Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Very Special 18th Century, 1750-70 Everyday Shoe...

I am honored and so excited to share this wonderful mid 18th century shoe with you all. It is a remarkable, rare survivor of everyday shoe, still remaining on its original wooden shoemakers last, or form. I really love early shoes, they are each a work of art....and I wouldn't mind having a pair of these for myself to wear around everyday, to be sure!

Now I have placed a date on these from 1750-70. Most definitely no later than 1770, when even then shoes were taking on a very different shape. The latchet & buckle closure was common for the mid 18th c , the Louis heel shape, and the rounded toe all date this marvelous, quaint example to the late 1750s, early 1760s. Have I taken out the wooden last? No, I have not, and probably will never do so, even tho the leather is still quite supple, soft and not brittle~ but as you can see, nearly all of its glazed surface has eroded away

In this front view, one can clearly see the 'rounded' tongue (later tongues were pointed), and quaint stamped steel buckle. One latchet is carried over the other, so this shoe looks now, exactly as it would have looked on the foot. The little shiny specks you can see, are bits of the glazed surface that remains....and by glazed, I mean, glazed or hardened with a leather tool, with fast hard rubbing to make the surface shiny and more waterproof~ and NOT by any application of paint or solvents.

A wonderful view of the Louis heel, its stitches can clearly be seen, along with the stepped side seam

I like this view for a couple of reasons~ love the stepped back side seam of coarse, but if you look below it, you can see the wooden heel, and how the shoe sits above it, and the leather of the sole transitions from the footbed to the heel, and even the stitches of heavy linen thread connecting them all...

The feint line around the sole is actually the channel the shoe maker cuts in the leather for stitching them together~ in a Louis heel the leather sole is a single, continuous piece from the tip of the toe to the base of the heel throat

The last piece of a shoe like this that is stitched, is the sole of the heel. Nearly all 18th c shoemakers were men, they were members of guilds but also, much strength in the hands was needed for the leather work. I can only dream where the mate to this very special shoe could be~ its not only special because it is a plain leather, every~day working shoe.....but,

as you can see, it is extremely small. Perhaps it is indeed a tradesman's sample....or better yet, one of a pair of shoes to the ever so elusive wooden Pandora fashion dolls of the period. In either case, it is a wonder & absolute work of art~ now I will leave you to go back and revisit the above pictures, realizing how small it actually is!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New eBay Specials listed this afternoon~

You can see what is currently on special by clicking the link in the right sidebar to my eBay specials~ got some really great dollys with some really GREAT, LOW prices! This week only!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Update on my lil knit Quaker Pinball...

Well ok, this is just the first side, but still! I am most proud of it~ my first intarsa knitting e-v-e-r, and on 6ought knitting pins to boot! WOO HOO! Once I got past the first 5 rows or so, and there was a scrimp of something to actually hold on to, it got aLOT easier, and actually, I quite enjoyed it, very much so. More than I thought I would. I was only able to do a few rows at a time, then needed to take a break to let my eyes rest, I think I will look for a magnifier on a stand for my other half...which, in keeping with my insane tradition of always jumping in before I know how to swim....I think I should knit beads into the other side :) never done that before, but am quite excited to try. Ill let you know how it goes~

I hope you all try something you have never done before this year~ you may just find out that you love it, and wish you had tried it sooner~ I had always thought knitting a pinball would be too difficult~ but not so! You just have to go slow and steady, and eventually, you'll be finished. I am keeping notes of my time, and so far, for the first side, it took me 30 hours, 2 minutes to complete

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Precious, Very Special One of a Kind Wooden Make Do Queen Anne~

This is Muriel~ and she is indeed a very special dollye. Unlike my other dollys, Muriel is solid Maple wood....but not just any ol piece of wood~ ohh no~ she is the ultimate 'Goode Huswife'.. Muriel started her life around 1900, as a turned maple wooden pestle~ you know, the necessary kitchen tool for reaming fruits into jams....mashing and grinding down all sorts of nuts, herbs and spices. I have had this olde pestle for as long as I can remember....but one day when I went to move it, something happened, and a little spirit inside of it spoke to me, and asked me to let her out to play~

So I carved her eye sockets, and inset them with a wondrous, very special pair of antique blue glass eyes~ they are just haunting to look into. I have been saving them for the perfect dollye, and Muriel was it. Her nose is a wedge of dark walnut, the same I carved her hands from.

