Feb 09 2013

My last visit to IKEA was shocking. Everything went fine until I rounded the corner in the children’s section. Then I saw them.

I was eyeball to snouts with cold, hard reality. In an unabashed exploitation of their pet beagle, BlogHer’s Denise and T.W. have sold the rights to their underage wonder dog. Popular canine persona, Skeeter Bess, has been transmogrified into a plush toy. Have these women no shame? You can imagine my concern, when I turn the corner at IKEA and was confronted with a bin of Skeeter Besses.

Sweet Skeeter has been sold out and mass produced.

A mass of snuggling Skeeters reached out, whimpered, attention got and begged to some home with me. It was heart wrenching. What was really frightening, however, they seemed to exhibit the behavior characteristics of the real Skeeter Bess as the day went on.

Bouncing around the cart, nuisance behavior started right away.

Skeeter II was the model of puppy behavior as I was picking her out, but things soon deteriorated as I put my selection in the cart. As sweet as she was in the bin, she became very self aware and determined. She knew what she wanted and she wanted it NOW! One would think I’d remember the numerous Chatters, Comments, Posts, Tweets and Facebooks about the Skeeter Bess vs. T.W. and Denise face off. But, no. I was smitten.

See Kitty saying, “What is this? And, when does it leave?”

First, Skeeter II created a disturbance all the way from puppy bin to check out. She was excited, jumping around the cart, crouching and hiding behind purchases and then pouncing out to whimper at other shoppers. I could have turned around at any time, but I thought, “She can’t possibly be like the real Skeeter Bess. This will get better when we get home.” How wrong I was.

It’s pitiful to see Kitty praying, “How long, oh Lord, how long?”

As soon as we got home, Skeeter II mouthed the words, “Where’s the bed?” and hasn’t been off of it since. Talk about bed hog! Kitty, a happy bed resident for thirteen years in our home, was given her marching orders by this IKEAN mini-beast. Only recently, was Kitty allowed to return.

Skeeter II now lets Kitty on the bed, to provide sleeping support.

Since then, Skeeter II has commandeered the bed, cuddling up to any warm body that happens to lie down. And,  just of whom does that remind me? That’s right, Chicago Beagle of the Year, Skeeter Bess.

So, if you got to IKEA and see really cute beagle puppy plush toys in a bin. Take my advice and walk. On. By.

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May 09 2012

When I first knew Zoe, I was the one who belly-danced.

I took belly-dancer for great exercise and camaraderie in the late 1970s. I never danced professionally, although I did act as a “wardrobe mistress” to a couple of dancer friends who did.

I learned from “Tahia” in Baltimore, MD from whom I took lessons for a a year and a half. I learned classic, traditional belly-dancing which had a five part presentation that was structured and well defined. In other words, the dance included: 1) an entrance, 2) baladi with veil work, 3) drum solo, 4) floor work and 5) a finale.

Although there were many variations and cultural offshoots such as the cane dance and snake dance, all belly-dance performers that I knew here on the east coast danced the five parts, always with zils or finger cymbals. Now, lets talk about how Zoe belly-danced.

Zoe danced Tribal Style belly-dancing, dressing
with robes, turbans and lots of jewelry.

When I use to take Zoe’s dance workshops, it was for therapeutic movement and spiritual connection with the divine feminine not for belly-dancing. After I left New York in the early 1990s, Zoe learned belly-dance by taking lessons in Tribal Style. She excelled at everything she did and conquer belly-dance as well, becoming well known in Central New York for her dancing. Tribal belly-dancing costumes tend to be dark, plain fabrics, with ethnic handmade jewelry and headgear. If you are interested in the costuming, this is a great site for patterns and suggestions, click here.

No, I’m not saying I danced this well!

The above video is an example of the type of dance I learned and costume I wore. This is the 1st Place winner “Dovile” in the Queen of the Pyramid competition in Lithuania. Here is her web site.  Her skirt is more modest with full skirts, letting very little leg show. Her costume is light and shimmery with sequins and lame fabrics. Her bra and dance belt are worn with her skirts and with a veil that she has dropped by this point in the dance. But, the overall effect is light and performance base, dancing to please the audience.

