Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Indian Summer

From my little hole in the wall, Missy Mouse presents... This is the verbiage on the little labels I affix to every package going out. And, from my little hole in the wall, I emerge after a long blogging haitus. April? What happened to May and June? The summer sailed by like so many dragonflies and dandelion puffs. I can hardly believe that it is September, and in this month I have a birthday. Miss E. Mouse is yet another year older and what does she have to show for it? Let me see...

Well first of all, I started sewing. "Oh, no! Did she really?" Well sort of. I often think that new branches grow from the creative tree out of necessity. As you know, this is Daisy's 100th anniversary year, and so many seamstresses new to Daisy have been sewing her twenty-five outfit trousseau. I happen to have a "thing" for indian costumes, and wished to give this one a try. It is actually on the December pattern page and the costume, along with a Red Riding Hood costume, were for Daisy's New Years parties. So we learn a little history and understand that children dressed up in fairytale costumes for their New Years parties.

When I was little Grandmother Mouse made me an indian tap dance costume. I still have it and have always treasured the idea of them. So I gave it the ol' one-two try. And, that is what I did, times two, this summer. The costume in this photo was the first one I made. The second has since gone to its new home. While the pattern appears simple, and it is, the dress is made from Ultrasuede Light, so were the moccasins, and this is not the easiest fabric to hand stitch on. First you must understand that all the fringe was hand-cut out of the Ultrasuede. The moccasin pattern had to be designed to look like the illustration, and one had to also figure out the braided belt which is affixed to the dress. The belt and headband are lambskin leather, painted and beaded with real turquoise and coral chip beads. A delicate silver lace trims the headband as well. Real matching parrot feathers complete the headband. For detailed photos, do please visit my website in the Daisy album. Will I sew another dress or costume? Most definitely, but only costumes as I leave the true heirloom sewing of the trousseau to experienced talent.

I also began making hats! Way back in time, Mother Mouse's great aunts ran a millinery shop outside of New Orleans. Perhaps its in the genes. But, I love it! Hats are great fun and quite a challenge. I learned the basics of hat making all at once from Barbara De Vilbiss, who had me make a silk top hat beginning with buckram and wire. These skills I take to heart, so four years later, hat making was more a progression than a beginning. Daisy has lots of hats, so I've been busy with them. She also has shoes. Adding to the moccasins, you can see the teal Oxfords I made on the Daisy pages of my website. This has all been quite a transition from making miniature items as Daisy is an antique reproduction, 18" tall. Oh, and let's not forget the hat stands! A dear customer asked me to make her one, but one would never be enough, so I made three. You can see them in this photo I'll call Daisy's Hat Shoppe.

Finally as school was nearing, the school bag needed to be sewn. Earlier I'd acquired a "lot" of antique school books and music sheets, plays and readers that a teacher used between 1907 and 1912. From these I made miniatures of a few to go into the Circle D school bag. There again, and old skill from the 1970's, embroidery, had to blossom again. Another leaf on the new branch of creativity.

And, what is in store for the fall? Well, there are two last issues from the 1911 Ladies' Home Journals that featured Daisy and her patterns. One is October's, and the last is December's. They will be reproduced in miniature, but along with them, I plan to make some of the toys and items found in the issues. Attached is a photo of the Snow Baby cake. I could not resist this one! I hunted until I was blue in the whiskers, but finally found a miniature shoppe that carried porcelain snow babies for doll houses. I'll make the tiny mistletoe myself and have the pieces I need to do this now. There will be other Christmassy things as well, but we'll save those for a blog when I can share them completed.

This month finds me readying for Halloween. First I must miniaturize October's issue, but there is also Halloween ephemera to make for Daisy's party. And, yes. I need to make her a Halloween costume. One like they wore in the postcards from that era. She did not have a pattern for a Halloween costume, so this is just something I will "throw" together. LOL As if I ever just throw something together. However, she will look sweet in it displaying the items I will make from the issue.

I must thank Diana and Menno for pulling on my tail to get me blogging again. I won't let so much time go by for the next one.

Its that time of year when I make lots of applesause for winter, build corn shocks from summer's last harvest, and begin spreading pumpkins around the yard for color. I expect to have alot of great fun with Daisy items through the end of the year, and lo and behold, I even gessoed the Lettie Lane Doll House so I can begin painting it!!! Finally.

Wishing you all a pleasant transition through autumn.


Miss E. Mouse

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