Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Alice and her Cupcake

Busy busy busy.... I think that pretty much covers the last few weeks. Early mornings and very late nights. I am working towards a few big things at the moment and balancing those and keeping a clean house, washing up to date and cooking reasonable meals has been a challenge to say the least, not to even mention being a Mum! But if there is a way of squeezing time out of a day I am slowly becoming an expert at it. Though I do suspect my secret weapon (not sleeping) will eventually catch up with me.

Ok so my first big thing is the Dreamers Market next month in Sydney. I am hoping to have enough work for a small table and to finally get a chance to display some of my work collectively. Now, I am not really screaming this from the rooftops as last time I tried to do a show my universe came to a crashing halt a week out with my Mum being in involved in an bus accident.... so this time I am playing it cool and trying to slide into home base, so to speak, without trying to jinx myself.

One of my ideas for my display is the making of a little dolly tea party. Dave has been busy in his workshop on his lathe turning up some wonderful dolly size spindle back chairs and a tiny matching tea table. Meanwhile I have been working on designing a new doll body to sit perfectly on his chairs as well as coming up with some yummy dolly size crochet food.

Alice is my first dolly to be made for the tea party. She is quite larger than the dolls I have been working on lately. 18 inches seated or if I were able to stretch out her legs and she were magically able to stand, well over 23 inches in height. I actually think she is the biggest Waldorf doll I have made so far. The amount of wool I used to stuff her amazed me... there was definitely a mountain of it.

Really looking forward to creating some yummy food for Alice and her friends and their tea party. I've started some cupcakes already, but I'm thinking also some cream cakes, tartlets and dolly strawberries. I am working on getting some these written up as free patterns on the blog.... because all dollies deserve a sweet treat now and then don't they.... stay tuned!!

Mel xxxx

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Elsbeth & Her Little Friend

On my work table over the last couple of weeks has been Elsbeth. Such a lucky little girl, she is journeying to her new forever home with all kinds of goodies and friends. I think I love making all the extras for my dollies as much as I do the dollies themselves. I hate to see a doll with empty hands and I have been that way since I first began making dolls almost 30 years ago now. The world is a big place and everyone needs someone special to hug or something fun to play with.

So as I packed up her travelling box I filled it with lots of treasures. A special bunny friend, a wooden pull toy, a second set of clothes, boots, a Sunday hat and very special little Miss Molly dolly friend.

I am sure she will be having adventures for many years to come.... 

Mel xxx

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Princess Pearl

Well I've been busy working away the last few weeks. Finally feel like I am working a little more "effectively".... hmm whatever that means. But I think what I mean by that term is that I am working in a more consistent way, a head down bottom up kind of way. That's not to say I am not taking time to play with my dolly making, but more that I am not stopping every few moments to second guess myself.

I managed to get Princess Pearl done in only a few days instead of my normal week for a dolly. I have a very soft spot for princesses. I think because I truly believe deep down we are all little girls and all little girls are princesses!

The autumn days have been absolutely spectacular here at the moment. Bright blue skies, still and warm. Perfect for a princess to go walking in the garden in amongst the fallen leaves and basking in the glow of autumn sunlight.

Every princess needs her own special floral hat as well. This one is made from linen, antique lace and vintage violet millinery flowers.


Mel xxxx

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Lucy and Our Little Trip Away

So the last couple of  weeks have been all about finishing off Lucy and having a little break away with the kids.

Lucy has been a delight to work on, she has such a lovely nature about her with her gentle expression and cheeky red curls.

 Her little bear friend is warm and cuddly, such best friends they are.

Lucy is travelling to her new home with lots of special goodies, an extra outfit and a special wooden toy made by Mr Molly, a little Giraffe. He is made from a piece of slab pine and has jarrah wheels.

Lucy's outfit is knitted, but she does have a very special little skirt made from a rare piece of broderie anglaise. This piece is almost 100 years old, a very special skirt indeed! 

 Lucy has a little extra summer dress, made from cotton lawn, vintage floral fabric and antique lace.

Lots of little items in Lucy's wardrobe, because every dolly needs some extra clothes.

No sooner as I was finishing off Lucy the family and I headed for a short break away to the beach. The weather was rather hit and miss, we've had so much rain on the east coast of Australia, but we did manage a couple of days of sun.

