Archive for May 2011

28 May 2011

Quiet Saturday now after a week of lots of work getting these five little dolls ready for the shop

I had so much fun making and then dressing these dolls

They sold quickly this morning and all have new homes to go to in Australia, the US Japan and Canada

As I said earlier I used my vintage children's patterns as inspiration for the girl clothes, the boy was dressed like a little boy I used to go to school with , many moons ago.

Here are the gorgeous vintage patterns beside the dolly they helped me dream up

So much fun!

Dolly Day Friday

27 May 2011

When I was a little girl I desperately wanted to be a gypsy.
There was a family at my school and to me they were a family of gypsies, there seemed to be a whole tribe of them, all dressed in not quite school uniform, sometimes coming to school without shoes.

They lived by their own code and they fascinated me.

Several of them had beautiful tousled messy curly hair, just like I thought a gypsy would have. Their names were not like everyone else's names, the littlest one I remember was called Ches, short for Chester I think. 

This doll is my gypsy child, Ches

My studio,my home part 1

25 May 2011

This is Nonna's chair. 
Not my Nonna but the nonna of  the family who lived over the road from my parents. 
A family who became good friends of my family. 
Nonna lived in a unit next door to the rest of the family and her entire home seemed to be decorated in beige and brown.
 Her clothes were also beige and brown.
 Visiting her was like going into a very soft place, like inside a mushroom house.

Poor old Nonna developed dementia and eventually had to go to a nursing home and some of her things were sold off. 
Mum bought this chair and had it reupholstered and gave it to me.
 We call it the purple chair because it came with a long ago lost purple cushion.

It is a classic mid century fireside chair. 
My Granny had one that had lost it spring support underneath and so newspapers had been stacked under the cushion to give better support ( very uncomfortable).

This is where I knit when the fire is alight and there is no sunshine on the couch.
 A knitter must be warm.

The chair badly needs to be reupholstered again but in the meantime it wears a shawl of crocheted Granny goodness.

The rug over the arm of the chair is tucked under the seat, it makes for a softer spot for my elbow and stops the yarn from falling on to the floor and getting dirty or being attacked by a passing cat. 
The other chair arm stays open to let the fire's warmth through. 
It is amazing how cold you can get when you sit still for long  periods getting knitting done.

I sometimes stand in front of the fire too, for a change in position and  to warm my legs. 
It's handy to wear an apron with a big pocket to hold the ball of wool, then you can even walk around knitting if the spirit moves you.

My Studio, my home.

23 May 2011

McCall's 7955 Helen Lee pattern from 1965

This week I am working on the clothes for six little dolls who will going into the shop on 28th May

My inspirations are the delightful mid sixties children's clothes, the clothes I wore as a child

I have been looking through my own patterns and those available through Etsy and shared on Flickr.

Just lovely

( The first pattern is mine, the other two are available on Etsy , just click on the picture and it will take you to the Etsy listing)


22 May 2011


Sorry I haven't been around much lately.
My head is in other places, good places but I am distracted.

Here is a lovely blog for you to visit: Little Brown Pen

Here is a lovely song for you to listen to:

Now make yourself a good coffee,
eat a yummy chocolate biscuit or a sweet tart,
 find a pretty place in your house,
dream a little dream,
 maybe read a good book,


Channeling the early 1960s

18 May 2011

Mad Men Series 3 DVD paypal

Found a website  where you can stream the music from Mad Men.

I think I am starting to channel the early 60s.

Here is a sample of the Mad Men music

Miss Maggie in a very small box

How does this gorgeous, fluffy, Frenchy creature manage to go from this

to this


Late autumn.

So pretty.

So intense, the colours, the smells, the memories.

Such a poetic time of the year.

And busy too as people prepare for winter's goodies, long nights, short bright days, short dull days, rain and snow on the mountains round about.

We have a new load of firewood coming this weekend.

Heating with wood certainly attaches you to the passing seasons in a way that no electric or gas heater ever could.

The wood  splitting and stacking, the kindling gathering, the paper scrunching, the fire tending so that it burns bright and clear, not slowly and smokily.

