Friday, May 30, 2008

Blog Birthday Giveaway!!!!!

In honor of my blog's birthday month--yah,yah--I am giving away a little matryoshka that I made. :-)
I will randomly select from comments which have been left on this post before next Weds.--June 4th.
I will announce the winner on June 5th right here on Gingerbread Cottage! Yeah!!!

Thanks for stopping by! :-)

Many, Many Thanks!!!

It is just over a year now that I found crafty blogs--what a find! I was getting ready for my annual summer camp with my two girls, trying to find projects for us to do together and I stumbled upon Molly Chicken and thought I had died and gone to heaven. I was searching for ribbon bracelet examples or instructions and looked under fabric bracelets and the first google hit was for Molly Chicken's tutorial for scrap fabric bracelets. Now while I didn't use this bracelet tutorial for summer camp I did make one of my own later in the summer last year.

I soon found Allsorts and this led to link after link......I soon got rather dizzy with blog overload--a very pleasant place to be ya know. :-) This has been a great blogging time for me, visiting all the lovely blogs out there and having my own blog inspires me to work on projects and post pictures that brighten up my little corner. :-) Thank you--all you fabulous bloggers--you see--you brighten up my life!--and make me smile often! :-)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Who is this?

This little doll is all ready. Check back tomorrow to find out what's going on........

By the way--Happy, Happy Birthday Mom!! :-) Love ya!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


This man is dressed in rags poor fellow and I had to pull out the rags to clean and dust today poor me. :-0

I have no idea where this man was made or by whom, but why the frown? Maybe he has dreams of being a dapper fellow and he just can't get it right. :-)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mini Dolly

Isn't she sweet? Such a pretty face and a dotted dress! Do you see the lace trimming the bottom of her dress? This little doll is attached to a pink ribbon that makes a necklace. My grandma gave her to me back in the 70's--yes, if you didn't know it from before in looking thru my blog, I am like a squirrel who tucks things away in a nest. You never know what I might pull out next. :-)
My grandma had been on a trip to England and had brought her back for me. In looking at her again just now I see that she is very much like a little babushka doll with her covered head.
Underneath her dress is a heavier bead? that is cloth covered and it holds the doll upright when it is around your neck.

Swirly Blue Buckets and Hand Pumps

This scene reminds me of Country Living magazine (American version) about 15-20 years ago. All the houses stuffed with antiques from pioneer times. I started getting this magazine in the 80's and I still do today--among many other magazines. :-) I still like the magazine now but I'm tired of all the white stuff in every room--white walls, white furniture, even the plates turned backwards on the wall so only the white shows--just like I got tired of the dark pioneer/colonial look and the overstuffed rooms.
The swirly blue and white bucket here is just beautiful tho--the intensity of the blue is like cobalt paint in a tray.
I guess not many of us would go back to pumping water with this hand pump but I was thinking about the high costs of nearly everything now and how the Amish have managed to stay off the power grid, grow/can/butcher much of their food still and how smart their lives seem. They have time for family, time for their children, and yes, there is the hard work, but often done together. Not ideal maybe but somehow smart in lots of ways........

Monday, May 26, 2008

Thank You

A small town cemetery in memoriam.
The American cemetery in Normandy.
Thank You, veterans.

Small town visit

Jars of seed at the hardware. Envelopes on another shelf held hand-collected seed for sale.
As I mentioned yesterday we took a drive and poked around a little Amish town. We drove around the county a bit but the weather was not great and we didn't see many people out and about. Speaking of hardware stores and Amish at the same time reminds me of a trip to Ohio Amish country and Lehman's Hardware in Kidron, Ohio. It is the mecca of old-time hardware stores serving the Amish with a whole aisle dedicated to oil lamps for example--replacement globes of various sizes, wicks, metal parts. It's hand tool area is superb. They have a catalog and are online, here.

I really like the colors in this quilt. A small museum in this little town had an exhibit of quilts. There was a fabric store in town with lots of quilting material--not Amish but nice to wander thru anyway. ;-)

A little embroidered purse that Em purchased for herself.

