Thursday, April 24, 2014

Living With Grace & Humility

       What can I say, but that I love life & living. Each day brings something new~ and is a new opportunity to live life to its fullest~ be it climbing Mount Everest ...or taking a walk to check to see if any wild asparagus has come up yet. I take great joy in the simplest and sometimes silliest of things~ but that's O.K.~ its me. I don't need to live in a huge house or drive a fancy car. I don't wear makeup..never have. Heck, some days I don't even comb my hair~ pays me no mind and those that know me don't care!  I love to sit by my window and listen to the quiet and the birds singing. I love to sew and dearly love my dollys, both olde and new.
    Some of my most darling of little darlings are my early 19th c wooden dolls~ they are referred to as many things~ Grodnertal Dolls....Tuck Combs...Penny Woodens...Apollo Knots~ all are of the 1830 period~ one of my most favorite of all eras. Us girls were so ultimately feminine and delicate in this era~ clothing was finely detailed with embroidered & padded and wadded hems to dresses...huge gigot sleeves and gorgeous elaborate hairstyles that wrapped round and towered up above fine tortoise & silver hair combs.  My original girls like Princess Holley, Ada, Emma & Lucy all have the sweetest of sweet expressions and I have been itching to sculpt some elaborate do's as of late...and I very much enjoy my quiet time spent sculpting in my little studio.  I ponder all sorts of things while sculpting, and as I was working on the above three pretties, I was the entire time pondering and appreciating how much I love my life and making dolls.  How much I love being a Mother & a Wife. I do my best to be the best person I can be, and to teach my children, and show by example, how to be a good, honest person. How to love the time and place one is at, and to be content with things~ how to dream and set goals and most importantly, to treat others how they themselves would like to be treated.  Whenever talk starts going amiss in our house...or someone gets that look in their eye...I always will say " Patience...Restraint.....Compassion!"  When Pip was just so little~ 4 maybe...her Daddy went to say something one day and she blurted out as loud as she could "Patience...Restraint....Repassion Daddy!"  I think I even have it on a video~ she couldn't wrap her brain around compassion....it was always repassion.  So where am I going with this rambling tonight...I had affectionately been referring to these three dolls as the "3 Graces", and when I painted them and asked their names....they all said Grace....but yet not~ one was Compassion....one Restraint.....and one, Respect.  There are many virtues, I guess I should call them, that I tack on to 'Grace'~ I wrote down a whole long list of my favorite attributes, so naturally, I guess I will have to sculpt a new dollye for each one~ and this is how a new series of my dollys is born~ a very special near & Dear to my Heart series~ The Graces~

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Flat Stacked Beadwork Kit

For Those Making up a Padded Mirror Case~

  I have a limited, and I mean, very limited number of kits for the flat stacked beadwork butterfly pin disk available on the For the Ladye Blog. Everything to make him up, including the antique beads I used in colors shown above, are included~  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tufted Silk Linings

Fit For a Royal
  I am in l*o*v*e with the eggplant purple silk lining I choose for the inside of my mirror case!  I chose a hand made marbled paper to match and have completed the cavity the mirror will set into. Case is all papered with 24k gold gilt edges and bunn feet~ I could totally see this on a little Princess's dressing table.
I know of one original case that has a single compartment to one side for rings, but I chose to keep mine plain and lightly tufted the silk lining~ there is a lot of space in here! Myladye would have perhaps kept a carved double edge comb within, to gaze upon her reflection whilst combing out her pretty hair.  If you would like to make a case, I am currently still making them~ they are for sale on the Diamond K Folk Art Shop blog~ link to the right. Go check it out~ all finishing instructions are included for a beaded case, including the beadwork instruction! yes!!  You will have access to the blog for as long as you like to totally work at your own pace. Don't miss all the fun now :)

Friday, April 11, 2014

New Higgs William & Mary Dollye

on eBay this Week!

  Its been a while since I had a new dolly ready to meet you!  This is Pitter Pat~ a darling shy little Higgs girl and she would love to meet you & say hello~ you can stop by and chat with her on eBay here ~ or just click on my eBay specials link on the sidebar.   I don't oft do the William & Mary era Higgs type dolls, so if you have been waiting for one I hope she will entertain your consideration~ unlike the originals with their furled brows, she has a cunningly sweet disposition!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

17th c Padded Mirror Case Finishing Instructions

Detailed Instruction!

   For those who have purchased a padded mirror case, I am setting up a new dedicated blog that I will be posting detailed instructions for finishing the case onto as I complete my own.  Can we say FUN!?  YES!!!


I will still post progress pictures here, but only those who purchase a mirror case will have access to the mirror blog. It will be in progression, with detailed step by step photos and instruction  for

*gilding/ applying gold leaf
*papering the outside & inside
*inside silk linings and tufted paddings
*how to choose trims & types of trims
*how to choose the right period correct marbled paper pattern
*ground fabrics
*applying your finished embroidery to the top & face
~ and since I am beading mine~
*3 dimensional padded beadwork 
*beaded figural stumpwork (people)
*laid/couched beadwork
*wired edge Twilling  (the technique used in my beaded basket)
~ and I'm sure plenty more!~


Thursday, April 03, 2014

The Midas Touch....

