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Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Dollies visit Devon and Cornwall

Laura and Melanie had a short holiday at the weekend when they visited Laura H and her wonderful Dollies in Devon then spent a day and a half in Cornwall.  The weekend included a model railway, the Dollies in Devon dolls house, lots of Mechanical pipe organs and a trip to the seaside!

Bill shows how to operate the trains in his model railway

Melanie and Laura were looking at the model railway

"Hello, welcome to our miniature railway world" said Sasha

"It is brilliant Sasha" said Laura

Laura was right, the model railway was amazing and quite extensive

My girl had fun rearranging some of the furniture and dolls in Laura's wonderful Dollies in Devon dolls house, then Melanie and Laura Sasha dolls visited their Devon friends in their home.

Doing the laundry

Sewing and ironing

Spraying the fabric before ironing

Dollies in Devon at home

"You have such a cosy living room" said Laura

Relaxing and playing in the living room

Melanie visited the Dollies in Devon band

Bathroom with shower

An unidentified doll along with a Kids 'n Kats doll in the Dollies in Devon house

The Dollies in Devon house garden is good for camping, puppetry and cycling

The Dollies in Devon garden also includes the barbeque which Laura won in the raffle at the 2012 Sasha festival

Walking the dogs and pushing the baby in the pram

The Dollies in Devon bedroom with bunk beds and plenty of toys!

Melanie visited the kitchen to find out what was cooking

I had made Laura H's Studio Doll Sela a dress as a test for the resizing of a pattern from 16" to 20" Sasha doll size so I could make a shweshwe dress for Dorisanne's Studio Sasha called Emmalee Rose.  Melanie was still wearing her version of the dress when she visited Sela. We also enjoyed looking at some of Laura's doll collection on the display she had bought from Dee at the Chat 'n Snap last October.

Laura's mini dolls on their display shelf

Melanie and Sela in their summer dresses and hats which I made for them

Laura, Davy, Melanie and Sela (who looks much bigger than her brother because she was nearer the camera).  In the background are some of Laura H's felted artworks.

Davy, Melanie and Sela
Before we left Laura and Bill, we had a couple of photos in Laura's garden where we'd sat chatting the previous evening before dinner.

In Laura's garden
After saying goodbye we drove on to Cornwall for a mechanical music event at a private collection.  It was a glorious sunny day in furthest Cornwall (we were near St Ives) so there were several visiting organs playing outside the collection.

Melanie enjoyed listening to a small Limonaire fair organ in the sunshine

Melanie relaxed in the sunshine while serenaded by the organ music
Laura and Melanie loved the nautical / pirate themed Dean organ which had once lived in Aberystwyth, Wales where its first owner had created the most entertaining façade and figures for the organ.
Laura and Melanie with the Ralph Jenkins nautical organ

"Have you seen the conductor Laura" said Melanie, "I think his clothes almost match my outfit!" "Yes, have you seen all the bell ringer figures - they're pirates and mermaids" replied Laura

The conductor was a pirate!  He even had a parrot on his shoulder who flapped his wings when the pirate conducted the music with his sword!  

The organ trailer was suitably labelled for the piratical theme!

The dolls had fun riding a rocking horse in the park nearby

"Look no hands as we ride the horse"
Inside the barn were several organs of various sizes. The one which amused Laura and Melanie was the Palm Court Orchestra - it was rather louder than it looked and it had seated figures which were wonderful characters.
The Palm Court Orchestra café organ
Palm Court Orchestra café organ figures enjoying Champagne

Palm Court Orchestra café organ figures enjoying afternoon tea

Organ grinder monkey
A very warm sunny day with the happiest music on earth was followed by a cloudy Sunday morning at the rocky beach opposite Godrevy lighthouse just north of St Ives.  Laura and Melanie were fascinated by the rock formations and asked their geologist friend Laura in Devon to explain what they had seen:
"The rocks are Lower Devonian  slates with quartz intrusions about 400 million years old. The quartz was a later addition when there was a huge mountain building in the Carboniferous period called the Variscan Orogeny about 300 million years ago when the slate was formed. It is used like the North Wales slate but is not as thin nor strong. The holes believe it or not are simply created by erosion primarily wave action and sea creatures."  (Laura H)

Pebbles on the beach showing the quartz in the slate

Layers of Lower Devonian Slate, some of them were loose and friable from erosion

The weird holes in the rock - they looked like air bubbles

Laura and Melanie found someone's pet rock painted with a picture of a glass of prosecco!

Melanie and Laura rested on the rocks as they admired Godrevy lighthouse on its island

"Look Laura, the lighthouse don't seem very far way" said Melanie, "Yes, but you'd need a boat to get there, it isn't safe to swim to the lighthouse island" replied Laura
Thank you to Laura and Bill for their very welcoming hospitality and Laura for all the information about the Godrevy point rock formations.  We had a wonderful time in our quick visit to Devon and Cornwall.  Below is a 'behind the scenes' photo from the doll and organ weekend.

DollMum's daughter setting up Laura's Sasha in the model railway room, which was her bedroom for the night

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Easter Garden

Today Laura took Louisa to see the Easter Garden in Leicester Cathedral.  It had been set up inside the Cathedral around the altar, however there were notices saying they couldn't go close up so they had to content themselves with looking at the garden from the side sanctuary steps.  It was just before the afternoon service (Bach Cantata 'Der Himmel lacht! Die Erde juilieret! - Heaven laughs! The earth rejoices! BWV 31) and the choir was rehearsing with the small chamber orchestra as the girls admired the beautiful planting in the Easter garden and saw the 3 crosses on the hillside depicting the scene of Good Friday.  The altar had been used as the hillside containing the tomb, with the gap between the stone altar legs being the entrance to the tomb.

Leicester Cathedral Easter Garden 2018, with the altar being the tomb entrance

Laura and Louisa peered eagerly at the Easter Garden, they wished they could go closer as it looked beautiful

Laura and Louisa in Leicester Cathedral for Easter

Laura wore her Petrana dress with a cardigan and headband belonging to her sister Florence (made by DollMum) while Louisa wore her Sasha 2017 Festival dress by Lynn Field with strawberry cardigan and hat by Rosie Laird
When they returned home the girls were given Easter chick chocolates for being so good and quiet during the wonderful singing and readings.

Laura and Louisa with their Easter chocolate

"My chick is too pretty to eat, Laura"

Laura and Louisa (and all their siblings) would like to wish everyone a very Blessed and Happy Easter!


It wasn't possible to position the dolls looking at the Easter garden from the front because the choir was rehearsing and it would have been very distracting for the singers. My elder daughter was playing in the chamber orchestra rather than singing and we brought her home afterwards for a few days holiday.  This week we'll be doing plenty of craft work in preparation for the Sasha Celebration weekend in May, 50 craft kits are being put together for the craft workshop on the Saturday morning and we have some red carpet outfits to make.