There are very few people who haven't been utterly charmed by the gentle, whimsical illustrations of Kate Greenaway. Children at play with hoops and kites and hobby horses, demure young ladies with proper gloves and graceful gowns in timeless English pastoral scenes - these are the images, whether on page or pottery, is easily recognizable as Kate Greenaway.
|Kate Greenaway, age 40|
As I sit here and write, I recall that my love affair with Kate's work probably began in 1981 when my mother sent me a copy of The Illuminated Book of Days, with illustrations by both Kate and Eugene Grasset, for Christmas that year. I would, many years later, acquire a copy of Greenaway's Book of Games, to create one of my miniature trunk sets from. This can be seen on my website http://www.zhibit.org/houseofmissymouse/miniatures-for-other-dolls/kate-greenaway-trunk-set-open with many little accessories included. So yes. I have loved Kate's work for a good many years.
|In An Apple Tree|
Kate would claim a childhood so idyllic that she never left it. She was raised with two sisters and a little brother. Since her mother ran a successful clothing boutique, there was always plenty of remnants for Kate to dress her dolls with. By the time Kate was drawing professionally, she was creating all the costuming and bonnets for her models to wear. The more elaborate costuming she illustrated either came from memory and sketches of clothing she had seen at parties or in the fashionable quarters of London.
The country attire, or more simple smocks and mob caps, were inspired by those worn by her aunt and the workers on their two hundred acre farm in Rolleston. Rolleston, a place where Kate felt most at home, and spent her summers, became the back drops, the pastoral scenes in most of Kate's illustrations. It was only when Kate's work was in demand from printers for greeting cards, calendars and the like, that Kate "grudgingly" drew scenes from the three other seasons.
|One of Kate's sketches for a mob cap.|
|Blue silk slippers.|
I'd been also wishing to create something from the poem Tip-A-Toe. These delightful little girls were dressed in colonial costuming, and the charming illustrations of the children dancing in step, urged me to at least create one of the costumes. I had, on hand, a blue for the skirt, and a rose Lecien print for the jacket. Yet, the yellow frock with red and white skirt appealed more greatly to my delight of bright colors - and I do love yellow. Its my second favorite color, orange being the first. So now she has two frocks to take her through until I make the third, which will be the other dress detailed in In An Apple Tree.
The first one is made from a white quilting cotton with tiny blue flowers on it. The green of her ribbons and sash are the lovely double sided silk I enjoy using. I gave her a pair of blue silk slippers to wear on her feet. She wears this frock with the coral bead necklace I made for her and a fashionable pair of elbow length gloves which are simple tubes stitched between the thumb and forefinger.
I made a second mob cap so that each outfit would have its own, yet I also tack stitch the ribbons down so they appear tied on, but stay in place. Tip-A-Toe's is accessorized with a light blue ribbon and red tinted silk flower. I used one of the alcohol pens I referred to in an earlier post, to color a large pink and yellow rose. The same blue ribbons in a smaller width trim the three-quarter length sleeves above the white ruffle. Marigold also received a pair of white silk slippers with little bows on them to complete her outfit.
Two fashions. Longer journal entry. One thing I will remember is that when ordering from Farmhouse Fabrics in Florida, its best to expect the delivery (to California) at the end of seven days. I don't know why it took so long this time, but I normally receive my parcels from them in two or three days. They always send a little gift of fabric, and or ribbon, so I do enjoy purchasing from them. They also have an extraordinarily fine selection of silk ribbon sizes, as well as beautiful fabrics.
Welcome Marigold Greenaway! Welcome Summer! It surely was a glorious June Moon.
Miss E. Mouse
|Marigold in Tip-A-Toe|
|Wendy Lawton's Marigold Garden|
|Milk, Sugar & Flower|
|White Silk Slippers|
|London and Rolleston|