I thought today I would share with you one of my favorite childhood toys. This little trunk is full of the most wonderful doll clothes lovingly handmade for me when by one of my mother's oldest and dearest friends, Rhoda Collins.
After I was born, Rhoda presented my mother with this little trunk and a doll. The doll is around, but right now I can't put my finger on her. She's a plastic cutie with short blonde hair, which I think was longer and curlier when she was new. Now, since I was an infant and didn't have the capacity to appreciate such a wonderful gift, my mother gave it to me when I was about 6 or 7. I played with this doll mainly because of the very special clothes Rhoda made for her. Here they are:
Aren't these dresses just as cute as pie? I love the fabrics and the trims. Such perfect attention to detail!
These are the fancy clothes. A bright red "ballet" dress with sequins! A lush faux-taffeta ball gown with teeny rose buds, buttons, and a bright pink rose! And a rabbit fur-trimmed wool coat with heart buttons and a matching hat!
Here's a close up of the sweet rose bud fabric!
Look at these adorable clothes! A shirt with woven Swiss trim, a blue gingham sundress, a red wool cape, and a black velvet purse! But, wait! That's not all!~~~~
I couldn't get these to go on the dollhangers, which Rhoda covered with velvet ribbon! But these clothes, shirts, skirts, pants, just blow me away! I love the pink headband with the millinery flowers! The details in the stitching, the buttons, the trim are stunning. I know I didn't appreciate them when I was little, but I did have the most fashionable doll clothes on the block! They have held up remarkably well considering how much I used them. Here are a few more~~~~
The amount of clothes seems endless, doesn't it? They also look pretty good from having been stored in a little trunk, although they could use a touch up with my iron. Rhoda went to grade school with my mother back in the late 40's, but don't tell anyone. They now live 3000 miles apart but are still fond friends and keep in touch. I don't know if Rhoda ever knew how much her gift means to me, but I thought I would honor her talent by sharing it with you, my blogland friends.
I played with paper dolls too. Well, I still have some of them. I rescued them from the family beach house where I would take them to have something to play with. As I love to tell my 13 year old son, this was back in the day before cable TV, DVD's, PC's, and video games (OK, there was Pong, but no one I knew had it). We played outside all of the time, but when I came in I played with paper dolls. Here are my favorites in their well-loved shabby condition.
These ballet paper dolls were a favorite of my cousins who where far more girly than me. I was more fascinated with the wonderful patterns on the clothes.
The Small World paper dolls were often used as "children" to the Barbie paper dolls. Of course!
Pebbles, Cinderella, and Chatty Kathy were some of the first paper dolls I owned. I never had a real Chatty Kathy doll, but these paper dolls were fine with me! Aren't they cute?
I liked the blonde one the best because she had the same hair color as I did!
Now, I also loved the more unusual dolls like these~~~~
Trolls, or Wishniks, were some of my favorites! We played with these dolls so much that the girl Trolls would lose their pony tails. When they did, they became a boy Troll like the pink-haired one to the upper left.
Magic Mary Ann was so cool. She has a magnet under the paper in her chest. The clothes had little squares of metal that you taped on the back so they would "magically" stick to Mary Ann.
This rather ordinary paper doll has special meaning to me. She is what I now refer to as a "Ten-Cent Paper Doll." She actually cost ten cents from the Ben Franklin Store at the town closest to our beach house. Mom would take me there and let me get a new paper doll book which was such an exciting thing to do when you were 9 or 10. The Ben Franklin is no longer there. The new Wal-Mart has somewhat taken its place, and they do have paper dolls there but not for ten cents!
Thanks for taking my doll tour. I promise I do throw things away from time to time, but not these!~~~XXOO, Beth