Sunday, December 29, 2013

Prims Winter 2014~

   Is in stores now!  My lil bunny family & I are just thrilled to be included in the latest issue~
  Its not even January yet, and I am ready for spring! I wouldn't mind the hibernation actually....tho I have way to much to do and my eyes just automatically pop open by 6 am no matter what time of the night or morning I go to bed.  This has been such a great year~ its gone by so quick tho~ in the blink of an eye!  The summer blazed by, literally~ so many fires that I hope do not repeat themselves....and in August we made a wonderful family vacation up to Yellowstone National Park with my Mom & Dad & brother & his girls. I was meaning to share some pictures in a post, and have never got around to it yet. The last time we had been there, was about 35 years ago, and it was just how I had remembered it, and SO MUCH BETTER! I just couldnt have asked for a more perfect trip! I had a very full sched this fall, with all sorts of deadlines to be met, when an unexpected journey presented itself, and not only put a fork in my road...but made me do a few u-turns and ups and downs and just got everything all CRAZY!!!!  In a good way...I think. Im sure if you ask my husband he will have a different point of view.....
  I am taking the Thistle Threads Cabinet of Curiosities class on 17th embroidered caskets....its really a fabulous class and I couldn't recommend it any more highly....anyway, one lesson touched on early beaded caskets and looking glass surrounds (mirror frames). These were wonderful of coarse, but were nothing too extraordinary......until at the very last of the lesson, ahhhhhhhh...beaded baskets!  At that very moment I was just lost. really lost is all I can describe it as. I think there was just maybe 2 paragraphs was all....but they spoke to me. There was no question, no question at all~ I needed to make one. I had no idea how, I have never beaded a single thing in my entire life~ but none of that mattered. There was just something about these things....these wonderful baskets made up of thousands and thousands of seed beads!  I have loved and collected antique beads since I was little....I mean literally~ the smaller I could find them, the better. I can remember my Mother driving me to Spokane when I was little, to go to the dentist....and she would drive me out and about to the bead stores scavenging for the antique beads! OH! They took my breath away! They still do.....Which is why, what happened next in class, was meant to be.  A beaded basket design contest.

                                               B e  S t i l l    M Y     H e a r t e .

   So in crazy journey began, and I cant wait to share it with you!  The deadline for entering is the last of January, so be watching the blog~ I have been taking pictures as I have gone along, and will start probably mid Jan after my last looming deadline passes :)   Ohh...and of coarse, the prize, the grandest of GRANDEST most wonderful things, a flat top casket to embroider. What a dream that would be!

 I hope you all had a chance to make some wonderful memories this year, and if not, I hope you can see that the cup is always half full, and not half empty. My wish for all is a Happy & Joyous New Year~ and that you may have the courage to GO GET  IT~ whatever your 'it' may be!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas

from the dollys & us, 
Merry Christmas!

  One day I will be back in New England with my love driving me in the day! Until then, I wish you all the Happiest of Holidays ever~ the most Joyous Meetings of Occasion~ the Merriest of Christmases... the Most Blessed of Holy Dayes~ may you spend them with family & friends & all you hold Dear.    

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

In All Things~ I Give Thanks~

   I hope you all have a Blessed & Wonderful Thanksgiving filled with Love, Friendship, Friends & Family

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Christmas Casket for you to make.....

For Fun on a Snowy Daye.....

   If you are a lover of 17th c embroidery, or know of one who is, I have just the perfect project for a snowy winter afternoon for you~ a reproduction of a little 17th c embroidered paper for you to color and make up!  You can find the directions to it here : Thistle Threads Needlework Nibbles 

  It is for free, for you to make and give away~ please be kind and do not sell!  While you are over at Thistle Threads, check out the shop~ Tricia has oodles and oodles of wonderful threads and kits~ all sorts of wonderful Christmas gift ideas.  The original project is meant to just be a little box to sit on your sewing table, but I thought it prefect for the tree.  Its so very simple~ just print out the sheet on heavy card stock, color, cut, fold, paste and voi~la~ SO CUTE!
  This is the back view, I added my little wire loop for hanging here, and because it is a working box, I strung a little string thru the front lock hole to tie the top shut~ put little candies in here, or a special little gift~ theyre so much fun to make, I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Christmas Shoppe Open tonight!

 Is is really November already?  I cant believe how fast time time is flying by, and so much always left to do!  I have decided to make the Diamond K Folk Art blog (link to the right sidebar) into my little Christmas Shoppe this season~ the first update will be this evening at 6 pm . I have half my 2013 annual limited edition Christmas ornaments finished, so you will see them there~ I will have my second design off the table soon and will let you know when they make their way to the shoppe.
                                                             Tis the season to be Merry!
                                       I hope you hearts over flow with love & happiness this season~

Monday, October 28, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

little gown revisited.....

