Saturday 30 December 2017

Pedlar Doll

Pedlar dolls are fascinating. They reflect the things that real pedlars in the 18th and 19th Centuries sold, and have lots of tiny things in their baskets. They were made to be used as ornaments rather than toys, and would have been made often by poor workers, and bought by rich women. They were often kept under glass domes, to stop them getting dusty. Some of the dolls were made using apples for their heads, either carved then dried, or dried then carved. I have tried, unsuccessfully I have to admit, to make an apple head. I may try again one day! I made mine as a present for Linda Sue, and have been working on her for a while. Mine sells penny wooden dolls, beads, buttons and small animals. She has a cloak to hold her wares, rather than a basket.
Her hair is multicoloured yarn, crocheted into chains then sewn on in curls. Her face is just drawn, with fabric pens and crayons, then ironed to seal the colour. I coloured the fabric with tea first. Her cloak is hessian, lined with muslin, and decorated with foxes and a quote from a street seller in 'Oliver'. She has Sari silk fastenings for her cloak, with a vintage button. Her dress is made from a fabric with London streets printed on it. Her socks are a repurposed watch thing I was knitting. I wear my watch round my neck, on a band that I knit or crochet. I was trying to do a fairisle type one, which got tangled and went wrong. I had done quite a bit of it, so, when cut in half and with tops added, it was enough to make socks!
 Here is another beautiful example, again from the V and A museum. 
 I made the dolls by drawing them, then using interfacing to fix them to another layer of fabric, to make them a bit stronger. I then cut them out again, and added a hook and eye onto them and the apron to hang them. The other doll is from fabric, as are the Beatrix Potter pictures.

Having spent the last half hour looking at more and more pages about Pedlar dolls, I found this, where dolls and teddies are x-rayed to see how they are constructed. Fascinating!

Sunday 19 November 2017

Saturday 14 October 2017

Brought to you by the letter B.

Boot fair Beswick hound.
 Verbena Bonariensis
 Large bee, today's visiter to the Verbena. It was not so happy to be photographed as the moth, and flew all round me a few times before flying off to feed undisturbed. over the road against the yellow leaves. 
 Black hair and clothes of doll from weird little doll set I found today. 

Friday 13 October 2017

Humming Bird Hawk Moth

I got home about 5.30 today and was washing up a few things when I noticed something large buzzing around the Verbena Bonariensis. I was excited to find a Humming Bird Hawk Moth. It stayed there for ages, long enough for me to fetch my camera and go back again for my glasses so I could see it properly! It really does look like a tiny humming bird. I couldn't hear a humming noise but there was quite a lot of background noise. What an amazing little creature!
 This photo is about the clearest one-it moves fast so all the others are a bit blurred.
 It is so precise at putting its proboscis into each floret-it never misses!

 As you can see, Cassie is interested, so I was watching her as well, to make sure the snacker didn't become the snack!

Tuesday 10 October 2017

Beautiful Kew

I had a very pleasant visit to Kew yesterday with Linda Sue and Nona. Lots of pictures and not too many words!
 Love a good seed head!
 Soft strokable grass teamed with Verbena Bonariensis. 
 The Hive-an art installation linked to a bee hive. The activity of the bees is interpreted through sound and light.

 Inside the Princess of Wales glass house. Amazingly bright and unreal Bromeliads. 

 More steamy plants. Had to keep wiping my camera lens on my shirt!
 This amazing creature is a Stag Horn Fern. Its leaves form a cup that collects nutritious debris and water. It is impressive!
 Waterlilies have the best seedheads. 

 The Piranha wants to get me!
 Or maybe the bear does. 
 Autumn Acer. 
 Student grown grapes. 
 Yew berries. Such an enticing red, but don't be enticed. 
 More water plants. 
 The sun came out. Lovely scents behind the Palm House. 

 Cheeky Jackdaws kept us company at lunch. 
 Sculpture on the way out. 
 Posing for me. Nona told us that one year either a swan or a goose made a nest in one of these urns!
 Lovely coffee near the station. 
 Berries on my road when nearly home. 
 A collection from Kew. The green thing is a black walnut. Holly berries, conkers, a pine cone, a beech nut case and some leaves. All in a bowl for the moment to remind me of the visit. Cassie's paws in the background-she had a good sniff when I emptied my pockets!