Photos from Oct 28 2014. Written on Jul 23 2015.
I write this with the benefit of hind-sight.
When I first made these dolls for Mona, this is what I wrote on my facebook page:
I think I found my new career.
In Michigan Mona had a chance to play with her cousin’s doll house and enjoyed it, so I have had “make a doll house” on my to-do list for a while now. A week ago Mona and I sat down to draw up the plans, and ran into a snag when we tried to figure out how high to make the ceilings.
Mona doesn’t own any dolls.
So I set out to make her a doll, checking out lots of wooden doll pics on the web, and trying to copy them with failure every single time. Today I just gave up and screwed some rectangular arms and legs to a square block and…. Mona loved it. “Wow!” She says. “This is really good! This one is a girl and I want you to make me a boy doll!”
I have a few glitches to work out before I start selling them (like one has a sharp nail sticking out of it that would require a duct tape covering to pass the child safety inspections)
It is now July 23, 2015. Mona has played with these dolls much more than I expected, but not as much as I would have liked. To be fair, it is not her fault. There are constantly new toys and distractions coming into her life. People (myself included) giving her gifts, or me coming up with a new project, and no possible way that she can do all the new things – ride a bike, play in the field, catch bugs for the chicks, draw, paint, learn to play the uke, etc. and still have time to play with these dolls.
I did make a doll house for her, and we have spent some nice nights on the yet-to-be completed home improvements, much like our own real life house that never seems to be completed. We have made furniture, painted windows and cut out scenery to paste into the windows from magazines. We have made stairs (that promptly fell apart) and have done surgery to re-attach the wood-dog’s leg several times.
In general, I was very pleased with the reaction I got from these dolls – especially considering that I thought making them would be the main event. In reality, she actually was very proud of them and showed them off to visitors to the house.
Now that we have moved to Nagoya, I am not sure where they are. Maybe packed away in a box somewhere. Maybe they will be pulled out before she is too old to enjoy them, or maybe she will spend her time riding the bike (as we did today) or maybe playing soccer (as is planned for next weekend) or maybe just wasting all her play time by eating dinner so slowly that there is no time for anything else, as she does every night.