Thank you so much, dear folk, for all the lovely words you shared in yesterday’s comments.  I wish I could send every one of you some
May Gibbs goodness & a lily-pillowslip :-)

I am so inspired by your enthusiasm, I’ve added a few more details to the giveaway – your very own copy of Alison Lester’s Magic Beach
to read whilst snuggled up with your pillowslip, & I shall embroider your name – or anyone else’s name that takes your fancy – on the pillowslip & bag.

Remember – you have until Sunday to enter.
I shall draw a name at 8pm Australian Eastern Summer Time & announce it in this week’s
~ loveliness found ~ post.

Thursday mornings are sooooooo good.  No classes.  No predawn departures.  A morning when I can share a lingering pot of tea with Abby … make some pancakes for breakfast … have second coffees with Julian.  Completely spoilt.  I know that for the next 10 weeks I shall really treasure Thursday mornings.

After enjoying such a civilised breakfast this morning, I actually buckled down and finished the chores before picking up a needle or fabric.  That’s extraordinary willpower on my part.  Oh yes … there’s many an afternoon when, with half an hour to go before I need to collect the little girlies, I frantically – ineptly! – squeeze in as many chores as I can and end up racing out of the house cursing my earlier frippery.  But not today.

Thus, it wasn’t until morning tea had come and gone – without tea, because it’s too damn hot – that I sat down with Fraulein Heidi on my lap.  She’d been sitting – headless – on the craft table for more than a week.  It was becoming rather disconcerting.  So a crocheting we went.

That part didn’t take at all long.  The stuffing – a little longer.  Truly, I find stuffing more of an art than sewing, knitting or crocheting.  Dang it’s hard to get it right.  But what took FOREVER was creating Heidi’s face.  It’s such a marvellous thing that needlefelted features can be ripped right off with nary a sign that they had ever been there.  Always makes me think of that skit from Sesame Street – the one with the orange who rolls out of the fruit bowl, the kitchen bench becomes her stage, rubber bands, the dish mop, other bits and pieces become her facial features and then, under a spotlight, she sings opera.  Do you remember that one?  I loved it.

Anyways … back to Heidi’s face.  On went excessively rosy cheeks.  And off they came.  On went multicoloured (I was trying for hazel) eyes.  And off they came.  She had no less than 5 pairs of lips before I settled upon one that didn’t make her look like an alarming ventriloquist’s dummy.  At one point, her eyebrows sat rather smooshily on top of her eyes.  No good. And I tried a felted nose – which made her look like a Muppet.  Her cheeks came in.  Went out.  Moved down.  Back up.  It’s amazing how a few millimetres difference in cheek positioning can be the difference between looking like Abby from “My Family” (and no, that is most certainly not who we named Abby after!  I first met the name Abigail in the brilliant Ruth Park novel – an Australian classic! – “Playing Beattie Bow” – I was completely besotted) and something a little more girlchild like.

Without moments to spare (stolen moments that meant I could only wash half my hair) I quickly plonked a roll of soft, flimsy white linen onto the kitchen table – bought at a thrift store in Richmond for $5 – and worked out the right shape for a petticoat.  It shall have pinch pleats at the front, with wee eidelweiss embroidered around the neck and a fine crocheted lace at the hem.  A buttoned back – the kind that Laura and Mary would have to do up for each other.  These dolls of mine – their heads are so big, I doubt I shall ever make them anything big enough to pull over them without giving the dolls disturbing neurosurgery.  And then I shall make Frida a petticoat too!  And a paper pattern, so that I may do it as many times as I like!  And you could as well!

Of course, the petticoat is the start of Heidi’s layers – there’ll be a wee brown skirt, white puffy blouse and bodice next.  And I’m hanging out for the winter knits – I bought a wee Clover pompom maker the other day and I can’t wait to knit Heidi a beanie with a pompom on top.

‘Twas funny … after snipping up the linen, I had to dash … school pick up, afternoon tea, homework at the kitchen table, cool baths with long chapters of Little House in the Big Woods – in which everytime I mentioned the cold or frost or snow or howling wind, the little girlie flung herself back in the bath, imploring the heavens to grant her the same – little girlie dropped home, Music Festival with big girlie, take-away dinner with Rina … and then, finally, I plonked down on the sofa and there she was.

