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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Spooky Treats for Halloween

I hope our local newspapers don't mind that I'm including these recipes (on just this one occasion) in my blog but I thought they were brilliant and look like a lot of fun to make.  The mummy cupcakes and eyeballs are from the Irish Independent and the orange squash loaf is from the Irish Daily Mail.  Both appeared in their respective papers yesterday.

My husband and son were both adament that they would not eat a cake containing butternut squash as much as they enjoy it as a vegetable.  I thought this loaf looked quite interesting though and wouldn't mind trying it sometime.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Saalfield Indian Paper Dolls #1367

When I first saw this set again in these self consciously PC times my first thought was that Saalfield would never be able to publish a book like this today.  On reflection, though, I can't see why not.  This is a truly beautifully book with wonderful attention to detail.

Although presented as a single family, each outfit in this set is representative of a different ethnic group, covering the entire geographical region of America.  I'm not at all knowledgeable in this area but I believe that each example of traditional dress is both authentic and accurate. 

For me, though, these dolls with their lovely names - Running Deer, Bright Arrow, Happy Dawn and Starlight - have always represented the perfect family unit, conveying both contentment and complete harmony.

I've always though the little girl in this set is the cutest doll I've ever owned.  Her blue outfit is my favourite - I love both the colour and design.


This set is another example of Saalfield's practice of reprinting different versions of the same book with varying artwork and content.  I've seen three different variations.  The oldest version from the 1950's also contained pages to colour but my copy from the 60's only included the dolls and clothes.

Hallow e'en

During my childhood in South Africa we did not celebrate Hallowe'en and until I came to Ireland ten years ago I was not even sure what day of the year it fell on.  Ireland of course is different, as many of the traditions we associate with Hallowe'en (eg trick or treat) originated here and were taken to countries like America by Irish emigrants.

I've had this card for many years (since the 70's at least) and I think this lovely little witch is perfect for this time of year.   

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Don't Forget the Flower Girl

Nadir Quinto - Cinderella

Some of the most popular posts in my blog have been those with a bridal theme.  Vintage Brides (posted 12 March 2011), a selection of magazine photographs from 1958 has held the top spot of the month for quite some time.  More Vintage Brides (posted 17 July 2011) and Wonderful Weddings (posted 1 May 2011, dedicated to fairytale illustrations) have also moved in and out of the top ten.  As my blog is largely a celebration of childhood I decided to devote this week's post to the youngest member of the wedding party - the flower girl.

I was a flower girl once in 1966 aged 7.  I had an over the top beehive hairdo decorated with a comb of silk flowers (daisies) and a bow. My dress (pink) was a stiff empire line style and I carried a bouquet of dark red rosebuds styled to within an inch of their life.  It was a magical experience and I felt just like a princess.

Nadir Quinto - Detail from Cinderella

The first illustrations I have chosen are by the wonderful artist and illustrator Nadir Quinto.   They are beautifully detailed and I think in both the flower girl completely steals the show.

Nadir Quinto - Dick Wittington

Nadir Quinto - Detail from Dick Wittington

The flower girl from Merrill's paper doll book of The Heavenly Blue Wedding (posted 24 Feb 2011).

This delightful illustration by H. M. Brock is from a story called 'Cherry Charmer'.  I have included the whole wedding procession first and then enlarged its component parts to highlight some of the lovely detail.

HM Brock - Cherry Charmer

HM Brock - Cherry Charmer

HM Brock - Cherry Charmer

HM Brock - Cherry Charmer

The next wonderfully romantic painting called 'The Marriage of Beatrice' is the work of Raffaello Sorbi (1844-1931).  It was completed in 1928 when he was 84 years old.  The scene portrays a wedding from the late Middle Ages or early Renaissance but the figure of Beatrice herself gives away the fact that it was painted much later.  Today we take for granted the image of a bride in white gown and veil but this tradition only really started in the 19th century. 

Raffaello Sorbi - The Marriage of Beatrice

In my post of Vintage Brides I included this photograph of a dress I longed to own as a child.  I would study it for hours and dreamt of wearing one just like it.

Modern Bride 1958

The same magazine (Modern Bride - 1958) also included the dress shown below that I have not posted before.  Same pose, very similar style, but the darker colour and heavier material never had the same appeal for me.

Modern Bride 1958

The two mirror images of the double sided flower girl in Saalfield's Double Wedding paper doll book from 1964. (posted 21 May 2011)

This lovely wedding scene is from the Jack and Jill Christmas annual of 1963 and is part of a series called 'Our Village - The Story of Cherry Green.'   Once again I am showing the full painting first and then highlighting some of the detail.

I'm not sure if the next three paper dolls are part of a wedding book or if they belong to a different occasion.  They are not in great condition, but I think are still very pretty.  When I was a child I was given some paper doll sets second hand by various family members (cut dolls, no covers etc).  This was one of them and as can be seen belongs to my original collection.  If anyone can identify the book please leave a comment and let me know. 

*Update* - Retha from the Paperdolls and Toys blog left a comment confirming that these dolls are not from a wedding book as I suspected but from a paper doll set called Seven and Seventeen.  She also emailed me a link a the Picasa Web Album that contains the complete book.  It is beautiful - I'm so glad to be able to see it again in context. 

The flower girl from Whitman's Bridal Cut Outs -1966 (posted 10 Sept 2011).

She is not a flower girl and this was not a happy occasion for her, but who can resist Ron Embleton's beautiful image of Snow White as her father marries his haughty new bride.  Ron Embleton (my favourite artist) has featured frequently in my blog and I have always wanted to include this particular illustration.  

Ron Embleton - Snow White

And of course when I was married in 1996 my own retinue contained a flower girl or two!  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Saalfield - Tina with Change-About Wigs

What makes this paper doll interesting are the three 'wigs' that provide a novel touch to the book.  I've always thought the dresses a bit nondescript and discovered recently that they were used by Saalfield in an earlier set and re-produced without any alteration in this one.

It is the detachable heads that make this set so memorable with names that sound like ice-cream sundaes - Banana Blonde, Spiced Strawberry and Chocolate Parfait!

I can't see a date on the cover which is unusual but I would have been given it in the mid to late 60's.

The set consists of one doll.  The original is shown on the right and the same doll with the blonde 'wig' on the left.  I think having complete heads like this is very effective as hair on its own can sometimes look a bit scrappy.

Here are they are in one of the dresses.

This is my favourite page in the book with the three different glamorous looks provided by the Wig Shoppe.

Inside my original copy of the book I have some magazine cut-outs of hairstyles from the era.  They have nothing to do with the set but I must have included them to play along with the hairdressing theme.


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