After the baby stops crying (thanks to one of the other little girls), Mrs Pocket decides to give the baby a nut-cracker to play with. Pip is worried about the baby’s safety. Jane, one of the children, tries to take the nut-cracker away before the baby puts an eye out. Mrs Pocket gets very upset with Jane for intervening. (Mrs Pocket is clue-less!) Mr Pocket, on the side of the others worried about the baby, snaps, “are infants to be nut-crackered into thir tombs, and is nobody to save them?” There is DEFINITELY some tension in this household!
I carved this little baby and nut-cracker out of the same Crayola Air-dry clay. I decided to cover this piece in gold leaf instead of painting it. To do gold leaf, you first cover the object (or canvas) with a special glue. Let that dry for about 30 minutes and then very carefully apply the gold-leaf. The gold leaf flakes are very light and if you laugh or take a deep sign, they will be all over your house! I had little gold flakes floating everywhere! On top of that, I got a bunch of the glue on my fingers (wouldn’t wash off with hot water and soap – kind of like super glue) and therefore the gold leaf was sticking more to me than to the sculpture! I knew my husband would freak out when he got home and saw the mess I’d made, so I quickly cleaned it all up before he walked in the door!
Here is the progress:
The Pockets, Pip and guests are having dinner, with Mr Pocket about to carve the meat, knives in hand, when a page comes in with an announcement. The cook has “mislaid the beef.” (How does one lose a hunk of meat?!) Mr Pocket begins to behave oddly, trying to pull himself up out of his chair by yanking up on his own hair. Unsuccessful, he gives up and decides not to do anything about the missing beef.
Mrs Coiler, the nosy neighbor, who is dining with them, comes across as serpentine, snaky and fork-tongued to Pip as she overly compliments him. He’s embarrassed.
After dinner the children are marched in to be inspected and shown-off to everyone. (These were the days when children were not allowed to eat with the grown-ups!) Mrs Pocket tries to hold the baby but ends up banging it’s head on the table. Crying ensues.
I carved this little snake lady out of jade. Just kidding! I used Crayola Air-dry clay. It’s fairly fragile, even when dry, so I have to be careful with it. I haven’t done much sculpture, so thought it was time for something different. I used clay for the next page also, so check back in!
Here is the progress:
Mr Pocket received a good education, but after marrying Mrs Pocket, he took a position as a tutor. (No title still!) As this did not pay well, he gave it up and tried several different careers before settling on doing literary compilation and correction. (writing and editing?)
Pip walks the widow next door, Mrs Coiler, to dinner that first night and gets an earful of gossip about the Pockets. She feels Mrs Pocket deserves her title. Pip also learns that Drummle, one of the tenants of the Pockets, is heir to a baronetcy. AND that the book Mrs Pocket was reading in the garden was all about titles. They are all obsessed with titles!
In the 1800s, the order of precedence for titles was as follows:
Duke (Most Noble)
Marquess/Marquis (Most Honorable)
Earl (Right Honorable)
Viscount (Right Honorable also)
I had fun with this mixed media collage about titles in the 1800s!
Pip is shown his room in the Pocket home. It seems adequate and comfortable. He meets two other non-Pocket boarders: Drummle and Startop. Pip observes that the house seems to be run entirely by the servants, who make all the decisions, not Mr & Mrs Pocket. The servants are in charge! And they do entertain often, down in the servants’ quarters, doing whatever they like, eating very well.
Still on my quest to try new things with this project, I decided to try my hand at carving a rubber stamp. I have had a Speedball carving tool for many years. I believe I bought this in college and we did one project with it, just to learn how to do it. Haven’t touched it since. Until yesterday. I bought a pink rubber carving block, sketched out my “servant bell” design and carved away! It really is a lot of fun and carves like butter! Not how I remember carving into linoleum blocks in th 80s – VERY difficult. I used a brayer to roll on acylic paint and made my print. Pretty cool, huh?
Mrs Pocket asks Pip if he likes the taste of orange-flower water, a question completely out of the blue. Pip finds out that she was brought up without learning any skills of any kind, especially those pertaining to the common people. Being raised solely for the purpose of marrying a “title” (her father being a knight), she has no domestive knowledge. She’s completely useless!
I looked up orange-flower water and found that it is also known as orange-blossum water and is a clear distillation of bitter-orange blossums. It’s becoming more popular these days actually, which I find very interesting, since Dickens wrote this book so long ago! It is today being used to flavor foods such as Spanish King Cake, European madeleines, Mexican wedding cakes and Pan de Muerto and in the U.S. in scones and marshmallows. Yum, I’m getting hungry!
Enjoy my little orange-blossum painting and hope you have a great day!