“Well!” thought Alice to herself. “After such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they’ll all think me at home! Why, I wouldn’t say anything about it, even if I fell off the top of the house!” (Which was very likely true.)
I love Lewis Carrol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I make a point of re-reading both annually, and they make me smile until my cheeks hurt every time. How can you not love literature that manages to exemplify both scathing political commentary and dry British humor, equal parts insightful observation and complete nonsense?
Alice has inspired multiple art adventures in my own studio, so I was excited to find Everything Alice: The Wonderland Book of Makes and Bakes. The book features 50 different projects based on Carrol’s work, with crafts and recipes ranging from Teacup Candles to Topiary Cupcakes; Duchess Macaroons to Lavender Dormice sachets. It’s clear that authors Hannah Read-Baldrey and Christine Leech are plenty creative and genuine admirers of all things Wonderland.
I thought I’d give you a sneak peek and share my first project from Everything Alice, a fabric-covered teapot planter. I started with the inexpensive, Japanese-style ceramic teapot pictured above. (thank you, T.J. Maxx) This piece was also the obvious home for some Alice in Wonderland fabric I had squirreled away in my sewing supplies. The only other requirements were scissors, a paintbrush, Mod Podge, and two hours’ time to cut the fabric into strips and glue it on the teapot.
I decided to finish my teapot planter off with some teabag-style tags made from a vintage playing card and a suitable quote: “It was all very well to say ‘Drink me,’ but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry.” The final touch was a few resin beads to compliment the colors and shapes of the Queen and her deck of subjects. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.
If you’re the sort who likes to keep her hands clean, this probably won’t be your favorite craft; however, if you were one of those kids who loved making a second set of fingerprints out of glue, then have I got a project for you! (That’s the first time I ever got Mod Podge on my elbows before. :) My studio will soon have a little Alice-inspired native flora, and I can officially say I’ve upholstered my dishes. What more could I ask for?
P.S. — I can’t post about Alice without plugging my very favorite film version, the 1999 production originally shown as an NBC miniseries. It is true to the books in tone and whimsy, though much more laugh-out-loud funny. The music and special effects are charming without being too pretty, and there are dozens of big-name actors involved. My favorite characters are Martin Short as the Mad Hatter, Miranda Richardson’s Red Queen, and, best of all, Gene Wilder as the Mock Turtle. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing a real treat. (It’s streamed on Netflix for those of you with a membership, or you can rent/buy it on Amazon.) It is one of my family’s top five “cocooning” movies — the sort of film perfectly suited to cuddling on the couch with a quilt and a mug of hot chocolate.