A circus performer, Jamila Salimpour, started Tribal
Dance in California. She was a great showman. Her
dance troupe danced at cabarets and renaissance fairs.
The costumes were, and continue to be, dark and ethnic.

In the 1960s, Jamila Salimpour, who had a middle eastern background and who was a circus performer, decided to form a troupe of belly-dancers and ethnic Middle Eastern music to dance at renaissance fairs on the West Coast. Jamila’s troupe emphasized the music and dancing of nomadic tribes, who would dance in their everyday garments.

Zoe in the middle, with one of her dance classes.

Jamila’s players also took to creative costuming, adorning themselves with plain fabrics, mainly colored black, rather than the colorful layers of sheer chiffon found in classic belly-dancing. A great variety of garments became popular as Jamila’s dance style spread across the United States. Tribal garments are not adorned in a performance style, but to please the whim of the dancer. Dancers express themselves through their costume choice and jewelry display. If the costumes interest you, they can be purchased by clicking here.

Fat Chance Belly-dance is a studio considered the
originators of the American Tribal Style, or ATS.

American Tribal Style Belly Dance is clearly defined and documented as having been created by Fat Chance Belly Dance in California with the primary characteristic being that of group improvisation. ATS is generally performed in a group, often at community events, with a number of dancers on stage. The group acts as a chorus with dancers in ones, twos and threes, coming forward to dance as the rest dance in the background. ATS dancers typically favoring a look provided by wide-legged pants gathered at the ankles, open backed  tops known as cholis, full skirts, taselled belts and much jewelry.

Here are dancers from YouTube, Elena Safae e Vanessa Amira,
taking the tribal style in a Goth direction.

As belly-dance evolves into different forms and styles, no telling what we’ll see next. On YouTube there are hundreds of great videos showing vintage and current performances of all different “flavors.” Here’s a teaching video from the ELLEN Show where you can learn a few steps.

Ellen learns to belly-dance and you can , too!


NaBloPoMo May 2012

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Apr 21 2012

Remember this postcard from the other day?

I love it so much, along with all it represents.

I love the soft pastels colors, the freedom of movement and the joyous, unrestrained dance. All of these feminine attributes can be recognized and affirmed to effectively empower women.

In other words, power does not have to be male or physically strong.

There are many ways to view this scene. What some see
as ladies dancing, others see as an expression of the
Divine Feminine.

Neoclassicism has been prominent in the United States during two time periods. First, after the Revolutionary War and the French Revolution, the United States and Europe were intent on recreating the grandeur of Rome and Greece by emulating classical architecture, art, clothing and design.

Neoclassical Grecian Fashions from 1780 -1820.

I have always found this period confusing to study until I finally put it together that the Empire Period in France, the Regency Period in England and the Federal Period in the Untied States are all the same, just had different names in the three countries. All of the periods featured women’s fashions with high waisted slim flowing gowns with draped colored sashes.

Neoclassical Grecian Fashions 1900 – 1920.

The second time of Neoclassicism in the United States came at the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries, up until about 1927. Feminine power seemed to break out again and gracefully assert “herself.” Appreciation for the classic feminine figure and for accentuating the breast came to prominence. Not since the previous classical period, about a hundred years before, was the breast touted and displayed along with the natural feminine form which otherwise had been corseted into unnatural shapes.  Once again, women were freed from being manipulated into movement restricting silhouettes.

The Music Man musical is set in 1912 and shows the popularity
of Neoclassical female fashions and dance at that time. In
this scene, reverence for the female form is turned into a joke.

