The Humble Little Doll Theater plays: Antheas Visit

This is a rather weird little scene from ancient Greece…I made the costumes (like always!) from recycled and vintage fabrics and for the style, I used a costume book. It´s not really genuine, but good enough for me.

I wrote the letter in real ancient Greek. But don´t ask me, what it says- Its something about philosophy, a text I found at the web….

The story is simple: Two sisters life in a small village near Athens, where they share a house.

One day, bad news arrives: Anthea, a professional dancer and  relative of the sisters, announces her visit in a letter…and the trouble begins!

Is it true, what the rumour says...    On a hot summers day in a small village, somewhere in ancient Greece, bad news arrives.

A neighbor comes in a hurry: “It´s all over the village! Is it true, what the rumour says?  ANTHEA is coming for a visit?

 

That´s her letter. She arrives today!

 

 

 

“Yes. Unfortunatelly, it´s true! This is her letter….She arrives today!

I don´t like her!

 

 

 

 

 

“That´s horrible news! I really don´t like her! She is vain, selfish and talks about nothing but dancing!”

Nobody likes her, she´s a horror!

 

 

 

 

 

“Nobody likes her! But what do we expect? She is a professional dancer and that is all, she cares about- Exept of her own beauty! That woman is a horror!

Anthea for a visit! Can´t we pretend, we´re out...

 

 

 

 

 

“Oh sister, can´t we pretend, we´re out? Or left the country in a hurry? ”

“You know, we can´t! She´ll find us everywhere! So we must try to be good hosts on all costs!”

Not even the philosopher have a good advice

 

 

 

 

 

Not even the philosphers have a good advice for the poor sisters!

She makes us dance until we´re edhausted!

 

 

 

 

 

“Yes, we must be good hosts! That´s the morals! But she´ll make us all dance again, until we´re totally exhausted! Think at her last visit! We needed three weeks after she left, to get back on our feet and recover! I´m still limping a bit”

I go and get some! Maybe from the poisoned well!

 

 

 

 

 

“Anyway! She´ll need some fresh water, if she arrives.”

“I go and get some….Maybe from the polluted well!”

Welcome Anthea! How...ähm...good to see you!

 

 

 

 

There´s no way to hide…Soon before noon Anthea arrives in her travel-clothing.

“Welcome Anthea….How….good….to see you again!”

“Oh girls! I had SO MUCH FUN!”

I danced at the palace of Ithaka!

 

 

 

 

“I danced at the palace of Ithaka!”

And I danced before Helena of Troy!

 

 

 

 

 

“And I danced before Helena of Troy! You can´t imagine, how beautiful she is! But not as beautiful as I am, of course!”

“How….very interesting, Anthea….After your long journey , don´t you wan´t some fresh water from the poll….I mean from the well nearby?”

You´re boring!Don´t sit around! Let´s dance!

 

 

 

 

 

“I don´t want water! Haven´t you some wine? Oh, come along! don´t be so boring and sit around all day Let´s dance! I´ll teach you a new style, I learned in Korinth”!

NO! Please Anthea, DON´T!

 

 

 

 

“No Anthea! Please DON´T!”

Dancing is an art!

 

 

 

“Dancing is an ART!”

More expression! None of you has discipline!

 

 

 

“More expression! None of you has discipline!”

I can´t go on!

 

 

 

 

“Oh mighty gods, please help us! I´can´t go on dancing!”

What will happen next? A sudden flash from the Olymp, to end Antheas promising career? Or will her victims strike back for once? Or maybe Anthea get´s bored with her hosts and hurrys to the next dancing-event to have another triumph?

That depends on your own fantasy!

The last scene, with the poor girl broke down, is actually my recreation of a scene on a vintage photograph from the 1920s, where the real dancers copy the style of Isadora Duncan.

That dancing-scene gave me some trouble…Have you ever tried zu make a Syb pose vertically without a stand? I don´t know, how often the dolls dropped down, before I managed them to pose in the right way. (Well, at least a little bit in the right way…)

And how to place the big vase or amphora on the syb´s head without having an accident? Don´t ask!

And there is another problem, I couldn´t fix: None of the girls wears shoes! It´s impossible, to find matching antique-style sandals for fashion dolls with high heel feet. But going barefoot was not uncommon in the ancient world, so I decided to skip that problem.