  I have had a special request to look at this little gown a little bit more, and show a bit of the shadow applique & what it is~
  When we got this mid 19th c Christening gown, it was literally in shreds.  The back opening had several large vertical tears from both the waist and bottom of the center back opening, down and into the shadow applique at the hem
   To help stabilize the tears I use silk crepeline nearly exclusively. It is gossamer fine, and comes in white and black~ laid onto another fabric it simply cannot be seen, but is super strong and woven densely enough to give a great base for stitching and anchoring to
 I turned the gown inside out and laid a strip of the crepeline  over the entire length about 1/2" wide. I did not want to just put a seam in these tears, as the seam allowance needed makes a distortion in the lay of the garment. I then did a zig sag darn stitch back and forth the entire length~ this same stitch was commonly used in the period~ and as you can see above, once finished the horrible shreads are no longer.
  The bodice looked horrible, that is certainly true~ not only was the center panel a shamble, the sides were worn thin and shredding as well. ( I will note here that this is a fine muslin gown, all natural fibers.)   Upon closer examination the bodice really wasn't in that bad of condition, all its pieces were there, and it hadn't been 'damaged' per say~ just the stitching had come undone.  Now if it has been chewed by a mouse, that would have been a different story, but since it hadn't, it was mainly just another puzzle that had to be reassembled
  I did the side panels of the bodice first~ several zig zag vertical darns were necessary~ I only closed the most severe ones and left what was not distracting form the overall appearance
  This is one of the shadow applique sections, just a smaller version of that seen on the hem. Shadow applique is just what it sounds like, the reverse of the fabric has pieces of other fabric appliqued in place to make a shadow, and in turn a design on the front~ very subtle and beautiful. Like shadow embroidery, it must be done on a sheer fabric, or the effect looses purpose.  On this dress, hundreds of squares of the same muslin that the gown was made from, were folded and appliqued to the back to make this lovely sawtooth pattern. I simply whipped them back down with weensie stitches to make them complete again.
  Here I have all three sections complete, and am backing the two lace insertions with crepeline. Once I had the lace windows backed in the crepeline, I tacked the lace down to it. Note that this picture is a view of the back of the bodice~in shadow applique the seam allowance is turned under so  there are no raw edges!

  There were two small sections of lace missing, but again, in my book, less is more, so I left them and felt no need to try and match laces with something unoriginal to fill them in
 I was honored to breathe new life into this precious little gem, and hope you will try your hand at shadow applique~ its quite simple, and can make a plain gown into a masterpiece.  I have seen colored fabrics used to beautiful effect, so give it a try~ just remember your applique design with be a mirror image of  your design on paper!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Say Hello~

My new little helper.....

  Its no secret, I do absolutely adore babies!  I am so excited to get to introduce you to my newest little helper~ well, shes not new, but new to the blog. Her name is Livy, shes 22" and nearly 6 pounds, what a little cherub!  She is absolutely the most mild mannered newborn I have ever had pleasure to hold~

  She is just wonderful~ doesn't wing her arms around constantly...doesn't want to chew and put everything in her mouth, and best of all, NO drooling!!!  She is just perfect to help bring the baby clothing here at the Museum to life for you all~
 I am sure you would agree, this last quarter 18th c baby gown looks much more cunning on her than it does flat. Of coarse I always take the utmost care when mounting any of the textiles for display, which is why my new little Livy mannequin is so very special, I have been looking for years for newborn forms and there just aren't any great or even realistic ones to pick from.  Livy & her brother Benjamin are so excited to be at your service~ so stay tuned to the blog for some special things coming soon!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Autumn Ramblings .....
Time has gotten away from me a bit here on the blog, I do apologize. It's taken me getting sick as a dog to slow down enough to write a little update.  I have been wanting to post some on our trip to Yellowstone this summer, and now all the sudden its nearly Hallowe'en.  The children are busy with their school things~ Josh is in Football and Tressa Volleyball, so every weekend and then some has been occupied going to some game or t'other.  We have had wonderful rains~ no flooding like our friends up north of us, thank goodness.  It seemed all was well and was time to settle for a good winter hibernation, until our bear dog champion Lumpy woke us up the other night to a bear who had decided it needed our bees...well, not the bees, just the honey. We are still not sure if the Queen survived, I hope she did. We had her in the bottom super with an extruder so she couldn't get up to the top (so no babies in the honey combs), so hoping hoping she is OK. We lost a LOT of bees~ just broke my heart. They work So  so very hard for us and now they are just all kerboppled. Poor deares~

 I have been planing a little exhibit of early baby things, and had a gown out this morning to do a bit of a darning on, thought I would share how it came out with you, along with another example of how simple careful padding can take the place of a hasty unneeded 'repair'~

  Funny thing how things find me~ I was looking along eBay and here was a hideous pair of doll shoes that had been spray painted metallic gold. blek!  I noticed in the tile however tho, it said 'two' early pair doll shoes. So I clicked on it, and aside from the gold beamers, here were these lovelies starring back at me.  I emailed the seller to ask about them, and to them, they were absolute junk, the gold pair were the stars, and well, if I only wanted these, how about 10 bucks?  sold!

