Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Another Izannah Walker inspired dolly, made from paperclay over cloth. I decided to mix it up a little and give her ginger hair...oh, what do they call it? Titian, I believe.

Kept the crackle patina to a minimum this time, and I like it better this way. Sometimes, less is more. Her frock is completely handsewn in the period correct manner and style of the mid 19th century from 1860 reproduction fabric. Once again, I assigned my better half the task of selecting the dress fabric, even though I already had decided what I liked best for this particular doll. He chose the same fabric! He's done this successfully for the last two dolls I've made, so he's been hired! Now he wants to accompany me to the fabric store. While I suppose I should be pleased as punch, I do view that domain as MY turf. Not so sure I want to share it!

Arabella is now available on ebay if anyone is interested in giving her a good home!

I always name my girls after someone I find to be an inspirational historical person, and I named this doll after Arabella Mansfield. That's her you see above. Arabella or 'Belle', was an Iowan, and was the first woman to pass the bar exam in 1868. She was the first woman admitted to the bar in 1869...and the first woman to practice law in the WORLD. That's a pretty incredible position to hold! Belle was once just a little Victorian girl playing with her dolls, and look what she became, and the road she paved for all women the world over.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Return To Cranford

My favorite group of middling, yet helpful ladies, the women of Cranford will be keeping me fine company this evening as I settle in for a second helping of Return To Cranford! What can I say but yippy skippy! I LOVE this series...well written drama and humor, great characters, fabulous costuming!

Last week left us mourning the loss of the formidable Lady Ludlow...and the return of her absent and incredibly selfish son , Lord Septimus. Which for faithful viewers of Cranford, was actually his introduction. Finally he shows up, just in time to bury mommy and collect his winnings. A more self-centered twit there never was....but wait, there's something awfully familiar about Lord Septimus...

Initially, I couldn't put my finger on it, but gosh darn it, Septimus was really reminding me of someone unpleasant. Where on earth had I seen him before? And then I realized with great horror, he is closely related to another selfish twit...

Mr. Henry Salt. No wonder Veruca's such a witch. It's genetic.
I must admit, I found it pretty amusing that Roy Kinnear, famous father of Veruca Salt, the most spoiled brat in movie history would sire Lord Septimus, the most spoiled brat of BBC bonnet dramas, Rory Kinnear! No wonder Lord Septimus looked so darned familiar. I can almost picture his snotty little pug face muttering to Lady Ludlow .... "I want it NOW, MUMMY". Can't wait for tonights installment!
I want it on NOW!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Young Victoria

I recently attended a showing of the new film "The Young Victoria." Though I LIVE for the proverbial 'bonnet drama', I was apprehensive about seeing this film...I'd heard they added drama that never took place, and I cannot abide that in a historical biographical film. I also was not sure about the casting: Emily Blunt as Victoria seemed a bit of a fanciful stretch. A talented actress, no doubt. But could she pull off the role of one of the most famous women in the history of Brittany?
I have to say, phony dramatic scenes and much too pretty of an actress in the lead role aside, that I did indeed enjoy the film. The costuming was amazing, and I'm thrilled they showed Victoria's slippers. You don't typically see the footware in these romantic era films. I did feel that Ms. Blunt did work hard to capture the essence of the young girl who became queen.
And I enjoyed the fact that Prince Andrew's daughter Beatrice was able to have at least a momentary role in the film about her great great etc etc..grandmother. But when I saw her, for that split second on screen, I noticed something I'd not noticed before;

Princess Beatrice looks a hell of a lot more like Queen Victoria than Emily Blunt ever will. Bless her royal little heart.

I am now curious to see whether or not The Young Beatrice has any acting chops, because I think she'd be fabulous featured as the young queen in a documentary film...are you listening, Fergie?

Sunday, January 3, 2010


I've been neglecting to do anything remotely creative this holiday season other than making gifts for other people, and not really anything for 'me'....
Which is probably pretty typical for most people this time of year!
I did sell a couple of doll dresses on ebay a couple of weeks ago, but those were dresses that'd been as usual, lying around in my drawers for some time!

Went to Las Vegas over the Christmas holiday (can you think of a less 'Godly' place to spend Christmas?) And I was bored silly! Not my thing, I suppose. Sort of wasted on someone like me who doesn't drink, smoke, party or gamble. I couldn't wait to get back home and start on a new dolly!

Started on this little one New Years Eve and finished her up today! This is Althea (yes, I'm still on "A" names), she's a little smaller than my other Izannah type babies, about 13.5 inches instead of 16. She's named after a lady who's house I had to clean up after she passed on. Althea lived to be nearly 100, never married, lived alone until she died. She was a career girl, independent, a world traveler, an adventurer, gorgeous... and dressed to the nines. In her home I found fabulous clothing she'd saved from the 1940's, guns, and gold mining equipment. She must have been an extremely interesting woman. She had no family left to speak of, save a brother and his wife who had no interest in any of her personal things, letters, photographs, etc. Just send any cash and jewelry, please. So sad. I hope that while she has no one of her own to remember her, somehow, she knows that I do, and I had a fabulous time getting to know her!