When I was just a year old my Great Aunt Bess made me a doll from a bleached Robin Hood flour bag. I know that it was a Robin Hood bag because his picture, although faded, was still faintly visible. When I was old enough to talk I named her Mary and she became my constant companion. She had long yarn braids and an embroidered face. I absolutely adored her and slept with her, ate with her and dragged her (usually by one arm) around wherever I went. Over time her face got tear stained, orange juice stained, and otherwise well-loved. I decided that in the face of any disaster she would take precedence over any other possession I would rush to rescue. The painting above is a water colour I made for my parents in 1971. It hung in my mother’s room until she moved out of her home and into a seniors’ residence. Now it has returned to me and will be passed on to my daughter.
The chair on which my doll is sitting was won by my grandfather who enjoyed lawn bowling. My parents had it repaired and reupholstered for a wedding gift for my husband and me. Hopefully someone will want it as a family keepsake one day.
As you can see by the date, I painted this water colour painting many years ago. It is a picture of my favourite doll, a rag doll I named Mary. My great Aunt Bessie made the doll for me the year I turned one. She made it out of bleached flour sacks and if you looked carefully you could still barely see the faint outline of Robin Hood on her face. I loved that doll and took it everywhere with me. I even had plans as to how to make sure she was the first thing I saved if our house was ever in a fire or other disaster. I planned to toss her out of the window. I cuddled up to Mary every night and she heard all of my woes and all my happiness. She was water stained, tear stained and sometimes even, orange juice stained. She was my security blanket, my best friend and often my pillow.
I painted this picture for my parents. Mary is sitting on the chair they had recovered for my husband and I when we got married. The chair was one that my Grandpa Pearce (Poppa) won as a prize in lawn bowling. I remember going to the green with him when I was small and watching him bowl. So, you can see, this painting is full of memories for me.
I have been working on a doll for my grand-niece (my Grand-Aunt Bess made one for me) and when I had finished constructing her, I knew she must be a ballerina with the long arms and legs that she had. Here she is dressed for the recital in her tutu and ballet shoes. I may add some ribbon and flowers.
Here she is before I added her tutu.
Here she is with her tutu.
She is ready for her close up. She’s a bit cross-eyed but cute, I think. Her features are embroidered except for her eyebrows and rosy cheeks which I put on with fabric markers.