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Horde [hawrd, hohrd] 1. a large group, multitude, number, etc.; a mass or crowd.
I could just as easily have called this post “The Horde of Happiness,” because that’s what they’ve given me! Usually O.L.D.s (Once-Loved Dolls) arrive at the Hollyhock Hideaway one at a time, sometimes days sometimes months apart! Occasionally, two will arrive at the same time, causing much excitement, so the following story I am about to tell you is rare indeed.
A couple of weeks ago via my Hazel Twigg page on Facebook (please feel free to “Like” it if you haven’t already), a fellow lover of these old dolls sent me a picture and asked me if I recognized either of the two dolls photographed therein. I recognized the one in green instantly. They leave my house, but they never leave my heart! I’d sewn for her many moons ago, before Hazel Twigg was even a blip of a twinkle in my eye.
I sent her this picture:
“That’s her! I think I got her from . . . Magic Elizabeth?” she asked.
“Yes! That was me!” I explained how Magic Elizabeth was the title my favorite book when I was a little girl, and how I liked it so much that I named the main doll in Hazel Twigg & the Hollyhock Hideaway Elizabeth.
Magic Elizabeth was written by Norma Kassirer and illustrated by Beth and Joe Krush (they also illustrated The Borrowers). It’s the story of a little girl named Sally who has to stay with her cranky old aunt in a scary old home. While there, Sally sees a portrait of a little girl from long ago holding the most enchanting doll she has ever seen. She is heartbroken when she learns the doll was lost, and is determined to find her. She sneaks up to the attic to search for clues and finds an old diary and is transported back in time . . .
A little girl, an old house, an attic, and a doll! Those are some of my favorite things! Clearly.
Back to the story of the doll in green. This wonderful woman, who we shall call Diane M. of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, for that is her name, had some also enchanting old dolls that she wanted to have go to good homes to be loved again. So she sent them to me!
Just. Like. That. For nothing. Along with bags and bags of precious old doll clothes and fabric and other treasures. How can I ever thank her? The best thing I can do is to send her a signed soon-to-be-in-print copy of my book (We’re talking SOON. In a couple of days I’ll have the proof copy in my very own hot little hands! More on timing later!). The other thing I can do is vow that I will find these dolls new homes where they will be loved again, along with a good portion of the lovely vintage clothes that came with them – after I study them to learn new things about sewing back in the day. Also, I’m going to enjoy these girls for a little bit. I love them already! But soon the time will come to say goodbye.
So look for these sweet darlings in the weeks and months ahead, as soon as I hear their siren call. Thank you, Diane! I’m a lucky, lucky girl. Thank you to all the generous, wonderful people out there.
O.L.D. schedule: While doing last minute things with the book and with having a slight breakdown with the O.L.D. I was working on, I haven’t had a doll up for adoption for awhile. New plan! I will have one up this Sunday, November 1st. After that, I’m going to start adoptions on Wednesday at 6:33 from now on. Sunday shall once again be a day of rest!
*By the bye, the caption in the gallery photo, “They say happiness,” is a nod to a song from the musical version of Scrooge, starring Albert Finney. I love that movie, and it’s almost time to start watching it again! This is my favorite time of year.