This cute little number is a costume I made for one of my daughters when she was ten. It was for a pioneer theme-party we attended one summer. We all dressed up! Since then, over ten years now, other little girls have slipped into the red calico, with bloomers and bonnet, and have enjoyed the plain frills of a simpler time. My eight year-old granddaughter has recently discovered the Laura Ingalls-Wilder books and 'Little House on the Prairie', so it will likely be worn and enjoyed again VERY soon. These are the kind of sewing projects I love the most. I might add, in case you're wondering; the buttons down the back are just for looks. Hidden beneath, are large snaps for small hands to easily manage. Pattern used was Simplicity 9136, dated 1970. (This one shown in my shop was sold, I mention it for those who might want to find another.) And now for some good news. .
If you're looking for some fun sewing projects for kid's clothing and costumes, it's SALE time over at the Turkey Feathers Thrift Shop. Take 25% off your purchase by entering coupon code: REDCALICO25. Offer good til October 10th.
It's time, I think, for a dollhouse update! I'm speaking of our 'Old House in Paris' dollhouse that was featured on the blog back here in 2006. Due to the pinboard phenom it's making the rounds again in a BIG way and I've gotten some emails and questions about it, so I thought it would be fun to share a few more photos.
Not much has changed really, the dolls (Pepito, Madeline, Danielle, the Thornberry sisters (Deb and Eliza), Henry & Melissa, all still inhabit the two upper floors which are conveniently located over the toy store, bakery and mini-mart, where Barbie pops in from time to time for party food.
Keep in mind, this is an actual dollhouse that gets played with, messed up, and rearranged on a regular basis. My two little granddaughters added the Barbie's. Afterall, you need adults to run the place, right?
And to keep little fingers from poking the pies!
Here's the "toy department" at the back of the shop. I'll try and get some more pictures of the upper rooms. When last I looked there was another birthday party going on. These crazy dolls celebrate daily! Yep. It's a good life here in the dollhouse cupboard.
Passing through the yard today; another hint that autumn's on the way.
Right now the weather is warm and wonderful in the way that only September can be with its sparkling crisp mornings and that lovely peach light that casts long shadows across the landscape at dusk. The sun is hot, but the shady places are cool and dark, quilts are back on the beds. I'm savoring the last bits of the herb garden with all its textures and colors. This late in the season, the different varieties have become good friends, scrambling over each other, creating new and novel displays on their own. And always, it seems, with 'silver artemisia' at the center of it all. It's the life of the party around here, taking center stage wherever it lands. Spreading itself liberally again this year. It's tolerated because it adds a lacy gray contrast to all the greens. It peeks out here and there. All innocent looking. Making me forget that it can become a voluminous shrub nearly 6 feet in circumference and just as tall once I turn my back on it. Perhaps I should take a firmer stand and root it out once and for all before it takes over the whole yard,. (I say this every year and mean it!) And then I see this . . . and lose my resolve completely.
In any case, I've been down on my hands and knees and up to my elbows in the veg garden picking what's left, pulling up what's done, and putting away what I can. A true gardener never lets anything go to waste. On Saturday I made a BIG jar of refridgerator pickles and then went out and picked little bunches of rosemary, thyme, marjoram, pineapple mint, purple sage and summer savory--to dry. It's really such a simple thing to do and makes the kitchen highly aromatic. I like to tie my herb bundles with small rubberbands, slip in a hook (fashioned from ornament hangers) and hang them where I can enjoy them fully. They look and smell wonderful dangling from the kitchen pot rack, but actually herbs are best dried in a cool, dry place (upside down so all the goodness goes into the leaves). After a few days I strip the dry leaves from the stems and store them in small jars. If you leave them hanging around too long they will collect dust. At least they do here. So it's a short-term project. One I welcome right now with so much else to do. The bulk of our "harvest" (though extremely modest) seems to come in September, along with my birthday, falling somewhere near the middle of it. Always a most welcome diversion!
While I was at it, I gathered a few seeds for next year's plantings. Tucking them safely away in tiny white envelopes is strangely satisfying. So did that, with the exception of the celery seed; all the umbrella heads were cut and dropped into a paper bag to catch the seeds as they fell off the stems. Even though I only allowed one celery plant to go fully to seed, there was a lot and the bag was stuffed full when I brought it inside. I was exhausted and left it all by the kitchen door and went to collapse in my chair, thinking I'd just leave it overnight giving the seeds additional time to dry up and drop off. I'd gather them up later. Seemed like a good plan. But the next morning, when the girls came down to breakfast, they discovered the bag contained more than just celery seeds. By then, a buzzillion tiny mites, like specks of fine black pepper, had crept out of the bag and were headed for higher ground. The insect mind says, "follow the light"....so, up the walls they went, across the windows, some got lost and trickled into the china cupboard, others kept going and were clinging to the ceiling, hundreds more continued to spill over the sides of the bag. (I'm getting all itchy just talking about it!) Apparently, upon seeing this, lots of squealing ensued, followed by hysterical hose vacuuming. I was out running errands at the time, oblivious to the torment underway. Oh-Boy. Was I in trouble when I got home! Especially as we've just spent months and hundreds of dollars trying to rid the house of bug infestations. And here I am bringing sack loads of them in. OOPs!!
There's been some mysterious goings on in the dollhouse neighborhood. Some whispers and giggles heard going round. All very hush-hush. But the time has finally come to let the cat(s) out of the bag. Time to celebrate the completion of a wonderful project! And I am thrilled (and a proud mama) to be able to present:: The Dollhouse Date Book by Grace!
I have had to keep all this under my hat for quite some time. Keep my excitement contained and my lips sealed. All the while watching this creative process unfold bit by bit, scene by miniscule scene, with teeny-tiny treats set against backdrops meticulously arranged and photographed, season after season with themes to represent each month. Now it's here! A lovely little book full of lovely little things. And for a limited time, Grace is going to be giving away a *free donut charm* with each book purchase! You can visit her new blog for more details at: Little Things Amuse Me.
It seems a few warm days of 'Indian Summer' has made all the difference in our veg garden. We've been picking and canning up a storm the last few days, mostly green beans, but much to our amazement, the cucumbers and tomatoes have suddenly perked up and are actually ripening on the vine. And just when we were about to give up on them. Never Say Never!
Even so, Monty Don had some disappointments this summer when it came to his tomatoes. It actually broke my heart to see this. Poor fellow works awfully hard and is so totally committed and yet, there are times when you simply cannot fight nature. Or weather. Or any number of things that contribute to the success of growing things. Anyone who gardens has probably had such frustrating moments. I know I have. And more than once. Fortunately, for most of us today, survival is not dependant on whether or not we get a good tomato crop. It's just so disappointing when all the time and effort we've put into it has been for nothing. There is much to learn from those who have traveled down that particular garden path. Which is only one of the many reasons why I love Gardener's World. (Follow the link to see all the episodes.) This particular show has a dahlia garden that will amaze you.