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

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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

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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

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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, May 11, 2014

During the late 60s and through the 70s, there was a series of postcards that featured antique dolls photographed next to prize winning flowers and plants. Lovely china heads posed next to award winning tomato plants, and delicate Parians were juxtaposed with delicate rose bushes. There was also a book published. The dolls and the plants were art of one woman's collection. The postcards had lots of fans. They show up even today occasionally in the column Mr. Barry Mueller writes in his family magazine "Doll Castle News" where he writes a column featuring postcards and dolls. Maybe this is why I have always loved flowers, and dolls made from them and other natural plants, fibers, and seeds. You can literally "grow your own dolls" if you go this route. I still have my first hollyhock doll, made by my mom for me from a bloom harvested in Battle Mountain, Nevada, many, many ears ago. Mom also managed to embroider tiny French knots on the flower to create a face. Pansies and violas, even little violets captured my imagination. They looked like little faces, and snap dragons with their mouths that moved like a ventriloquist dummy's intrigued me. I liked making pictures and flower people using them by ironing them between sheets of wax paper. Hint: if you have allergies, never use goldenrod in these experiments. The heat from the iron accentuates the scents of the goldenrod, and you have instant allergies. I loved the name Queen Anne's Lace because, of course, I thought of Queen Anne dolls. Mandrake root often resembles human form, and is mentioned in books on doll histories like "Dolls" by Max von Boehn, and in poems by Metaphysical Poet John Donne ("Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.". When I was little, I also made cornhusk dolls, dolls from broom straws, dolls and animals from milkweed pods, dolls from whittled sticks [Dad's specialty], and I read about dolls made from acorns and walnuts. Miss Hickory, created by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, is about the most famous of these. There was also a story about a small fairy who was looking for a house in which she would live, but she kept getting evicted from old hornets nests, beehives, glass jars, until a little girl who believes in her lets her live in her doll house. Now, we would create a fairy garden or terrarium for her. I always set up a few of these and love Christmas Village figures to populate them. I have a gnome village set up under a fairy door attached to a mighty oak, and many garden figures which I consider my "outdoor" doll family. I make ponds with bits of mirror and trees from interesting twigs. I use lots of small rocks and plants as well, and love various railroad accessories in different scales. Later, I got a "real" fairy house made from a very little, hollowed out gourd. I had also read about gourd dolls in books by Lois Lenski, and even grew my own gourds one year so I could make more dolls. At the California Renaissance Faire one year I bought a Beefeater made from a gourd. I have a scarecrow and maiden with gourd heads, and many small dolls and animals from Peru made of etched gourds. I even have a doll purse made from a gourd. At our annual gourd festival, I saw a wonderful, jointed one of a kind doll made entirely of gourds. You wouldn't have known it to look at her. Pumpkins, of course, are sort of special gourds/squash. They are ephemeral, and don't last, but I do have a couple small, painted and preserved pumpkins that have lasted. They can also be carved or mad from realistic latex and plastic pumpkins sold in craft stores during the fall for just this purpose. Carving pumpkins are also among my favorite things to plant because I get to create Jack O' Lanterns from them, and scarecrows if the mood takes me. These kissing cousins of folk dolls intrigue me. They are often reproduced in clay and papier mache, and there are antique versions, and contemporary versions by D. Blumchen, and Bethany Lowe, two name just two artist workshops that make them. Also related to the harvest are corn dollies, often made in abstract circular shapes associated with fertility goddesses, Midsummer Straw men, often life-sized from Scandinavia, Swedish Tomte or elves, and plaited Swedish goat ornaments. Cornhusk dolls are important in Native American doll history and in early American childhood history. Corncobs also make interesting dolls, and these were made famous by Susan, Laura's corncob doll from "Little House in the Big Woods." I loved making these, and got an A for one I did in art class. Many examples exist, and I saw a wonderful small Christmas Tree at Nieman Marcus one year that was completely decorated with miniature corncob dolls dressed in dyed colors of husk. Cornhusk dolls are also made in Mexico and South America, and dolls of plaited wicker come from Mexico as well. Some Native American Dolls are also made of basket woven fibers and are dyed. Others are made of dried apples. Many artists make dolls from dried apples and pears; my most macabre example lies in her own miniature casket. I recently bought an artist's doll made of seeds, nuts, and fibers on eBay. The doll was made by Marie Gleeson, and came MIB. She was made in the Bermuda. Hawaiian dolls are made of palm fiber, and some from coconuts. Kimport's dolls featured many dolls made of natural plants and seeds in "Doll Talk" over the years. these are still great resources and appear frequently on eBay. Kimport also featured antique dolls that were made in the style of Kate Greenaway, and bonnet heads of unpainted bisque that wore flowers on their molded hair as hats. This year, I planted marigolds, pansies, geraniums, black velvet petunias, primroses, chocolate mint, lemon basil, cinnamon basil and more. I am coaxing wildflowers from seeds, and closely watching my black columbine and hollyhocks, which are perennials. I have tried sunflower seeds, often the inspiration for felt dolls or dolls dressed like models for Anne Geddes. Many dolls have been named for fruits and flowers, from Veggie Tales, to Strawberry Shortcake and friends, Daisy Quant, Shrinking Violet, Victoria Plum, etc. One year, I'll grow my own flax to spin into cloth for doll projects, and consult my favorite encyclopedia article on dolls, the 1956 World Book, Volume D, to make Swedish birch bark dolls and acorn dolls. There are more ideas on my blog, "Dr. E's Greening Tips for the Common Person." May you have happy hardening and doll collecting adventures this summer. As for me, I may start my long awaited project of creating a set of flower paper dolls called "Herb's Daughters."

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