I haven’t sent out a newsletter in quite some time… the one overwhelming thing I most want to say is that I hope you, your families and loved ones are safe and healthy. This has been such a very sad and difficult year for our world.
I debated with myself about whether or not to write my annual Autumn Newsletter, but in the midst of such very unsettled and stressful times I find that I need a few happy, fanciful things to think about. Tiny bright spots that make life feel a bit more normal and remind me of better days. So I decided to go ahead and write, hoping that you might feel the same and be interested in a bit of studio news and upcoming events.
The dolls and I are busy making plans to celebrate Izannah Walker’s 203rd birthday on September 25th. I started writing my Izannah Walker Journal ~ Paula Walton’s Doll-Making Notes blog in January, 2009. The little Izzy’s and I have been celebrating the anniversary of Izannah Walker’s birth on my blog for ten years! Since my first birthday post on September 25th, 2010!
I’m getting a rather late start on preparations this year. I have to admit that since March I have been feeling much too antsy to make dolls… I have needed to do more physical, less detailed work. To be up and moving all the time rather than sitting… I have been throwing myself into taking care of my little remnant of an 18th century farm. My life is going through a lot of changes at the moment and one of the things I am exploring is the feasibility of farming on a very small scale, so I have been growing a few experimental crops and trying out new plants. I’m not at all sure that farming is in my future, but it has made for an interesting, busy, exhausting spring and summer. I have also been concentrating on taking care of my family and making things for them. I have made masks, masks, and more masks. Not nearly as many as some people I know, who have been donating them on a large scale, but I have still made a fair number ~ about 75 so far, with more requested and on my to do list. My concentration on family has included making toys with my granddaughter and sewing clothes for her first year of school.
Now, just finally, I am feeling as if I can return to making dolls, creating spun cotton fancies, and all the other art and handwork that I love. Apparently I am not alone in this, as I have recently been seeing comments and posts from other artists and craftspeople remarking that they too have not been able to work on their art and creations for months…
So please come join me at www.izannahwalker.com on September 25th, 2020 as the dolls and I celebrate Izannah Walker’s 203rd birthday! We will come up with something fun and festive to mark the occasion and I will be introducing my very first reproduction dolls of Sarah Alice, the latest antique Izannah Walker doll to join my Izannah family. There will be more details to come posted on www.izannahwalker.com , https://www.facebook.com/ASweetRemembrance , and https://www.instagram.com/asweetremembrance/?hl=en
In the meantime, if you would like a bit of extra Izannah Walker fun, you may want to watch a few of my videos on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/asweetremembrance/videos .
Other Studio Happenings
I am very, very honored to once again have been selected by Early American Life as one of their top traditional craftsmen in 2020. This marks the 41st time I have been juried into their prestigious Directory of Traditional Craftpersons. One of my dolls was featured in their August 2020 issue.
Both the Spun Cotton Ornament Class and Izannah Walker Doll Making Class member help sites have moved to private facebook groups. If you are a member of either class and would like an invitation to the group please email me. You must be a member of facebook to use the private facebook group.
In Closing Thank you all for your interest in my work for all these years. I have enjoyed getting to talk or correspond with so many of you! Knowing you has enriched my life. I hope that I have been able to add just a bit of fun, whimsy and knowledge to yours!
I’d like to leave you with this recipe for Birth-day Pudding. It is the recipe that the dolls and I baked for our first Izannah Walker Birthday Party in 2010, and what we will be making again to celebrate this year. It is very easy and quite delicious! You don’t even have to be a doll lover to enjoy it ~ lol!
Wishing you and safe and happy autumn!
Butter a deep dish, and lay in slices of bread and butter, wet with milk, and upon these sliced tart apples, sweetened and spiced. Then lay on another layer of bread and butter and apples, and continue thus till the dish is filled. Let the top layer be bread and butter, and dip it in milk, turning the buttered side down. Any other kind of fruit will answer as well. Put a plate on the top, and bake two hours, then take it off and bake another hour.
This receipt (aka recipe) is from Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt-Book by Catherine E. Beecher. Catherine Esther Beecher was born in 1800 in East Hampton, Long Island. She founded the Hartford Female Seminary in 1823 as well as other schools for young women in Ohio, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. She wrote A Treatise on Domestic Economy (1841) and Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt-Book (1846).
After buttering my dishes I dusted them with sugar, before layering in the bread and butter.
I cut the crusts off my bread, as the pudding was for a special occasion, but you certainly don’t have to. I saved the crusts as a treat for the wild birds in my yard. You may also save them to make stuffings, bread crumbs, or croutons.
I chose cinnamon, mace and nutmeg as my spices.
I baked my doll sized pudding in a custard cup, which would also be nice if you want to bake yours in individual portions.
I preheated my oven to 350 degrees and baked my puddings for 15 minutes, then I reduced the oven temperature to 250 degrees and continued baking for the remaining 2 hours and 45 minutes. I removed my doll size pudding from the oven after 30 minutes of total baking time. Your baking time is going to depend a lot on the size of your dishes and the thickness of your pudding, so check your oven fairly frequently. It’s also a good idea to put a cookie sheet under your dish, because my pudding bubbled over as it was baking.