Friday, March 29, 2013

Ageing new Fabrics

I may have some protests when my neighbors ride past the house and see all the long lines of fabric hanging on the fences with clothespins on them, but I don't have years to wait until the fabrics are naturally faded, so I had to take matters into my own hands.HaHa Have you ever really thought about what people do to get things to look old. They bleach them, coat them in lemon juice and put them in the sun, bake them in the oven,  take a hammer and chains and beat things up, poor all sort of concoctions on items, sand repeatedly, or use a sand blaster,  and MY SPECIALTY, which leaves the dolls tembling when they see this is ( bringing out the dental tools ). It's funny now, but my husband used to walk in the room and see me sanding away on a poor doll until it's cloth would split, or cutting  off ears or noses with abandon, like throwing away a banana peel, he just grimaced  and walked away, I believe he was really concerned  about me, or he couldn't bear to watch what I was doing to and probably ruining more good dolls.

 I am hanging out lots of pieces of fabric in the weather for about a month, through wind, sun and rain. Hopefully this will give me some fading and probably a few small holes. I realize this is still not as good as antique fabric, but the sun, rain, and wind and space on the fences is free, not so antique fabrics. When I do get a special piece of some old cloth, I am afraid to use it, for fear, I'll never get another piece of anything like it. So, if you are brave, and can justify your actions to your neighbors, I think it is worth a try to get the look of clothes you want. I don't know if the people long ago had these problems. did they try to make antique dolls too, and had to scrape up fabric to do what they wanted. Who knows, but Izannah Walker was a person who I think would not have been above doing something like this to get the results she wanted.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Making Primitive Bears

Here are two of the three primitive bears I have made so far. These girls are for my two Niece's Easter baskets. These are pretty easy to make. I made a sitting bear, but these two have legs and arms that are movable. I started with a pattern I bought, I think from Sweet meadows Farm, but found it was not strong enough for children to play with, so I modified it to be stronger, more flexible and child friendly. I inserted antique glass eyes I got on ebay, they are so pretty and add a lot to the bears. I have some faux fur to try to make some, but decided the osnaburg bears would be better to try out first. I like their old friendly primitive look and hope my little nieces will too. Hoping for everyone a happy Easter and always happy doll making.

Monday, March 11, 2013

New Rag Dolls in their new dresses

 These are the last two in a group of 8 rag dolls I have been working on for about 2 months, they are all finished now and ready to go to the store. There is a store in Kewanee, Miss. I think it is called the Simmons-Wright Store. It is on the historical register being over 100 years old. The original store was wood, but burned down and was rebuilt back in brick. It is being run now by the heirs of the Simmons and Wright families. It's a neat place. They have the real old cotton baskets and cotton with seeds in it from way long ago. Old tools and antiques, plus they serve food now. The balcony has shelves of shoes that were stocked there in the 20's and thirty's, still in the boxes, ofcourse, they are dry rotted now. In it's heyday, it was a bustling place, as right behind the store is the old Cotton Gin which is not open, but houses the old machines. If you have never seen a cotton Gin, it's facinating how these machines could take the seeds out of the cotton. It supplied folks in the closer surrounding areas of Mississippi and Alabama, and the railroad tracks are just across the street. We have several Gins down here. The one in Jackson, Miss. can still operate, but it is a museum now. Another big Cotton Gin, which I have painted several times, and thankfully have taken pictures of, has been taken down now. I went over to this store lots of times, but on my last visit, while  trying to buy up the last of the old, old, fabrics, which have been up in the balcony for years and years, the lady ask me what I was going to do with the material, I told her make dolls, both Izannah reproductions and Rag dolls too. She ask me to bring some over to the store to sell, and I said I would.

This store is located on  Hwy 11,  and  is the highway that the famous Highway 11 fleamarket is on every  year in May. It travels through several states. I always go atleast 20 or 30 miles of it, so much fun. I really don't know if there will be any interest in these dolls, but the lady in the store will enjoy them. You never know if what you make will be something other people will want, but i made things i liked, so hopefully others will to.