I dressed her in pretty skye blue silks, her skirt and separate petticoat are from this same silk~ and her stomacher laced with little brown ombre silk ribbon. Muriel's necklace is antique tiny turquoise heishe beads, with a really old brass bead in the center.

Pretty antique lace trims her sleeves, and she wears a gorgeous antique pin tucked bonnet over her floor length human hair wig

paint is worn and sparse for precious Muriel~ always such a help in the kitchen, she more than earned a second life as a make-do dollye for a special little girl. I have no doubt in my mind, that old utensils such as these, were 're~purposed' as dollys for a child in need

Here you can see the bottom of the pestle~ she has no legs. So charming, I will include the little glass measuring cup I use to stand her up in~ which adds even more to her humble appeal.

Muriel stands 11" tall, and is a most definite, special, Diamond K Folk Art one of a Kind Queen Anne dollye~ She will be available for purchase this evening at 7pm CST on the TDIPT Mercantile ~ hope you can stop by and say hello to her, Mollye & me~

Monday, January 09, 2012

I am SO in L*o*v*e!

Isn't he the most handsome precious ever??? Please meet Master Flick. I have had him a while now, since Thanksgiving actually. My husband got him for me for Christmas on our trip to Pueblo for the Christmas tree. I adore woozles :) Too many years ago to count, I was given a little girl ferret for Christmas, Chani~ she was my best friend ever, and I still miss her. They are the most wonderful, comical creatures. Anyway, I always talk about Chani, and even tho I said..."NO!!! We are NOT getting anything that eats or poos!" , Jayson got him for me anyway, and he is soooo darling

Unlike Chani, Flick was born on a weasel farm in upstate NY, and as a domestic type, he is about twice/three times larger than Chani was, but I don't mind his largeness...that means theres just more to snuggle on! He is never still~ either sleeping or getting into absolutely EVERYTHING! He hasn't found his voice yet~ doesn't talk like my Chani did~ she would make the cutest little 'eh eh eh' sounds when she was playing or happy~ nothing like the 'bark' they describe them making these days..... perhaps one day he will remember how to talk.

He loves playing with the big dogs and Dixie, and swimming in the water dishes~ and the children adore him too. How could you NOT love this face?

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Intricate Challenges.....

I am not the kind of person that makes 'New Year's Resolutions'....but I do like to identify my goals for the coming year at its start...and usually, I like to start some interesting something I have been meaning to get to, in January. I guess, with starting at the head of the year, in my mind's eye, I will have the next 12 months time to figure out my new whatever-it-is. One of my projects for this year, is knitting more period correct, 18th century fancy pinballs. Now the ones I did last year, were FABULOUS and I absolutely adore them~ and so do my children~ they have all asked me to make them one.....but being....well,me...... I want to make dollye size ones, with precious sayings and mottoes and beads knit into them. yaaaaaaa....right. sounds endearing enough? doesn't it? Above is my start, I am using size 12 DMC coton perle, on 6-ought (000000) lace needles. Evidentally, I have gone absolutely looney, and have a subliminal need to make myself go blind in the process.

I mean...good grief! WHAT THE HECK AM I THINKING????? These blasted needles are smaller in diameter than the straight pins I use for my sewing are!!! And this thread...size 12? My dental floss is bigger. Ohh well, I have started already, so will have to finish :) At least I will have one side done eventually~ how difficult it ends up being, will decide if I actually come out with a finished pinball, or a little framed what-not for dollys wall. The above picture shows 4 completed knit rows, and...gasp, as I am tracking my time, a bit over 5 HOURS of work so far.

post script~ if you read the commetns, you will see one of the little doilies my Mom crochet me so many years ago for the dollye house~ of coarse I still have it! Love You Mom! xoxoxoxox

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Question of the day.....

What do wood shavings and olde kitchen utensils have in common????

I would love to show you on Jan the 14th, 7pm CST on the TDIPT Mercantile!