My favourite toy when I was little was a Cinderella raggy doll. There was nothing whatsoever Disney-ish about my Cinderella – she was an ‘upsidedown’ doll with a beautiful posh frock and ‘up hair’ for being at the ball in and when you pulled up her skirt over her head she had a brown raggy dress, a whole other head and scraggy hair underneath – a reversible dolly. I naturally preferred her scraggy side with the patches on her dress – I think I identified with that side of her and found her a much more suitable play mate for being outside in mud. Cinderella, along with a particularly freaky plastic monkey, were the main characters of my childhood games (along with Fred who is sitting here in my nursery post).
When Holly was born I looked for a long time for the right sort of dolly for her. I wanted one that had a good arm she could dangle her by as they played and had wooly hair… but everything was a little too Disney for my liking… until I one day found another reversible one which I thought would do perfectly. Holly doesn’t drag this doll around the garden much but she does do her hair and sleep with her as one of her special 3 every single night… and the best bit is that she doesn’t have a normal name ‘as such’ because Holly calls her “True Doll”. I must have explained the concept well when she arrived.
Now the search is on for the perfect dolly for Niema. There is a space saved on the nursery shelf ready for a rag doll that will be the perfect little companion for my little girlie as she learns to play and explore. I am particularly fussy about the aesthetics of children’s toys and illustrations and so many of the loveliest shops for children’s equipment and clothing have dolly’s that just have a touch of the ‘cabbage patch kid’ about them. Call me snobby but I’d like a friend with the ‘right’ kind of character for MY little girl to play with… not a boring vacant little thing. Thank goodness for Etsy.
Trawling through pages of creative mayhem I have come across some incredibly freaky looking inventions. I don’t think my baby needs a goth doll in fishnets, or one with a huge body and a tiny head, or a mashed up face, or a posh hat and a snooty face. Holly and I have sifted through and finally narrowed it down to a few contenders and now must decide which we deem to be the most suitable friend for the newborn we are just starting to get to know. Huge dilemma is whether she needs a friend who will look like her or who looks completely different?!!! I’d be surprised if she ended up having hair as red as a couple of these but they are some of the top of the faves list! Here are some of the shortlisted candidates…
I love too many of these and simply can’t decide between the dark hair, red hair, blonde hair or the up hair… from https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AnettGujdar
A choice of gorgeous friends to choose but they look such good friends it would be mean to separate them https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JessQuinnSmallArt?ref=l2-shopheader-name
MendbyRubyGrace has a stunning selection of dolls in every hair colour going. Possibly more suitable for an older friend just because they are a bit cool and because you can even save up and buy her cute pets and dolls of their own too. Love this San Fransisco Hippy doll though for my girlie just because it looks most like how I’ll imagine her to look when she’s bigger (ie. my older daughter) Brown hair with blonde bits and most suited to being outside in a big field in muddy clothes, welly boots and, of course, flowers in her hair. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/MendbyRubyGrace?ref=l2-shopheader-name
And then these… How amazing are these eyes?! Again, I don’t know which of these gorgeous little characters I love more… but each seems completely ready to set off for some pretty exciting and mysterious adventures! https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/MyDollyishere?ref=l2-shopheader-name
And although I am put off these dolls a bit for their lack of mouth I am quite besotted with their dresses, cute shoes and fluffy hair! https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Katedolls?ref=l2-shopheader-name
Am I sure she doesn’t need all 15?