Monday, March 24, 2014

Quick! To the Muse-Mobile!!

So. There was no post last week. Various contributing reasons, but the best one was:
My sister had her adorable Eva on Wednesday and both baby and mom are home/healthy. I know lots of people say this, but she is the cutest monchichi I ever have seen. I am itching to get home this April to see her and poke those chubby cheeks. 

And now for the worst reason for no post last week: I had nothing to post. >< I've been taking my time with Oni since he's just as important if not more so than Julia. I've nailed a design that I'm happy with and have been carefully building up pieces for Raul's reference as he's sculpting the parts that will be 3D printed, so I had nothing ready yet. In an effort to quickly bolster my archive so that I might have something to post in the slow moments (I anticipate a lot in April since I'll be out of town two weekends in a row) I started a sketch of Anne Neville from The White Queen. 
I didn't love it. 
I mean, it was okay, but it wasn't challenging. It was too close to the Tudors historically and culturally. It wasn't to try out a new technique. And beyond my passing fancy of the series, it didn't speak to me. The York and Lancaster women were certainly strong and interesting characters, but my favorite person in the whole series was Richard III. 
Fellow Shakespeare enthusiasts may well be confused or ashamed. I am myself still puzzled. 

Feeling rather despondent, I went into my kitchen and promptly spilled something since that seems to be what I do in the kitchen most of the time. Spill things. I looked around for a hand towel and there were none. Which is also not surprising since my significant other enjoys playing hide and seek with my hand towels. (Who needs a cat when you can have a boyfriend?) I finally found a hand towel under the couch and that's when inspiration struck. 

For about as long as I can remember any house in which I reside has had one or more of these hand towels, lovingly hand embroidered with various Sunbonnet Sue patterns. I do not have a complete set though I would like one, I seem to only acquire those intended for the month of January (As if looking out the window wasn't enough of an indicator that I live in an inconsiderately cold climate). None the less, they have always intrigued me since you never see Sue's face. You never know if she does her chores jovially or with resentment. Who is Sue anyways? Would it destroy the mystique to give her more than a hat?
So after cleaning the spill I did some digging. The original "Sunbonnet babies" were the creation of Denver native Bertha Corbett Melcher, a children's book illustrator in the early 1900s who studied under Howard Pyle. That was a name I recognized from Art history class. Her hooded children doing chores were reprinted on everything you could imagine, including fabric - leading to the HUNDREDS of patterns existing today, including multicultural Sues and Sues of various ages. 
I already had hand towels (Likely to get more for Christmas) and I didn't need another puppet project immediately, but I wagered my own take on Sue might be an interesting tribute to my Nana and great Nana. And it'd give me something to post in-between Oni updates. Since that style of bonnet was a bit too close to the time period of OniSan, I updated her to an era I had thus far widely neglected, the 1930s (Oh so Greatly Depressing in terms of fashion) and ta da!

More to come from both OniSan and Sunbonnet Sue! :)


  1. She's cute! I really like the dress & the hat you drew for the picnic basket pose :)

    1. Thank you! :) I've been thumb nailing her daily chores during lunch breaks and she's certainly growing on me - even with the sadly simple 30s garb. Don't know if I'll ever really like the fabric prints though. This one was the most tolerable >< Pretty sure my mom has a yard or more of it stashed somewhere in the sewing room.