For the doodads and pieces in the background: Some of them are Roman or Etruscan replicas. The rest is modern tourist-stuff from fleemarkets or charity shops.

For the wigs- thank´s to Marcia again. They are  not really ancient greek style, but look a bit in that way.

The Humble Little Doll Theater plays: The Vanity Set!

Why shouldn´t I do a set about “vanity”?

I think, my Sybarite “Midnight” is the perfect actor for this little scene.

It´s one of my older and simply sets, but I never had the time to post it before now.

Midnights dress is made of some rotten 1960s lace and a vintage tablecloth.

I bought the mirrors some 30 years ago in a travel agency and always knew, I would need them someday!

In the middle of the shooting, I suddenly decided to change Midnights hairdo. (Don´t ask why!) So she got her original wig back and changed her look completely.

Now look at vanity in person and her little helpers…

Mirror Room

Midnight in her “mirror-room”

Queen of Rags

 

 

 

 

 

Queen of rags!

Vanity

 

 

 

Sheer vanity!

Fir Green suits me...

 

 

 

 

 

Fir green suits me!

I´m the center of the world!

 

 

 

 

 

I´m the center of the world!

I´m the prettiest!

I can´t believe, how BEAUTIFUL I am!

Even Vanity is exhausting!

 

 

 

 

 

But beeing THAT beautiful,

can sometimes be exhausting!

Don´t disturb me, boys!

 

 

 

 

 

Don´t disturb me, boys!

I´m tired! Please leave me alone!

 

 

 

 

 

No, please leave me! Some of us just want to be alone….

But before you go, bring me the biggest mirror, you can find!

The Humble Little Doll Theater plays: Jazz Age 1

I love the style of the 1920s!

And I was lucky enough, to get two versions of Tonners Devereaux Sisters, Louise and Renee´. Both dolls are very beautiful and I enjoy it very much, to sew cloth with genuine vintage fabrics from the late 20s or 30s for them.

Renee´s suit is made from a precious piece of egyptian revival fabric. I possess another one in a similar pattern. I think, it will make a second suit, this time for Louise….

My second set was a bit more appealing than the first, but I had still much more to learn (and still have!)

I had a few real  Art Déco curtain pieces and some doilys and other items. But not enough to cover up the whole set. So I knew, I needed some more things for the theater. And I also knew, where to find them: Fleamarkets, second hand shops, charity department stores…The next sets could come!

WP_20171013_10_00_30_Pro The Miss Devereaux on their daybedWP_20171013_10_02_04_ProTwo Sisters together WP_20171013_10_04_05_Pro WP_20171013_10_10_34_ProWe´re going out!

Wild Ribbon-Top

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I have so much to do at the moment….I don´t even have the time to write articles for my blog…But sometimes, I find a way (and an hour or two)….

Actually the “Wild-Ribbon-Top” isn´t my own design.

I found the inspiration in a 1900´s-fashion-magazin-illustration. Of course it looked very different: It was a dress, in another color,long-sleeved with very long ribbons, draped artistically around the skirt. What looks so amazing on the picture, would never work in the real world. (Like many fashion-illustrations from the first quarter of the 20th century) It´s more like a luxurious fantasy. But I thought, it could be modernised and made wearable with a few changes…So I made a top instead of a dress, with much shorter ribbons, NOT wrapped around the skirt. The artistic effect is gone, of cause, but my version prevents you from “stumble and fall”….

I sewed it from rough corduroy, found on a flea-market. The ribbons are predominant vintage and the decoration around the neckline was made from braided vintage ribbons.

One can wear the top solo, but I think, it looks better with a simple longsleeved under-gown.

Hop in the Pond!

 

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The only thing you can do, if you wear a froggy dress like this, is to hop in the next pond. Or to write a story…..

Hop in the Pond!

A rag-princess tale

 

On a  bright summer day, not long ago, the rag-princess went on a walk with her dear friend, the beautiful princess with a pie through the forests of fairyland. After a while,  they came to a masoned well.

„Oh! What a romantic pond!” The princess with the pea called. (She wasn´t the smartest, you know…)

„Now…ACTUALLY it´s a WELL!“ The rag-princess said.

