Nostalgia - "Arabella / Boston" by Royal Sphinx Maastricht

Some years ago when I still did the "Finds of the week" posts, I had some called "I'm a collector" in which I shared vintage items. Over time my collections have mostly stopped growing due to different reasons, but they are still there and still loved. I also have vintage items, some inherited, some gifts, some from fleamarkets, some more interesting than others.So I thought it could be fun to share some of them every, now and then and tell their story.

Today's post is a huge flashback to my childhood. Family gatherings for birthdays or confirmations, coffee and heavy buttercream cakes, and tableware from the 60s.
Always having been drawn to sets in different colors,
I loved those ceramic dishes. Of course back then I didn't think to ask why my parents chose different colors instead of getting just one, now I wish I would have.

The model is called "Arabella", the decor "Boston". According to the Bonnefanten, an art museum in Maastricht, the model was produced from 1960 to 1966, Antoine Corstjens being the creator of the decor and Otmar Lochschmidt of the model.
We had the coffee sets, stackable cups, saucers, and small plates, and there were two of each rich color - red, brown, green, yellow, and blue. One sister and I thought we only had the dark blue, but not the light blue, but my other sister says we had both, and thinking about it again, I have to agree. Over the years, pieces broke, and eventually the ones left became a memory in the cupboard as mugs got popular instead of small coffee cups.
I have always loved the yellow and got a complete set. It still makes me smile looking at it. I love the stripes in the glaze and the yellow looks so happy and fresh.

This is the mark on the cup - the sphinx surrounded by the words "Royal Sphinx Maastricht" and a crown, with "Made in Holland" at the bottom.
The cursive writing underneath the sphinx says "P. Regout" which stands for Petrus Regout, the founder of the manufacture.

I tend to obsess when researching for my nostalgia posts (which is probably the reason there are not more yet), and I ended up on Instagram, in Dutch online shops, museums, collector sites. It would have been easier if I had been able to read everything without using DeepL to help me translate.

Imagine my (unwarranted) surprise when I found that there are other items in this particular decor, soup bowls, egg cups, flower pots, sugar bowls, coffee pots (no idea if we had a coffee pot although it would have made sense), even with the colors reversed, and I
really liked the milk cups at the Bonnefanten!
I may already have ordered a soup bowl and a flower pot and inquired about an egg cup ... so if anyone stumbles upon a milk cup, let me know, it doesn't even have to be yellow ;-)

Update: Here are the soup bowl with saucer and the little flower pot now, unfortunately my inquiry about the egg cup has been ignored.

A minute ago, however, I ordered a sugar bowl and milkpot.
Update: They are here, these ones are light blue.

Next goal - milk cup and egg cup :-)

For now all I would need is a buttercream cake which I haven't had in decades, I think!


Autumn Dawn

A small tin with old bead soup in autumn colors called to me this weekend. When the beads call, you have to listen and I did.
I happened to have a doll in my beading box - because who doesn't - and could start right away, then one thing led to the other.
Let me introduce Autumn Dawn. I think it's quite obvious how she got her name wearing those colors although it's probably more like late summer, walking around sleeveless, in crop top and sandals like she does!

Actually, the name is a little misleading. Just the head is from a Topper Dawn, the body is from a Dawn clone marked "Hongkong B & G" about which I couldn't find out anything. The doll came to me like that, I don't know what fate brought those two parts together.

I think I have mentioned before that I often start with the bottom part of an outfit, in this case with the skirt that I made from the bead soup. As the beads not only had different colors and finishes, but also differed in size, I opted for a colorful  tiered skirt with wide folds to hide the irregularities a bit.

Next were the sandals. As the bead soup had not been enough for a floor length skirt, they were much easier to do than the shoes usually are when I have once again forgotten to bead them first and don't have much space for working.
Autumn Dawn's one foot is a little straighter than the other one, so to make sure the sandals would stay on, I beaded the wide straps at the ankles (my first odd count peyote, by the way).

The top is a new design. Usually I start working from the waist, either directly on the doll working my way up, or I make a front and a back part working from the bottom up and then join the seams at the sides.
This time, however, I made the peyote back part sideways and then extended it on both sides, finally joining them in the front which resulted in a crop top. Two straps on both sides made it sit really well.
To give it a little extra, I added the bronze drop beads at the front and sides.

Dawn likes accessories, but a necklace would have been too much, so she only got two little bracelets from different beads.

The hat. I can't resist a hat and my excuse is that Dawn's hair refuses to stay in place. This hat from gold lined and amber AB beads was mostly inspired by the amber beads' limited number, but also by one of my favorite Murphy Brown episodes. I was so tempted to add a tassel, follow the link and you'll know what I mean.

Last but not least, the purse. For someone who only carries around her beloved shopper, I am definitely obsessed with beading purses, totes, etc. for my dolls.
I chose the color to resemble linen, with matte "leather" for the strap, and embellished the purse with small golden spacer "flowers".

There you go - Autumn Dawn :-)

Dawn was a registered trademark of the Topper Company. I am not affiliated with Topper in any way.


On the wall

Isn't it funny how sometimes you can look at something and you just don't know what to do with it? I guess it happens to most if not all creative people.
And sometimes it takes years and years and years, then suddenly - boom.
I remember getting those moonstones, being intrigued by the different colors and the - for me - unusual shape. Unusual because I used round stones. The shape (and size), however, were a big problem for me as I couldn't come up with a way to incorporate it into one of my pieces.
Back then, I only did wire crocheting and knitting, and my only attempt of working with the moonstones was kind of okay, but definitely not okay enough. After having looked at the piece - it was a wire knit collar - again and again for some years, I finally ripped it up and the moonstones went back into the drawer.

The other day, however, I was looking for something in that drawer, taking out this and that, and when I held the baggie with moonstones in my hand, it was like an epiphany - a dry stone wall!
It was rather fitting that I had Midsomer Murders on for background entertainment. Rural England, here I come ;-)

Luck was on my side, the wall became straight. It just needed someone or something sitting on it. Wait, how about a cat?? That's of course a joke. A cat was the first choice, and with me having a black glass cab around in my "workbox" - mere coincidence actually - it clearly wanted to be black.
To enhance the 3D effect, I added more an extra layer of seed beads for the head and thighs and an additional layer of matte crystals for the tail. Also the cat got two rows of seed beads added around, so it wouldn't blend into the background.

I love the background. Those hexagon beads have some major sparkle which is increased by the random embroidering. You hardly notice the little "stars". It was so time consuming, but well worth it in my opinion.

While this is also a cat silhouette, it's not a HeatherCat, by the way. If it were, there would be a moon. Silhouette HeatherCats insist on a moon ;-)

Turning this into a pendant was more difficult than I had thought. Beaded ropes didn't work for me, the bails I tried weren't any better. In the end, I decided to get one of those faux silk chains and bead a tube bail for it.
Now I wish there were more moonstones left over because I am very tempted to make another dry stone wall. Didn't I have some Tila beads somewhere .....


Waiting for spring

At first I was completely without a plan when reading that the inspiration for our first challenge at JAC this year were daffodils.
I didn't even think I had yellow seed beads, but found two different tones in my box, much to my surprise, so that excuse was gone.
My beaded pin is just a little something, but it made me think of spring which fit the challenge theme "Yearning for spring".