Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Story Behind My "Elmer's Little Boy"

One of my first posts was "The Story Behind Elmers Little Boy." I thought it would be fun to post it again as it's such a nice story. So, here's the post:

In thinking about what to write next for my blog I thought it might be a good idea to tell the story behind some of the dolls I have created. I'd like to begin with the story behind Elmers Little Boy. So here goes..... My sister-in-laws parents who are in their 80's recently had a yardsale because they were moving into a much smaller house. Elmer (my sister-in-laws father) had an old plastic kewpie doll that had previously belonged to his deceased sister that he had kept I think in his toolbox (I might have that wrong).

In any event, he had held on to this doll for over many, many years. The only problem with the doll was that it had no clothes. He was going to throw it away but decided instead to give it to me. I was touched as I got the sense that this doll had a lot of sentimental value for him. In any event, I decided to take it home and design some clothes for it. I wanted an early american little boy look so I decided on pantaloons, a vest, shirt, and scully cap. Since I had already designed the clothes for his kewpie I decided to design a cloth doll as well. A little while later I took the plastic kewpie doll (with his new clothes) back to Elmer. Elmer was thrilled. It touched my heart to see how happy he was with my gift. Elmer's kewpie doll now sits proudly on the top of his bureau (I think).

I named my cloth pattern Elmer's Little Boy after Elmer's plastic kewpie doll. Elmers Original Kewpie is shown above and my Elmers Little Boy cloth version is shown below. The clothes for both dolls were made from some of Elmer's old clothes that I had gotten from his yard sale. I hope you like both dolls.

My Version - Elmers Little Boy.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Story Behind Baby Nicky

"Baby Nicky" was named after my grandson, Nicky, who I affectionately call "Noodles." Like his brother he too is adorable, cuddly, lovable, and has the most enviable head of brown curly hair that you'd ever want to see. I would give my eye teeth, so to speak, for his curly hair. He, on the other hand, would probably prefer my straight hair. Well, boys will be boys, and girls will be girls. We always want just the opposite, don't we?

My grandson "Nicky" was born premature at 31 weeks weighting 3 pounds 1 ounce and spent the first 9 weeks of his life in an intensive care unit. The nurses there were exceptional and treated Nicky as if he were one of their own. In fact, I began to wonder, at times, if they were dragging out his release just because they loved him so.

Fifteen minutes after Nicky was born his Dad took us in to the intensive care unit to see him. I couldn't get over how humanly perfect he was at just 3 pounds 1 ounce. He just looked like a very, very tiny little man. I don't know what I was expecting to see but, he just took my breathe away. Even then he had a full head of brown hair. It wasn't curly just yet but would be within a matter of time.

His Mom, who was my biggest fan besides my husband and my Mother, used to give me all Nicky's baby clothes and shoes for my dolls. I know she was hoping that they would all come back to her in one way or another in the form of a doll for her house. A lot did.

In any event, I just loved all Nicky's little baby clothes. There's just something special about tiny little Reeboks and little denims. I can remember shopping with her one day at a "Baby Gap" store. We went in and just laughed and laughed at how tiny everything was. I just loved all the clothes and so did she. We went shopping several times after that for clothes for Nicky and always came away laughing. Sometimes we bought some. Sometimes we just went to look and laugh.

So, I knew I wanted to create a doll that would remind me of Nicky and his full head of curly brown hair and his most adorable baby clothes. That's how "Baby Nicky" was born. Isn't he adorable? Don't you just want to grab all those curls? I do. In fact, I used to hate it when his father would cut all his curls off. I tried to teach "Nicky" to tell his Dad "Don't cut my Hair!" It didn't work. Maybe someday Nicky will realize how beautiful his head of curly brown hair is and leave it alone. Yeah, sure, Nana! Dream on!

Baby Nicky is a 20" baby boy doll pattern. Nicky is a free-standing boy doll in his pajamas and ready for bedtime. He has an undershirt, flannel jacket with long rolled sleeves and pipe trim, and flannel pajama bottoms. He has round black button eyes, a fabric covered wood head, wood body and wood feet covered with slipper socks. He has long curly brown hair and has a night cap knotted at the end on his head. He is carrying a teddy bear in his left hand and a cherished flannel blankie in his right hand.

Every time I look at the "baby Nicky" doll I can't help but remember how small and tiny "Nicky" was at 3 pounds 1 ounce and think "how precious life is!"