„Who cares about such nonrelevant details! Pond, well…Where´s the difference?“  the princess with the pea answered, went closer to the well and bend herself over the masoned edge.

“Oh!  The water-level is quite high in there! I can see my own reflection!” She jumped up and down forward the edge and admired her reflection, until suddenly she began to scream: “MY PEA! MY PEA! My pea dropped in the pond!”

The rag-princess shrugged. „So what?“ Go home to the castle´s kitchen, open the fridge and get yourself another pea!”

“But you don´t understand! It was my GOLDEN Pea!”

„What are you talking about? I don´t understand any word!”

„I talk about the golden pea I won! It was the award for the „most sensitive princess of the whole fairyland-contest!“

The rag-princess groaned. It´s quite funny, how you can get an award for every nonsense these days!

Maliciously she said: „If you want to get your precious pea back, you have to hop in the well, dive under and search the ground, until you found it!“

„Hop in the POND? Into that dark, muddy, water? Dive Into this DARK ABYSS?  In my BEST dress? Und who knows, what dirt and microbes may lurk there or monsters and horrible beings like FROGS!  Have you forgotten, WHO I am?“

The rag-princess hadn´t forgotten and she found her secret joy in watching the princess without a pea shivering with fear.

„Frogs are known to life in ponds! And THIS is a WELL!” she said.

But she had hardly spoken the last word, when the water splashed and a big, fat frog sat there on the edge of the well and stared at them angrily with golden eyes.

„What riot you women make! Can a frog not be left alone for five minutes? I was just composing a new frog-concerto! So stop this infernal noise!

„What did I say? It´s a POND!  And there he is, the icky FROG!“ the princess without a pea screamed and looked  reproachful at her friend.

„Did you say “icky“?”  The frog  croaked. „ Must I bear an insult from such unsavory, pale women, while one of them wears only rags and the other is a screechy hysteric?”

„Be careful, what you say! We are PRINCESSES!” the princess without a pea screamed.

The frog laughed himself half to death.He nearly fell of the well´s edge.

„Princesses! And I am the golden toad of luck! The frog scoffed, as soon as he could breath again.

The princess without a pea opened her mouth to start screaming again, but the rag princess decided to access.

„We´re only two women in need of help from a brave frog!” She said hasty.

The frog winked with his eyes, cocked his head and looked at her suspiciously.

„Why should two princesses need a  plain frog like me? Don´t you have servants?“

„We´re MODERN princesses….“ The rag-princess  sighed. „ And complete helpless in this situation.  Only you can help us, you noble, benevolent frog!” Now the frog looked a bit flattered  and his voice became kind.

„So, what is it, you´re asking for?” He said.

„My golden pea dropped in the pond!“ The princess without a pea called.  „And now we need someone, to dive into this icky, muddy broth and fish it out. Tears stood in her beautiful eyes.

But frogs usually don´t care for women´s tears and neither do they like their homes to be insulted. So he ignored her ululation and shook his big head.

„Nope. Go and find someone else to get your pea. Just because I´m a frog and you´re two rather dopey PRINCESSES, there is no reason, why I should be your servant and do the dirty work for you arrogant women! And by the way…I think it´s rather silly, to run around with a golden pea!”

Said it and jumped back in the well with a splash of water.

„But….But we´re going to REWARD you! The princess without a pea screamed afterwards.

„Thank´s but no thanks! The hollow answer came out of the deep.  „I got everything, a frog needs!”

For a moment the princess witout a pea stood stiff and still, than she began to whine and cry loudly. It was like someone had linked a siren to a water cannon. The rag-princess shook her head and slapped her friend, to make her quiet. Than helped her, to sit down on the next comfortable stone. Now she began to think.

„I may be not a beauty and always dressed in rags“ She said with a side glance at the still whining princess without a pea. “But I got wits and maybe I have an idea, how to make the frog change his mind.

She lurked to the well and positioned herself, so every word could be heard loud and clear:

“How annoying, Mr. Frog wouldn´t cooperate! Now the only way is, to inform the authoritys!“

„A…..Au…thoritys?“The princess without a pea whined. “W…hat authoritys?“

„Now, the department for  magic-well administration for example. What do you think will they do, if it becomes public, how DANGEROUS this well is!

