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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cinderella - Jack and Jill Story Favourites - Merrill #1547

Many of my original paper dolls, especially those that date back to early childhood, are reduced to a few tattered remnants, patched and worn after hours of play.  The two dresses included below are all I had left of this book, together with a hazy recollection of a set I remembered as being extremely special.    

Its hard to put into words how I felt when I saw this book again for the first time after so many years.  There is a definite sense of wonder at discovering something again that was lost in the mists of time.

This particular paper doll book is easily obtained today in reproduction form if an original copy is not available.  The reproductions I've seen are of very good quality and depending on your reason for collecting 'vintage' paper dolls can be well worth buying.

Cross Stitch Project

This cross stitch is so much bigger than I was expecting it to be when I bought the kit!  There is an awful amount of blue.  Luckily it is one of my favourite colours.  I've found it quite interesting how the shading of the various hues of blue is graded.  Between the dark and light areas there is a 'mixed cross' section where both colours are used.  I'm putting the darker shade at the bottom of the cross and the lighter one on top.  I'm assuming it is supposed to be done like that but as all the instructions are in Chinese its hard to tell! 

Our 'Pet' Robin

When this little robin was a tiny baby he came skidding inside like a comic book character one day chased by a nasty magpie.  The robin survived the ordeal and now considers himself one of the family.  If I work outside in the garden he joins me straight away.  When I brought my camera out to photograph him the robin was more curious than frightened about what I was doing.

Kewpie Paper Doll

When I was looking for the two dresses from the Jack & Jill book I discovered this additional outfit for doll #5 in the Kewpie set I posted in April.  I knew there were some outfits missing.  Hopefully one day I'll find the others.  

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fabulous Fairies

Mr Shortsight and the Garden Fairies
Previously I published three posts - Wonderful Weddings , Perfect Princesses and Handsome Heroes that were compiled using some of my favourite illustrations from the children's magazine Once Upon a Time.  This week I'm continuing in the same vein by starting another trio of posts, this time with a fairytale theme.  First up (unsurprisingly) are Fabulous Fairies.  The two companion posts I'm thinking of adding in future weeks will be Dragons (see Delightful Dragons posted 12 August) and Mermaids.

As mentioned before Once Upon a Time was a beautiful children's magazine published between 1969 and 1973.  Many of my favourite artists (featured throughout this blog) contributed to various issues and the brilliance of their work can be seen in these magical images.

The Fairy of Withered Wood

The Fairy Child

A Gift for the Fairy Queen

A Gift for the Fairy Queen

The Garden Fairy Makes Good

The Golden Cockerel

The Snow Fairy

The Snow Fairy

The Giant's New House

The Flower Clock

The Rainbow Pixie

The China Fairy

Dublin Castle Chapel

In a previous post My Fair Lady Paper Doll Additional Pages I included some photos of Dublin Castle.  Amongst them was an outside shot the castle chapel.  Although it looks typically medieval, if memory serves me correctly I think the chapel was actually built during Victorian times.  It has the wonderful opulence and romanticised nostalgia that Victorians lavished on all their Gothic creations.  

I love popping into the chapel and I'm thrilled that it is open to the public again.  For well over a year it was out of bounds as the chapel was extensively used during filming of the TV series The Tudors.  The chapel was used for all the courtroom scenes.  Clever camera angles and editing made it appear much larger than it actually is.  I don't think it was all that obvious when Henry flounced off in a temper after being thwarted once again in his pursuit of Anne Boleyn that what you see is all there is. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cross Stitch Project

When I was much younger I used to do a lot of tapestry and embroidery work.  I stopped after Ryan was born but recently I felt like plying a needle and thread again.

I want to try out some picture ideas of my own but to get a bit of practice first I bought a cross stitch kit on eBay.  Anyone who is familiar with these kits will probably recognise it.  At this stage it is otherwise impossible to tell what it is going to turn out to be.  I thought it might be fun to show it as a work in progress with each post.  This week I have done quite a bit as I have been on holiday but hopefully I won't lose momentum.

The design is a bit bigger than I was expecting it to be.  I was also surprised to discover that the instructions are all in Chinese!  It took me a while to figure out that certain areas are done as a mixed cross (ie two colours - I just hope I'm doing them the right way round.)

In the early 90's my mom bought me this wonderful book of fairy tale cross stitch patterns.  I actually made almost everything in the book (unlike recipe books that I love to pour over but end up making very little).

I'm including one pattern from the book - a lovely illustration of Sleeping Beauty.  It is designed to be a small square cushion cover.  I think the detail and the colours used should come out clearly if you click on the picture to enlarge it and then print it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

More Vintage Brides

Two of my previous posts, Wonderful Weddings and Vintage Brides had wedding themes.  Both proved to be popular from the start so today I'm including some more images from 'Modern Bride', published in 1958.  Last time I found it quite difficult to decide what pictures to use, so this gives me an opportunity to include some more of my favourites.  These lovely weddings and brides from long ago can still be used as inspiration today!

Lace never goes out of fashion.  It makes this dress extremely feminine.

I love the lighting in this picture.  Black and white photographs are usually the most atmospheric and I think the image above is wonderfully romantic.

When I look at this advert I find it hard to believe this photo was taken before I was born. This couple look so natural and in many ways still contemporary.  It shows how timeless some things are.

And finally from the magazine this fabulous illustration from an article giving advice on furnishing and decorating your first home.  I just love it - it reminds me so much of my mom's home when I was a little girl.

My Wedding - Everton, KwaZulu Natal (South Africa), December 1996 

In the last post of vintage brides I included a picture from my wedding at the end and mentioned that I had chosen to wear my mom's dress, made originally for her wedding in 1957.  My own wedding was put together on a shoestring budget (we decided to rather spend more on our honeymoon!), but we were still able to have a fairytale occasion as I was lucky enough to have the use of my mom's lovely garden just west of Durban. 

A small grove of trees formed a natural aisle and nave.  It was just big enough for me to walk down to part of Pachelbel's canon played by a string quartet.  We made a canopy for the service out of a cotton and lace tablecloth.   A stone bench covered with an antique cloth doubled as an altar, another covered a tree stump that was used to sign the register (shown below).  Even the minister who married us joined in the fun and wore an embroidered waistcoat instead of (as he put it) his Batman regalia.

All the flowers and foliage used in the marquee came from the garden. (Everyone worked extremely hard to make it look so pretty.)

I even decorated my own cake.  My step-dad made me a wonderfully rich fruit cake and I spent days before the wedding stamping out these little icing flowers and leaves.


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