Sunday, February 17, 2013

Whatever The Desire~ My Joy is to Make

  I love making dolls. I would need a hundred lifetimes to make all of them that keep my company in my mind. As much as I like making the ones in my mind, I enjoy that much and even moreso, the ones I make from the dreams of others.  I get emails often asking if I make special order dolls, custom one of a kinds, and the answer is yes! There is no greater challenge, than bringing to life an image and spirit borne of someone else's mind.  As well, there is no greater joy than seeing their love and satisfaction in their finished doll.

 .  Ordering a custom made doll from me is quite easy. Normal time from start to finish is 95% of the time, 30 days or LESS, for the most common 16" and under dolls.  The first step is of coarse to email me and let me know what you are thinking of~ size, era, price range you have in mind~ enough general info for me to give you an accurate price quote. I do not start a custom sculpt until payment in full has been received. Some will pay all in one payment, while others have placed their dolly on layaway~ when their final payment is made, I will then start the sculpt.

  The owner can choose painted or glass eyes, what color of eyes, face type, any special materials~ sometimes a special fabric or lace of their own is sent on to me to incorporate into the design.. I have even  made wigs from a loved ones own hair.
  Dress is discussed while the sculpt dries naturally, which can take from 1-2 weeks to closer to a month for larger dolls, depending on the current ambient humidity levels. When the sculpt is finished, and we have decided on a name, paint and glaze are applied and dolly is born.  Costume can be as simple or elaborate as one specifies, and once dolly is finished, I will invoice for the shipping & send dolly on to her new home.  The possibilities are endless, so if you have wanted a specific doll and just haven't been able to find her yet, feel free to drop me a line at

Thursday, February 14, 2013

 Stop by and say hello to the girls!  Hope you all had a wonderful Happy Valentine's Daye   xoxox  rachael

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Lady's 1810-1820 Nankeen Walking Boots

  Nankeen~ a plain weave cotton cloth sold originally at Nankin China made with a slightly yellow variety of natural colored cotton.  the 1807 phamplet 'Prices Current at Canton' states " The yellow nankeen is made from the cotton in its natural state of colour, never having been dyed, and the colour improoves and grows darker and more beautiful by age".   The above 1818 fashion plate shows a gentleman wearing his trousers of nankeen
Today I wanted to share this wonderful pair of c1810-20 Lady's Nankeen Walking boots with you~ of special interest of you are a Jane Austen fan, as she wrote often about the difficulty of finding good sturdy boots for walking~ indeed, in an era that shoes for the lady were quite delicate, in both construction and materials, the new walking boots were all the rage for a Ladye of Fashion

   This 1812 fashion plate shows a young Miss out and about in her green walking boots. One cannot see much detail other than they are definitely above ankle height, and front lacing. The soles are very flat, nearly no heel, and there is a bit of fringing at the tops for decoration.

Upon first glance, if you were unfamiliar with the era, you may mistake these for being canvas swimming shoes so popular in the lets take a closer look and see what we have going on, that really makes these boots special

 Looking at the inside, there is an illegible inscription in the right boot made on the linen lining. Below the linen footbed can be seen. To the left edge, the silk binding can be seen, along with the handmade eyelet holes for the laces. Note how instead of beginning anew and knotting the thread at each eyelet hole, the holes have all been stitched in a row, with the trail of back stitching traveling from one to the next. This is carefully done, thru the linen lining only, not thru to the outer fabric

 Love love LOVE the tongues! Tall and narrow, lined in linen and tipped with a silk binding at the top. The tongue reaches to about 1/2" below the top of the boot

  Pretty silk ribbon bows trim the vamps, very popular for shoe trimming in the first quarter 19thc. They give a quite delicate and feminine look to an otherwise plain everyday boot

 They also help hide the two rows of stitching that attaches the tongues to the inside of the vamp.

 I thought this little detail very interesting, the addition of skye blue kid leather points to the center back seams, obviously to reinforce where a person would hold the back of the boot and pull it up the leg. These are exactly the same on both boots

I can remember Emma, while walking along in  Jane Austen's book of the same,  using her broken lace as an excuse to tarry behind~ The Lady who wore these did not let such a thing get in her way, she simply knotted the broken lace together at the point of the break and kept on.  Both retain their original lace by the way, this one the entire length with long metal tip, the right boot with but a fragment.  I have read in more than one place that it was the fashion to have the lace match the color of the shoe/boot, and in this case, it certainly does
  Plain silk binds the seams and openings~ these are tall boots, not at all 'half boots', but full Lady's Boots standing 8" tall. I think I can count on one hand the full boots of the Regency Era that I have seen in the flesh~ one more commonly sees the much lower half boots that came just to the height of one's ankle bone

 10" from heel to toe, its nice to see proof not all of our ancestors were Lilliputians!

 The back of the boots are cut to follow the gracious curve of the back of the calf & heel, with the CB point being slightly taller than the front

 Very low heel, a single thickness stitched on over the back sole
 Quite a bit of spring in the toes (upturn)

 Made straight last, (no right or left swing of the soles). These have even wear with a bit of organic material still retained in the nooks and cranys, most definitely used for walking, but on a well kept path and certainly not out in any foul weather.  One advantage of the Nankeen in shoes and boots was that it could be easily washed. These dont show me any reason to think they were ever washed at any point in their lives

  Heels worn pretty even, a smidge of more heavy wear to the outer heel, but not much. Our Lady was a graceful walker~

This 1813 fashion plate is a good example of how these would have looked in use.  Colors were very, very popular in both shoes and boots for much of the early 19th century, but a good neutral color could be worn with several outfits, and were much more sensible for the average Lady to have in her wardrobe.