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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.

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We have a couple of cute nesting doll families on display in her room.  Some we purchased from street vendors in Manhattan.

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One was actually purchased by a friend visiting Russia – and that’s our  “authentic” Russian doll.

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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.

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We start the process by painting the two families in their family colors.

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AG expertly paints perfect little faces on all 10 dolls, while  I paint the bodies,

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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?)

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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.

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We glue the fabric in a box pleat fashion around their barrel shaped bodies

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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!