Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Meet Grete........

Please meet 'Grete'. I really love how my latest Christmas dolly came out~ she has been 'so' patient..... there is an entire years worth of stories she could tell you! When sculpting her, I actually had...dare I say.........a boy in mind~ being that Mr. Jack Frost. I found the most absolutely deeeelicious blue angora mohair........but no matter what we made of the wigs, she was not happy, and neither was I! So she has made me company for some months, and we have had many talks and dreams together. So this is what comes, of taking it s*****l*****o*****w.

Grete is keeper of the frost....... with a wave of her silver glass glittered wand, there too goes a wispy curl of frost~ the most beautiful little ice crystals that each twinkle and dance in the faintest of light....

Grete wears antique c1880 blue paperweight glass eyes~ they look so deep, and so REAL.

I also make jewelry, and absolutely adore making jewelry for my dollys~ Grete wears a real seed pearl necklace with a micro faceted moonstone briolette focal set between 2 wee antique steel cut beads. Her dangle earrings are made to match, the blue fire REALLY pops in these stones. Nothing but the best for my girls!

I pleated Grete's bodice and added dainty chain stitching to accent the lines(all by hand of coarse). Her gown is dusted with antique Titanic Era celluloid snowflakes~ soo pretty and sparkly!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Weakness..........
Yes. I have a definite affinity for shoes, its true. Especially children's shoes. There is a particular charm in the tiny petite~ness of a little ones shoe...don't you think? These 3 pair are not related in any way, save for the fact that they have come out to play together! The largest pair in the very back are just 7" long....by looking at them, most likely for a 5~6 year olde child.
Here they are up close. All of these shoes today are entirely hand stitched. Very fine workmanship in nice even lines, and near perfectly even teensy stitches. This pair is made with straight last, meaning, there is no right or left differentiation between the soles, if looked at from the bottom. Folks sometimes would ink 'right' and 'left' on the foot bed inside the shoe, to help them remember which one went on what foot. They have grained leather uppers, with black patent leather heel and toe foxings that , instead of being two separate entities, continue on around the shoe, having been joined in the middle. This is interesting, as I have not seen too many with this continuous foxing. The below painting of Miss Jane Henrietta Russell, by Joseph Whiting Stock in 1844, shows a near identical pair with front laces.

This is a good view of the binding on the front throat openings, as well as of the original brass tipped laces. One could buy laces ready made, but as shoes were commonly made at home, so were the lacings. Women would use the same little tape loom they used for drawstrings, ties and garters, to make up shoe laces.

I really like this next picture, as it illustrates the silhouette of an early shoe perfectly....

Early 19th century shoes nearly always have the top edge of the back of the heel lower than the front.....as shoes get more modern, the back of the heel rises to be level all the way round.
This next pair are in a beautiful deep teal blue silk & wool blend upper, with inserted separate faced tongues and the more common patent leather heel and toe foxings that are not connected at the center of the shoe

All hand stitched, with lacings at the inner ankles. Straight last with rounded square toes~ these are c1830s.

This is just one way of lacing a shoe with a single lace~ (replacement cord). There were all sorts of fancy ways used~ the ladder stitch being a very common one. The lace would go directly horizontal from one side to the other, looking like a ladder when all done up. I guess when one thinks of it, I bet there was plenty of time to sit and fiddle with one's shoes with no t.v, or Internet, or phone, or computer games, or cars.....or or or!!!

Both pair of shoes so far are 'flats' meaning they have no heals. Just plain flat. no twisted ankles. nothing to break. plain and simple!

This next pair, ohhhh so adorable are from the 18th century. They have a single stacked leather heel

Pointy little toes, and you can visibly see the stitches all the way 'round the sole. There is a channel cut at an angle on the heel, for the stitching to fit in to. On a regular size shoe, you would only see the channel, and not any of the stitching.

This pair are so absolutely teensy weensie, just an inch&half across and 4 inches long! They do show wear on the soles, but were most likely shoes for a very special dolly. They are so very rare, and even tho one is missing its long leather tongue, it makes no matter

They are pierced at the throats for some sort of decoration, long since unpicked and added to something else..... I love to admire each and every tiny stitch

Even dolly could not escape the torture of having her precious little toes smooshed into fashionable steep points

As I hold these little wonders, a certain phrase comes to mind 'to have and to hold~ till death do us part'.............

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Some of My Favorite Things......

