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 Post subject: Arts and crafts
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2018, 11:28 
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I don't know if anyone else saw it, but there was a report on BBC News this morning about how the "creative economy" – hand-knitting, sewing, etc – is growing twice as fast as the general economy, and how Etsy, Instagram, Pinterest etc are boosting interest in it. I am worse than useless at things like that, but I know that a lot of Chalet people are very into it. In the British years, it becomes all about making things for the Sale – I always feel sorry for the other girls in Tom's class, who had to make stuff for the dolls' house rather than doing whatever they personally were keen on or good at – and there's very little mention of arts and crafts in connection with Mary-Lou's gang or the Inter V crew, which maybe reflects social change as much as anything else, but it's a big thing in some of the books.

Wanda's painting on china – there are lots of hand-made souvenirs for the Royal Wedding on offer! – and Gisela's embroidery and Joey's jigsaws might be very popular now. And, although I'm not convinced that scrapbooks made by schoolgirls would be quite as wonderful as EBD makes out, there were people like Tom and Sybil who had genuine talent. It seems to be a very Chalet thing: I can't think of other school stories (although I'm sure someone can) where arts and crafts are such a big thing.

And the Hobbies Club was Grizel's idea, and it always annoys me that she's never given credit for it in later books! It was Grizel who persuaded Madge to start a Guide company, as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Arts and crafts
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2018, 13:55 
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Quote:
always feel sorry for the other girls in Tom's class, who had to make stuff for the dolls' house rather than doing whatever they personally were keen on or good at –

I always thought that those who wanted to contribute did so but surely no one was forced into it? I do agree though that peer pressure for the class to do well would have been strong.

Quote:
And the Hobbies Club was Grizel's idea, and it always annoys me that she's never given credit for it in later books! It was Grizel who persuaded Madge to start a Guide company, as well.

I agree.

I can't comment about other GO books as I'm strictly a CS-girl. However the original idea of the Hobbies Club was a good idea on EBD's part - something to occupy the pupils on rainy/snowy days,,new plotlines etc etc. It's only at a later stage that the making things for the Sale grates on us adult readers who enjoy analysing the CS.


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 Post subject: Re: Arts and crafts
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2018, 18:00 
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I always liked the idea of the Hobbies Club. No idea what I would have done for it if I was a CS girl, as I'm terrible at art and any kind of crafty stuff. Didn't one of the characters do something that involved writing? Margia?

We were talking about this at work the other day, as one of my colleagues wants to get back into knitting, and another one knits cardigans etc. My mum knits, but I've never tried and I have no interest in it. It is making a comeback though. I admire anyone who can make their own clothes!


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 Post subject: Re: Arts and crafts
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2018, 18:07 
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thefrau46 wrote:
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always feel sorry for the other girls in Tom's class, who had to make stuff for the dolls' house rather than doing whatever they personally were keen on or good at –

I always thought that those who wanted to contribute did so but surely no one was forced into it?


Not only that, but if you read those sections carefully (which of course I have :D ) I think you will find that it is mostly a matter of taking their "full-size" skills and suggesting to them that they could be successful in using them to produce miniature items.

As followers of my blog will know, this is precisely what I do with all the friends that visit me in the Czech Republic. Most of them had no idea at all that they were skilled miniaturists!

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 Post subject: Re: Arts and crafts
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2018, 18:55 
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I confess those scrapbooks always puzzled me.I used to make them for my own interests but can't see myself ever wanting to buy one, different times I suppose.


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 Post subject: Re: Arts and crafts
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2018, 20:31 
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Terrygo wrote:
I confess those scrapbooks always puzzled me.I used to make them for my own interests but can't see myself ever wanting to buy one, different times I suppose.


I may be wrong, but I think the scrapbooks which were made in Hobbies Club were usually donated to the San., to give child patients something to look through. I don't know if the pages were protected in any way - perhaps with clear varnish, since this was before the days of plastic wrap - in order to allow them to be wiped down with some form of disinfectant after a child had looked through the books. But that might have been done by an adult after each book was completed.
We know that the sheets of pictures intended to cover the panels of a firescreen in Lorna at Wynyards were protected with varnish when they were finished, presumably the scrapbook pages would have been protected in the same way.


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 Post subject: Re: Arts and crafts
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2018, 22:10 
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Elder in Ontario wrote:

I may be wrong, but I think the scrapbooks which were made in Hobbies Club were usually donated to the San., to give child patients something to look through. I don't know if the pages were protected in any way - perhaps with clear varnish, since this was before the days of plastic wrap - in order to allow them to be wiped down with some form of disinfectant after a child had looked through the books.


They were definitely varnished. I can't for the life of me remember which book it is in, but there is a description of the pages being made: canvas stretched over a board so the pictures could be arranged and glued on. It says that when they were dry, the pages would be varnished so that they could easily be cleaned.


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 Post subject: Re: Arts and crafts
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2018, 23:04 
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I remember the making of the scrap books were extremely labour-intensive and most children would zap through them in minutes. Isn't it mentioned that some are kept in the school san or junior common room and very popular?


