Monday 28 September 2020


 It seems our new lad Atticus is an art lover...

Mitzi finds him staring at a large picture and sighing.... he seems deep in thought , so Mitzi coughs to let him know she's there !

He jumps and looks over

"Are you feeling alright ? " Mitzi asks

" Pardon.. Oh yes I'm feeling just fine . Why do you ask? "

"Well you were staring at that picture and sighing!"

Surprised at Mitzi's look of puzzlement Atticus asks " Doesn't it make you feel stunned to see such beauty in a picture? "

"Well I'm not one to blow my own trumpet but I have on occasion,in my old family, looked amazing in a photo " Mitzi smiles a little smugly.

Atticus rolls his eyes " This picture is by Edward Burne-Jones, It's called Love among the Ruins and is a famous Pre Raphaelite painting!"

" And your point is? "

"It's not some modelling photo shoot ! It's a piece of art to stir the soul!"  he finishes with passion

Mitzi grins " I still think I'd look better in that blue dress " Atticus draws a breath a fierce look in his eyes " but I can see you are quite knowledgeable about this, so why not tell me about these other pictures!"

Atticus breathes out slowly calming down as he does, he's just been asked to speak about the pictures, his most favourite subject!

 " Now this one is called The Crystal Ball by John William Waterhouse . You can see her looking into the crystal ball "

" Is she another pre lite person? "

" She is from the Pre Raphaelite period " Atticus corrects  " John William Waterhouse is one of the more famous painters of the period. "

" I wonder what she can see in her crystal ball ? " Mitzi muses " Maybe she can see that Mr Lighthouse will become very famous!"

"Waterhouse " corrects Atticus

" ? Is that like a toilet? "

" No! He's name's Waterhouse not lighthouse !"

" Alright calm down " smiles Mitzi " I have to say that a brunette always looks good in red"

Atticus decides to move on to the next painting.

" Now this is by John W Lighth.. I mean Waterhouse " stutters Atticus " and it's got quite a long name "

"Really how long? "

" It's... I am half-sick of shadows said the Lady of Shalott " answers Atticus" so you can see it's quite long"

 " Do you think it's because she's not getting enough light through that window , so cannot see to weave? " enquires Mitzi " that could cause shadows"

Just for a minute Atticus looks to see if she's right , then shakes his head in amazement that he's listening to her! 

 " It's based on a famous poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson about Camlot and King Arthur...

Underneath the bearded barley,
The reaper, reaping late and early,
Hears her ever chanting cheerly,
Like an angel, singing clearly,
       O'er the stream of Camelot.
Piling the sheaves in furrows airy,
Beneath the moon, the reaper weary
Listening whispers, ' 'Tis the fairy,

       Lady of Shalott. ..." quotes Atticus in a seriously dramatic voice" She drowns in the river because of Sir Lancelot "

Mitzi's quite impressed for a moment... but only a moment..  " Well if I'd been called Lady Onion I'm sure I'd be tempted to drown myself!"

Atticus is stunned into silence.. for several minutes...

When he can find his voice he asks " Do you want to stop now? "

Surprised Mitzi shakes her head " No why? There are only a couple more and It's very interesting "

Atticus is not quite sure if she's being honest saying she's finding it interesting but there is only a couple more so agrees to carry on.

 " Now I like this one " says Mitzi " that robe is lovely and the roses look lovely too"

" This is actually called the Scent of the Rose by.... " 

" Don't tell me !" interupts Mitzi " It's by John William Watercloset !"


Mitzi laughs " Ha Ha I know I was winding you up !"

Atticus laughs " you got me"

 " I have to say that John William is a very good painter and he does uses very pretty models "

" I'll be sure to tell him you approve " Atticus says seriously

" Oh do you know him? " Mitzi asks excitedly " I wonder if he'd like to use me for a model ? I could stand about sniffing a rose ? or sit and stretch by a loom.... "

" I'll be sure to let him know " offers Atticus 

He's just about to confess that John William is no longer alive,h when Mitzi squeals and points to the side " Oh he's just darling!" 

Atticus looks to the side and sighs, why is he not surprised..

A picture of a Jack Russell terrier fast asleep has caught Mitzi's eye

" Now even I know that's not by Mr Lightcloset " she laughs

Having gotten used to Mitzi's sense of humour Atticus just says " No it's not by Mr Lightcloset but by Lucy Dawson "

" You know if your John William had used his talent to paint some dogs, even I'd have heard of him and then he would be even more famous !"