 Above is how I find so many wonderful things, wadded and crumpled up in the corner, flattened out in the bottom of a box~ just a piece of ol junk until someone who knows what they are gives them a little love~
  c1750 with inserted spring heels, wonderful kid leather childrens shoes~ I actually think they were childrens shoes from the wear to the soles and the rip on the side~ actually it has another repaired rip right next to it the length, from a stress of getting a chubby foot in there no doubt.  I have done not a thing to them, ties are original, leather is still nice and soft~ I padded them with inert polyfill inside white nylon netting sleeves
 The shoe closest to you is the squished and battered precious in the first picture. I try to keep my repairs to the absolute minimum, and only pull out my needle and thread (NEVER stitch witchery or glue or iron on teflon crap!!) when I absolutely need to~

  This little Christening gown, was given to me to cut up for doll clothes...gasp. The thought makes me ill~ it was in great need of a loving needle~ but all parts where there! It has been waiting a while for me to tend to it~ its really a wonder of shadow stitching applique and weensie tucks. I put a bit of mustard cloth behind to show the state of the bodice. The back had a long vertical tear from base of the back opening to the hem, with several parallel to it~ it literally looked like someone tried to put it in a shredder.  I apologize for the lighting of the picture~ I prefer to sit by the window in the morning and sew when my eyes are best~ especially when the stitching is as fine as on this piece~What can I say, I love a challenge~

I think it cam out fabulous~ just took a bit of time is all. I restitched all the shadow appliques and backed the two lace insertions with silk crepline, then darned the lace to the crepline.

 This is a view of the hem. Hours upon hours were spent stitching this little dress~ I know from simply how long it took me to do this little bit I did~ back in a time when each and every stitch was placed with love and intent~ it has lasted nearly two centuries~ I am not about to be the one of its un~doing!  
   So the next time you are at a tag sale or yard, whatever~ forget about what is up front on the viewing display~ go dig around in the boxes under the the basement~ anything marked 'garbage' or 'rags'~ especially  rags!~ you may find a gem!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Queen of the Shadows~

  I am so excited to share her with you all~ I have been working on her all the summer trying her get her just  as she has been living in my mind's eye for so long~ her name is "Cybl"....and you can see more of her on eBay here~  Cybl on eBay .  I absolutely adore her!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

 Mid 18th Figured Silk Lustring

Often assumed to be brocade, the above is a wonderful, dainty and most feminine example of a figured lustring.  In case you have heard the term but are unfamiliar, here is an excerpt from Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century by Natalie Rothstein~
   'The lustring was produced from the late 17th century to the early 19th century. Some of the most successful English silks were lustrings, they were a favorite export to the American Colonies and many of the designs by both Leman and Garthwaite were intended for them. It was a light crisp silk woven in a fine tabby with a special quality, a high lustre on the silk imparted by the process of lustrating the warp before weaving.
  The warp was stretched and heated having been coated with beer or something similar. Some accounts suggest that the silk was heated, stretched and glazed further after weaving.' 

   This particular piece is a fragment of a dress panel, a full 26" loom width, with pinked bottom edge and top edge with remains of the original waistband pleats.  What makes this a favorite of mine, is the floral design that was masterfully woven to resemble Dresden embroidery, so popular at the time this was woven, c1742.

 But what actually makes a figured lustring different from a brocade you ask? The pattern is woven from the weft threads of the ground, there are no threads carried from one motif to the next~ the next photo is a back view~

Figured lustrings such as this were fairly expensive, but very popular with all classes of  ladies~ the fancier the designs, the higher the price~ and of coarse, they came in plain (unfigured) and striped as well.  

 The above is a spotted example, in the same colors as mine, from Barbara Johnson's Album~ she used 18 yards of it for a negligee she wore for her brother's birthday.

   So light and crisp, and paper thin.

 Here is another example of a 'strip'd and flower'd lustring' in her book a few years later~ no yardage is given on this one, but same type dress, so one can safely assume she would need that great of amount as well.

 quite hard to photograph, it still does have a wonderful shiny appearance~ quite unlike the pressed out pattern of a watered silk....and not as shiny as say a glazed chintz, just very lustrous~ hmmm...I guess that's why its called lustring ;)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Clown for Hallowe'en! 

