Saturday, May 29, 2010

If you are curious...

I was interviewed for the TDIPT Mercantile Blog~ you can see it here : if it is not at the top of the page, it is the Friday, May 28th, 2010 post.

I hope you all have a SAFE Holiday weekend, and take a moment to remember those who are serving, and have ever served & sacrificed for our Country

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Updates & eBay specials ending this weekend!

I guess since the kids are now on summer vacation, Mother Nature has decided to bring us up from the 40s to the 80s, in just about a days time! I was wondering if it would ever warm up....tho I guess it has creeped up on us slowly, we get so busy we don't notice things finally getting green. Our huge ancient cottonwoods around the house here are finally spitting off the sticky bud covers and letting their new little baby leaves uncurl....I hate those things~ my poor suburban looks like its got green chicken pox! We made a little shade barn for the Bloke & the goats... its not very big, 6 foot tall at the back posts, and we covered it in slabs with the bark still on so Bloke could rub all over it, and BOY! does he just love it!

The goats love to jump and play, and be in high places, so we put them some steps at the back of it..didn't take the girls long to figure it had just been finished a day or so when I was out taking these pictures....I had just gone out to feed and Kate is such a little p*i*g......... (see the can there???)

She was up to no good and I didn't even realize it until.....

Goats are so smart! She saw I put the grain can up on the roof and up she zoomed. And this is what I get for scolding her~

Naughty Kate!!!! I guess, when you scold from 8 feet below, it doesn't really have the same effect. Kate can spot a Yuban coffee can from a mile away I think!

And the girls have been taking the babies out for little walk- abouts....they each have 2, but both of them think all 4 chicks are their own, so they go everywhere side by side just a clucking and a whirring.......

Bloke sure is getting big isn't he? Loves to give kisses to my husband...I pass on those~ BLEK! ( a cows tongue is rough just like a cats) We weaned him this week, and hes doing pretty well with it long as he doesn't SEE his bottles, he doesn't seem to mind.
And I have had so many ask how the bees are doing~ they are doing just wonderfully! We opened the hive last week to check the queen

They have occupied a few more frames as you can see~ you can tell which one the queen is on by the amount of bees hovering around her. She is on the 4th frame from the top

My husband is allergic to bees, so he always wears his bonnet and gloves, but you can see, as close as my son is, they really don't mind being bothered, as long as you are slow and polite (he was on his way to feed the Bloke his bottle)

I circled her for you to find her better~ she is twice as long as the others, and has a neon green thorax. They are really doing well, and she is laying lots of eggs! The kids like to watch them collect the pollen and put it in the baskets on their legs. If you don't know, there are all sorts of different kinds of pollen, and different colors too, depending on what they collect it from. They will portion off some of the frames just for pollen storage, and the little combs will be filled with pink and purple and yellow and orange and white pollen, its really neat! Ill try an get a picture next time we have it open.

And we finally give in and got our Yetti a 'wife', tho neither of them know it yet ;) Blanket is 3/4 pyrnese, 1/4 shepherd.....right now at 10 wks, she is a chewing machine! Here she is out chewing on a root...Lumpy thinks she is the best play mate ever....Dixie tries to boss her around(my little weener dog) but Blanket just sits on her~Yetti doesnt much care for her....but I have a feeling, that will change! Summer has finally come to Southern Colorado, and I say, golly! its about time!!!
If you have a moment, I have some dollys on special on eBay that will be ending this weekend ~ come on over and check them out!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Be STILL! My Hearte~

I just couldn't wait to share this early quilt block with you all! The second I saw it, my hearte skipped a was one of those moments when you see something so spectacular, so special, something that just makes your whole body melt away. Perhaps like Howard Carter felt, as he peered thru the small hole he had chipped into the door of King Tut's tomb back in the 20s or whenever it was.
What a treasure! I go crazy for early prints, so it is really no wonder I am in love with this c1850 single, hand pieced block~ its big! 16" across. Isn't the red block print just wonderful? The blues in the leaves once over painted with yellow, to make green~ now all long faded away save for a few scant spots here and there.

Must have been made from dress scraps~ see how every lil bit was used to piece it in? I could totally see this fabric as a dress~ its the perfect print and shade of red that I am on the hunt for for my big Abby a new dress. It is very hard to find this shade in modern fabrics~ it is just never right~ either too orangy, or to brown.......

I knew if I liked it so much, you all would too~ I hope it inspires you as much as it does me!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dollys for sale... D o l l y s ....... f o r........ S a l e!

Dollys and I are having too much fun! I hope you'll stop by my Mercantile pages this Friday to see what the ol peddler ladye has brung to sell~ I will have some of the dollys from the Stampington Premier issue for sale too, please do stop by and say hello!

Friday, May 07, 2010

More on Early Grodner Tal Wooden Doll Bodies.........

