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I have been away from home for about a week and came back to find that Spring has arrived. When I left, trees were bare and bulbs had just pushed out of the ground. Now blossoms cover many branches, daffodils are flowering and croci (or crocus, or crocuses, depending on your favourite take onthe plural of the purple flower) are opening up in my garden. It is a lovely sight that makes me want to create something new.
I wonder if anyone wants to join me in a Spring watch? Has anything blossomed in your garden that is inspiring you just now? Can you show me what it is, and what you are making?
I usually love winter, the crisp weather, the snow, the quiet. But this year, somehow, I am feeling an inexplicable yearning for spring. It is very unusual for me, but I decided not to question it and go with the flow instead. So I designed a new paper to use in spring crafts. It captures my mood perfectly.
By Carla | |
Over the last few months, I have developed a new interest: OOAK dolls. It happened almost by accident–Caterina, who is nearly three years old, got interested in dolls, and I rediscovered my old passion for them. Initially, I just planned to start a collection that she would appreciate as she got older, but then, after reading a book on Cleopatra to Nicco, we thought it would be fun to make a Cleopatra doll for Caterina.
I searched a couple of how tos online, and discovered there was a whole world out there of people who turned bogstandard dolls into ancient queens, whimsical fairies and even scary vampires. Obviously, I was hooked.
I have now bought a couple of old Barbies and Bratzs and am starting to customize them. Given my shaky hands and mediocre sewing skills, I haven’t quite managed Cleopatra yet, but I have done a little princess-type doll which, though full of mistakes, is a good beginning (and most importantly, was a hit with Caterina).
That said, I don’t think I’ll ever go the whole OOAK hog (I rarely do anyway with any creative endeavour, which is probably my greatest weakness) because I just don’t see myself spending an afternoon rerooting hair on a bald Barbie. My modest ambition is simply to give the dolls a new look by styling their hair, repainting their faces, and maybe fashioning some interesting clothes for them.
For anyone who is interested in really great OOAK dolls though, I’d recommend taking a look at the work of established artists like Dan Lee. His creations are beyond lovely.
Gracing my mood board is this French hand tinted postcard from the Edwardian era. Isn’t it lovely? May you all have un bon jour!
By Carla | |
I have started planning for Caterina’s birthday party. Yes, I know it is more than two months away. But I have taken up a huge work commitment and I know that my time will be limited between now and the end of April. This year, we are going to have a fairy tea party, and it will be the first time that Caterina, who turns three, will have some of her friends along. It is also the first time she completely understands what a birthday party is and is really looking forward to it (to the point that, every second minute, she asks me whether it is her birthday yet). So obviously I want to make the day really special for her.
I have already started thinking about the decorations, and am scouring Etsy for patterns and products. The idea is to have a soft pastel coloured rug (to mimic a fairy glade) scattered with cushions, fabric birds, and felt flowers, strawberries and butterflies, which the girls will play with. Whether I buy or make the felt decorations will depend on how much time I have and what I can find on Etsy (please drop me a line if you know of good shops, especially if they are UK-based, as custom duties on US imports have become crippling in this neck of the wood). I am also going to make a collaged banner and a lace bunting and am planning to buy a few vintage teacups and pewters and fill them with flowers and lace.
I haven’t quite finalised what games to play, though there will certainly be colouring and drawing fairies, decorating your own wings, a pull string fairy house piñata, and making your own fairy cloth dolls (which means decorating pre-sewn cloth dolls, as the girls are too little to really make their own).
The cloth dolls will double up as party favours, and the girls will also get hand tied tutus, which I have started making (well, OK, I have bought the tulle).
I haven’t figured out the food either, but I am leaning towards cupcakes (if nothing else because they are called fairy cakes here in Britain), scones with jam and clotted cream, fruit segments, strawberry tea (caffeine free of course), juice and obviously the birthday cake. I am not to sure what to make on the savoury side of things, and ideas are welcome!
The one thing I have already worked out and nearly finished making are the invitations. They are fairy-themed, pastel coloured cards with enclosed a paper doll that looks like Caterina, and a couple of outfits to put on her (including a fairy one). The paper doll took me forever to draw, as it never felt completely right, but I am rather happy with it now.