Monday, April 14, 2014


Easter Bunny Doll

Friday, April 11, 2014

Little Chairs from Kentucky

I have been wanting to feature these chairs on my blog for a while.  They are children's chairs that belonged to my mother's grandmother and her grandmother's sister, little Zellie and Clara.  The girls were born in the 1880's and lived in Scott County, Kentucky.  Zellie's mother bought the chairs for her girls from a peddler's wagon.  My mom remembers that they were originally brown or plain wood, but she painted them red with her grandmother in the 1940's.  I love that they still have the coat of paint that my mom applied with her granny.

My mother, Martha in the 1940s, with a lovely hat.  

Nettie Louise - made from Dixie's Izannah pattern

I made and gave this doll to my mom and she dressed her beautifully.  The doll is made from Dixie's pattern, enlarged about 150%.  She is about 22 inches tall.  Lately, that's my favorite size to make.  The chair is very special and has its own story on a separate blog post.

Nettie Louise is her name.


Nettie is friends with another doll that I made for my mom a while ago.

Little boots and grow tucks.

Nettie's exquisite underclothes

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Here's little Dorothy.  I made the doll.  Martha made the clothes.  She will live in Kentucky, with Martha's sister.

The tucks on my mom's doll dresses are PERFECT!

Dorothy can't wait to get home to Kentucky.

A few of Martha's dolls and their new dresses

My mother, Martha, collects composition dolls.  Here are Annette and Pearl.  Martha made the beautiful, smocked dresses for them.
Annette and Pearl
A new dress for an old doll

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ruby's grandmother smocked her a dress

Thanks, Memaw!

How did this little doll get too big for a smocked dress?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Latest Dolls

Rosina now has her own little doll.

Dolls and a bear friend

This doll is named Thankful. I made her in 2011, but I was never happy with her.  I added some sculpted hair to cover her ears, which I did not like.  I am very happy to have finally painted blue eyes that satisfy me.  The paint for the eyes didn't have any blue in it at all - only gray and brown.  There must be some blue in the gray paint.

Ruby is going to get a smocked dress.  I have never smocked before.  My mom and I are going to have a smocking party and she will teach me how.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Still basking in the glow

I can't stop thinking about that Izannah doll. I think you're right, Jan.  Her name should be Nan.  Her original dress was incredible.  The fabric was obviously cotton, but it was so fine and delicate.  The thread seemed different than modern thread.  I love old fabric.  I absolutely loved the pieces of stockinette peaking through the outer covering of her head.  And her little hands and feet were so perfect.  She had such a nice weight for a doll, perfect for carrying around and pretending.  She's like a gem.  I was amazed at the richness of her paint - all of the colors were still so deep and saturated.  She was made around 1855. So long ago.  When I picked her up, I felt like I was touching 1855.  It was a direct, vivid connection with the past.  It was as though a little girl had hopped out of the past, right into my arms.   I know that many people have loved and admired this doll over the past 150 years.  I wonder who they all were.

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Lovely Visit For My Dolls

A very sweet Izannah owner offered to let my dolls visit with her beautiful antique Izannah Walker doll.  It was such a treat!  I had never seen a real Izannah in person before.  I feel very lucky.  I also feel inspired to make more dolls.  LOTS more.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Playing Dolls Through The Years, The Martha Rutledge Collection

My mother, Martha, has some of her collection of dolls and doll accessories on display at her local community center.  I had a great time visiting the display this morning.  She makes beautiful little doll quilts and collects all sorts of doll related items.  Some of the dolls are my hand-made ones and some are her antiques.  She has doll furniture, dishes, her quilts, her collection of 1930's baby dolls (the type that she played with as a child), and even the doll bed that her father made her for Christmas when she was 9.  There are a couple of adorable Gail Wilson dolls that I made, some made from Dixie Redmond's Izannah Walker pattern, Gail's Hitty, and some china heads. There's a tiny child's sewing machine, doll clothing patterns, and tiny vintage sewing notions.   It was so rewarding to watch people pass by and notice all of those treasures!

Gail Wilson's dolls are sitting among Martha's sweet doll quilts, dishes and small furniture.

The doll bed on the lowest shelf is the one made by Eugene Atkins, Martha's Daddy, many years ago, when he was Santa and she was his precious little girl.  Money wasn't plentiful in her family, so she and her little sister didn't get new dolls that Christmas.  Instead, Martha and sister, Janice woke up to find that Santa had delivered hand-made doll beds and hand-sewn doll clothes (sewn by Dorothy Atkins - Martha's mother)  for their beloved dolls which they already owned.  Both sisters always remembered this day as their favorite, most magical Christmas.

More dolls, quilts and cuteness.

Martha Rutledge and Elaine McNally - - mother and daughter doll nuts!  We're so lucky to have this hobby in common.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

I love my sixteen-year-old babies.  They are so sweet.
Here is Rosina.  She is my winter doll.  I plan to make a doll for each season in 2014.
Rosina is proud of her bright red shoes and her antique pantaloons.  I am proud that I managed to finish a doll during this busy holiday time!

Saturday, March 2, 2013