Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Hare

The Hare 
 is here.
  He is tall at 17 inches.. 20 inches if you count his fuzzy ears.
 He is dressed in a lined Red Herringbone and silk vest.
 He is made with Mohair, soft Alpaca wool and white Shropshire wool.
(I will tell you about this wonderful wool in another post.

Horatio Hopalong is his name and he is jointed in arms and legs, so he is able to wave his arms about, and he can stand...

  OR he can sit on his fuzzy bum.
 He has pink toes, whiskers and eyebrow hairs.
 His large amber glass eyes see everything.

 His head and neck are articulated and able to  move in ANY direction.

I really like him!
 It requires a good deal of time to create a bun.
 He is perfectly kissable.

He's my new buddy.

 I wanted you to see him, because this is how I am making my rabbits, squirrels, rats and cats.
 In the Spring, many of  my characters will be ready to hop to new homes.  I will put them on my website and bring them to shows. You may want to adopt your very own Hopalong, Fuzzyfoot, Whiskerkin, Bunwinkie or Featherweight. 
 Fondly from the Hollow, Jeri and Horatio Hopalong

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

one winter baby..and a stranger in the barn

We are celebrating a long awaited winter birth.. Demelza the broody hen has been SITTING for 3 months on a nest with no luck at all. It generally takes 28 days for an egg to hatch...she is either very persistent or very silly.
 Her eggs would mysteriously disappear, or she'd knock them onto the floor where they'd splatter like water balloons. Still, being a broody hen, she would not stop sitting. There would be days, when I would find 4 eggs beneath her warm body, and the next day all the eggs had gone missing. 
      It was a real puzzle and I blamed it on a RAT. I could just imagine that sneaky villain climbing the ladder in the night, a burlap bag slung over his shoulder, sliding his bony, grasping fingers under the unsuspecting sleeping  hen, stealing all the "loot"and slinking back down the ladder. Or, worse still, an entire gang of Bandito rats carrying the bootie to their hideout.
 Nevertheless, I continued to  supply her with fertile eggs (from other hens) out of pity, although it seemed so futile. Then alas! She finally did it, she managed to hang onto ONE egg which produced this one little baby, ever so sweet...
  Congratulations Demelza! We have a wee winter baby.
And now, on to our stranger in the barn. This gorgeous cat appeared in our barn about 2 weeks ago. He/she is just stunning. I made him/her a bed in the loft and leave food each day. I can get close but cannot touch. This cat has obviously avoided the wrath of BORIS. Maybe Boris is steering clear because I clipped his sharp claws and he can't cause trouble.
Beside, Boris has become fat and lazy, thank goodness. I think this cat looks like a "Tallulah", if it's a female and a "Toulouse" if it's a boy. Perhaps this pussycat will keep those Bandito rats at bay!

 This kitty has inspired a few more cat "parts" and the latest is
 this little puss who definitely looks to me like a little pickpocket.
 I think I will name him the "Artful Dodger"
  Very mischievous, don't you think?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hello funny face..

We are coming alive bit by bit,

at the moment we are just a lot of odd and funny faces,

  but that is how our  personality is determined.

 It's  in the eyes, and the facial expression.

 This is how the Mistress will decide our names and the kind of bodies we will have.

We are in the dozens and will introduce ourselves very soon , completely intact and clothed.
See you then, Fondly from Hopalong Hollow

Thursday, January 1, 2015

dolly chooses her name..as do others

       First I wish to thank you for all the  names you presented to the unnamed dolly, you are such good sports to participate! Talk about feast or famine, dolly went nameless for 30 years and suddenly she has nearly 50 beautiful choices.  Here, I present to you the variety that dolly dear had to choose from; Via email we have: Victoria Rose Hedwig of Landers, Martha Jane, Victoria, Penelope, Miss Tilly, Dolly, Louisa Mae, Little Nell,  Emily Grace, Adelaide or Heidi or Hedda, Hannah Louise, Wilhemina Grace, Lucille. From the comment section are the following names:   Miss Ida Redfern,  Ruby Sapphire,  Arabella Sparrow, Araminta, Winnie, Winifred or Beatrice,  Edith, Zelma Jeanette, Onetta Alberta, Violet May, Isabella or Bella, Phoebe, Jo, Sioban, (Vic, who DO you pronounce it?)  Miss Millicent Ivy,  Felicity, Jessamine Grace, Myrtle Marie,  Victoria (very popular!), Euphanie Trueblood, Sophronia Rose, Emmeline Amelia, Mary, Beatrice, (twice), Victoria (3 times!), Rebecca or Emily, Martha or Pearl and last but not least Lilly Lucille.
      This is a treasure trove of most worthy names, a confused dolly had a very difficult time picking only one. She finally narrowed it down to 5 names but I insisted she could only have ONE.
                                                             Dolly chose:
                              "Arabella Sparrow", Isn't that A SWEET name?
                                                I wish it were MY name.
                                          Thanks to Lori of Notforgotten Farm
         Since there were so many names leftover, 2 more little dolls requested a new moniker. One of the Southern Belles, tired of being, merely, Southern Belle #2, insisted on a first name as well :
Does she not look just like a Miss Millicent Ivy? Thanks to Linnie of "The Butt'ry and Book'ry"
   And this little gal, who's been going by the name of Plain Jane for ever so long, requested something a bit more upper class....
 Thank you  Betsy from Boone, VIA EMAIL.
And, there was one more lady without a name here in the Hollow.  In Spring, when the pea-chicks hatched, I kept one little female, now full grown and divinely lovely....
Her new name has become:
 A noble name for such a fine bird. Thank you  Charlotte from"Chest of Delights"
Winners, Choose your own prize from the following:
 Any signed unframed print on my website; go here to look:
 Any of my signed books from my website here: 
 A hand-cut silhouette under glass with either a sheep, a bird or a Stitching lady. I created these to be used as bookmarks, but most wear them as pendants. They also make very nice floss keeps if you put a Ring on the end. Winners, please email me with your choice of prize and your shipping address. 

