Yes, it is here in its glory and has been for a couple weeks. Those peepers; what a din. Love those daffodils; stay awhile. No more wood fires. The furnace is clean and off. All the doors of rooms upstairs are open and Silvio is checking in every one upstairs, remembering all his favorite spots on sills and in baskets, following the sun. Gardening happens to be our favorite activity right now even though I should be indoors and diligently finishing four dolls a week. I'll make it. I always do.
During these winter days in retirement we spend much of our time in the Heritage Room at the back of the house where the wood stove cranks incredible warmth. Another form of warmth is here--our lovely silver cat Silvio, always cozy with the wood box, his girls or us. True coziness is prevalent in all shapes, sizes and colors. Everywhere dolls surround us. They aren't allergic to cats! They don't eat much.
They create no laundry. They don't talk back. On occasion, the Gossip Chair holds two girls, and given the opportunity, they launch into mischief and adventure and make good stories to write and illustrate like the one about Julie and Kimberly. But the truth is these dolls of gold simply give warm pleasure to people of all ages whether they are bed pals or room decorations. Given to the young, these soft loving treasures become friends forever and value of precious things is learned and remembered.
The countdown to finishing the last seven dolls for Christmas was a
marathon but one I won. It is not any different from those busy years in the late 70s and 80s when the living room was full of boxes, bills and dolls to ship. Our own personal Christmas was always contrived (ask our girls) and comical in many ways. Two dolls mailed in one box; zero in another box shipped empty! Ink marks on the forehead of a doll by a member of the household who was not getting a full bedtime story; the reader was falling asleep. Dolls were sometimes slipped into pews at the Christmas Eve service while the girls tried to get home the mile and a sixth with their candle still lit! Was it different?
Curious marketers that we are, Lew and I make time to try to review our web statistics. Our website provider gives us loads of numbers to chew up; it is probably the first act of my morning after the coffee gets brewing. We have had the benefit of Google Analytics for years, beginning with marketing our doll patterns. I even gave my web guy a book on the subject, as he wanted to understand bounce rates, landing pages, and the like. Now we are doing true antics to fix the broken ones.View image
I love to write about my cloth kids, especially when they are doing good work. A dozen working girls and boys just got the golden opportunity -- to be displayed in the new Vermont Welcome Center in Hartford. How did they get the job? They are very popular and have already been chosen by someone, saved in the Promise Room until their owner picks them up. Meanwhile, they just wanted to help. Who is the daisy guy laying down in the bottom right? What is his role?View image
Sometimes it's timing. Sometimes it's luck. Whatever it was, this opportunity was as great as the Bundle brochure itself, and our new matching calico door banners matching the "invitation." Here's the scoop.
Three people are full of joy this October day. Bonnie. Lew. And Silvio.
Maybe even thirty more if you consider those Bundles left behind with Silvio when we headed out to a Vermont craft fair. There were always choices to be made. The totes would only allow for the chosen forty. Silvio cannot believe the empty van and is trying to convince Kitty. "No more craft fairs." Except for our Chester Fall Festival on the Green in September. Why?
If you have a Bundle, you already won! You have great taste. Between
those who appeared in person and those who shared pictures and stories like Arna, Nancy, Bruce, Arlene, Mary Alice and Julie, one percent of 13,000 of our dolls were shared. Now we share with you.
There is so much to share; I've decided to write several blogs about our spectacular September Bundle Doll Reunion, celebrating connections with some of the owners of my 13,000 plus dolls. In preparation for the event, I spent hours in the attic finding pictures and files that could tell the story well - especially on a time line that the weather prevented. But the pictures in journals were certainly more than I dreamed. Tell us more.