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Friday, April 8, 2011

Doll Playing Memories and a StoryBook Cottage (Carmel CA, The Doll's House)

Please click on the illustration above 
to fully enjoy the lovely playtime details

Back in the 1920's, as you may know,Hugh Comstock built a fairy-tale style house in Carmel California, for the collection of  Otsy -Totsys ragdolls that his wife made and sold. Though the house in the illustration above is called, "The Doll's House" it's not that cottage.

Here's a nice blog page by Linda Hartong called "Once Upon a Time" that tells the story of the house that Comstock built for those dolls and named "Hansel". Linda and I might just have been out photographing on the same day! Marilyn and went to Carmel just this last Monday (April 4) to hunt out the famed Carmel storybook cottages. 

The Doll's house is actually yellow, but you know me. I like to use my imagination, like every good doll's player does.

Nothing I loved better as a little girl than to play dolls. I had a lovely well-used collection of Barbies, and two Kens (their main job was to look manly around the house). My mother built me a large freestanding bookcase and fitted out the inside of it with magazine picture windows and doors and Contact paper fireplace (faux brick) and floor (wood grain).

About thirty years later I did the same thing for my daughter, using two free-standing bookcases I'd curbed. We found the same style Contact papers. Together we cutout picture of doors and windows from "Country Living" magazine and other recycled publications. My favorite addition was an L.L. Bean ad for a magazine with a big dog enjoying a rug. That rug graced Barbie's country style entryway for several years. My daughter also enjoyed simply drawing in any missing architectural elements that were missing. 

Do people curb where you live? You put items you're sure somebody will enjoy out at the edge of the house with a big 'free' sign on the them. It's similar to putting things on the freebie page of Craigslist, (but can be rather more exciting from the finders point of view).

When my daughter decided she was done playing dolls, I put the dollhouses on the Craigslist freebies page (less exciting for the finder, a surer thing for me). A parent came by and said they were just the thing for his daughter.

I do my doll playing with my camera and imagination now. But I'm still up for a game of dolls. Stop by and don't forget your Barbies.

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