Tuesday 8 April 2008

My Dolls

Lori at Faerie Window is hosting a My Dolls show and tell today. Dolls have always been treasured by my Granny, Mum and I. Dolls in all shapes and forms.

Granny especially adored dolls. She left her secure home in London on the onset of WW11 and came to New Zealand as the new wife of my Granddad who was an Engineer for the Merchant Navy. He left her with his family and promptly went off to sea for some years!

During this time Great Granny, who still lived in London, sent Granny a beautiful French Fashion doll called Felicity. Felicity travelled to New Zealand by ship during the war and her voyage took many months.

Felicity was Granny's most prized and treasured possession. Felicity had many costume changes over the years, all designed and hand stitched by Granny.

Granny passed away last year and Felicity now lives with Mum. Here she is, she has real human hair of a beautiful auburn colour and she is wearing the last costume Granny had made her.

Granny also dressed miniature period costume dolls. Each costume was carefully researched and hand stitched. I now have these dolls. Here they are in a cabinet in my previous home.

The top shelf has Henry the VIII and his 6 wives, his two daughters Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth the 1st.

The middle shelf is period costumes through the ages and the bottom shelf is traditional costumes from countries around the world.

I had them arranged in the cabinet just as they were in Granny's home. It was one of my greatest pleasures as a little girl to be allowed to open the cabinet and carefully look at each of the dolls.

I have Granny's glory box and in it were two of the undressed dolls she used, still in there packets.

You can imagine as a little girl any new dolls I was given for Christmas or a birthday would come with the most glorious of wardrobes.

Here is my doll Tina, she needs to go to dolly's hospital for a new eye! Tina came with this incredible fashion wardrobe, all stitched and knitted by Granny. She even has handmade leather shoes and a bag.

This was my Sindy dolls wardrobe. Mum and Granny collaborated one Christmas with Granny sewing her clothes and Mum crocheting and knitting her clothes.

I bet you can't guess what era I had Sindy in!!!

I was delighted when I found these two little baby doll dresses in a thrift shop. They are smocked and hand embroidered and were .50c each!

This baby doll is about 50 year old. She belongs to Babe's Aunty Eileen. The baby doll lives with us now, I used her a lot for shop displays, she is currently wearing a vintage baby nightgown.

Granny, Mum and I love paper dolls. I found this untouched book of Lettie Lane Paper Dolls on Trade Me and just had to have it.

Some years ago I found this book of Betty Bonnet Paper Dolls in an Antique Shop. I bought it and gave it to Granny for Christmas. I now have it back!

Last winter Mum lived with us while looking for a house to buy nearby. Inspired by the Paper Doll Dress swaps we did a side ways swap of our own with Karen and Catieann.

This is the dress I made Catieann,

and this one for Karen.

This led to nights of us churning out garlands of paper doll dresses for the shop. They sold really well!

We got more and more elaborate with our ruffles and embellishments!

So carried away by paper doll dresses was I, that I made this dress for the Bloglandia Ball!

One of my most challenging swaps was the Art Doll swap. I joined it without knowing what an Art Doll was!!! Jerusalem was my partner and I had read on her blog that she loved the Princess and the Pea story.

Here is the Princess and Pea I created for Jerusalem. The layers of the dress are meant to represent the mattresses and at the bottom of the dress is a little green gem to represent the pea! I loved how it turned out and could hardly bare to part with it. But I did!

So there you have it,the doll history of our family.

Thankfully my Princess loves dolls as much as we do. She has a vast collection of Barbies and paper dolls.

Thanks so much Lori for hosting this great show and tell. I am off to visit the other dolls in Blogland.


Ruth Welter said...

Hi Rachael, what a beautiful collection...love the clothes and have to say, Felicity is just beautiful.

Unknown said...

You have a wonderful collection and I love the books as well!


Barbara said...

love love your collection!!!! just beautiful!

Jessi Nagy said...

EEKK!!! i love all your dolls! so many differant kinds. awesome!!! thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Oh Rachael! I love your dolls!!! I have always really loved baby dolls! Your story is wonderful too! Thank you so much for sharing these with us!

Love ya,

Betty said...

Oh! I love your collection especially the ones your grandmother dressed. She was very talented!

Anonymous said...

How beautiful your dolls are!! I just love Miss Felicity and her amazing story!

*hugs* Dara

Lori said...

Rachel, thank you so much for playing and sharing your wonderful collection:) i just love the doll from Aunty Eileen that you use for shop display, she is just gorgeous:) and the princess and the pea doll that you made is truly amazing and wonderful, what a very clever idea!
and how talented was your granny, thank you for sharing her sweet story!

Sugar Bear said...

You have a wonderful collection Rachael.

Christine said...

These are wonderful! Felicity looks like a Lenci doll..she looks like she's holding onto some secrets.
Thanks for sharing the stories behind these too:)

Fete et Fleur said...

WOW! What a beautiful collection. Thank you for sharing it with us.


Linda said...

Hi Rachael,
I have a doll posted on my blog that made the same slow journey across the ocean, she was lucky though that my Mum was with her for the journey. I love your collection of dolls with period costumes and the doll dress garlands that you have made are just wonderful, you are very talented.
Cheers Linda

bluemuf said...

Rachael, What a lovely post. I think your doll collection is lovely. and you included wonderous paper and art dolls. I love them all.

Hug Karen

Pinkie Denise said...

Love your dolls the paper ones are great...thanks for sharing Pinkie Denise

Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing these dolls. I love the one belonging to your Grandmother. She is very lovely indeed. Have agreat day !!! Mica

Aimz said...

oh I remember Sindy! Growing up I had a barbie with wigs and a swimming pool - wow those were the days!

