I looked on eBay for idea’s, but nothing in the UK was appealing, at least within my limited resources.  I was looking in particular for a lady doll, but French Fashions are out of my league and I just can’t bring myself to nurture something meant as a decoration on a vanity table.  Decorative dolls are not made to be handled and often had rudimentary bodies under the clothes.

So I realised that if I want something I have in mind I will have to try and make it myself.  Hoping the hands on experience will help reconnect me too.  So I put my thinking cap on and went to see what I could come up with.  I began the project yesterday and it was a bit amazing.  I have no clue if it will work, but one has to start somewhere.


Undies Done

I finally got the bottom bloomers to the camisole or vest finished.

2013-03-12 001

I wanted the bottoms to button on.  This turned out as I imagined it (rare these days) and I am happy with the results. 

2013-03-12 0032013-03-12 004

These are two side pieces seemed in the front and back centre and then the inseams.  I suppose it could be used as a summer pyjama’s. 

My illness continues, which is knocking me down daily.  I have no energy at all.  But I am craving to sew and I hope each day that I revive enough to actually get to have some fun.  As always, Rosey sticks close to my side and tries to make me smile by reciting nonsense poems. I think this child thinks of nothing but teacakes!

The Food Chain

The doughnut asked the butter scone, Is it time for tea?
It is, replied the Kunzel cake, I hope they don’t eat me!
The sausage breathed a heavy sigh, At least it’s not yet dinner,
And if they skipped that dratted course they’d end up so much thinner.

But what about that breakfast thing? the cornflake glumly cried,
OK for you, the egg yoke said, at least you won’t be fried!
The bread it gulped a gulpy gulp, I hope they don’t want toast,
And the ginger snaps did softly chant, Please eat the Sunday roast.

While jelly sat upon its plate and shivered in the sun,
Oh, being in the Food Chain, it really isn’t fun!

Getting Organised–15 Projects

2012-11-06 003

I could not get Rosey to sit still, but here is the dress under the pinafore.  I also had to do the regular ironing, so was able to iron her ribbon.  It is the only large piece of ribbon I have, so I threaded a needle, gathered up the ribbon in a bow fashion so that it looked more like the photo’s I see in the 1920’s.

2012-11-05 0022012-11-05 0032012-11-05 004

I added the first photo because it always takes me by surprise to see the different ways Rosey looks at things.  She can be looking forwards or to the side.

I decided to make a list of 15 projects to make:

  1. Finish the red seed sweater.
  2. Pinafore with white embroidery.
  3. Winter leather slippers and a ragdoll as Christmas Presents.
  4. Christmas garment.
  5. Red vintage coat re-do.
  6. Winter garment.
  7. White wool sweater.
  8. Child’s corset.
  9. Crochet socks.
  10. Spring Gloves and Hat
  11. Spring Dress and apron.
  12. Summer garment.
  13. Swimwear
  14. Sun dress or playwear
  15. Summer Sweater

This will give me structure and not leave me hanging over what to do next syndrome.  This should carry me over the next few months.  Later, I want to make a raincoat and umbrella, get more into craft type projects too.

Rosey’s Room

I worked on refining Rosey’s Room blog.  I decided that the most important aspect is the photo, so I dropped all the other visuals on the blog (no background, minimalist style) so that the photo becomes the only visual, much like being a child and not caring about the words because the picture held the attention and told the story.  I really want to try a different direction in blogging.

I divided the basic concept of the blog into “worlds” that Rosey lives in.  At the bottom of the page there will be each of the World’s categories which will help in searching for storylines.  My plan in not to have more than a couple of photo’s in each post (I fear that using the larger image may fill up the account much sooner), but also to challenge myself into a more minimalist approach. 

Rosey’s World – playing in her room with her toys. (stays in black and white to reflect my childhood)

Looking Glass World – the stories that Meredith Bear tells Rosey about the dolls that live there. (colour, book style)

Out There World – Where Rosey and Meredith Bear go exploring. (colour, photograph style)

Tea Party World – Where Rosey and Meredith Bear have tea and discuss whatever is on their minds. (Haven’t decided, maybe brown tint and vintage looking).

I love the idea of using a photograph frame for the photo’s.  I only have limited selections in my photo program, so even though the frame is a polaroid style photo, it lends the bottom part to text.  I thought that each world may have a different look, at least I want to make the Looking Glass World look like a storybook page.  I think I will play around some more, I will either keep the pages in colour or perhaps make them look like a drawing with a filter.  There’s lot’s of options!  I will change the text to match the world too.

