Saturday, 8 November 2014

Miss Coco

I think its official, I have definitely caught the bear making bug... I absolutely LOVE making them. As a doll maker, making bears is a blessed change, something just a little different, like a cool breeze at the end of a summers day . It is so exciting discovering their little personalities, each one very unique, those big brown eyes always revealing their own character.

I have been a dog lover my entire life and I do feel a kinship to bear making and those dear dogs who have blessed me with their love and absolute faithfulness. Harvey is my current beautiful boy and his big brown eyes are a constant inspiration to me... oh such cuteness is my Harvey, but with an equal amount of complete cheekiness and mischief. To anyone who knows my family and Harvey, they will absolutely contest to his outrageous personality! He greets all who visit with love, excitement and joy. Although some have translated his energetic greetings to him saying.... "please save me and get me away from these mad people!!!!"

When I started Miss Molly, my work area was a definite no go zone to Harvey. But to anyone who has ever owned a Cocker Spaniel, you may well know that "no go zones" simply don't exist. Cocker Spaniels have a complete and utter need to be with their owners, so anywhere we are... Harvey must be. And a few months into Miss Molly I had to give in, and remove "pet free environment" from my listings. Now as I work Harvey sits at my feet, sometimes even on my feet, all the way into the wee hours of the night he is my constant companion. I often have middle of night conversations with him about all matter of Miss Molly decisions, and when it comes to bears his loving glances often serve me with the most relevant advice.

So this week I spent time finishing off a bear that had been waiting patiently in my progress basket. I had no real true vision for her, only that I wanted a very vintage boater style hat for her.

Over the last few days Miss Coco was born, heavily influenced by the most gorgeous piece of antique lace that I had been hoarding, waiting for just the right way to use it.

Her little hat is crocheted from fine crochet cotton, it took an entire afternoon to make, slowly working my way round in tiny crochet stitches. I stumbled on the fact that this vintage seaming ribbon was EXACTLY the same colour as the crochet cotton I was using. I'd like to own the fact it was a premeditated decision, and I had to order the ribbon online and wait weeks for its arrival, but alas it was a complete fluke I'm afraid. A benefit of my hoarding and collecting nature, because as my stashes grow, so do these moments of "oh wow... it matches!!!"

As little finishing touches I added some vintage flowers to her hat and a little brass locket.

Mel xxx

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Oh for the love of Millinery!

I have to admit I have fond memories of being part of the doll collectors movement in Sydney 20 years ago. Spending weekends at doll shows and rummaging through doll stalls. I soon developed a love of vintage and the amazing work of reproduction antique doll makers, and in particular specialist hat and shoe makers. Oh my nothing made me more excited than a FABULOUS dolly hat.

So what makes a breathtaking dolly hat! Well so many elements, but by far the vintage millinery flowers!!! You simply can't have an authentic dolly bonnet without them.

And I freely admit my love for these simple floral creations is far deeper than just seeing them as hat trims. In my little flower collection I have flowers that I would never dream of ever using. I keep them boxed for no other reason but to look at them occasionally in complete and utter admiration.

I still have my original collection. Some of the flowers I managed to buy decades ago from the USA. Others I found at doll shows or shops. I'll never forget my excitement when I moved to Newcastle to go to university and discovering, what I thought to be, the centre of the universe! Islington Street... shop after shop of antique costumes, linens and laces and flowers.

Somehow my original collection managed to survive. Many years of being fumbled with in my dolly studio and then countless moves, being lost in boxes, stored in attics and garages and even garden sheds, amongst boxes of baby clothes, cots and high chairs! Until now all these years later discovering them in a box, my life finally ready to embrace them all over again.

These days I spend large amounts of time searching the net and yes, still my heart goes fluttering when I stumble upon a lovely bunch. Because the creative possibilities of these rare beauties are endless.

So this birthday week, my 2nd giveaway and representing my 2nd Miss Molly love, is of course millinery!!!

This little hat is made from crocheted Italian linen. I absolutely love working with linen yarn, especially for dolly hats. It has such a lovely weight to it and holds its shape really well. To trim the hat I used one of my favourite pieces of antique lace. This piece is well over 100 years old. When I bought it, it was very brown looking, but with some washing and restoration it is now a lovely vintage ivory colour.

The flowers I've used are a mixed selection from my collection. A silk chrysanthemum, a couple of cherry blossoms, a single lilac flower and a stunning velvet pansy. The pansy is hand coloured and dates back to 1920's.

If you are interested in joining in the Millinery giveaway, please follow the link at the top of this page to my Facebook page. I will be drawing the winner tomorrow morning, Thursday, 10 am AEST.

Stay tune over the next couple of days for a little glimpse of my next Giveaway, representing my next Miss Molly love.

Mel xx

Monday, 3 November 2014

Birthday Week Celebrations

Over on my Facebook page we are running some little giveaways to celebrate Miss Molly's first year. In my last post I talked a little about the giveaways and showed a glimpse of the first one, a little sewing basket. Only a few hours left before that one will be drawn. If your interested in joining us, follow the Facebook link at the top of this page.

As the week goes on I will have a few others up for grabs, each one representing some of my Miss Molly loves, Vintage Sewing being just the first.... I'll post some photos later in the week of the others, stay tuned!!!

Good luck to all who enter.

Mel xxx