Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Room To Grow

A Room to Grow In.
This afternoon I finished sewing the buttons, hooks and loops on the winter white ribbon dress for my own Lettie.  The day was one of steady rain, gusts of wind, and with it, the gentle fall of the yellow birch leaves that would finish their short, but memorable, autumn verse.  It was a day to keep the fire bright, and one particular mouse, busy with her own change of seasons.

It has become a ritual, as surely as the period that punctuates the end of the sentence, that I tidy up my studio in preparation of the next production.  Each ensemble I make seems to have become a play written in the works, the story unfolding as the pieces come together stitch by stitch.

My magic Juki sewing machine.
While working on them, and through my imagination, I can imbue them with the colors of the season, the passion or sentiment of the holiday, or pronounce them with the markers of each year.  They are like a diary to me, a grow chart on the wall from which under I stand, and draw the line a little higher with each accomplishment.  There is alot of wall above me being such a tiny little mouse. 

Pattern drafting and work table.
A friend of mine recently asked me if I was (sewing), making up for lost time.  Lost time?  Was what I was doing prior to this insignificant?  I have pondered as well that a person in the doll world is better measured by how well she sews, respected if she can sew doll clothing (well), rather than create the entrennes, or accessories and miniatures I've carefully crafted and worked on towards perfection.  This is no surprise to me since I, too, love to collect beautifully made doll couture.  But, I'm a non-conformist, and always have been.  I've always lived to be a little different and do something unique that gives me a personal signature.  But, moreover, the crafting and painting is what I truly love to do.  It excites me to create tiny little pieces of doll accessory that round out the ensemble or display.  Painting in miniature allows me to step into a tiny world where no one else can go until the completed piece is in their hands.

Where I paint miniatures.
Childhood Christmas Ornaments
As a child miniatures fascinated me.  I wanted to be (even) tinier and step into the dollhouse myself and walk around the beautiful furnishings.  The ornaments we hung on our tree at Christmas; some were little windows into tiny worlds, and these were the ones I loved best.  I would gaze at them for hours and create stories behind the scenes.  The pinecone men were alive to me.  They lived in the Christmas forest every December and slept the other eleven months of the year.  No wonder other children found me odd and shy, and adults worried I would never fit into society proper.  I would play for hours by myself and create such elaborate stories that I could pick them up the next day when homework was finished.  In summer, I'd swing on the swing for hours just singing little songs and enjoying the flight.  I was self-contained and self-entertained.  Has anything really changed?

Polly's Christmas Tree
And, so I cleaned the surfaces of my tables, tossed the scrap and bits I thought I would need or read at a later date.  Dusted and straightened, and polished the small objects that make me happy to look at.  Then I took out my peppermint cup that will be the catch-all for the small tools I use and stray pins and needles, and prepared to begin the Christmas costuming. 

Pretty Ermine Trim
New territory will be crossed as I make a fur muff and toque, and trim these coats with ermine.  I'm looking forward to trying Geri Blansfield's (from the Bleuette Sewing Club) technique for making the black ermine tips.  But, the thing I most look forward to is making Polly's little Christmas tree and ornaments from scratch.  I've been studying her little tree and have a pretty good idea on how I will approach making it.  Yes, small trees can be purchased, but they are flocked and do not have the look of a real tree - more like a bottle brush.  I've even purchased tiny clay pots I will spray paint blue.

The coats will be fun to do.  It just came to me (in writing) that Lettie's skating costume is an ermine trimmed skirt with an ermine trimmed coat over it.  Polly's Christmas coat is simply that.  I just received in the mail, from Britex of San Francicso, the most luxurious white cotton velveteen I've even touched paw to.  The Christmas play will begin tomorrow on yet another rainy a clean and tidy studio, with happy heart for the holiday season.

Miss E. Mouse

My own Lettie's dress with the book.

1 comment:

  1. I am suffering from a severe case of studio/workshop envy ;) What a fabulous space to create your magic.