Dawn said...

Wow....amazing story of your dolls!
The dress garlands are so sweet. I have just made one little paper embellished dress, so I know how much fun they are to make....
Thank you for stopping over to my place and leaving the nice comment.
Blessings on you.

Unknown said...

The Princess In The Pea is such a beautiful and unusual piece, and your dresses are amazing. I love paper dolls, and your collection is wonderful. You are really talented at designing these dresses in material. Karen

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

Wow, Rachael, what a lovely story about your grandmother and her doll Felicity!

LW said...

What a wonderful story and beautiful pictures.
You are so lucky to have family sharing your love for dolls,
what wonderful treasures and memories.
Love your paper doll dresses and the Princess and the Pea art doll
is stunning…


girlgonethreadwild said...

wow..let me catch my breath...

having grown up personally in a family of military, I'm sad to say we don't have too many items dating back to our ancestral roots so the doll my grandmother made for me is truly a cherished treasure.

Love your post and I had a great time reading your blog. Thank you! :) I'll be back. ~Monica

Betzie said...

I love Felicity and your story about your grandmom...but I was so inspired by your handmade dresses and paper dolls. How lovely!

Anonymous said...

I love your collection of Dolls you have. I especially love the very first one. She is so stunning and quite elegant.

Thank you for sharing!!


karlascottage.typepad.com said...

Felicity looks like she might be sad that Granny is gone!

Heidi said...

I absolutely love the dresses, and Princess and the Pea doll you created! I can understand why you would have a hard time parting with her!

Unknown said...

Wow! Not only do you have beautiful doll, but I love your dresses that you make too! Just lovely! :)

Mrs. Cherry Heart said...

What a beautiful collection of dollys Rachael!
I love the history behind them....you are very fortunate to have them!

Thanks for shareing!
Hugz, Dolly

pchickki said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and the comments on my dolls. The doll show and tell was much fun.

I love your blog and I will be watching. Do you mind if I put your link on my blog?


pchickki said...

Love love love your dollies.
Nice collection and I especially love the painting of the sweetpeas

kari and kijsa said...

Absolutely beautiful...love the paper dresses!

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

smiles, kari & kijsa

Lori said...

Rachael, Oh how I love your big girl toys!! You know how I love your doll clothes you've made! Love the black gown!!! Great post! Lori

Scooterblu's Whimsy~Rhonda said...

Rachael, Thanks for stopping by my blog for a visit! It looks like we have a common thread, with our talented, special grandmothers! I just love your Felicity doll and enjoyed the story behind her! You are quite talented too! The little dresses and Princess & the pea doll were just precious! Very nice! ...Come again for a visit! ~Rhonda :)

LiLi M. said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I think your doll collection is great and the stories you tell makes it even better!

Gail McCormack said...

Wow Rachael you certainly put a lot of effort into this post, I found it very enjoyable reading and the photos are great.

Sandy said...

I love the story of your grandmothers doll and the doll herself. Wow, real human hair, how unique, she is wonderful. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful collections and creations.

Linda said...

I love your collections they are treasures with wonderful memories and the creations you made are beautiful. Hugs, Linda

Anonymous said...

Love the paper dolls the best! My grandmother who passed away when I was 14 used to buy them for me when I would go visit her...your post reminded me of that...so thanks!

Bethany said...

I have really enjoyed not only your show and tell about the most beloved of your dollies...but I also love thte whole story about your dollies histories and how some of them have been wardrobed so lovingly by your granny :)
And, I also have to say wow!!! for your princess and the pea doll you made!!!!!!

Ele at abitofpinkheaven said...

Oh my gosh Rachel, your creations are exquisite. I love how you mixed textiles in with the paper for the paper doll swap and that GORGEOUS doll for Jerusalum, how could you part with that? You must make another one for the princess to keep.

Anonymous said...

thanks for visiting my blog. You have a wonderful collection.and you told a nice story. I love the paper dolls. When I was a child I love to made hundreds of them.
t-hanks for sharing all !

Brittany said...

I love seeing your collection!! What a great story of Felicity!! She is just gorgeous!!


Heather ~ Pretty Petals said...

Wow!!! what a wonderful collection of dolls you have and your french boudoir doll from your Grandmother is soooo amazing!I have loved reading the history of how you came to love dolls so much. Have a great day! xox Heather

3rdEyeMuse said...

you have such wonderful treasures! I really adore Tina (bad eye and all) and those paper dresses are FABULOUS!

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~

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

Hi Rachael! Oh my goodness, what a stunning collection of dolls! I love Felicity & all your grandmother's dolls. Simply stunning, love that you arranged them as she did!

Big Hugs,
Angelic Accents

Little Blue Violet said...

Lovely doll collection. I am envious! Adore the paper doll dresses you made. Sweet!

Pearl Maple said...

Wow, your prom dress is stunning and your doll collection is beautiful. Following the links to everyone who is sharing their dollies has been so entertaining and opened doors to lots of new creative blogs. Thanks for sharing.

The Apron Queen said...

What a gorgeous collection of dolls. I'm impressed. Jealous too. Except my girls would have played with them in the bathtub or something.

For your daily dose of vintage goodness & a bit of silliness, stop by Confessions of an Apron Queen, the home of Vintage Thingies Thursdays.

juliaD said...

Hi Rachael,
Thanks for visiting my bog and your kind comments...
My daughters name is Rachel, I love your collection of dolls, and especially the paper doll/clothes you have made...
I will email you with a picture of a paper doll set I have that belonged to Rachel's grandmother...if you collect pics of other dolls?.