Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Embroidered Baby Dress, Bonnet and Shoes - Simply Neutrals #35

Hello friends, 

If you've visited my blog before you will know how I love babies, especially 'vintage style' babies. 

My own three babies (two boys and a girl) were dressed in vintage woolens and hand made dresses, many of them vintage treasures saved up from op shops since I was 16! 

One of my favourite things is a vintage cane pram which I got from an antique shop in Cobargo called 'No Horse, No Wife, No Moustache' many years before having babies. Below is my daughter Roisin (which is Irish for 'little rose') in the old pram, wearing the embroidered dress I made for her. The old pram was very bouncy - good for unsettled babies. It didn't fold, so it was limited to our local vicinity only, and once the babies became adventurous and ready to climb, I had to abandon it as it had no harness.

baby by Jesse Rowan

Here is Roisin wearing the shoes and dress, but sadly, the bonnet was too small by then.

So I used a vintage woolen jacket and bonnet...

The pattern was from an 'Australian Smocking and Embroidery' magazine. I used a soft cream cotton twill, with palest pink and cream embroidery thread for the rose buds. Here's a close up of the embroidery...Here are the shoes to match...

The dress is now displayed on one of my porcelain dolls - 'Sugar Britches'. Still in the same pram...

Sugar Britches is a porcelain doll I made before I had my babies - I was always hoping the real thing would happen, but in the mean time I enjoyed dressing my baby doll in the vintage baby clothes I had collected. Her hair was real mohair which I tea-dyed, and she almost feels like a real baby - heavy and floppy. 

One of the most special presents I made for my Mum was a Sugar Britches doll - which I carried on a train to visit her before I had a drivers' licence ( with a few strange glances from other passengers!)

I'm joining Wen from Apple Apricot in Simply Neutrals Tuesday, where the theme is neutral.  Please visit here.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Fairy Garden - Simply Neutrals # 34

Hello friends,

Fairies have dwelt in my garden for quite a few years before they migrated indoors to my craft room where I display them among my found treasures...

Jesse Rowan's fairies

This is a collage of one of the fairies from my garden which I made using Photoshop elements - it's my daughter when she was much younger. Sadly, her fairy stage is well past.
Jesse Rowan's fairies

Finding the right wings in a suitable pose or shape can be tricky. Here I added wings and used a photo of a toadstool in our garden for my little fairy to stand on...

Jesse Rowan's fairies

As a child, I was always fascinated by fairytales, and fairies absolutely captured my imagination. My family moved a lot when I was growing up, and I would devour the 'Fairytales, Myths and Legends' section of each new school's library.

One of my favourite books was my (paternal) grandmother's copy of 'The Fairy Book' by Dinah Craik, originally published in 1863. 

Jesse Rowan's fairies

I never knew this grandmother, as she died when my Dad was only about 10 years old. I treasured her book, and read it over and over, hidden in a tree or cubby so nobody could interrupt me. My Dad passed the book on to me. Sadly, the title page is missing. I think my version was published in about 1910. The only illustrations my version had were in black and white - a header and illuminated letter at the start of each fairytale.

Jesse Rowan's fairies

You can read a lovely version of it here, with coloured illustrations by Warwick Goble:

There's another interesting version here:

My fascination with fairytales continues, and I've kept all the fairytale books even after my children have lost interest as I can't bear to part with them.

I became hooked on these little vintage fairies after I bought Dawn Edmonson's  'Fairy in a Jar' tutorial here. I love her vintage child image so much (below) - Thanks Dawn!

Jesse Rowan's fairies

 Here's my workbench with a few fairies in process...

Jesse Rowan's fairies

I use Photoshop Elements to adapt pretty vintage children's clothes to fit some of the fairies.

Jesse Rowan's fairies

Sometimes I add lace, crowns, feathers or flowers.

Jesse Rowan's fairies

A fairy display in my craft room...

Jesse Rowan's fairies

I think this vintage child image below comes from Dawn of The Feathered Nest, but I couldn't be sure. Poor record-keeping on my part, I'm afraid. 