While we, perhaps, think these dresses were baring for the delight and stimulation of men, research indicates  nursing and motherhood were not only accepted, but admired. Natural was in. In fact, high waisted dresses and low cut bodices made the breasts more accessible for nursing, according to the 1795-1820 in Women’s Fashion entry in Wikipedia:

“With this Classical style came the willingness to expose the breast. With the new iconography of the Revolution as well as a change in emphasis on maternal breast-feeding, the chemise dress became a sign of the new egalitarian society. The style was simple and appropriate for the comfort of a pregnant or nursing woman as the breasts were emphasized and their availability was heightened. Maternity became fashionable and it was not uncommon for women to walk around with their breasts exposed. Some women took the “fashionable maternity” a step further and wore a “six month pad” under their dress to appear pregnant.”

The feminine form and the power it contains to create life while nurturing have been revered since ancient times. Female reproductive powers are still worshiped today by less technological societies that tend also, to be matrilinear in orientation.

It is important in a world that is more technologically
structured to affirm and actively respect
women and their naturally feminine shapes.

Next in this series: Dance of the Divine Feminine

NaBloPoMo April 2012

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Mar 15 2012

Create art to celebrate life and manifest your spirit!

When one is an artist, it’s easy to feel artistic about one’s workspace and lifestyle. Waking up every morning to create, dazzle and delight must be a fun life choice. While there are certain realities, I’m sure, about paying the light bill and buying artist’s materials, let’s just focus on after we’re famous and have it made in the shade. Let’s pretend we just get to slide out of bed and into the studio every morning to be with our “stuff.” And, remember we get paid to do this, as we are not starving artists!

Whoa! That sounds like fun, like fingerpaint on steroids and Play-Doh with a shot of Grand Marnier. But, of course, we’ll need a smock, if we’re artists! H-m-m-m. I wonder what artists wear? Hey! Here’s an artist! Let’s look at HER!

Barbara’s Smock of Spectral Colors.

I was preparing to write two posts on Barbara Hughes, scuplptor and painter: the first, Healing Sexual Abuse and the second Teaching in Africa. I asked Barbara for some portrait photos of herself along with some of her actually working in her studio, When I received the photos, I was delighted.

One showed Barbara standing in front of her studio with her “Smock of Spectral Colors.” I knew from the design of the smock this was an artist’s artist and a pretty fun individual. Who else would turn themselves into a palette of color to delight the eye? And what better pattern than a Tie Dyed Rainbow Spiral? I found myself wanting a smock like Barbara’s. If you also are interested, here’s how one is made:

Many garments can be dyed with this method, including
one like Barbara’s Smock by not using the black.

You need three things: 1) The smock or garment, 2) The dyes and 3) A workspace with dyeing equipment.

The Smock: Looking at Barbara’s smock, it appears to be a male lab coat, judging by the length and the big pockets. They can be found here, along with women’s lab coats, if you prefer a shorter length.

A sampling of the blanks at Dharma Trading Co.

If you would like to make dresses, here’s a good link for “blanks” or 100% cotton clothing meant to be dyed. Blanks for children and men can be found by looking at the list on the left hand side.

The Dyes: In the early 1970s, I used to mail order dyes and supplies from the Dharma Trading Company in Berkeley, CAImagine my delight when, in 1974, I visited San Francisco, Berkeley and the Dharma Trading Co. While other tourists want to see the Golden Gate Bridge or Fisherman’s Wharf in San Fransisco, nope! Not me. I had to go to Berkeley to shop at Dharma.

I was able to order anything I wanted and hand carry it with me. Now Dharma is located in Petaluma and San Rafael, CA, but back then, they were in Berkeley.  I picked things out from a black and white printed catalog that listed their stock in an unimaginative way. Fast forward to 2012 to find them on the Internet in a fantastic color display of possibility. Just check out this web site and dream away, by clicking here.

To make the smock or tie dye any mostly cotton fabric, use the Fiber Reactive Procion Dyes in the section of the left third of the main page marked Fiber Reactive Dye Colors by clicking here.  There are 110 eye catching colors in the Fiber Reactive palette.

The Instructions: For detailed instructions and required equipment, click here.

Advanced tie dye patterns as shown by the Dharma Trading Co.
Complex patterns made with nothing more than rubber bands.