Hope your late season is making memories, whether it's autumn or spring in your neck of the woods.

vintage goodness

16 May 2011

Butterick 4290

Butterick 4747

There is a well known saying that if you can remember the 1960s you weren't there, usually spoken by early baby boomers. 
Well I do remember the 1960s and I was there.
 I was a child, born in 1959.
 I got to wear all those darling children's clothes from that time, sewn for me by my mum.

Butterick  2676

Butterick 2927

I am working on a new group of dolls and,
 though I often draw my dolly inspiration from my own childhood, 
this time I am going to look closely at the children's patterns from that time as well as old photos from my early years and do my best to recreate some of those darling fashions for this set of dolls.

Sounds like a plan  and it's going to be fun.

Simplicity 4924


Simplicity  5335


15 May 2011

Early last week mum's little cat was hit by a car. 
My sister and I gave this cat, Millie to Dad when he was first starting to go into his slow decline. 
He had given up golf and had very few interests apart from TV, he was starting to retreat into a very small world that was just home and family.
 He loved Millie with a passion.
 Millie had a difficult start in life, she gave birth to kittens before her first birthday and she and her kittens were dumped at the RSPCA animal shelter. 
That is where we found her and adopted her to give to Dad for his birthday 6 years ago.

So Millie was injured and taken to the vet, she had a broken leg and bruised lungs. 
She was operated on and spent two days at the vets. Mum was willing to pay whatever she had to , to keep Millie alive. 
She was desperate that Millie should live but no doubt you have guessed that little Millie died.
 She did go home and spent two days there before she died in Mum's arms last night.

I think that is enough you know. 

In the past 12 months Mum has said goodbye to a brother, a sister, a husband and now her last little living connection to day to day life with Dad, little Millie. 
That's enough.
 She needs to be allowed to just get  on with life for a while don't you think. 


11 May 2011


Crikey it's cold.

Not northern hemisphere thick snow cold but it's cold.
Brass monkeys cold.
Supposed to be -1C tonight.

I am so grateful for woolly warm slippers, woolly warm socks and woolly warm hand knit cardigan that buttons all the way up to the neck.

I am grateful for a blazing fire and thick curtains drawn against the cold night.

And I am really grateful that I am not running around a hockey field in the dark like Kate or playing tennis in the cold dark like Stephen - are these people mad?

Patons knitting book no.226

May Give Away

10 May 2011

cover of my 1973 school note pad

As I mentioned yesterday  this month marks the 5th birthday of my blog  and I am also celebrating having 500 fans  for my Facebook business page.
 Each month this year I have held a give away on my dolly blog, a poppet, a bunny, a pocket doll and a tiny mermaid.

This month I have something special as a give away, 
a 9.5" doll dressed a Little Red Riding Hood. 

The little dolls that I sold last week, Issy, Effy and Immy were all 9.5' dolls and they are a very sweet size.

1950s Lucie Atwell book

So if you would like to enter, and I hope you do just go to my dolly blog and leave a comment there.
 It is possible to enter more then once if you are also a little jenny wren dolls Facebook fan and/or a follower of my dolly blog. 
The instructions are on the dolly blog.

Good luck and thanks for coming to read my blog.

I do appreciate that you find my blog interesting enough to visit and many of you visit often.
 More than 400 visit each time I publish a new post which is not megablog status but it impresses me.

Prayers for a Small Child, illustrated by Eloise Wilkin 1984

Five years

9 May 2011

all together for the last time
remember the kittens , born for Christmas, a few years ago and definitely blogged about.

Heard on the radio this morning that it is five years since the Beaconsfield miners were freed from being trapped in the mine which also means that it is five years since poor Andy went into hospital with a burst appendix and spent a terrible week in hospital so very ill.
 It also means that it is about 5 years since I started my blog.

Where did those 5 years go, I only need to read my blog I guess to find out.

This is my very first blog post , as expected an autumn post featuring toadstools the photos taken with a borrowed camera.
 I didn't get my own camera until some months later when I was getting ready to open my Etsy shop.

Who would have ever thought that internet-ish things could play such an important part in my life. 
I hadn't touched a computer until about 6 months before I started my blog.

