Good evening friends! This has been the oddest week, I think I was in a bit of a fog for some reason. Is it the weather?
One grey day blending into the next, and more to come. Look at the Feb. long-term forecast!
Blog-friend Julierose and I live fairly close as the crow flies, though far far away via NY highways and bridges, but we share similar weather. We are determined to value the warm-ish temps and be grateful for no snow. But still...?
Angels: I love[d] making primitive dolls and angels but in recent years had created only a few. My angels are varied, each one of a kind. I always worry that they will not be cared for and cherished, so in the end I stopped making them except by special order, and I just kept a few.
But this past December a very valued customer emailed me out of the blue, asking if I had any dolls for sale. At first I said no, but then remembered this prim doll who has kept me company on my sewing room shelf, waiting for her final dress to be made. I'm not sure why I had not finished her [and had no intention to sell her], but then I knew---she was destined to be an angel for E.
A principle I learned designing clothes is: Never give the buyer a choice; have an idea/ POV and sell it, you are in charge. But again, I have worked with E for years and enjoy her input so I offered her a selection of vintage and antique baby dresses:
Knowing really that with her love of old white linens and dresses she'd choose the long dramatic 19cth century-1880? baptismal gown. Note the gorgeous handmade lace and many pintucks.
And I somewhat reluctantly shared an antique doll petticoat from my own collection, too. [I owned two, after all.]
While the clothes soaked in mild Quilt Restore and OxiClean, I first had to create the face. The face, esp the eyes, is the personality and soul of a doll. And angel faces are much harder than doll faces. Dolls can get big, mismatched, sew through button eyes, embroidered/ beaded/ or button mouths. Folky. Rag hair, toothpick or old rusted nail noses. But angels must be other worldly, delicate and serene. I wanted her to look like she was singing a beautiful olde carole, sending sweet joy to E.
Real shoe button eyes, c. 1900?
Her feet...not shoes, maybe angel don't need shoes? Instead she wears ankle bows of old silk ribbon and rusty bells. The bells were found, a gnarled pipe cleaner twist of bells, on the beach after a storm, years ago.
This angel also wears bells from that find.
The back of the doll is signed and dated before her bloomers go on. Now she has a face, a name, a personality!
I added her halo of tarnished tinsel. I tried quite a few haloes first: a rhinestone circle pin, a strange faux jeweled clasp, buttons, other tinsel, tiny pompom string. But no, the angel, now named Estrella, was set on tinsel. I was lucky to find some!
The dress and petticoat, now beautifully white and dried, carefully mended, starched lightly, and ironed were put on. The petticoat fit perfectly. The dress needed gathers, held at the neck by a faceted mirrored button brooch. Another scavenged find, sidewalk larking, saved since the winter of Covid.
A woman on FB said my angels look like pillowcase dolls. Not sure what that was, but sounds very 70s crafty-wafty! I was a bit put out. But then I did have the notion that all input can be useful. If my supply of tiny 19th century dresses runs out, white pillow cases with the fancy crocheted or knitted lace might be a wonderful idea instead. I have quite a few of those pillowcases, as both my Swiss and French-German [Alsace] ancestors made them for their coming to America trousseaux. pillowcase doll
All dressed, wings attached, silk and wool crazy remnant heart in hand. I toyed with having her hold sheet music, I have Silent Night papers, but for ease of storage and also longevity of display time [she could stay out til Valentine's Day?], I went with the heart, my trademark touch.
And here she is: Estrella ! 2022.
Mo had such a treat this week. On the only sunny morning his dogwalker took him on an extra long hike, all the way over to the main/ only road here! The recently installed high back iron fence makes it safer for Mo to indulge one of his fave things, chasing cars. She said he had a blast, silly boy. The marsh I often mention begins across the street, behind the hedge of brambles and bittersweet. A pair of cardinal has nested in that tree for maybe 20 years.
And one cold day, to ward off the damp chill, I made biscuits, then later classic meatloaf, with brussel sprouts, and boiled tiny red potatoes. The potatoes were exceptionally good---steamy hot, slightly squashed, w salt/ black pepper, butter and parsley, dab of sour cream. Very retro menu, but once in a while, so delicious. Lovely leftovers all week too.
have a good week! January is almost gone, imagine that.
gone to the beach...
photos from friends:
We have a snowy owl visiting. I saw him just now. I was too excited to take pics, these are from friends who are also seeing him. We think he roosts in this overgrown cabana park. What a thrill. He is HUGE. Mo must stay indoors and not be dinner.