Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Doll Parade...

I read through a friend's blog that Faerie Window was hosting a Dolly challenge today, and I was so excited to participate! I have collected dolls and have accumulated some neat vintage ones, but they are packed up. I am going to try to get some of them out in the next few days. I'm anxious to revisit with them myself! "smiles"
I was able to access my very favorite and most cherished ones!
These dolls were all handcrafted by my grandmother.
She has always had a fondness for dolls!
On Saturdays, she would scout the local flea market & yard sales for dolls in distress, and in need of a new home. Instead of bringing home stray dogs, she brought home dolls. Most needed a lot of TLC & doctoring, and would have been headed for the trash, had she not rescued them from their fate!
On most any Monday morning, you could ride by her house, and find dolls, rescued the Saturday before, hanging from a clothes line under her carport, to dry from an intense, washing, scrubbing, and hair cutting! She was in her late 70's and 80's by then. Can you imagine what the neighbors thought??? LOL!
The next few days were spent making clothes, with no patterns, only measurements, tailored to each doll with precise perfection and fit!
Her workmanship was beyond reproach!
She felt all proper dolls should be wearing all their correct undergarments too, which she also constructed!
I'm certain these dolls were dressed in a much finer attire, when she completed their transformation, than they originally came from the factory in!
She even did their hair...
She curled and styled each ones hair back to it's original softness and shine. Most had frizzy, dirty, chopped locks by the time she found them.
How many little girls have played beauty shop with their dolls??? I did and that is why I would never consider being a hair dresser today...was not my gift! :)
I couldn't begin to speculate on the number of dolls she brought back to life with her tender hands and care, but I can say, that three bedrooms housed shelves lined tightly with them!
I will try to post some of the dolls she rescued and some of my vintage dolls within the week, so check back with me!

These are cloth dolls my grandmother handcrafted from a pattern. She was an excellent seamstress! She could design and sew an adult or child's dress without a pattern. She made all of her family's clothing, including shirts, pants, and jackets for her five boys, and dresses for her two girls on an old pedal sewing machine.
She was amazing!
Keep in mind, that she made the clothes and most of the accessories for each of these dolls, ....even the shoes and floppy hat, for the dolls just below.
The little stitches sewn on each piece are so exact and finished! I sew a little, but I might not want you to see the underside! :)

My grandmother took a class on doll making and this was her project! She is porcelain.

This doll is ceramic, made from a mold. She painted the skin and face.

Thanks for looking! ~Enjoy!


Lori said...

Rhonda, thanks for joining in...i have you all linked up:) your grandmother sounds like an amazing lady and a true doll lover...the dolls she made are so sweet...i really like the last little baby, she is adorable!!!

LW said...

What lovely dolls from your grandmother...
Love the cloth dolls and their outfits..she did a wonderful job,


Pinkie Denise said...

Oh, I love your dolls, I have my husbands grandmothers doll, it is a china head....the cloth dolls are wonderful thanks for sharing Pinkie Denise

Anonymous said...

What lovely dolls! So glad you could join dolly day!

KarenHarveyCox said...

I love, love, love the doll that your Grandmother made, and your collection is wonderful. Karen

Betzie said...

Your grandmother was amazing...I think that is so neat. I have a doll that came from a lady in her 90's. She made all her clothes, undergarments, and the little doll she holds...just precious and such detail. It makes them all the more valuable and special. I cherish her because I know that lady did too, and put so much of her heart and soul into her...just like with your grandmom. She must be very special. Thanks for sharing...loved reading your post.

bluemuf said...

What a lovely story and beautiful dolls. Your Grandmother was a very talented special lady.

I look forward to seeing more of your dolls in weeks to come


bj said...

Hi, Rhonda...I so enjoyed looking at these LOVELY dolls. What a talent you G-Mother had! You are blessed to have these pretty little ones!
So glad you are enjoying blogging...I like it, too.
hugs, bj

Cami said...

I'm fond of the baby doll... She's exquisite. I hope you'll post more.

The Rose Room said...

Precious, grandmothers and dolls go together so well:) Rachael

http://loveconquersall.typepad.com/my_weblog/ said...

Hi Rhonda,

I enjoyed your beautiful Dollies you shared. I can really tell you love to decorate. You don't have to tell a fellow deor. lover when she sees such elegance. I noticed right away in your pictures. I too have an eye for lovely decoration.

Thank you for sharing. I hope you have a moment to stop by.

Terrie's Love, Live & Laugh Blog said...

Rhonda, This is Terriedj or recently known as doxieluvr on RMS. I noticed your posting on another blog. I just had to drop in and say, Hello! I love having a blog so far. I just started it on April 1st. I love your blog. It's been a lot of fun to read. Stop in sometime!

LiLi M. said...

I love your dolls and story, a true tribute to your grandmother!

Nicky said...

Hi from Belgium!! I did also do a dollmaking class and I made the exact same baby doll as featured in the last picture.How lovely she is.Do you know that this model is one of the very first real baby dolls that where ever made??

Rue said...

Rhonda those dolls are lovely and I especially love the story about your grandmother :)

Have a beautiful night,

Miss Sandy said...

Oh the expressions on those faces! That little pig tailed girl gets to me. She looks so forlorn! Perhaps it is because she has to wear glasses. She is too young to know that it is not the end of the world!

bluemuf said...

Ronda, I got the music from PlayList. If you go to my blog and click on make a playlist it will take to you the site and you can sign up and make your own list.

I search for Secret Garden and found many of their pieces.

Hope this helps.

3rdEyeMuse said...

these dolls are so amazing - oh how I would love to have had a chance to spend a week with your grandmother!!

I missed the party but decided to post my own favs just the same. If you are interested, feel free to stop by: http://3rdeyemuse.blogspot.com/2008/04/doll-party-worse-than-fashionably-late.html

smiles ~M~

Mrs. B said...

These dolls are wonderful and hold such special memories. My grandmother made dolls too. She mostly made porcelain dolls, including forming the porcelain pieces from a mold. She made their clothes, shoes, and even wigs. She also made a lot of baby dolls like the one you have in the bottom of the post. I have a few of them and they are so special! I can't wait to see more of your special dolls!

Anonymous said...

Hi Rhonda,
Just popping over to say hi. Hope you had a good weekend and a great week ahead.

LeAnn :)

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

More great dolls! My mother used to make a lot of doll clothes for her granddaughters too!