Violet chose the colour for her mop handle and was eager to lend a hand with the painting.
Violet the Cockney Cleaning Girl
As a baby, Violet the Cockney Cleaning Girl was found on the steps of Highgate Home for Orphans and Waifs. While growing up she mopped floors at the orphanage and dreamed of music hall stardom. “I wanna gow onna styge!” she would tell her fellow orffinks. She now has a job with the cleaning and maintenance staff at Margo’s Place nightclub and has high hopes of performing show tunes for Margo’s patrons. One of her favourite tunes is from the musical The Sound of Mopping. “The halls are aliiive, wiv the sound of mopping… the pools that ‘ave formed from a thousand beers…”
Rocko, the Doorman/Bouncer at Margo’s Place Night Club
As I was in line waiting to get into Margo’s Place the other night I got the once over from Rocko, the Doorman/Bouncer. After I gave him the password he muttered, “You’re ok, but stay in da line.” I casually commented on his unusual attire. He gave me a steely look then confided, “I gotta raw deal from John Law dat landed me in da Big House. I busted out an bin nabbed so many times dat dem mugs swapped my ball and chain for a bell and chain. Dey figgered it would give dem the tip off of where I was. Too bad for dem bums it didn’t woik!”
While on the lam, Rocko has been working at Margo’s Place. It was a bit disconcerting that as we were chatting Rocko would suddenly stop and growl, “Dem customers shouldn’t get outta line or dey’ll get a Ring-A-Ding on da noggin’…Hey youse guys, no buttin’ in…you hoid me! Ok, Ok, keep da line movin’…Lady, don’t yank my chain!” Then he told me, “Dat Margo she lets me go on da stage and belt out my song, Jail House Rock…it’s a real crowd pleaser…it better be or it’s coitains for me!”
Rocko is searching for a safe house to lay low so he can stay out of the slammer.
Oh No!! Hurricane Arthur hit Margo’s Place!
What a morning! I have to admit that I was not fully awake as I wandered back stage at Margo’s Place, tripped over a ladder and upset a bucket of dirty water. Unfortunately, Jake was up the ladder and as he tumbled down he just missed landing in the wet, dirty mess. He got up, dusted himself off and suggested that I should have a few more cups of tea before I go stumbling around and knocking things about.
He righted the ladder and said that I had to clean up his window cleaning water that had spilled all over the floor. But since Jake is really an old softie at heart, he said he would entertain me while I mopped up. He climbed his ladder, got himself all comfy at the top and sang for me his favourite George Formby song, “When I’m Cleaning Windows”.
Nixie the Nearsighted Fan Dancer is appearing nightly at Margo’s Place. Just don’t try to steal her spotlight!
To see more photos of Nixie and to read her story, go to my ChatterSox Etsy shop:https://www.etsy.com/listing/178618823/sock-doll-softie-sock-monkey-nixie-the?ref=shop_home_active_1
I love to garden, but sometimes I need a little help. That’s when I call on my Gardener’s Companions, Dotz and Our Peggy, to come by to give me a hand (or a paw).
To see more photos of Dotz and to read her story, go to my ChatterSox Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/157560175/softie-garden-glove-doll-dotz-a?ref=shop_home_active
To see more photos of Our Peggy and to read her story, stroll over to my ChatterSox Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/157470769/softie-garden-glove-doll-our-peggy-a?ref=shop_home_active
I’ve always enjoyed giving a second life to bits of fabric and found objects. Some of my projects are decorative and hang on walls, while others are created for practical reasons.
In high school I needed a purse, but didn’t have the money to buy one. I looked around my bedroom and spied a pile of old, worn out jeans. Not having a pattern to follow, I cut them into small squares. I sewed the faded ones together for the outside of the purse and used the dark blue ones for the lining. Presto, a new purse – and my first original piece of fabric art. (I still have that purse and use it occasionally. Somehow jeans never seem to completely wear out.) I hadn’t seen a patchwork quilt before so it didn’t occur to me that I was reinventing a traditional quilting method. The act of sewing fabric squares together foreshadowed my quilting process years later.
North Shore, Baffin Island 1
2005. 32.75″x 23.75″
One of my most ambitious projects to date is a quilted wall hanging inspired by a stained glass window created by Calgary artist Bill Duma. Bill’s window, created in the late 1970’s, was an interpretation of a 1930 oil painting by Group of Seven artist Lawren Harris titled “North Shore, Baffin Island 1”. I had long admired Bill’s colouful window and decided to “reimagine” his design as a fabric art piece. My goal was to find fabrics that closely matched the colours of Bill’s window, and also simulated the look of glass. My search for fabrics took me (and my driver, Ron) to such faraway locales as Center Harbor on Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire. I was determined not to hurry the project and wished to be satisfied I had found the perfect fabrics for each design element. My stained glass quilt was completed in May, 2005.
John Willy and Jimbo
2010. Socks, fiberfill, buttons and trim.
I’ve always liked sock monkeys but never had one of my own, so I decided to make one. Rather than using the traditional grey and red sock monkey design, I tried something a bit different and came up with John Willy. He needed a friend, so I made Jimbo. I love sewing with socks because of their forgiving nature, precision is not required. More sock dolls followed and eventually I created Margo. She has such a strong, distinctive personality that I began to imagine the world she inhabits. Her whole story can be found in Sandra Presents: Margo’s Place: https://thelightburns.com/margos-place/
Halloween Cat Cone
2007. Paper Clay, styrofoam balls, acrylic paint, cardboard, wire, beads, trim and crepe paper.
Paper Clay is nice to work with as it dries fairly quickly, is light weight and can be sanded and painted. This Halloween Cat Cone was the first in my series of holiday characters. I collect vintage holiday items for fun and inspiration, they bring back fond childhood memories.
2009. Paper Clay, styrofoam balls, fabric, wire, acorn top, beach glass, cloves and found objects.
Another in my series of Paper Clay holiday characters.