Barbie’s Pink Tea Party

The pink dress I made especially for today’s Pink Tea Party could very well be the most beautiful thing I’ve made so far! I think my Barbie is very pleased to have something so nice to wear to the party today, which is to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of Pink  Saturday and is hosted at How Sweet the Sound.

The vintage doll’s cane furniture is the first thing I’ve ever bought from Ebay about two weeks ago. I remember when I was a little girl some of my friends had these but I didn’t, and when I saw them on Ebay I just had to grab it! There was also a four piece lounge set for sale with normal chairs instead of the peacock chairs, but because it was my very first ebay purchase, someone else bid at the very last minute so I lost! I didn’t make the same mistake on the peacock chairs though, and got them for $16 including postage. Probably a little on the expensive side for my modest doll collection as I’m not too serious about it, but I do believe the seller when they said this cane set is about 40 years old! I think it’s a very special thing.

Using a 2.5mm hook and a small ball of baby pink yarn, I started the doll’s dress on Monday afternoon and finished midday Tuesday, so it took less than one day. This is not the first dress I’ve made like this, although I think it’s an improvement on the orignal because it crosses over at the back so you can’t see her knickers – if she is wearing any! The Barbie dresses I make are inspired by a dress I’ve kept and treasured from my childhood which my mother tells me was made by my Nanna Pam. You can’t tell when she is sitting down, but you can pinch the skirt to make pleats appear. I am so tickled pink I could manage to make something as pretty as this!

In an attempt to preserve the doll’s hair as long as possible, I try and keep it tied up in a little snood. Anyone who has collected dolls knows how synthetic hair can ruin over time. But the pretty pink dress needed it’s own hat, so I decided to give making a bonnet a go! I looked on google for images of crochet doll bonnets, but there were not many that I could see. I remember a knitted bonnet I wore as a young child which folded neatly into a square, so I made one up kind of like that. I didn’t follow a pattern at all, and used the same stitches as in the skirt of the pink dress.

The tiny coffee table needed a pink doily, don’t you think? This is my first completed proper doily and it took me between 2 to 4 hours I think, finishing it last Thursday morning. I used a pattern in a book I borrowed from my local library on Monday called “101 Easy Scrap Crochet Projects“. The pattern for this doily is on page 40-41.

This doll’s setting would not be complete without a tiny doll’s teaset but when I looked on ebay for those I decided they were too expensive. But when David took me to the Salvo’s store last Saturday I saw this set for just $1! That was more like it I thought, but didn’t notice until I got to the counter that the teapot has been broken and glued back together. Oh well, I don’t think Barbie minds! And the tiny teddies don’t drink tea anyway. The cheeky things have hidden a big bottle of liquor to sip during today’s party, those Party Animals!!! A good thing too, because there is only one teacup!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my special pink tea party!
❤ ❤ ❤

For more pinkness check out today’s special anniversary of Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound.

Highlights from this week’s party

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Women's Creative Centre, Greenslopes and Lifeline Store, Mt Gravatt

Last Wednesday I managed to get myself along to a craft workshop organised by the Women’s Creative Centre in Greenslopes. I post every Wednesday to help motivate me to write about getting out of the house. Included are some photos of things I bought when David took me to the Lifeline shop at Mt Gravatt the previous Sunday, like this cute little garden charm we now have sitting on our garden outdoor table.

It was a challenge to even find out about this craft group in the first place, as I’ve been looking on the internet for a while and hadn’t found anything local. I only happened to be told about this group when I asked at the Kingston Butter Factory craft shop if they held lessons. After searching the net for “Creative Women’s Centre” I found one short page as part of some listing site which had precious little information, just an email address. So I wrote to the email address and got sent a document that I couldn’t read because I didn’t have the software. Luckily, David helped me download it so I could read a little more. Last Saturday David drove me out to Greenslopes to see the place, as I wasn’t going to go by myself without ‘casing the joint’ first! I plucked up the courage to speak to two ladies in the shop about going along to a lesson.

The lessons, or workshop which cost only $4.50, is not held at the craft shop but in another room in the shopping centre. It was nervous for me to walk into a strange room with strange people, its a pity they kept the window blinds closed. One lady went to close the blinds because she ‘didn’t want people looking at us’. I think that’s a shame because it makes it harder for new people. I’m really glad I went to the craft group, and it went for two hours which was just the right length of time. I fit right in with my wonderfully perfect cane sewing basket which I got second-hand for an amazing $3 from the Lifeline shop last Sunday.

I learnt a new way of starting and ending my crochet work, which is great. I also talked with the instructor about tension and how to better judge which wool and hooks I should be using for certain projects. I had a go at an Irish Rose and I got a copy of the pattern, which is great. I also talked about the bolero I want to make, ending up changing my mind about which wool to use. There was a lot of inspiration for me to get going on several projects, I just don’t know which to start next! I’ll be going along again today, taking my patterns and cottons to ask about making doilies and to try and use up my pile of wool … which doesn’t seem to be shrinking yet!

Perhaps I should stop buying new wool??? lol!

Restoring an Old Dusty Cane Basket.

I’ve had this cane basket for ages, I really liked it so have hung unto it. It would make a great bread basket when serving bread rolls for guests, if it was clean!

This was in such bad shape I was thinking I would have to chuck it, but I didn’t because I have inherited that ‘I can’t throw stuff away’ thing from my mum! So I picked it up this morning and had a go at weaving back in the loose cane threads and decided to look up how to clean cane on the internet.

I found a site that explained how to clean cane baskets, which also had other information about wicker. I found out from there that I shouldn’t submerge my cane in water. Good thing I read that first, as I was considering it! You clean the dust off the cane with a brush, like a toothbrush, which is what I used. This site also suggested using linseed oil to polish it up. Now, I know that stuff is expensive and wondered if I could just use olive oil. I have heaps of that as I buy it  in lots of 4L when it’s $5 per L. So I did a google search and found something about using olive oil to polish wood furniture. So I used the recipe, figuring what’s the worst that could happen? I could ruin the cane and throw out something I was going to throw out anyway.

Instead of vinegar, I choose the lemon juice option as I thought that would smell better. I think it does smell nice now, a little like new cane from the shops, which makes me wonder if they use something similar. I put 3 parts olive oil to one part lemon juice in a recycled garlic jar and shook it up. Using the toothbrush, I rubbed a little of the mixture to clean and polish the cane. I then left the basket in the sun to dry. Since then I’ve used it as a bread basket when David made up a beautiful batch of sweet bread rolls.

I made a label for the jar in case I needed to use it again soon, and stuck it on with some wood glue. It was my first excuse to use the new pinking shears I invested in yesterday. They were so expensive, but I was assured it was an excellent brand so I’m going to really look after them so they last me forever!