Saturday, June 20, 2009


Yesterday, I mentioned my total illiteracy (perhaps that should be illimagery) as to posting photos. I'd read the tutorials, clicked and clacked and browsed, and just could not seem to make the pictures appear in the little screen where the words live.
And a new friend, RobinfromCA,

kindly commented here and gave me the easy-guide-to-life, so I think there's hope yet. I started out at Cindy's house, which is just delightfully romantic, and went on to other links.

The theme yesterday was "Cloches" and the lovely things you could display in and under them. There were little vignettes and scenes and seashells and flowers and perfume bottles and all sorts of small still-lifes, enchanting as the view into a big sugar Easter Egg. I strolled around people's parlors, bedrooms---bathrooms, even, taking in the beautiful arrangements and pale colors and the soothe of the neatness of them. And I wanted those. I wanted ALL of those, the IDEA of them, and the ACTUAL of them, in their frozen, pristine glory; they bespeak a serenity and an artist's hand and most of all, a tidy milieu that escapes my capabilities.
And the cloches themselves---they've been accumulated and acquired at antiques stores, after their lives of nestling a fragrant serving of cepes sous cloche, whisked dramatically away by a gloved hand to release the aromas a minute. Or perhaps they harbored a bird's nest in a small boy's room, dutifully dusted day after day by the upstairs maid, as the boy grew to man and the nest grew limp with the sag of Time, and the whole thing sold, nest and all, with the thump of the auction hammer. The whole morning, as I came back and looked in, was a Martha Stewart Dream of Heaven.
The only thing in my house remotely approaching such hermetic tableaux is on the pass-through from kitchen to breakfast area---a plain old Wal-Mart cakedome which has been home for several years to my little dollhouse kitchen. The three small white plastic appliances, along with a tiny buffet with one reluctantly-sliding drawer, are all that's left of my childhood's playthings. They lay still and abandoned for many years, wrapped in Kleenex and snugged into a box in my parents' big closet, until I found them while rummaging for a proper tie for Daddy to wear to my Mother's funeral.

I'd spied the pale blue of the box-bottom in a stack above my head, and, with a little frisson of recognition---the small flowers which dotted the lid of my teenage stationery box. Heavy, it was, as I got the step-stool from the kitchen to reach it down. And inside, the Blue Willow teaset long lost and longed for, asked about, given up on. The cups and saucers and small pot and its two cohorts were heavy in the bottom, with the tray and four small plates, each piece wrapped in yellowing tissue. Two of the cups still held the dreg-stains of dolltea in the bottom, and though I've dusted all the outsides, I cannot bring myself to wash those cups, to send down the drain those last vestiges of my long-ago self.

And the little white kitchen---I try to recall the dollhouse, and cannot. I DO know the kitchen was an unnatural PINK, painted in the dead of night with my Mother's nail polish.  And I remember the meals and parties I cooked in that kitchen, my imaginings soaring beyond any magical teaparty as I worked. And so I have it. The magic of childhood remains, mingled with a bit of reality. Guests look and say "Awwwww!" and then look again. Then they laugh.

Click on picture for a front-row seat; these are so close you'll get a crick in your neck:

And a clearer look, sans cloche:

As my friend Keetha says, "Just keepin' it real."


Cindy said...

That is beautiful! I'm so happy that Robin was able to help you! She's so nice, we met in person two weeks ago!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh how pretty. I love the tiny kitchen appliances. They are gorgeous, and so beautiful under your cake cloche. Thanks so much for joining the party. This is so much fun. Hugs, Marty

RobinfromCA said...

Hey, Congratulations! I'm so glad you shared these pictures. What a treasured memory to keep under your cake dome. I love that you actually played with your doll house and it wasn't "just for show" as so many were/are. You are a beautiful writer as well - quite talented with the turn of a phrase. I look forward to future posts now that I know where you are!

racheld said...

Welcome to you all!! I'm honored by your peeking in, especially because of your own beautifully-presented tableaux and pictures, and such imaginative and artistic touches in your own homes.

And thank you, again, Robin---I'd just given up, and decided to settle for just words. I'm glad you could join us.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Love it! I have plenty of minis around - I may just have to set up a little vignette under one of my domes. Thanks for the great idea.

racheld said...

Yay! for hearing from another G.R.I.T.S. Girl!

It's the only dome I have---the other is sacred and reserved for DD's cheese plates---and now I have to figure out how to keep this Fathers' Day coconut cake that's in the oven fresh without its little shelter.

I hope you'll look in again.

Tonja said...

Oh, Rachel, I am so proud for you to be able to post pics now! I know you have wanted to for a long time. And, believe me, I so understand about reading the 'how-to' articles, even videos...but, until someone can actually explain it in your just doesn't click! At least that's what I have found for me.

I love your treasures! How sweet they are! And, I think you are displaying them perfectly!
I would not wash them either!

racheld said...

These tiny bits are just little whimsies that I've picked up here and there---from tiny teasets and yard sales, etc. The orange "bowls" look like cereal bowls we used to use when we had our Brady Bunch Kitchen, and are really the lids from Chris' insulin bottles.

And the duckie---it was the float in the big drinking bottle we kept in our ferrets' cage for all their lives---when it got down to halfway, it was time to sanitize and refill.

I'm tempted to Magic-Marker a tiny red rim around the teensy teacup on the floor---with everything else in the room, the scale of that would make a perfect child's old-fashioned potty to go with the duckie!!

racheld said...

OH, and the "rug" was cut right out of an Aunt Millie's bread wrapper. Just seemed right, somehow.

Kouign Aman said...

It was the run I wanted to comment on. So funny and cute, and perfect!

God bless your house, "dirty" dishes and all.

Kouign Aman said...

oh boo. I meant "rug", not "run".

Keetha said...

I'm so glad you're posting photos. I especially enjoyed these - that is great!