Friday, January 30, 2015

The Whales Were Calling Her Name...

When my girls were very young, one of their most favourite books that I would read to them, was this one - The Whales' Song by Dyan Sheldon. 
The illustrations by Gary Blythe are captivating. 
Lilly's Grandmother tells Lilly stories of how the oceans were once full of whales... 
And if you were to offer them a gift of a perfect shell or perhaps a stone, the whales would give you something in return... 
Sometimes they would sing. 
The lovely book that we have hung on to all of these years has inspired this little artwork, which I created using one of the capitz shells that I bought a couple of weeks ago.. 
I stamped the words of the last sentence from the book, onto antique paper -
'The whales were calling her name'.
I also added antique net lace with a wave design, shells, a pearl, a button and tiny glitter dots. 
A bit of a departure in style for me, so I'm not entirely sure if this works, but sometimes its nice to experiment with different thoughts...And it was nice to have the excuse to read the wonderful book again :) 

As a complete contrast, I've also repaired the Deco hat stand. After gluing her head back on, I filled the cracks and join with decorator's filler.
I wrapped vintage fur around her neck to disguise it, adding an amber glass button to the front. 
I also gave her a velvet ribbon headpiece, with Deco dress clip decoration and feathers. 
Another piece that I shall take to one of the fairs this year. 
Have a lovely weekend,
Niki x

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Winter Wardrobe

This forlorn little lady has been patiently waiting in my workroom for me to find the time to give her a little bit of a makeover. 
She's a doll with a velveteen body (lovely shapely legs and ankles!), a felt head and moulded face, with the most beautiful blue glass eyes. 
Probably dating from the 1920's, possibly 30's, but certainly showing her age! 
Today was her moment...

She now has a cosy Fair Isle wool sweater, cotton lace petticoat and a skirt made from genuine 30's fabric. A little velvet cloche decorated with feathers and a crocheted flower keep her head warm. 
All can be removed if required - She's still the same girl underneath, just she now feels ready to face the public when I take her to one of the vintage fairs this year!  

For the time being though, she's keeping me company in my workroom. She actually still has a working cry inside her tummy, which she lets out when she's rocked back and forth. 
It's tempting to give her a little hug now and then, as she's got such a cute look now...Or is that just me? I know some people find old dolls a bit creepy! 
Talking of which(!!)...
Next in-line to be saved, is this casualty, from the same era as the velveteen doll.
Some things are worth trying to rescue...Just look at this lovely face...
I think a fur wrap will be in order to disguise where I'll have to 'polyfiller' her neck. 
Happy days! 
Thanks for dropping-by.
Thank you too, to all who have bought from my on-line shop - I've slowly been adding more items when time allows.
Enjoy the rest of your day,
Niki x

Monday, January 26, 2015

Circus Bear

Perhaps you remember me purchasing the old bear head recently?...(and you probably wondered 'what possessed me to?!!' ;-))
I couldn't help but wonder how he'd come to be in such a sorry state with no body, arms or legs, no ears and no eyes (not to mention no fuzz left anywhere on his head)! Why someone then thought they'd offer him for sale at a fair!...and how someone mad enough had come along and purchased him! ;-)
My reason for buying him was that he's identical (or would have been if he was still a complete bear save for some bald patches that are inevitable for any well-loved toy!) to my Mum's childhood teddy.
He's straw-filled and dates from the 1930's/40's. I wanted to try and give him a second chance...
First I created some ears from old gold velvet, lined inside with antique French Vichy check which had faded from red to a soft pink. 
 Then for some neck ruffles, also created from Vichy check.
One large...
And one smaller. 
I wanted them to have an authentic timeworn look to fit with the old bear, so purposely chose sections with holes and seams. 

Lastly, I gave him some new amber glass eyes. He was then ready to be assembled. 
(I've made hats stands many times in the past - Examples here, here, here and here.)
Here's bear wearing his new ruffles, trimmed with loops of lace and a rusty bell, and secured to the top of a c1930's candlestick.

Beautifully modelling a flamboyant 50's hat, I think he's found his new vocation! 
'How do I look?'
Next on the to-do list is making some clothes for the 1920's velveteen doll...
Thanks for stopping-by.
Have a lovely week,
Niki x

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Special Valentine's Offer

This is Rose Red...
A special one-of-a-kind Valentine fairy. 
Order her via my on-line shop before February 14th...
and I will send extra surprise gifts inside her specially decorated box.  

She'll be around long after the usual dozen red roses have faded -  
A special keepsake to treasure.
Update: I'm sold - thank you! 
Niki x

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

This and That...

Teetering on the top of a pile of hat boxes that I use for storage in my workroom, was this sorry specimen...I can't tell you how many times it has collapsed on me, sending the contents in all directions! - So on Monday I decided it was about time I tried to repair it! 
It's a hat box I bought years ago from the States which was full of lovely 50's hats. As you can see above, over the years the base has come away and the acetate sides have cracked and torn. Redeeming it was the joyous floral lid, which I was determined to preserve. 
I disposed of the acetate sides, but kept the base pieces. 
I created new sides for the box with corrugated card, which I covered in vintage wallpaper. 
Not a perfect job, but it lives to store millinery flowers for me, for another day...
or so...
These bubblegum pink drawers that I'd had in my shop previously, had proved not to be a good buy and had remained unsold, so they were next in line for a makeover! 
 Using various antique papers, lots of glue, and lashings of my time(!), I covered the entire piece.
It's a start to some of the items I'm going to carefully store away for the fairs that I'll be attending this year. 
I think it will look lovely with antique lace spilling from it. 

Also this week...
I took a bit of time-out and headed up to beautiful Nailsworth with hubby on Tuesday. 
A visit to Domestic Science is always a must...
Not least for the wonderfully relaxed canteen there. 
The displays inside the showrooms are inspiring and well worth a visit too!

We then trawled the charity shops in the town and I found this pile of antique music books. 

One dated from 1829. 
Lots of deliciousness to use in my crafts. 

I also bought a collection of c1950's plaster doll's house foods - probably made by Kaybot, but I need to do some more research and try to find out their values as well.
Thank you to all who have visited my new on-line shop - I've had a very positive start...I'll continue to add new items when I can.
Enjoy the rest of your week,
Niki x