One big advantage of the size of the Heather Maciak dolls is that they are small enough to travel. I took my Jenny and Lexie to Washington DC and Vancouver when I visited those cities for work conferences because they fitted easily into my hand luggage. It is risky taking porcelain dolls on travels though, and with the arrival of Emily and Annie I did wonder if they would become the travelling dolls instead, but somehow Jenny and Lexie were persistent in persuading me that they should come too when I got the amazing opportunity to present at a conference in the city where I was born!
One March morning the four girls looked out of the hotel window at the City of Cape Town. They had even brought their own dolls with them for the trip.
|Emily, Annie, Lexie and Jenny look out towards The Waterfront and the sea|
|Their hotel window gave a fine view of Signal Hill|
|And Lion's Head could also be seen from the hotel room|
Jenny, Lexie, Annie and Emily also visited my puppetry teacher artist Jill Joubert (who was a founder member of the Handspring Puppet Company, which later made the famous War Horse) but I didn't take photos of my dolls with the puppets in her home. Jill had taught my sister and I how to make rod and glove puppets at a memorable 5 day workshop during our school holidays in September 1985. Jill enjoyed looking at my dolls and the miniature knitting I had done for them. While visiting Jill I saw her puppets for the Briar Rose story, which she had made around the time her daughter became a teenager. Jill's version of the story concentrates on the other fairies who gave wishes to Briar Rose (see Page 209 of a Thesis "South African Puppetry for the Theatre since 1975" by Zuanda Badenhorst). Jill also makes incredible wood sculptures from found objects.
|Jill Joubert's 'Briar Rose' puppets, made from papier mache and cloth|
|Mnandi Textile and Design shop - an amazing variety of patterns and colours|
|The 'fat quarters' of different shweshwe fabrics neatly displayed for easy choosing|
|Some ties made from shweshwe fabric along with other fabrics in Mnandi Textiles and Design shop|
|"Annie, what do you think of the fabric we've chosen?"|
|"I love the patterns and colours Emily"|
|"Do you think we might get clothes made from some of these fabrics?"|
|"Annie, come to look at this bird shaped bathing pond" called Emily|
|"Wow, it looks cold" said Annie|
|Colonel Bird's Bath in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens|
I had also made similar sun dresses for Jenny and Lexie from some light fabric with red leaf patterns on it. They borrowed the clear plastic 'jellies' sandals from Florida and California Patsi, who did not join us on the trip to Cape Town.
Soon the dolls were enjoying a picnic on the lawn at Kirstenbosch, with the glorious backdrop of part of the Table Mountain range eastern slopes (Window Buttress and Fernwood Peak). The lawn was green because the gardens have their own non-potable water supply so are able to use sprinklers even though Cape Town has been suffering from drought for some months because the winter rains last year didn't fill the dams as much as usual.
|Emily, Jenny, Annie and Lexie sat back to enjoy their Kirstenbosch picnic as the sun sank behind the mountain|
|The grass was a bit long for their picnic rug (a childhood handkerchief) so the cups and saucers didn't want to stand up properly but the girls didn't mind too much, they were too busy enjoying being in summer dresses at the end of a long hot day.|
|Emily, Jenny, Annie and Lexie with Table Mountain and its tablecloth|
|Emily, Jenny, Annie and Lexie in their summer dresses in front of Table Mountain|
It was very special to be able to extend my work trip to Cape Town to spend time with family and friends and visit places I knew long ago.
|Annie, Lexie, Jenny and Emily in their summer dresses|
|Annie, Lexie, Jenny and Emily with the Kirstenbosch bag|
|Annie and Emily show off their new sweaters and summer dresses|