I love cameos. This morning my lil Pip decided she wanted to take a trip thru mommy's jewelry box, so I kept out a few of my favorites and thought Id share them with you! I am always inspired by cameos.....so delicate, and so feminine. I have heard more than one utterance of 'olde fashioned' when I wear them out and about..........
This is an actual hand carved modern Helmet shell cameo that I bought when I was stationed in Italy. It is my favorite I think, and is so beautiful when held to the light~ where it is carved is paper thin. I have seen some of them turned in to night lights...this shell is fairly large~ bigger than my hand

2 of these are modern, and 2 antique. The cameo on the left is signed by the carver, the one on the top right was given to me by my husband. Lower right you can see a bit of an antique shell one, and lower left is one of my favorite antique Etruscan brooches~ its angle skin coral. I just love the soft pink color~ it looks beautiful against any skin tone

This blue cameo is made by Wedgwood, and it was the very first one I ever bought....ohhhh about 25 years ago or more! I saved up for quite some time to get it, and tho my tastes have changed since, it always holds that special place of being the first, most anticipated one!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

a little farm living....

We have been SO busy~ life has been so busy! I am ready to hibernate for the winter....of which all the signs are telling me will be a hard one this year. I love this picture I took of Emma the other day~ went out and picked some corn for our supper~ She has a whole new look about her now that she has finally grown in her 2 front teeth! She was all summer without them~ I was kind of starting to wonder if they would ever make their arrival!
EGGS for sale! Anyone need eggs? Getting over a dozen a day now, after our recent bear attacks, I am down to just 17 hens. I love my girls and we all spoil them~ in return, one of my Rhode Island Reds throws me 'snake eyes'~ I think this one looks like 2 lil butt cheeks as they're coming out of the egg~ :)
And here is our latest happening..........2008 has really NOT been a goode year to us~ I will be happy when it is o*v*e*r. Thursday night last, Josh was just hopping off his bed, slipped on the carpet and fell~ broke his elbow poor little guy! We were up in Pueblo yesterday getting his cast put on~ Emma came home from school today and said everyone was 'like a swarm of bees' around him wanting to sign his cast. Im already having to 'remind' him every 15 minutes to settle down and get his arm back in the sling~ hes just a ball of energy all the time. I would expect to get a call from school that he broke something in gym or on recess.....or one of the days that I catch him and his sister doing head stand jumps off the couch.........but nope~ just getting off his bed! geeze. My cup runneth over~ NO MORE PLEASE!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Love's Bounty......

One Heavenly English Daye in 1569, little Mary was born. She soon saw the man of her dreams, a postmaster in Scrooby,Nottinghamshire. William Brewster & Mary were wed in 1592. They had a son a year later...in 1600 came a daughter, Patience. William & Mary held church congregation meetings in their home, and as time went on, these meetings became more and more secret, as religious persecution became more and more common. During this time, Mary gave birth to another daughter, which they named 'Fear'.
Around 1610 they fled to Holland, where "Love' was born, and their last son, 'Wrestling', was born about 4 years later. Mary & William, Love & Wrestling, were among the first Pilgrims to come to Plymouth on the Mayflower in 1620. Mary was one of just FIVE women to survive the first winter in the New World....and one of only four to survive to the first Thanksgiving in 1621. All her children would eventually make their way to Plymouth to live and prosper with their parents until Mary's passing in 1627, at age 60(apx). Husband William would live another 17 years.
I have great admiration for those first settlers who so bravely ventured out to the unknown with hopes of making a better life for themselves. In their honor, a One of a Kinde set of Pilgrims will make their debut on the TDIPT Mercantile update this Sept. 15th. I hope you will stop by and say Hello-

Monday, September 08, 2008

2+2 is 4.......

4 & 4 are 8...........

8 & 8 are 16.........six~teen and six~teen are thirty~two.........I have been humming this olde song all morning, as today, my little babes ventured back to school. Tressa is in 7th grade, her first year of Junior high school, Josh in 3rd, Emma in 2nd....and its SO nice that they all go to the same school. Of coarse Pip had to get dressed up too....and REALLY made herself at home in Emma's class. Everyone kept asking if she was in 'puppyland' this year, and I kept bleeting out NO! NO! She just turned 3 years olde yesterday~ at our school they can start when they are 4....but shes staying home with Mommy until she is at least 5........why~ who else would help me gather all the eggs?? I can't imagine sending such a wee one to school.

The above Daguerreotype is one of my favorites~ gathering an entire class for a photo was a monumental feat in the late 1840's....but all together on one picture, you can see such a diverse selection of both boys & girls wear~ I encourage you to click on the picture so you can get a better look at what each is wearing! Most all of the girls are wearing aprons or pinafores to keep their dresses clean...some of the boys wear tunics, while others jackets, and the most valuable reference, to me~ note the pantaloons~ how they differ in length from the generic ankle length most scholars view as the 'norm' for this era. Wonderful!

Monday, September 01, 2008

New Goodies & Halloweenies in my ETSY shop.....

This is Winifred Thicket, Queen of the Pumpkin Witches.......
Just a quick note that I added Winifred Thicket to my ETSY shop today, and will be adding some neat dollys & bits as my time allows. Hope you will drop by and have a peek!!