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 Post subject: Re: Arts and crafts
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2018, 23:11 
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In the early days of the Hobbies Club as well as making things they all had collections, Simone's paper dolls, Joey's Napoleon stuff etc, don't think we ever hear of this in later books. Possibly not so creative as actually making things, but still good hobbies to have


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 Post subject: Re: Arts and crafts
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2018, 00:15 
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The "creative economy" boomed during the early Eighties, noticeably a time when things were not going well for many people in the general economy and they turned to trying to make money out of their hobbies. Once the job market and wages eased up, the creative economy retreated back towards the margins. People discovered that it is very hard to get paid a sufficient amount to cover the time spent in production, and that they could earn more in employment.


In the CS books, creative employment is seen as something the poor do, and tends to be regarded as rather noble.
Frau Laubach learns to weave pillow lace which has a ready sale (although this is also therapeutic rather than simply economic)
Phoebe Wychcote earns money through sewing and embroidery (and we see exactly how unreliable these kind of earnings can be and the fragility of the creative economy)
Jacynth Hardy's "Auntie" makes a living knitting (and it's been discussed before how viable that would actually be)
Margot Venables teaches the piano (and is luckily being housed by someone else)
It might also be considered that the "La Rochelle" "let's paint arty pictures and write twee books because we have no money" falls in this category.

On the other hand, Elisaveta scrubbing floors and Carla working as a waitress is dealt with as though they are somehow demeaning themselves. Presumably the work is not ladylike enough - starving would be better.


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 Post subject: Re: Arts and crafts
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2018, 07:10 
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On the other hand, Elisaveta scrubbing floors and Carla working as a waitress is dealt with as though they are somehow demeaning themselves. Presumably the work is not ladylike enough - starving would be better.[/quote]

That would probably depend on whether you were the person actually starving.................!!

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 Post subject: Re: Arts and crafts
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2018, 08:26 
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ivohenry wrote:
In the early days of the Hobbies Club as well as making things they all had collections, Simone's paper dolls, Joey's Napoleon stuff etc, don't think we ever hear of this in later books. Possibly not so creative as actually making things, but still good hobbies to have
We certainly don't hear much of it, but in Summer Term Erica has costume dolls as her ccollection, and so does Sara Carlyon, from whom she borrows the idea. That's a sort of 'kill two birds with one stone' notion, as they dress the dolls themselves, but it's definitely described as collecting, and probably more satisfactory that way if you have to do something with it as part of Hobbies Club.


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 Post subject: Re: Arts and crafts
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2018, 08:42 
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Noreen wrote:
ivohenry wrote:
In the early days of the Hobbies Club as well as making things they all had collections, Simone's paper dolls, Joey's Napoleon stuff etc, don't think we ever hear of this in later books. Possibly not so creative as actually making things, but still good hobbies to have
We certainly don't hear much of it, but in Summer Term Erica has costume dolls as her ccollection, and so does Sara Carlyon, from whom she borrows the idea. That's a sort of 'kill two birds with one stone' notion, as they dress the dolls themselves, but it's definitely described as collecting, and probably more satisfactory that way if you have to do something with it as part of Hobbies Club.


And Copper is started off on a postcard collection in Refheads by someone in her form and Len.

Speaking as some who likes that kind of thing; I would have loved the Sale as I prefer to make something for a reason rather than clutter the house with everything I’ve made. The Sale would give me the perfect avenue to sew, knit etc without necessarily keeping it. And I’d have loved being part of creating Tom’s dollhouse. It was only in her last years of school that the others helped with it. She made them in her own until the year Peggy was Head Girl.

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 Post subject: Re: Arts and crafts
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2018, 09:15 
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Fiona Mc wrote:


And I’d have loved being part of creating Tom’s dollhouse. It was only in her last years of school that the others helped with it. She made them in her own until the year Peggy was Head Girl.

Tom certainly made the houses herself but the form were involved in the furnishing right from the first house. The Sale chapter in Tom Tackles has the sentence "At the far end was a smaller table on which stood the house in all its glory,fully furnished,thanks to everyone in the form,with another table in front of it on which were the two 'gardens'."

ETA I am not sure if this link will work as the website is having major problems at the moment but if it does the whole story of Tom's houses can be read here

ETA2 to change above link which should now work, fingers crossed.

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 Post subject: Re: Arts and crafts
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2018, 15:28 
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Thank you so much for posting that link, Cestina, I really enjoyed reading your article and your love for dolls houses and the CS shines through!


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 Post subject: Re: Arts and crafts
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2018, 22:08 
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My thanks too cestina. I had forgotten many of these houses and how they became so elaborate and impressive. Just as well really that the later ones were not actually won by a small child e.g. the Inn. Also as an aside aren't the illustrations of Bride dreadful? Curly plaits!


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 Post subject: Re: Arts and crafts
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2018, 22:51 
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Mel wrote:
My thanks too cestina. I had forgotten many of these houses and how they became so elaborate and impressive. Just as well really that the later ones were not actually won by a small child e.g. the Inn. Also as an aside aren't the illustrations of Bride dreadful? Curly plaits!
Yes, it's a lovely article, isn't it? And I couldn't agree more about the illustrations of Bride - not how I imagine her at all. But then there are the dreadful striped blazers, too, in the (first) Chalet Book for Girls (and the original cover of Three Go, of course).


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 Post subject: Re: Arts and crafts
PostPosted: 01 May 2018, 13:26 
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Adding my thanks! The article was so much fun to read, and with so much research and fascinating information, and great illustrations/photographs as well!


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