Sunday, March 30, 2008

Scenes from the Lone Star State

We are back from our family vacation in Texas and we did enjoy that warm breezy weather! This was one of the many restaurants on the River Walk in San Antonio. It was really crowded so we ate somewhere else but still along the river.

Lots of catfish on all the menus! Some of the beautiful architectural details outside the Alamo.

I was dying to get to the Fredericksburg Herb Farm but got so distracted by all the great shops in the town of Fredericksburg that we were 1/2 hour late for the luncheon seating! Oh well... we ended up having some good fried chicken in town. The farm was just getting going with all their planting. The menu looked really good too.. maybe next time.

My two favorite parts of Texas was the beautiful limestone buildings you see everywhere with the old weathered doors and shutters.. just love them. I love the interior limestone walls too. Everything looks great against that backdrop.

The other fav was all the gates to the ranch entrances. There was such a variety of different gates and entrances. I could have filled a photo book just of them! Sometimes the gates were much more elaborate than the house beyond.

This was taken behind "The Homestead", a wonderful shop in Fredericksburg that I was anxious to see after reading about it for many years in various magazines. It was great but the best part was the wonderful building that housed the shop itself. Tin ceilings, cast iron railings and this wonderful courtyard out back.

We enjoyed all the nooks and crannies of the River Walk in San Antonio and really enjoyed our night time river cruise. Our boat was named the "Miss Caroline".

Tomorrow I will post about some of the little goodies I picked up... hint: Of course it is textile related!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Maminka Grande

The idea for this doll began in my sketchbook. I had an idea that I wanted a large mother with lots babies hanging round her neck. I made the body from some creamy colored barkcloth cut from some vintage drapes that I found at the church bazaar. It took over two bags of stuffing to fill her! Now it looks like a bowling pin...approximately 22 inches tall.

Gluing on the sculpted face

My dollies have to go through such indignities before they come to life!

This skirt is cut from heavy weight linen/cotton with a wide rickrack trim.

Cutting out the babies. This is a fun way to combine lots of my vintage prints.

A detail of her pin made from a vintage earring.

Five babies hanging from vintage narrow rickrack trim.

A close-up of my Maminka Grande's big moon face. She looks remarkably calm for the mother of five!

The completed doll. I am happy with the way she turned out. She is definitely the largest of the dolls I've made and pretty heavy so she sits nice and stable.
I am off to Texas for the week but will check in next week. Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Bit 'O Green

This photo was taken during my recent trip to the Smith College bulb show... I was thinking ahead to St. Patrick's Day!

Each year I send a small package of green goodies to my Irish mother-in-law. She has come to look forward to this small gesture and is really appreciative of anything I send her. I found the oven mitt at a department store, made the card using the photo above and my daughter made the pretty earrings!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sweet Little Nest Swap ..Look what I got

This is what Michelle of Faerie Dust Dreams sent me for Heather of Speckled Egg's Sweet Little Nest Swap. She made a little beaded crown for the birdy and wove in lots of glittery ribbons and beads for the nest. It was all presented in a handpainted box.

Here are all the thoughtful extra's! Michelle made some beautiful Easter tags and provided some lovely images so I can make some of my own. There was a lovely spool of ribbon and some great old rhinestone earrings. Also some clear spring themed rubber stamps. I will have fun with all of this and it was so much fun to get the package and open each layer. Swaps are fun!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Small Projects

In preparation for our vacation next week, I felt that I needed a new traveling purse. I really like a small pouch type purse that I can sling over my shoulder and have rest on my hip leaving my hands free. This was made from a pair of thrifted linen trousers and some vintage cotton lawn for the lining and top binding. I had to line that with muslin for durability. There is a small strip of a turquoise calico print that I picked up recently thinking I would use it and I actually did! I used a vintage button and some strips torn from the fabrics to fashion a quickie pin for embellishment. It has a side pouch to hold my camera at the ready.

This apron was made for a local lady who has been baking us pies for the past 12 months! We bid on her donation of a "Pie of the Month" at our elementary school fundraiser and were thrilled to be the winning bidder. I have to say that I am really really fussy when it comes to liking pies. My mom bakes a really great pie and I am not usually impressed with too many pies from other sources. BUT... these pies really exceeded my expectations and they were all so beautifully presented and delivered to our house each month. Sadly (but not for my diet!), this month will mark our last pie (Maple Apple) and I thought I would surprise her with a handmade apron. I used some of my vintage barkcloth for the pocket and applique. Hope she likes it as much as we like her pies!

This applique is done kind of haphazard and is meant to look a little frayed around the edges. It goes well with the "vintage-y" look I was going for.
Have you checked out the new large flat rate package available at the post office? It's really a good large size and for $12.95 you can cram quite a bit in there. This is ready to ship off to my college boy.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Breath of Spring!

This was our annual trip to the Smith College bulb show in Northampton, MA. It is so nice to get this early taste of spring.

Four girlfriends on our day out! (I took the pic). We're enjoying the greenery but already thinking about lunch!

I love the greenhouses here. They are older and slightly shabby. They do a spectacular job with their bulb display.

The prize lemon for a lemon lover like me. This could make one great pie!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Doll of the Week: Three

Introducing Violet....This is one of my early painted canvas dolls. I made her in 1995 for a Valentine vignette that I was trying to create. She was made rather hastily and I am sort of cringing now when I see her face and body structure which is not up to my current standards. My doll making has progressed I think. There is something about her that I really like though and I bring her out at Valentine's Day. Her clothes are made from two vintage hankies and she stands about 18 inches. She can only stand because she is so stiff from being painted that the poor thing can never relax!

This button is great! I remember it being in my mother's button boxes as a child and am glad it now has a place of honor on Violet's cummerbund. Notice she even has little painted fingernails and toenails.