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Fabulous Finds

I have been finding the most wonderful things recently on my shopping forays to the flea market and various other locales.  My latest trip on Sunday to the Elephant’s Trunk and the Jenny Lind Doll Club’s  annual Doll Show were no exception.  Since I just returned last week from a whirlwind shopping trip to Bella Vista, Arkansas with 11 other women, you would think I would be all shopped out 🙂  Apparently not so!

Strands of pink colored bone beads will make charming doll size necklaces. I also have them in natural bone and indigo blue.

I was very excited to find strands of bone  beads at the flea market.   They are going to make wonderful Izannah necklaces and are available in more colors than the coral beads I have been using.  The bone beads are also just as historically accurate as the coral.  So now you will have your choice of both types of beads.

Antique white fabric and lace spilling out of a mid-19th century hide covered trunk. The wooden trunk, lined with period newspaper, is just the right size to hold an Izannah Walker doll and her wardrobe.

I’ve been frantically stocking up on all of the appropriate antique fabrics I can find.  It’s going to be a long winter with many fewer shopping opportunities.  I’m trying to make sure that I have enough fabric on hand to dress the dolls I will be making from now through early spring.  The only drawback is that it’s making me feel a bit like a squirrel putting away nuts for winter 🙂

Early 19th century German wooden doll, with intricately carved ball joints and turn of the 20th century indigo clothing. The doll stands next to a 19th century domed wooden trunk in original blue paint and a 19th century turned walnut spool holder /pincushion. Lying at her feet is an antique crochet sample booklet, made of brown polished cotton with pinked edges.

My shopping list, when I headed out to the doll show, consisted of one item – hand knitted doll socks.  Upon arrival at the show I very virtuously purchased numerous pairs of lacy knit stockings (they are the one and only item of apparel that I do not hand make for my reproduction Izannahs).  But then I got a bit sidetracked!  I happened upon a fantastic German wooden doll, dressed in indigo prints.

A closer look at my newly acquired antique wooden doll.

Her clothing is old, though not as old as the doll herself.  I’m estimating that her current ensemble dates to 1890-1910.  Her pantalettes and chemise are probably original to the doll, which was made in the first part of the 19th century.  Soon the wooden doll was carefully wrapped in tissue and residing in my shopping bag.  To make sure that she didn’t feel lonely, I added a pair of tiny bisque pincushion dolls, a 1920’s Japanese bisque doll, a vintage spun cotton ornament, two tiny wooden Noah’s Ark dogs, and a pair of vintage evergreens to keep her company.

These tiny bisque pincushion dolls, clad in pink silk, are barely 2 inches tall.
Another fun flea market purchase is this doll size polychrome folk art cupboard. There is a drawer in the bottom, big enough to hold an entire child size tea set.
The girls were quite pleased when I brought home this Izannah size mid-19th century doll chair, with a rush seat. They were getting tired of having to share one chair 🙂 The chair is sitting on top of a c.1750 Rhode Island blanket chest in original red paint, covered with a late 19th century hooked rug.
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Inspiration

Last month, when I went to the Harwinton (CT) Antiques and Design weekend, I happened across this fantastic portrait.  At the time I had just spent several days painting scallop topped boots on what felt like an entire army of tiny feet and sewing yards and yards of gathered white ruffles and lace.  Finding this painting felt like the hand of fate.

Harwinton Antique Show Labor Day weekend 2011
Susan Wechsler at the South Road Antiques booth wrapping up the portrait for traveling.
Such a great find from a wonderful dealer. You can find Susan by visiting http://www.southroadantiques.com or write to her at southroadantiques@me.com .
This doll has been sold, but you may special order a similar doll of your very own.

We’ve hung the portrait in our parlor, so that she over looks the wing-back chair and Sheraton sewing table, where I sit in the evenings to do my hand sewing.  That way whenever my thread tangles, I have to rip out stitches, or just generally need a bit of encouragement, I can look up for inspiration.  This tiny girl is a gentle guide to the look and feel of long past childhood, that I strive to convey in all of my dolls.   I am so happy to have found her!

She looks as if she could have been a model for one of Izannah Walker's dolls.