  Perfect to get you into the Hallowe'en spirit~ my wonderful Queen Anne Clown is now available on eBay!  I am super thrilled with how she came out, and so excited to share her with you~ you can see her on my eBay specials page~ link is to the right :)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

New Halloween Doll on PFATT Marketplace

A New Acorn Sifster for offer~ Sallye Culpeper

  Sallye is new and available this month on the PFATT Markeptplace.  Her boxwood hoopskirt is adorned with paper oak leaves, each with a special herb and remedy from Culpeper's 17th c Complete Herbal~ if you have a moment, drop by and say hello!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Autumn 2013 Prims on stands Sept.1st

 Hasn't the summer flown by!  We just arrived back from an absolutely fabulous trip to Yellowstone National Park~ I have so much to share with you but first I thought I'd let you know my Pumpkin Eaters will be featured in the upcoming Autumn issue of Stampington's Prims Magazine!

   Its a fabulous issue~ full of both Halloween fun AND Christmas goodies~ leave it to the fabulous editors at Stampington to flawlessly mesh Halloween Ghoulies & Christmas Merriment all in the same issue!  I introduce my special Punkin Eater special edition dollys in my story, 'Beware the Blood Moon' .... and tho it sounds ghoulish, the blood moon, if you are not familiar, is the first full moon after the Harvest Moon.
  The new issue will be available at your favorite bookstore the first of September, and if you just cant wait, you can order one directly from Stampington here~

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Its Hallowe'en in July Time!

  I have posted my new dollys for Hallowe'en in July~ you can go to my different sites by clicking on them on the right hand sidebar.  I didn't get everyone finished that I wanted to , so I guess that just leaves MORE awesomeness to come later this month, and in August & September!  I have some fun things planned, and some really awesome dollys coming, if you love Halloween, you wont want to miss them!  And if you are on the mailing, be sure to READ your newsletter, I just sent it out :)  

Monday, July 08, 2013

2013 Hallowe'en in July Celebration getting close!

  the countdown has begun~ the girls and I are excited to see you Wednesday, 7 pm on all FOUR of my web stores~ there will be fun to be had for all at my PFATT Marketplace page, specials on my eBay seller page, and ETSY store,  and fun FUN F*U*N on my Diamond K Folk Art blog! Hope you can stop in...I promise it wont be too scary ...wink wink....

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Happy Independence Day

                                                 Wishing you all A Happy & Safe Holiday~

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mystery...Wickedness....Mischief & FUN

    Yes! It IS that time of year already ~ our 5th annual Halloween in July Celebration is just around the corner~   grab your woobies and talismans...things may get a little out of hand.....

Friday, June 21, 2013

Colorado Wildfires & a Jack in the Box to cheer~
Thankyou to all of my wonderful thoughtful readers who have sent thoughts our way~ we are still here!  There currently are nine fires burning around us as of today, the closest is the East Peak Fire at the north side  base of the East Spanish Peak.  I can see it from the gallery window here and it is most disturbing, but not as much so as the huge West Fork fire that, at last we heard, will burn thru and take the entire town of South Fork.  My prayers are with them to the west of us, I hope they all got out OK.  Trying to get info on the fires is very difficult.  The evacuation zone for the East Peak fire is close, but I'm not to my freak out stage yet.  Not to worry, my fire video and insurance papers are in hand, as well as an updated evacuation list and plans to pack and get the dolls & textiles out as soon as possible~ I can move pretty quick when needed.  To say the fires have pre~occupied my time is a gross understatement. It is hard to think and keep my train of thought for long before I go and check the window to see if the winds have shifted our way....  I have been working on dollys like a mad woman trying to keep sched for my Hallowe'en in July Celebration....and was really thrilled to get a particular email this morning from a Dear friend who gave Lady Woodhaus & lil Sprout a home.....just look at how she has them displayed on the wall~ perfect!   The old mirror frame sets them off beautifully~ and is so very simple......just my style!
  Even more fun and it cheered me up SO much, was getting to see Master Jack digging thru the box for his little bag....
  You just cant have a big sweetie and not have a treat for them in the box too!

I bet it didn't take him long to sniff them out :)  A perfect 'Jack in the Box'~ 
 Thank You so much Phebe for letting me share him with everyone!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

New Patriotic Queen Anne on eBay~

  In remembrance of our Fathers, and our Father's Fathers~ A gorgeous  one of a kind Patriotic girl on eBay this week!
  Her name is Pumpkin, and you can find here here~ on eBay