Friday, 3 March 2017


Schwesterlein komm tanz mit mir

Beide Hände reich ich Dir

Einmal hin

Einmal her

Rundherum das ist nicht schwer! 

Lukas and Toby James have stopped playing Dominoes and are watching Iona and Anna dance to the duet from ‘Hansel und Gretel’.

Iona’s Dirndl is made by the talented Marilyn Hotchkiss and Anna is wearing a Käthe Kruse Dirndl dress. Phew! The hair doesn’t get half messy when one is dancing!



I am very pleased to be able to make it to this year’s Sasha Celebration Weekend. Looking forward to sharing a couple of days with some lovely people and some amazing Sashas in what looks like a really nice venue.  Wasi is coming along too. He is quite an old hand at Sasha meetings and he will be able to reacquaint himself with old friends! The theme is National Costumes and with my Austrian background I am going down the Dirndl and Lederhosen route. To make it more interesting, I am aiming to have my kids dance around a Maypole, which is still in the ‘how the heck am I going to make one of those?’ stage. But a lot of other things are coming together nicely.

Only a limited number of kids can come along, for obvious reasons, and that provoked a certain amount of discussion, not to say argument, among my girls.  They ALL wanted to come. In contrast, I could only persuade 3 of the boys to take part (they are the ones who pulled the short straw!). In all, I am planning to take 11 of my Sasha kids, although I have yet to square this with Janet Mayhill Dabbs and Tricia Jackson, who are organising this event. (They truly deserve a medal!)

I had to tell my girls that they would be chosen on a limited criterion: who can stand really well, and, if necessary pose without falling over! From that group I was able to choose 8 girls, a mixture of early and late Trendons, red heads, blondes and brunettes. My Götz girls lost out, alas, but I am taking along Lukas, who is a Götz boy. I shall gradually introduce all the kids who are coming with me. 

A 1972 Trendon puddle eyed blonde, now wigged. She is wearing a Dirndl dress made by Stela Aranghelova. I asked Marilyn Hotchkiss to make her a new blouse. All the girls socks are knitted by Rosie Laird. Dancing shoes made by Lisa Hartley.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

The Most Embarrassing Mum: Birthday Party

Iona likes to write stories and I shall publish them on my blog. She likes to see her work in Print!

I was really looking forward to my BIRTHDAY PARTY but Mum had to ruin it, didn’t she! She said “I won’t be embarrassing anymore” and I BELIEVED HER!
If you didn’t know, I’m Judy. I live with my brother Adam, my adorable little sister Rose and my most embarrassing Mum!
She always likes to wreck EVERYTHING!
And in my party , she was a Party Pooper!
So let me explain what happened.
I was so excited!
My birthday is March the 9th and all night I was up
Waiting… waiting… waiting…
Every minute felt like an hour, every hour felt like a year.
2 hours to go… 1 hour to go… 50 minutes to go… 5 minutes to go.
“1 minute to go!” I muttered, excitedly.

“IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!”

I screeched, at the top of my lungs.
Rose toddled into my Mums room.
“Sissy woke me up” she whimpered
“Ugh, me too ugh NOODLE POODLE! QUIET DOWN” Mum yelled.
Rose waddled into my room.


“I am so sorry” I told her “Also I already do regret the day I was born, with Mum being so embarrassing and all.”
“What does embarrassing mean?”
“It’s what Mum is. Now go back to bed!” I ordered “Night, Night!”
“I’ll be back!!” Rose said, hiding her tears.
Then I tried to get some sleep.
In the morning, I was in the middle of dressing myself in my favourite silver and gold party dress, when Rocket, my dog came rampaging in!
“Hissssssss!” my cat, Tommy, sneered.
“Oh look at you two. Someday you'll start to like each other, I do hope so anyway.” I told them.
Later, When the guests were about to arrive, I finished pampering myself with hair brushes and flowers, plumping up their beds (it was a sleepover party) and styling up the room.
About ten minutes later, Laura came! She was wearing a purple skirt and cardigan, a pink T-shirt and some red leggings.
I came to greet her.
Five minutes later, Wendy came, then Kara, then Alisha all in beautiful outfits. “Oh yeah, gang! Let’s get this party started” Mum screeched, thinking it was cool.
“Mum” I muttered, angrily. “Why do you have to be so embarrassing?”
“I got you this Princess Colouring set,” Mum said, “it’s called Pretty Princess Glitter Colour and it’s meant to be really fun.” “No Mum, we’re just going to play in my room THANK YOU VERY MUCH.”

