Children of Japan

Children of Japan
Courtesy, R. John Wright

The Jumeau 201

The Jumeau 201
Courtesy Theriault's and Antique Doll Collector Magazine

Hinges and Hearts

Hinges and Hearts
An Exhibit of our Metal Dolls

Google+ Followers

Tuxedo and Bangles

Tuxedo and Bangles

A History of Metal Dolls

A History of Metal Dolls
Now on Alibris.com and In Print! The First Book of its Kind

Alice, Commemorative Edition

Alice, Commemorative Edition
Courtesy, R. John Wright

Translate

Emma, aka, La Contessa Bathory

Emma, aka, La Contessa Bathory
Her Grace wishes us all a Merry Christmas!

Annabelle

Annabelle

Emma Emmeline

Emma Emmeline
Our New Addition/fond of stuffed toys

Cloth Clown

Cloth Clown

Native American Art

Native American Art

the triplets

the triplets

c. 1969 Greek Plastic Mini Baby

c. 1969 Greek Plastic Mini Baby
Bought Athens on the street

Iron Maiden; Middle Ages

Iron Maiden; Middle Ages

Sand Baby Swirls!

Sand Baby Swirls!
By Glenda Rolle, courtesy, the Artist

Glenda's Logo

Glenda's Logo
Also, a link to her site

Sand Baby Castaway

Sand Baby Castaway
By Glenda Rolle, Courtesy the Artist

A French Friend

A French Friend

Mickey

Mickey
From our friends at The Fennimore Museum

2000+ year old Roman Rag Doll

2000+ year old Roman Rag Doll
British Museum, Child's Tomb

Ancient Egypt Paddle Doll

Ancient Egypt Paddle Doll
Among first "Toys?"

ushabti

ushabti
Egyptian Tomb Doll 18th Dynasty

Ann Parker Doll of Anne Boleyn

Ann Parker Doll of Anne Boleyn

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Tin Head Brother and Sister, a Recent Purchase

Tin Head Brother and Sister, a Recent Purchase
Courtesy, Antique Daughter

Judge Peep

Judge Peep

Hakata Doll Artist at Work

Hakata Doll Artist at Work
From the Museum Collection

Follow by Email

Japanese Costume Barbies

Japanese Costume Barbies
Samurai Ken

Etienne

Etienne
A Little Girl

Happy Heart Day

Happy Heart Day

From "Dolls"

From "Dolls"
A Favorite Doll Book

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Jenny Wren

Jenny Wren
Ultimate Doll Restorer

Our Friends at The Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum

Our Friends at The Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum

Baby Boo 1960s

Baby Boo 1960s
Reclaimed and Restored as a childhood Sabrina the Witch with Meow Meow

Dr. E's on Display with sign

Dr. E's on Display with sign

Dolls Restored ad New to the Museum

Dolls Restored ad New to the Museum
L to R: K*R /celluloid head, all bisque Artist Googly, 14 in. vinyl inuit sixties, early celluloid Skookum type.

Two More Rescued Dolls

Two More Rescued Dolls
Late Sixties Vinyl: L to R: Probably Horseman, all vinyl, jointed. New wig. R: Effanbee, probably Muffy, mid sixties. New wig and new clothing on both. About 12 inches high.

Restored Italian Baby Doll

Restored Italian Baby Doll
One of Dr. E's Rescued Residents

Dolls on Display

Dolls on Display
L to R: Nutcrackers, Danish Troll, HItty and her book, Patent Washable, Mechanical Minstrel, Creche figure, M. Alexander Swiss. Center is a German mechanical bear on the piano. Background is a bisque German costume doll.

A Few Friends

A Few Friends
These dolls are Old German and Nutcrackers from Dr. E's Museum. They are on loan to another local museum for the holidays.

Vintage Collage

Vintage Collage
Public Domain Art

The Merry Wanderer

The Merry Wanderer
Courtesy R. John Wright, The Hummel Collection

The Fennimore Doll Museum

The Fennimore Doll Museum

Robert

Robert
A Haunted Doll with a Story

Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

Halloween Dolls Displayed in a Local Library

The Cody Jumeau

The Cody Jumeau
Long-faced or Jumeau Triste

German Princesses

German Princesses
GAHC 2005

A Little PowerRanger

A Little PowerRanger
Halloween 2004

The Island of the Dolls

The Island of the Dolls
Shrine to Dolls in Mexico

Based on the Nutshell Series of Death

Based on the Nutshell Series of Death
Doll House murder

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A lovely dress

A lovely dress

Raggedy Ann

Raggedy Ann
A few friends in cloth!

Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum, WI

Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum, WI
Pixar Animator's Collection

Little PM sisters

Little PM sisters
Recent eBay finds

Dressed Mexican Fleas

Dressed Mexican Fleas

Really old Dolls!

Really old Dolls!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Art of Blogging!

