My husband and I are at the stage in life where we are ready to downsize. We have lived in our current house for 22 years and have accumulated a lot of ‘special things’. I imagine you know what I’m talking about! A smaller house means less stuff so the gauntlet has been thrown down – it’s time to purge. I will talk more about this later but I want to add that it has been a very freeing experience!
One of the benefits from this process has been the rekindling of my passion for my ‘girls’, Myrtle and Maude. I have gone through their many possessions, weeding out the pieces that were no longer cool and the memories started.
Myrtle and Maude came into my life almost 30 years ago. They are beautiful, hand carved wooden dolls from Germany. I bought them at the Toy Shoppe in Midlothain, Virginia. It had been a long time since I played with dolls but play with them I did. My collection at the time consisted of several Sasha dolls and Kathe Kruse dolls; I had worked with them and made them many outfits but I was never drawn to them completely so some became my daughters and the rest sit on the shelf.
Myrtle and Maude are different. Their warm wood begs to be held. Their facial expressions are engaging. Myrtle looks wise and patient, she’s the sensible one, while Maude looks a bit incredulous, like she’s always planning an adventure. They seemed to beg me to get out of the display case and have adventures so we did!
I’m nothing if not obsessive compulsive when it comes to my projects. I started this one by making the girls new clothes. They had arrived in my life in beautiful hand made clothes, hand knit sweaters, and cobbled shoes but they were old fashioned. I made them a whole new wardrobe: bathing suits, overalls, shorts, party dresses, winter coats, the works. I was able to adjust my Sasha and American Doll patterns to fit them; I sewed and knit for months!
Their wardrobe and dresser overfloweth.
The next step was a hair cut for Maude. Her hair was cut in a rather boxy page boy style that didn’t fit her personality. My hairdresser at the time was also a photographer. He was interested in my project and jumped in on the haircut challenge. His business partner volunteered to cut her hair in the very cute style she wears today.
I am working through scanning my black and white negatives from graduate school where Myrtle and Maude played an important role in my Master’s thesis. I will be sharing stories from the past as well as my ongoing plans to tell the story of their adventures.