Sunday, June 30, 2013

Something old, something new

At a really stretchy stretch, you could say there is something borrowed about this and if you're feeling really elastic about it then the pink is a bluish pink.  And relax.  It really is just something old and something new.

I did a couple of these pieces about 4 years ago, this one and a landscape, using layers of organza and machine and hand embroidery.  They were fairly small and I had the idea of perhaps going back to an old style of work and putting them inside a mount and frame.  I had a bit of a play with the landscape one and realised the format just wasn't doing what I wanted and then there they both sat.  That's the old part.

Recently asked if I could provide something four inches square to promote the fourth birthday of By Local, I thought of this little chicken and found that with a bit of trimming it would be just the job.  Mounted over hardboard, backed and ready to hang, this is a format that really works. 

I'm hoping to go on to work on a lot of little mini-pics, in a variety of techniques, some maybe silk-painted images, some machine embroidered and perhaps some appliqued like this one.  There's a big gap between ideas and reality, of course, and I don't know when they'll actually happen, but I'm hoping that mini-pics can be made at a really affordable price - difficult to achieve in hand-made work, particularly textiles.

Mini-pics: tiny textiles treats.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Dolly and Holly and Molly

This is Dolly.  My mum made Dolly when I was probably a little less than two years old. Apparently mum propped her up on the sofa and when I came in I went straight up to her and said "Jane's dolly!" so it's just as well she was. Her dress and hat (a little moth-eaten now, I see) were made from remnants of Mum's coat material. Mum always made her own and my clothes and I'm sure I get my connection to textiles from her.  She says now she doesn't think Dolly was ever washed, so she's done pretty well.  The greyish patch on the forehead is as much worn as grubby.  


I wouldn't go anywhere without Dolly for many years.  I suppose she was in effect my teddy or comfort blanket.  Later I had first a baby doll and then a girl doll, both of whom I liked to dress in different outfits but Dolly is stitched into her clothes like rag dolls often are.

I wanted to make a rag doll for Holly, our granddaughter, but when I looked for patterns I came across one for a proper doll that really appealed to me, not least because the website told me that clothes for an 18" "American Girl" doll would fit her.  It seemed a little early for a proper doll for Holly but I thought I could make the doll while off work and then she would be ready for when she was needed.  In the mean time, though, Holly took a fancy to another child's doll's pram and now has one of her own and her mum decided she might well be ready for the doll earlier than we'd thought.

So I made Molly.  It was a really therapeutic project, something I really wanted to do and had plenty of time to spare for because I couldn't work.  I love miniaturised things anyway so had great fun making the clothes and eventually the shoes.  To my great surprise, Molly stands up on her own in her shoes.  And here she is:

And here are Holly and Molly meeting for the first time. 

I am so pleased to learn that Holly and Molly are already getting on really well.  Holly can do her own shoes up now so she also takes Molly's shoes off and puts them back on.  She wheels her round and round the garden in her pram and goes and holds her hand when she is standing up. 

I had such fun being inventive about the clothes - did you know that one pair of adult socks makes one pair of tights or one t-shirt for an 18" doll?  Or that a child's vest is exactly right to make proper pants for a doll?  No, I thought not.  Here is Molly in her authentic-fabric pants and the rest of her outfit laid out in front of her.  You can imagine that I am already planning her next outfit.