So feeling completely recharged and ready to get back to work, a couple more dolls are waiting so patiently on my work table.... a cute little toddler and a lovely vintage girl.. but more about them in another post.

Mel xxx

Monday, 13 April 2015

Morning Bush Walk & the Tradition of the Cairn

No dolly work today, hanging out with the children as its the school holidays here at the moment. I have to admit I love being able to wake up when when we want and not having to be anywhere by a certain time. Not to mention the days are absolutely gorgeous, brisk in the morning and evening, but warm and sunny during the day.... just perfect!

This morning we decided to go for a morning bush walk. Its been the first opportunity we've had since Easter as one by one we've all had a cold.... got to love being part of a large family, so lovely that we all share so kindly.

Its funny when you go for a nature walk with children, the first half of the walk is always spent trying to stop the kids running to far ahead, the last part trying to pull them onward as they dawdle behind.

The bush near our house was burnt out badly by fires about a year and a half ago. But thanks to some generous rain falls it is really looking amazing at the moment... the ferns are growing back and the wildflowers are blooming.

 The Banksias are in flower, a tell tale sign that the weather is getting cooler. They always remind me of candles, probably from my days as a child at a Steiner school where we had stories and sung songs about them as part of our winter festival. I have to admit I have a very distant school memory of playing the recorder to a song that celebrated these amazing flowers.

Not sure what these are called but aren't they amazing?!?! They are actually quite small in real life, no more than the size of a coin.

Flannel flowers, so soft and velvety, always makes my heart skip a beat when I spot one. There are hundreds upon hundreds of little flannel flower plants long the path where we walk.... a few more weeks and it should be awash in flowers.

Every great walk needs a cairn. This is ours and its the turning point for us on our walk. When we come across it we know its time to turn around and go back, otherwise our little walk in the bush turns into an eleven kilometer hike through the mountains. The kids always take turns placing a rock to mark our visit..... looking at its size though I think most people do.

Cairns are amazing and always have mystical feel about them. I love spotting them on bushwalks, especially if you're on one that isn't the most clear and used. Our local ones are used for markers on trails. But in ancient times cairns were used for astrology, hunting & religious purposes as well as navigation. Cairns date all the way back to the stone age and have been found all over the world.

On any bush walk you do feel a connection to the earth and a real sense of what is authentic... so important in this mixed up, hectic world. Placing a rock on a cairn is a lovely ceremony, not only does it mark our own personal passage through a place, but also our ancient roots to a much simpler time . In the process of placing our rock the kids and I always stop in a moment of peace and quiet, listen the sounds of the bush, breathe in the sweet air, and enjoy the tranquility.

Mel xx

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Mr Molly & his Wooden Lovelies

My wonderful husband Dave has been pottering in his shed these last few weeks, creating all sorts of Miss Molly delights. He has slowly been getting into wood work the last couple of years, and I think its fair to say he has gotten the bug. And I do think he loves collecting the timber as much as he loves creating wonderful things with it. We find a lot of timber locally, especially with trees that have been lopped down. But also with old pieces of antique furniture, floor boards and also in a fabulous wood shop in Sydney that has every kind of timber known.

Our garden cubby was his first big project, though to be honest he had been pottering with other little pieces for years, but for sure the cubby was a definite major work.

Apart from the weatherboards and roof the majority of the cubby came from recycled timber that we found.. primarily old pallets and a bunk bed.

Of late I have been busy with my Miss Molly work, and every so often I would mention to my Dave how cute it would be to have a little wooden dolly chair, or a pram... perhaps some little dolly toys. As time went by my list got longer. Then one day he emerged from his man cave with an ever so wee spindle dolly chair.

A few weeks later out popped some more dolly delights from the shed. Last night a very special dolly pram made from recycled antique pine and oregon. Dave spends ages sanding to make each piece as smooth as satin and then finishes them with oil and wax to bring out the beauty of the timber. He's fascinated with making them the old fashioned way, so no screws or nails!

I'm so excited to announce that my wonderful Dave will be coming on board with Miss Molly to make some special dolly pieces for the shop, so it will be a real family affair!... Lots of sketches and plans have been drawn up... beds, prams, strollers, cradles, wardrobes, high chairs, wagons and a selection of cute little pull toys. So keep an eye out.

Mel xx