" When you speak to Mr Waterhouse " Mitzi informs Atticus " Tell him I'll bring along one of the dogs, so that if he paints me with the dog it will be the making of him"

Atticus struggles to not looked stunned but says " Now why didn't I think of suggesting that! I'll be sure to tell him the minute I see him "

Feeling very pleased Mitzi beams a smile at Atticus, that does stun him in it's brilliance, so he just watches as she turns saying " I'm off to see which dog will show me at my best. Thanks for the art tour you are quite clever on the quiet "

Then she's gone while Atticus wonders what just happened....


Sunday 27 September 2020


I won't talk about whats happening on the covid front as we all know. I'll just say whats happening on the village front!

We've finally had an electrician round and given him the long list of jobs, the need doing! you know what it's like when you finally decide to get some work done, what was a couple of jobs increases as you remember all the things that also need doing and they may as well get done in one go ! 

He's fully booked until the end of October, which is fine as we have more than enough to be getting on with before then.

My only worry is, if any more restrictions come in, that could stop us getting things done by outside workman. The floors and stairs were measured for the flooring and carpet on Friday, so that's about to be ordered once the quote comes in but could take up to six weeks before they can fit everything.

One of the things we have done is move the small sofa back into the sitting area , so it's no longer blocking the french doors in the kitchen/breakfast room. Which means that area is getting much more afternoon light and as you can see from the photo so is the sofa. This photo was taken on Tuesday afternoon with the sun streaming in.

You can see in this photo, behind the lamp on the right, where the wall was taken down. We have to get the light switch , that's just hanging down in the middle of ceiling, moved to this part of the wall  and a plug point put in at the bottom, then we can get it replastered and made good.

One of the many jobs that needs doing before other things can get done. I do keep saying to Paul that we could get someone in to do various jobs but he keeps saying no , he'll do them... 

Because there's only so much I can help with in regard of the decorating , I have been carrying on with the decluttering and also getting smaller jobs done.

 I finally got round to framing these watercolours.The small square frame took over two weeks to arrive! I was almost at the stage of asking where it was! I sourced the blue card from a different place but the larger frame came with the board and  you could pick what colour you wanted.

I have also been sourcing other frames for our Pre Raphaelite pictures, some of which we want to put up in the hall. Trying to find just the right frames in just the right size as been a minor miracle ! But I have managed to find some and Paul is cutting the backing boards etc to enable us to start framing them. Although we are not ready for them to go up, we want them framed and waiting.

We also found and bought this lovely copper arts and crafts coal bucket, having a lid will help stop Rufus from helping himself to a piece of coal when he decides he's bored!.

I had also been searching for a large jardinaire to put a large houseplant in, but almost everything listed as large turns out to be in fact quite small. Then I saw this , had a measure up , made the seller an offer and now our plant has a lovely pot to sit in !

It is in fact another copper coal bucket, the handle is sitting at the back but it makes a wonderful big plant holder. There is plenty of room for the plant to be repotted a couple of times before we have to worry about it outgrowing it.

Our daughter who will give birth to our grandson sometime in mid November has just agreed the sale of her house!! So is now looking for a property to move to !!! Madness but thats how these things happen! So we went down to care for Clara yesterday, while mum and dad went house hunting! We had a lovely time playing with Clara, who is growing up so fast now.

Hopefully she will find something she likes and the sale and purchase go smoothly as the last thing she'll need is stress before the baby arrives! But either way, she'll have quite a small baby when moving day arrives! So no doubt it will be all hands on deck again then.


On the doll front I have sold a couple of dolls, which is lovely, they will now have a new home where they will start to get some attention, unlike here. I have also managed not to buy any more myself although I have completed a layaway on a Kathe kruse doll. I have another one part paid for and then a small totally different doll waiting her turn, then I will be finished. I do have a few of the A Girl For All Time dolls on preorder but they are all paid for and it's just a case of having a lovely surprise when they start to arrive over the winter months.

But I will have to empty out and box up all the dolls in the living room doll cabinet, just keeping a couple out, so that the cabinet can be moved when the new floor is laid and also Paul freshen's the apinted walls. I decided that I will do this over the next couple of weeks as if I have to rush off to babysit while grand son arrives etc, I want the dolls nicely packed and put in a safe place in case the electrian or flooring people arrive while I'm away. Paul knows the dolls need careful handling and storing but it's best I do it , then only I'm to blame if something happens to one of them!


So It's now nearly October! Paul has just three more days to work before he joins me in retirement. He shares his birthday, the 1st October , with his dad who will be 99 on the first, so he'll be going over to celebrate with him for the day. Luckily they have not stopped families from meeting at their homes although there are restrictions , which is why just Paul will go.