Jesse Rowan's fairies

Here are the two fairies that I think are from Dawn in a candle lantern...

Jesse Rowan's fairies

 Here's the Princess Fairy Baby - she's one of my favourites.

Jesse Rowan's fairies

Here's a close-up:

Jesse Rowan's fairies

The Button Fairy...

Jesse Rowan's fairies

The Book fairy...

Jesse Rowan's fairies

Now for the Gumleaf Fairy Queen...

Jesse Rowan's fairies

Jesse Rowan's fairies

A box of fairies I've made from copies of vintage cabinet cards and butterfly wings I've prepared in Photoshop Elements...

Jesse Rowan's fairies

I'm joining Wen's Simply Neutrals party at her blog, Apple Apricot here

Why don't you pop across to see all the drool-worthy neutral artworks, collectibles and photo art on display? You may like to share some too...

See you soon,


Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Valentine's Day Roses - Simply Neutrals #33

Hello Friends,

Happy Valentine's Day! Such a day celebrating love deserves roses. Possibly red ones, but not in Simply Neutrals Tuesday! Here are some from my garden last season...

Wen at Apple Apricot is hosting Simply Neutrals Tuesday #33. I am linking up to Wen's blog here.

If you liked my post on the wildflowers of the Snowy Mountains, Part 2 has the more colourful pictures...It's here

Have a wonderful loving Valentine's week appreciating and being appreciated.

Jesse XX

Summer Alpine Walk Among Wildflowers

Hello Friends,

This is Part 2 of my walk in the Snowy Mountains. You can find Part 1 here.

Last week ( 6-9 February) I set off with two of my dear women friends for a camping and bushwalking adventure without children, something I have not done for about 25 years. I left behind the roles of mother/partner and was just myself for a few days.

Our base camp was at Thredbo Diggings, a wonderfully natural campground in the Snowy Mountains National Park, right on the Thredbo River. Being mid-Summer, the weather was mild enough to sleep under the stars (but we were prepared for anything, even snow!). The following days we would be up on top of the ridge we could see above the river (in the picture below), above the tree-line.

We collected dead wood (from outside the National park) for our campfire, and set up tents with a great view of the river. I slept under the stars and was kept awake by a marauding possum sorting noisily through our pots and pans looking for food. I wondered if he'd have the audacity to climb into my sleeping bag with me, as he'd come right up to sit at our camp table to help himself to our food as we ate our dinner!

A great river for a quick cold dip after a long hot walk...

A dragon fly...

A crow's nest...

Sitting in a snow gum...

The start of our trail...

Almost above the tree-line...

Mt Kosciuszko is at the far left. It doesn't look much higher than the surrounding mountains, because it's further away in these pictures.

I love the wide expanse of open sky... the clouds change all the time in the wind.

Granite rock sculptures covered in lichen...

A funnel web spider hole... no fingers down there thanks!

Rivers begin here at the top...

My favourite flowers - the blue bells. These are the biggest I've seen anywhere.

The flower below is one I thought of as an anemone, but I 
found out it is Muellers Snow Gentian (Chionogentias muelleriana).

What a beautiful bridal bouqet this would make!!!

I love the herbal smell as we tread through the alpine plants, (never stepping on flowers, of course!). Such a fresh and unique scent - though I feel guilty treading even on the grasses, but they are so hardy.

Looking up to the top of Mt Kosciuszko, you can hardly make out a few dots of people on top.

I love the papery everlasting daisies...

A hollowed-out granite bowl...

Paper daisies in drifts at the foot of Mt Kosciuszko...

Some yellow daisies too...

So windy up here on the highest point of Australia -Mt Kosciuszko!!!

We walked 35 kilometres in two days. I was a bit sore afterwards, but it was worth it!

Old worn fence posts from the days when cattle were brought up to the high country to graze before the National Park protected it...

A few fresh  snow daisies...

Looking back over the start of our walk...

 The friendly duck at our base camp...

Driving home up the coast for 4 hours, a rainbow graced the sky...

Thanks Annie and Mini for a great walking trip!

Thank you, friends, for joining me on my journey...

Jesse XXX