Tie Dying is easy and fun. The feeling of creating art cannot be matched. Expressing the soul for the world to see and claiming it in a physical way will be empowering to you, just like when Barbara creates her sculptures and paintings. With dyeing, you can create clothing, inexpensively, without sewing, and call it your own. It’s LOTS of fun!

Now, let’s look at some professional tie dyeing women from Africa, which is a big continent with many diverse regions of distinctly different cultures, languages and practices. I wanted to find a video of women in Tanzania dyeing fabric. The country of Tanzania is where Barbara did her work and where the fabrics in the previous posts were dyed, but I couldn’t find one on YouTube.

This glorious video on a tie dyeing woman, Sanata, and her family shows large production methods done by hand with magnificent results in the west African country of Mali.

Sanata says, “Women always have dreams. I have many
dreams. If I start telling you my dreams, it’ll get dark
while I’m telling you.”

The video above was a short film used for funding efforts envisioning a one hour film presentation called Bamako Chic. To be funded by grants, organizations have to be sponsored by a non-profit entity who manages the money granted, making sure the agreement is followed and grant money spent correctly. The non-profit entity for the movie Bamako Chic is the San Francisco Film Society.  Here is a link to a film grant makers media database listing Bamako Chic.

And, best of all, here is a link to Queen Sheba Village where
you can buy bazin cloth, the profoundly beautiful polished
cotton fabric, made by the home dyers of West Africa.


NaBloPoMo March 2012

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Jan 26 2012

May Your Hearts Beat in Sweet Unison

There is a saying that “Youth is wasted on the young.” Reading recently on BlogHer, it occurs to me that perhaps, rhetorically speaking, marriage is wasted on the young. When I read how many problems young married couples have, it seems like the lofty goals anticipated for marriage don’t always lead to the happy homes intended. People grow and change, sometimes growing together, sometimes growing apart. The levels of maturity can vary along with all of the skills that it takes to successfully navigate through family finances, illnesses and life and death transitions.

So, although the natural order of things is to marry when young and start families, it would seem that marrying later in life would not only be better targeted for success, but would result in more satisfying unions built on a mature realization of what life is all about. In other words, I wouldn’t really say it is wasted on the young, but rather, that marriages occurring later in life should be celebrated with more fanfare, not less. In other words, when it comes to marriage later in life, both the bride and groom go into it fully informed. They have arrived!

But, see how older brides are treated. Google “older bride” and take a gander. One web site made it clear that older brides, instead of just planning for a lovely celebration, must also defeat their possible constipation along with that of their groom. What!?!? Having enough probiotics for the digestion is for everyone, not just older wedding parties. I can’t imagine confusing late in life nuptials with late in life dietary habits. Don’t young people have constitutional issues? Do we interrupt the ambiance of The Magic Room to inquire of the bride and her father if they are eliminating regularly to avoid bloating on the wedding day?

Portlandia’s Spyke and Iris plan their Cool Wedding

What other advice can we gather for older brides from bridal web sites? Well, first and foremost, older brides are told to be tasteful. Never mind that some young brides overestimate the tensile strength of satin to conceal one Big Mac too many and others bag “blushing” while wearing outfits more suited to pole dancing. Bridal sites somehow feel age relieves one of common sense. Why does an older bride have to be told she needs to be tasteful? While young brides are promoted as princesses with every detail to their whim and fancy, older brides are begged not to offend.

The older bride is far less inclined to wear something tasteless, by her very nature. “An older bride in a young and sexy dress will not look right,” one bridal site intones. Many young brides, however, do not “look right” in young and sexy dresses. And since when has it become fashionable to tout your sexual allure on your wedding day anyway? What happened to being demure with a veil to seclude the bridal blush? When did bumping and grinding down the aisle get established so guests can sample what the groom will soon cherish as his own?

And just what do these nagging bridal sites think older brides are going to choose? The G-string Wedding Dress shown recently by Kavia Gauche at Berlin Fashion Week? Oh pa-leeze!

