Wednesday, April 9, 2014
A Doller's Schedule
This feature is something I would like to do every year. Hopefully, the calendar will inspire your doll collecting and you will discover aspects of collecting dolls you never thought to pursue. Happy New Year! January: The first month of the year is the time to take stock of our hobby. January 1 is also the day gifts are exchanged in many countries, hence the Strennas of many Spanish speaking nations and the Etrennes of France, made famous by department stores like Au Nain Blue and Louvre, where Jumeau dolls once comprised an important part of the inventory. You could assemble a Bleuette style wardrobe for your favorite doll to display, or arrange dolls for the Twelve Days of Christmas and Epiphany. In Russian, the Ukraine, and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, Christmas is celebrated on January 7th, the old Calendar. It might be a good time to research Russian dolls, including the Matroyhiskas and Neva Dolls. February: Admit it, we’ve all had way too much candy for the Holidays. Instead, ask for dolls or doll themed gifts, and exchange them with your collector friends. If you belong to a local club, think of a Doll/Valentine display. For example, someone could do a program on paper dolls and Valentine’s by Raphael Tuck, or provide a display of African American dolls for Black History Month. My late penpal and noted doll historian Mary Hillier wrote articles about valentines. Read Dolls and Doll Makers or one of her other books for more ideas. March: Celebrate Japanese dolls; research the Girls’ Day Festival. Japanese grocery stores like that in Mitsuwa Market in Arlington Heights, IL, even sell tiny foods for the displays and celebrations. Read Rumer Godden’s Miss Happiness and Miss Flower for ideas about making your own display and Japanese doll house. Visit the website of the Yokohama Doll Museum, research Friendship dolls. Invite friends to see displays of your Japanese Dolls and serve sushi and green tea. Many doll shows begin in March and continue through November. Begin marking your calendar. April: As you plan your garden include some plants that are often made into dolls. Good candidates are violets, pansies, and hollyhocks. Grow some corn and save a few cobs, corn silks, and husks to make dolls. Violets have served as tiny dolls in the past, and there are dolls made from nuts, acorns, seedpods, and long grasses. Collect and display rabbit dolls, read tales by Beatrix Potter, Flora McFlimsey’s Easter Bonnet, create dolls from eggs and chocolate molds. Have a Peeps-costuming contest as part of your local doll club activities. Think of adding doll-like statues or fairy gardens to your landscapes. May: Tis the season when Yard Sales, Rummage Sales, Craft Sales, and Estate Sales begin. Antique shows are also in full swing. Mark your calendars; read the paper, Internet ads, broadsides, and listen for new sales. Save your dollar bills and change, start early, make a list of wants, check it twice, and go! In Japan, May is Boys’ Festival month. Similar to the Girls’ Festival, dolls representing Samurai and warriors are part of the festivities. June: When on vacation, look for dolls and miniatures to use as Christmas ornaments, and to add to your collection. Costume dolls as brides representing weddings in your family. Create displays of brides. Midsummer falls mid-June. Study the straw men used in Scandinavia for this celebration, create fairy displays, and stage Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights’ Dream with dolls. Build scarecrows for your blooming gardens.