Day 3: The Fun of Marking Milestones


Woooooo-hoooooo!

I bought this lot of dolls on Ebay yesterday.

Those of you who know antique dolls will know why I bought this mixed lot of dolls yesterday.  See the doll on the right?  That's an Izannah Walker doll, made in the mid 19th century.  

I've been studying them and writing about them for over 5 years now.   I wrote an article along with Edyth O'Neill for Early American Life about Izannah Walker dolls.  They are perfect examples of three dimensional folk art. 

I turned 50 this year.  I usually buy a piece of art to mark birthdays.  This year I asked Maureen White to make me a metal embossed Tree of Life Painting to mark the milestone that said, "A longing fulfilled is a tree of life."   But since this was a BIG birthday, my husband told me to buy an Izannah Walker doll.   This is a stretch for us.  

Some of you are wondering why I would buy a doll missing limbs and with the amount of issues.  This doll has stories to tell about the construction of Izannah Walker dolls precisely because of the wear and tear she's seen.   I want her because she hasn't been repainted. 

Buying this doll is like going to Izannah University for me.  It's part of my FOCUS of study. She's the culmination of 5 years of study.  But will begin another few years of FOCUS for me.  I'm thinking of ways to give her limbs without changing her in any way.  So I'm designing prosthetics in my dreams now.  ;-) 

Woooooo-hoooooo!



27 comments:

  1. I think you made the perfect birthday choice ... they all are beautiful to me, too! Lucky girl, Dix ♥

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  2. A huge congratulations Dixie. I can't think of anyone that could give this doll more love and appreciation than you will. As they say "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and I think she is beautiful and oh what stories she has hidden inside. Have fun with your beautiful gift! :~)

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  3. Hi, Judi - thanks so much. I am excited. I want to document her very very well, as I can. :-) She will likely be fragile.

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  4. Congratulations and Happy Birthday!

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  5. That's fantastic, Dixie! Have a wonderful time studying her and be sure to share what you learn with us along the way. Happy birthday too. ;-)
    Nancy

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    1. Thanks, Nancy. Yes, I'll share what I learn as I always try to do. :-)

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  6. Congratulations, Dixie! I'm sure you will do her justice however you use her. WHat a wonderful birthday gift!

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  7. They are all beautiful dolls and I'm certain would all love a little tender loving care! I'm envisioning them 'new', the first moments of being taken out of a brown paper wrapping tied up in string with great care and "ooh's and aah's!" into the loving arms of their new little owners, on a special birthday or from under the Christmas tree...or menorah!

    Congratulations, such a very special and extra meaningful milestone birthday present!

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    1. Thanks, Robin. I know you know what this means. It's a stretch for our budget for sure. My hubby is a good one!

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  8. Dixie, I'm so excited for you, this IS a special birthday for you, and I never thought I'd see the day you had your own IW. They just don't come up that often. I am so happy for you, she's beautiful and yes the stories...Happy Birthday Dixie with a big hug to you.

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    1. Thanks, Patty! I was wondering if I would ever see the day either. :-) I bid on a doll back in 2010, but she went to another lady with the last bid.

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  9. Dixie, you needed this little beauty and she needed you...so happy for you! Enjoy your studies at Izannah University...no doubt, you will be at the top of the class! Congratulations and Happy Birthday!

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    1. Thanks so much, Mary. I do hope to learn a lot. I am looking forward to it.

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  10. Happy Birthday and I'm so glad you got this doll. I know how much you wanted one. She is untouched and except for the damage just as Izannah made her, I know you will treasure her. I know you are on cloud 9. I would be.

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    1. Martha - yes I AM on cloud 9. :-) Thanks for your good wishes. :-)

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  11. Dixie,

    I love this post. I love how you see straight through to the true, raw beauty. Thank you for sharing how an artist sees the world. And? Happy birthday!

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  12. Aw! Thanks, Nester. This old doll has really been the FOCUS of my own explorations. It will be so great to see her in person.

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  13. Oh my gosh Dixie! Im so happy for you! It must be a dream come true- how wonderful! Yaaayyyy!!!!

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    1. Aw, thanks, Annie. Yes, it will be a dream come true when I open that box. :-) I might even videotape it. ;-)

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  14. Dixie, have you ever given thought about how proud Izzannah Walker would be of you, for being such a dilligent and attentive student, if she were alive today? So many of these early doll makers had humble wishes - to bring love and pleasure to a small child. Most never gave a thought to being remembered and appreciated, as they are today.

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    1. Wow, acorniv, what a nice thought! I would love to sit down with Izannah and have a conversation and ask her all kinds of things.

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"Do not let what you cannot do
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