Mary Poppins

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We’re Going on a TREASURE HUNT!

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Every now and then you need an adventure. Last Friday was our latest.

The front.

My wee sister Julie and I are very similar, but with a little twist on each similarity. I like crunchy peanut butter, she likes creamy, I like Crest, she likes Colgate, I like estate sales where I know the price and can “hem” and “haw” to my heart’s content. Julie likes the fast moving thrill of an auction.

Also the front. This store takes up several storefronts and there’s more stuff around the side.

At a recent auction – and the auctions in Iowa are huge and every bit as wonderful as you could imagine – she didn’t see a dollhouse until it had already sold. Later, when she told me about it, I asked her if she could contact the guy that bought it to see if he would sell it to me. He has a store, and that’s what he does. We offered $30, and he accepted!

So last Friday we set out to the little town of Peterson, Iowa, a scant hour away, to pick up the dollhouse and see what other treasures we could find at the man’s store. It’s called “ThriftnPick.” Here’s the WEBSITE, and here’s the FACEBOOK page.

We had SO MUCH FUN. The store was endless, with row after row, and cranny after cranny filled with treasures, many of which were .25! Wanna see some of the treasures I found?

Linens. A quarter a piece! Good, crisp cotton, or some are 100% linen, all with beautiful embroidery. I use them to make petticoats and underclothes for dolls.

<<<Speaking of embroidery, I got this stand because Julie and I have decided to take up needlepoint as a hobby. True to form, she’s picked crewel embroidery, I’ve chosen cross stitch. This one’s mine from Ebay. I love it! So Steampunk-y. >>>

Speaking of Steampunk, not many would get excited about a bag full of zippers, but this girl would! They have so many uses!

I also found this piece of metal. Another .25! I didn’t know what I would do with it, but it was something you don’t see everyday, so I had to have it. Dollhouse patio furniture, perhaps?

Some more odds and ends:

And now for the piece de la resistance, the dollhouse! It needs some work before I can actually start decorating it.

The front. I can work with this! There were extra pieces of wood inside, including tall, carved wood spindles that would be good for a porch that wraps towards the right. I think I’m going to channel the house in Mary Poppins, complete with a gated square on top.

The back. Here’s where it goes all wonky. There are some rooms only accessible from the inside. I’d like to have the whole back open with two pieces of wood, like a book. But this is good wood, and with a little modification, this will be a great dollhouse.

I also found this beautiful sign.

All in all, it was a glorious day! Including the $30 for the dollhouse, I spent just under $45. Not shown are the kitchen stool, the wooden dollhouse window, a jar of wood findings and a few other odds and ends. THIS STORE HAS NOT SEEN THE LAST OF US! It was like Disneyland. You couldn’t do the whole thing in one day. We’re going back for Julie’s birthday in a week and a half!

If you’re in the area, and love a good treasure hunt, you should go!

And with that, I leave you! Know what? Even with all these fun finds, you’re my favorite treasure!

Next up: RAGBRAI. What is Ragbrai, you may ask? You’ll soon find out!

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With A Tuppence…

kiteeqWho would have thunk it? That taking your wee dog out to “do his business” would inspire the next O.L.D.? But there was something about how the wind caught that grocery bag just so. I was transported…

There’s nothing quite like flying a kite. Especially when the breeze is just right, not too strong and not too weak, and there are no trees to get in the way, and your kite soars so high that you almost can’t see it…NOTHING.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo there I was, waiting patiently for my beloved Cairn terrier Teddy, pondering in the back of my mind what I should create next, and whoosh! The perfect breeze caught that bag! Instant inspiration! I couldn’t get back into the house fast enough. Meet O.L.D. No. 00035 Wendy. You can see her adoption page HERE.

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I couldn’t have the kite fly too high. After all, I wanted it to show in her gallery picture.

Not only did I want her to hold a kite that would stay aloft, I wanted her coat to look as if it was flying in the breeze as well. What to do? Luckily, I have wire in different guages. I stitched wires along the front lines of Wendy’s coat so that it could be formed to “flap” in the breeze. It can also be worn as a regular coat. All you need to do is straighten that wire.

Her coat fabric needed to be sturdy enough that the wires wouldn’t poke through, but light enough that the wires could support the floating. It worked pretty well!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI had the same issues to work out with the kite. I didn’t want the same thick wire that I’d used for the coat because kite string is thin. But the thin wire I had wouldn’t support the kite I wanted to make out of sticks and fabric. So I twisted two strands of the thinner wire together. Perfect? Nope! Delightfully homemade? You betcha! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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My inspiration kite. I loved the pompoms on the sides and the ribboned tail.

For her dress, I wanted something simple. Long ago I had a dress from the Gap. I loved that dress! It was sleeveless yellow with a faint black paisley pattern and a simple gathered waist. I considered adding trim or something more to Wendy’s dress, but decided to stick with simple for her as well. It’s now one of my favorites in a butter-colored linen.

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Her straw hat was made from a human-size straw hat that I took apart and re-stitched together.

