Celebrations · Holidays · Izannah Walker Reproduction Doll · Work in Progress

A Dollmaker’s Diary ~ December 5th… Saint Nicholas Eve

Sunday, Saint Nicholas Eve

The little cloth girls gathered boxwood sprigs from the garden and beeswax candles from the pantry, which they fashioned into an Advent wreath that they adorned with handfuls of madder dyed cotton ribbon.

Dear Diary,

Today, once again, holiday preparations have been underway in the doll’s house. I can hear all of the sweet Izannah sisters chattering gaily, rushing around their house preparing everything just so on this 5th day of December. The dolls are clearly just as excited about this Christmas as they were about each of their very first ones, now more than a century and a half ago… This afternoon they cleaned and tidied their kitchen, adding boxwood sprigs to the mantle over the hearth. As dusk began to fall, they lit two candles on their Advent wreath, which they made using clippings from the garden and a great deal of madder dyed ribbon. Afterwards they carefully lined up their shoes by the fireplace so that Saint Nicholas could fill them with treats when he comes to call in the middle of the night…

Meanwhile, as the dolls have been keeping themselves well occupied, I have been steadily working away. Yesterday I painted deeper shades of color on the six new little doll sisters that I am slowly bringing to life. The poor dears are now in their “ugly duckling” phase, where I fear only a mother could love them. So gawky and awkward looking, with their inner beauty hidden away by translucent coats of streaky, uneven looking paint! It is a time for courage, and faith that everything will be alright in the end.

After all six were painted, I very quietly tip-toed out the door (so that I wouldn’t wake the napping little cloth girls) and walked through the farmyard to the sewing studio. I spent all the rest of Saturday sewing arm, after arm, after arm!

Today I was back to painting, and am happy to say that all of the new dolls are looking somewhat better with the addition of another coat of paint! They still need many more very then coats of their “flesh” tones before I will be able to start painting their features and hair, but such care is well worth the time involved.

I dared not step away from the doll’s house today, as I knew the sisters would be lighting candles! I hope to be able to trim and turn all of the many arms this evening, and perhaps I will even be able to stay awake long enough to begin stuffing and stitching a few fingers! Though I should try not to stay up too late, as the dolls will no doubt be up exceedingly early in the morning to see what Saint Nicholas has left them!

Until tomorrow dear diary…

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