“Off you go, sweetie pops, have fun!”
We went upstairs and brought out a make-up palette, some eye liner, blush and lipstick from my drawer.  “Here we go,” I said to my friends. After we had done the make-up we dressed up in denim jackets and cool leggings and swaggered downstairs for tea.
“Oh my!” Mum gasped when she saw us, “what have you been doing? I thought you’d just be playing with little dollies and Barbies and having a fun time but look at you!”
“MUM you know we’re TOO OLD for that stuff. I’m ten years old now.”
“Well, I guess so. But I think you’re still a little too young for make up!” Mum cried.
Laura sniggered.
“Laura, shut up”
She whispered something to Wendy, Alisha and Kara.
I couldn't quite hear but I heard them say ‘Judy’.
“Oh, you girls, just go and wash that hideous stuff of your faces and dress in appropriate clothes… actually, let’s play a game where I choose your clothes and you wear them ALL DAY!”
“wai..”. I cried but she had already plodded upstairs.
10 minutes later, she came with some of my clothes from when I was 3!
She brought Kara a Snow White dress, 

Wendy a Sleeping Beauty dress 

and Alisha a Cinderella one! 

She got me an Arial dress!

“No” I said
“Yes” Mum said
“I wore these 7 years ago!”
“You’re not wearing inappropriate clothes”
“We’ll change but not in that.”
We slumped upstairs.
Half an hour later, we slumped back down again wearing regular clothes.
“Well, not what I was hoping for but ok” Mum said, disappointedly. 
Then I saw what she had made for us.  Sausage rolls, jelly and ice cream, Nutella sandwiches, party rings, cucumber, carrots and juice boxes. The cake was the shape of a heart and Mum had plonked a plastic Barbie on top! The plastic plates said ‘You’re Five Today!’ and she had crossed out the five and written TEN. The cups said ‘For the Prettiest Princess’s Birthday Party’. My face burned with embarrassment. Wendy saw my expression and said:
“It’s OK. The table looks very exciting and colourful!”
She really loves to make people feel better and is so kind.
“I’m happy you think so,” I replied.
After lunch, we got face paints and we were about to go crazy on our faces when Mum suggested she does them! Well I say suggested, more demanded.
I think you know what she did.
A fairy on Alisha, A unicorn on me, princess on Wendy and Kara a mermaid!!!

At seven o’ clock, Mum told us it was bedtime!
“Mum, it’s seven 0’ clock!” I mumbled, angrily.
“I know. You little ones need lots of sleep. Go to bed now or we won't be doing games tomorrow!” Mum gave me a look I used to give her when I was three! She always points it out to me saying it was cute!
“I don’t want to do games, Mum!” I replied.
“Well go upstairs anyway!”
We slumped upstairs.
In bed we went chatting on for about five hours! Actually quite a lot of it was us doodling and telling each other jokes.
At twelve I crept down stairs and brought up a little feast! YUM!
In the morning, at 9:00, we got dressed into some of my clothes and talked our way downstairs.
“Oh, hello cherry poppets! Up already`?” Mum beamed. “What would you like to eat? I bought us some ‘princess pops’! It’s a new kind of cereal! Rose loves it!”
“We’ll just have toast and honey.” I said.
“If you insist,” Mum said back.
“Okay, gang, first game, Pass the Parcel!!!” Mum screeched, after breakfast.
Alisha won and received a ‘Phoebe and Friends’ pencil case.
‘Phoebe and friends’ is this TV show that Rose watches all the time! It’s about a princess called Phoebe who is always with her four unicorns, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter who live in fairy kingdom and always tries to save the day by saving someone! The recommend age is 2-5! We are all ten!
Next we played musical statues! Kara won that and received some ‘Phoebe and friends’ stickers!
“Mum, couldn't you buy something that isn't ‘Phoebe and friends’?” I asked.
“Everyone loves ‘Phoebe and friends’.” she replied.


Then we played musical animals! I won and received some ‘Phoebe and Friends’ rubbers!!!
Then musical bumps.
Then a dancing competition although she always said we were all great so we all win.
Then just dancing to princess songs.
“Mum, why don't you ever arrange something good?” I frowned
Mum looked upset and gasped.
Mum replied “I thought this would be the best party ever! Don't you like it?”
After ‘games’ we walked outside to the car.
“Sadly, it’s time to go home ‘o clock!” Mum chattered
All the way in the car, Mum was singing along to this ‘Phoebe and friends musical’ which has all the songs from Phoebe and friends movie!!! Rose suggested we listen to that.
Mums voice is awful and sounds screechy like a cat that got stuck in a washing machine.
“Mammy, you're ruining it!” Rose shouted
“I agree, that horrific singer is a hundred times better than you!” I said.

