Category Archives: Toys

Toying Around: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge/Kids or Pets with Toys

Toying Around

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These little guys were entertaining themselves with coloring books in their dad’s butcher shop in Ajijic.

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“Juguetes”– Shannon’s Creative Photo Challenge/Games

“Juguetes”–Shannon’s Creative Photo Challenge/GamesIMG_5344
“Jugetes” is Spanish for “Games,” and I made this retablo to honor all the favorite games of the past.  Perhaps you’ll recognize the little numbers game, where we had to shuffle the tiles within a set frame to get all the numbers into sequence, or a harmonica, games pieces from different games including Monopoly and Scrabble, a toy duck, doll, toy boat, a guitar, toy horse, dice, toy car, soccer ball, paint and marbles.  The star shapes are cut from a plastic Slinky toy made in the shape of stars.  I was very happy to see this prompt, Shannon.  Thanks so much!

IMG_4713Mexican Train is wildly popular among expats in Mexico.  This particular version is called “Chickenfoot.”  Strangely enough, the Mexican name for Mexican Train is Cuban Train–“Tren Cubano!”

For more pictures on the topic of “Toys,” go here:
http://abstractlucidity.com/2015/09/16/shannons-creative-photo-challenge-games/

Dolls I have Owned–for Marilyn

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This is my big sister Patti and I. She is holding her doll “Adorable.” and I am holding my brand new Tiny Tears doll. More about her below. The admiring little girl in the middle was my much older sister’s Carnival doll–won for her by some boyfriend.We are in my big sister Betty’s bedroom–all green and white and black plaid.  Very sophisticated, we thought.  I learned how to read cursive trying to read Betty’s love letters in a little cedar box on top of the chest of drawers to my right in the picture.

Dolls I have Owned (This post is really for Marilyn, but if you like dolls, you can look.)

 

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Tiny Tears. I still have her but her rubber body totally rotted away. I have her head and arms and perhaps a leg or two…and the hard plastic tube that carried water down to her diaper that was inside the rubber body which totally crumbled away. She had a glued on wig, not rooted hair as later ones did. I loved this doll. Wore it out.

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My doll’s face looked like this but her hair was strawberry blonde.

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My Jan Doll was a replica of this one, but cooler clothes. She had those red clogs, which I loved, tight Levis and a white blouse with turned up collar, hoop earrings and a bottle of Coke that I still have!!! There were two companion dolls, Jill and Jan.  I think Jan is the one I had but could have been Jill.

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This was the Jeff Doll that went with Jill and Jan. Mine was not as much of a dweeb at this Jeff is! Ha. (Black socks with shorts? Was that ever cool?) He had neat pants and a jacket. I think I let him wear Jan’s Levis but not her high heeled clogs.

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This was the Terri Lee doll I had. Never had any of her original clothes as I think they were $25 an outfit and up. Too rich for our blood.

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This is the exact Cisette doll I had. (Madame Alexander doll) She was my last doll and I played with her all the time, made her clothes and had clothes made for her like mine. She came in this camisole with nylon stockings and darling silver high heels with a silver wraparound strap around the ankle. That bow was glued on! I pried it off. When I was in my sister’s wedding, the seamstress made her a long dress just like mine. I had a lot of clothes for her, including a lovely light pink dotted swiss with a green velvet sash. Also a wonderful peach dress with can cans and a bonnet with flowers. I loved that dress. I think she was my favorite doll of all times–got her for the last year or two I played with dolls and she took me into my pre-teen fantasies. Both she and her clothes were very well made.  A class act.

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I think this is actually the nightgown that came in the box with her, along with the items described above.

