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Susie’s New Stove

A particular passion of mine is little dishes. Children’s or doll’s dishes, pots and pans and all things kitchen. So it makes sense that I also am quite fond of little cookbooks. Like this vintage Little Golden Book:

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Susie’s New Stove is cute, that’s it just plain cute. My copy is a bit grungy but still cute.

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Susie, who is cute as a button, has just gotten a brand spanky new toy stove — which in those days was a little metal electrical stove that did get very hot and really cook things. Which was a bunch of fun, I had a vintage one of these little stoves when I was little and we had bunches of fun using it. Mine looked more 1920s and stood up on curvy legs.

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Learning to cook is a process, like learning to do anything is. First you put on your apron so that not only do you look good (so important) but so you don’t goop up your clothes.

Then you decide what to make and look up (or ask your mother) what you need to make it. This is my favorite recipe from this book:

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You’ll notice it’s not so much cooking as heating up things. And that the essential last step is to turn off the stove. We don’t want to leave a hot little thing to accidentally start any fires. Or melt any of our play children.

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This is the table of contents. It is the last page of the book, sort of ironic placement. Which is the menu for Susie’s Daddy’s birthday meal which he says is delicious. (He’s one of those great dads these storybook children always get.) Actually my Dad was pretty happy with all the little things I cooked but I remember mostly making grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken noodle soup from a can. My stove was big enough to put a small real saucepan over both burners to make a whole can of soup — boo-yah!

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This last picture is Susie and Mike getting ready to cook a real dinner on the real stove. Ha!

Reading over this post it’s pretty obvious that I’m trying fairly desperately to find a way to feel a little cheeriness/happiness in what seems like an increasing wack-a-doo world. This week I chose to think about silly little food. And cute aprons.

So though it was in a totally disjointed awkward way I hope I gave you a moments respite from the real world.

Remember, more silliness over on Pinterest.

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at least I can let you know that I’m on Pinterest now. I have, oh six or eight boards ranging difference interests. The one that is linked here is called Color and Splash and it has mostly illustrations; the sort of thing I’ve been blogging about here. If you click on my user name pvlaughingmoon (it will be under any enlarged picture down by the description) it should take you to a page where you can see all my boards. You might like Weirdness in General or maybe Silly Little Things or even Food Art. Just saying: it’s there if you want to check it out.

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I’m not giving up the blog and I do plan to get back to weekly posts as soon as I can — it’s been a icky-bug-suffering start to the year. When I do have a tiny bit of energy it has been consumed by the agean task of cleaning out the workroom. Hey, I can see a big patch of floor! hooray?

Happy Holidays

No, I’m not a Grinch or anything like that. It’s just that I’ve been crazy busy and sick with the flu on top of everything.

So here I am, better late than never, wishing all of you the happiest of holiday seasons and the best of all things in the New Year.

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I chose this picture for this year because of it combines the sophisticated faerie with her art nouveu/deco feel with the sweet innocence of the pretty children. And bonus, it has a wonderful tree covered in old-timey decorations.

Last word: Just remember not to eat anything bigger than your head.

Do you love fabric? Do you wish you could get custom printed fabric (or gift wrap or wallpaper)?

Well that is just what Spoonflower is/does.

And right now they are having a wonderful event. 2nd chance at 2 for 1 Fat Quarters of Fabric.  Now until noon EST December 16. Effectively it’s actually 50% off Fat Quarters because when you get to your cart even if you have odd numbers they are all at 50% of regular price.

Usually they do this sale once a year — in November. This year I finally branched out from basic cotton and jersey and got some silk (real silk not polyester) and cotton sateen. They are gorgeous.

They have some truly lovely designs for sale. Just make sure to look at large pieces in the preview as not all designs repeat as well as others. Make sure you like the repeat before ordering.

This are some the currently trending designs:

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And a few (OK more than a few) of the designs from my favorites:

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(I ordered a fat quarter of micro20 after klimt in silk and it is amazing – more pastel than the preview but amazing.) And the captain owl doll in linen canvas (8″ swatch is 1 doll).

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I ordered some dotd skulls black medium in linen canvas last year to make a new skull handbag. Still haven’t made it yet but I’ve got the fabric. Hah!

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Yup, I bought the tiny steampunk octopuses and the exterminate 25cm fabrics this year.

I strongly advise creating an account so that you can make a favorites list; that way when there is a sales event so you’ve got them all in one easy to shop place. I didn’t do this the first year and figuring out what I wanted to order was both time-consuming and frustrating. Still worth it but boy did it eat up time.

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Miss Suzy by Miriam Young, pictures by Arnold Lobel, 1964.

Miss Suzy is a book that makes me feel all warm and safe. So I decided that today is the day to share it with all of you. It is Ucky outside! The story is about a lady squirrel who lives in a lovely tree house and gets chased out by a nasty squirrel gang. Then she ends up spending the winter in the attic of a house living in an old doll house. She befriends a group of toy soldiers who, in the spring, chase the squirrel gang out of her house. And they all live happily ever after.

