Once again, posts have been thin on the ground of late. I can’t help but feel that that has been due in part to the state of my craft room. My crafty activities have been spilling over into our downstairs snug, and I’d started to think that perhaps that was a nicer room to work in. Until that is, Mummy monster came down at the weekend and pointed out that I was probably enjoying being in there more just because it was clean and tidy!
A little ashamed of the state of the craft room, I decided to dedicate my Sunday afternoon to getting it sorted out. It truly had got into a terrible mess, but I had been feeling that any time spent tidying it up was wasted craft time. It had got completely out of hand. Exhibit A…
And managed to transform it to this; Exhibit B…
Phew, that’s better! The Eagle eyed amongst you might spot the new addition to my crafting arsenal. I got myself an overlocker. VERY exciting, and an amazing piece of kit. It took Mummy monster and I a fair bit of time to figure out all the settings and features but once we did there was no stopping us. The possibilities it opens up for me are immense and I’m very excited to have some new projects on the go.
So, now I have a lovely space to craft in. I just have to try and keep it tidy now, not my strong suit so wish me luck!
Researching sideshow mermaids was an interesting little task. A quick google mostly made reference to the eponymous Fiji Mermaid. A macabre splicing of a monkeys head and torso, sewn to a fish’s tail. I fancied something a bit more glamorous so kept on searching and began to uncover stories of simple illusions involving a trick of perspective. A girl made up in finest mermaid garb would position herself behind a small tank and appear to interact with rocks and plants within it. When viewed from the right position, she appears to be submerged in the briny deep.
Having always had a bit of a thing for mermaids it seemed the ideal excuse to get out my sequins and start sewing a little aquatic siren of my own, here she is!
Bryony Tide has never seen the sea. She grew up in a mining town in the Midlands on a diet of Bovril and artichokes, with nothing much to do except play tricks on the neighbour’s elderly and frankly quite flatulent dog. She despises water and hates even to get her face wet in the shower, the consequence of which being a constantly Bovril stained face. Ironic then that she secured a job in the sideshow as their resident fake mermaid.
And so, I find myself halfway through my sideshow ten-in-one. What a motley crew they make:
Hello there fabric fans! I hope you’re all having a lovely Easter, albeit a little chilly here in the UK. We’ve had a restful weekend here at Monster HQ, and Mr Monster has been beavering away producing a logo for my new line of creations. I’m planning on having them made up into labels to sew to each little Miss.
I had a little trip to the craft shop yesterday and like the Magpie that I am, I gathered some lovely, shiny, pretty, and colourful bits and pieces for some forthcoming members of the Dollface Collection so keep your eyes peeled over the next few days.
Strongmen were a mainstay of many a turn of the century sideshow, much rarer however was the strongwoman. There were several of note, often lifting men above their heads or offering a sum of money to any man who could beat them in a weight-lifting competition, as well as plenty of other odd displays of their inordinate strength. I figured my Ten-in-One wouldn’t be complete without a glamorous strongwoman of its own, so here comes Barbara Kettlebelle.
Despite her scrawny appearance, Barbara possesses unnatural strength for a woman having grown up wrestling with her fourteen older brothers. The circus offered her a place after witnessing her performing a clean and press with a baby elephant in the strongfolks Olympics. As you can imagine, a lady of her abilities needs a lot of fuel and her daily diet includes eight whole chickens, a gallon of chocolate milk, and her bodyweight in peanut butter and jam sandwiches.
Both Mr Monster and I are unashamed fans of anything to do with Oz. We were both spellbound by the original as kids, terrified by the Wheelers in The Return to Oz, and the Mr has been to see Wicked on stage on many occasions. It was inevitable then that we would be drawn to the new movie featuring James Franco as The Great and Powerful Oz, and the gorgeous Michelle Williams as Glinda the good.
Date night was declared and after a cheap and cheerful trip to Frankie and Benny’s we headed to the posh bit of our local cinema to have a cheeky glass of wine and some complimentary chips and chocolate in their plush leather seats; making it quite worth the extra few quid they charge for the pleasure!
It was an odd film in some ways with some great nods to the style of the original, quite cheesy with some proper hammed up performances. It gives the background of how the wizard comes to be in Oz and the transformation of the good witch Theodora played by Mila Kunis (a particular favourite of Mr Monster) into the evil, green-skinned Wicked Witch of the West who was the stuff of our childhood nightmares.
It was an enthralling couple of hours heading back to Oz and I highly recommend a watch while it’s still in the cinema. Rather fittingly, the story starts with a black and white James Franco working as a dodgy magician in a circus sideshow in the early 1900’s. With my current sideshow starlets project on the go, it was rife with inspiration for me and I found myself trying to work out how costumes were made and coming up with new ideas for the remaining dolls of my Ten-in One. The film quickly moves into glorious technicolour once the wizard crash lands in Oz. He meets three of the four witches of the land, all very different, but all beautifully outfitted and with defined characteristics.
It got me to thinking that one day I might like to make them in doll form. A little Oz of my own, good vs evil played out in fabric. I’ve got so many ideas of projects I want to work on, if only there were enough hours in the day!