May Your Lives Be One Glorious Sunset

All in all, older brides need to be choosier in selecting their bridal sites for advice. While many “lesser sites” may point to giving away bottles of Milk of Magnesia as table favors, Martha Stewart reigns supreme in the older bride arena as well as in all others. On her web site, Martha receives an e-mail from a 60 year old bride inquiring what would be “right” or politically correct for a bride of her age having her second wedding. Martha answers that except for a veil, the rules of etiquette are the same and TIMELESS for a bride of any age. There you go. Taste is taste and class is class no matter the age of the bride and groom.


NaBloPoMo January 2012

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Dec 24 2011

Sunbonnets all over the world are talking about the latest:
SunbonnetSmart.com is the Featured Money Blogger for
Christmas Week, December 25 – 31, 2011!

Left Sunbonnet: Goodness! Have you heard the news? The BEST web site in the world, Sunbonnet Smart, has been selected to be the Featured Money Blogger on www.BlogHer.com.

Right Sunbonnet: Oh my! Well, you know what THAT means!

Left Sunbonnet: No, what?

Right Sunbonnet: Well, Sunbonnet Smart loves to share and every time good things happen and abundant energy flows in…why, you just watch, the web site will be giving something away to show gratitude!

Left Sunbonnet: What!?!? To us!?!?

Right Sunbonnet:  Yes! To everyone who visits SunbonnetSmart.com on that internationally renown women’s forum www.BlogHer.com or who visits www.SunbonnetSmart.com itself.

Left Sunbonnet: When?

Right Sunbonnet: Why, all this week! Starting tomorrow, there will be a free PDF download of one of the new Bargain Products that Sunbonnet Smart is introducing into the Sunbonnet Bargain area of the web site. But, each download will only be available for free for one day. Then, the next day, another PDF will be given away. So, basically, you’re going to have to put aside EVERYTHING else you planned on doing during this holiday week to make sure you get all of the PDFs before they switch.

Left Sunbonnet: Wow! I’m going to get in on that!

Right Sunbonnet: Yeah, who wouldn’t. Be there or be square…

Left Sunbonnet: I know I’ll be running to the computer first thing Christmas morning…forget the tree…

We now return you to your regular programming.


NaBloPoMo 2011

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Nov 05 2011

Tillie was every women’s envy and every man’s dream.

Tillie the toiler was a comic strip created by Russ Westover in the early part of the 20th century. The strip was based on a flapper character and was originally called “Rose of the Office.” After Rose became Tillie, the name change was effective enough to cause syndication in newspapers, which lasted from 1921 to 1959. In our day of working women with many women oriented cartoons and comic strips, such as Sally Forth and Cathy, it is hard to imagine how unusual Tillie was, being a working “girl.” Women marveled at her worldliness, her ability to command herself in business and her ability to keep every hair in place.

Russ Westover created Tillie and oversaw the
production process until 1954. The strip was
drawn by his apprentice, Bob Gustafson, after
that and continued until March 15, 1959.

Until “Winnie Winkle, the Breadwinner,” comic strip in 1921, women were not portrayed in the workplace. But, with the success of Winnie, King Syndicates was open to running Tillie and she soon took her place in the Sunday papers as well as the daily. Tillie was assertive with just the right amount of feminine cunning. She wrapped her guile in the most sophisticated fashions of the day, merging her office performance with modeling the clothing line of J. Simpkin’s women’s wear company.

Tillie, Mr. Simpkins and Mac are touring the USA
with Simpkin’s new clothing line. They meet the
Mayor of a stop-over city. Tillie flirts with the Mayor
while Mac awkwardly tries to say something profound.

Working for Mr. Simpkin’s and watching out for his interests, Tillie had many unusual ways to accomplish the company’s business goals. She usually did less office work than other employees, but brought in contracts and sales in spectacular eleventh hour dramas. Mr. Simpkins actually did fire her on occasions, and then hire her back, but most often she turned his scorn into adulation when she came through for the company, once again.

Tillie was never at a loss for words when handling her suitors.

