I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Angels on My Worktable


''a winter's day...

in a deep and dark December." [Simon & Garfunkel?]


Hello, hello! Yes indeed it is a dark December day, earliest sunset of the year. One chart says 4.22 sunset, but it's so dark all day, who knows. Don't ask me why the sun sets earlier now, instead of on the Solstice, has to do with the tilt of the earth and, and and...? early sunset not on solstice


I got an email the other day, a blast from the past. A much loved and valued customer got in touch wanting to know if I have any angels for sale this year.  At first I thought she meant angel ornaments and did a fast scribble sketch.

But she followed up with a photo of one of my angel dolls. Due to health issues, I haven't been making any new items for my temp-closed etsy shop, but I love to make custom items for friends I know are in sync with my style and who value the time and effort involved.

I quickly told her I have a prim doll unfinished on my shelf;

And a selection of exceptional antique and early vintage baby dresses. " I would LOVE to make an angel for you!" I said.

I am especially fond of these early 20th century batiste dresses. I tea dye them if a neutral effect is desired.


This client loves fine handwork and she loves the 19the century christening dresses I use for my dolls.

We easily agreed on a general plan as she trusts my work, and once I got my mini tree up I began the fun part of gathering bits and pieces to bring an angel to life.

I have set aside tomorrow for washing and whitening Angel22's dress and petticoat. I can freshen and whiten but cannot guarantee there are no mends and stains remaining. This dress is perhaps 150 years old. I'll make her knickers later, using an old lacey embroidered hanky probably.

Notice the handknitted/ crocheted? inserted lace and deep bands of pintucks, plus dramatic length.

Let the fun begin.

I do have a selection of white and sometimes w/ red touches lavender hearts [not these], if anyone needs sweet small gifts and wants to see photos. Just pop me an email.]


December has been stormy, only a few sunny days. We think we want the sun but its position low over the ocean is blinding. Lucky for me Mo loves colder weather. He happily wore his little all weather anorak and off we have gone, wet paws and all.

These neighbors are I think training their gigantic burning bush shrubs into a heart shape!

Scribble journal:

Mr Sunshine looks demented. I may redraw and paste a butter face, stay tuned. LOL.

An inspiration sprig of euonymus, gathered after a windy storm. It is not used at Christmas, is it? But so festive.

On the window sill is this c.1930-50 glass flower frog. I truly think my patience is being rewarded, as its slight lavender color seems to be deepening, slowly. 


I'm trying to keep Christmas, and especially Christmas expectations very small this year. The days of big happy even boisterous feasts and celebrations seems to be gone, partly a new generation, partly covid taught us--me anyway--that a holiday is just a day sometimes.


Dinner tonight, w leftovers, is fast pan braised Italian sausage [pork/ cheese/ basil], with sweet peppers and onions, everything cooked quickly in a skiller. Added Contadina smashed tomatoes w/ garlic plus a splash of wine and herbs to taste, simmer for half hour. Serve over [in this case, but any pasta is fine], calamari-shaped pasta rings from Home Goods. [Their pastas from Italy are delish and unusual.]. Shaved parm on top. Steamed buttered brussel sprouts on the side.

Tell your family that you love them!



gone to the beach...

******looking for Christmas in the village. Too premature, Santa had not yet arrived. Pleasant in a bleak cold day way though.

I think this bar decorates their buoy as their tree.

You may recall the one that escaped its moorings a few years ago and washed ashore in a storm.


  1. Your angel ornament sketch is lovely;)) Those vintage dresses are so special; nice that you have a commission to fill.
    Aren't these days just so gray and dark? Our sunset today was at 4:20...I can see why we want beautiful lit trees at this time of year...
    All those pretty red leaves...even Mo looked struck by them...
    hugs, Julierose

  2. What a sweet new project for your friend! Love all your photos, as always. The first one with leaves on the pavement would be a perfect autumn fabric. The earlier sunset photo with such beautiful muted shades, much prettier than our rainy foggy gloom. Supper tonight leftovers, salmon patties, corn casserole and peas. Getting into the Christmas season slowly at best. But I started laying out a new Christmas quilt today, lol. Way more fun than writing cards and wrapping gifts.

  3. Oh, your angel will be wonderful, Lizzy! I love the antique dresses, especially all the pintucks and the lace. I hope you'll post photos of her when she's finished. Or even progress photos.
    Such an early sunset! But now, I guess, your daylight hours will gradually increase?
    We've had a string of grey days with another 8 or 9 predicted. I just wish it were snow instead of only grey and fog.

  4. Gosh Lizzie, that Christening smock has just taken me back to about 1986 or 7, when we used to go to a Monday (and a Saturday) small auction in Sturminster Newton, where little gowns like these were always offered for sale. I never did buy one, but always admired the beautiful hand-stitching, and lace trim. It looks lovely on your angel. Do you give them faces, or do they just stay blank?

    I am on the last couple of feet of slip-stitching the back of the binding on the quilt for my friend. It is looking good. I hope it will keep her warm when she is in her reading room.

    Nearly the Solstice (thank heavens) and then gradually the days will start to draw out again. 5 p.m. by the end of January.

    Your evening meal sounds very tasty. I have leftover beef curry - I made a fresh and tasty sauce after mistakenly cooking it in the pressure cooker which made it watery and tasteless.

    1. I'm looking forward to seeing your quilt!
      This was the last long christening dress I have, I bought a big box of them a few years ago, unloved under a dealer's table, The workmanship is so beautiful.
      The angel will have a face, a name, knickers, petticoat, wings, and other embellishments, yet in keeping w the primitive look. My regular dolls, like the one sitting on the bowl stack sometimes do not have faces, depends.

      Curry is not popular here, but it sounds warm and comforting, despite the curry scent.

      I ll look when sunset is after 5 pm here, you re further north but it also depends on position in your time zone. I thinking late February?


  5. Posting for Melody: I always love your itty bitty Christmas tree on the shelf! It's so tiny!

    The red leaves are so pretty, but kind of remind me of claws, lol. Mo doesn't seem to mind them, though. And I agree, the picture would be a good fabric print.

    It's been cool (not cold) and FOGGY/misty here for the past two days - visibility was not very good if you had to be out driving, even headlights weren't visible very far out. The forecast SAYS it should be sunny tomorrow...I'll believe it when I see it!

    Love the delicate old baby dresses/gowns. My mom had some, maybe from when I was little? Or my older brothers? I have no idea what happened to them.

    Are the geo-dome structures part of the bar? Interesting... Cool idea to decorate the buoy as a Christmas tree, too. Around here lights sprouted up everywhere right after Thanksgiving! Some people on our street go a little crazy...!

    In case you can't tell, this is Melody

  6. Oh, I do like your angels. The sweet dresses are a fantastic idea!


Hi! I'm allowing comments from everyone, even anonymous for awhile, to see what happens. With comments moderation. Hopefully the awful porn spammer has gone elsewhere. Or you can always email me! I love to hear from everyone.