Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Rock-A-Bye" in Victorian Style

I am joining Metamorphasis Monday at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch.  Be sure to pop over and check out all the neat make-overs and ideas

Ever since becoming a doll artist over five years ago, I have dreamed of owning a particular type of Victorian cradle.  And, if the cradle had a canopy........all the better would be my dream!

Here is an image similar to the one dancing through my head.

After searching for almost two years, one evening on Ebay, I found the answer to my dream.  It was a splendid Victorian cradle and looked to be in perfect condition for its age.  It was made around 1880 to 1890, and had all the spendor of the ornate turned wooden pieces.  To my delight, the cradle had its original post at the end with the carved stork to hold a canopy......(which is perfect because the name of my dolly nursery business is Storkland Special Deliveries.)

Since the cradle, which is rather large, was in Michigan and I am in Texas, I felt I should contact the owner and see about the shipping arrangements before I clicked the "Buy It Now" button.  After some communication, it was determined that the cradle could be shipped in three boxes.  One, the largest, had to be shipped via Fed Ex and the other two via the USP system. 

I breathed a sigh of relief.....and clicked the Buy It Now button before anyone else could reach for it. it was mine!

Traveling for a huge cradle was not as easy as expected.  There were a few bumps in the road, but it finally arrived to my happiness.  I regret to tell you that I lost the photos the day it arrived and I opened the cartons.  My previous laptop crashed and I lost some of my photos.....but here are the ones that I do have as I worked on the cradle bringing to vision my dream for it.

I chose a pale pink silk to make the bedding and pillow for the cradle.  It is so soft and dreamy looking.

And, yes, I sometimes use my dining table for large items that need to be spread out while pinning.  (in the background you can see my Mom's cut glass eggnog bowl that she gave me)  I love the way the light streams from the windows and the reflections that dart across the room from the cut edges)

The lace that I used to border the coverlet is not antique, but it looks as if it could be.  It is ecru and edged in the palest shade of pink.....very delicate.

Here is the finished coverlet inside the cradle.  The fitted sheet is made of ecru satin.  I had a real baby mattress custom made to fit the dimensions of the cradle since a "real" baby will someday be placed in the cradle.

In this photo you can see the lace panels that I made and attached to the wooden pole at the head of the cradle.  Since I had no canopy, I was still searching for one that I could reinvent (is that a word?)

One day while out looking in a thrift shop I spied an old wire frame from a lamp shade.......light bulbs went on in my head and the vision was complete......I would cover the wire frame with satin from the sheets and lace from the panels.  If you look closely inside the cradle, you can see the wire frame I am working on to form the canopy. 

Now you can see the completed canopy and "Hattie" sleeping away in the cradle.  I create awake babies most of the time, but I could not bear to think of an "awake" baby in the cradle with no attention all through the day and night, so you can laugh at me, but I made a sleeping baby as I felt I would relax more, and she does seem to be very comfortable in her dreamland.

In this photo you can see the matching pillow that I made to match the coverlet. It is bordered by the same delicate lace.

"Hattie" is named for a special auntie who never had children and doted on me as if I were her own.  I wanted to keep her memory alive so I gave that old timey name to this doll, as she is always on display and gets a lot of exposure.  In the bookcase beside the cradle is a photo of the real Hattie at age 17 in a beautiful white dress circa 1910.

Hattie is wearing a vintage dress that I found in an antique shop that dates to around the time the cradle was being used by real babies.  She has an 1889 baby rattle to keep her company.  It is dated on the rattle and has the baby's name engraved on the side.  The raised lettering says, "Silver Bells and Cockle Shells".

The little sterling baby rattle is small......about 5 inches long.

Here is the completed cradle..........all dressed in the vision of my dreams........and looking as if fairies encircle it ..............hoping for great grandbabies for Phyllis.  (someday but not now)  Let's wait until the boys are of proper age.

Thanks for visiting and for reading about my cradle.  Please, come back as you are always welcome here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pasta Dinner (chef inspired)

Inspiration comes from many different sources, and for me, just leafing through a magazine can sometimes spark my imagination.  On a recent snowy day, I was looking through an older issue of a cooking magazine, and saw a chubby little chef figurine in one of the layouts.  Oh, I remembered that Mr. B. had given one to me several years ago that was similar.  I loved it because he gave it to me for no particular reason, just thinking that I would enjoy it. 

This tablescape is for Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch by Susan.  This event is one of my favorites.  Be sure to click on her logo on the right hand side of the page and visit all the gorgeous tablescapes that are being presented.

My tablescape for tonight's pasta meal will feature "the gift" and honor it a bit.  Here is the "gift" and the inspiration for my tablescape.  It is the chubby chef standing and holding a platter of bread.

The chef is nothing special as to "who made it", or "being a collector item" just caught my husband's eye and he purchased it for me.

The dishes I have chosen to use are my Blue Danube by Lipper....... mine
 are the older ones.   I have always loved this pattern and truly hate that it has been discontinued!  That reminds me to be more careful while using them and storing away.  The salad plate is from a set of four, each with a different chef design, and made by BIA Condon Bleu.  I found the salad plates at Tuesday Morning.

The red tulips were recycled from my Valentine floral centerpiece used at my party last evening.

  The individual spreaders match the salad plates.  I thought I could use the spreaders as individual butter knives.  The stainless flatware is Golden Corsica by Wallace. 

The two figural glasses were made in Western Germany.   The gold rim is 24k gold. Each glass hold 6 ounces.  The figural stem is a Hummel figurine made by Goebel and the glass is made by Boeckling in Germany. I have a set of six and have always loved using them.  Even though my are old, they are still made today.

The container matches the salad plates and spreaders.  It is actually a utensil holder but I think it is a cute bread stick bucket.

The plates are held by a red charger with beaded edge from the discount store.  Not everything on your table must be costly.  Have fun and experiment with some of your favorite things.  I never save anything but try to enjoy and really use my "treasures" that are special to me.  It is not the cost value that makes an item a "treasure" heart deems it to be one.

Dinner is almost ready to be served.  Mr. Piggy is looking like he has it all under control this evening.

The napkins are from Ross and the napkin rings are Blue Danube that match the dishes.

  Bon Appetit, Mr. B !

Thank you for stopping by and visitng my blog.  It is always fun to see what others are doing on their tablescapes, and I appreciate each visitor.  Please, leave a comment if you have a moment to do so.  You are always welcome here!