Friday, 30 April 2010

365 ~ Day 120

Mexican Mama likes to hang out in the kitchen...

One Object 365 Days Project: 2/365

Ethel~Maud peeked beneath the tin foil to see what Sharon had got out of the freezer for dinner ~ yummy, it's homemade cottage pie!

2/365 ~ 30th April 2010

Doll Census

Grace is another of my favourite dolls ~ I sometimes feel a wee bit guilty having "favourites"I bought her, like virtually all of my dolls, from Ebay and she came in a job lot of three. It was Grace, though, who had caught my eye. When I bought Grace, I had no idea who the maker was since the only markings on her were the ubiquitous "Made in Hong Kong"Back in January, though, I was able to reunite Grace with one of her sisters ~ Gloria ~ who had more information on her, namely the company name (I presume) of Evergreen.

I recently saw another of these dolls but since the reuniting of Grace and Gloria wasn't as successful as I had hoped it would be, I decided to let that sister go to another home! I was hoping that they would be good friends but sadly they don't seem very interested in each other and really don't spend any time together.

Grace, like Ethel~Maud, tends to sit in the tray of my craft lamp beside my chair so she keeps me company too :-)

Doll Census

Ethel~Maud, named after my Grandmothers, was one of the first dolls I bought for myself as an adult and I came across her whilst whiling away some time on Ebay ~ as you do ;-) She is a Norah Wellings doll, although I didn't know when I bought her that she was a doll from any particular maker ~ and to be honest I'd never heard of Norah Wellings before Ethel~Maud arrived through my letter-box.

In my internet searching to try to find out about Norah Wellings, I came across a blog called "Norah Wellings Journal", by a lady called Gillian Trotter who has written a book about Miss Wellings. I plucked up the courage to send an email to Gill to ask if she would be able to have a quick look at Ethel~Maud's photos on my blog, and whether she could perhaps tell me something about her.

Gill has got photos of some lovely dolls on her blog; they make poor little Ethel~Maud look very shabby and down-at-heel. She is in a somewhat battered condition, bless her, with pen marks, dirty and worn patches, re-attached arms (one of which has been sewn on back-to-front); she has a very receding hairline and a rather disfigured face ~ her eyes are wearing away, her nose is non-existent and her poor mouth has been very badly coloured in. My Sherlock Holmes-like powers of deduction lead me to suspect she was a plaything as opposed to a collector's doll.....

The photos on Gill's blog show dolls dressed in lovely outfits but Ethel~Maud arrived absolutely stark naked ~ hence the rather fetching hankie and brooch ensemble she is currently floating around in! I confess that she very quickly became my little mascot and I really do like to sit her near me when I'm doing bits and pieces. Oh dear, does that make me weird do you think???

I received a lovely email from Gill in response to mine, and she was been able to tell me a little about Ethel~Maud:

"She looks like one of Norah Wellings Islander Dolls. You do not say what size she is but looks to be the smaller size of 8 to 12 inches? Norah Wellings was very well known for her wonderful Islander dolls and they were made wearing a mixture of different national clothing but most commonly grass skirts. However as yours has black shoes she would not have had a grass skirt as that particular model had bare feet. They came in sizes 8 to 36 inches , earliest having glass eyes, later painted eyes. Looking at the label on Ethel-Maud she would have been made from 1940 to 1950's ( Norah Wellings stopped production in 1959). The same models were used for many years."

I have chosen Ethel~Maud to be my "one object" for the One Object 365 Days Project and I'm feeling rather excited about sharing more photos of her on Flickr and here on my blog :-)

One Object 365 Days Project: 1/365

Ethel~Maud was telling me that it is sometimes rather hard to be a small doll trying to write with a large ~ for her! ~ pencil.
1/365 ~ 29th April 2010

365 ~ Day 119

Jonathan and Chrissy pose for their first photo together as a couple :-)
(See, I told you that love was in the air!)

The joy of dolls...

...yes, my dolls really do give me a lot of joy and fun ~ and I can't make my family understand in the slightest LOL I'm pretty sure they're convinced I'm having some kind of mid-life crisis but hey ~ so long as I'm not hurting anyone with my hobby then I think it's perfectly fine!

These four little ladies were sent to my by a Flickr friend ~ thank you Simon! They are all in need of TLC but that's just how I like 'em ~ as Simon knows :-) Starting with the sweetie in the knitted outfit they are: Gwyneth, Harriet, Daphne and Billie. I've been asked a few times how a) I think of names for my dolls and b) how I then remember them all! Well, quite often a name will just pop into my head when I get a new dolly family member but failing that, I have a book of baby names which I just look through until I come to a name which seems to fit the dolly in question. As for remembering what they are all called ~ well, that's simple: I just write the names down on an ever-growing list!

