Made by me, last week, during Thanksgiving break. She has knitted limbs, thrift store cashmere sweater head and body, and garage sale lace clothing. She is 9 1/2 inches tall.
Made eight years ago. She is 4 1/4 inches tall.
I have always loved dolls. As a child I didn’t have the latest doll of TV commercials. I never had the walking, talking, Chatty Cathys which I saw at my friends’ houses. Either I knew instinctively that they were overrated or my mother subtlely instilled the idea in me that MY dolls had more play potential because they could say anything I wanted them to say. What my sister and I did have were a few beautiful Madam Alexander dolls: 8 inch Wendy, Baby Genius,
Cisette and 15 inch Elise dressed as a ballerina. They were not just for display either, a concept I abhorred, thinking all dolls should be to play with. I also dearly recall a Betsy McCall doll.
I loved paper dolls too, as I have written about in previous posts. My childhood was very simple
with few toys and a very small uncluttered house but my parents gave me ample paper and permission to cut, color, and glue to my heart’s content. My Grandmother provided fresh wheat paste glue, a stack of old catalogs, and free run of a craft closet. I remember “working” on the front porch of her farm house or in the cool cellar depending on mood and weather.
My mother bought me artist quality watercolors when I was 7 years old or so and my Grandmother bought me set of Windsor Newton colored inks when I was about 10 years old. My dad donated quill pens and showed me how to letter, if not truly calligraphy it was close.
Back to dolls and doll making. I no longer have my earliest doll making attempts. I remember making a cloth doll with the help of an elderly relative. My doll was sort of sad with seams ripping out and stuffing lumpy, etc. So she gave me one of hers. I felt a real kindred to pioneer children, and the stories I loved, when I played with that doll.
The earliest of my doll making efforts to survive is this one that I made when I was about 13. She accidentally got washed in a pocket at some point and lost part of her face and her yarn wool hair felted into dreads. She is almost 40 years old!