Babooshka, Babooshka, Babooshka-ya-ya! No not the song, it’s a Cup Mat Make-over!

To be true to the art work,  real Babushka’s are spelt just as I’ve just typed it: BABUSHKA,  and not as in the Kate Bush song ‘Babooshka’Or to give them their usual name that we mostly all know them as Russian Dolls.

I had a set of Russian Dolls when I was about 8 or 9 years old.  It had 8 nesting dolls altogether – each of them getting smaller and smaller, and I loved it.  However, at some point in my life it went missing and I’ve thought about it off and on as the years passed.  Then something really weird but totally wonderful happened last year.

Our neighbours went away on holiday, and when they go away we look after their cat for them.  They’d gone to Russia.  When they came back they called round with the gift of a set of genuine Russian nesting Dolls.  I was absolutely beside myself with joy. My neighbours didn’t know about my lost dolls.  I was in a state of total joy for days on end.

The set is so lovely and every now and again I take them apart and set them up as their individual dolls, just so I can look at them and enjoy them.  Then I very carefully pack them all back into each other and pop them back where they ‘live’ on top of my grandmother clock – out-of-the-way of cats, dogs  and Little Cobs!

Anyhooo...  regular readers will remember that I did a make-over on a rather tired cup-mat last week, painting a Goose on it.  Today is the turn of a Babushka, a Russian Doll, to grace a cup mat in the craft room.

Babushka Cup Mat 2
The ‘half way mark’ of the make-over of the cup mat.

Just like last weeks cup mat,  this mat was rubbed down,  painted with a coat of white Gesso, then two coats of black acrylic paint.  I don’t normally draw a detailed drawing when I’m going to paint, I generally just go straight in with the paint.  But I had to get the proportions of the big round body and smaller round head right, so I used a pencil to draw gently on top of the black acrylic and ‘place’ everything where I needed it to be.  Once I’d painted her, and took the above photo, I decided that the colours weren’t quite as I wanted them to be, so I re-mixed some paints and painted her scarf and apron a slightly warmer colour.

Babushka Cup Mat 1

If you compare the two pictures you can just about tell the difference in her scarf and apron.

So … you might be wondering why I haven’t shown you a photo of my Russian nesting dolls, the gift from my neighbours.  Well I wouldn’t because these are different from the Russian lady dolls . . . . . .

Russian Dolls

They’re cats!   Five beautiful, fabulous cats – and the biggest has just come back from a fishing trip where he caught a rather pretty fish.  I’m certain that he caught it as a pet for them all.  [I totally refuse to believe anything else].  The Dog in the photo, (on the left as you’re looking at it), is a sculpture, and he really does actually have two ears … it’s just that the one you can’t see is on the other side of his head and I didn’t notice when I took the photo that it wasn’t showing.  I only realised that he looked like he had an ear missing when I was re-sizing the photo to post here, and by that time …. well … it was a case of ‘Oh sod it.  I can’t be bothered to set it all up again’.  LOL.

Soooo  Happy Monday!  Got anything planned this week?  Birthdays?  Anniversary?   Holiday anywhere?  Visiting somewhere which you’re looking forward to?  Someone coming to visit you?  Orgoing back to the theme of re-cycling or doing a make-over .. have you or are you planning to do a make-over on something?  If you’ve done one and posted on your blog about it, then put a link to it, here in the comments below, so that we can all come and visit your blog!  (Who knows, you may pick up one or two followers in the process!)

Have a truly lovely day today I know that traditionally Monday can be Misery Monday because it’s the first day back at the daily grind … but look … it’s a Monday.  A brand new day.  What if this was going to be the very last Monday ever?  Wouldn’t you make sure that you had a darn good, memorable last Monday?  Go and have THAT darn good day!  (Then come back and tell me about it!).

Sending big squidges, from my corner to yours

Sig coffee copy


Author: The Art of Cobwebs - aka:- thecobweboriumemporium

Hello. I'm 'Cobwebs'. I live in a wee little cottage in the South of England, aptly called Cobweb Cottage. This little dwelling really is a cobweb factory. Not inside (well, occasionally) - but outside - flipping heck! This information should give you a clue as to why my blog is called The Art of Cobwebs aka: The Cobweborium Emporium. I've been arty and crafty from a very young age, and although my crafts have sometimes turned a corner and taken me in another direction, I've always crafted in some way, shape or form. One day, in the blink of an eye, life changed somewhat for me and the consequences were many. I had to find a new way of being 'artistic'. Card making; scrap-booking; producing ATC's and ACEO's; needle felting; Polymer clay; painting- but in a more relaxed style than I had before, and sewing, - are all things which I visit, as and when life allows. I've fairy recently become a Textile Artist and am enjoying this new creative outlet very much as it offers me so much scope for letting my imagination run through a grassy field and feel the wind in my hair - (mentally, of course). I love to create. To make things. I truthfully believe that the best gifts in the world are those in which you've given your time, rather than your cash. Thank you so much for visiting. Please visit my blog (link below) and have a look around. I'm sure you'll find something to enjoy, even if it's only a handful of jokes! (yes, seriously - there really are jokes!) Wishing you a truly blessed rest of your day! ~ Cobs. <3

