A Rainy, Gloomy, Happy Day

You…Complete me. NOW!

I don’t mind a rainy day.

Rain gives me an excuse to stay indoors, curl up on the sofa with a fuzzy, plush blanket, maybe a cuppa hot chocolate while watching old Mid-Century black and white TV sitcoms. I’m talkin’ Dennis the Menace, Hazel, Leave it to Beaver, and Father Knows Best. Late at night my favorite is the old Jack Benny Program. Because when I hear the pitter-patter of tiny raindrops on my roof top, I know this is a sign from God that it is my duty to be lazy.

The cold finally settled in here on the north-east coast. With the rain came the cold chill of autumn air, and the heater was turned on. The cold on the back of my neck while working on my art dolls encouraged the hunt for my ‘house scarf’, a wool/cotton short scarf just perfect for wrapping around your neck on these über cold nights.

A late summer harvest of autumny butternut squash in my much-ignored garden is another sign that its nesting time around here. I baked some up, added butter, salt and pepper, then surrendered to the pending cabin fever that winter around here promises. I don’t mind. There’s plenty to do. That’s one of the few perks of being a stay-at-home artist.

It was raining on Sunday when I woke and decided it was just the right mood and atmosphere for a visit to my favorite antique shop. I was in search of antique and vintage laces, trims and fabrics for making dolls clothes. I was not disappointed.

An Antique – possibly Victorian – Lace Collar

1920′s Lace Dress

Victorian Mourning Clothes

The search was on for moth-eaten remnants of Victorian Mourning clothes, such as these capes and gown, above. They didn’t have any spare parts available, but I asked that the dealers find me some. I wouldn’t want to deconstruct beautiful – and expensive! – dresses like these for doll clothes. The gown in the middle was $150.00, and the cape on the right was $120.00. But, they aren’t making these any more, so it is righteous pricing!

As I was leaving with a bag full of vintage laces and trims, about to step into my car, I was stricken by this horrible sight:

The Casket Morgue

- it appeared to be a cemetery for old caskets. Drawing closer, I noticed they were all composed of thick cement… But…why?

At first, I imagined there were dead people inside them. But upon reflection, I had to wonder… could these be casket molds? They were oddly arranged in this weedy lot, and spray painted gaudy golds, silver, copper and plain old black.


Well, between the mourning dresses and capes, the rain and the caskets, I felt sufficiently conditioned for some Halloween creating. So over the past couple days, I got to work on my latest little art doll, another creepy-cute little Ghost Bride. Here she is, without her white hair yet, or the gorgeous white silk wedding dress I am sewing for her.  

Isn’t she just hauntingly delicious? I’ve been up all night (too many rain-naps on the sofa yesterday) and I can’t wait to wake up and finish her. Hence, my happy –  though gloomy – day :)

How has everyone been? I just discovered how to read blogs again. By going into my email, which is used exclusively for this blogging account – everyone’s posts are right there, just waiting for me! So I will be visiting some of you soon.

Until then -


*NOTE: A LITTLE ONLINE RESEARCH SHED SOME LIGHT ON THOSE CEMENT CASKETS – they turn out to be Burial Vaults. Most cemeterys require something like this around coffins because it helps with ground settling, and keeps the earth level for the heavy machinery that passes over. Mystery solved!

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Categories: Crafts, View Finder | Tags: , , , , , , | 17 Comments

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17 thoughts on “A Rainy, Gloomy, Happy Day

  1. She’s delightful! You’re so very talented.

    I thought your first black and white picture of the casket morgue was from the antique shop – what a great mood-setter.

    • Hi, Peg- I was reading thru blogs this morning, and tried to visit yours, either through GG’s or Darlas…It just would not load! I hit ‘reload’ multiple times and tried for like 12 minutes. I know I need to upgrade my browser, but have tried, unsuccessfully. I was really in the mood, with hot coffee in my hands and cold rain outside, for some heppin’ cool blog readin’ this mornin’.

      I’ll try again tomorrow, in case it was just the rain. ;) And my dolly thanks you for noticing her.

  2. Seriously creepy Spectra!

  3. How I have missed you. And then you return with a gruesomely gorgeous post. I suspect that if ever I had married I would have looked like that. Or perhaps the groom would.
    My mother taught herself how to make bobbin lace. My eyes would twist, cross and roll back in my head as I watched. Anything they charge for handmade lace is fair. Your first born? You can make another one of those quicker and easier than the lace creation.

    • Hi, EC! Great to hear from you…I posted a reply yesterday but it disappeared. Hmm. You are so right about hand made lace. It’s really wonderful. But now that I look at that photo, it doesn’t look as antique as it did in the shop. I bought one, for $15.00. Did you save any of your mother’s lace? It would be great to see a picture on your blog.

      It seems odd to me, but since turning back to making art, I can’t seem to write anymore. It’s like my brain only has one gear in it. ::shrug::

  4. Hey girlfriend, it’s great to see you. Now i know what you’ve been doing. Prepping brides, growing squash, and learning about the mortuary industry. You must be sooooo busy. Does any part of the bride glow? She’ll be a hit.

    • Good eye, Barb – The eyes are glow-in the-dark clay. Proof that feeble minds think alike! I’m in a readin’ mood today so I’ll wander over to your place to see what’s cookin’.

  5. NICE! I know it’s not always easy to answer questions like this… but how much time would you say you might spend on… say… the average doll’s head, Spectra? Just wondering… because the work you do is SO detailed… it looks like it would take forever to complete one! :)

    • I think that’s just the type of question an artist would ask! I know I’m always curious about time.
      It’s hard to say – I sculpted her a few months back, and the painting can take long too. I’d say 2 to 4 hours to sculpt a head, another hour to paint. The hands take a long time, too, adding knuckles and fingernails and even lifelines and a padded palm. Dresssing takes the most time – I spent about 7 hours last night making her dress and veil. And Undergarment – all 100% silk. The whole thing might be 14- 20 hours per doll, over a period of days. I’ll be popping over to see your awesome photography now – I’ve been so distracted lately!

      • WOW! I’m kind of blown away, Spectra. If you had said you spend 14-20 hours on the head alone I would have totally believed it. Have I mentioned I don’t know how you do it? Because… you know… I don’t know how you do it. For reals.

  6. The Casket Morgue looks like a great start for a wonderful Halloween story! My mind was spinning thinking about what they might have been and why they were lined up overgrown with weeds. I loved accompanying you on your shopping trip in search of old lace and trims!

    • Thank You Carol… I researched and they are ‘burial vaults’, which they place the casket inside in the ground. Supposedly this helps with the dirt settling and allows eveness for their tractors and big mowers. TMI, but definately puts you in the Halloween spirit!

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