So I’m not quite sure when my fascination with nesting dolls (aka Russian dolls) began, but T started collecting them a few years ago…………not so much because she adores them, but kind of more because I said so.
We have a couple of cute nesting doll families on display in her room. Some we purchased from street vendors in Manhattan.
One was actually purchased by a friend visiting Russia – and that’s our “authentic” Russian doll.
And we have some non-traditional ones as well, like the cute little Hassidic guys,
and then the hen family. FYI, here’s a brief history on the origin on nesting dolls. Ok, never mind… no one really cares about that. Can I just tell you that the traditional nesting doll is wooden and dressed in folkloric Russian babushka garb and is called a matryoshka? (Of course I can, who is going to stop me……this is is a blog, not a two-way conversation). Anyway, while surfing the net for other interesting nesting dolls to add to T’s (my) collection, I came across DIY blank nesting dolls and suddenly I had an epiphany. Why not craft and decorate my own nesting doll! Why not? I’ll tell you why not! Because I’m not that crafty, bohemian, ” lets make things with our hands” momma type. But maybe, just maybe, I could become one. Or at least fake it. For the sake of blog-ism. So I hit “place your order” and wait for the package to arrive. Once the blank wooden nesting dolls arrive, I have all these grand ideas on how to spruce them up. T and I take a trip to our local Walmart and purchase acrylic paints and brushes and fabric for the dolls’ clothes. At a hair supply store, we purchase wefts of hair. Dreaming up grand and creative ideas are my natural born specialty, however actually executing them sometimes proves to be challenging. So I enlist the help of AG, my favorite 12 year old (not so) amateur artist.
We start the process by painting the two families in their family colors.
AG expertly paints perfect little faces on all 10 dolls, while I paint the bodies,
and T paints her hand. Now that the dolls are dry, they are ready to be clothed and “haired”. (Can I dip into my creative license to make up new words?)
We cut the pretty fabric, reminiscent of liberty prints, in the ranging sizes . The red family is throwing a tantrum because they want to wear the turquoise clothes but we pacify them by telling them that monochromatic coloring makes everyone look thinner.
We glue the fabric in a box pleat fashion around their barrel shaped bodies
and glue the wefts of hair into place. The rednecks get bangs and a hair band. The green queens get braids and a head scarf. With the extra fabric, we sew jumpers and head gear for T and her friend H. (I say “we” in plural, but you should read it as “she” , in singular, as in my bud- DG).
T and H are thrilled to be matching their nesting dolls. I guess I am the “crafty, do it yourself type” after -all!