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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Handleless Cups

It wasn't until the late 1700's that cups with handles were even thought of. I love these dear, little, handleless cups that take me way back to the 1700's, or so I suspect. Of course, handless cups are still being made. Nonetheless, the ones pictured here lift my spirits for their exquisite beauty and age.
I do realize that one tiny pink lusterware cup with a handle did sneak into a picture.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My Best Christmas Gift as a Child

Robin is my doll sitting there with her blonde braids. I received her from Santa when I was seven years old. We lived in Yakima, Washington back then. The year was 1954. I am the third born of 8 children. At that juncture there were only six of us. My grandparents and aunts, uncles and cousins visited us. They were all from Spokane. My Robin was the very last gift under the tree and no one knew the box was there, because it wasn't wrapped in gift wrap. It was simply in a pale green shoe box of some sort. But ever vigilant I, saw that box, took it to Mother and asked about it. She was most amazed and said it was something for me from Santa, and evidently he failed to wrap it! Well, I have played and played with that doll.

When I was a teenager my father was transferred to Battle Creek, Michigan, home of Kellogg's cereals for whom he worked. By now we lived in Portland, Oregon, and there were now the full 8 of us. The eldest was 20 and the youngest, 1 and a half. My eldest sister was already married and on her own. She was so devastated when we all left Portland. I am sad when I think of it.

Daddy was elated that now he was moving to "headquarters", so one day while Mother was at work, as an RN at St. Vincent's Hospital, he took loads of stuff to the dump. Yep, that was what it was called then. And guess what he took? ALL of the toys any of us kids ever had managed to save down through the years, except for my Robin, because I always kept her in her pale green shoe box in a dresser drawer.

The old toys had been stored in the garage and so he assumed none of this stuff was worth keeping. My Teddy bear was thrown out that day. My bride doll was too. The high chair that all 8 children had used was thrown out. Mother was beyond livid.

And yet, Daddy was a sweet person. He just did not want to take so very much stuff to headquarters. Tee hee.

It was in beautiful, Marshall, Michigan where we settled and where I eventually met and married my true love, Gregory LeFever. The Teddy bear sitting next to my Robin is his Cuddles and was his from the time he was six weeks old.

So there you have it!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Jill Peterson's New Magazine A Simple Life

Recently I inadvertently fell upon the book The Settlement by Jill Peterson. Then I discovered her book Homestead, and finally, she is coming out with a wonderful new magazine called A Simple Life. Click above on Jill's name to get to that link.

I have totally become immersed in the look that she celebrates, and am in the process of taking a high Victorian, 1888, Italianate house with tall ceilings upstairs and downstairs, into a hybrid of its natural look and the earlier, beloved one of the earliest days of America. It is such a joyful journey for me to mix the earlier, totally primitive look in with a house that tends more toward high Victorian. But, in defense of my journey, this house seems mansion like whereas it is merely a cottage. The tall ceilings make it seem grander than it is. And believe me, it all fits so sweetly. I will share with you some before and afters, all-in-due-course, but in the meantime, I hope you will visit Jill's websites and savor what she is offering for us to escape into via the homes of some pretty fabulous antiques lovers.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Stencil House, Shelburne Museum

Heavenly perfection this beautiful 1804 house that can be seen in person at the wonderful Shelburne Museum just south of Burlington, Vermont. The house originated in NY and was moved to the museum in 1953. Little tears in the wallpaper revealed the exquisite stenciling.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yours Truly

This picture of me was taken last spring. It can be found in the current issue of Country Victorian magazine. I have to say that we moved into this house almost 4 years ago and I never did ANY redecorating. Now that the magazine with aspects of the house is out, I am redoing madly, because this very, very, frou-frou Victorian look is really not me. I have removed wallpaper and have been painting and having a blast. Some day I will show what I've done and I'll include the before and after. At least the picture shows me in my art room working on one of my dolls.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Introducing My Daughter, an Artist, Brigitte Christine

