Monday, June 15, 2009

The Duchess

The Duchess of Devonshire

Finally finished

The naked Duchess

Back view with silk over dress.
As you can see the stomacher was a bit of a challenge,
with all that lacing.

I can't see how these poor woman moved with all these
things around their waists, but they looked so slim!

I have used silk for the over petticoat, with a piece of antique lace down the front.

The wire pannier was a bit of a challenge!

I have hand embroidered the stomacher and the petticoat is made from gauze with a cotton lace. Underneath she has a shift and long pantaloons.

My visit to Bethnall green Museum

In 2004 I was very lucky to have visited the “Bethnall Green Museum of childhood” in London. I fell in love with three dolls based on characters from the play "School of scandal" by Sheridan. I took photos at the time, but they weren't to good. So I contacted the Museum, they were very helpful and sent me more photos, and gave me permission to make a doll.
I wanted to make this an original doll, so needed to start from scratch, but wanted to base my doll on these ones. It was a challenge !
I got stuck for a while, and put her a side.

My Youngest daughter and I went to see the Movie, "The Duchess" with Keira Knightley, playing the main character. I really, recommend this Movie if you like history and Historical costumes. It was amazing! I hadn't realized that the "Duchess of Devonshire" was the same one is in Sheridan’s Play, "School of Scandal" In fact the whole play was based on the Duchess’s life.

The movie was based around London and parts of Chiswick were mentioned, this is where my family came from. I also hadn't realized that the street my Grandmother and Grandfather were born in Dukes Road, in Chiswick was named after the Duke of Devonshire. With Devonshire Road near by. In the movie they went to Chiswick house, my Great,Grandfather was a groundskeeper there, and my Father played there as a child.
They also talked about Hogarth the painter, Hogarth House being next to Chiswick house.

“The Bethnall Green Museum of Childhood”, still has one of these beautiful unusual dolls on display.

I think I was meant to make this doll, I have learned so much, about costuming and history. It has also brought part of my family history to life!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rion & Luna

Believe me this is play!

A lot of time is spent just mouthing, they are quite gentle really!

Just sitting!

Our two curlie coated retrievers Rion & Luna. Rion's Pedigree name is Orion and Luna's is Bellbird. We didn't think that Bellbird suited Luna, so named her Luna, because of the white patch on her chest. She really does live up to her name. In fact we call her Lunie! Rion is just a very placid boy.