Fraulein Heidi – sitting in the armchair across from me.  Looking so sweet, I expected her to start talking any moment.  Made me smile.


loveliness found

~ the little girls discovered the thrill of making their own music ~

~ Jules celebrated his birthday … with cherry cocktails and a kitchen supper ~

~ a quilt design was tinkered with, fabrics were foraged from the stash (there’s a newly thrifted lampshade needing dressing), and an ever-so-sweet layer cake arrived ~

~ the ancient hills hoist clothesline fell down – completely rusted – one of us cheered, the other (being she who hangs out the bedding) pursed her lips ~

~ the big girlie devoted her afternoon to helping the little girlies with their maths’ project – the kitchen was buzzing with excitement and creativity ~

~ in return, the big girlie and her grateful mama spent the following hot and steamy afternoon savouring gelati and soaking up the air conditioning of our local Readings ~

~ Heidi grew and grew and grew  …  a wee felted heart was stitched for her and slipped inside for extra love ~

~ summer’s last Sunday barbeque was relished …

~ as was the return of tablecloth week! (one week off, as per Julian’s preference;
one week on, as per Lily’s preference ;-) ~

~ a favourite magazine was enjoyed after dinner
– two pages per watering can refill ~

~ & I felt so lucky to be watering the herbs and spinach by moonlight,
or I’d have completely missed this beautiful sight ~

What loveliness did you find this week?  Share your delights in the comments or leave us a link so that we may follow the path to your place :-)

a wee quilt for frida (and a wee vintage dolly pram!)

I had triangles laying about.  You do to, don’t you.  It’s one of those patchworky things.  We buy lovely long lengths of fabric.  Chop them up into wee little pieces.  Sew these little pieces together at all manner of odd angles.  End up with more wee little pieces.  Before you know it, there are triangles lying around.

So I sewed them up.  There’s a whirlygig in the centre.  See it?  And then the triangles move away into each corner.  Just simple.  And the cream fabric is so sweet.  A recently found retro print – reminds me of all the picture books and birthday cards I had as a small child.  Look at these dear little smiley faces … a writer, an astronaut, a vet, a sewist …

Let’s pretend we didn’t notice the blatant stereotyping and declare them all girls ;-)  How could we not, with those rosy cheeks and cherry bow lips.  I do love the colours.  My favourites.

I began adding borders – but I think I was getting carried away.  Off with the brown and dark blue!  With just the pink and orange, it was the perfect size for a dolly quilt …

… and I knew just the dolly.  She was sitting in the hall, atop the Lotte dresser, still very immodestly attired in her underclothes (good thing it’s been so hot!).  But I think she was getting peeved with her position in life.  So, I popped her into this gorgeous little dolly pram I found in hard rubbish, snuggled her in with an orange towel just right for reclining and a piece of folded linen to sit on.  And a quilt to keep her cosy.  Oh my, she looks such a picture!

And Fu just loves her!  As I pushed the pram around the back garden – to find just the right spot for a photo, NOT because I was PLAYING with her – Fu followed.  Each time we stopped, she’d give Frida a little sniff and plop down at her side.  Funny little dog!

A quick bit of handquilting and binding is all the quilt needs.  And I WILL make Frida her first outfit tomorrow – I’m definitely in the mood now.  We bonded so well over her new pram and quilt :-)

As for the pram – it needs a little work – I will scrub down the chrome with steel wool to remove the tiny bit of surface rust that is there.  Make a mattress and pillow for it.  There’s a few missing screws.  And the vinyl hood needs replacing – easy-peasy – I’ve seen the fabric at Spotty.  Yes, it shall be transformed into the loveliest little carriage for Frida.

Reminds me a bit of Clara’s wheelchair from “Heidi” – do you remember that?  The moment I thought of that, I remembered one of my all time favouritest booky scenes – when Heidi was climbing the mountain to stay with Grandpa and she had all her clothes on – remember!  Aunt Ditte made her put everything on she was taking, in layers.  And poor old Heidi was so clumsy and hot – she just ripped the things off as she bounded through the meadows, leaving a trail of clothes behind her.   This is the version I had with illustrations by Erika Weihs (an Jewish/Austrian artist who fled Vienna upon the outbreak of war, first moving to London, then New York) …

Goodness!  it was published in 1946 – I bet my Great Auntie Jean gave it to me – she only ever gifted us with beautiful second hand books that were precious to her.  And here’s Heidi all layered up, leaving with Aunt Ditte …

The pages of this book were really thick and porous and a special kind of smooth – that kind that is so full of acid, it disintegrates with time – and the shading in the illustrations was exquisite.  That’s what I remember the most – the soft, pretty colours that looked as if they had been smooshed into the paper with the artist’s fingers.  Oh how I loved it …

Look!  Here’s funny little Heidi – she’s arrived at Grandpa’s in her underwear!  Ahem – how did I get here from Frida in her carriage with a new quilt – oh that’s right!  Clara.  Oh and that’s what I was thinking!  A Heidi doll!!!!!!  With layers of clothing!  Such fun!  That is definitely on the “lovely-things-to-do-list” for the coming weekend.  Then Heidi and Frida can pop into the carriage together – head to toe – and both enjoy wee outings.

And when she’s not socialising with Frida, I can dress Heidi all up, one layer after the next – and then rip them all off again!  Good grief!  Wasn’t Aunt Ditte a dope.

And isn’t the quilt cute – and the pram.  Oh I do so love dollies.