Tuesday 28 January 2014

Bailey and the Russian Dolls!

I finished an outfit today and Bailey is modelling it for you.....I was inspired by these lovely wooden Russian matryoshka nesting dolls that I bought some years ago whilst on holiday.  I'd love to have them displayed like this but am always worried that the smallest one will become lost as she is only about 1cm tall, so I keep them 'nested'!!  I like that they are looking upwards, maybe it is because they are so small!  Notice their little musical instruments.

The outfit consists of a pinafore dress made from thick white cotton, all topstitched, half lined and closes with snaps in the back.  The Russian matryoshka doll has been appliqued to the front of the pinafore and I've picked out some of the details using tiny blue and white seed beads.  The long sleeved, high necked top is made from knit fabric in two shades of pink and she has matching long stockings that can be worn pulled up over the knees or pushed down for a more casual look!  The shoes are not included in the outfit.

If you are interested in purchasing this outfit for your Sasha, please contact me at - Outfit has now sold, thank you!

Thank you!!

Sunday 26 January 2014

The sun has got his hat on.....and so has Bailey!

"Hey, little one!  Where do you think you're both going, and undressed like that?!!!"

"Who us?" says Bailey...

 "well, we're going to the beach 'cos the sun is out! And I'm not undressed! I have my knickers on and my hat and boots!!  So I won't catch cold!"

"But it's only January, and we're nowhere near the beach!!"

"But we always go to the beach when it's sunny!"

"I know we do sweetie but not today, right?  Now go and put some clothes on before you catch cold!"

"But it's not cold mama, and I wanted to play in the water, look I have my armbands and I have my bucket and spade!  Look I have them all ready to go!" 

"Cheer up Bailey, don't be sad! Maybe we'll go to the coast next week and you can play in the sand if the weather's nice!  How does that sound?"

"OK! Can Chip come too please?  He has his rubber ring!"

"Yes, he can come along too, if he's a good dog!  Now run along and put on some clothes may be very warm today but it's still only January!"

Off she goes!!

Now some of you might be thinking that finally I'm covering my girls modesty by making them some knickers!!!  I have indeed been making this pair but they are not for my girls, they're for a friend!!  My own girls will have to have chilly cheeks for just a little bit longer until I get around to making them some for themselves!!!!  But I was quite pleased with how this first pair of knickers with frills on the back, came out!!!

Friday 24 January 2014

Estepa, a pictorial tour for Dee...and anyone else who'd like to tag along!!

After Wednesdays rainy photos, it was a pleasure to see the sunshine again yesterday and today, both outside AND on my laptop, where I have loads of photos stored of our town!

At Dees request, I'm sharing some of these photos, and hope you'll enjoy!  I have so many different ones that I might do an 'Estepa or Spain' theme now and again if anyone is interested!

This is a view from the convent above our town, it's actually situated at the top of our street.  The tower below is called Torre de la Victoria and at it's base are some attractive walled 'ruins' which are often used these days for weddings when the couple don't want to have a church wedding.  You can just see these to the left of the base of the tower.

This is the usual colour of the sky here, a deep and beautiful blue.

This is the top of the town, taken at dusk, and includes the Convent of Santa Clara, a silent order (The Poor Claires), The Monastery of San Fransisco, as well as the old cemetry, and was once surrounded by a protective wall....remnants of the wall can still be seen.   In the bottom right hand corner hidden in the pine trees is the municipal swimming pool, open from late June until early September and the building  in the middle with the red doors is the Fire station, which is manned by volunteers.

The local goats (and sheep) keep the grass down on public land and are regularly herded through the town.  It is not unusual to be held up in the street by the goatherd and his very large herd.

Looking across the olive groves towards Cordoba and beyond!

I couldn't resist adding this photo of the lemons on our tree, it is so packed with fruit at this time of year!

Looking from outside the Convent de Santa you can see parts of the old wall and here is the same area although looking up from below:

The tower below is part of the monastery of San Francisco

The white arch/gates were apparently once part of the old cemetary

Looking down over the town from above:

Photos taken early on a January morning, looking down the hill from outside my house

And looking up towards the Convent - the road and pavement have since been 'tiled' with cobblestones, which kept the road closed for several months while the work was done!!! (Yes, think shopping and having to drag bags of heavy groceries all the way up the hill!!!)

And finally for today, it is a tradition here that when a couple get married, their parents or friends might hire a local group of minstrels to come and serenade one or both of them,  during the early hours on the actual day of the wedding!!  I was lying in bed at about 4am one night and heard the most beautiful voices and music being played, looked out the window to see this group outside my neighbours window.  Until then, I wasn't aware of this tradition, but several neighbours were in the street in their nightclothes, so when another neighbour called me down, I joined in too, grabbing my camera on the way of course!  The group played for about half an hour, then the mother of the bride to be brought out trays of 'dulces' (sweet little cakes made locally) and Anis (aniseed flavoured liquor) which was passed around the singers and the neighbours!!!

And I have to say that even after all this activity during the night, the bride, Rosana, still looked beautiful at her wedding later the same day!

The bride to be, Rosana, and her future husband!

