasn’t quite as hard, so I left it alone until the bottle was done and dusted. For Jeannie’s hair I had a very clear picture of what I wanted to do. The Hubs designed the fez hat for me with a hole in it so I could easily insert her pony tail through. I remember procuring an excellent facsimile of blonde hair that would do the trick, but I could not for the life of me find it! I tore my studio apart looking for it, only to remember two hours and a huge mess later that it was cast carelessly inside an easy-to-reach supply cabinet. Sheesh. In the end everything worked out and I was able to successfully finish the set without any more crying.

So here it is, a pure labor of love and some misery. Now, you will excuse me as I pull up a few episodes of this old favorite show of mine and sip some unsalted coffee.