On Playing Dolls

I don’t want this to seem something complicated. Life is complicated. Playing dolls is not. But playing dolls — I believe — can help a girl to handle the complicated things that will come her way in life some day.

I’ve learned a lesson raising four children. It’s a lesson that has thrilled me at times, but sometimes has been painful. Children do what they see their parents do.

The day before Christmas 2007, I woke up feeling very overwhelmed. I was working outside of my home (just a season, I tell you) and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. I was thinking, how will I get the gifts wrapped, or even finish buying the few things I need, and rest well tonight, and enjoy Christmas Day, knowing that I have to be back to work the day after Christmas?? I had a deer-in-headlights moment and did a totally abstract thing. I hung up my new 2008 calendar. It was probably meant to be. The quote for the month of January 2008 was exactly what I needed to see.

It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all. Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957)

I held that thought close. I decided to pick the sweet, simple things out of all the thoughts swirling through my mind and focus on them. Playing dolls with my little sweetie-pie was one of the first things to pop into my mind. The second thing was how much I wanted to see my mother and my sister (and how much they wanted to see me), so wrapped gifts were not as important as I could build them up to be. The important thing was me having a soft and sweet spirit and enjoying the important things. I decided just to relax and enjoy the days ahead. After all, my daughter is watching, and so are my sons.

This is all about playing. It’s about doing something simple. In doing the simple things, though, we often paint such a larger picture that it’s hard to see the whole masterpiece at one time. The Year of the Doll House is about doing a sweet, simple thing, and doing it day by day.

There’s a precious thought that a dear friend shared with me recently. It keeps coming back to me in all that I do. It’s helped me to focus on the sweet, simple things.

“…precept upon precept; line upon line…here a little, and there a little:” Isaiah 28:10

Precept upon precept and line upon line — little by little. That’s how big things are built.


Fancy Doll House Vase

I have the best mom in the world. She just falls in and supports me and my sister when we decide to do something. A good lesson for me in raising my own daughter.

She found these cute little bottles and wrapped them up for my daughter for her doll house. The clear glass bottle looks like a great base for a doll house lamp. I am not sure about the other one yet. It looks like a lovely vase for foliage on a doll house hearth.

Looks good with guinea feathers, no?


Doll House Accessories From Homemade Clay

homemade_clay_1 homemade_clay_2 homemade_clay_3 homemade_clay_4 hpim6138My daughter and I made some clay tonight so that we could make doll accessories for her doll house.

First you put in 2 cups of plain flour. Feel free to get the flour on your hands!

Then you add 1/2 a cup of salt.

Next, you add 3/4 cup of water…

…and mix.

This will make a very thick, sturdy clay that you can mold into small accessories for your doll house. We used toothpicks for modeling tools. At one point our clay got so dry that it was hard to make the items we wanted without the dough cracking. We each wet our hands, slung the extra water off, and worked the clay with our damp hands. This helped a great deal.

We have a set of canisters, a mantle clock, a round tray, a container with a lid, a candlestick holder, a box that we’ll surely find a use for, and what will be a bag of flour for the kitchen.

Place the items on a baking tray and bake at 350 degrees until the clay is hard. Test carefully, supervise children, don’t get burned. Small pieces will burn quickly, so watch closely. Some thicker pieces may take up to half an hour or so.

Tomorrow we will paint the pieces with acrylic gesso, let dry, and then decorate with acrylic paints.

I’ll show you what we end up with!


PS – This is how they ended up! I’ll be honest, some cracked and were not usable. Make sure your mix is moist enough. It was still worth it to end up with even the doll house mantle clock. We love it and use it all the time. Sculpey works wonders too, but if you’re aiming for frugal this may be a better choice.

A Doll House Clock

Time flies. This adorable little thing I found for our doll house for 25 cents! And it reminds us of just how fast time flies!

This little item is supposed to be a Christmas ornament, but it makes a perfect doll house accessory. My daughter and I put this in the doll’s kitchen (attached with some sticky tack like is used to hang posters). It gave us a chance to talk about how quickly time passes. She nodded as she played. I shared the thought that because time passes so quickly we need to be extra careful how we spend it.

Another little topic that came up was having enough blankets in the house. I said Oh, we need more blankets! We talked about having a blanket chest and plenty of blankets, in case you have company. I know that’s certainly the case in real life. Now I suppose we need to sew some little quilts and put them in a shelf. I’ll be on the lookout for a makeshift shelf.