Monday, 30 March 2009

Chinese Dough Sculpting- Tang Suguo

In 1997, whilst living in Singapore, I had read in the 'Straits Times' that there was to be an exhibition of Chinese Folk Art during the celebrations of the Lunar New Year. I had been very interested in anything traditionally Chinese. I'd just bought some dough figures, a mother and child, and wanted to see it done by an expert. Also at the end of the article, it had said that visitors could have sculptures done of themselves for 60 dollars.

The traditional art of Dough Sculpting, had originated in China during the Han Dynasty (206BC- AD 220).

We eventually found the place and watched as ' Dough man', Tang Suguo, 61, sculpted one of his customers.

As a small boy, Tang Suguo had begun his training by using a mixture of wheat and rice, learning from his father, Tang Zibo, also a sculptor and painter. They brought several innovations to the craft, such as sculpting other figures not just the traditional mythological figures, they integrated dyes into the mixture of wheat and rice as it was kneaded instead of painting them when they were finished and mounted them on greeting cards. Tang Suguo grew up to become the Associate Professor at the Central Institute of Fine Arts in Beijing.

And a more pleasant man you couldn't wish to meet. We had decided that we would love a scuplture of our son, Michael, then aged two. I must have forgotten my camera on that day, as we have no pictures of the experience, but Tang Suguo was very patient, and very kind. I don't remember how long it took him to sculpt the 3cm model of Michael, not very long, but thankfully Michael was very well behaved!
Fourteen years later, the model is still as brightly coloured as when it was made, and is one of my most prized possessions!
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Sunday, 29 March 2009

A Grecon Church Wedding!

Playing about with photos. This is the church I got married in. Not 100% happy with it. But have posted it as took me several minutes to do!Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Doll's Houses Within Doll's Houses!

Here are some dear little doll's houses that are small enough to go into my 'large' doll's houses!
The first , a church, possibly came out of a cracker, and shows a wedding scene. The next with the red roof is made of metal. A paper house with balsa wood roof follows. I think the plastic one with white walls and yellow windows was made by Triang for 'Jenny's Home.' Next a little doll's house shop. I like the little Asian house and the Gingerbread Cottage. I think the little house with green roof and white sills maybe homemade. The little card 'Bliss' is missing its chimneys. Then a porcelain house and lastly a tiny 'charm' house.
I couldn't decide which is my favourite, they are all so different!

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Thursday, 19 March 2009

One of my favourite paintings, 'Starlit Night' 1917, by Georgia O'Keefe.
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Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Michael Lee Dolls

I am sure this doll was made by Michael Lee of Hong Kong, possibly in the 80's. I have seen another, almost exactly the same, with a card tag, which read ' A Michael Lee 'Micale' Made in Hong Kong'. I have seen several of his earlier dolls in the Toy Museum in Singapore. Michael Lee had a very interesting life. He was born in China and was taught to speak English, by missionaries in Shanghai, when he was 7. He left Shanghai when the communists took over and arrived in Hong Kong as a refugee and lived for a time in the terrible refugee camp. The people in the camps were very poor, and their diet lacked nutrition, consisting mainly of rice. There was alot of disease. He left the camp in 1947 and started to make dolls, employing people from the camps to help him. He used the money to help the refugees when they left the camp. He died in 1996. His dolls are very collectable, especially ofcourse the earlier ones.
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Royal Winton 'Grimwades' Breakfast Set

Posted by PicasaI bought this dear Royal Winton 'Grimwades' Breakfast Set in the 80's. It's such a pretty design. Ofcourse I've never used it.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Vintage Dolls House Furniture and Household items

I recently acquired these items for the dolls house. Dol-toi bottles, saucepans,bedroom furniture, books and case, bathroom and piano. Kaybot fireplace. Twigg table and chairs, although the table legs may be replacements. Lovely little bathroom set by Codeg.
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Monday, 16 March 2009

Dol-toi, Barrett and Halfpenny Pocket Dolls

Today a picture of the Halfpenny Pocket Dolls having tea at their favourite tearoom. They were made by Halfpenny Houses of Bideford, Devon in the 70's. The little plates of food were made by Dol-toi, from painted plaster on metal plates. Ages ago! The kettles and saucepans were made by A.barrett and Sons before the early 60's. the little teapot is sliver and beautifully made. Must post a picture of it on its own. The little piece of china, maybe for jam, or sugar came from a 30's dollshouse. I particulary like the little carpet beater and the sieve. Do remember you can click on pictures for a closer look!
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Sunday, 15 March 2009

Grecon Dolls, at Work and Play, in the Snow

Oh well, no time like the present! Here are some more photos of the 'Winter Wonderland'.
Just remembered some more I took, when a Great Big Chocolate Santa and Snowman came to visit!
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Grecon Dolls enjoy the Snow!

