Friday, October 12, 2012

A Lifelong Dream Fulfilled: My Acorn Doll

I am ending this acorn week by fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine: making an acorn doll.

I know, I know. It sounds like a ridiculous exaggeration. But it's not.

Here's the story of an acorn doll twenty something years in the making...

You see, growing up our family housed the 1950s set of encyclopedias that my mother had growing up, The World Book Encyclopedia. Which, quite simply put, was AWESOME.

Volume D of the World Book Encyclopedia even accompanied me to college, where it got painty.

Volume D was the coveted book amongst us. I mean, come on! What children of the 80's didn't argue about who got to read the 30+ year old encyclopedia? Answer: all of them, except us, apparently. To my brother, the animal obsessed, it was of interest because it housed the entry (and full color plates) on DOGS.

We mostly loved the fact that the illustrations included our newfoundland, Reina.

For me, it was awesome because of the brightly colored illustrations depicting DRESS throughout all the periods of time...

What nerdy, history, and period-fashion obsessed girl wouldn't just love this?
..but more importantly, for the doll maniac little girl I was, World Book Encyclopedia Volume D was all about the entry on DOLLS.

The dolls entry ran an unprecedented eleven pages. It included all the pertinent information about the history of dolls, types of international dolls, how dolls are made, etc., etc., but my favorite spread was the one about the homemade dolls.

And that's where the acorn dolls come into the picture.

Little doll-obsessed Alicia would read about each type of homemade doll and beg her mom to make some. Yes, we did make the paper dolls, and the stocking doll, but the dolls I really wanted to make were the acorn dolls, at which point my mom would always conveniently suggest, "Why don't we make something else?"

I think it was something about the illustration, how sweet and silly and simple the World Book acorn dolls looked. And that burr oak acorn hair? I totally thought that was awesome (alas, there were never any burr oaks around during my childhood).

Thus, I knew one more answer to the question of, "What can I do with acorns?" Make. Dolls. World Book style!

And so, that's what I did.

And I quickly discovered why my mom always was all, "Let's do something else!"

Because drilling tiny tiny holes into tiny, tiny, tough but fragile little acorns is a full out pain in the butt, not to mention it's dangerous, pokey business!

Somehow, I managed to poke in the little neck, arm, and leg holes(that somehow involved a large upholstery needle and lots and lots of patience and persistence). I abandoned the World Book suggestion to use matchsticks (too thick!), and instead used pipecleaners.

In an effort to keep the pipecleaners  (or as those fancy-pants crafting folk like to call them, "chenille stems") non-mangled, I was had the notion to mount my acorn doll to a stand (does that make it an acorn figurine instead?)

A few bits and bobs of felt and ribbon and buttons later, and ta-daa!  My very own acorn doll!

I think it's super cute. And I have to say it is very satisfying to strike a lifelong crafting desire off the list! An added bonus: I have confirmed that there is something else to do with acorns.

Which gives me an idea that maybe it's time I actually try making that World Book cornstarch doll that I never made...

And who, adorably enough, appears to have an acorn doll of her own. Good for you, cornstarch doll!

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Vixie said...

what a sweet story - and a lovely acorn doll too. can't wait to see the cornstarch doll next!

Sarah said...

This is so cute!

Anonymous said...

i love this whole post. i wish we had a set of encyclopedias. seriously. we have been collecting acorns already in anticipation of making these. thank you for sharing a lovely childhood memory!

Anonymous said...

I had this same set growing up and D was my favorite volume for the dogs and the dresses so I bought that volume a few months ago and put it on my shelf to peek at once a year or so. I am now looking for volume F, there are some flower color plates in that one that I found a childhood drawing of. Neat to know someone else has the same memory from the 80s. lol