35 thoughts on “Babooshka, Babooshka, Babooshka-ya-ya! No not the song, it’s a Cup Mat Make-over!”

    1. Hello Kathy, Happy Monday!
      Ooo your Russian Doll collection has piqued my interest. You should do a blog about them and tell us all the stories of how they came to be yours. That would be an enjoyable and fascinating read.

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. It means the world to me to hear from you, so thank you for taking the time not only to come and read but also to comment.
      Have a blessed day my friend. ~ Cobs. x

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Your nesting cats are adorable!! What is not to like??? Nesting AND cats.
    Hmmm…..Monday is a holiday here in the US. Labor day. We (the husband and me) will probably go to a small town about 20 miles (not sure what that is in kilometers) from here and check out the parade, the classic car show and the old tractors that are on display……very very small town America entertainment :).
    The parade will probably toss out candy and we will eat to much sweet stuff, walk around and get sore feet, then go home tired and happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the cats too. I’d never seen cat Russian dolls before, so they were a bigger surprise – even more than a normal ‘lady’ Russian doll set. They’re so incredibly, beautifully made too.

      Ooo, your Monday sounds like a great day, full of enjoyment and one I’d definitely tag along with you to!
      Miles are the thing I still work in. I know I should have learnt the kilometers by now, but I’m afraid that it’s one step too far for me. Miles I know. A kilometer could come and knock me to the ground and I wouldn’t be able to describe it to the police. lol.

      Have a wonderful day Chicken. Thank you so much for coming and sharing time with me. I love seeing you.
      Sending oodles of love ~ Cobs. x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my !! just look at your adorable cat Russian Dolls ❤ no wonder you were overjoyed at such a wonderful gift
    Your makeover is stunning always your crafting leaves me breathless
    Happy Monday to you & yours x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Cat Russian Dolls are even more lovely in real life, and yes, totally over-joyed. It was such a surprise. We look after their cat simply because we like them, and like their cat. Bless her, she’s a shy little dot, but so sweet. Such a pretty face. She rather likes Mr. Cobs and will let him tickle her which is an eye opener because she doesn’t really take easily to men.

      Aw thank you for your kind words regarding the ‘make-over’. I’d sort of lost confidence in my ability to paint anything as I developed something the doctors called ‘task tremours’ which was (is) a bally nightmare at anytime, but when painting it’s a pain in the rear. So Mr. Cobs is trying to encourage me to paint in my favourite style – sort of a folksy style, (but not barge painting), as the folksy style is more forgiving to any ‘wobbles’. I’m enjoying myself, I have to admit. It’s so lovely to have my brushes and paints out again.

      Have a truly fabulous Monday Mrs. P. I bet you’ll be flicking the duster around the garage so that Miss Millicent Morris will have her very own self contained exclusive car annex all ready to welcome her, and . . . choosing which dress to wear so that you look perfect when you go to collect her.
      Sending squidges to your corner from mine ~ Cobs. x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At the very beginning of your comment I became slightly confused as to if it was your neighbour or the cat that has taken to Mr Cobs !! I’m presuming it’s the cat … unless the neighbour likes her tummy tickled LOL
        I’m no artist …but I know what I like & in my humble opinion folk art / naive art never goes out of style and evokes a sense of homeliness and comfort, so Mr Cobs is quite right in his encouragement of you working around your ‘task tremors’ (sorry to hear of the diagnosis) .. I’m so proud of you learning to live with rather than fight what comes your way ~ a lesson to us all !
        Beloved & I are having a very early start tomorrow as we bringing Millicent home, I’ve read such a funny ( gawd I hope it was written tongue in cheek ) article from the independent newspaper reviewing the Morris 8 I’ll have to do a counter piece in the next week or two.
        Have a great week
        Squidges received and returned to you x

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Laughing here at the vision you’ve painted on the canvas inside my head … of Mr. Cobs tickling the tummy(ies) of my neighbours. Oh my word! I think the neighbours might have something to say about that! LOL