Many years have passed since Tillie and her comic friends brought happiness to the nation’s children. As with many paper dolls from the 20th century, comics were printed as part of periodical magazines and newspaper. Being seen as temporary, most comics were used as packing or thrown out with little regard for the hours of creative endeavor involved. A few were saved, however, by those who considered comics and their paper doll enticements to be art, therefore worthy of collecting. As each paper doll is a treasure, they are too good to be hidden away. Believing that, Sunbonnet Smart is ready to share their Vintage Paper Doll Collection with you

The comics and paper dolls from the Sunbonnet Smart Vintage Paper Doll Collection have been scanned from the originals, published nearly a century ago. The images have been enlarged to show detail and to help small hands cut them out with more success. Here we begin to share a lifelong love of paper dolls as a tribute to the inexpensive pleasures they bring. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Don’t wait any longer. Invite Tillie into your life.

$1.00 Download.

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Dec 03 2010

Socks can be objects of beauty and comfort,
not just utilitarian.

Socks: an item we are used to picking up discount stores by the packaged dozen. A utilitarian item so necessary we don’t consider them a snugly luxury, perhaps. But! What if your socks were nice and soft and absorbent natural fibers and made your feet feel like a million! Then you might call them a luxurious asset and greatly appreciate an introduction to a homemade model.

You can buy these hand knitted socks on Etsy by clicking here.

Hand knitted socks are just yummy. I crochet, so I stand in awe of anyone knitting socks. I am amazed by those who knit them, because anything on circular knitting needles or more than two knitting needles makes me nervous. Recently, I was fascinated, though, to be seated next to a woman knitting socks for her husband at a Scottish Country Dance in Alexandria, Virginia. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the needles as she rhythmically moved them in a sequenced dance around and around the tube of a sock in production. It was fascinating to watch the sock grow in the short time we were together.

I don’t knit, but I am going to sign up by clicking here
for these delightful knitted sock patterns! Maybe the bug
will bite! Best part of all, the patterns are FREE for your
e-mail address. They are really scrumptious. I want to move
to upstate New York so I can wear them EVERYDAY!

Just like there are knitters whose love to make sweaters, and those who specialize in mittens and scarves, there are knitters who love to make socks. The time it takes to make one is extensive. Even with the knitting machine shown below, one of the machine knitters is proud it “only” took eight hours to make one! So, knitting socks is a labor of love. In addition, the final product is so comforting, many consider it worth the time spent. And what a gift to a loved one it is.

Dorret, from YouTube has a series of four videos that show
her working needles to knit socks. Love it!

I always read the comments under YouTube videos. You learn so much from the other viewers, especially on the instructional YouTubes. Notice that one viewer mentions Dorret’s method of casting on stitches using two hands and the single knitting needle seated vertically between her hands. I was not familiar with that method either. I am like the viewer in that I hope Dorret will provide another YouTube showing her method for casting on.

Making socks with a circular knitting machine. I think this
makes me more nervous than multiple sock needles.

The knitting machines appear complex, but it would seem that once the basics are mastered, the only problem would be in the monotony of working with the machine over and over. The circular knitter seems dated and I can imagine a mother with ten kids trying to fit this task in with every other one required by the household. Circular knitters would be necessary time savers. If you are interested in learning more about this unique labor saving device, you’ll find you are not alone.  Click here to visit a remarkable web site devoted to circular knitting machines. It’s amazing!

Knitting socks with a flat bed knitting machine.

Flat bed knitting machines knit squares or rectangles that are then sewn together, so the resulting product will always have a seam. Round, circular knitting cannot be done on a flat bed machine. As on all knitting machines, it is the SIZE of the type of yarn that determines the machine to be used, rather than the type of project. For example, socks can be made on a circular knitting machine or a flat bed. The type of sock produced will depend upon the size of the yarn used which is, in turn, determined by the size of the latch hooks on the selected machine. 

As I read up on the knitting machines, I realized that there is much to know before one considers the purchase. For a great discussion on the good and bad points of hand vs. machine knitting, click here. Angelika’s web site puts it all down in black and turquoise and it helped me understand the various technologies much better. When you reach Angelika’s web page, go down to the article, ” “What Every Hand Knitter Should Know Before Buying a Knitting Machine”.