So anyway. as I am almost to 500 fans on my Facebook page and now I realise it's my blog's 5th birthday my May give away is even more special. 
I am in the process of making a 9" Little Red Riding Hood doll which will be given away at the end of this month.
 I will give you the details on how to enter as soon as I can.

Oh and thank you for coming to read my blog. 

I do appreciate that you take the time, and I hope you enjoy your visits here.

 My darling Andy has fixed my poor old computer and so things should be back to normal this week.

For details of the May Give Away go here

Happy Mother's Day

8 May 2011

The Queen and Prince Charles 1949

Happy Mother's Day one and all whether you celebrate the day on this day or not.

The mother in the picture is Queen Elizabeth, the baby is a bonnie Prince Charles.

Did you read what Charlie had to say recently about food and farming?

Go Charlie


And this is me and my mum

Happy Mother's Day.

Dolly Day Friday

6 May 2011

Beau Soleil and Lunette
The little Lunette with her bigger friend Beau Soleil, both made by the marvellous Berrie of Moonchild Dolls

I told you about my dolly friends earlier in the week when I showed you all the lovely gingery dolls.
Well now we are doing something really wonderful that is just so special. 
You see we live all over the place from Alaska through Canada and the US to Europe and here in Australia and it probably isn't so likely we will all meet in person so we have a little ambassador who is travelling to each of us gathering love and treasures along the way to pass from dollmaker to dollmaker.

The very lovely Berrie has made little Lunette and she has just started a very long and exciting journey from the top of the northern hemisphere to the bottom of the southern hemisphere visiting my dolly friends and getting a bag full of goodies and new names on the way. 

How exciting is that.

I am last on the list so I have a long wait but that's OK.

You can read about it here and here



I have been trusted with the laptop today.
I must be getting better with it or I have worn down his resistance, ha ha.

I lit the kitchen fire for the first time this morning.
 We have been avoiding eating in there in the evenings because it has been icy. 
Now the fire is happily burning and the chill in the back half of the house is turning to a coolness that might be a happy warmth by the time everyone comes home this evening.

The back of our house gets no sunshine, plenty of light but no direct warming sun.
 This is great in the summer but from late autumn until late spring it's just not comfortable.
 The kitchen was built 80 years ago and housed a wood burning stove to cook the food,  heat the water and warm the house. 
The people who owned the house before us, who bought the house from the original owner, removed the stove and put in an electric stove which was probably sensible I guess.
 Thankfully they also put in a woodburning slow combustion heater so we still can have the warmth of wood heating the kitchen and making it cosy.

And because I am allowed to use the laptop, even though I am sometimes 'pathetic' with it ( I just get a little anxious that I am going to destroy it) I can sit in the kitchen , in front of the fire, with my cup of coffee and write to you.


( the photos in this post are from my Flickr stream, I'm not allowed to fill up the laptop with all my strange house and blog photos)

4 May 2011

dolly dressmakers dolls

Just how inconvenient is it having to borrow someone's computer.
To not have any of your normal bookmarks.
To be scrolling round with a silly little over sensitive, has a mind of it's own scrollpad.


I did manage to get a few photos uploaded but I am very aware that I am not supposed to be taking over the borrowed computer and  whatever I do has to take up only a little space.

Still I am grateful he is willing to share.

Ginger snaps

3 May 2011


Anouk's doll

Little Miss Muffet

Fabiola's doll

Spring DarbyDoll "Birdie"

Shannon's doll


Sue's doll


Berrie's doll


Nancy's doll

Emma's doll


Jenn's doll

Cathy's doll

Gabi's doll


Deb's doll


My doll

I have some fabulous dollmaking friends all over the world.
Colleagues who are there to answer questions, to cheer each other on, offer kind words when things get difficult and to truly enjoy each others successes.

And sometimes it seems we all get a little gingery blue eyed inspiration all at the same time, except for one, who had to be a little bit different. Can you see which dollmaker missed the blue eyed part of the brief.

( I haven't put links to everyone's shops as I am on Andy's computer and it is just too responsive and is taking me on a wild journey just getting this post together. I think I have links to everyone  shown here on my sidebar)