I’m here at the Farmer’s Market at an orange-topped table, having a hot chocolate with just the tiniest bit of whipped cream. For our loyal readers, as well as for any newcomers, I’ve been on hiatus from doll making for the past six months or so. But now, I’m back, with a new little grandson, known as “Little "O"!
Little “O,” at four months old and wanting to put everything in his mouth, is the cutest little love bug ever! (I have started to talk like this on a regular basis.) And it seems that if there were ever a time to kid-test a doll, this is it. Ever since Sofi brought the torn Raggedy Andy back from Costa Rica, I’ve been making Raggedys, and have even taught my little niece, Sallie, to make them. (Please see earlier blog posts.)
There is something so huggable and danceable about a Raggedy, that I wanted to create my own, and several years ago, drew a prototype. But it took the arrival of Little “O" for me to get busy and make “Oatie,” suitable, judging by Little “O’s” reaction, for babies, because "O” loves him, chews his hair, hugs him, and sleeps with him.
Oatie is made like a Raggedy Andy, but a little thinner, with black boots, blue and white striped legs instead of red and a thinner face. He has a lopsided smile and eyes that look mischievously to the right. He has black hair which can be tied into a topknot, imitating Little “O’s” natural mohawk. “O” and Oatie are best friends and now even have matching outfits.
In the new year, with Sofi’s help, I hope to make variations on the Oatie doll, to be called Peter and Polly Patches, the American version, or Paulo and Paulina Remiendos, the Costa Rican version. We also have plans for other new dolls, and hope to get Sallie’s help in making them!
In the meantime, we’re happy to reintroduce our guest blogger of the month, Erika, who recently moved back to Indiana. Here is her blog post about her trip and the dolls that went with her.
Have a very Happy New Year! See you next week!
Guest Post by Erika
Recently, I had to relocated to Bloomington, Indiana. It was an immediate and happy event that made me have to pack quickly and carefully. I began packing all my favorite childhood dolls, I kissed each doll before she went in a box, and I wrapped each one in tissue paper swaddling them so that they would be perfect when they got to Indiana. They had to be put deep in a trailer called, “Pack Rats.” I know that they did not like it that much, but they knew that they would be well taken care of.
When I got to my two last dolls, I could not bring myself to pack them. One was a doll given to me by a Japanese student of mine, and it is called, “Kokeshi.” It is a wooden hand painted doll that stands upright. Another Japanese student of mine told me that if I had a Kokeshi that I should never let her be on her side, to do so would bring bad luck! This was one of the reasons that I could not part with her because I thought if the box fell then what would I do? While I was continuing to pack I reserved a basket for kokeshi.
Then I thought Kokeshi needs a friend. Well, my good friend, Sasha, had shown me one day in the spring a doll that she purchased at the farmers market in LA. It was a blond mermaid with the most adorable face! One of the things I had to get before I left was a mermaid doll for myself. I went one day when I could and I went to the store and found the mermaid doll. I fell in love with the doll with black hair. I thought she would be perfect to go with kokeshi.
When I packed my car, I had Kokeshi standing upright in her basket right by my side and mermaid. They were so helpful, every time I got into my car I kissed them and rubbed their heads and wished for a safe journey for both me and my husband, and all of our stuff. I also made sure that kokeshi was standing upright!
The first night that I pulled out of LA with my husband and my dolls and a few clothes for the trip we drove to St. George Utah, then Grand Junction Colorado, then Denver Colorado, then Salina Kansas, then our last hotel was in Columbia Missouri. Each night that we arrived at our destination I brought Kokeshi and Mermaid into the hotel room to protect us and keep us safe. It may seem strange, but we arrived safely and soundly and almost everything has gone well since. This is a picture of the two dolls at on the bedside table. As I type this in beautiful Indiana with the gorgeous trees surrounding me, Kokeshi and Mermaid sit on my bedside table protecting and watching over us! I hope you enjoyed my story and journey!