I hope you've enjoyed this brief 'tour' of Estepa, el corazon de Andalucia (the heart of Andalucia) and will join me another day!! 

Wednesday 22 January 2014

The Rain in Spain.....

Don't be fooled into thinking that the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain!!!  It actually falls very heavily on the town too!  It doesn't rain often here though, we have an average of more than 300 days of sunshine per year.....but my goodness, when it rains, does it rain!

Today it rained....and then came the hailstones!!!

The drains can never cope!!!  Sometimes this round heavy metal manhole cover actually pops in the air with the force of the water! 

And so on, down the hill it all goes, where it stops, nobody knows!

But whilst our street was flowing with water like the Rio Grande ;) just across the olive groves the sun was shining and the neighbouring towns were enjoying a bright sunny spring day!!!

Alas no dolly time today, but tomorrow is another day!

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Expecting a baby!!!

Yes, at my age!!!!

After all this time of procrastinating, I am finally expecting a baby!  Yes, he will hopefully be here next week.  It was all very simple in the end, no nine months of indigestion, swollen ankles and stretchmarks this time round, no, just a quick chat with Shelly and hitting a few buttons on Paypal and he's on his way!!!

And yes, I know I said that I didn't want to add any more dolls to my Sasha family, but  1) I had already decided before Christmas that I might want a baby (I have witnesses!!!), and 2) he is just a small little fellow and won't eat much so therefore doesn't count!! :)

Here is his photo stolen in broad daylight from Shelly's site:

And he's described as thus:

1969 Sexed baby boy in Dollydoodles outfit . This sweet faced little chap is one of the earliest babies produced and comes complete with his original stringing striped to his legs , usually these babies have a quirky brow but this little baby missed out ;o( . He has beautiful soft and silky perfectly styled hair and raised lids with dark brown eyes . His lips have oxidised. He comes wearing a velcro nappy and a sweet little Dollydoodles outfit which is a little loose at the waist so could do with some new elastic. 

I think I'm going to call him Alberto, or Bertie for short!

Monday 20 January 2014

The company of a good friend...

And a good book......are sometimes all a little girl needs!

Finally finished!!!!

I finally finished all my sorting out this morning.....I'm sooooo relieved, it took me more than a week but now it looks lovely and neat and tidy!  I feel extremely pleased with myself and my decluttered room!  All that remains on my work table, apart from my sewing stuff and my dolls, are the skirts I started on before I went on my mammouth clean-up!!!  I will hopefully get to finish those this week!

I ended up taking more than 550 photos of fabric, which was then individually bagged and boxed.  I have sorted by colours and have sent 3 very large sacks and one medium sized one for recycling, I've filled two large sacks with rubbish which was taken away last night (our rubbish is collected every night except for Saturdays and Fiestas, thankfully!!).  I had to laugh at my photos though.  The last few, taken yesterday, are so different from the rest....I couldn't get to the iron or the ruler, so the fabric was all crumpled up in the last few photos!!!

Thanks for all the words of encouragement!!!!

My work table with my Sashas and Natterers watching over my work!

My yarn is now neatly stored in a box on top of my display unit.

My IKEA storage unit, each drawer now contains one colour of fabric...the rest is stored in big flat boxes under my work table.

Now to get on with the sewing!!!!

Saturday 18 January 2014

Will it ever end........?

I really thought I'd be finished with this darn sorting out by now, after all I've been at it all week, but it seems that with every box or drawer I sort out, so there is another pile of mess created behind me.  I've filled two great big sacks and one medium sized one with fabric that I no longer 'need' and it's all going for recycling as I write.   I have taken more than 520 photos of fabric, have ironed and individually bagged each and every piece and logged them all on my computer.  I've sorted out more than 15 plastic drawers and boxes and still have more to go.  How can one person accumulate so much fabric????  You wouldn't mind if I'd been sewing forever but I've only been doing this for about 7 years!!!!

All moaning aside though, I have to say that the good side of the sorting is how it has taken me down Memory Lane.  So many pieces of my fabric were gifts from lovely friends!  I was reminded of when a very large box arrived unexpectedly on my doorstep from a friend in the was filled with wonderful things such as beautiful fabric, tiny buttons, patterns and even a Natterer doll!!!!  And another friend, May from Australia, who regularly sent me fat quarters that she'd seen and "just knew" I'd love!!!  May passed away last year so those pieces are particularly really is time I made something nice with them, instead of always "saving" them until I find just the right outfit to make!!  And lots of other lovely pieces that were sent to me over the years!  I really am very lucky and blessed with my friends!

Anyway, in case anyone is in any doubt that I might be exagerating, here are some photos I took today!!!

The Sashas and Natterers finally see the light of day again!!

The empty (for now!)  boxes are starting to stack up precariously!

But this is still the state of the floor! (Oh and you can see that I've spread out into the hall now too!  Oooops!!!

More boxes waiting to be sorted!

And more fabric waiting to be ironed, photographed, bagged and boxed!

I need to start on this shelf unit next, and find a better home for the BJD boxes on top!

These boxes are full of denim....I mean how much denim does one dolly seamstress need??

Oh what fun (!), more things to sort and find a home for!