Friday, June 15, 2012

Anna’s Dolly

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Living in a small western town in the late 1800’s, life was much the same day to day…at least it felt that way to little Anna…

The only girl in the family, she helped her mother each day with the many cakes to be baked, homemade crackers and cookies made to order…a family to feed with the money made doing so.  Mother was an expert baker, being educated in Europe before coming to America…

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Father was far away in his homeland of Switzerland on an extended business trip…letters home were received with such joy!  Oh, they missed him so…

I can only imagine the excitement—the ripple in the chain of otherwise ordinary days—when a package arrived from Switzerland…

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…a package for little Anna.

I can almost see those little fingers—perhaps with some help from Mamma—shaking just a bit with anticipation as the ties and wrappings were carefully undone…

…tissue paper and padding slowly—ever so slowly—unwrapped…and a gasp!

DSC09809_edited-1 {lovely lace remnant given to me by my mother from an old, shabby lace tablecloth}

A large, beautiful bisque dolly—exquisitely dressed in a light blue, sheer wool dress, with lace & china buttons—just for her!

Made in Germany, it had a beautiful wig, lovely glass eyes that would open and close—and the tiniest, whitest teeth--

DSC09803_edited-1 {the newest page made for my heritage storybook.  In talking to my mother after I made the page, she said the doll was sent to Anna in 1888}

The doll was kept ever so carefully by Anna all throughout the years…traveled with her to her new life up in Canada and ever on…

I don’t know if she ever named her dolly—I wish I did.  But eventually, it went to my mamma, and Anna meant it, as she wrote, to eventually belong to me, her first great-granddaughter…

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The doll sits regally in my mother’s house today…but it used to sit on the dresser by my bed when I was a girl.

I’ve always loved it, but when I was trying to get to sleep when I was young—to tell the truth—her eyes used to spook me a bit.  When I felt that way, I would quickly get out of bed and lay her gently down on the dresser so that her eyes would be closed—silly me!

Being told that her teeth were “real” didn’t help the childish me, either!  But, the grown-up me adores this precious keepsake, handed down so carefully through the years…and it will just as gently be delivered one day to one of my daughters…

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Her original outfit is long gone, the hair a bit rumpled,one tiny tooth is missing, but the golden earrings are still a shiny gold, and those beautiful glass eyes still look just as lovely as they did when my little girl great-grandmother first held beheld them over 120 years ago…

DSC09806_edited-1 {I searched for just the perfect button to top this bow.  As I stitched it into place, I realized that I found it in the vintage button jar I bought in a little antique shop in Anna’s old town of Richfield when I visited there this last summer…meant to be...}

See you soon with something new.

Julie

P.S.  Don’t forget to enter my giveaway in my previous post!

{the picture frame and some of the background paper prints from Crafty Secrets’ CDs; metal paper brackets from the Tim Holtz collection}