A couple of well worn dollies resting. The purply cape of the one doll is such a pretty color don't you think, especially with the lilac of her dress?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Precious Buds Unfurling

My heart's been wrenching and swelling in turns around here lately watching my two girls mature and blossom. Meg signing up for a college class and not needing a wit of help, finishing finals and projects with finesse, when did she get so accomplished? And Emmy singing solo for her music class, swinging back and forth in nervousness but not running for cover as surely I would do even now when facing a group from stage. Yikes! Mommy pride! :-)

The doll of the day is a picture of stickers that I nabbed over at little apple craft on Etsy. This is half of the sticker sheet that I enlarged because the stickers themselves are itty-bitty--I needed my reading glasses just to see them clearly--Meg said that was reason enough to give them over to her--since I couldn't even see them--no chance kiddo! ;-) (italicizing the smiley--cool idea found over at Allsorts--of course)

Pencil-neck Kokeshi?

I have never seen this kind of kokeshi with these thin necks, but I'm enchanted just the same-- with necks striped just like pirate socks .
I found these in a little antique shop in an Amish town we drove to yesterday. I had recovered fast from the night-time sickos--thank goodness and we all wanted to go for a drive.
The man who ran the shop had a few wooden and cloth dolls in his shop but most with prices much too precious for me--I should have taken pictures--didn't think. He had two Joli dolls from Poland marked at $12 each--condition poor--and for pete's sake these dolls were sold in the 1970's! I dreamt about a cloth doll with a Hungarian/gypsy? outfit he had for $35 tho--again pretty poor condition--but a sweet face.
Anyway, I got both of these Kokeshi for $10. :-) Does anyone know about the thin necks on these kokeshi? Any websites to suggest with info. on older kokeshi?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Favorite Picture of the Day

This is a project from a Marie Claire Idees--I forget what issue right now, but I love the simplicity and the colors of this little sewing kit. Have to do one up soon. :-) Not right now tho and I'll be back later today or tomorrow and add a doll. I had a minor case of food poisoning in the night and I still feel queasy....... :-(

Friday, May 23, 2008

Yeah, its Friday!!

I love long weekends-duh! I hope I can do lots of fun things down in my art room. :-)

And the dollies for the day are these three matryoshka beauts that hang out together at the end of a shelf in my art room. They hail from Russia, of course, except for the left-most one that is from Poland. The little polka dotted hamster in front is from the Hamtaro craze in Japan a few years ago. The girls and I went on ebay out of HongKong and ordered a huge set of these hamsters in all different outfits as well as the more familiar Hamtaro characters from the animated series, like Oxnard, Boss and Bijou. Does anyone want to see photos of these? :-)
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Garden Color

Oh my, the colors that are going to grow in my garden! :-)

And here's my brand-new garden hat! Thank you Amy! :-)
Lastly, some matryoshka love. :-) A painted ornament--I love her sweet face.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Little Lady Doll

Hi ! Thought I'd put up a quick post about this little doll head with bust. I found her in a thrift/junk shop that I loved in Clarksville, TN. It was in this old house that was filled to the gills with stuff--some really cool and some just regular stuff. Carefully stepping thru the tight aisles and the stacked shelves it was fun to stumble across little finds like the one above. I don't know what the doll's head and bust are made of, but I love how she is painted right down to her upturned nose with its chip.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Gotta love this circus tent and acrobat that Emmy drew for me on Mother's Day. It is still up on our erasa-board in the kitchen. The other side features a chalkboard which I didn't take a picture of--it has a clever Emmy message on it. The other night, right before bed, Em wanted something to eat. I was cleaning up all the yucko dishes--why can't they clean themselves I ask--anyway I nixxed the whole bedtime snack idea, saying that the "kitchen was closed". Emmy's little sign then went up on the board "Kichen is Open even for girls that beg". She didn't get the snack, just a laugh. :-)

Have a great day!
Almost forgot the doll for the is an earlier sign from Em with a Brownie. Emmy loves to pretend she is running a shop and takes orders for meals that she then puts together for us. She just told me that she wants to learn to make a real supper. I asked which one--she said meatloaf! It is a yummy meatloaf recipe. I'll share it when she makes it--it has bbq sauce all over the top. :-)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Scrolly Ironwork

Lots of beautiful iron here. We toured this old home on Saturday and the iron reminded me of other pictures that I've taken.

