Little Rescued Baby Doll

Recently at The Scrap Exchange, Michaela found a porcelain doll head in a bin.

“Oh, poor little thing!  Do you want her?”  I asked Michaela.

“No.  You can have her.”

She went into my basket and came home with me.

She found new life on the top of one of my little charm jars that I keep in the art cove.

Doesn’t she look happy?  I think she does.

She makes me happy.  And you have to be happy in your art cove.  If you want to create anything, that is.

You know that I had been making polymer clay lids for jars already…

I was making mostly birds.  Then right before Christmas I was inspired by an issue of Somerset Workshop featuring gorgeous doll art by artist Vanessa Valencia of A Fanciful Twist.   I tried making a doll of my own using the instructions in the magazine, only I used mine to top a jar.

I made her with a mind to give her to my sister for Christmas.

Which I did.  I love being inspired by the work of others!  Perhaps my little Barefoot In The Garden dolls can have thread for hair!  Wouldn’t that be fun?

Women need to create things.  Does it make you happy to create?

Enjoy this day.


That’s What I’m Talkin About

Being caught up on my lesson posting and having two loads of my clothes hung out to dry.

Week #23 (01/31 – 02/04/2011)
Saxon 53, 54
Math drill sheets
Violin practice daily
Violin lesson
02/03 FIAR Beyond co-op — periodic table of elements; pollution
Betsy Tacy chapter 8
Thomas Edison Young Inventor chapters 5, 6
Copywork #26
Wrote some original nursery rhymes!
Completed entry for this
Rabbit care
Journal writing

Enjoy this day!

Domestic Happiness

Lately I’ve gone back to separating my house up into so many rooms per day for my weekly cleaning.  Yesterday I cleaned the kitchen and the hallway (which includes the staircase and the landing upstairs).  Today it’ll be the living room and the den.  Tomorrow will be the bathroom which doubles as the laundry room (sort of), the mudroom, and the master bedroom.  Thursday will be the upstairs bathroom and the pantry.  And so on and so on, until the house is cleaned.

I plan to stay on this cleaning schedule at least until March, to get rid of some clutter and also to get the house really clean in time for the gardening season, at which point I can disappear behind a pile of mulch and pretend like I don’t hear the desperate calls coming from the house for food and clean clothes.

Seedlings will emerge, the days will lengthen, bursts of color will fill my yard and my mind, until finally fall will be here and my house will be full of cobwebs and dirt tracks (from me tracking through the house in dirty garden clothes) and I will live in an overwhelmed state of panic, dread, and probably a lot of standing and staring, until finally I realize, after a long winter of eating too much, that I probably should go on the so-many-rooms-per-day cleaning schedule so that I can be ready for spring.

And so life goes on.  And on and on and on.  A sane person might say, What’s the point? and just decide that cleaning is not worth it, and neither is gardening for that matter, and just give up the domestic ghost and live in a sea of crumbs.  So what if there’s a weeks worth of food on anyone’s clothes?  Does it matter?
Oh, but it does!  There’s something good about working and cleaning and taking care of things.  There’s something to being domestic and finding joy in polishing wood and spraying down countertops.   There is good in raising children to put things away.  (Even if I have one errant child.  But lets save that for another post.  Okay?)

I surfed around some yesterday reading about domesticity and raising little homemakers.  All I’ll say is that it can be overwhelming to try to achieve another person’s concept of domestic perfection, but I think we can all appreciate the wonderfulness of doing one thing thoroughly and then standing back to admire it.   So I pried Michaela away from the animal rescue videos she was watching and we went into the kitchen together and happily began to clean.

We sprayed down cabinets and counters with water infused with grapefruit essential oil.  We soaped up four cleaning rags from the rag box and put them under our bare feet and skated around the kitchen floor until it was smooth and shiny (as shiny as old can be).

We stopped to dance in circles at one point at which Annie barked and jumped with excitement.   I called a halt to the festivities at a reasonable interval, reminding Michaela that we’ll be back in the kitchen next Monday, so let’s not go crazy.

I went to bed content that the two rooms on my list got cleaned well, clean enough to mark off the list and my daughter learned a touch about routines and being a little homemaker.  (I’m not sure why, but Frank Sinatra’s “I Did It My Way” is playing in the back of my mind.)

The air was full of a clean citrus smell that even Michaela noticed and appreciated.  My oldest son remarked on how good the floor felt.  (Obviously my children have something to compare to!)  A Japanese-looking lantern sat in the upstairs window, flickering with a cinnamon candle, sending out a warm signal to passersby, at least I hope, that this is a home much loved and lived in.  We may not be domestic perfection, but we are happy and alive and trying.

Enjoy this day!


Glad Greetings Cottage

I wanted to share with you the latest little house that’s going to market.

Isn’t it amazing, and fun, to see what can be made from old boxes and things that would otherwise go in the trash?

The cottage is called Glad-Greetings because of the little girl on the support column and her Glad Greetings.

Made from a cardboard box, this little cottage has wood floors, fabric walls and a beautiful lace “wall paper border.” It comes with handmade furniture.

There’s a fireplace in the corner, with a hearth and a little pot made from Sculpey and wire.

Cork and wire make for good curtain rods, and lace always makes pretty curtains.

The sleigh style bed boasts storage drawers underneath, of course covered in sparkles and with dainty wire-and-bead drawer pulls.

The little window sill is big enough for sitting things on, perfect for a little fairy who lives in the woods and collects things.

A chinese take-out container was cut in half and then covered in fabric to make two beautiful wingback chairs.

The containers were unused and probably would have ended up in the trash were it not for The Scrap Exchange.

I put in a little Kelly doll to illustrate the size of the furnishings.

A clock and little dishes made from Sculpey have started filling in the cupboard, made from a little gift box.

I hope you enjoyed your tour!

Enjoy this day.