If you want to handknit socks, try this excellent book:

This book has 5 stars from its reviewers. If it interests
you, hover your mouse over this link for a preview:

Getting Started Knitting Socks (Getting Started series)

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Nov 28 2010

I was happy to find this video on YouTube.com, not only because it give instructions on turning outdated garments into useful fashion, but also because it is one of a slew of YouTube sewing videos uploaded by teenagers who seem to have an avid interest in sewing and taking care of their needs.

So much fun to think our younger generations are learning to sew and create with fabric. See what you think! You just might end up making a “Scoodie” yourself!

Make a scarf with a hoodie…a SCOODIE!

For other Scoodie styles and directions, try clicking here, or here or here. Try making one and you’ll have lots of fun, gain something handy, be warm and enjoy the satisfaction of making something yourself!

Or, buy a readymade Scoodie provided by a talented artisan on “etsy” by clicking here.

To preview a more sophistcated Scoodie look,
hover your mouse over the link below:

Janska Hooded Scarf, Black, OS

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Nov 21 2010

The doll’s pose and positioning are perfectly
tied to her expression, making her seem lifelike.
This little girl has a cherished friend.

Some readers will wince when they read my Dad summed “it all up” one day after participating as a co-op adult at my child’s day care center. He said, “You can talk this gender stuff all you want to. The facts are, when it’s time for indoor recess, all of the little boys scramble to get to the trucks and all the little girls run to play with the dolls.”

As far as my Dad was concerned, end of story. And, I had to understand his point, because even now, I would choose relating to a doll over running to play with a truck. For me, the nurturing of a little human, although a model for one, would always trump a mode of transportation. Call me crazy…

The comfort of “someone smaller than you” to a child must be related to their reliance on someone being lower on the importance pecking order of bigness. To a child’s eye big equals power equals importance. A child is comforted by being bigger than another little person and being able to have that little person near at all times, also doing what the child says and what they want. Tea party today? No complaints are heard. Cut off all your hair and write on your face with a crayon? Not a word. Must be comforting, even at that age, to be in control of such an agreeable playmate.

Going for a walk.

With my love for fabric, the crowning reason for my doll attraction has always been that little doll people have little doll clothes to be styled and sewn. And it is much faster to sew itty bitty clothes than real size people clothes while the doll never gets fussy about color or fit. In addition, preparing a doll and wardrobe allows you to gift a child, should the unannounced need arise. What better present than a dolls and their clothes made to order by loving hands?

In January, 1960, life was good for these two little “girls.”

There are countless photos of children with their dolls filling up all of the years since photography began in 1839. But amazingly, there are many photos of adult women playing with dolls as well: some apparently feathering the nest for babies yet to be born, preparing for holiday gift giving or just plain enjoying the process for themselves.

From the inscription on this photo, these two
are looking forward to a baby’s arrival.

Dolls are a big part of Sunbonnet Smart as their clothes and accessories are great companions, both during their planning and construction and later when they bask in the love of all who admired them. Dolls are associated with the feminine gender and so, as with many accomplishments of women, need solid recognition for the part they play to enrich our lives.

Home from college and remembering good times?

Dolls have always fulfilled their obligations to please without regard to price or composition. The simplest rag doll stands shoulder to shoulder with the highest priced novelty dolls from fancy collections sitting in glass cases. All dolls, no matter their mark or maker can cradle the head of a child and offer comfort to an older person whose children have moved away. A doll, that little person in the beautiful form of a human being, is one of life’s little treasures.

Grammies can always do the hard things like getting socks on.

Today’s introduction to Sunbonnet Smart’s love for dolls and all of their trappings is the beginning of sharing the joy of dolls and doll making. We have lots of surprises in the works that will allow you to inexpensively download patterns to create dolls for that favorite child or child still within you.

Keep checking back, and those of you who have signed up on the e-mail list will get the news first! So, be there or be square!

If you have an interest in this remarkable volume of doll
lore, hover you mouse over the following link for a preview:

The Ultimate Doll Book

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