I got a call recently from my cousin Nancy. She was going through her attic and basement, and making those decisions that people like me (a wee bit of a hoarder) can never do. A few things she had that just weren’t staying in her house, but perhaps I’d be interested.
The doll’s crib caught my eye immediately. The two square panels on either end screamed Illustration!
Of course I couldn’t pass it by. I neglected to take a photo in the before state. We calculated it was about ninety years old. Her mother’s father had made it for her mother. It was in great shape, but chipped and painted a sad faded beige.
Some sanding and a new coat of paint and I was ready to go. Fabric choices for the new bedding provided my palette. I’m old-fashioned. I enjoy sewing by hand. The nubby fleece provided extra texture. Here’s the new bedding.
I knew almost instantly what I would be painting. This piece is a Christmas present for my youngest granddaughter, Greta. Unlike her two older sisters, at twenty months, she is hardly ever to be seen without one of her dollies. Holding one, or pushing it in a stroller, helter skelter ,as she’s very busy and always in a hurry.
Her two older sisters may not be attached to dolls, but one thing all three were familiar with was a video I’d found of nursery rhymes when Harper, the oldest, was a baby. It started out with the hoot, hoot sound of an owl and then a cartoon owl soared into sight with the song Twinkle, twinkle Little Star rolling on. By the time my second granddaughter Darcy became enamored with it, it was almost as if hoot, hoot was the only intro to Twinkle , twinkle.
And Greta, with a whisper of hoootttt…..her arms fly up in the air and she warbles twinkle, twinkle. So what else could I start with.
The back side was easy. When there’s an occasion to personalize with lettering, you know I’m there. I included a silhouette of the three sisters as I picture them captured in my minds eye.
Here’s one last picture of the crib.
I wish my Aunt Marge, Nancy’s mother, were here to see it. I’d always thought of her as Aunt Marge, knowing her name was Margaret. She was always supportive of my direction to follow art as a career. I think she’d be pleased to see this crib. I didn’t know her birth papers read “Margareta”. Greta’s name is a diminutive form of that name. The name keeps the love alive.
Ah….a small Christmas tale. I can’t wait for Greta to see it on Christmas morning. I know she will pile her babies one by one and tuck them in.
I’ll take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. A safe and healthy New Year to each of you. And a tremendous thank you for the work and support you have provided me with as an artist.