These two are from a smallish town in Belgium. We visited when it was early, early spring so it is not as colorful in these pictures as it gets with all the flower boxes in bloom.

Below is a picture from Chicago's Art Institute.

And a picture of our back door in Germany with a metal door "mat" that I mounted on the wall. Do you see how skinny the screen is for our back door? All sorts of weird sizing to get used to in Germany--doors, windows, wardrobe closets that were sort of convenient with one side of built in dresser drawers but almost too shallow for a hanger. :-)

In keeping with the doll a day in May here is my final picture. Not exactly a doll, but a gnome hiding behind the rosemary, in our German garden. At the time I worried he would disappear and go visiting somewhere else. Some garden gnomes would magically disappear, maybe they would go on vacation--I don't know. (see the French Garden Gnome Liberation Group here) History of garden gnomes can be found here. :-) I don't have him out in my garden now--the backyard isn't fenced and we always have kids "visiting" thru the yard. Nice for Em but hard on the flowers and gnomes. /:-)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Happy Sunday!

Surely you would like some tea, yes? Or possibly some hot cocoa--much more to my liking. :-)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Old Tattered Notepad

An unassuming little notepad, a gift some 35 years ago from my grandma, is a repository of names. All the same name in this case, mine. For some long forgotten reason, probably just a whim, I started signing this little notepad once a year, also noting how old I was at the time. Amazingly enough I have only missed one year and that was just recently when our things were in storage for a long time as we got resettled.

This is the first page starting with the childish hand of a 10 year old on up thru a few years. It is fun to look back and see how my signature evolved, from child to adult--that 14th year, trying something completely different, to married adult, with a whole new last name. The last several pages of the notepad aren't that interesting, as my signature rarely looks very different now, but I just signed it again this year marking another year passed.
And strolling down memory lane brings me to the Doll of the Day. A Raggedy Andy doll that my grandparents let me buy long ago. My sister and I had gone to visit them without our parents--we were finally old enough and we all went shopping at a big department store after they had taken us out to eat--a huge treat at the time. Well, after much looking--they must have been driven nearly crazy with our indecisions, we decided on a doll we wanted--my sister got the mini Raggedy Ann and I wanted the mini Raggedy Andy. Still such a cutie! :-)

Have a good, good weekend, thanks for stopping by. :-)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mrs. Jarley

My mom and I were inspired by the book Art Doll Chronicles (Somerset Studios) when it first came out and we exchanged dolls with each other. Mrs. Jarley is the doll I created before sending her off naked--not a stitch of clothing or hair--she was so embarrassed to travel thru the mail that way. But mom dressed and fixed her all up before shipping her back to me. I don't have a picture of her doll that I dressed, unfortunately. I recently gave Mrs. Jarley the mega-diamond bracelet on her wrist. She would like to think that it is a family heirloom. :-)
Mrs. Jarley's name is borrowed from Dickens' book The Old Curiosity Shop where she was the proprietor of the traveling waxwork. My Mrs. Jarley is a gypsy that Mom wrote a story for--she made her a descended member of the Vlad family--as in Vlad the Impaler. You have to look closely and you'll see a small band-aid on her wrist. Yikes! It is too funny! :-)
Naughty Mrs. Jarley's purse has a secret......

Check out the cute little socks that mom knit.
This is Mrs. Jarley's box. I stamped my own carved designs of different Indian designs onto tissue paper before tearing and gluing to the box.

Inside the box is Mrs. Jarley's journal with her story. :-)

Here is the first page of the journal. This is the only picture I have of poor Mrs. Jarley before mom fixed her all up.