I have loved dolls, history, and the Victorian Era since I was little and can credit my grandmother for that. As a young girl she gave me a Godey’s Fashion print for August 1870 from my great, great Aunt Flossie. I was captivated by the dresses and became hooked. I just love to research everything and anything about the Victorian Era. I also love to design Victorian dolls. I hope you enjoy my Victorian Dolls, Victorian Traditions,The Victorian Era, and Me blog.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Who Doesn't Love Paper Dolls?

Image Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Ballerina and Bloomer Girls (Prima Donna) Paper Dolls
Publisher:Littauer and Boysen
Purveyor:Dennison Manufacturing Co. (New York, NY)
Date:1890–1905
Medium:Lithographs
Dimensions:each: 14 3/8 × 6 1/8 in. (36.5 × 15.5 cm)
Classification:Prints
Credit Line:Gift of D. Lorraine Yerkes, 1959
Accession Number:59.616.403a-g

I don't know if you're like me or not, but I like to reminisce about my childhood and the dolls, toys, or items that I loved to play with. In doing so I always say to myself, "Why didn't I save them?" I wish I had saved all of them. Some of them would be worth a fortune today.

Unfortunately, we moved a few times and old toys were discarded. Plus, what child thinks about saving something so they can have it 50 years down the road? None, that I know of and certainly not me. So, all my old toys, "Barbie" dolls, other dolls, and "paper dolls" were thrown away.

Today, with the advent of computerized doll makers and graphics "paper dolls" are making a comeback. You can create your own doll online or in your own graphics program and then print it out on your color printer on cardboard stock. Then just cut it out just like you did as a child. You're all set to play. How great is that?

In the paper, scrapbooking, stamping, and mixed media area there are so many gorgeous paper dolls being created and supplies generated to help you with that. In the mixed media and scrapbooking arena paper dolls are becoming an art form. Some of the creations are just astonishing. If you'd like to see some beautiful paper art dolls my" Paper Art Doll  Creations" Pinterest board is here.

Plus, with the advent of the computers, paper dolls went virtual.  You can create your own avatar dolls and virtual doll worlds. Over the years I've created a few avatars of my own, like my YoVille Linda shown below:

 

The Linda avatar on the left is the original YoVille (now known as YoWorld) avatar I created back in 2006.  The Linda on the right is the "Punk" version.  DollZ, which is what digital dolls are now known as, are extremely popular with numerous websites devoted to them.  You can create the dolls, create their clothing, their homes, their worlds, their friends, etc.  It's mindboggling.

I would have loved having everything that is available nowadays for paper doll creating when I was a child. I can remember sitting on the floor for hours with my scissors and painstakingly cutting out pictures from fashion magazines, which I used as paper dolls. Or, cutting out the "paper doll" pages from my mother's magazines. Cutting precise lines with the round tip children's scissors was a little difficult if not downright impossible. However, I did my best which is all anyone can ever really ask of you.

My Free Victorian Doll & Craft E-Patterns & E-Books

I love to create free Victorian doll & craft e-patterns, e-printables, and e-books for my blog readers and have created several of each.

If you'd like to read or download any of my free e-patterns, e-printables, or e-books just click on the image you want below. You'll be brought to Google Drive where you can view my free e-products. Then just download my free .pdf e-product from the File menu in the upper left hand corner.

Once my e-product is downloaded to your computer you can save it and print it. You can also save my e-products to your Google Drive. Have fun crafting.


Victorian "Ladies" Dolls

My love affair with the Victorian Era started a long time ago. In fact, sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era. My Victorian "Lady" dolls are all faceless because I wanted each to have its' own distinct personality. My feeling is that faces overwhelm the dolls personality and have a greater impact on her personality. I wanted the clothing, clothes, hair, color scheme, etc. of the period to determine the personality of the doll. I hope you enjoy my Victorian "ladies."


My Victorian Faceless Ladies Dolls


Designer - Linda Walsh of Linda Walsh Originals


Designer - Linda Walsh of Linda Walsh Originals

My Beautiful Ancestors

We've Come A Long Way Baby and Still Have A Long Way To Go!

I love to just browse thru history books, genealogy records, and the encyclopedia. Browsing thru the Wikipedia encyclopedia I came across the women's suffrage stamp (see picture on the left). In looking at the women's suffrage stamp I got to thinking about my great, great Aunt "Flossie" and my Grandmother "Dee." Why did these two women come to mind when I saw the stamp? They came to mind because they grew up during the time that the women's suffrage movement was at its peak.

Little history lesson : American women earned the right to vote with the passage of the 19Th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920. This amendment was finally accomplished after years (actually decades, if not centuries) of effort by women, in general, and the women's suffrage movement, in particular.

My "Flossie" Victorian doll  is named after my great, great Aunt Florence (who is shown on the left). My great, great Aunt Flossie was born in 1882 and was the first women to go to college in our family. She graduated from Tufts University in 1904. She then went on to be one of the first women to work for the State Department of Corporations and Taxation. She worked for the state until she retired in 1947.

My "Dee" Victorian doll is named after my Grandmother Doris (who is shown below). My Grandmother "Dee" was born in 1896, went on to college and graduated with a teaching degree in 1917.

My great, great Aunt "Flossie" was a true believer of women's rights, as was my Grandmother "Dee". Both women were very intelligent and were very strong women. Both were very confident in themselves and both held strong beliefs and convictions. They both were believers in women's rights. Their beliefs definitely had a profound affect on my mother which, in turn, had an affect on me.