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It has printed endpapers, which (as I have said before) I just love.

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Here she is in her house in the tree. It is a most charming house in a lush full autumnal-ish tree. It’s golden and inviting. I think that Miss Suzy’s house would make a spectacular doll house even though just the thought of creating at least the top part of the tree with the house is an extremely daunting prospect. Still, it would make an awesome doll house so it would be worth all the work.

Has anybody made this house? Does anybody want to besides me?

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Here she is cooking and cleaning. Her furnishings are minimal and made of the sorts of things a squirrel might find lying around outdoors. Note that the firefly lamps contain real live fireflies, I’m assuming she swaps them out every day or so that she isn’t keeping them caged until they die. She is after all, a kindly squirrel lady.

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Miss Suzy tucked up warm and cosy in her bed. Don’t you just want to climb in there and go to sleep?

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This is the doll house where she lives for the winter. She found the group of toy soldiers while exploring the attic for things she could use. They had been waiting a long time for someone to find them and play with them. So it worked out well for all of them and they spent the long winter together.

I love the illustrations in this book. The full color images are jewel-like and the limited color images balance the color pictures so that you don’t overload on color and become desensitized to it. By combining both types of pictures the book ends up being more than the sum of it’s parts.

I hope that you have enjoyed Miss Suzy, and remember if you want your own copy it turns up on Ebay and Amazon Marketplace regularly at reasonable prices. (No, I don’t get a cut — I just like to see good books find their people.)

Happy Halloween!

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Love those little goblins peaking out from behind the big pumpkin moon.

And a silly spooky Blythe dress:

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Yes, that is my handy dandy headless Blythe body which I got so I could fit patterns on it without risking scratching a great big Blythe noggin.

About a week or so ago I was doing some recreational browsing, which is kinda like retail therapy except you don’t generally buy anything. When I spotted this cool small scale skull fabric and thought I have got to make something out of that, at the counter I noticed that it had a tag on the bolt that said “Glow-in-the-Dark”. So I bought some and went home, dug thru my pattern stash and decided to make this yoked dress. Then I did a little google search to see if anyone made glow-in-the-dark thread and found out that DMC does. Wow! Back to the fabric store to get some and also pick up some lace for the bottom of the dress. A few, well several, hours later — ta da, Spooky Blythe Halloween dress.

Which I posted off to Arlene, who got the package, opened it, picked up the phone and Sqwee! She really liked it. Photo of her doll wearing the dress properly accessorized to come later.

A note about that DMC floss: it’s from their Light Effects collection and it’s number E940. It looks white in daylight but it Glows-in-the-Dark. Hooray! Also it’s made of polyester not cotton which means it’s fiddley to work with so for what it’s worth here are my tips for use. Use shorter lengths than you would for cotton floss, this stuff likes to unwind and tangle. Also try to only touch the needle not the floss as this stuff snags on everything, my hands aren’t the smoothest but they aren’t that rough and the floss kept catching on my fingers. Polyester floss is a booger to stitch with until you get the hang of it, but the final effect is worth it.

 

UPDATE:     Here are Arlene’s Blythe dolls all dressed up for Halloween.

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Right up front I’m going to totally own that I have a vested interest in this particular magazine project. ‘Cause J and I are massively addicted to this fairly new humor magazine “American Bystander” and want many, many more issues to be published so we can hug them in our greedy arms and croon over them in joy and laughter. We aren’t affiliated in any way with it’s creators or their publishing venture. We just really, really want them to be able to keep this wonderful magazine going.

American Bystander is a rare beastie: the print humor magazine. Decades ago there were these cool things that came in the mail or that you picked up from the newsstand that your mother hated and you and all your friends loved. These odd paper bundles were filled with funny articles, comics and fake ads that made people howl and roll around holding their stomachs. It was great. But those days are gone.

Flash forward. Now there is a chance to revive the printed humor magazine. American Bystander in Kickstarter for the funding of printing issue #3.

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This is a wicked funny magazine. J and I have issues #1 and #2 and love, love, love them.

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Issue #1 has a viciously funny parody of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Here’s a pic of an article from issue #2:

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This fake ad appears in both issues:

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So why am I posting this appeal to fund this project? Oh come on, you had to know where I was going with this. I was shocked today to go to the project page and find that with only five days to go they haven’t yet met their goal. So many people loved #1 and #2 that I was sure that #3 would fund with no problems.

Now I’m worried. So pretty please go fund this. And then share it with all your friends and ask them to fund it too. Then share it with your enemies, your grandma, your brewista, and the guy down the hall, oh and don’t forget that co-worker who always asks you to buy cookies from his kid.

Do it for me, do it for you, just do it damn it!

 

Oh and you can get #3 and pdfs of #1 and #2 for only $30.     Hooray!