Thursday, September 8, 2011

secret project: dad (part 2 of 2)

I wondered whilst writing this whether this post would be lost on those of you whom don't know my husband Aaron. I thought it might be. Nah the sheer kick I got out of this ought to tell me that all you like-minded folk would appreciate the humour and the thrill of this big secret. If you know him you are probably in fits already.

Firstly I want to share the inspiration for this project in case you want to make one of your own. Black Apple's Paper Dolls. This book came to us one day in the post from a life-long friend of Aaron's. She had meet Beatrix on our last visit to the United States two years ago. I know that she will be thrilled to know that Beatrix has used the book and that she conspired and used the book to surprise her Dad. I hope she gets a good laugh too, seeing as she knows Aaron well.
it begins

The dolls are printed on thicker card and the clothing really evokes the character and style of each featured fictional character.
source material isource material iisource material iii

Beatrix took one of the dolls and fashioned it into her Dad, complete with specs, tattoos. Seeing as she'd begun this project on the day he was home sick she had access to his bag, his specs, and his shoes. We each had episodes of tip toeing in whilst he was cocooned in blankets to rummage for his clothing and socks.
constructiveThe man with on red shoe

I caught her sneaking out with a note pad with the drawing of the pattern for the shirt with boxes on it. I thought Ohhh my, she knows how to do her research, I love it. The following day whilst we had full access to the wardrobe she sought out his red long sleeved t-shirt with the circles. She knew that he'd worn this at her birth and every birth since. He was blown away by that, I tell you.
a tiny jumper

I know you might be thinking does he actually get around in pink stripy socks with skulls and does he actually own a top hat, and who would wear crocs with socks? Yes and yes and yes. I knew he lacked some kind of conventional style when I very first meet him. He has no idea that you cannot wear a hoodie and a hat at the same time. I never knew just what a caricature he was till we played around with the outfits and were laughing out loud.
nakedpink skulls and campers
Even the way these paper dolls lend themselves to movement and motion whilst being still. The one particular outfit he is kind of jutting forward shirt too small and body leaning sideways, that is him all over. We even asked Eliza (who is four) who it was when we had put an outfit together and she said "Aaron" we laughed even harder.
top hat with rabbita high windcold day
I cannot tell you the admiration I have for Bea's skill, the technique and attention to the smallest detail, she is only ten. The only help I gave was stitching on the drawers for the wardrobe.

I highly recommend surprising someone you know with something like this, particularly if they are a slightly peculiar individual. Aaron was just taken aback, he told me quietly "Can I say this is the best present I have ever been given?"
brenneman: the spring collection


  1. The time and effort that's gone into this very thoughtful gift. I can see why Aaron is so impressed. Just beautiful. x

  2. this is wonderful. what a sweet idea. i love the black apple and you guys did an awesome job. what a gobsmacking surprise for aaron. love it!!

  3. Yes, a lot of time and effort but so worth it I'm sure, these are just beautiful, hasn't she done the most amazing job, a skill she has obviously inherited from her mother.... I hope you have a nice place to display it! :)

  4. far out, thats fantastic, such attention to detail, i'm sure i'd recognise arron in the street if i saw him now!

  5. oh


    I can't think of anything else to say.......

  6. What an amazingly detailed, thoughtful and personal gift! Your daughter is amazing! :)

  7. woah that brings tears to my eyes...s xx

  8. wow! what a project and the designs are just gorgeous. happy birthday for sadness allowed. hope you've had a lovely saturday. sun shining where you are? go spoil! xx

  9. Anything & everything paper dolls is a hit with this family!! Loev it!! Love Posie

  10. That is incredible! What a very talented daughter you have. Totally gorgeous gift.

    I have the Black Apple book hidden away for a rainy day, I might get it out tomorrow for Elsa. We're having a girls day.