Saturday, April 20, 2013

Nancy Ann Storybook and Other Stories

A new lot of vintage dolls to repair.

Well, here it is, my 100th post! I didn't think it would take me so long to get here. Or maybe I should say I hoped I would have finished 100 posts sooner.  I do feel proud to have been writing a lot more lately. I started this blog as a way to try to retain something of myself, the self I was before I became a mother. I love my family but I had started to feel as though all I ever did was laundry and cooking: thankless, endless chores. I definitely find my blog does keep me motivated to find a new project. Whenever I am tired or tempted to slack off I think of how bad it will look if I don't write a new entry for a month or something and I get to work!

Nancy Ann, a Storybook doll.

The first doll finished out of the big box you see is a sweet little Storybook Nancy Ann. Story book dolls have a special place in my heart. Even though the bisque Storybook dolls are more valuable, I prefer the hard plastic Nancy Ann because I was brought up hearing about them. Nancy Ann stars in a classic family story from my mother's childhood.

Nancy Ann makes a sweet display doll with
this Madame Alexander Polly Pigtails.

If you will bear with me, I have to tell another story before I can get to the one I'm thinking about. After World War II, as you may or may not be aware, it was very difficult to obtain an automobile. I'm not sure why, but I imagine it was because of wartime rationing of metal and shuttering of factories. At any rate, my grandfather came home from the war and, with a growing family and a new job in a different state from his family, was in need of a car. His boss, Mr. Snyder, a wealthy newspaper owner, had placed an order some time before for a new Rolls Royce. Seeing that my grandparents needed the car more than he, Mr. Snyder agreed to let them have the Rolls when it arrived. The Rolls Royce came in a giant wooden crate, and my grandfather, ever frugal, put a window and door in the crate and wired it for electricity and turned it into a playhouse for my mother and aunt. Later, in my childhood, it was a garden shed. Vines grew all over it then, except for the window and door, and gave it a fairytale feel. I was entranced by the tiny house and wished I could have it for a playhouse, but by that time my grandfather had taken it over. As for the Rolls Royce, it is famous in our family. My mother can remember it well. It had little vases in holders in the back so you could have flowers in the car, and the floor would slide out some way to make a big space the children could sit in and play paper dolls. My grandmother became the secretary of the Rolls Royce Owner's Club. Eventually my grandparents sold the car for just $1000, which my uncles are still lamenting to this day!
At any rate, for some reason my grandparents put their old electric toaster in the playhouse and someone plugged it in. Well, my aunt, who is four years older than my mother, had some beloved Storybook Nursery Rhyme dolls. They were the hard plastic ones like the one I have. My mother was playing with my aunt's dolls and decided to put them "to bed" where they'd be nice and the toaster! This was the old type of toaster with sides that folded out and which you closed up after you put in the toast. Of course, the toasted dolls were melted. It's a wonder the shed didn't burn down! Well, my aunt is resentful and my mother not all that sorry even now. I grew up hearing about Storybook dolls and the terrible loss of them, so they seem very special and important to me! The ultimate doll that got away!
After Nancy Ann, I finished an adorable bisque baby doll. This doll is tiny; just about the size of my thumb! Still, it has jointed arms and legs and wears a little diaper. It is marked "Japan" on its back. I guess it was made for a dollhouse, but it is also very cute when held by a larger doll. It just needed re-stringing. I took some photos with a vintage Ginny walker holding the baby. Ginny is another doll from the box. She's nearly finished...just needs her clothes cleaned up. The box contained this brunette painted lash walker with a Saran wig and an earlier blond strung Ginny with a mohair wig. I am nearly finished with both. All these will be or are for sale in my store, so please check:

We had a lovely day today, so we went to Black's and bought plant starts for the garden. We got many tomatoes, Giant Marconi banana peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini, and many different herbs. Besides plants they sell all kinds of local produce and things like bread and Ashe County cheese and eggs. I discovered Jussto cheese by Troyer as well. This could be quite dangerous, to have access to Jussto, also called Ostbrod or Juustoleipa cheese, here in town! Jussto is a baked Scandinavian cheese. The name translates as "bread cheese". It is very salty and squeaky. You serve it warmed. Even though Heidi wasn't Scandinavian, I always imagine Jussto cheese when Grandfather serves her toasted bread and cheese!

Besides my dolls and my garden, I am always working on my exercise. I am still having to walk, as my foot hasn't healed all the way. I don't want to push it because our neighborhood is having its own version of the Amazing Race in June and I want to be in top form! But pretty much every day I am walking, rain or shine. Yesterday afternoon we got the strong storms going across the country. By the time I was walking it was just drizzling and I saw this lovely sunset. In light of recent events in our country I am adding it to this post. I was reminded when I saw it of the beauty we can find in this life, even in the wake of a terrible storm.

A beautiful sunset following a terrible storm.


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