As an aside. I just love asides, don't I? The only weakness in my Grandmother as far as women's rights were concerned had to do with the wearing of pants. She strongly disagreed with this fashion statement and was very critical of my Mother for wearing them. I never saw my Grandmother in anything but a dress or skirt. God forbid a bathing suit. Yikes!

In any event, where is all this leading us. In thinking about all of this I came to the sad realization that some of the young women of today don't realize how difficult the path for women's rights has been and how important the right to vote is. Some don't realize how far women's rights have come.

Just the difference in rights between now and 35 years ago when I started working is staggering. While the changes in the workplace are very evident and promising, they still have a long way to go. When I started working "old boy networks" were the norm. Women really weren't wanted in the workplace. Most of the boards of directors of all the companies were men. All of the executives, to be sure, were. All the politicians were men. And so on, and so on, and so on.... A women executive, no way. The men would say "they don't have the skills." I would argue "how can we get the skills if you never give us a chance?"

My grandmother and great, great Aunt lived in some amazing times for women. They would be astonished at the accomplishments of women today. That said, however, we still have not had a female President, the number of females in Congress is still far too little and one of the only two females on the Supreme Court has just retired.

The women in my Grandmothers and great, great Aunts day had to fight for their rights and fight for the right to vote. We've come a long way, baby (how true). Yet, we've still got a long way to go.

I am proud of each and every one of my ancestors and hope you enjoy seeing their pictures. It is one small way for me to honor them.

Feminist or Victorian?


How Can I Be A Feminist Victorian???



I have to wonder sometimes why I have such a fascination or passion for the fashions of the Victorian Era when I am clearly a feminist (the ultimate feminist according to my son-in-law).

My inner self seems to be fighting with itself. Women's rights versus love of a time when women had, basically, no rights, but, wore the most beautiful dresses.

So, I thought that maybe I should investigate this further. What is it that draws me to the era when it is so contrary to my basic beliefs.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary feminism is "a doctrine that advocates or demands for women the same rights granted to men, as in political or economic status."

Feminists clearly believe in this, so therefore I clearly am a feminist (and PROUD of it to boot). In fact, make that VERY PROUD.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary a Victorian is defined as "Pertaining or belonging to the period of Queen Victoria's reign. Exhibiting qualities usually associated with the time of Queen Victoria, as moral severity or hypocrisy, middle-class stuffiness, and pompous conservationism. A person belonging to or exhibiting characteristics typical of the period of Queen Victoria."

Clearly, I am not Victorian.

Clearly, their attitudes towards women and society is for the BIRDS (maybe they don't even want to be associated with it).

Yet, I am drawn to their fashions. Drawn to their style. Why?

Why do I love to make Victorian dolls when I clearly am not Victorian? I am as perplexed as you are.

Perhaps, I should explore this further and delve a little more into the rights of women during the Victorian Era.

Maybe if I get so disgusted with their lack of rights I'll stop loving the Victorian Era and Victorian Fashion.

Maybe, I'll stop designing Victorian dolls? Maybe, I'll stop designing dolls all together. Maybe, I'll stop loving dolls. Maybe, I'll stop loving history and genealogy.

Maybe, I'll turn into a Victorian and start to believe their treatment of women was right. Yeah! Right!

In your dreams Queen Victoria!



I Am All That and More!



When I think of a "Lady" either I picture someone like Audrey Hepburns' character in "My Fair Lady" or I picture a Victorian woman like the picture to the left. Someone refined and dignified. Someone who has good manners and who also just happens to be wearing a beautiful Victorian dress. I always seem to get back to the Victorian dresses, don't I? Must be an obsession. Yah think? In my mind, a "Lady" is the ultimate perfect female. But, is she really?

So, let's take a good look at what constitutes a "Lady." According to the American Heritage Dictionary a "Lady" is a woman having the refined habits, gentle manners, and sense of responsibility often associated with breeding, culture, and high station; the feminine equivalent of a gentleman.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

They All Have Names


I finally had a chance to not only take close-up pictures of the art dolls I made in Hally Levesque's"Romantic Rosabella" class in Session 1 of Artful Gathering, but to name them as well.



Saturday, July 2, 2016

A Delightful Time With Romantic Art Dolls




I've had a delightful time the past few weeks making the dolls for Hally Levesque's"Romantic Rosabella" class in Session 1 of Artful Gathering.  I was only going to make 2 dolls but could not decide which color I wanted the base to be so I ended up choosing seven different colors from solid color fabric my sister had given me.

I figured at least one or two of the dolls would come out nicely and was pleasantly surprised when they all did. Even though the dolls are all similar looking they all ended up having their own little personalities. To no surprise most are "Diva's" or at least they think they are.

I had been saving some of the beautiful hand dyed and batted alpaca fibers my sister had given me over the last two years and was thrilled I would be able to utilize some of it here. Her alpaca roving batts worked beautifully in creating my dolls long, braided hair. If you would like to see more of my sister's alpaca fibers she sells her alpaca fiber products in her Rock Garden Alpaca's Etsy shop here.

Each of the dolls is handmade with hand sculpted paper clay faces, arms, and bonnets. Each has handmade silk ribbon flowers as well as painted flowers down the front of the dolls dress. Handmade silk ribbon flowers are also used for their bouquets and to decorate their bonnets. Each doll also has lace and tulle gathered overskirts in the back which combined with the silk ribbon flowers makes the doll very romantic and very elegant looking.