_It's a new year and I'm excited about the dolls I want to make. First, I need to finish the dolls started over a year ago whose heads are sitting in tissue paper-stuffed jars in my sewing room, all with temporary hair pinned on. First on the runway is Donette, Tonette's twin. (coming soon to the Doll Gallery). Tonette and Donette are slightly smaller and thinner than he other dolls and Donette will have highlighted, bundled hair, instead of Tonette's more quaint braids.
_Next will be Mitsuko. I made a doll named Mitsuko last year, but gave her away without
telling the owner her name, so I am reusing the name Mitsuko, or Mitzi for short. Mitzi
will be Mimosa's twin, and may be the first of the Tomboy dolls, of which the concept is
still forming in my mind. The Tomboys will be 31" tall, like most of the other dolls, but
will have flat shoes instead of the signature high-heeled boots and will wear jeans or
khakis instead of dresses, so they can jump and play more easily. They'll also have
shorter hair so they can run like the wind. (I'm now thinking I will make separate boots
and dresses for them so they can indulge their feminine side whenever they feel like it, as some tomboys like to do.)
Which brings me to the question: What is a tomboy? When I was a child the 1950's and
60's, a tomboy was a girl who liked to play outdoors, and, if she was lucky, play with the boys. If not, she would do all the things boys did: run, play baseball, climb trees, play cowboys and Indians (and not just as an Indian princess who gets captured and tied to a tree). At the same time, a tomboy didn't necessarily give up her femininity, although it was okay if, like some girls, she didn't care about nail polish or dolls.
I have an older and a younger brother. (The younger one was my charge from as early as
I can remember, so he brought out the mother in me.) But my big brother was two years
older and one grade ahead in school, so we were buddies when it came to playing indoors
in those early years. We'd play FBI and space travelers, making spaceships out of paper
bags, and we'd run and slide down the long wooden hallway in our stocking feet.
As we got a little older, I would often tag along with him for outdoor games with the
neighborhood kids. But my inclusion ended at the front doors of his various friends, as
well it should have.
When left on my own, I'd to ride my powder blue, J.C, Higgins 26" bicycle, (my "horse")
around the neighborhood in search of adventure. At other times, I'd gather my dolls and
stuffed animals, of which I had many, and have a tea party with the tin tea set my mother
had me wrap as a Christmas gift for one of my cousins one year, then put under the tree
for me. What a wonderful surprise!
I hope girls are still tomboys and feel free to put down their dolls, run outside and climb trees. Of course, not all girls play with dolls, and some boys do. I just want to celebrate the freedom of all children, girls and boys alike, to play with dolls, or not, and to play hard and have fun, both in and out of doors!
On that note, I know the Tomboy dolls are going to be lots of fun to make and even more
fun to play with. So I'm off to the Good Will for a rust-colored tee shirt. I need it tonight so I can cut the strips for Mitzi's hair while watching football. The Lions are playing the Saints in New Orleans, so it should be a good game.
See you next week!