6 December 2016

Where might Milly-Molly-Mandy live?

Did you ever read Milly-Molly-Mandy?

I'm in my forties now and Milly-Molly-Mandy is still my favourite set of bedtime reading books.  Even if I'm reading something else, I more often than not end the night reading a quick Milly-Molly-Mandy story and that means I end the day with happy thoughts of a quaint little village life far removed from this cluttered world we live in today.

I want life to be like Milly-Molly-Mandy's world.  I want to hoppity skip along hedgegrows past the 'nice white cottage with the thatched roof', knock on little-friend-Susan's door and ask if she'd like to come out to play.  

I want to go down to the village and pass Billy Blunt fixing his box on wheels and then decide whether raspberry drops would be better to have than toffee from Mr Smale's grocer's shop.

I spend an unashamedly large amount of mental energy imagining where Joyce Lankester Brisley might have based Milly-Molly-Mandy's village on.  Do you think it was inspired by a village local to her own childhood days?

Joyce was born in Bexhill-on-Sea in East Sussex and in one of the stories Milly-Molly-Mandy goes on a daytrip to the seaside by train so she couldn't have been far from the coast.  Milly-Molly-Mandy and her Aunt had to take the red bus to the next town to catch the train so the village is located near a town with a railway. 

Could the village be based on ALFRISTON in East Sussex perhaps?  
It's certainly one of the prettiest old villages around that area and it's close to Berwick town which does have a railway and goes to the coast?

Mmm... we'll never know what Joyce based her little world on but it is fun to imagine.

  Perhaps she may even have been friends with Verity Hope.



Susannah x

27 November 2016

Festive Fairies

I am a little thrifty by nature 'make do and mend" comes very naturally so I get great joy from using left over notions and bringing fresh life to them.

For the longest time (probably a decade) I've had a stash of pretty ribbon flowers.  

Since Christmas is coming up I thought the flowers would lend themselves very nicely to turning into fairy dresses for some little dolls to hang on the tree.   It was also the perfect excuse to utilise some bright red and pink embroidery silks I've not used.

I made the wire armature bodies in the same way as in the DOLL KITS except I made the limbs slightly thinner since they're going to be fairies (and fairies need to be light weight in order to fly).

Then on went the ribbon flower petal skirts.  I had to unravel them slightly so the fairies could put their legs through, and then gathered them in at the waist.  Some glitter thread was added to the legs to add a bit of sparkle...

 Next came the bodices.  I decided to needle felt this part to give the fairies a nice warmth for the cold Christmas season and a little more sparkle thread brightened them up nicely.

These heads were an older prototype version I designed before I settled on the Verity Hope doll heads for the KITS so they were going spare.  Perfect to use for a Christmas fairy project.

Bubble gum pink hair complimented the little outfits fabulously...

Soon they were coming to life...

No fairy is complete without some wings....

And to finish off... little squashy Strawberry Shortcake style hats finished off with a ribbon bow....

Now these fairies can keep the little pink brigade happy.... 
A whole new friendship circle is being formed on the fairy tree!

Happy festive doll making!
Susannah x

10 November 2016

Autumn Cosiness...

What do you like about autumn? 
I like autumn because it's a very cosy time of year.
I love it when the evenings begin to draw in and we can shut the curtains around 4 o'clock...

get into a dressing gown early, curl up in a chair and do some craft work in front of the telly (I would like to say 'warm log fire' but this is 2016 and 'telly' is a modern delight) : )

This is a particularly cosy 1920s illustration of Milly-Molly-Mandy sitting in her dressing gown with  Little-Friend-Susan.

 I imagine the curtains are closed, a soft flickering light and the warmth from the kitchen agar keeps them happy and warm while the autumn leaves tumble in the wind outside.


During these darkening evenings I am busy getting the first Verity Hope doll kits ready.  

I've chosen soft tones for the fabric to bring a sense of homely warmth.  
This is a mish-mash of some of the fabrics in the possible range.  They are all based around 1930s designs and will be used in the dresses...

The next question is how best to package the kit.  This is one idea about using an illustration rather than an image, although if I use this concept I would include actual images of each doll too, perhaps on the back cover.

Doll kits will soon be on their way.

In the meantime during a recent autumn walk (actually a newly discovered pathway I was most thrilled to discover), Nancy and I came across this beautiful autumn blossom... OR are they berries?

Excuse my ignorance but does anyone know which tree it is?
They look like they want to burst open at any moment...

Young Alice and Katy in their new Liberty print dresses wandered off to the mossy area to catch the warm rays of the autumn sunshine.  There's an awful lot to take in when you're only 3" tall and sometimes they go off for hours on end.  I know they always stick together though so am never worried about bad tempered pixies approaching them.

Here are some lovely illustrations by the wonderful Holly Hobbie.
She conjures up a perfect autumnal world in her beautiful images.  I think you will agree... 

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Happy days to all those who still play!
Thank you for visiting,
Susannah x

30 October 2016

Verity Hope Finds Some Pixie Mushrooms

Aren't these the most delicious looking emoji mushrooms!.... thought Verity Hope.

I have to agree with her, they do look rather scrumptious but we know better not to touch or eat them don't we Verity Hope! What a delight to see them at the foot of a beautiful birch tree at the beginning of autumn.

Although a favourite with fairies and pixies, the mushroom's real name is Amanita Muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly amanita.  


So there you have it.  I'm not going to real off a load of facts about them in my blog but for those who are interested in knowing more about these wonderful beauties, here is the Wiki link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_muscaria

Back to Verity Hope.... as soon as she saw this voluptuous display she absolutely had to run back home as fast as her tiny wire legs could carry her and tell her friends about them.

Hattie and Winnie were so excited when hearing Verity Hope's thrills and exclamations, jumping up and down with bubbles of excitement, all three of them simply HAD to go back and take a look.

Obviously some sort of pixie jamboree party had taken place the night before...

 (remembering the one last winter she saw) 

since half of the delicious mushrooms had been munched.... 

 Or maybe it was that greedy Gnome Verity Hope had seen skipping around the woods the other day. 

 Verity Hope had seen a couple of Gnomes bickering the other day over something... could it have been about who had first bite of the mushrooms?

Anyway... whoever it was must now have a very full tummy... if a little sore?!
 I hope nobody had been living in them like this young man...

 They'd now have a very leaking roof : (

Ahh!!... but wait a minute.... has Verity Hope spotted something?

Some sort of sticky residue hanging off the side of one of them?  Looks rather revolting close up don't you think?


 Now THAT'S  a fat slug if ever I saw one!

 Look at it's breathing holes... 

And to finish this adventurous afternoon in the woods, Winnie and Hattie play a game of hide and seek... 
 Shss... she's behind you...!


 I hope you enjoyed this post.
Please share and like it with people you know and enjoy making little scenarios with your own little Verity Hope doll made from the kit.

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Thank you for visiting and 
Susannah x