All that's left to say is, I wish everyone a happy healthy week ahead. It won't be long until the 5th and doll photo day, so if you'd like to start sending them in, I'll get the post all ready to be placed.

Stay safe






Sunday 20 September 2020


Well it's another wonderful warm and sunny Sunday here in Hertfordshire. In fact it's been a very lovely warm and dry, sunny week.

It's also been another busy week on the home from and also on the doll front. So I'll start with the dolls.

 Bea, Atticus and Mitzi who all arrived in the last two weeks are settling in. I did wonder about giving Mitzi a name beginning with C, since I had Atticus and Beatrice but decided best not to ,in case the rest of the alphabet needed filling!!!!

 and after having moved all the dolls off the dresser, these newbies have taken over! So I'll need to find them a proper home before others arrive just to say hello and then stay for a good long natter!


 Speaking of the dresser, I rearranged it the week before last ,when I received a few new Emma Bridgwater items. EB has collabrated with Liberty and the Hollyhocks and Wild Geranium range have been produced for sale at Liberty. It's the large oval plate and small bowl in front, on the top shelf, that are Hollyhocks and the plate on the right, top shelf, that is Wild Geranium. I was hoping to get one of , if not both, the jugs but things were selling out fast and I thought I'd wait then go back once these arrived, only to find all but one style of the mugs had sold out!

 I love the purples and pinks for this design. I also bought the large bowl in this design, not shown.

I did manage to get the Wild Geranium mug, which is already in use but had to wait for the Hollyhock mug to be restocked, and thats now on it's way to me.

Rearranging the dresser set me off on the fact the shelves are quite narrow and once a plate's been put up the back it can be hard to full fit a bowl, jug or small teapot in front , without the base slightly over hanging!

I told Paul I needed bigger deeper shelves and could that be done ! He said it could and he have to remove the back add to the shelves and sides, then replace the back but that the trim at the top would be short and the colour wouldn't match! But since it would be at the back it wouldn't notice much! 

I decided that maybe it would be easier to just buy another one and sell the one I have on ! So I went looking !  I was soon admiring large dressers in all sorts of colours and sizes, some with doors , some with lighting! Everytime I mentioned one to Paul , he say too big for space, so I was then thinking oh maybe I can put it where we were going to put the sofa in the sitting room and then the sofa could go where the dresser had been..... then Paul say NO! lol There is nothing wrong with the one you have! which is true and in fact I love the one I have and could not find anything as nicely decorative with it's little carved work at the top! Plus it is in the perfect place and I wouldn't really want to get rid of it! 

So I'll wait and see if once we've done everything else whether I'll get Paul to make those shelves a bit deeper with all that entails!

This week all the paint arrived from Farrow and Ball and is now stacked in a corner of the kitchen waiting for use. However I did realise that we'd omitted to get some Farrow's Cream in the emulsion for a couple of walls that will need it. So we checked when we went to B&Q for some other items and luckily they had some! Which was great as it saved us having to order it in.

The rest of the stairwell walls have been striped of the old paper and it's revealed something!


 Looking down from the landing at the walls you can see where when these walls were first painted they did them in what appears to be cream at the top with a mint green bottom and the line follows the new boarding we have added ! 

So without realising it we have taken the stairwell back to almost how it was when the house was first built back in 1926 ! 

On now we have everything we need to decorate the hall and stairs, the man is coming to measure for the carpet and flooring on Friday and finally the electrian is coming Tuesday night to give us a quote for the work that needs doing downstairs.

I've cleared out the old larger sofa from the sitting area , so now only one small sofa fills the space and the place is already looking so much better. We have also been through our clothes and we have taken already taken a couple of bags of really good hardly worn and in some cases never worn clothing to one of the local charity shops and have another couple of bags to take to another on Monday.

So lots happening here ! Now I have to go and undercoat some of the boarding, so I'll wish you all a happy healthy week ahead.


Thursday 17 September 2020


 Well when I slipped I didn't stop for a day or so! This one , the last one ( famous last words ) I just saw on the Sasha Bazaar and loved her instantly. Then I realised that I actually own very few trendon blondes! I have owned a good few over the years but most have moved on !

So I decided that I HAD to buy this young lady to even up the blondes ! Lucky for me she was still available and arrived this afternoon.

She's a waif London girl who lived with Fanny for many years acting as her model.

She reminded me of a doll I had many years back, also a blonde waif, who used to be my main model when I sold sweater dresses and sweaters on ebay.

So I have decided to name her after my long gone model, Mitzi ( who now lives with Michelle )

I was almost tempted to change the name to Nancy on account of her boots but in the end Mitzi made the cut.

