Yeah, yeah, I know this is completely and totally late. If you view time and space as a linear progression that is.
Anyway, I found this little photo gem in a quite old book in my collection and wanted to share it.
Yes indeedy my timey wimey friends, a photo of an authentic Dalek dressing-up suit. Which moment in the above mentioned Adventures in Time and Space made me laugh out loud. That little girl was just soooo thrilled to be dressed up as a Dalek it was impossible not to laugh.
On a technical note it was interesting to see how the dressing-up suit was constructed. The body is fabric suspended from a hoop that hangs just below the shoulders from suspender straps. This same hoop forms the support for the helmet which fastens on with snaps. This was a smart design decision: the helmet is supported by the shoulders and leaves the child’s head unencumbered. The two appendages are made of plastic and the rods enter thru the side slits and are held in the child’s hands. You really weren’t meant to stick your arms out the slits . . . but it was handy that you could so as to pull in an emergency sandwich or beverage. After all being a Dalek is thirsty work.
I wanted to get this posted before Thanksgiving as a reminder that sometimes you just have to get wacky in the face of disfunctional situations. It is my most sincere hope that even without said reminder if you found yourself in a unduly difficult place that you found the strength of character to slap a colander on your head, pick up a whisk and say (in a loud, flat, metallic voice) to all assembled: Exterminate! Exterminate!
If nought else, it would certainly shift the mood.
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Enjoy the silliness that abounds today!
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Continuing with the theme of raather strange little animals here’s a new e-book that becomes available tomorrow:
I can’t remember when I first saw an image of Walter Potter’s work; it was certainly yonks ago. I can remember really, really liking his tableaus from that very first moment.
Being self-taught in taxidermy all his creatures are somewhat wonky, which just makes them fit in better to the sort of demented, twisted little settings in which he displayed them. Love it!
Buy it here.
Watch a video about it here (James Gurney’s blog — Thanks James!).
And do not neglect to do a google search — especially images — of Walter Potter. It is totally worth it. Warning: you may end up spending waaaaay more time doing this than you initially intended to.
Technical note: No, I have not got a Kindle yet. Or a nook, or an iPad or even a bloody smartphone. However I did finally succumb to downloading the free kindle reader app from Amazon for my desktop computer. Yes, it was decision entirely driven by my need to have this particular book.
Therefore: Love of wonky demented little animals = a need that justifies upgrading technology.
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is not such a bad place to be, if indeed that is where you find yourself.
The cool pools of shadow, the dense drifts of pine needles; it can be an ideal place to just sit and think. Part of the charm are all the little creatures with sharp little teeth and hungry little tummies. Remember to bring a jar of peanut butter and plenty of spoons to go round.
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What crocodile? You know what crocodile. This one:
The one what ate the alarm clock and who eventually comes for us all. That crocodile.
Why am I going on about a ticking crocodile . . . because he came for Akira. The truly wonderful and entirely talented Akira Blount. Remember these:
The people with animal face masks. She taught classes in this, and though I didn’t get a chance to take one I hear they were great.
Her work later began to incorporate more and more natural materials, like this piece with twig hair.
And finally, these fantastic pieces with turned and carved wooden skirts. Forgive the tragically bad photo, conditions were way less than ideal.
This jack-in-the-box is the only piece of Akira’s work that I have. It was the souvenir at the annual NIADA conference one year. I remember leaving the banquet that night holding it and hearing Bill Nelson crowing to a group of people ahead of us in the hallway about how great his Jack’s thumbs were. They were the best Jack thumbs at his table. So we (the people I sat with a dinner) went over and asked what was all this about thumbs? Bill explained the clear superiority of his Jack and then said “Show me your thumbs”. We (my dinner group) had not paid particular attention to the relative quality of our Jack thumbs. So we popped open our Jacks and held them up for inspection. A deep silence fell . . . and persisted. Bill scowled — at me; my Jack’s thumbs had bested his. Then we all laughed and went to find a cosy place to laugh some more and talk the rest of the evening away.
It’s been really, really hard to write this post. That damn crocodile has been wreaking havoc among this particular group of people I care about. Mirren, Martha, Susie, Elizabeth, Barbi, and now Akira. These aren’t just people I admire and am inspired by. These are people I knew, people I’ve spent time with; had long talks with; shared meals with. People I had a deep and lasting affinity with. People who are leaving a significant hole in both my heart and my life.
So if you even think you hear something going “Tick-Tack Tick-Tack”: Run Like Hell.
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A Very Silly Book
Yes, as I promised last week the identity of the silly little dolls having a picnic is revealed.
Psychedelic Fun: Upsy Downsy Land
They are from Upsy Downsy Land. The Upsys are smaller and live right side up. The Downsys are larger and live either way up — they are very good at standing on their hands. Upsy Downsy Land is a very happy friendly place to hang out.
I remember playing with these trippy tiny people when I was little, first you’d connect up all the maps you had and then they would drive and drive and drive around. Occasionally they’d stop for a sandwich or a swim or sometimes a nap. It was a pretty idyllic flat little world but there were hazards — like the time the wizzer (with doll attached) went screaming across the kitchen floor and smacked our Mother right in the ankle (oh the shouting, oh the temporary banishment to our room).
Two pieces of Happidiculous survived my childhood: a somewhat worn ladybug car and the tiny blue bucket from the firetruck (oh yeah, the firetruck was an elephant). Fortunately I’ve been able to reacquire a small group of dolls, vehicles and accessories (thank you ebay) over the last few years.
Sadly, they were only made for one year, 1969. Read more about them here. It would have been really wonderful fun to see what other sets might have been introduced if the line had lasted. Mine have been lobbying for a drive-in theater and a downtown shopping area — also much larger play maps with more landscape in proportion to road. Oh, and they are demanding a electric car recharger and solar power arrays. Ha!
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Yeah, I know, I know . . . this is a day early. But tomorrow is going to be BUSY.
Plus I’m trying to stick to my WebWednesday posting habit, however erratic it has been.
Ready for Picnic Action
So enjoy your holiday, have lots of fun and try not to overindulge too awfully much.
Bonus points for anyone who can identify the silly little dolls pictured above. No, the troll doesn’t count — he’s there for scale: he is 1-1/2 inches tall (exclusive of hair). Put guesses in a comment and I’ll get back to everyone next week.
Posted in doll, vintage toy | Tagged doll, humor, vintage toy | 2 Comments »