          The task tremors … aw they’re a pain in the btm. They arrived at the same time that my fingers began to, when picking things up or holding things, open/close/open/close/ over and over, rapidly but very small movements, so others can barely see it – although sometimes it’s worse and can be seen. But the result of this happening means that I drop things aaaaaall the time. [sigh]. I badly scalded my tummy with a just made hot cup of coffee, which I picked up from the little table next to my chair and instant dropped all over me. Cooo, flipping heck! I could feel the skin and my ‘unders’ actually melting into each other. I’ve never stripped off with such speed in my whole life before this episode. tsk tsk. My tummy was so badly burnt that I couldn’t bear to look at it, and now, two and a half’ish’ years later, I’ve only recently been able to take a quick look. But I can still feel where it happened.

          As far as carrying on … well it was either try … or the other option was too upsetting to think about. So I got a little bloody minded and try. I live by my sculpting motto from years ago… ‘If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you ever tried. It works. lol

          Please drive safely tomorrow. There are nuts out there driving cars today.
          oodles of love ~ Cobs. x

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh My when you described the scalding I could almost see / feel it happening !!! to pick yourself up after that episode takes some strength of character, I can only admire how you have taken the bloody mindedness approach ~ some would have folded under the pressure and loss of what has gone before.
            I love the destroy all evidence motto one to live by me thinks LOL


            1. Bloody Minded … yes, that’s what my mum used to say about me as a teen – but I don’t think it was in ‘positive’ way. LOL

              Destroy all the evidence works in so many ways, for so many things. Commit it to your brain and it will always be ready to put into action. [giggling here]

              [looks at watch, sees it’s 8 minutes past the mid-day hour] … oh my gosh … You’ll now be the Millicent Mummy!!! SQUEEEEEEEEEAL!

              Liked by 1 person

                1. By the time 7pm came this evening I began to think that something had happened, and from that time I’ve gone through:- Someone has stolen the car before they got there. Someone has driven into the car and made it undrivable. Some little hooligan has thrown a stone at the car and made a whopping dink in the bonnet. Then through to … it wasn’t taxed. It wasn’t MOT’d. Your insurance company wanted £30,000 fee for insuring it, and if there were any accidents you had to pay the first ten grand. Then … when I noticed that it was 8.50 … ohhhhh that’s when I got really silly and was thinking accidents. It was at that point I stopped looking for a post or a word and told myself to find something interesting on the TV.

                  I’m THRILLED to pieces that she’s home, safe and sound. (and so are you). Did you drive her home? Or did you drive the other car behind her and watch her all the way home? lol.

                  Can’t wait for the post. Until then … sleep well. She’s ALL YOURS now!
                  Love ~ C. xxx

                  Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely job! She is so pretty. As a kid I had a set of these dolls too – only they were called matryoshka? No exotic or interesting story on how I got them: my mum knew I liked them and she found a set at the Ideal Home Exhibition once. I can still remember the smell of the wood and paint!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Ms.Puff, Happy Monday.
      Ohhh YES! Matryoshka! I remember that name too. (I didn’t remember until you reminded me that I’d forgotten though).
      And yes, you’re right about the smell of the wood and the paint. The moment I held the cat Russian dolls in my hands for the first time their unique smell evoked memories of being the child of 8/9 and receiving my first set of nesting dolls. Twas a really lovely moment and almost made me cry.

      It’s brilliant to see you here. You and I are like rascal children, making up our own games and giggling. I have far too much fun, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
      Sending oodles of love and squidgy stuff ~ Cobs. x

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Now here’s the thing … I don’t look on it as mischief, ’cause mischief can mean something that I’m not into. I call it: ‘Letting my inner child come out and play‘.

          My inner child never grew past the age of 7. Now I know why that is, but it’s a sadness, and probably not what other people want to read so we won’t bother with an explanation. 😉 <–thats a wink for those who are as rubbish with little emoticons as I am. lol

          Anyhoo … naturally, when there’s an opportunity for my inner child to pop out and play, I let her have as much fun as she wants. Innocent fun is hardwired into my system, and the minute I realise that I’m having fun, life becomes so much more pleasurable, beautiful, enchanting.

          Let’s you and I not ‘grow up’. We’ll live eternally through our inner children and have fun. I reckon that’s the reason God gave us the ability to laugh. He wanted us to have the ability to laugh at ourselves. (Which I do at least 30 times a day! lol)
          Buckets full of squidges coming your way. Open the window and get ready! 🙂 ~ Cobs. x

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Good Monday morning to you Cob. I had a friend in college who made cute little head scarfs that she called babushkas. She would grab one every morning as she dashed off to class and not worry about the hair thing. Looked pretty cute too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good morning to my fabulous friend, Beverly. 🙂
      Well that was a new one on me, a scarf called a Babushka – … so I did what any bear of little brain would do … I asked Mr. Google about it, and apparently, there really are scarves called Babushka scarves.

