May 9, 2008

This and That

Still no report from Williamsburg, but I'm making good (plodding) progress on Thomas Jefferson. I decided to make a set of little leather-bound books to stack on his stand atop an architectural drawing of the library rotunda at the University of Virginia. I found a picture online of a small group of books that Jefferson sold to the Library of Congress after the British burned the capital. Actually, Jefferson, desperate for money, sold almost his entire library to Congress. He had thousands of books. As I recall, they told us at Monticello that he was paid $30,000.

Jefferson loved his books! I bought a little silver bracelet at Monticello with a Jefferson quote: "I cannot live without books."

I was feeling kind of crummy yesterday, so I decided to try my hand at Christine LeFever's Poppet, a pattern she published in Early American Life sometime in the past. I found the article and pattern on her website. Maybe it was because I was so bedraggled, but I found myself overwhelmed by the tedium of sewing, turning and stuffing the tiny parts and kept thinking: this is why I stopped doing cloth dolls! My other frustration is with the face. I love it when other dollmakers do the sweet, simple Queen Ann style faces, but I never like mine! Nancy at Attic Babies, Christine Crocker at Deerfield Farms, Rachel at Diamond K -- I love their dolls, but I hate mine. I painted out the poppet's face before I went to bed and will be heading to the studio shortly to see what I can make of her.

At noon, I'm going over to my daughter's school for a Freaky Friday thing. How they expect a fat 50-year-old to dress like a skinny 9-year-old is beyond me. That is, however, the expectation for this Mother's Day event. I figure I'll just wear jeans and a t shirt and hope for the best.

More later,



Christine LeFever said...

You nut! You are a remarkable painter, so I just don't get why you have trouble with those simple faces. YES I DO! They take a lot of patience and practice, sort of like line drawings. If anyone will get to perfection, it will be you!

Thank you for doing my little poppet. I assure you, I too have no fun with the stuffing part, buy oh well...cloth doll bodies are sweet.


Nina Mason said...

They are sweet. I think the simple dolls are very sweet, but mine hardly ever look sweet like everybody else's. Guess simple just isn't my thing.

Anyway, you won't (well, you'll hardly) recognize your poppet, although I made her to the letter from your pattern. But she told me she wants a very fancy dress, fancy hair and a fancy hat -- so we'll see!! I repainted her face with a mix of acrylics and artists pencils.