She's also petite like my old Mitzi, which is lovely. I do love the petite dolls that are around.

She's already striking poses when a camera is pointed her way!

She loves blue, so I found her a blue and cream dress with some lovely blue shoes.

Then she was asking if I had any hats! Well I told her with Hattie in the village I had lots of hats!

Next thing I know she's back out with a hat! Telling me how she found it on a very embarassed boy called Atticus, who told her I'd put it on him when it arrived in the post the other day and left it! 

I'm going to have to make it up to Atticus! Poor lad.. he's so quiet , any of the other boys would have kicked up a stink being left in a hat !


Well I thank Mitzi for being so good and letting me take lots of photos. She says no worries she really enjoyed herself! 

Then asks if we've finished? I say yes, she says well I go and introduce myself to the others and take Atticus with me , as he seems quite shy!

And she off indoors calling Atticus's name and whirling the hat in her hand ! Well if she doesn't liven the place up no body will!

I'd best get after her and show her who she's sharing a room with ! So that three.... more than enough .. although there was a lovely brunette Gregor on ebay.......


Wednesday 16 September 2020


Well the Paul's been working on the hallway putting our design together. Whenever we start decorating , we always start with a plan which we adjust as we go along. 

   Paul's been boarding this wall, he's v grooved all the boards himself, which added to the time. You can buy v grooved boards but the price is ridiculous ! So Paul refused to pay that price and bought the v groove blade and did it himself.

I have seen how its done  and since the ones you buy would be done by machine, so they'd do loads in a very short time, the price is a rip off!

Mind you by cutting each board himself, he's been able to make the grooves land in just the place he needs them.

 The second wall boarded. Still more to do...

 Paul's started to add the picture rail to the top of the boarding. We are actually using dado rail because it's got more detail and is bigger.

Originally the wall ahead in this photo was not going to be boarded but Paul decided it would look odd if we didn't ,so it's been boarded as well. This still needs it's picturerail added.

The walls are perfectly fine and we'd did not need to board them but I have my reasons, which I'll explain once it's all finished and then you'll understand.

All these boards will be painted in Farrow Cream.

 All the downstairs wall are now all covered with v-groove boards, topped with picture rail and the door frames edged .

 Paul's also half boarded the stair walls.

  It changes with the different levels.

The screw holes have now been filled. We decided to take the half boarding up the stairs because it protects the walls from damage when taking furniture etc up and down and also saves on having to use a couple of complete rolls of wallpaper on just two drops of the stairwell.

 Now we have to finish removing the old wallpaper from the stairwell walls, ie the high parts that need a ladder, then we can start the decorating .... to be continued!




Tuesday 15 September 2020


So having slipped off my no more Sasha dolls, self imposed plan. You would expect me to have been content with my lot......

Well it all started this time with a name..... 

I had been to see the Princess Clara and her mum Courtney , who is expecting a little prince in mid November. Of course the question of names came up, as it always will at these times. They like quite a few but so far nothing's grabbed them.

So on our way home, we were talking about our visit and of course names, when a name I loved popped into my head! I knew it was definiately not one they'd use for the baby but it just would not go away. So I decided that when I got back I would look on ebay and see if there was a Gregor by that name awaiting adoption.

I can hear you now... there are only Gregor's for sale , they don't have names ! Well this can be true in general, however I have found that any boy intending to come live in the village always tells me their name before, in some cases, I've even managed to secure them!

So I went looking later that night and there were a few Gregors available but not THE one.... at first ... but then suddenly there he was! 

Now I did try just putting him my watching and went off to bed, thinking I'd sleep on whether to buy him, only to return back downstairs twenty minutes later, open up my ipad and pay his adoption fee ! 

Only this lad could be the perfect lad for the name in my head, because it WAS his name!

  I ask you who else of all the Gregor's out there would fit the name ... Atticus ! Only this one in his muchroom suit with it's peaked cap and his shy face.

 He's the first doll I have photographed here, by the rock garden, who managed to hide Joan of Arc's stated behind his head, without me knowing!

I was a little worrried , he would not take off his cap ! and was using it like a safety blanket.

But it's a lovely hot sunny day today, so after a while he did remove it.

He looks almost mint, especially his face, which is also one of the wide ones. He is a 1970 boy with the all white strings.

I'm looking forward to finding out all about him over the coming weeks. I can already see he's a quiet and serious lad who the others will help bring out of his shell.

Now that's a button nosed girl and a gregor , totally unexpected purchases, so you'd think that would have been it....... but no it appears in for one turned in for three.....