Here is Holley just wearing her kid shoes. A lot of times, these early dolls will be stitched into their clothing, so it truly is a treat to get to study and admire the craftsmanship that went into making them. Here you can clearly see what sets my Holley apart from so many other Grodner Tal dolls~ she has original gesso to the knee (typical), on her head and shoulder plate(typical), but this extends down her arms, including the entire upper arm, and even the joints(not typical). Usually just the parts of the doll that were to show were gessoed, and this is reinforced by her original wardrobe, including a pretty short sleeved gown.

Her gesso is well crackled as you can see~ she is showing her age to be sure....but this gives us a wonderful opportunity to see what lies beneath that thick layer. Many collectors and institutions shy away from keeping early wooden dolls, as they are so very fragile. They are made from an organic, living thing, that still, to this day, 200 years after being made, breathes and moves underneath that gesso. Joints swell and contract along with the body of the doll with changes in air temperature, humidity and pressure. The most important thing when keeping early woodens, is that whatever environment they are kept in, it remains constant. constant. constant! The lighter 'painted' areas you see is where the hair-thin varnish layer has peeled away(giving us a peek at her original, brighter paint colors.)

Wooden dolls were painted with gesso as a way to seal the wood, and provide a smooth, hard, non porous surface for the paint to adhere to. Many of these dolls, especially ones made from the 1830s on, have smooth heads~meaning the only way the hair is defined is by painting it on. The carver of this doll intentionally left the individual carve marks in to define the hair. A detail so small as that, makes such a huge impression & effect on the look of the doll~ in fact, it also has aided in another little 'discovery' when her original bonnet was removed.....

Holley was originally a 'Tuck Comb' style, with a tall comb centered at the top of her head~ I have no doubt it was an elaborate one. The outline can clearly be seen, and since the area is so thick, this leads me to believe that hair was also part of the carving. It was either removed by the original maker, for whatever reason....or more likely, closely there after by the lucky young owner's father perhaps~ because little miss didn't want a grown up dollye, but a baby to play with. The majority of dolls like this were made and sold without clothing~ so the owner could dress as they liked

Above the museum accession numbers on her back is this mark, burned in. I wonder what meaning it had? Was it the carvers 3rd only doll he made? Was she number 3 of that month? Was it made by the traveling peddler, in order to keep track of his stock at market?

Love this shot of her hips and knees. The little pegs you see inserted just above the knee hold the bottom part of her legs on within the joint. If these break, off goes precious little limb~ one of the many reasons these dolls are so very fragile. These ball joints allow for a full range of movement~ not only up and down, but 360 degrees around as well....A ball jointed doll can be positioned in just about any human pose you can think of

A beautifully carved hand. The fingers deeply carved, tho not separate, are very graceful and elegantly posed. Holley was my very first early wooden doll....just over 17" tall. I thought I would never find another as precious as she....until about 2 weeks later, on the opposite side of the world.......

I was astounded when I saw this one. She was sold to me as 16"...but when she arrived, she was nearly exact to Holley in size and proportions. Could she be a sister returned home? I am inclined to think so, comparing the two side by side, there are so many similarities, it just must be so.

This is her back view~ and her burned in number is a 5...or perhaps a 57....later than Holley's, which makes sense, as her features, while still unique and very detailed, are just a smidge more hastily made. Perhaps our carver had grown so much in popularity, and demand for his dolls had risen to require him to carve at a more quickened pace. Note the wooden pegs at the joints~ elbow, hip & shoulder

Her arms are narrowed at the shoulder just as Holley's are, for ease in dressing and movement

She cant stand being tickled behind her knees :)

And these feet! hehehe I love that she has black shoes~ not as common as the red or green ones most have. But look close~ am I the only one that thinks they are on backwards? As in, right foot on the left, left foot on the right? Charming!

This is what originally made my hearte swoon~ just look at the intricately painted curls.

Comparing the heads of both dollys, Holley on the top, Precious on the bottom~ so nearly identical, even the ears are carved the same and in the same placement on the head. Both have inserted wire loops for earrings, and little dimples carved in the sides of their mouths....kind of like they are persing their lips. If you click on the picture and enlarge it, do admire the bare carving visible on Holleys head where her gesso has fallen away

Twins. Just think of it~ traveling the world over for hundreds of years, and finally being reunited again. What stories they do tell each other! At the time these two dolls were made, we could probably count the master carvers in this region of Germany on all our fingers and toes....could 2 different men have carved 2 dolls this alike? I don't think so. Eyes, nose, cheeks, lips, ears~ even the ratio of where the face is placed on the head is nearly identical.

Their arms together~ Holley on the right~ Precious' hands are a bit more spoonish, without the graceful curves, but there is a hint of fingers carved in. Just a bit more hasty in the carve. Detail has been given most time on the face

Hips joints. Nearly identical.

I love this picture! This shows the progression in fashion of the times~ Holley is on the right still, her waist a bit narrower than her sisters, but both show the high waist fashionable in the 18teens and early 20s. You can see Holly's fully gessoed upper torso and arms~ surprisingly, the gesso does not hinder the movement of the joints at her elbows or shoulders at all.
I hope you have enjoyed this little peek~ I do apologize for taking so long to get it posted!