My beautiful, sweet, wonderful and very talented daughter, Brigitte, has finally returned to her artistic endeavors. Please enjoy visiting Brigitte Christine at her Etsy Store! Click on her name here or in this page's right-hand column.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Stump Doll & My Attic Crawl Space

Okay, she does look 150 years old, but she's new. Her attire however was made from pieces of wonderful old fabrics that we recently found in our attic crawl space! We do not go up there because the only opening which is from my art room closet up into it is small. There is crumbly old insulation up there too. But, there are boxes and boxes of stuff! And most of it is old clothing and fabrics. Periodically some young man, my grandson or the son of a friend, will go up and bring down what he can. But it is not good air to breathe up there, so we get the stuff piecemeal. Since our house was built in 1888, I feel certain that much of the fabric is indeed very old. Some of the styles of the clothes are Victorian and all hand stitched.

The stump doll was created for little girls to have some facsimile of a dolly to play with. I made the above one fairly large for you see, the beauty of a stump doll for me is that they are invariably stuffed with fabric scraps. I think a child might enjoy this one, but usually they were a trifle smaller. Waste not want not.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ghostie Lady

There is much talk now of Halloween art, and of course I have nothing ready for the spooky time.

This Ghostie Lady of mine is pictured here to remind me to get going in production! Of course, I do not have a Ghostie Lady for this year, and doubt if I will, but I still love my lady ghosts as they float about old fashioned houses.

So as people harvest their labors of summer, and look forward to October 31st, I will be busily creating someone(s) scary and haunting to show soon.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Day at the Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art

Friday was a fabulous day. My dear friend, Mary (Stivers), and my wonderful husband ,Gregory and I enjoyed our trip up to the Seattle area of Bellevue and had a beautiful time exploring the incredible collection of antique dolls at the Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art. The only pictures of dolls here are those for sale in the gift shop. Note how I have shown TWO pictures with that incredible wooden doll centered. I think she is marvelous.

The lovely lady pictured with the big museum scrapbook is Sigmunde Potgieter who told me that they have in it the clipped article of me as The Doll Maker for The Country Living Artist's Guild! I am so very honored to be in that scrapbook! Of course, I did mention them in the article and that is the primary reason for my being included. And of course I mentioned Rosalie Whyel's museum of dolls because this was my greatest inspiration to become a doll maker. I have to say I was delightfully stunned when Sigmunde recognized me as I walked into that darling little gift shop! And that was how the story unfolded.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Exquisite Queen Anne Woodens by Kathy Patterson

Words alone cannot describe the craftsmanship of doll (and Santa) artist, Kathy Patterson. Kathy has captured impeccably the making of Queen Anne wooden dolls. Her ability to carve is unsurpassable. I am grateful that she has offered to instruct me in the how of creating such dolls, and in attempting it, I have put my carving knife away for a while. This is an art form that has wooed me for many years. I will have to stay happy with merely sculpting out of Paper Clay this style, a little longer.

The first doll is right now on eBay for all of two more days. The last doll just sold on eBay for $2, 350.00, and worth every penny and even more so. This style of doll, if old, can command from $16,000.00 up to $160,000.00 a piece. Lucky is the buyer of any of Kathy's incredible creations.

I've highlighted her name to direct you to her blog, and again, here it is in it's wonderful and perfectly appropriate other name, Babes From the Woods.

Some of her dolls are featured in the current issue of Early American Life, which is the annual and the 24th Directory of Traditional American Crafts. Click on Directory, then on 2009, and then on Toys or Dolls.

Enjoy the works of a dear, dear friend.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fire Board Time!

I did this Fire Board when we lived in Ohio, for my older sister who still lives there in good old Cincinnati. It is in our 1833 home in Lynchburg, Ohio for the picture in this view.

Summer time is when fire boards were properly put in front of fireplaces so as to keep out birds and other pests now that there would no longer be a need to build a fire.