Posted by PicasaI know Spring is just around the corner but I remembered these wintery photos I took a couple of years ago. I had such fun laying the 'snow', (cotton wool on a roll) and sprinkling 'snow' glitter, which you can't see in the photos, but really sparkled in the light. I took loads of photos and these are some of the best. Actually, I do have more, which I will post later, as they are taken in a different light. It was lovely to sit in the cold room, with the glittering snow, and the dolls having fun! Very atmospheric. I was sad to put it away- I think it stayed like that for several months though.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

The Mice family and Friends

Just love taking photos of dear little things!
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The Little Dress-Maker

These are some photos of the first dolls house I bought , one made by 'Gee Bee'. It is the only house I have, that is not inhabited by Grecons. I got this little chap when I bought several dolls together, and was going to part with him straight away, but as you can see he stayed. He lives on his own, apart from his parrot, and I am not sure which country he comes from, but he is very colourful and I suppose that is why he became a dress-maker. He probably made the patchwork quilt on his bed. He has no fridge so keeps his 'gold-top' in a bucket of cold water- just as my Grandma did in the early 60's.
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Thursday, 12 March 2009

My Grandparents about 1920

Another night I'm finding it hard to go to bed. There's always something interesting to look at on the internet. Forgotten to do the washing up...again! Now just feel like adding this lovely old photo to the net! Wonder what my Grandparents- who are both sadly long gone- would of thought! That's my Grandad standing to the left and my Grandma next to him, and then my Great Grandma. Plus other family members. I hope they had a good trip!
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Thought I'd add this picture too! It is taken from the book ,'Wigley' by Rosemary Barnes, written in 1949. The picture is by Margaret Tarrant. My grandma used to go to jumble sale's at the local Scout's hut in the 60's and always found lovely books for us.
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A Young Girl with Doll

'A Young Girl with Doll' by Carl Larsson. Pen and Ink, Pencil and Watercolour. I have liked Larsson's work for many years.
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Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Dolls House Days - my first dolls house film.

Found out how to add videos so here is a little snippet into the lives of two of my Grecon dolls, now called Harold and Agnes. Don't miss their little parrot and their wedding photo.

Tri-ang 'Toys for Christmas Catalogue' 1962

My mum found this catalogue among our old birthday cards last week and sent it to me. It is from 1962. It gives details of a television advert to be shown on Nov 18, 25 and Dec 2. I don't think I had any of the toys in it so I suppose I wasn't a very good girl that year! I've just bought myself the Spot-on Tv though and look forward to adding to one of my dolls houses.
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Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Dolls House Days-my first film!

When I was young, I always wished- like many other little girls-that my toys would come to life. Recently I found a way- make a 'film'! My first attempt is posted on 'You Tube', and although it could be improved upon, I'm really quite proud of it. I will try to set up a link but if I can't, it's called 'Dolls House Days'.
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My little Tearoom

Here are some more photos of the Gee Bee dolls house I have turned into a tearoom! It's a wonderful dolls house. The bay windows really add something to it. I love to look through the windows at what's going on inside.
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A Cosy Family Home - containing some of my favourite pieces

Here is one of my Gee Bee houses. Did you know that if you click on the pictures they enlarge? Fantastically! One of my 'newer' houses but also one of my favourites. I love the wall paper which I found and downloaded from the internet. Really 1960's. I do mix and match my pieces, old and not quite as old! I just want the family to be comfotable! I love the balcony area, with the sun chairs and the area downstairs for the washing machine. The little fire screen by Barton is one of my favourite pieces as is the little plaster Kaybot picture behind the gentleman's head in the sitting room. Although I really enjoy setting all the rooms up, Ive never given the dolls names, even though the are divided into families. The little picture of a terrier in the grown-ups bedroom was made by my dad. It was cut from a copy of the 'Robin' comic in the 60's. My mum made the dried flower picture. Forgot to mention the lovely green jug and bowl made by Barton again in the parents bedroom. I've used the seven dwarves by 'Disneykins' as toys for the boys and ornaments. Not too keen on the kitchen furniture though although it's nice and bright. But haven't filled the room with bits and pieces, which I must.
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Monday, 9 March 2009

'The Nook' - My New Triang Dolls House

I also fell in love with this little two roomed house. I am hoping to put up two walls, one up and one down therefore making four rooms. Living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. It was made by Triang from 1931-33. It is part of a seris called 'The Nest'. The Nook is the largest of the set, which includes 'The Pixie' and 'The Elfin'. Thank you to Marion Osbourne for this information. It's so clean at the front. I love the little shutters and the black windows. The base has been replaced and there is nothing left of original wallpaper, flooring or curtains. I love the way the front swings open. My other dolls houses have either a sliding front , the front swings open in two parts or they are acessible from the back. My first dolls house, which I was given second-hand in the 1960's, didn't have a front at all, although my mum tells me my dad always meant to put one on.
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Mr Wong

Last Saturday morning, my husband very kindly took me to a lovely Doll Fair in the village of Barton, just north of Preston. I had a wonderful time looking round and saw several things I liked...I mean loved! 'Mr Wong' was one of them. (So called as he has a label stuck inside his clothes, with 'Mr Wong' handwritten on it.) I went back to see him several times. 'But he's old,' my husband said. 'His head is cracked...he's dirty!' (Even after 20 years together, my husband doesn't appreciate my love of all things old, broken and dirty!) But readers I had to have him, and luckily my husband was feeling in a generous mood, having spent a week in Ostend working and not bringing me back a present. So Mr Wong now lives with us and what a handsome chap he is too!
I'd also like to say Hello and Thank you to my followers! It was a lovely surprise to see that my pictures are being enjoyed by others!
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