It’s hard to believe that just the other day I was thinking about flying kites. Winter has reared its lovely head and cold soggy temperatures are back. But kite flying season is just around the corner! And when it arrives, I’ll be out there. So will Wendy!

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I couldn’t do a kite post without showing Mr. Banks! At the very moment when he is SAVED.

Sweet Hope was adopted by Sweet Michelle of Colorado! Thank you, Michelle! You are the wind beneath my….kite.

And with that, I leave you! Happy Wednesday, you’re my favorite!

Carpetbagger Bump In The Road

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That’s the “Carpetbagger” fabric on the left. It kind of looks like Mary Poppins magical bag, doesn’t it? The fabric on the right is for the robes. I love black and white, and I love swirls! Swirls for my girls!

Yesterday I went to Dodge. FORT Dodge, Iowa, that is. It was so much fun! The weather was sunny and bright and there was a toasty high of 1 degrees (windchill -5), but if you only looked at the sky, you could pretend it was summer!

I mainly went to go to Hobby Lobby to get fabrics for my dolls. We need sturdy and soft bags to transport them between minions. And we need robes to keep them decent while they’re being worked upon. Modesty counts!

Anyway, I found GLORIOUS fabric on CLEARANCE, no less! I purchased it, tickled pink and practically giddy.

Turns out, I love fabric almost as much as I love dolls. In our recent inventory taking, my mother and I discovered I have hundreds of yards of the stuff. HUNDREDS! If you fold it really flat and squeeze it *neatly* onto shelves super tight, it’s hard to tell. And I always want MORE, but I could hear my mother’s voice in my head: “You do NOT need any more fabric!”

She’s right, you know. Aren’t mothers always?

But THIS. This was a new necessary, these bags and these robes. I paid for my fix and practically danced out the store door. The cold wind didn’t bother me, not one bit! It was Christmas in March! Tra-la-lah! La-lah! As I walked, I did my usual hunting for my keys. Confidently reaching into my pockets, thinking of Columbo as I always do…

Huh-oh.

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*This is not actually me. But that’s how I looked. Except Older. And COLDER.

So CLOSE. And yet so far away. There’s not a more helpless feeling in the world. Your mind scrambles! I considered walking back into the store and yelling, “Does anybody know how to break into a car?!” Because THAT. That key right there in plain view was the only key to this here car. There IS no spare.

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Here it is, safely home in my comfy chair in my sewing room.

I’m one of the last people not to have a cell phone. Everybody else does, hence the lack of pay phones. I was freezing. The fabric was growing heavy. Carpetbagger fabric is NOT a light thing. In a nutshell, I’d begun to despair.

However! In the end, things worked out well. A kindly clerk at the next door Hy-Vee grocery store let me use the phone there. They knew exactly who to call, because one of them had done the same thing two weeks earlier. With the car engine running!

After I said my goodbyes and walked across the parking lot, the locksmith  was already there! While Fort Dodge is plenty bigger than Rolfe, it’s still relatively small.

The locksmith was friendly, and the cost was $35. Granted, I would have rather spent that money on *!MORE FABRIC!* But as bumps go, this one was mild. Keys firmly in hand, I put my future robes and transport bags safely in my car with one last pat before heading to my next destination.

Tra-la-lah! La-lah!

Tonight, at midnight! Chapter 28 Pinky’s Story.

Monty Python, Mary Poppins…Gary Larson…?

Chapter 19 Cheerleader Tower uses a lot of imagery for me.

19aI adore British Humor and have a special affection for Monty Python. This is so silly, but the following line has a whisper of a reference to them. See if you can tell:

(Hazel) almost opened her mouth to suggest that maybe they should wait until her mother arrived. Maybe she would know exactly where the Beacon was, but she quickly dismissed the idea. What would they do instead, twiddle their thumbs?

Two thumbs up if you guessed “The Killer Rabbit” scene in Monty Python & the Search for the Holy Grail, where the heroes are warned of a killer beast with bloody fangs that guards a cave. When they ride up (using coconuts for horses), they see the creature, and it is…a sweet, furry, white rabbit.

“What’s ‘e do? Nibble your bum?”

Okay, it’s probably a stretch, but it IS what I was thinking of, and what I think of every time I read that line.

19The next image for me is one of my favorite comic’s from Gary Larson. Here’s the text:

The morning sun was streaming in through the windows, highlighting the tiny particles of dust in the air so that they almost looked like falling glitter, as if they were inside a very large snow globe. At the thought of the attic being turned upside down shaken, Hazel smiled to herself and looked doubtfully up at the ceiling. She could see long slits of daylight here and there. The furniture and lamps would probably crash right through the rafters!

Now, that one’s a little more obvious, is it not?

19bLastly is one of my all-time favorites, Mary Poppins. Here’s the text:

“Here! Take this with you, Bets!” Dot was holding up a toy umbrella.

“In case she falls? I doubt she’d even have time to open it up!” said Hazel.

“No, silly! To help her reach!” Dot answered.

Hazel giggled, imagining herself waving to a rosy cheeked Betty as she languidly floated down, umbrella held aloft.

That one’s the clearest of all. Happy Thursday!