Monday, December 8, 2008

Paper Dolls

My mother has a beautiful cedar chest that she received before she was married. After she was married, she kept her special treasures in it. She has letters in it from my dad that he mailed to her when he was in the Navy during the war, childhood keepsakes, her high school prom dress, and newspaper clippings of my brothers and sisters and their special 4H awards. I can remember on special occasions (most likely rainy days when all of us kids were bored) my mom would open up her chest for us to take a peek inside. She would carefully take the items out and tell us the stories behind them. My eyes would always be searching for one thing -- her paper dolls. I loved it when she pulled out the candy box where they were kept. After she would show them to us, and tell us the story about how she made them; she would let us play with them. I can remember being so careful and not wanting to tear them in the least.

On a recent visit with her, she surprised my daughters and me by having her paper dolls out so that we could enjoy them once again. She made them from catalog pages in the late 1930's and early 1940's. My favorite of all of her dolls were the "twins". I always searched for them first amongst all of the dolls.



You will notice that they don't have any arms. That is because my mom would cut the arms off of the dolls; but then as she chose outfits from the catalog, she would leave the arms on so that any outfit would work with any doll.




Of course there are lots of dolls ...


and lots of outfits ...

After she would put the dolls back away in their safe little abode in the cedar chest, I can remember getting out our big catalogs and making some of my own. Of course they weren't as special as hers, and I didn't ever keep any of mine. I wish that I would have, because then my daughters could have played with mine. But that's okay, because they can enjoy the very same ones that my mom was always so kind enough to let me play with.



4 comments:

Sheila said...

Those are beautiful! One of my favorite memories from when I was 4 was playing with paper dolls. Today I still buy them from Dover.

Monica said...

Dover does have a great selection of paper dolls. Paper Doll Review does also. You don't really see them locally in stores any more.

Caer Clan said...

My mother used to get the sewing pattern catalogs from the fabric store and we would cut out our paper dolls from them. Lots of great memories and hours of rainy days spent doing that. Thanks for reminding me!

Jennie and Julie said...

Those paper dolls are really treasures. What a great way to see all the styles popular in the
40's...and to pass them on to the next generations to see. I love you telling about the chest, because my Mom had one too...and I too couldn't wait until Mom took the time to open it up and share her treasures. Several special items were a hand crocheted purse her aunt gave her at graduation, a serving fork and knife set with the handles made from deer horns and great turn of the century valentines. Thanks for sharing your memories.