Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Keepers of Pins


They sit on my shelf now.  On a shelf in my pretty china cupboard in the hallway.

I love to reach in and click the little light at night…all my pretty little keepsakes glimmering there so beautifully…


I don’t know who had them before me…I’m sure they traveled around quite a bit.  Their former pincushion bodies long gone…

I know they were all four “born” in Germany around the turn of the century…maybe just a bit before.

Three I purchased in little antique shops here & there…


…but this one I found at a yard sale.  I should say I pounced on it at a yard sale!  The man selling it looked a bit wistful as I asked him his price.  In my mind already, the price didn’t matter.  She was coming home with me. 


“She belonged to my great-grandmother”, he said.  I smiled.  My mind, however, was shouting, “Then why in the world are you selling her?!”  But, on the outside, I just quietly paid the man...

…and she came home with me.


A bit tattered and torn—she’s an old girl, after all.  Old, but beautiful.  Graciousness amid the tatters.  I love her.

She was my first.


The other two half dolls (the name they go by), I asked my mother to make bodies for…I knew she would make them shine once more…


New pin cushion bodies for these lovely vintage ladies…just perfect.


Just one more left—I think I’ll take her to my mother’s house with me next time we make a visit.  I could try to make her a body she’d be proud of, but my mother will do the job much more creditably…and the doll will be all the more precious to me because of it.


These lovely china ladies kept pins for others before they came to live with me…

But I’m so very glad that they sit on my little shelf now…



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  1. Hi Julie,
    Well, that gentleman's great grandmother's pin lady was definitely meant to go home with you. After all, who would be more nostalgic, more caring, more nuturing of a strangers heirloom than yourself? He is one lucky man, to have you put in his path, to now become the keeper of his sentimental item.
    Beautiful collection, my far away friend!

  2. They're just gorgeous Julie. How wonderful that you have been able to have your mom rebuild them. Only makes them all the more precious! Sending you oodles of love and hugs from across the sea. xxoo

  3. Hi julie! they are lovely. I have a few half dolls too. three unfinished and two that girls in blogland have made bodys for. I love them! someday I want to make bodies for the other three I have. they are very small ones. I have som many projects I want to get to someday! LOL! most of it will probably never get done. YOu'll have to show us your last one when your mother finishes her up.. someday!
    have agreat week!

  4. My grandmother made one of these for me years ago. I'll treasure it always.
    When a seller tells me that something has been in their family for years I tell them I will take very good care of it. It makes me feel better for taking it from them....even though they are willing to let it go.

  5. Oh these are gorgeous. I can just envision them now in their heyday. So glad you rescued them..smiles..Renee

  6. I love the one your Mom is going to rebuild. These all found a good home with you.

  7. Those are the prettiest little pinkeeps I have ever seen. Your mom did a beautiful job of restoring the last two. Hope you are having a beautiful day. Tammy

  8. Oh LUCKY YOU!!!! And I am so with you about the guy selling your new "TREASURE" WHY WOULD HE SELL HER???? But, I'm glad she went home with you as you know how to cherish & love something. It shows in everything you do. I wish I had pretty dresses for my half dolls like you do. Your Momma does it RIGHT! Enjoy their beauty & thank you for sharing. HUGS!

  9. Your little ladies are beautiful! What a lovely collection you have.


  10. Julie, they are so beautiful! So looking forward to their new revile! Hope you have been having a wonderful summer! Went by to fast!!! Did you know that June from Laughing With Angels is LDS? She lives in ID and is a darling sister in the gospel like you!

    Love you,

  11. Oh they make me think of my Aunt Bernice!

  12. Beautiful pin keeps. I never knew what they were and mostly just see the girls without the beautiful dresses. On my next treasure hunts I will be keeping my eyes open for these beauties! Have a wonderful week.

  13. I love your beautiful little half dolls Julie. The one you found at the yard sale is precious and I know just what you mean about not knowing why it was going outside the family. Doesn't it make you wonder sometimes? But maybe those of us who love vintage were meant to enjoy them rather than have them packed away in a box somewhere.

    I am so happy to meet you!!! Isn't Maryjane the awesomest person in the world??? I love her!

    sending love...

  14. Oh Julie, I love them!
    I have one and she isn't as cute as yours!

  15. What stunning pin cushions/keeps I have never seen these before and I can see why you love them ;0)