The water surface began to tremble.

„Why…dan…gerous? The princess without a pea whined again.

„Imagine, what can happen at an insecure well like this!”

Bubbles came up  and the water surface got more agitated.

„All those tourists from everywhere, running in herds through the forest and come to this well, thirsty and tired! Think of all those digicams, sunglasses, smartphones, laptops and TODDLERS to drop into the well!

Two big frog-eyes lurked atop the water surface.

„Of cause  it´s possible to SECURE the well with a grid. But that takes money and the fairyland is constantly bankrupt. And the oger, the talking boar and the merman would always severe the grid- You know, how they are!“

To the frog´s eyes now came to long legs, fretful fidgeting around in the water.

„So in the end, they have to tear the surroundings down and fill up the well. And the golden pea will remain deep underground for eternity!”

The princess without a pea struggled her hands and whined louder. In the well, the water began to splash.

„What will become of Mr. Frog?….! The rag princess shrugged.  „I think, Mr. Frog  will reside in a dungeon for a while, indicted for illegal dwellling in a dangerous public  well and after his time in the dungeon, they expulse him and if he ever finds a similar homely pond, where he can compose and non of the other frogs kill his nerves, that  is only known to the fairy godmother!”

She had hardly ended her long speach, when something sparkling hurtled through the air, over the edge of the well and touched down in front of the princess without a pea´s feet.

„MY PEA!” she screamed and stopped  whining at once. “My GOLDEN PEA!“ she bend down and grabbed the treasure from the ground.

Now she began to dance and panned the shining pea, so full of joy, that she didn´t even noticed her environment.

„That was blackmail!“ The frog croaked.  „And what about the dungeon?“

“No dungeon!“ The rag-princess said. „Why should we put a helpful frog like you in a dungeon and expulse him from his home sweet home?”  You could hear the stone (or was it a pea?), falling from the frogs heart. He nodded at the rag-princess and dived down to his private concert hall, where he  enjoyed  full of relief the pleasure of his frog-concerto.

The rag-princess sighed, grabbed the princess with a reclaimed pea on the back of her dress, to stop her from dancing around and pushed her on the path homewards to the castle.

„Put away that thing, or I´m going to throw you into  the well, where you can meet Mr. Frog again! I can´t bear peas anymore!“ she said.

Her friend made a face, but obeyed.  Then she had a thought: „In every fairy-tale, the hero will be rewarded at the end. Even if the hero is a heroine this time….That means, you can make a wish now…So what do you require?”

The rag-princess stood still. “Well…..if you ask me…..Didn´t you go through your 48-yard of wardrobe, like you do every month and weren´t there some ball-gowns, only worn once, you intended to dump?

„That´s right! Tomorrow is garbage collection day!“

Good. Then this is my wish: No garbage collection this time. Instead I get all the ball-gowns. I´m short on stuff for my new rag-collection at the moment.

The princess with the pea swallowed hard and turned pale, thinking of the horrible garments, her friend would make from the ball-gowns, but she nodded bravely.

And so, at the same evening, the rag-princess  dragged some bags of stuff into her secret sewing-cave down in the dungeons of prince charming´s castle, which drove him almost to infarction.

But from now on, the princess with the pea avoided every kind of waters.

And the frog? He called himself „Croakhoven“ and became a very famous composer, best known for his frog-sinfonia in e-dur. And if he hasn´t died, he´s still composing!

 

 

Don´t dump- Donate!

WP_20151104_10_56_01_ProSometimes you get sewing items, you don´t want or need for yourself. Maybe it´s the wrong color or material or you don´t like the pattern…..Of course you could dump and forget it. Or just throw it in one of those recycling banks.

But in the majorty of cases, the things are to good to be dumped and if you choose the recycling bank,  some of the fabrics end in rags or will be shipped to Africa.

It´s much better to donate.

I donate my things to a group of young girls, working on creative projects at school.  It´s fun to see, what they are doing:

www.sew.it-your-self.blogspot.de – only German language

Their teacher is a talented scholar and zealous sewer. Her projects can be found on www.coudre-liaison.blogspot.de (also only German language)

So look around…Is there a group of creative people in your environment? Or a social department? A neigbour with low income but some children, who could use the things for handicraft work? Or someone in the DYS field?