Playscapes

Yesterday we went to a car boot sale and found a whole number of treasures. A rocking chair for Ava, a lot of fabric for my MamaMake Autumn and Winter dresses and skirts, a rug, buttons, a vintage House and Garden magazine for 50p, ah…and best of all, a beautiful antique handmade wooden doll’s cradle.

Our plan was to get Ava a beautiful Alderwood wooden kitchen for her 2nd birthday, and then I would make her her second Waldorf doll for Yule (as well as redesigning our under-the-stairs cubby hole to make into a little den for her) but with the finding of the cradle we have decided to swap those around.

So, I have two months to figure out how to make a really good Waldorf doll. Her first, her little orange elf, is much loved and a little worn, and was a perfect ‘first’ doll, but now she is bigger I think she could do with a bigger doll to cart around. Carting around dolls, bears, bunnies…well, that’s just about her favourite thing to do right now, so hopefully this will be a well-timed gift.

It also means we have to get planning this little den which I am so excited about. As a kid, I always wanted a space in my house that felt like my own, and she already loves the space there, even though she can’t do much in it since it is currently home to her car seat, hoover and other bits of DIY pfaff.

Our plans include a thorough washing, pollyfilla-ing, painting, carpeting, a new door and window, twinkly lights, a teeny tiny bookcase in there and lots of pillows on the floor. It’s a decent sized space for a den, and I hope that it can function both as Ava’s ‘house’ and anything else she might want it to be. Shop? Bus? Cave? I *love* open-ended toys and playscapes. (I’m not sure if I just made up that word, but if I did, I’d like to own it. )

So, a very special doll, a bit of TLC on the cradle, some Mama-made bedding and quilts for it, a birthday dress (obviously), birthday books and hopefully, her own birthday book – a quilted, fabric picture book of her first two years.
We are also throwing her a little Halloween/birthday party, which I am planning already (birthdays and birthday traditions are *big* in our house and I want to cement the important ones early on) I love Halloween. It epitomises everything I love about Autumn and October. I hope our house is a Halloween haven this year, full of pumpkins, witches and ghouls, wax leaves, toffee apples…ah, just the promise of Autumn is enough to give me that stomach-knotting excitement.

(On days like today, when summer suddenly breaks into something strange and uninvited, when the lightning and thunder hit and my head aches every time they do, I can smell the first promise of Autumn in the air. My heart fills will words from Something Wicked This Way Comes, which I have decided to read every October until I die, and I can’t think of anything beyond boots and leaves and scarves and the smell of something being done.)

I started to make my first Autumn dress and skirt for Ava, deep burgundies and purples. But I didn’t have the energy to finish them today. Instead we saw family, played a lot, danced a lot, watched Mary Poppins and waited for Howard to come back from doing his first Ghost Walk on his own. As the guide.

Sundays pass in this way, often. We find them full of things done, accomplished or half-accomplished at least, a house ready for the week ahead and the three of us a little more rested and a little more able to take on whatever that entails.



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About Kendal

I'm Kendal Mosley-Chalk. I live in York with my husband and two children.
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