Mum gasped.
“Mammy, are you saying that singer is an awful singer? She's a great singer!” Rose answered.
“You wish!” Laura sniggered
“Hey! She's better than you could do any day!” Rose replied.
“Not true!” I told her.  “Sorry little one.”
“Girls stop squabbling!” Mum looked at us and frowned “Here we are girls, Wendy, time to get home! Out you get. Here’s your party bag!” Mum handed her a plastic bag from the local groceries shop, Grembiks. “Next stop Laura’s house!”
After everyone had gone and we were back home, Mum gave Rose a party bag.
“Rose! Can I peak in and see what’s in there?” I strolled over to her.
Inside, there was a tiara, a doll, a stuffed unicorn and these really babyish sweets called sweetiepops!!

The next day, in school, Izzy asked me if my Mum actually did all that embarrassing stuff!
I asked how she found out and she said Laura told her!!
She would never come to my next party and that’s for sure!
I told you! I warned you!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

MORE OF MY GIRLS: Natasha, Poppy, Zoe, Amelie

4 more of my girls in Winter clothing ready for a brisk stroll through the local woods. 

Natasha, a wide-faced blonde Trendon (1969) is wearing one of Gillian Nash’s Llama sweaters and a Hagnolly Kilt. With her tights and trainers she looks like she’d like to go for a run!

Poppy is a mid-sixties sleight-eyed blonde Götz. Hat, cardigan and socks by Rosie Laird. She uses this lovely 4ply Shetland wool for her knitwear. Her skirt was made by Carol Ann Marsch and the shoes are JJs. 

Zoe, a later Trendon with lovely red hair is wearing a corduroy dress by Jadzia and a cardigan by Diane Duke. Boots by Lisa Hartley. 

Here is Amelie, a sweet-faced Trendon honey-blonde Silkdress. So different from Phoebe. She, too, is wearing an outfit made by Rosie Laird, including a tweed skirt. She looks like a stylish Scottish Lass! Shoes by Marti Sanders Murphy. 

Saturday, 7 January 2017

IONA'S POEMS: The Water Dragon

Iona loves to write stories and poems. I think she’ll be a writer; she seems to have the gift. Here is one she wrote today for school. With illustration! They are doing ‘Dragons’.

 The Water Dragon

Far away in the distance,
Asleep on a rock there lies,
Still as a boulder the egg of a dragon
The sky wrapping it in a blanket of fog.
Without warning, twitch, twitch, crack!
First a tail,
With sapphire scales,
Then a claw,
Then another, then another,
A nose, nostrils flared,
Sniffing the air,
The shell shatters into tiny shards,
Eyes blue as the lake where the mother lives,
Scales sharp, as the father’s roar,
Horns, quartz white, his fierce protectors,
Must go to his mum, must go to his mum,
Trees murmur “this way, this way!"
He staggers through the autumn leaves,
Red, orange and gold,
He can taste the coldness of the air,
The lake’s ahead!
He scrambles down the bank
His feet splash in the water
He’s happy. He’s home

Iona Rowland, aged 8 ¾

Thursday, 5 January 2017


For Raffay’s 10th birthday I designed a card with a mini story. Like all kids, boys and girls, he is really into Minecraft. Hooked, is the expression I am looking for. This sequence features one of my favourite Sasha girls, Hanna. She is very useful in the Sasha room because she has the ability to look extremely disapproving. With all the shenanigans that go on there, it needs a stern face occasionally. 

Raffay, get your feet off the table!

Jeez! What’s her problem. Girls are soooo bossy. 

Wednesday, 4 January 2017


One boy and his drum!

My grandson Raffay has many talents (naturally!) and interests, but he is particularly fond of playing his drums! 

He is a boy who also loves his Sashas. So, this year, I designed a birthday card which I thought  he might like. Here it is! He is giving a concert performance to some of the Sashas. Amazing how well behaved those babies were!

I did ask him, whether he was now too old to receive Sasha birthday and Christmas cards. His answer 'No way, Grandma'. Oh I just love that boy.