Friday, September 29, 2017


In November of 2016, I discovered Dianna Effner's 13" Little Darling dolls. Normally, I wouldn't have paid a great deal of time looking at vinyl dolls after being an avid BJD collector and accumulating eighty of them over the past few years. Yet, when I saw them on the internet I felt such a strong attraction to these dolls and continued to Google them.

I soon learned that although Dianna had sculpted the original dolls and hand painted the vinyl dolls faces, there were other artists trained by Dianna, who also painted them. As I continued to search I soon found which dolls I thought I wanted to own, but it was going to take a long time to bring any of them home.

Dianna was not taking orders at the time and from all indications the wait for one of her dolls would drive me to distraction, and should one come up on her website, the price would be way beyond what I would be prepared to pay for a vinyl doll, no matter how good it was or who painted it.

I almost went ahead with this doll (a #1sculpt), but the wait was just far too long, so long in fact I figured I'd probably not be around to enjoy her.

This is another that I would have loved to bring home . . . a #2,

and this #3 one too, but alas such is life. I'll just admire them from afar and enjoy the dolls I have. :) 

And for something a little different . . .

. . . here's a couple of recent arrivals in new cardigans that I knitted. :)

Friday, September 22, 2017

Do You Crochet?

After a little excursion to the "yarn department" in my studio yesterday, I made myself a little Amigurumi bear. For those who have never heard of this before, Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures. It is a really enjoyable diversion from sewing and a convenient way to cull my wool stash!!

This is my first attempt and although a little loosely crocheted, it will do for the purpose it was made. I can see this becoming almost as addictive as sewing and knitting . . . but not quite. I don't think any craft will completely entice me away from the things I am most passionate about.

My hair was in desperate need of attention, so a visit to the hairdresser was on my agenda, however, deciding whether to cut or curl is always a real dilemma for me, in the end I decided to cut so I don't get a hot head when the warmer weather finally arrives! Do you ever have that problem?

Have a great weekend whatever you are doing!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

70 Years of Dior

As you have probably read earlier, my daughter and I enjoyed a day out last Friday. I hadn't been to the National Gallery of Victoria before, though I had been to the Arts Centre. It was much larger than I thought and it took us roughly three hours to view the entire "The House of Dior" exhibition.

Christian Dior ~ Founder and Creative Director until his unexpected death in 1957.

My daughter took 261 photos, much to many to share, but this post is still photo heavy. Many of the items photographed were behind glass, which unfortunately shows reflections of the lighting amongst other things. However, I'll begin with Dior's own designs . . . the Bar Suit was from his first spring/summer collection in 1947, it's difficult to see the pleating in the skirt, but they are there!

The beautiful tulle gown with the silk roses at the back, which I had so desperately hoped to see, unfortunately did not appear in this exhibition.

This little number from the spring/summer 1948 is in a fine black and white hounds-tooth check.

Dior designed an evening dress from similar fabric (to the above) for his 1953 spring/summer collection.

Evening dress designed by Dior for the spring/summer collection 1958.

Yves Saint Laurent ~ Creative Director 1957 - 1960.

Blue Bavardage coat from spring/summer 1958.

Masquerade, a short evening dress for spring/summer 1958.

Black was one of Yves Saint Laurent's favourite colours. He stated 'I love black because it affirms, designs and styles. A woman in a black dress is a pencil stroke.'

Marc Bohan ~ Creative Director 1960 - 1989

The longest serving CD (29 years) for the House of Dior and the least public profile. His designs balanced the traditions of elegance and luxury with crisp modern styling. He presented his last collection for the house, The Year of India, in 1989.

Day dress from the Heritage Collection autumn/winter 1969/70.

Slim Look, spring/summer 1961.

Gianfranco Ferre ~ Creative Director 1989-1996

From the tailored to the flamboyant, he revelled in his role as the first non French person to hold the position as CD.

Disney evening suit for the Ascot - Cecil Beaton Collection autumn/winter 1989/90.

Although I liked much of the exhibition, this was my most favourite of them all, the detail with the beading was incredible! I was so taken with the suit, I didn't look to see who designed it or what collection it was from. As it was shown with the Disney suit, I am assuming Gianfranco Ferre was the designer.

John Galliano ~ Creative Director 1996 - 2011

A bold choice and the first British designer to hold the post.

From a collection inspired by the opera Madame Butterfly and traditional Japanese costume, Galliano makes a feature of the origami-style folds in combination with delicate floral embroidery.

There was even a little of the steampunk influence in his work!

Kamata ball gown spring/summer 1997 showing an African influence.

Look 27 evening dress, autumn/winter 2010-11.

Raf Simons ~ Creative Director 2012 - 2015

The Belgian designer revisited the exceptional tailoring of Christian Dior and his adoration of flowers and eighteenth century references.

Look 21 evening dress autumn/winter 2012-13 and Look 37 evening dress autumn/winter 2013-14.

Look 54 dress spring/summer 2015. It wasn't the most inspiring collection in my opinion.

Maria Grazia Chiuri ~ Creative Director 2016 to current day.

Italian designer Maria Grazia Chiuri, commenced her tenure as the firs female head of the house in July 2016. Interested in designs that resonate with younger audiences, while remaining in the traditional couture realm of aspirational, transformative clothes.

Part of the spring/summer 2017 collection.

Constellations ball gown (black & white photo) spring/summer 2017.

Top to Toe

"The well dressed woman will possess and outfit for every occasion: by the word outfit I mean everything that goes to make up perfection, planned and thought through to the last detail from the fur coat to the shoes."

"I think it is as important for a woman to have a beautiful perfume as it is for her to have beautiful clothes."

As early as 1947, Christian Dior described himself as a perfumer and couturier.

Roger Vivier ~ Footwear Designer

The most important creative relationship for Dior in relation to footwear was with this French designer, who he met socially in 1949. Vivier's shoes for Dior are widely acknowledged as being as luxurious and influential as the clothing. He incorporated the same level of exquisite embroidery and opulent fabric selection as the fashion collections, and developed important and iconic heel silhouettes, such as the curving comma and towering stiletto.

Some of these shoes look like they have just appeared in a James Bond movie!

Stephen Jones ~ Milliner

Stephen Jones has had a long and accomplished career creating hats for his own label, as well as for fashion designers globally, and has worked regularly in Paris since the mid 1980's. One of his most significant relationships is with the House of Dior, where he has been designing hats for twenty years.


Now that's what you might call arty!

Well that's it for now, I hope you enjoyed the photos. My thanks to my daughter/photographer, "The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture" and all the contributors to the book, which I used for reference.


Friday, September 15, 2017

The Big White Cat

You may have already guessed, I am taking a little break from posting about dolls. I have even gone through parts of my studio and had a clean up, yes that's what I said . . . and a darn good one at that! All my UFO's that have been lying around waiting to be finished, some of them for many years, have gone in the rubbish bin. Along with a whole pile of teddy bear clothes (minus the buttons of course) and some old clothes that didn't fit any of my dolls.

And guess what? I don't feel at all bad that they are gone, just relieved of pressure to complete them. I guess you could say I am purring with contentment, just like the one in this poem. :)

White washed walls, large oak beams;

A warming-pan, a fire that gleams;

A wooden settle, wheel-back chairs;

Willow pattern plates, in pairs;

And there upon the homespun mat . . .

Purring, lies the big white cat!

Today I'm having a day out with my daughter . . . we are off to see the House of Dior exhibition at National Gallery of Victoria, then lunch and perhaps a little shopping.

Enjoy your weekend everyone . . . see you next week!