The new little girls were a wee bit tired after their journey, so they had a little snuggle with Amber :-) She is such a good dog, letting me use her as a prop in my dolly photos LOL The only one she doesn't seem keen on is my dolly daughter, Julia ~ perhaps it's because Julia is such a big doll compared to the others!

Why does it seem to be so difficult to find male dolls that I like? I would really like a few more boys to balance out all the girls a little but it's so hard to find ones I like the look of! The Action Man dolls look way too much all-brawn-but-no-brain and the Ken-types just look like they must spend all their time in front of a mirror admiring themselves LOL I've seen some ball-jointed dolls and Gene-type ones that look do look quite nice, but sadly my purse won't stretch that far *sigh*

Anyhoo, let me introduce you to Douglas, the latest chap to join my menagerie!

I lifted Julia up onto our rickety old garden bench to take a photo of her in her new clothes. The shoes are very sweet but she has incredibly wide feet, so the straps barely reach across to the buckle! I think I may well remove the straps and buckles, and replace them with ribbon ties instead.

Eliza arrived on Wednesday. I know she probably looks just like any other Sindy-type doll but there was something about her that I really liked. I love the colour of her hair and her homemade clothes are very sweet, although they need a little bit of repair work carrying out. Her hair is very coarse and quite matted, too, but I'm sure after I've gotten round to washing it and spraying on some of that detangler I used on Julia, it will be lovely again :-) I have quite a soft spot for Sindys and Sindy clones!

Now this young chap is a male doll that I really do like. He was sold as an Alan/Happy Families doll but I've no idea if that's right or not. To be frank, I wasn't bothered "who" Jonathan (as I have named him) was, I just liked him and thought I'd better bid pronto as it's so hard for me to find males I like!
He and Chrissy have really hit it off well ~ I sense the blossoming of a beautiful romance between the two of them ;-)

Jonathan came complete with a spare outfit ~ which he has very kindly loaned out already! Chrissy is currently wearing the sweater which looks very fetching with her temporary hankerchief sarong-style skirt (well, at least she is no longer naked!), and Darrell has borrowed the trousers.

The lovely Allegra is modelling my latest vintage dress purchase from my friend Joey's ebay store: Charmbrella. It is a lovely gown but I don't think the fabric is quite right for Allegra to be honest. Still, I didn't buy it specifically for her so in due course it will be passed on to one of the other girls. Allegra is just happy that she is no longer naked LOL

Now, I did realise that the dress would not be large enough for Chrissy ~ I just wanted to get an idea of how the style and print would look on her :-) It's such a shame that it isn't big enough because it suits her so well, I think. Perhaps I can draw around the dress on a sheet of paper and fiddle about to make it in a bigger size. I guess it will be very much a trial-and-error exercise but if I do manage to make a pattern for Chrissy, then I will be able to make her a nice selection of dresses. Well that's the theory anyway ~ it all sounds so reasonable in my head!

I bought myself another Yoborobo original ~ this is Loretta and she is absolutely gorgeous! Pam (aka Yoborobo) makes such wonderful little plushies. I already have two, Ingrid and Benny, and I also bought a couple for Beverly at Christmas. Pam is another of the lovely folk I have "met" on Flickr :-)

Pam is such a sweet person ~ in the parcel with Loretta she enclosed her pet chicks, Cheep and Chirp, and this lovely fleece fabric. Pam has been giving me lots of good advice and tips on making plushies for myself, and she has been so encouraging about Miss Plushie :-)

Also in the box was this gorgeous hanging decoration ~ isn't it pretty!

And this is the other side. It will sparkle beautifully in the sunshine :-)

Here is sweet Loretta with Cheep and Chirp ~ somewhere in the depths of my shed I have a stash of little baskets, and when I find them I will give one to Loretta so that she can carry the chicks around more easily :-)
I have joined a couple more groups on Flickr: One Object 365 Days Project and Doll Census - One doll a day so look out for even more dolly photos to come!

Flowers for Friday

Spring Flowers, Dutchmans Breeches (Bleeding Hearts), Late April

Thursday, 29 April 2010

The Thursday Poem

Young Woman Reading by a Window by Delphin Enjolras


Last sea-thing dredged by sailor Time from Space,
Are you a drift Sargasso, where the West
In halcyon clam rebuilds her fatal nest?
Or Delos of a coming Sun-God's race?
Are you for Light, and trimmed, with oil in place,
Or but a Will o' Wisp on marshy quest?
A new demesne for Mammon to infest?
Or lurks millennial Eden 'neath your face?

The cenotaphs of species dead elsewhere
That in your limits leap and swim and fly,
Or trail uncanny harp-strings from your trees,
Mix omens with the auguries that dare
To plant the Cross upon your forehead sky,
A virgin helpmate Ocean at your knees.