Slowly, but surely, I am seeing and learning how the blogging community works. Thanks to new followers, and welcome, and thanks for the kind comments and to all who have emailed. It is encouraging to hear from so many good writers and from people who are interested in dolls. Hardly anyone really knows about my collection any more, and in some ways, this can be a good thing. On the other hand, you feel a little bit out in the wilderness, and despite the popularity of this hobby, you still get funny looks at yard sales and the occasional antique show. C'est la guerre. Then again, I used to teach a class on dolls for CommUniversity, a local group of higher education organziations and colleges that teaches classes Sundays in February [www.communiversity.org]. When people came to my class, I was really surprised at the depth and interest in the subject.

Today I began organizing dolls and materials for the Girl Scouts program where we are going to make a Victorian fortune teller paper doll, and learn about the history of dolls. Little kids are great audiences; they are ready to share their own stories and inspire me as much as I hope I inspire them. With that in mind, I'd like to mention a couple books out there for kids that talk about collecting, and that they will enjoy and find fun.

1. Shari Lewis. Things Kids Collect. This is a slim paperback with chapters on doll collecting, coins, stamps, souvenirs, rocks, shells, etc. Almost anything a child might like is included. Of course, Shari Lewis is Lambchop's "mother." I was still watching Lambchop in graduate school at SIUC in the early and mid 90s. Shortly after, Shari Lewis died at a fairly young age. She had her own fantastic collection of dolls and puppets, and I don't know whatever happened to them.

2. Shirley Glubok's books about dolls and doll collecting for children are great. They cover all types of enthnic and antique dolls and also talk about how dolls relate to culture and history.

3. Tasha Tudor. A is for Annabelle and The Doll's Christmas. Tudor had her own fantastic dolls and doll house. She illustrated these two books with French Fashion dolls and old china heads and papier mache little girls. They are just great! About 20 years ago, I wrote Tudor a letter, and she answered me and drew a sketch of the dolls in The Doll's Christmas. I nearly melted with excitement.

4. Rumer Godden. Miss Happiness and Miss Flower, Home is the Sailor, Little Plum, Holly and Ivy, and The Doll's House. In honor of the latter, I named my main dollhouse family Plantaganet. Mr. and Mrs. Plantaganet were in two versions, a pair of East German rubber dolls, man and woman, in Dutch costume, or, an 8" Effanbee little boy baby doll in a red flannel suit and an 8" late composition late 40s Mexican doll with her mohair wig done up in braids on top of her head. [The N.A.M.E folks would hate me; I don't find scale all that thrilling. I like effect better in miniatures and doll houses]. Various other dolls made up the rest of the staff and family of Plantaganet house, including some homemade, rather pathetic examples I used to create. The dolls had lots of visitors, and even had stores and businesses, as well as a diary that chronicled the family history. The drama in the Tasha Tudor illustrated book is anything but childlike, but good certainly triumphs. Miss Happiness and Miss Flower and Little Plum are stories about ex patriated Japanese Dolls, and I loved reading them over and over. From them, I learned about the March 3d Japanese Doll Festival, and have tried to honor it and build Japanese doll houses ever since. Home is the Sailor is about several generations of a Victorian doll house that are much loved, and that have their own life dramas. The rest of my dolls were named Poppy and Miss Charlotte after that family. Any child would still be inspired by Godden's stories. I wrote to her in graduate school about her adult novels. She wrote a very long helpful letter, apologizing for answering late. She was in her late 80s at the time, and had just returned from Greece. She was another very talented and inspiring lady. Holly and Ivy has been made into a cartoon called, I think The Christmas Wish, and is a story about a lonely doll and a lonely little girl who find each other and become happy.

5. The Raggedy Ann Stories by Johnny Gruelle and other authors and illustrators. I never got enough of these stories, and loved acting them out with my own Anns and Andys. My third grade teacher liked dolls and used to read them to us. I began to believe there were candy cotton clouds and chocolate mud puddles, not to mention cookie trees. I also loved my Raggedy Ann coloring books which told stories as well, and my paper dolls and cards. My original Raggedy is one of my four all time favorite dolls that I would never part with. Then, what is it we say, they're all our favorites!

6. Another great story for kids is Floating Island by Anne Parrish, about a doll house family marooned on an island. It is a happy and exciting story of survival, sort of a Swiss Family Robinson for toys.

7. Missing Melinda, by Jacqueline Jackson. This is a great mystery story, first discovered in my grade school library, appropriately, Eugene Field School. Field, as we know, was another famous doll collector. Two sisters named for Shakespeare's Cordelia and Ophelia by their professor father must solve the mystery of a stolen Parian doll named Melinda, which they find in their attic but which is later stolen. They explore antique shops, thrift stores, and collector's houses, and meet the owner of a doll hospital who must have had Emma Clear as her prototype. I've read it over and over again, and never get tired of the endless array of dolls discussed. This was one of my first introductions to Shakespeare, as well, which was a good thing since I later taught him and wrote about him. I think the two sisters got me thinking.

These are wonderful stories, but they also get children interested in collecting. The Boy Scouts sell a very nice brochure about their own collecting badge, and there are other books including Miss Hickory, Hitty, The Doll People, The Little Wooden Doll, The Edith the Lonely Doll books, stories in the Little House Series, Jane Eyre, Miss Flora McFlimsey, and other stories about dolls and toys that kids would really enjoy. Amazon. com is great place to find them, as is Alibris. Happy Reading! Till we blog again.

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