|little me and my family|
Earlier this summer Kate and I sat down and tried to get back into our five to seven year old selves, to think about what were the most important things to us about the dolls we played with.
We took it as given that the dolls had to have faces that would appeal to us, to be pretty or quirky in a friendly way.
Why age five to seven you ask, surely dolls are for little ones, pre schoolers .
No, for me and I know for my daughter, our maximum doll play, as distinct from doll cuddling, really happened around infant school time (and beyond), all that wonderful role play and organising a little family of dolls, or playing schools, or proper tea parties happened around that time.
My sister and I had a play house and we spent many many hours there.
Katie had a play room that served the same purpose.
I think when I make dolls it's that time of golden childhood that I go back to, not trying to live in the past but revelling in the feelings I remember from that time.
I was blessed with a happy family and blissful childhood.
I was a sunny child and I loved my little world.
I don't think I look so much to my children's childhoods for inspiration, they belong to them.
Rather the thoughts and feelings that come from that time are a reflection of how as a mother I examined my own childhood from the vantage point of new motherhood.
I guess as a child I acted out things that were worrying me or upsetting me in my doll play but I honestly don't remember that.
I just remember play for the sake of play, child's work, endless hours of play.
Anyway, back to our summer discussions.
We didn't speak of anything spiritual or emotional, I don't really think children see their dolls in that way,
they just know that they love them and that is enough.
Our thoughts were more about things that added to our enjoyment of our dolls.
Firstly the dolls had to have hair that could be styled or at least combed or brushed.
We both agreed it was best if a doll could sit, preferrably without support but definitely be able to sit somehow.
We both felt that our dolls needed to have a change of clothes.
Here we differed a little in that I thought it was important to have pyjamas or a night dress and maybe slippers and dressing gown.
For Kate it was important that the doll have a party outfit or ball gown.
That's my girl, party planner extraordinaire.
We also agreed that the icing on the cake would be if there were little extras available such as doll toys, bedding perhaps, and more clothes.
With these things our pretty and much loved doll would be just perfect.
I think that a doll, a little jenny wren doll, with these attributes
would make both children and adults very happy.
Most of my dolls do sit well and most have hair that can be styled
so we are already half way there
and the rest of the picture will be coloured in as we work our way through the year.
Each morning before I start work I read back through the notes I made after our conversation and each morning I go back for just a moment to that wonderful dreamy wide eyed time when every day was an adventure and the happiest place to be was home.