My intent is to keep this as simple as possible.  It can be a way to somehow keep my other dolls involved in play, even if I am not willing right now to get too much into that.  A photo can stir my imagination and perhaps through Rosey’s and Meredith Bear’s eyes, I can play too.

I Have An Idea

This photo gave me the idea….

2012-10-01 039

Rosey and Meredith Bear looked like they were having a wonderful conversation.  As I continued to enjoy the photo, I noticed in the background there was the doll shelves reflecting in the mirror.

All these dolly conversations going on.  I had thought that Thistleshire would be the storyland (inside the flat and occasionally outside) but the amount of work and the set up with multiple characters is just not what I want to get involved with.  But there on the shelf…..conversations are going on and I wonder if maybe, just maybe without moving anyone, a few whispers could be recorded. 

Since that mirror is close enough for Rosey to peer into, I wonder if maybe she could share the fun she perceives happening through the looking glass with her bear.  It might be a fun challenge for me to have something form from a very limited range, where it is not the shelved dolls posing, but what they are talking about when no one is looking. 

I will experiment with the idea.  If I like it, and it is fun to do, I will post it.

Who is This?

A nearly forgotten purchase came in the mail today, one that was a late night bid and went to bed to find the next day I won her.  I rarely win bids anymore because I can’t put the money into it.  It wasn’t a dream doll I was lusting after, so I promptly forgot about her and then she arrived!

This little one is 7 inches, listed as having a china head, arms, legs and wooden body.  She was only £5 and so I bid.  The seller only had one photo of her and it wasn’t very clear.  When she arrived, I thought what fun it will be to see if she is an antique or a reproduction of some sort.  She was merely wrapped in bubble wrap and put in an envelope.  Seems they don’t use boxes on fragile items here.  Out of the wrapper:

2012-09-22 0062012-09-22 007

My first impression…she looks dead! So pale, mottled and the black lips didn’t help.

Her hair is coarse and stiff.  She has some staining and dirt on her face.  Her gown is completely hand sewn.  The gown is silk and has holes and disintegration.  There is discolouration on the gown that is yellowish-olive, much like the stain on her face.  It was a lovely lilac colour at one time.  I believe the dress was made in the 1920’s.  Undressed, I was very surprised to find out she has a bust and waist!  My guess is she was made between 1890 and 1920.  She may have had previous clothing.  There weren’t any undergarments.

2012-09-22 011 Her arms and legs are painted wood, not china.  Large spoon hands and tiny booted (with heels) feet.  One foot has been mended.  Whenever I see a mend on an old doll, it makes me think someone cared enough about the doll not to throw it out.  These type of dolls were not meant to be fine or lovely, just cheap playthings.  Her china head is not even glazed, and is strangely painted, such as the lips and nose holes are black, not red or coral.  The eyebrows are brown, so it would seem odd not to have the nose and lips another colour.  Her arms are limited in motion, the upper arm can only move forward or backward, the lower arms move only in towards the body.  She is well painted on the body, not just dipped.  Her head is immobile and probably glued into the body. There is always a possibility this is a replacement head, but I have no indication it is, it seems to be the same wear/dirtiness of the limbs.    The body is better quality than the head.  Wood peg joinings, no nails or wire.

I gently washed her hair with conditioner and gave her body a bees waxing.  I used a cotton swab to clean her face, but very little of the discolouration came away, she seems to be stained with an olive coloured something and I am hesitant to try and get it out.

2012-09-22 0172012-09-22 0182012-09-22 024

Her hair may have been in pigtails at one time, but with a woman’s body, I decided to roll the hair and sew it up.  It was too stiff to let hang.  My best guess is that it is horsehair.

Sigh.  Not sure why I bought her.  I am still unsure of my dolly direction these days.  I am definitely more interested in antique dolls than ever before.  I am fascinated by the history and life they may have once had.  I am excited to be able to make her some clothes and revitalise her, but what then?  I guess just wait and see.

2012-09-22 0202012-09-22 0212012-09-22 0072012-09-22 019

Certainly not a beauty.  She looks pretty rough.  I may dress her in a peasant costume, or a maids.

A Crown and Sceptre

We had a Spanish wine with dinner tonight that had gold wire wrapped around it.  A crown had to be made!

2012-08-24 053 I had a chatelaine with tiny keys and a mirror and ball with jewels.  Perfect for Princess Rosebud.

2012-08-24 069 I made her a double strand necklace, a crown, a sceptre and attached the keys to her waist.

2012-08-24 0672012-08-24 071

She looks like a tiny Queen!