Saturday, March 1, 2014
It's finally finished and it only took me one night to make a cloth body from period appropriate fabric for a tiny Civil war era China head doll head. This was my first attempt at making a doll body from scratch. I think I didn't do too badly. Creating the small clothes was time consuming, but interesting since I created the dress using different scraps of fabric.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
When rug beaters, butter churns and butter molds were all in a day's work; living old-fashioned part 2
I can beat rugs to get the dirt out and don't mind the extra effort. I can churn butter and imprint beautiful designs in it using old wooden butter molds. Why not just get with the twenty-first century, already? A little hard work never hurt anybody and I like to have fresh butter without the additives and junk they put in it nowadays. As far as a rug beater goes-- that was before they had vacuum cleaners. Sure, it's a lot of work to hang the rug on a clothes line and beat the dirt out of it, but eh, to each his own, I guess. Butter churning is something, that when I learned how to do this, I never wanted to go back to store bought butter again. In fact, before I started churning butter with a butter churn, I seldom, if ever used butter for cooking, or even consumed it on toast, unless it was already in the food to begin with. There's something healthier about home-churned butter. Not to say that it's any better for you, but tastes more like butter used to eons ago.
It was bound to happen. We heard of it coming for years. It was signed back when George W. Bush, Jr. was still in office. It was an end of something that's been a mainstay for generations for millions. What we took for granted, was a marvel back in the early 19th century-- electric lights. Incandescent light bulbs once shown no brighter than twenty candles lit at one time. The inventor of the incandescent light bulb was Thomas Edison. However, in rural areas, folks still lit their homes with kerosene lamps and that lighting is still used today in the twenty-first century. Beginning in 2014 it's considered illegal to sell or import incandescent light bulbs: 25 watt, 40 watt, 60 watt, etc. At one time they used to sell 75, 90 and 100 watt before the newer "curly q" light bulbs were shoved on people. "I don't care if they're supposed to be 'energy efficient!' I'm not going to light my home with mercury-laden, made in china light bulbs that look like a hazard waiting to happen." I harped when I first saw them emerging on store shelves. I know that nothing lasts forever, and neither could incandescent light bulbs. I was determined to come up with alternative lighting at night. Sure, kerosene lamps are extremely old as the hills and a potential fire hazard when using lamp oil and wicks. However, I wanted to circumvent this and decided to go with LED candles. They don't produce much light, if enough to safely see unless there's a lot of them turned on in same room. But-- when the power goes out, the LED's do make the home feel cozy with less worry about any flammable liquid or open flame. And they also give off the appropriate lighting that would have been commonplace way back when.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
The kitten who beat all odds wormed his little furry self into our hearts at two weeks old during a harsh winter in 2004. His time was all too brief. A year later on June 19, 2005 Porkchop sadly lost his life while trying to cross the street. He'd never come home to a dinner of cut up chicken and dry cat food waiting for him on the back porch.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
I've been collecting dolls since I was ten years old, give or take a few years. Long before the internet, I'd check out the latest edition of Doll World magazine, always skimming the fascinating articles, pictures and collector's stories of what inspired them to collect dolls. Shirley Temple didn't appeal to me, but do recall I read and noticed more pictures and stories of that particular doll than any other. She was a famous child star, and one that was way before my time. That's pretty much all I grasped about her as a kid growing up. Ever since my mom had told me about the dolls she had as a girl, which were quite impressive: Thumbelina, Suzy Smart and Chatty Cathy, I was on a mission to find those particular dolls. As luck would have it, mom and I stopped in a corner junk store late one evening. Rushed as usual mom reminded me, "Don't take forever in a day looking at stuff." Mom had worked all day long and she still needed to make supper, get a load of laundry in the wash, plus make sure we kids were tucked in on time during the school week. One man's junk is another man's treasure... I often heard the adage quite frequently. And there she was sitting on the shelf, a pitiful sight of a Chatty Cathy doll, circa 1950's and hardly any blonde hair left on its head. I pointed out the doll to my mom, who couldn't believe what I just discovered. The price was expensive. $10 for a non-working doll. Mom didn't want to tell me it would have been a waste of money and back in the late 80s, ten dollars was a considerable sum for an old doll. And why should I get a doll and leave out my other siblings? Did I do anything special to deserve this particular doll other than flash my puppy dog eyes? My mom glanced at the old lady behind the counter, who appeared as though she would chew iron and spit nails. And would she even consider doing any less on the doll? I prepared my little mind that the old lady would like snap at me like a grouch and holler, "No!" Instead, I was quite surprised when my mom haggled on the price and we got out of there with my first true "antique" doll for $5. I was overjoyed and have one photo of that very doll. The image is blurry. The doll in the green dress is unknown.