Monday, January 04, 2010

Three Treasures for Halfland

It may not be Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh, but over the holidays Halfland was showered with gifts from three wise and kind women:
Halfland's Spinning Wheel
The delightful D.J. Dyer found this vintage toy spinning wheel (it works!) in her super finding places and thought the scale might be right for 1/2L. She generously shipped it to me from British Columbia and wouldn't take anything for it! It's absolutely perfect! I never would have made a spinning wheel for Rana, contenting myself with her easier to make loom, but now that it's here, I think it's a fabulous addition to the cottage set.

On the left you see a photo of a VERY Rana-like woman at her spinning wheel (from wikipedia under spinning wheels) I'll be inspired by her mix of layers and stripes for Rana's costume, In the middle is D.J.'s wheel, as it arrived, in front of Rana's half chair/table. On the right is how it looks now that I've Halflandized it. I took it apart, studied spinning wheel function, carved the fly head down and shaped the clean edges on the base to look more rustic, painted it in the cottage's palette of ocher, red, and pink, solidly glued it together, rigged it with a band around the wheel to turn the spool, and actually hand-spun a length of colored wool to twist onto the bobbin.  D.J. also sneaked some sunflowers and a basket into the box. Thank you, D.J.! That was so fun to open and so incredibly useful to have for the project!

Halfland's OFFICIAL Naturalist, the marvelous Marcie Knowles sent me a charming package filled with fabulousness. I thought I needed more natural material in order to finish the chandelier for the cottage. So, rather than actually go outside, I wrote to Marcie and requested that she see if she ran across any tiny pinecones or acorns on her walks in the South. She jumped to the task like a soldier and off she and her husband went collecting incredible treasures! She not only sent the perfect cones and corns, but also clippings of Victorian era dancers and tree-lined streets, a set of over-sized insect wings, a glorious smelling block of natural beeswax, a tiny glass bottle filled with very very old dust from a very very old silver mine and wrapped lovingly in a rustic wooden box that screams to be made into a shadow box scene. Thank you, Marcie! That was so fun to open and so incredibly useful to have for the project!

As part of a surprise vintage gift pack from her forays into the finest Brocante (French Antique Fairs), the divine Corey Amaro included a goodly length of HANDMADE antique lace for me that looks for all the world as if made by talented spiders! It's beyond perfect for the edges of Rana's skirting and Corey knew it would be! Thank you, Corey! That was so fun to open and so incredibly useful to have for the project!


  1. Heh... I have a miniature spinning wheel, too, also given to me by a Canadian! Mine is just the right scale for my 10 inch tall granny puppet. That looks very much at home in Rana's cottage! And more goodies from Marcie and Corey too, you've really attracted a great group of artists and artisans to the Halfland cause.
    Best wishes for this new year!

  2. Hi Shelley,
    So nice to mention us gals, we Halfland fans and dreamers. The spinning wheel is a gem! Corey,,now how wonderful to get some french lace. We will all look forward to the wonders you create.

  3. Hi Nick! I wonder if there are a lot of toy spinning wheels in Canada for some fluke of a reason? [I Googled that and can only conclude that it may be because folk toys in general would be most valued in colder harsher areas such as Canada, Idaho, etc. where people tend to value the lasting meaningful pleasures found in folk arts.] Makes sense to me.

    It's a neat mechanism. I couldn't believe how pushing down on the treadle actually makes the wheel turn?!

    You are so right about the quality of people who visit here, Nick. And you're a huge example of that!

    Thank you again, Marcie! I went outside today (!) and found some ocher colored seeds that will additionally add to the chandelier things you sent!

  4. What a community!!!!!

    so very very awesome...


  5. Oh it looks amazing now that it's been Halflandized!! I wonder about that square opening it has? Do you suppose it was meant to hold a little tray for a plant or something?
    I love all the other treasures you were sent also. Lovely!
    Hugs and stuff!! xx

  6. Too True, Justin! Too True!

    Hi DJ! I can't figure out whatthe square opening is for either! Googling>>>

    Ok the flat part is called a bench... the fly head is called the flyer and is position above the wheel, like in the one you sent, in a "castle" style spinning wheel... I don't see many real wheels with such and opening which brings us back to your idea about the toy being used to maybe hold something?

    I might use it in Halfland to hold spun bobbins of wool!

  7. I too have a toy spinning wheel. Ours however came from the North Pole. Santa brought it last year for Valentina (who was 3) because she had been very good all year and it was the only thing on her list! It fits your theory in that it does come from a colder harsher climate...

    I'm not sure if you are aware but that picture of the lady spinning from Wikipedia is of me at my grown-up wheel. No kidding! The outfit is my uniform and I'm working on the wrinkles. Christmas brought me my first grey hair!

    Sending my best for 2010!!!

  8. These are lovely gems indeed!

    I always believed that one will always get back what he or she had given before...

    I conclude you must have been a real lovely person which makes it even nicer to contribute anything to Halfland! ;)

  9. Your Valentina is my kind of girl!

    HA! You are NOT that woman, Karima. And talk to me when hairs start growing on your chin like mine!! First grey hair Pfft! That's nothing!

    Thanks, Jessica! I haven't been particularly good to others in this life so must be lovely payback from a previous round?! HA!

  10. m_) Awesome stuff as usual, lol I know im supper rushinggg...yet let me announce you this: My website has been entirely renewed. please stop by and visit us. whenever you have nothing to do :)

    m_) Ok im off to work now, bye!!

  11. Hi Dan! I like your new banner art for Metal Mad Cat on that blog. Hope you have a good day at work!

  12. Hi, I found your blog through Rosie Posie and your felted kitty is soooo cute at the top of your blog!

  13. Welcome, Candylei! Lovely to have you here.

  14. Beautiful new additions!

    And thanks for the Christmas card Shelley! Beautifully made as well - everything from Halfland has a charm to it that always makes me smile.


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