Is it really April already???

   I can hardly believe how fast time is zooming by!  The children's Spring vacation has come and gone and its April now??? Really? Where the heck did March go to?  I have been working overtime making padded mirror cases for those who want them~ I only have so many clamps in my little shop, so things go a little s.l.o.w. there...but I want them to be perfect! They are all lovingly hand made, not machined and mass produced by the hundreds :)
  In between different steps, I squeeze in the Mommy things~ some milestones were had this vacation!  We are blessed to have the river run thru our property here on the Olde Madrid Plaza, so it is no secret that my children love the river! If they are not swimming in it...(which, yes, I did get that question of Mom~ Can we go swimming????  this past week) then they are fishing~ each has their own favorite spot.  I was outside antiquing mirrors when my son came running back all out of breath and holding out his hand....I was SURE there was a frog or something in there that would jump out at my face....which is what normally happens~ but nope! not this time!  He came running back home to show me the arrowhead he found~ a pretty little pink agate one, just the tip missing~ its the first one he has ever found.  He had dropped his sunflower seeds, bent over to pick them up and there it was, waiting for him!
   Yetti is most content to watch over his kiddos while they're fishing
  I love this picture~ doesn't Pip just look so proud of her fish!!!?  Well... there is much angst behind that smile let me tell you!  Earlier in the morning, she went fishing with her brother and sister....she had been getting little nibbles on her line, and her brother came over to help her cast...well you guessed it...he cast the fish hit the line as soon as it hit the water and Josh caught her fish! (letting her reel it in did not occur to him evidently) ....so up to the house she came, absolutely carrying on crying and devastated and I got the whole sobby story of how Josh stole her fish!  So I made them lunch, and back to the river we went to catch her another one~ it worked!
  Em did quite well too~ we had trout for supper that night. She loves crawfish so we had to take off a morning and go crawfishing, but she only caught 13, so we let them go and will try in a few weeks when its a bit warmer...
   Aside from a pair of Higgs Queen Anne dolls I am currently working on, and trying to get my china painting finished for the Convention in June, I did manage to squeek in a little work on my own padded mirror case, which was gilding the bun feet. It is so much fun!  After just one foot I could feel the urge setting in to gold leaf everything in sight.  I am so proud of these feet~ turned from solid maple from my own design which is not to skinny...not to round...just the right pot belly proportions!  Gilding is so easy~ 24k gold sheets are placed on over a sizing and carefully brushed out smooth
  One should technically use an agate burnisher to bring them to brilliant shine, but as I was gently massaging with my finger to get rid of the excess gold flake, which is saved,  I liked the look and decided to go no further. (You can see all sorts of stages of padded mirror cases in progress behind me..there's wood everywhere!)
 After a coat of clear UV protectant, these are ready to go on my case. I think I will gild the edges to match...perhaps~ must get it papered first!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hand Marbled Papers & Silk Linings....

What to Choose?

   Decisions! Decisions!   I have been trying to decide what paper to pair with what silk for the lining of my padded mirror case~ I have so many favorites its just so hard to choose one combination!  I thought I would share some of my favorites here on the blog~ some that I really liked but didn't make my final cut! This first one I think will most likely be the lining of choice for my double casket, I just love love love the pink silk taffeta and coral silk velvet along with this paper~ the little bubbles are lined in gold flake so will have to use the gold stamped edging paper instead of the silver I had planed on using...which is probably a good thing. I have a bad habit of sticking to things I like and not wanting to try anything new~ if we go out to eat..I always order the same thing~ they don't even give me a menu anymore!  Same for metal laces and trims, I always prefer silver over gold for some reason...so using this pink paper will force me to try something new!
   Now here is a close second favorite~ I adore this green silk taffeta and just HAVE to use it on something! This scrap I have left from a doll dress, but it should be enough to line a something....or pad a something... or make a pincushion for something....just don't know what yet!  The paper its laying on has so many wonderful colors, I really like the green with the yellow...and I really like the green with the rust orange in the bottom left hand corner~ when I am purchasing hand made marbled papers, I always choose the largest paper they can provide, it makes for so many more possibilities and 'fussy cuts' all out of one sheet with the same color values
  Pictured here is the wode blue taffeta and velvet available in Tricia's shop~ I love it with these very 'un~blue' colors!  Don't think that because you have one color of silk that you need to look for a paper in that same color family~ opposites do attract and can look so stunning together!
I just had to include this last paper cause I love it so much~ the scale is way too big for my case or a casket...but perhaps it could make its way to the lining of a casket case? Who knows! I thought you would enjoy seeing it tho~ and as for what I actually picked to use for my lining...well I'm keeping it a secret cause its a color I don't think I EVER would have picked if it wasn't sitting right in front of my nose already! I'll be sharing it soon~

 Here is the link to the Thistle Threads silk selections here if you are interested~ marvelous 17th c period correct colors~ just yummy!