Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Daisy Heralds In the New Year!

Daisy's New Years Herald
Wow.  What a year this has been!  Now I'm not going to say that every single month was all hunky-dory, but coming to the end of it, I can confidently say that this year was an extraordinarily creative one.  This fall, in particular, from September through to today, proved to be as pleasant in my personal life as it was satisfying in my artistic one.  So many good things to look back on. 

In particular, I'd like to say that the friendships I made gave me so much joy, inspiration, and a wonderful outlook for the future.  The friendships I had became stronger, and when I feel loved and appreciated, my creative world is a much nicer, safer place for me. 

The Inspiration
In thinking back on all I created this year, Alice Liddell's wardrobe (to be continued), was probably my greatest achievement considering that I was throwing myself into the French Fashion world - my way, of course.  Completing the wardrobe and accessories for Katy Curls is right up there.  These were extraordinarily difficult, and detailed costumes as well.  And, let's not forget A Day At the Beach for Josephine, Gibson Girl.  This was the first petite lady doll costume I created.  And, I began reincarnating Wendy Lawton dolls.  There was, of course, Alice Liddell, Alice Illustrated, and Delight - The Delight of Fairy Tales.  Funny, but a lot of people just didn't "get" her.  They called her Red Riding Hood, instead of understanding that she's a little girl enjoying dressing up in fairy tale costumes.  Perhaps when I create a couple more for her, it will hit.

Full Length
It was wonderful to be able to take out my brushes and paints again and create the story book toy chest for Betsy.  I don't paint very often anymore.  And, believe it or not, its not like riding a bicycle.  Painting is something you have to work at, recalling techniques, have incredible patience with, if you don't do it all the time.  So this experience was very satisfying, too. 

Underneath It All
Like some, I truly do not wish there were more hours in the day.  They will come and go as hours do.  Its what you do with them, and how you feel about them that are important.  Were a day 27 hours, before long you'd wish it was thirty.  And then, when would you sleep?  I've found that on the busiest of days, if I just work on one specific piece of a costume to its completion, the outfit will get made, and in less time than I feared.  The hat one day, the jacket then next.  Fur trim on this piece one day, the closures the next.  And, speaking of fur trim, I couldn't think of any better way for Daisy to bring in the New Year than to create "the other" costume I intended to make for her last December.

The Back With Buttons
Daisy's New Year's Herald was inspired by this gorgeous antique postcard of a Gibson Girl sounding her little silver party horn over the wind swept snow banks.  The tossing about of autumn's last fallen leaves, and the crescent moon aloft in the chilly winter night.  And, snow shoes!  Believe it or not, there are snow shoes beneath that white gown.  I'd saved them all the way through the year (they are just like Polly's - see February), and she does have them on her feet.  The pink velveteen was the same used in Mignonette's skating costume and the dress was of the same velvet used for Lettie Lane's Skating Costume.  Miles of faux beaver fur trim. 

Instead of lining the dress in batiste as I normally do so as not to add weight to the piece, I lined it in the same silk dupioni as the attached chemise giving it some body.  I love the way a skirt will drape sewing in this fashion (attached chemise).  And, the ease of dressing the doll since you always must be mindful of the doll stand and the clamp that goes around their waist.

Jean's Special Gift
The hat was fun to make and its topped with a braided strand tailing a pom-pom in a sweet baby pink wool yarn.  The jacket, as all jackets are, was probably the most difficult piece to design.  Since the postcard outfit is viewed from the back, it was important to get this just right.  You also have the chiffon scarf that billows out in the wind behind the woman in the postcard, but obscuring the details of the jacket.  I could have made long, flaring jacket pieces to put together, but they would not have looked right under the arms.  So I chose to attach a peplum with several pleats to support the four covered buttons in the back. 

A Memory Of January 2014
The scarf!  Well, another brilliant light bulb idea.  How was I to make a chiffon scarf billow out "in the wind"?  I used sheer white wired ribbon for this effect.  It tickles me just to relay this to you.  The horn was made from silver scrapbooking paper and red silk ribbon.  I almost feel like Martha Stewart here (wink wink).  This outfit was made very quickly, and almost in a panic since this is but one of the two New Years postings I'll write.  Daisy shall be heralding in the New Year in her cozy-velvet-winter-snow-shoe outfit.  Listen for her little horn on New Year's Eve.

But, let's get back to friendships for a moment.  I just had to share one of the dearest gifts I've ever received.  Jean made me a sewing machine album to commemorate the costuming I did over this past year.  The time and work involved to create this for me, was equal to the talent my dear friend has.  She'd told me about her die cut sewing machine to create an album with, and asked me if I thought I'd enjoy having one.  Not a scrapbooking person myself, I had no idea what was in the works.  I just about fell over when I opened her gift that was so wonderfully wrapped, too.  There is nothing Jean Nordquist cannot do and exceptionally well.  There is even a little lined spool on the opposite page for me to make notations on of what materials I used for the project.  And, a chatelaine ring holds the pages together!  She does sell these kits, and its a perfect way to preserve your sewing accomplishments.  Maybe if I'm good girl this year, she'll make me another next!  .  Its just awesome.  So is she.

As New Year's Eve comes about this year, I'm planning on what I will do in 2015.  One of the projects will be taking another Lawton doll and creating a Godey's Girl from her.  I've been pouring over those pages for far too long not to do some real French Fashion costuming from them.  And, Candy Anderson is making Katy Curls' friend, Jolly Jane, for me, so there well be another Frances Tipton Hunter girl to sew for.

All in all, I'm inspired and on a roll I hope will never end.  However, this winter will see me tucked in and reading the second book from the Outlander series.  I never thought I was a "romance novel" reader until Diana Gabaldon's book fell into my lap.  What a fabulous swashbuckling read!  Happy New Year!

Miss E. Mouse

Another Snow Shoe Postcard


A Postcard For Daisy

Snow Shoes and Horn

A Second Postcard for Daisy

Under the New Year's Crescent Moon


  1. What a splendid and thoughtful gift! I always wonder where the ideas for such lovely items come from.

    Daisy's outfit is gorgeous, just right for the season.

  2. If you have enjoyed Outlander, you must read the rest of the series - 7 more I think - but be sure to get her "Compendium" which is the fourth book I think. It sums up all the important people, places, etc. in the first several books. Are you aware the first book has been made into a Starz mini series? Casting is superb. The first half has already been on but I am sure you can watch it "on demand". The second half starts April 4th. Hmmm, maybe you can make Jamie and Claire dolls, dressed appropriately, of course. The outfit is gorgeous, as always.. I will read more thoroughly later. Computer monitor hinges are broken and it is too hard to keep the monitor upright. Happy New Year.

  3. Yes Nancy! Starting the second book this winter. I intend on seeing the series on DVD when available. We don't get Starz. I can wait. It will be a delicious marathon. Hmmm...Jamie and Claire dolls.