Thursday, February 25, 2010

With Fond Thoughts of Spring Ahead

Coming soon ... the imfamous "wearing of the green" (and the mischevious Cordwood Cabin Kitties return!)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Doll Bodies Everywhere ...

So, to distract ourselves from our work, we thought we'd show you some lovely pictures of something else instead:

Awwww. Now isn't that much better than some photos of doll bodies lying around?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Few of Our Favorite Things: The Victorian Trading Company

It's always exciting when one of these catalogs arrives in the mail ...

... a sentiment shared by Victorian and vintage arts fans everywhere. Not only are the pages loaded with eye candy for antique lovers and romantics at heart, but the Victorian Trading Company seems to have something for everyone.

Candy molds, books, dresses and scarves, ornaments and decorations, even home furnishings, all inspired by the elegant styles of long ago.

The products offered are from a variety of vendors, from clothing and jewelry designers to unique mainstream products (such as the Little Big Book series). Mercury glass reproduction ornaments, tantalizing peppermint bark, knit flower scarves -- that's just a handful from the Christmas catalog (shamefully, I keep the back issues of these catalogs to re-read sometimes).

Getting swept away in visions of Victoriana is a good way to spend the afternoon. Enjoy the catalog with a cup of tea (and maybe a bite of peppermint bark for good measure). The company's offerings will have you drooling with envy in no time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Mad Hatter

Even with a million watches, I suspect the Hatter would still have trouble telling time from ravens and writing desks ...

Cut from prim muslin fabric and handpainted with soft and bold colors, the Mad Hatter has poseable arms and legs. Forgive his hat hair -- the top hat fits snugly with a lowered brim from underneath which peer a pair of blue-brown eyes...

A bit eccentric perhaps, with that choice of tie. But he seems quite satisfied with himself for all that.

The Mad Hatter is the first of our new Wonderland dolls made available on Ebay this week, starting Tuesday night. Click the Chessy Cat to the right to see the Hatter starting on Wednesday.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Up, Up, and Away ...

The "beautiful balloon" project of delicate glass ornaments wasn't inspired solely by recycling efforts or the irresistable shape of the classic incandescant bulb (although a little Wizard of Oz was probably lurking somewhere in the idea) ...

... nor was it based on the lyrics of the melodious "My Beautiful Balloon" which is no doubt playing right this minute on a classic oldies station somewhere ...

Instead, the concept is largely inspired by Victorian blown-glass ornaments, turn-of-the-century treasures that still inspire modern collectors. These pieces were elegant, delicate, featuring diminutives baskets bearing a miniature paper Victorian Santa aloft in many cases, like the one picture belowed.

We've duplicated that design in part, with miniature paper-mache baskets and two-sided vintage reproduction paper figures straight from Victorian cards, letting them dangle below painted glass surfaces.

This particular design was inspired by vintage Shiny Brite ornaments, the soft colors and starry night design that decorates some of their most popular ornaments. The pink is a popular Shiny Brite color.

The "shiny brite" version, like the striped balloon below, is trimmed with Christmas tinsel, including the silver star motif that forms the top loop and winds its way around the balloon ...

... although the figure inside the one below is hardly as conventional as the cozy snowman couple joyriding above. What mischief could this wee witch be up to? Possibly a future appearance in the "Little Holiday Shop" for the Halloween line.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Truth Behind the Photo Lies

Although well is meant,

there's nothing content,

in two cats forced to share

the same bed.

They share a complaint

(no cat is a saint)

'Of this other one --

why can't we be rid?'

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Few of Our Favorite Things: Little Big Books of Everything

For Christmas, I received one of my all-time weaknesses (and another missing piece for my collection): The Little Big Book of Halloween.

I'm not just a sucker for all things Halloween, but a sucker for Little Big Books in general. The Tabori series of whimsical thick volumes, rife with amazing vintage illustrations and clever stories from the who's who of literature ... plus recipes, advice, how-tos, and other extras ... are irresistable from cover to contents.

As if it's not clever enough, these grown-up volumes packaged like children's books (for the child at heart, of course), the series covers anything and everything, making it impossible to own just one.

There's the Little Big Book for Dads ...

... for Moms ...

... of Christmas, for tidings of comfort and joy all year round.

And many, many more, including the Little Big Book of Dogs, of Weddings, of Pregnancy, of Girls .... well, I could go on and on here, but it's time to stop. And maybe read another chapter of "Chills and Thrills".
For curious readers, the vintage illustrations are gleaned from the cream of the children's crop and marvelous vintage cards and ads of old. A few names? Try Jessie Wilcox Smith and Kate Greenaway, for starters.