Bernard O'Dowd
(11th April 1866 - 1st September 1953)

from the book: Poem for the Day One

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

In the garden today...

Well, technically I took this photo on Tuesday night! The moon was so bright that I just couldn't resist attempting my very first moon photo ~ alas, it is most definitely not an easy subject to capture *sigh* Adrian said that I really need a more powerful zoom, which made me feel a little better about my rather poor photography.

Not only was the moon very bright, it also had a wonderful yellowish haze which made it look so beautiful! It was the kind of moon which could really make you believe that all things were possible; I fully expected to see faeries and elves dancing around my garden ~ it felt so magical...

For a change, I decided to take photos of some the few plants and shrubs in the front garden. We lost most of the garden when we decided to have the driveway laid, which I felt a little sad about but it was for the best. Simply having one border and a handful of large pots makes it very much easier to look after now.

I was very happy that we were able to save this lilac ~ look at all those buds!

I can't remember what this little shrub is called ~ no doubt my friend will tell me in due course LOL The flowers on it are very pretty.

I do love bleeding hearts. I have white ones in the back garden and this pretty pink one in the front. I took the photo from our neighbour's garden ~ they are getting the full benefit of the lovely flowers LOL

The bleeding heart flowers look just like little faerie lanterns, glimpsed through the holly leaves :-)

We have had a house guest since Saturday evening :-) Jacob has been staying with us whilst my parents are away visiting friends. He is such a jolly dog ~ what you can't see in this photo is his tail wagging madly away!

Just look at that cute face ~ he can be a little rogue but how can you stay mad for long!

My word, Jacob, what big nostrils you have LOL

TED ~ Eve Ensler: happiness in body and soul

TED ~ Eve Ensler: Embrace your inner girl

Wonderful Wednesday!

Landscape in Spring with Oil Seed Rape Field in Flower Near Marcilly Le Hayer, Aube, France
by Michael Busselle

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Prayer for World Peace

Dove of Peace ~ Giclee print

We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being.
We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma;
that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world;
that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life;
that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children;
that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within, knowing the power of each individual to change the world.

We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery - hungry, sick, and utterly without hope.
We pray for the children who are starving, who are condemned to homelessness, slave labour, prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family.
We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.
We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.

We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.

We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms.
We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving;
that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life;
that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts;
that we may learn to rejoice in our being.

We pray for these things with humility;
We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit;
We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God.
We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.

prayer for world peace ~ dr jane goodall

Friday, 23 April 2010

New Ebay listings

A few more items listed in my Ebay store today :-) Just click on the picture of the item you are interested in and you will be taken straight to it on Ebay:

The plate above and jug below are now both sold!

Happy bidding!

Green party - 2010 Party Election Broadcast

Flowers for Friday

Thursday, 22 April 2010

365 ~ Day 118

I found Julia in the garden, standing amongst the plants. I asked her what she was doing and she said that she was waiting for it to rain! Poor little Julia! She so wants to try out her new raincoat and even asked me if I would "water" her like I do my plants LOL I told her that the water would spoil her new shoes and her feet would get wet. She looked very disappointed, so I said that when she gets some wellies I will sprinkle some water over her from my watering-can :-)

Snippets of this and a smidgeon of that...

A post of all sorts today LOL

I got this beautiful vintage lace to add to my ever-growing collection. It will make a lovely addition to dolly dresses.

I'm going to have a go at making myself a summer skirt and thought this fabric would be just perfect. Whatever I make will have to be a very simple design as I am a learner-sewer, which will suit this border-print fabric down-to-the-ground.

I'm still getting those half-price daffodils with my supermarket shopping LOL This week, though, a couple of the bunches were this rather different variety ~ aren't they pretty!

Amongst all my other collecting obsessions, I also have a love of deer ornaments! I finally got round to arranging my bits 'n' bobs on this old dresser, which belonged to my Great Aunt Mary. One or two of the ornaments on here were her's too :-)

A full-height view of Aunt Mary's dresser. I am storing old curtains in the cupboard at the moment, until I get round to doing something with them!

Amber is such a funny dog! I found her asleep like this yesterday, all wrapped up with her piggy.

This is another of the celebration cakes I used to make. I made this barbeque for my sister's 40th birthday, in May 2005, which had an Australian theme ~ bet you would never have guessed that, eh ;-)

I think this is probably one of my favourites of the cakes I've made, which I created for my mother-in-law's 80th birthday back in September 2003. The actual cake was very simple ~ either a sponge or madeira cake (I can't remember now which it was!) covered with green-coloured sugarpaste icing. The 1/12th scale patio garden was made as a separate piece, which was Jean's actual birthday gift. I really enjoyed making this little vignette and so I've decided that I will make another one for myself :-)

Adopt, Don't Buy...