the good, the bad and the. . .



ugly
(dolls)
.
these are Mini-Teen's favourite cuddly companions. . . she has a small collection. . .
.
when I was eleven age I had a rag doll, who I treasured, I made clothes and accessories for the rag doll - I'd grown out of my teddy bear (who was actually a panda) and a rag-doll was, I suppose, a suitable transition from a cuddly panda to a few cuddles and a little pandering. . .
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years ago now, when I was a succesful home-business-crafts-woman in The Village, I used to make old fashioned rag-dolls, with full sets of clothes and accessories, and sell them to the wives who didn't know how to thread a needle. . . (or couldn't be bothered. . . or who had other gifts and strengths. . .) at Christmas time as well as a huge variety of tree decorations, and home-made Christmas cakes, and Boxing Day chutnies, and candles, and festive biscuits, and stockings, I used to make rag-doll style fairies for the tops of the trees of the same wives' families - all of whom craved "hand-made" inidividual items in an age of mass consumerism, but didn't know how to hand-make themselves. . . (they didn't have mothers like mine, it seems)
.
today's eleven year-olds don't do "dolls" of the traditional kind. . .
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. . .and it seems that M-T is a chip off the old block! (oh my g*d - I'm turning into my mother!!) it's her new best friend's birthday, and rather than buy said friend an Ugly Doll, M-T is making her one
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this is a very very long, quite labour intensive process, and it's fully occupying me today (it's occupied us for the last four days, actually - the "design process" has taken hours to come to fruition) - we're having a great time: cutting patterns, pinning them onto fabric, threading needles, tying knots, stitching details, adding hair (she specifically wants her friend's gift to have "hair", unlike the dolls in her collection); the design is all M-T's own (altho she was inspired by her own dolls) and despite the fact that it's tricky and almost beginning to wear on my patience (I keep reminding myself that she is only eleven and this is all quite new to her!) it is a lovely way to spend the day
.
no time to think my own thoughts right now (altho it is odd to remember all the people, who will adorn their trees this year with items made with my own love, from whom I haven't heard a word in 18 months)

12 comments:

Rimshot said...

ah, a reason to put up a tree! ;-)

I, like the view said...

erm, that doesn't make any sense to me (possibly because my brain has ground to a halt after many hours of intensive expsoure to an eleven year-old)

but I think we will be making an Ugly Angel for the top of said tree, when it goes up. . .

Doll Clothes Gal said...

Wow - how cute.

moreidlethoughts said...

It begs the question : is mass-produced plastic from cheaper,churning, Chinese factories that employ poor people better or just more expedient than hand-made with heart?
(You don't need to answer that.)

I, like the view said...

interesting point of view dinahmow - thank you

I used to source a lot of materials from jumble sales, little Chinese input there (but great velvets and English tweeds from skirts and tops, masses of pearl buttons from City shirts, woollens - from Welsh/Italian wool - for felting. . .) - a feel-good sense of re-using someone else's discarded items

but a lot of itmes ("novelty" buttons for example, and sleigh bells) would be of Chinese origin - even if I had bought them from The States, over the internet - *heart sinks* - mind you, these were pre-worrying-about-your-carbon-footprint days. . .

on the other hand a one-woman crusade against sweat-shop workers? *ponders* (is there a bigger crusade? apart from the "Buy British" of my childhood)

I do understand your point, it's a bit of a paradox (or is it a conundrum)

I was focused on the "reuse, recycle" end of the spectrum at the time, I think

I, like the view said...

thanks doll face, erm I mean doll clothes

Mel said...

What a loving thing!

Yup, she is her mother's child.

:-)

Is this a case of 'they're so ugly they're cute'?
Where DO they come up with this stuff.....

I, like the view said...

I don't know where or how they come with it - but it fills a gap for the pre-teens of today who are too "grown-up" for teddy bears but still want something to cuddle at night! (the Ugly Dolls are made from a very soft felty-fleece material and gently stuffed - so very very cuddly!)

I have great fun every evening, making her bed and arranging her five dolls on the cushions and pillows - keeps me entertained!

sometimes they are performing handstands, sometimes they are hiding, sometimes they hug each other, sometimes her smallest two are tucked up under the quilt. . .

;-D

Mel said...

Kinda like Mr. Stuffy Bear?
Or....the various stuffies hangin' around in the bed railing---lying in wait to attack Mr. Crabby Pants at will. (MY will, of course.....)

k....well, maybe NOT sorta like the various stuffies.... But could be!

WILL be!!!

<-- will tuck the stuffies in so they WILL be!

:-)

I, like the view said...

he needs an Ugly Doll, so he can retaliate!

Mig said...

You have the patience of...an Empress :)
It's wonderful that you are passing on the skill of making. Not so much the particular skills of sewing and design but the ability and the will to make instead of buying. It's a priceless gift.

katherine. said...

even at 11 she has a very special heart wanting to hand make a gift specially for her friend...