Thursday, July 19, 2007

I Play with Dolls

Those of you who know me a bit know that I am a pretty eccentric individual. I tend to pick up hobbies that are often far from what one would expect of me. So here's my latest confession: I've fallen for dolls. When I first heard about the American Girl Benefit Sale for Madison Children's Museum, it sounded great to me. American Girl donates their seconds and returns to MCM, and MCM has hundreds of volunteers who fix them up. Once a year there is a huge warehouse sale where the items are sold. All of the proceeds benefit MCM and American Girl's charities. So let's see, we're reducing waste AND benefiting charity. Sounds good! Doing a bit of research I really liked the way American Girl emphasized girl's self esteem, worth, strength, and intelligence. I loved the history and stories behind the dolls. My sisters and I played with dolls when we were little, and as I started looking at these new dolls, I enjoyed reminiscing with them over our favorite doll friends in childhood. I was lucky to get an early ticket into the sale, so I started doing some research, thinking I'd pick up a doll or two for the kids. That's when I discovered the world of adult collecting, and what a world it is! I decided pretty quickly that this was something I wanted to do. It's pretty out-of-character for me, and Beo is more than a little freaked out about the entire thing, but is being relatively cool about it. He said that it helps that I'm pretty embarrassed about the entire endeavor. I've found a little niche for myself in the world of collecting, and discovered that I enjoy getting dolls that just need a little fixing up. I've gotten a couple of fixer-uppers on E-bay, learned how to make them over, and resold them to help fund my own collection. My collection started with a second-hand "Kit", the doll from the Great Depression, around 1934. She's pretty new and just needs some stray candle-dye removed from her hand. (It's a long process, but she'll recover.) Last night we picked up a Craigslist lot from a family about a half-hour from us. It was so fun to meet the girls who grew up with this doll, to watch Sprout and Bird fawn over and name the new "girl" (Daisy), and then to get to work on fixing her up. I just love the transformations of these well-loved dolls, giving them a new lease to get some more love and bring another child (or adult!) more joy. Check out the before and after--to me it's just really satisfying. Daisy caught me by surprise and will probably be a permanent member of the Sprout-Bird collection. I do think that playing with dolls is important for children, helping to teach them about caring for another being (even if it happens to be inanimate), and in this case, teaching them about believing in themselves. The Madison Children's Museum Benefit Sale is this weekend and I've saved up my lettuce money and some overtime to build up a starter collection. I'm so excited! So now you know what's been filling up my time between weeding and watering. It's doll collecting, and while I can't yet say I'm proud, I'm getting there, and having fun in the process.


Anonymous said...

How fun! Your blogs are so diverse and always interesting. This is Vikingirl from the veggieboard, by the way.

Mia said...

Thanks, Vikingirl!