Meet Our Dolls

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

History Book Report

 Attention class! Quiet please!

 Thank you.
I have written instructions on the board for your California History book report. We will be using books about people who actually made a trip out west by covered wagon, train or ship.  Some may find an instance where a person used all three kinds of transportation to finally reach California.
I have some books you may borrow here in front. 

 Miss Smyth do you have a book about a girl my age?
I think I do, wait...

 Yes, here it is.

Kirsten Jansen?
Yes, she was about your age when her family 
came here all the way from Denmark.

That sounds perfect!  Thanks!

"When I was quite young, about 9 years old, my father
decided to leave Denmark for America.  Papa came home one day with a piece of paper saying land was free in America. Papa told us this was a chance for our family to have our own farm instead of working as a hand for another farmer. It seemed like a very short time and we were saying goodbye to friends and family and heading to Copenhagen to see Papa's Uncle Berger who was a ship owner and promised to do what he could to help make our passage more comfotable."

"The first part of our journey was on a ship called the "Mermaid". Being on a sailing ship was all very exciting at first, but soon became tedious as we ladies were not allowed on deck unless it was quite calm, Captains orders; as he felt we would be in the way of his sailors as they worked."  

"Our cabin was very small but we were fortunate since Uncle Bergen made sure we had a cabin.  The families in steerage had only an open bunk in long rows alongside all the other passengers.  There was no privacy and I heard Momma more than once say how she felt such compassion for the ladies in steerage."

"In our cabin Mama and I slept in the small bunk together and Papa had a hammock that hung from our cabin roof. Mama used our own sheets and quilts from our trunk.  She said the ships bedclothes were damp. There was no window, but I didn't mind, Mama would put me to bed with my doll Else and I would read my book of fables until I got sleepy."

"After weeks on-board, our first sight of New York made the whole ship erupt with singing and dancing for joy. It had been a long passage and all aboard were eager to stand on solid ground once more."

"My mother and I were on deck and she watched and clapped as we all danced."

"New York was bigger than anything I had ever seen.  There were so many buildings and carts and wagons and people, I felt that I could never look long enough to take it all in. Papa said New York was busier even than Copenhagen."

Soon we were out of New York City and driving through the beautiful countryside.  We drove that same day to Miller's Basin a small hamlet outside the city where Papa's friend Jans Hansen lived with his family. We would spend 2 or 3 days with the Hansen's and from there we would board a train for Missouri. 

"The next day I played in the Hansen's barn and held a lovely little lamb.  I remember holding the lamb because it was then I heard Mr. Hansen trying to convince Papa to stay in Miller's Basin, but Papa would not stay.  Papa had heard that land was plentiful and free for claiming out West. Then Mr. Hansen said something that I would not quickly forget."
'But Johan, what of the dangers?'
Papa looked quickly over toward me and shushed his friend.
The two men lowered their voices and I heard no more that was said."

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Thrift Store Finds October

I have had amazing luck lately at my local Thrift Stores.
Especially considering that I am looking for very specific items.
 Small stainless covered pot.
(I know these little pots had a specific use but can't remember)

 Wooden shoes.

Eiffel Tower plate

 Which got hung up in Molly and Nellie's room.

Along with this friendship picture from last month.

 A small copper pot that has a hanging chain.

I can not believe my luck with this!

 This china trinket box.

 Two crochet satchels which will make cute handbags.

 Doll-size colander and baking pan.

And a mini German clock.

Those of you who have been following along can guess what most of these items are for!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


So, I recently acquired a Kirsten Doll.
Here she is from her eBay listing.

First thing I did was put her clothes in to soak.
Then Kirsten got a bath.
I put her in a plastic bag to protect her cloth body
while I washed her face, arms, legs and hair.

Her hair is pretty dry, so I am continuing to treat 
it with the wig conditioner.
Sadly her hair is a bit brittle.

 Here she is all fresh and clean.
 At this point I went away for the weekend
and Kirsten sat on my sewing table.

By the time I got back to work on her some other things I ordered for her had arrived!


Kirsten had an amber heart as part of her
meet accessories, but I had this little amber cross
that I think is very pretty for her.

 There is a bit more shine in her hair.
She still has some fly-away hair but overall much better.

 Here she is with her braids tied up with ribbons.

Her meet dress was soaked in Fels-Naptha all weekend.
It came out fresh and clean. Then everything was pressed.

Here is Kirsten in her school dress and shawl.
(this is the first item I ordered for her)

These are not her original boots, but I thought they were SO cute!
(this was the second item I ordered for her)

 Here are her bloomers, there were some stains on them
and now the stains are barely visible.

And last but not least...
Kirsten's Pink Gingham Birthday Dress
  This is a dress we have had in our collection for quite awhile
 We did not have the original apron, so I made this one.

A doll friend asked if I was going to keep Kirsten in her time 
period or add her to my modern doll household.
I have been thinking a LOT about this - a bit of a challenge - 
and I think I am going to try and see what I can come up with.

It started me looking through some things I have already 
and these items I have set aside for Kirsten's cabin

 Hurricane lamp - of course

Painted dresser 

 Blue china and blue glass fish bottle.

 I think this is Samantha's bowl and pitcher but of course
still used by homesteaders.

 A wood hope chest.
I may add some painted details.

 Rocking chair

and baskets.