Thursday, April 7, 2011

My New Baby..................

Many of you probably think I fell off the face of the earth this last couple of months, my New Years resolution to post regularly flying right out the proverbial window!

I'm still alive and well, just super busy.  I started a new job, that's kind of like an old job, but not.  I began working for the historic Whaley House museum about 11 years ago, beginning initially as a volunteer docent...since my nest was newly emptied, I needed something to keep me off the streets.

I promptly was hired as a docent, then sort of a Jill of all trades.  Worked on their historical clothing program in it's infancy, made most of the clothing they continue to use today.  I was there for several years, then pursued other interests, such as dollmaking...although I've haunted the place pretty regularly since!

Now I am back again, no longer docenting, but working on the curating aspect instead.  More fun I think!  It's left me zero time for posting, let alone dollmaking.  But I am having fun, nonetheless.

I'll be sharing some of the work I'll be doing there, as well as trying to get a doll or two out.   The museum, though it has made amazing strides in the last decade still needs some fine tuning, so I'll be working on some projects that are a bit new to me.

My first is creating a lambrequin for the parlor mantel.  After that, a smoking cap for Mr. Whaley (even though he's not allowed to smoke in the house...but he takes advantage of the fact that we can't see him), then I want to try to get really ambitious and figure out how to make berlin work slippers!  Why do I have to make these things?  I don't...but they'd be a great addition to the museum, and I'd like to learn how, because I think I can do a halfway decent job of it.  Secondly, historical textiles appropriate to the period 1856-1870 don't drop into your lap every day.  They tend to decay, and those that don't, are very very expensive. We're on a serious budget.  Like most everyone these days.

In a few days, when I get my house vacuumed of all the thread that's currently felting the carpet, I'll take some photos of the lambrequin I'm making and post my progress here.  And when it's all done, and installed, you'll get to see that too.

(I'm trying to entice you into visiting the museum...can you tell?)

  The lovely parlor....but it needs a few something somethings!  Like a lambrequin for the mantel, a footstool, a wardian case, I could go on and on!

The Tanner Troupe Theater, San Diego's first theater upstairs in the Whaley House.  Gorgeous, no?  But, it needs some sprucing up.  Those lovely drapes are disintegrating and need major help.

 The Whaley and Crosthwaite General Store, in the house at the same time as the theater.  Busy place!  Right now, we have sort of half general store, half this n' that museum room. Working on getting it into a complete 1870's general store that Mr. Whaley would be proud to allow customers to enter!
Here's a shot of the house when it was almost brand spankin' new.  It's always been near and dear to my heart, it'll always be my baby.  So I'm going to try to take very good care of it.
For more information on the Whaley House Museum, visit