Doll Memories

What are the threads that interweave your life?  Those interests, those activities, those skills that define you as unique.  Those threads have a history.

Dolls are a thread in my life and the subject of several Posts on this blog.  So what are my memories?   Here’s a photo of me at three holding a doll:  

First Doll – the dark haired on the right.

Those are my sisters, older and younger.  Memories about dolls are actually vague at this age. 

Jump to fourth grade.  New neighborhood, new school, I remember having a small troll doll and creating an environment on the playground of sticks and rocks separating rooms, and grass making a bed.  Although I played alone, those are happy, strong memories.  

After that, no memories until after the birth of my daughter almost twenty years later.    I found a beautiful handmade doll in a small shop, a girl in dance shoes with a flowing fuchsia dress and party hat with flowers and fruit on top.  Beautiful! 

Then one day I saw a notice on the library community board: a woman teaching porcelain doll making out of her garage.  I signed up for some classes.  I discovered interest, talent, and patience which drove my efforts for two years.

I have a small doll collection:  several antique dolls, a wooden doll, some cloth dolls, and most recently, the composition-head little doll.  My story “The Letter“, published in the LA Times, is about a little girl who hates dolls until one day…..  (Inspired by real events)

My daughter liked the soft-bodied By-Lo baby I made for her but after that she hated dolls and thought the faces were scary.   There are movies, most recently The Lady in Black, which make dolls creepy and the things of nightmares.   

Opposition: I like dolls and my daughter is creeped by them.   

Maybe I am a character in my own story.  Likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses,  I love to learn, to make things and I like dolls.

About Wings of Wonder

Linda Ruddy is a creative with a diverse range of interests in writing and painting. She currently is revising a middle grade novel, and author and illustrating a picture story book. She is an active member of SCBWI, Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators. Linda has a body of paintings, which form the foundation of her artistic development. This work can be viewed on her website: Her recent illustrations are an outgrowth of the style she developed in these paintings. Another passion is sculpture. Linda often uses her figures as models for her art. Linda's blog is eclectic and journeys wherever her muse guides her attention. Her blog address is: Following the muse, Linda Ruddy
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12 Responses to Doll Memories

  1. robin says:

    Thanks for sharing the journey of your love for dolls, Linda. I remember playing with Barbies. I would have them ride plastic horses, pretending they were me–or I was them! My big love has been for horses.
    I had a Campbell Soup doll when I was young–I think she was ordered through the mail with coupons. She was dressed in full Scottish apparel and was oh so cute.

  2. marilynscottwaters says:

    I went through a big doll making phase in high school, mostly rag dolls but I also made heads in ceramics and painted them. They are curious looking things. I loved sewing the clothes.


  3. tbnranch says:

    The minute I saw the word “troll” I had strong memories. I remember collecting those goofy trolls with the wicked hair that stood straight up in the air. Bright green, purple….. I loved them!

  4. Dolls have always played a role in my life. I’ve been collecting Barbies since I was a kid (I still have several of the dolls I played with) and continue to collect them to this day. When I got my first vintage Barbie I made her a beautiful wardrobe of clothes. She isn’t a valuable doll, but my memories of making her clothes are priceless. 🙂

    • Glad my post brought back fond memories. I have vague memories of Barbie…my sister was more into them then I, but I do remember having one with a travel case. I also cleaned the neighbor’s house and earned a store-bought Barbie dress.

  5. Like you, dolls always played an important part of my life growing up. I remember getting my first Barbie and the first Barbie I bought my daughter. My best friend and I used to sit on our front steps and play with them. My mother used to make doll clothes because we couldn’t really afford the store-bought variety. I had a cardboard fold-out house with cardboard furniture for Barbie, too.

    In addition, my mother used to knit and crochet outfits for baby dolls because my Dad’s company used to hold contests around Christmas time encouraging people to make doll clothes for a particular style of doll and the dolls were then donated to the Christmas Cheer Board to be given to less fortunate families.

    I love the look of some of those old porcelain dolls. It would be fascinating to learn how to make their faces. 🙂

    • It’s taking me a long time to reply…busy week. So glad my post brought back so many memories. What a great idea for the contest to get people involved. Thank you for sharing all your memories.

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