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Wooden Heart

Wooden Heart

He handed it to me without ceremony—a small leather bag, awl-punched and stitched together by hand. Its flap was held together by a clasp made from a two fishing line sinkers and a piece of woven wax linen. I unwound the wax linen and found inside a tiny wooden heart with his initials on one side, mine on the other. A small hole in the heart had a braided cord of wax linen strung through that was attached to the bag so that the heart could not be lost. He had woven more waxed linen into a neck cord. I was 39 years old when he gave me that incredible thing I never thought I would receive: his heart—as much of it as he could give. Continue reading

Daily Post: Play Date

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Play Date

 

My sister’s house has sold and they are cleaning out her attic. My niece and I make one trip more and I find my old dollhouse, collapsed, in the garbage can. I take the pieces out—some of them—and stash them in her trunk. I’d thought them gone forty years ago when the tornado took the roof off my parents’ house, but now, here they are like the leaves of memory blown miraculously back to me.

When she sees I’ve taken them, my niece asks what she should do with the dolls she found in the back recesses of her mother’s attic storage room—the one I hadn’t got to on my last visit—perhaps because of the roofing nails sticking through the wood which made reaching back behind the eaves a physical danger.

I find them where she has stashed them In a suitcase in her garage, and when I open the case and see the first doll staring up at me, I think it is a “find” from some antique store, like the dishes in my sister’s China cabinet or the tiny figures on her shelves. One rubber arm, sticky with age, has burst open and streams kapok like a froth of bleached and fermented blood. Other limbs have decayed to nothing but empty puddles of congealed rubber. Only the torso, held in place by a sagging pink fancy gown; and the face, stained red in places from some surface it’s been pressed against for too long, are still intact. As I lift the first doll from the suitcase, the other doll—the size of a toddler—stares up at me, one eye unhinged, her hair in pigtails sealed with rubber bands. When I lift her by one arm, her head turns, her legs pump and I realize this is my Ideal walking doll. When you raise her arms, one at a time, she walks toward you and her head swings, side-to-side. Hard and beautiful, she was not a doll to cuddle and she would not sit. She stood propped up against one corner of my room, rarely played with. What, I wonder, has happened to the bright blue dress she wore? Then I look closer and see that she’s still wearing it—faded to paleness even in the dark. What is here is original—her hair, her limbs, her dress, her petticoat—but her shoes and socks have been lost to another little girl, perhaps, or have jiggled off in some trunk and been left behind.

I’m 1500 miles away from home, yet I load the child-sized dollies into my boyfriend’s trunk: my sister’s doll in it’s fancy pink floor-length formal, my doll with her eye gone wild in its socket. They won’t make it home to Mexico in my suitcase this time, but it is impossible to leave them there in the suitcase to be thrown away by someone who has no memory of them. They are not collector’s items. They have been too neglected in their lives since they stood propped up in the corners of our rooms, then in the corners of our closets, the basement, my sister’s trunk and then her attic 800 miles from where they called us their owners and stimulated our imaginations to the extent they were able.

They’ll now reside in my boyfriend’s garage in Missouri until the time comes when I can carry them back in an extra suitcase or he can mule them down for me. If they were miniatures, I could include them in a retablo or a memory box, but each head is larger than the largest assemblage I’ve ever made. The closets of my house are full and overflowing, as are the wall-to-ceiling cabinets in my garage and studio and every area of my house where I’ve had room to build a closet. But I must use them. Give them some purpose for still existing other than to fill up room in some box on some cupboard shelf.

I imagine a memory box of gigantic proportions and suddenly, I have to make it, even if it takes up all the work room of my studio, and I start to plan how I could take my own doll back with me and what I’ll have to leave: the case of books that I’ve just had printed or my clothes or all the cartridges for my laser printer? If I wear a baby carrier, will they believe it is my baby, sound asleep? And what sensation will I cause when I try to stuff her into the overhead rack?

When I start to plan what else will go in the memory box with her, I remember the metal dollhouse sides and suddenly, I’m planning another trip back to Missouri, where I will make the mother of memory boxes—four feet square—and I wonder how my boyfriend will react to this and what I’ll do with it when it is finished. But somehow all these practicalities do not matter, because this dolly, relegated to corners for its whole life, is finally going to get played with!!!

 

The Prompt: Antique Antics: What’s the oldest thing you own? (Toys, clothing, twinkies, Grecian urns: anything’s fair game.) Recount its history — from the object’s point of view.

 

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