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Sunday, August 20, 2017


The idea of the Maiden's Garlands is really an example of ‘slow living’ that we are finding increasingly elusive.  Helen wrote that there is a new movement – SLOW STITCHING, following along from the Slow Food Movement. They have a facebook page if you are interested, but it is all about taking the time to stitch, dye, crochet, spin etc etc.  One quote reads ‘Slow stitching means setting aside time to find myself somewhere in the thread and spread myself out on a piece of fabric.’  (Kelly Martinez).  A few images from their web site   .....................


It is bewildering the amount of information and ‘good finds’ one can make by cruising around the net – pinterest is certainly bad news and have to keep telling myself that while I’m ‘pinning’ – I’m not playing!  It’s hard to stop sometimes, so many wonderful ideas, but a few days ago I was surfing the net and came across the past custom of making a special garland for the funeral of a young ‘chaste’ woman.  These were known as ‘Maiden’s Garlands’ – and were a symbol of purity which started as a circle of flowers and then evolved into a bell-shaped structure of wicker which was decorated with flowers and rosettes.  Sometimes a handkerchief or glove would be hung with the garland, which was carried ahead of the funeral and then sometimes buried with the deceased but often hung in the church. 
A few of these garlands still survive - the oldest said to have been made in 1680 and displayed in a Yorkshire Church.  The ritual seems to have died out but there was one made in 1995, hanging in Derbyshire.  Examples have been found hanging in Churches in France as well.

 These funerary decorations were the last, fragile mementos of a deceased, unmarried girl’s life and their use dates back at least to the 16th century.  Also known as Virgin’s Crowns or Crants (from the German), Maidens’ Garlands were made from paper, ribbons, fragments of best frocks, silk and shells and usually had a centrepiece made from paper cut into the shape of a glove, kerchief or collar, sometimes with a written epitaph.  They symbolised the young girl’s purity and lamented a life unfulfilled by marriage and motherhood.

It seems such a poignant custom and I can imagine young girls sitting around creating a special memorial to a friend.  They are precious.


Sometimes I forget there is such a thing as Blogging – how can life be so hectic when all we want is peace to play!  Many of you have grandchildren – how many have one living with them?  – aaaaagh.
Well – it’s not that bad.             Sometimes!!!!  Ha
Russ has three months off starting next week so practicing for retirement – will be a new experience for us both!
Latest magazine order is ‘on the way’ – waiting, waiting patiently!
Do hope you have all been well and happily creating.  It is always good to hear from you and see what is being produced – awful to when life changes and the big craft room has to be a small cupboard in a retirement village!  How do we ever sort it out – but I know one day I’ll have to ‘shed’ – but at the moment am loving having all these wonderful goodies around me.  It’s certainly handy when we have a get together and someone needs something – hmmmm. ‘ I’m sure I have some of that here!’
Our little gang has been playing with cloth books – and it is very addictive and rewarding.  With our addiction to form many pages include faces, or figures.  It really is good fun and small enough to carry around and stitch ‘on the go’. 
Our next meeting will be at Wirrabara – we are honored to be visiting Jackie’s studio – another delightful creative spot.  We'll continue on with our 'slow stitched' booklets.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Wish I was a better photographer as this looks a bit scary but several years ago Carol Warhurst came and stayed - and got us all going on book wraps inspired by Angie Hughes.
Found mine the other day and decided it was time to stitch down the strips - did a lot of machine sewing and despite my photography it really does look wonderful - and feels magic.  The joy of fabric!!!!  Hopefully it will get made into a completed wrap - soon(ish)

Christmas is nearly upon us - Kaye gave us a sneak preview of her Chrissy pressies that she has lovingly made for everyone.  Such fun - so enjoy the season.  Thanks for your support everyone!  Talk soon.  

ThE ColoURiNG StUDio

Everyone would have their latest issues of the recently released magazines - Art Doll 1/4ly etc.  Hope you are enjoying the inspiring articles and pictures!
Loving my copies of The Coloring Studio - and have been sent some great results from those subscribing.  $24.00 at present - depends on the dollar of course!  New issue next month.  Next order will come late Dec. so watch those mail boxes!

From the publisher of Somerset Studio, comes a brand-new specialty publication that puts an artistic spin on today’s hottest trend. The Coloring Studio is not your kid’s coloring book. With an imaginative collection of edgy illustrations in the Somerset-esque style you've come to love, The Coloring Studio won't restrict you to a single theme by offering a wide variety of designs just awaiting your own personal palette. This coloring book for adults also includes bonus content and ideas that you won’t find in similar publications, like what to do with your pages when you're finished.

Featuring: 112 thick, high-quality pages • 60 unmatched illustrations from top artists.

The following tribute is to Val Power - so if you knew Val and would love to add something that would be welcomed.

ReMebERing Val Power

So many of the wonderful friends we've made through the Doll World have sadly passed away.  We never forget them and one of the wonderful doll makers I remember with fondness is a Western Australian doll maker - Val Power.  Every time I walk past her wonderful interpretation of Sally Lampi's 'Tilly the Tattered Angel' hanging in the shop I remember the amazing dolls she made - and the long phone conversations over many years. 
Val firstly got in touch in 1995 after the first 'Things I Like' ad in 'Dolls, Bears and Collectibles'.  I couldn't hazard a guess at the amount of patterns Val purchased over the years - she had a wonderful collection and was an avid doll maker with a style of her own.  She had no trouble selling her dolls and the way she interpreted that patterns made each one an individual.
If there was a book on doll making Val had a copy - if you wanted to know a doll making technique Val could tell you. 

We communicated regularly for many years and did eventually meet up through the Western Dollmakers club in Perth.  Val's health gradually deteriorated and she went into a home where she finally went to her own little doll world in the sky.  Val's dolls will live on and be cherished for ever!

Have many, many pictures of Val's dolls - will share some here for your inspiration!!!
These dolls won Viewer's Choice in a 1999 doll show in Mandurah - Reggae Artist and Wife.

26" Lucinda - 1996

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Probably can't see the detail but gives you and idea of Val's versatility as a dollmaker.