Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mom's Dolls

She always did like playing with dolls.

When Erva and I got our first Barbie dolls, back around 1959, she made complete trousseaus for them. We woke up Christmas morning not just to the Barbies that we had coveted after seeing them in the Sear Wish Book, but all these wonderful clothes that Mom and meticulously made on her treadle sewing machine. She had made the clothes at night while we slept or during the day while we were at school. How I wish I still had those clothes, not to mention the dolls….

Years later Mom got into ceramics. That eventually led to her making dolls. She started out making ceramic dolls.

This is a picture of one of her first dolls. It’s called a Jenny doll and was popular back in the late 1800’s. She won a first place ribbon at a fair for this doll and the dress she is wearing.

But Mom wasn’t satisfied with the look of ceramic dolls so she moved into porcelain. She got so into it that she bought molds and had her own kiln for firing.

This is a picture of the largest doll she ever made. Stan calls her “scary,” because she has such an intense look about her.

This is a Gibson girl doll Mom made for me as a wedding present. She is dressed in a replica of my wedding dress.

In 1996 hurricane Marilyn, which wasn’t forecast to be a dangerous storm, ripped through St. Thomas with winds gusting to over 200 miles an hour. A terrible amount of damage was caused. Four out of five homes were damaged or destroyed. Our house on St. Thomas was not spared. Half of the roof pealed off and was folded back, coming to rest on the other half of the roof. Half of the 40 foot porch, the kitchen and living room were exposed to wind and rain.

On one wall of the living room there were shelves.

These dolls were sitting on the top shelf. Miraculously the dolls were not touched and survived the violence of that horrible night.

Mom’s dolls are a precious reminder of her creative talent. A force not even a hurricane could destroy.

Posted by Picasa


  1. That's great that they survived the storm. This post brought back a lot of memories--my mon spend hours and hours crochet & knitting outfits for my barbie dolls, and my dad made furniture. I don't have an uber close relationship with them, so thanks for the happy thoughts--it made me smile.

  2. Wow -- what a great post. I see a Kewpie doll in that last picture. I used to play with my mom's old Kewpie dolls that she kept at my grandparent's house.

    Oh dear -- a Jenny doll? From the 1880s? Remember my post on toys? I think I mentioned how I sold 2 old dolls at a yardsale and later found the SAME ONES at another yardsale about a year later. Only thing was, they were asking in the HUNDREDS for them. One of them looked a lot like your mom's Jenny doll, except it was way smaller and had black hair. I probably had something really valuable and didn't even know it. :(

    What a sweet post!

  3. Beautiful dolls! I love that the huricane couldn't destroy them . . . sounds like a book or article to me. *wink*

  4. Angela,
    The best presents I ever got were the ones my parents made for me. I glad you have those memories too.

    Yes that's a replica Kewpie doll. Originals can cost a lot as can original Jenny dolls. The Jenny's did come in a smaller size and did have black hair. I'm sorry you "lost" yours.

    So many article/stories little time. :)

  5. I'm so happy that you still have dolls and that you so admire your mother's talents!

    I can picture the three of you playing Barbies for hours!!!


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!