      I knew that Babushka meant Grandma in Russian – not sure exactly how I came to know that, maybe it was a tidbit of information given to me from my Uncle Dave and Aunty Kay, when they gave me my original set of dolls when I was 8/9 years old. But I didn’t know anything about the scarves … however I do now.

      Mr. Google gave me a wealth of information and photos of types of Babushka scarves, and they’re all so lovely. Very colourful and jolly.
      What a great way to make right bad hair days! Your friend had a perfect solution, the clever thing!
      Sending oodles of love~ Cobs. x


  5. Happy Monday Dear Cobs! As I inched my way to post a comment, there are so many lovely friends of yours posting delightful comments 🙂 As, I like to stop and smell the roses so to speak oil it is my time to jot a little note! xxx I really enjoy your new Cup Mat! She is adorable, I did see the difference after you mentioned it, I am wondering what will be next? hmmmm? I am also drawn to folk art and I also Have a set of Russian Dolls, Oh wait, back to the amazing gift your neighbors gave you! I love the cat nesting dolls! So whimsical 🙂 I think my husband and I got my set from an Auction, which was a nice surprise! Well, I could just go on and on 🙂 but I have a bit more cleaning to do! Have a wonderful Day 🙂 Sending love and happiness xxxxRuthie~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Beautiful Ruthie!
      It’s such a joy to see your name pop up … it makes me smile instantly.

      All my lovely friends here are yours too Ruthie. If there’s anyone you’re not already following, click the link to their blogs and have a peep. If I like them there’s a good chance you might like them too. I tend to follow people that I get a great vibe from and who have this artistic talent in their body.

      I also follow people who can have innocent fun without resorting to the horrible stuff or turning a post into a judgement about someone. I don’t feel that I want to be drawn into that sort of thing when I’m here for a little relaxation, a bit of an escape from the worldly troubles, and to see some great folks who I have a coffee with.

      Feel free to click on anyone’s comment to see their blog, and if there’s anyone who you can’t make the link work, just drop me a note in a comment here and I’ll work it out and give you the link.

      How lovely that you too have a set of Russian Dolls. Do you display yours individually, or do you, like me, keep them all safe, tucked within each other and inside the largest doll?

      Don’t wear yourself out cleaning Ruthie… remember, that dust will still be waiting for you tomorrow, so if you think of something enjoyable to do while you’re dusting, then for goodness sake please go and do it. We aren’t promised tomorrow, so do the stuff which will bring you joy today!

      Sending love and hugs ~ Cobs. x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 Thank Cobs! I plan on checking their blogs out to 🙂 My Russian Dolls are nestled safely within each other 🙂 No worries, lol just a little laundry done 🙂 Great vibes and encourageing people that love to create and share their joys sounds wonderful 🙂 Thank you Sunshine! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Kim.
      Hope everything in Chez Kim is all fine and groovy.

      Aren’t the cats just sweet? I couldn’t believe our neighbours kindness. We just look after their cat, and to be honest, she’s so easy to look after. Such a sweet, lovely heart little girl.

      Thank you so much for coming dear Kim, and for the really lovely comment. Bless your heart.
      Sending squidges, to you from me. ~ Cobs. x

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your new look cup mat – they would look lovely as a whole set with each ‘doll’ having a different outfit. They flowers painted around the edge just finish it off perfectly.

    You have reminded me now that somewhere I have a lovely set of babushka dolls bought by my sister as a present from Russia. Your little cats are lovely. Hannah x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you Hannah.
      Bless you for your kind words. I’m chuffed to pieces to hear that you too have some Russian dolls! You need to get those out and put them where they can’t be played with by chubby little fingers wanting to play. Since I posted this little remake of the cup mat, Mr.Cobs had a nose around the internet, and apparently some Russian dolls are highly priced. Look after yours Hannah, you never know what you might have there.

      Sending oodles of love… oh, and let me know if there is anything I can help with regarding you reaching your goal for the function in 8 weeks time ~ Cobs. x ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great work on the mat 👍
    I saw some of the cat nesting dolls on my trip to St.Petersburg recently, they are too cute for words!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks, Bipasha. Lovely to meet you! 🙂
      I love pretty much all the Russian dolls – they’re all so ‘entertaining’ and really beautifully made.

      Thank you so much for the visit Bipasha. Hope to see you again soon. ~ Cobs. x


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