Tag Archives: Toys

Playthings

“Juguetes” (Toys)  Mixed Media Assemblage by Judy Dykstra-Brown


Click on first photo below to enlarge all.

From childhood to rocking chair, we love our toys.  From tricycles to souped-up cars, from dollies to drones, we need our diversions.  Here are a few lovely toys for all ages.

For Cee’s prompt: -fun-foto-challenge-things-people-play-with/

Reviving Barbie’s Predecessors

I was reading my friend Mary McNinch’s charming blog about her play date with her granddaughter and my comment got so long I decided to turn it into a post.  Here it is: 

My housekeeper and friend Yolanda’s seven-year-old daughter Yoli was here one day and I dragged out all my old 9 inch dolls—precursors to Barbie.   Jan, Jeff and Cissette. (Although I couldn’t find Jeff.  Evidently they had a separation.) Yoli proceeded to dress them all wrong, putting Jan’s dress on Cissette (without belt and backwards at that) and dressed Jan in such a dowdy dress that it amazed me I’d ever chosen it in the first place. After she left, they stayed in place, waiting for her return, but school started and she hasn’t been back since. 

That is how, past midnight a few nights later, I found myself seated in front of my sewing table in my guest room, where I’d set Yoli up with the dolls and my Jill and Jan closet and the basket of clothes she’d neglected to put away.  After choosing the “right” clothes for each and dressing her, I replaced the detached doors of the closet, hung all the other clothes neatly in the closet, and posed the girls for best effect.  By then it was about 1:30 a.m. and I closed down the play date with myself and went to bed.  The next day, they had chosen to assume the same position I left them in. They’ve been there for a few weeks, but I have a party tomorrow night and decided it was time for them to go back into seclusion in my art studio.  Makes me kind of sad, though. Luckily, I had a photo shoot before assigning the gals back to the past. I neglected to do a photo shoot of Yoli’s choices of costume, but just as well, I don’t think her heart was really into “retro.”

Click on first photo to see larger views of photos and to see captions.

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!!!

This is a reblog from a 2014 piece. Since their prompt was “Play,” I’m reblogging it for the Ragtag Daily Prompt.

Sharing Mr. Teddy

 

image from internet                              

Sharing Mr. Teddy 

Caught in baby’s neck creases, clinging to Grandpa’s cuff,
escaped from Mr. Teddy are these little bits of fluff.
These airborne little clumps of fuzz go anywhere they please.
They catch in Daddy’s nose hairs, causing him to sneeze.
They wind up in the pancakes–an artistic swirl of blue.
A few of them are tracked outside under Billy’s shoe.
When he climbs onto the school bus, they go along with him,
and everywhere that Mommy goes, to grocery store or gym,
a piece of Teddy comes along to be left behind
somewhere in the wide wide world, but he doesn’t mind.
He has so many fluffy parts that he can share a few.
And when you come to visit, you can take some home with you!!

The prompt today was fluff.

 

Frannie and the New Toy

I bought Yolanda one of those new (rather expensive) self- wringing mops at Costco.  It is  microfiber and the strings were looped at the end with a twist handle so you could just circulate the handle and the mop would wring itself without having to put your hands on the wet part.  The other day I asked how she liked it and she said it was fine, but she had cut the ends off so it was like her old mop.  Oy vey!!! At any rate, it is just as good a toy for the cats either way.  Here Frannie does a little dance with Yolanda. Usually, she puts them out when she mops, but thought you’d like to see the fun.

(Click on first photo for larger views of all.)

Forgotten Friend: Fun Foto Challenge June 20, 2017

Click on first photo to enlarge all.


I found this much-played-with doll of my youth stuffed into a suitcase at my niece’s house.  She had found it in my sister’s attic.  I thought it had been lost forty years ago when a tornado hit my parent’s house.  Unbeknownst to me, my sister had removed our old toys before the tornado hit. She’s a bit the worst for wear after being played with by two more generations of little girls after me, but her hair, in time’s dreadlocks, looks more up to date than her former perfect curls.

 

For Cee’s Prompt: https://ceenphotography.com/2017/06/20/cees-fun-foto-challenge-teddy-bears-dolls-toys/