Monday, December 22, 2014

A Doll For Christmas

A week or so ago one of the bloggers I read on a regular basis had a post about taking her young niece to the American Girl Doll Store for tea and to pick out a new doll as her Christmas present. The girl chose a doll which resembled herself.

The post reminded me of a similar gift I gave my granddaughter Alyssa almost two decades ago. I couldn't afford an American Girl Doll but there was a similar line of dolls at that time called The Magic Attic Club. I was pleased that they had a doll that I thought would be perfect for Alyssa because of her looks, name and outfit.

Allison even had her own "The Secret of the Attic" book, a plastic hair brush and a key shaped necklace for Alyssa.

Allison with her brush and the key necklace. Accessory sets for the Magic Attic dolls included hats, back packs and other items that fit their characters - like a soccer ball for Allison.

When I learned that an American Girl Doll tea was planned for the Des Moines area, I got tickets for Alyssa, her mother, Shelly, her aunt (my daughter) Kari and myself.

Aly didn't mind that her doll wasn't an AG, she proudly took her along to the tea. I noted she wasn't the only young lady there with a non AG doll. Obviously she (and we) had a good time!

I think this photo of Alyssa shows why I chose the doll for her that I did:

The jacket, the long blond hair, the mischievous grin. Alyssa has her own real life doll now - one whose grin and personality seem a lot like her Mom's.

Lily's taste in dolls seems to run to Hello Kitty. I wonder if Alyssa stills has Allison and if so, does Lily get to play with her?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Appreciating "Antiques"

♪ ♪ When I was younger so much younger than today.... ♪ ♪ I was 18 when I first married and had my own home to decorate. I was working for $40.00 a week so buying furniture meant I bought everything used. A used bedroom suite purchased from neighbors/friends of my parents when those folks moved to California. A second hand davenport and chair from a local furniture store. A used stove from a hardware/appliance store in Creston and the accompanying refrigerator from neighbors of my in-laws. Oh, yeah, and that orange and chrome dinette set from?? Where? Those same California bound neighbors? I can't remember for sure.

I don't think it is any wonder why I did not like antiques at that point in my life even though antiques were beginning to be sought after by many women in the area. I was buying used by necessity; they were buying used aesthetically. It was several years before I began to appreciate antiques. I got to the point where primitives were my favorite decorating items.

Except for family pieces, I parted with most of my treasures when we sold Mom's farm and had a combined auction of her things and ours. Her possessions with any family connections had been shared out with my brothers and my niece prior to the auction. There remained a magazine stand that I remembered Mom telling me "Dad" had made. Since her Dad was a carpenter, I assumed she meant Grandpa Joe had made it. I decided to keep it for that reason alone.
When I mentioned to my older brother that I would keep it rather than let it be sold at auction because Grandpa had made it, he said, "I thought Dad made that in high school shop class." "No, I said, "Mom told me her Dad made it." But wait, didn't Mom always refer to her father as "Daddy"? Could it be that she was referring to our Dad when she said who made it?

All my childhood this magazine stand sat to the right of the doorway from the kitchen into the living room. Indeed it was always stacked with magazines.
Dad only attended high school for one semester. I didn't think he would be taking a shop class in his freshman year. I even looked on the underside of the shelves to see if his name or Grandpa's name or initials might be scratched into the wood. Nada. Neither.

Then the other day when I was doing a thorough job of dusting I turned the stand over again looking for any indication of its maker. The sun was shining through the window. Was that writing? I tilted the stand for a better look. Lynam was barely visible underneath the shelf. Ron was right - our 'Dad' did make this stand - not Mom's 'Daddy'.
So now, along with Grandma Lynam's dining room table and buffet I wrote about last month, hopefully someone will keep these family pieces in the family when the time comes.

P.S. This little side table also belonged to my Grandmother Bessie. I think it is something her daughter, my Aunt Leona, had and gave to her.

Just so you know where it came from......