Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Very First Skein of Wheel-Spun Wool

This skein was spun on a Louet S-10 spinning wheel at a class at the Black Sheep in Encinitas, California, circa 1989. For a number of years I had been spinning with a hand spindle. In 1995 I traded a Bond Knitting Frame for a Lendrum spinning wheel, my faithful Rapunzel.

At about the same time, I took up quilting in earnest, so Rapunzel languished near the fireplace for many moons. Eventually I joined local guilds and enrolled in a series of spinning and weaving classes and haven't stopped spinning since. It's a constant joy in my life.

Rapunzel, My Lendrum Spinning Wheel
My Dorothy Table Loom by Nilus LeClerc

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Dolls Have Tea

The Dolls Have Tea, originally uploaded by confections.

I've been backing up photos and looking at my archives and came upon this image of a sweet tea party I attended last fall. My friend's daughter carefully attended to her dolls at their very own tea table, complete with a handpainted tea set.

That same tea set has accompanied us to high tea at our favorite tea shop, Tea-upon-Chatsworth, too. I love the ritual of tea and all of its accoutrements, from the fine china to the vintage linens and fragrant tea leaves.

I've been researching the Japanese tea ceremony as well and am looking forward to getting some of the special tools required to do a mini casual version at home.

Miniature Tea Set

The Dolls Have Tea (2)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

New Handknit Dress for Blythe in Progress

Isadora Reiko (Frosty Frock) had lots of fun trying on her new handknit dress-in-progress. It's made of cotton yarn and was a swatch I made in a knitting class a few years back.

The little shawl is another swatch of Cotton Classic yarn and her hair adornment is a silk ribbon rosette I handmade. Her boots are from The Valley of the Dolls in Hollywood (now at Royal T in Culver City, California).

Collage of Isadora's New Handknit Dress (2)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Isadora in her New Handknit Party Dress

I handknit this couture party dress for Isadora Reiko from self-patterning wool and nylon sock yarn. She is quite happy with it and wants to go out dancing in her new frock.
Isadora in her New Handknit Party Dress (3)
Isadora in her New Handknit Party Dress (2)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Isadora Reiko is Ready for Paris

My lovely Frosty Frock (Isadora Reiko) is wearing a dress with a Parisian theme by dollymolly under her wool felt top. I made the felt wool top and her crocheted hat. The hat is from a free pattern by q.d.patooties.

Not to be outdone, Isadora's sister Clementine also got a new dollymolly frock made up in a delicious Heather Bailey print:

Clementine Louisa in Heather Bailey Fabric Dress by Dollymolly
Collage of Dollies in New Dresses

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Yarn Stash

Yarn Stash, originally uploaded by confections.

Here are the latest additions to my yarn stash, acquired last weekend at The Black Sheep in Encinitas, California. One is a blue and gray novelty cotton and nylon yarn called Rumba Mix, by Katia, made in Spain. The soft yellow is a cotton baby yarn, M & K Eco Baby Bomull, from the Netherlands. The pink (shown below) is Mulberry Silk by Laines du Nord, made in Italy. A veritable tour of the European Union, and I only had to travel a few miles north....

I'm not sure what I will make out of these tempting skeins, but I am leaning toward fun fashions for Blythe!

Yarn Stash (2)
Yarn Stash (3)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pink Bellflower (3)

Pink Bellflower (3), originally uploaded by confections.

Today is the birthday of a dear friend of mine who passed away more than fourteen years ago. She had a strong influence on my life and was like a second mother. I dedicate this lovely pink bellflower (campanula medium) to her. Happy Birthday, Drumdaughter!

Pink Bellflower (2)
Pink Bellflower Collage

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Turquoise Pitcher

Turquoise Pitcher, originally uploaded by confections.

This is one of my most favorite vintage pieces, a stoneware pitcher in a lovely turquoise color. It has stylized snowflakes incised on the belly, but they aren't visible in this photo--they are very subtle.

I'm sifting through my collections to photograph and document them, so look for lots more treasures here soon.

Handpainted Hutschenreuther Dessert Plate

Vintage Yellow Ware Bowl

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My Paternal Grandmother with Her Siblings & Parents, circa 1910

My Great-Grandmother Christina Boyer Mayer, seated left, Great-Grandfather John P. Mayer on the right, with his youngest daughter Leona to his immediate right. My paternal Grandmother Mollie (Mary Susannah) is the second daughter behind Leona in the back row. I love the bows in the girls' hair, and I especially love the dress and strong attitude of Aunt Belle (standing far left). I greatly resemble Alvina, standing between Mollie and Leona.

Comments on 50 years of marriage by Christina Boyer Mayer and John P. Mayer, on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary, circa 1932 (from a local newspaper at that time):

“Well, I guess ma and I will start on the next 50 years now,” Mayer said. “I’m happy we got this far, but we are going to keep right on living.”

“We have had our little misunderstandings, but somehow we always managed to kiss and make up. With all these divorces these days [1930’s], the young folk don’t know what real married life means. There ought to be a law against divorces.”

“The 50 years have been entirely satisfactory,” Mrs. Mayer said. Naturally we have had little spats while I was convincing John that I was right. [Emphasis mine.] No matter how clear the water, it sometimes gets muddy, but it will clear again.”

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Old Writing Table (7)

Old Writing Table (7), originally uploaded by confections.

...where I spend many hours a day.... This is where I perch my laptop daily and rabble-rouse.

These pictures were taken when I first purchased the table at a local craft fair. This timeworn treasure has served me well over the last year and a half and has lots of mojo--I completed my National Novel Writing Month opus here in 2007. I am in the process of editing it now...

Old Writing Table (3)
Old Writing Table (Collage 1)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Clementine in Her New Crocheted Dress

I've been crocheting a bit more for my new Blythe dolls. I experimented with a cotton top a few days ago and then selected some variegated sock yarn for my next attempt.

This yarn (at such a small scale) created color blocks throughout the garment--a bit like a pastel mini-Mondrian dress. Clementine Louisa likes it nonetheless and actually has put her order in for more fun dresses to share with her sisters.

I'm going to knit a few, too.

Clementine in Her New Crocheted Dress and Shades

Clementine in Her New Crocheted Dress (Collage)

"A Branch of May" by Cecily Mary Barker