I was invited to a dual baptism today, two little cousins born less than a month apart being welcomed into the community of faith. I must say, it was a lovely ceremony, replete with uplifting messages and song - the latter of which I quite happily attacked with both lungs, although I just about burst out laughing at a lyric or two.... a very upbeat song with a very dark sentiments. It struck me just how the church has modernized - microphones, video screens and power point presentations have replaced a red-faced preacher screaming to make use of the church architecture, and dusty old hymn books, which only the very adept parishioner could flip through to get to the right hymn, before the next song was queued in the grand organ . I don't recall the good father being humorous at all either, like the preacher was today, although come to think of it I seem to recall the good father was often in a better mood than the nuns.
....cough. Well then. Moving on.
With a day of cute little ones in darling white dresses (which is quite impressive if you think how they manage to STAY that way, a miracle in itself) , happy grandparents, proud parents, and the cake - ah yes, always accept an invitation to a church function, there will most definitely eventually be cake - I decided you all needed a baby-palooza. Enjoy!
Admittedly, I had to dig back into my past to find this little girl, who I named Teghan (after a Doctor Who companion). Back in the stone ages when I was still married to the devil's brother, I was already a fan of the show, although admittedly more so since its reboot a few years ago. Interestingly, my life rebooted at the same time - coincidence? I will leave it to you to decide. Anyway, I think I may have gotten this tiny girl as a St. Patrick's Day swap, and hence the delicate little green lace accents. She is happily playing with one of my first mini pets I purchased in my miniature career some 21 years ago now. Teghan was made by Darlene Mobley, who was a member of the now defunct "Tiny Talk" on-line newsletter (which was a victim of its own popularity, sadly).
This is Andrew. Andrew is my first baby sculpt. I believe it was from an American Miniaturist pattern. Now, I took a lot of flack with Andrew, with wags saying he has a face only a mother can love, but honestly? Have you seen a new born? Their little features are flattened a little, and now a few years after making him I think, how cute little Andrew is, all decked out in a blue outfit, a little lacy blanky, and having a happy time in his little cradle.
Awww...whose da' cute lil' boy then? You are, yes you are! Little Andrew sleeps on a pillow and cot cover made of aida cloth, which I painted to look like little rose buds.
|Cradle from the side|
The cradle was actually one of those tab and slot jobs you occasionally spot in the bargain stores. The trick with these is to use wood filler around the tab/slot dents, and then you can paint with abandon. I mentioned I grew up in a city that re-invented itself as the "Bavarian City of the Rockies", complete with festive tole painted walls everywhere. You can see how that sneaks back in from time to time.
|Cradle from the end|
And time again.
This was one of my first projects that I finished. It eventually was a gift for my mother on Mother's Day. Again, this was a Joanne Swanson project, appearing in a magazine that was then known as the ill-fated "Nutshell News", back in it's heyday. Everything in the tableau I made with found objects, save the wallpaper. I believe I may have found that in a shop called "The Yodelling Woodcarver" (to answer your next question, yes, he yodelled. Yes, he was a woodcarver - he used to use a chain saw to carve tree trunks into bears and such. Again, I grew up in a very colourful little town). His daughter happened to be a miniaturist, so he stocked some miniature things in his store, partly to get back some of the money he spent on his daughter, but partly because he was a shrewd business man, knowing that miniaturists are keen hunters, and won't leave a treasure behind if they can help it.
A close up of the little girl and her blanket. I knitted the outfit (from two modified needles and a couple of lengths of doweling, using punch embroidery thread ... those were the days when not only did you have to make everything, but you had to design your own tools too) , and crocheted the blanket (embroidery cotton). The baby was actually an inexpensive anatomically correct doll that was a hot ticket at the time - there was a virtual underground market surrounding these treasures, with miniaturists trading these when they found them for even better prizes. It was all very sordid.
I made the decision early on to make all the furniture "child-size". The birdhouse was a little wooden block that had a hole drilled into it. The doll on the chair I made from wire, paint and scraps of fabric. The flowers are all paper. The plant in the background I believe I may have made out of masking tape, and the fern on the table was florist's tape. The teaset was fimo, as was the dog. The dog is a little crude now that I look at it, but I was trying to make a chihuahua (which is the favoured dog in my family) so not a half bad try, anyway.
Another view of the dog, which is a little cuter from this angle. The bear on the chair (ooh, that rhymes! bear...onna...chair...bear...onna...chairrrr!) is made from pompoms, a bit of embroidery cotton, and I believe I just used paint for the features. The fern is in a random wood turning - probably a short candle cup of some sort.
A close up of he table. There is a plate of cookies there, just barely visible, and two very tiny cups that I made. The plant is a spider plant, which was an organism that seemed to flourish without shame in our house. There is a tiny bud hanging off one leaf, by the way. Not so easily seen, but trust me, it is there.
The little dog on the crocheted rug from above. The rug is crocheted from sewing thread. I was a little more insane back in those days, but again, there weren't a lot of options around for the isolated miniaturist, you bought it if it was available and not too expensive, or you sat down and made it yourself.
The tiny sampler on the wall, framed. You can just make it out that I needle-pointed this in 1999. This is a clever way to date and label your project. Miniaturists often don't really think about marking a piece after they finish, but it is nice to be able to look back and see just how far you have come as an artist. Plus, should you be lucky enough to find someone who wishes your collection passed down, they have a record of when it was made. You may feel all unfamous and unimportant now, but one day, who knows? You could be that treasure at the Antiques Road Show one day that makes your great grandchildren fall out of their chair with happy greed when they hear how much your legacy was worth. You don't want to deprive the little darlings of that, do you?
These sold so fast that if you walked away from the table with that debate in your mind "should I" over an item, you were liable to walk back and find it gone already.
A closer look at the detail. The quilt work is stunning, as is the knitted sweater on the teddy.
This was another little charmer that found its way to the show. Michelle sold patterns for that Christening Gown. I bought the patterns, thread, new crochet hook, and promptly never made the dress. Wish I would have bought one of these instead - going maverick and making one's own is all well and good, but sometimes it is permissible to buy something you darn well know you aren't going to sit down and complete.
Bears...with BUNNIES! You could faint from all the inherent cute, right there. I am the lucky owner of one of these and the cute never stops being amazing.
The bear in this photo is the one I bought. Now I look at those darling little girls too. Darn it. So much to buy, but one really has to consider eating and living in a house as well. I think that is patently unfair, but as one father in a store today sagely advised his son "You can't have EVERYTHING you want...!"*mumblecanifIwinthelotterymumble*.
The pleasant thing about so much choice now in the world of miniatures (WOM) is you can find small dolls that are good value for the price. These were a few of the "nekid babbies" that were to be found at one of the shows we had in the past. One of them appears to have escaped has and found something respectable to wear, I see.
Of course the wee one needs a place to rest, although on the other hand who could rest with all those spiffy toys just begging to be played with?
What little girl wouldn't sell her little brother for this pretty little rocking horse? If you say you wouldn't have, I brand you a liar - a LIAR, I say!
|Granny Square Blanket Fall 2013 on porcelain baby|
Well, its been a busy day. Perhaps it is time to put the little ones to bed, and say good night. Sweet dreams until next we meet!