    Again, I thank everyone for the great names.

 I wish I could choose them all, but rest assured that no names will go to waste; just wait till spring when l baby ducklings hatch, and new peachicks and  goslings ; I will have a plethora of names to choose from. I see right now, from my window, a fat white duck who looks just like a Miss Ida Redfern, and a Blond hen who passes quite nicely as Wilheminia Grace. So, don't be surprised if one of my critters ends up sporting a name supplied by you.
          And here is wishing you a wonderful new year, may 2015 be a very good one for all.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas dress for a 19th century doll sewn on a Red Eye Singer

 Firstly, for my sewing machine loving, quilting  and needle-working friends. rejoice with me on  success in my quest for a Beautiful RED-eye SINGER. 

This was a lucky deal as I had been SEARCHING for one on Ebay and then ending up FINDING one in my own  neck of the woods  at a local antiques Shop for $75. I scarcely believed my eyes  when I entered this Shop on a whim,and there she was,  A RED EYE Singer, in wonderful condition!

 We brought her home, plugged her in and walah! Runs like a champ.

 According to the serial number this model was made in 1924, the last year they made the RED EYES, so  named for the red "eye" designs on the fabulous markings. These were first manufactured in 1910 as treadle and hand cranked machines.
For my first project using this machine , I decided to make a Christmas dress for this poor old doll...
These  Bisque head dolls with leather bodies, were made in Germany between the 1860's and 1900.
She has a patch on her back, and her WIG is disintegrating beyond belief, it's horrid.  Other than that, her leather body is in good condition for such an old gal.

 Having those black stockings and lacy pantaloons has helped preserve her cloth feet, stuffed with sawdust. Only 2 small holes appear. I believe the legging items are original to her.
I purchased her about 30 years ago and she has never had a proper dress.  She has worn this ghastly, ill-fitting old "rag of a gown", all this time.

 It was never HER dress, just a hand-me-down from some other dolly... but she was wearing it when I purchased her and HAS DONE, ever since.
 Referring to the full size pattern I used when sewing my own Charles Dickens dress a few years ago, I adapted the pieces to make a Victorian 1850's-1860's dress for this poor neglected soul.

 The RED EYE stitches very nicely, but I am having trouble adjusting the stitch size. Does anyone know how to change the stitch width on this machine? Also, I can't seem to figure out reverse; anyone?
  It did not take much time to make her a Christmas dress. The waistband on the skirt and bodice were hand-stitched, all else was done on the machine.
The dropped shoulders and billowing sleeves are typical of the mid 1800's

Tiny buttons and a few snaps, hooks and eyes, and the 19th century dolly has a new wardrobe. She will soon have a new head of hair,  I have ordered a wig for her. Mamsey Bear has lent her a bonnet and a cap..until she is able to have her own..


After all, Mamsey Bear has many bonnets.

This little linen over-blouse came with the doll and is very appropriate to wear with the frock, the colors mesh perfectly.

But wait, She has no name!
     Can you believe she's not been named in all these years?! Now, it is your turn, please name the dolly for me, keeping in mind she is from the Victorian period. I will take the names you provide, and on January 1st, I will ask her which name she likes best.
 You can email me with a doll's name if your prefer:  jeri@hopalonggreetings.com

The winning name will receive a lovely gift from here in Hopalong Hollow. I'll let you know about that soon.

For now,  I wish to thank those of you  reading this blog, whether you are a frequent commenter or tend to read in anonymity, Merry Christmas to all!
And from SCROOGE (he was an actor strolling past my booth) and myself, here is a Tiny Tim Christmas greeting: "God Bless us Every one!"

Please listen to this wonderful group singing "I Wander as I Wander" Start the music at .55
Her original chorus is just awe-inspiring!