Friday, August 30, 2013

Dressing Doll's Fairy Tale-Paper Dolls

This set of postcards called Dressing 
Dolls' Fairy Tale, were printed in Great Britain 
and sold in America in 1912.  The directions
for cutting and assembling are on the address
 side of the postcard. The colors are gorgeous
and of course, I love animals as people.  Wouldn't
 it have been exciting for a little girl to receive one 
of these in the mail box?

  Original drawings are by Louis Wain, a British 
artist, best know for his drawings of
large eyed cats & kittens dressed as humans.

 "I take a sketch-book to a restaurant, or other public 
place, and draw the people in their different positions as
 cats, getting as near to their human characteristics 
as possible. This gives me doubly nature, and these 
studies I think to be my best humorous work."
Louis Wain
 A prolific artist, Wain produced as many as several
hundred drawings a year.  He illustrated about 100 
children's book, and his work appeared in magazines,
 papers and on postcards.

 He was active in several animal organizations in Britain,
including the Society for the Protection of Cats,
the Governing Council of Our Dumb Friends League,
(couldn't use a name like that today!) and was
president of the National Cat Club.

Author H. G. Wells said of him,
 "He has made the cat his own. He invented a cat style,
 a cat society, a whole cat world.   English cats
 that do not look and live like Louis Wain cats are
 ashamed of themselves."
Louis Wain
 As a little girl I loved paper dolls, and my daughter
and nieces played with them too.  Paper dolls
were great for a trip and didn't take up much room.
 Leann's paper dolls are still  kept in the little suitcase
that she'd take to Grandma's house. 
 Here are a few of them. 
Kitty Cucumber and friend.

Ma Petite Amie the French paper
doll that helped teach French.

I wonder if little girls still
play with paper dolls or have
they gone out of fashion???

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Aletha Mae-Reproduction Izannah Doll By Martha Bishop

I want to introduce my new Izannah
Walker reproduction dolly Aletha Mae (Letha)
made especially for me by Martha Bishop.  I am
so proud to own her.  She is the perfect big sister to
 Orilla Lucinda (Lucy) my dolly made by Jan Conwell.
Martha Bishop Dolls
Jan Conwell Dolls 
They look so sweet together and have become
fast friends.  I often hear whispers and giggles
coming from their room.
I adore her little side curls and dainty
hands and feet.
I have never considered myself to be a doll
collector,  just a doll maker.  I now have 3 special dollies,
so I think that makes me a collector.  The doll on the left is a 
very early 1900's (possibly late 1800's) china doll I have 
had for some time.  I hate to admit it, but she doesn't
even have a name.  I need to come up with something that
goes with Lucy and Letha, I am open to suggestions!
The china doll does have her original undies,  
but like the cobbler's children that have no shoes girls have no clothing!
Thanks so much Martha!

Friday, August 23, 2013

How To Make Paper Castings-Brown Bag Molds

 As you know I collect Brown Bag cookie molds
and have been working on making paper 
castings of each mold for my Brown Bag Page.
The idea is to show the detail in each mold,
so I have kept the castings rather plain.
I thought I'd show how, it's so simple.
 Most everything I need is already in my kitchen. 

I use cotton linter to make my castings.
 What is cotton linter?  It's actually the tiny fibers left
behind on the cotton seed after ginning has removed
the long cotton fibers.  It's the finest silky fiber and for
 paper making there is no equal.  Cotton linter is durable,
strong and naturally acid free.  The best linter is snowy
white & when used in castings it gives a sharp clear image.
Being cotton, it's easily dyed.  I have ornaments my kids
made and painted with water colors over 20 years ago,
 that are still is wonderful condition.
If I am going to paint my castings I use this
additive.  It's non toxic, acid free and gives a
smooth surface for paints, watercolors
& inks.  It also minimizes bleeding.
I have no clue what's in it!
I buy my supplies online at:
Arnold Grummer
I use a section of linter about the size of my
mold and tear it into small pieces.
I can make 2 molds in one blending, but I'm
careful not to overload the blender.
I add water and let it soak several minutes.
I add brewed tea to my blender to give
 the castings an aged look.    
I usually let my linter soak 15 minutes,
 then I blend it into a pulp.
I pour about 1/2 the mixture into a 
sieve and let it drain.  I save the water
mixture and reuse it, if I am making several
castings in one day.
This is Mother Goose.
I pour the drained pulp into the mold,
spreading it evenly in the mold, 
adding more if needed.
I use a sponge to absorb the bulk of
the water/tea mixture from the mold.
Then using paper towels or a cloth, I
press the pulp "firmly" into the mold
removing as much liquid as I can.
I set it aside for about 24 hours to dry.
If using a wooden or a reproduction mold,
I don't leave the casting in the mold to dry.
When I have removed as much water as 
possible,  I carefully loosen the edge with a 
single edged razor blade or sharp knife,
 and gently turn the casting onto a cloth
covered cookie sheet to dry.
 I drain any left over pulp.
I then squeeze out the water, let dry and
use next time.  No waste at all!
Being "creative" is the fun part of paper casting.
Adding construction paper to your pulp before 
blending gives it color.  I have added fabric
shreds, glitter and paint to my pulp.  I have
never tried paper clay, but I bet it works well 
too.  I use an old blender when making castings 
that have non edible ingredients.  The wonderful
 thing about these stoneware molds, they are 
dishwasher safe!   
When the castings are dry, I use a sharp knife or
single edged razor blade to loosen the edges.

They usually pop right out.
If I'm an unhappy with a cast, I simply
tear it up and re cast it!
So easy and so much fun!
If you stop by a flea market or garage sale,
 keep your eyes  open for one of these might catch the Brown 
Bag bug too!