Over the weekend I have been chit chatting back and forth with a longtime friend. One of my first doll friends, actually. He has a love of Marie Antoinette and all things late 18th C, probably more than I even. He has recently put together a lovely shabby 18th Century doll box and needed some rats. I had a few in mind. Why not Marie Antoinette and her dressmaker/milliner Rose Bertin? I have been on a Marie Antoinette tear lately, which surfaces every once in awhile. I haven't made her as a rat yet. My friend likes symmetry. 2 is better than 1. I decided to make the Queen and her friend.
For Marie I used the very nicest off-white Schulte mohair. It is soft like a bunny and just lovely. I figured Marie would be the less shabby of the 2 rat girls. For her hair, I had some really lush yarn. I think it is silk. It is a bit puffy, spun-like, and has pearls and lace and ribbons woven in. I gave her a fantastic up-do. A bit of a rat's nest, but, well, that seems a good choice.
Her dress is a lovely silk/rayon satin that I dyed and laundered to give it a very soft, pale blue, ethereal feel. I had done a cloth doll Marie for this same friend years ago. Her dress was a light blue as well, though I think slightly icier. This color is nice. It has a bit of chiffon trim and decorative thread edgings. With her white fur and hair, I think she looks lovely.
I wanted Rose Bertin to be a fine lady, but not quite as pristine as Marie. I used the same yarn for her hair, but dyed it up a shabbier tone. It is more gray-blue-beige. Her fur is a Schulte distressed natural cream mohair. It is a bit shabbier, not as lush, but still very lovely.
Her dress is 4 different silk fabrics, all in sort of a fawn shade. The rats are funny, because they are very short, and all that skirt makes them seem even shorter.
Trying to translate the big gowns of that time into such a small scale, and on rats no less, is a bit of a challenge, but I like how they turned out.
Not sure which girl I love better. I am super pleased with them both. Sometimes when I am in a crazy mood, I just have to do something different. The hair is a new thing. I like it.
Even the back of the heads looks good. I am so, so glad we don't have to wear our hair in these sort of rat's nest these days. I tend a woodstove all day. I would be up in smoke in a second. But, I like the romance of it. Hope you are having a lovely, creative, fun-filled holiday season. XOXO Cindy