The Happy Horde

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Horde [hawrd, hohrd] 1. a large group, multitude, number, etc.; a mass or crowd.

111houseI 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.

Dianes SallyA 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.

magicelizabethcoverMagic 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!

Oh, MY!

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!

indexAnd with that, I leave you! Happy Thursday, you’re my favorite.

*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.

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8 Commentsto The Happy Horde

  1. Jane Agle says:

    What a wonderful story and such a generous gesture! Those a very lucky dolls that found their way to your home. A very special thanks to Diane.

  2. Jane Agle says:

    Yes, and parents who looked very forward to the day you were to join our family. A few years ago we were very busy in anticipation for your arrival on October 29th. Happy birthday, Ruth.

  3. Libby Boyce says:

    Happy birthday, Ruth! The cover of Magic Elizabeth looks so familiar. Is it a Scholastic edition? But wouldn’t you think I’d recall a book with my name in the title more vividly? It must not have made as deep an impression on me as The Lonely Doll by Dare Wright did. I love anything pink gingham to this day! Hope you birthday gals enjoy your special days.

    • Ruth says:

      Yep, it was a Scholastic book! I’ve never read, “The Lonely Doll.” What have I been missing? I’ll have to see if I can find it. I already like pink gingham…

      Thank you, Libby!


  4. Sue Ann says:

    Greetings & HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU RUTH! You are my FAVORITE! What a beautiful group of dolls to a beautiful (inside & out) lady! I have a copy of Dare Wright & a repo of the Lonely doll too! You are a blessing to us all! Doll Hugs, Sue Ann

    • Ruth says:

      Aw Sue Ann, You’re so sweet! I’m gonna have to read this “The Lonely Doll” book, I can tell. And I will! As soon as I finish reading “Misery.” That’ll be a switch in gears!

      Thank you for the birthday wishes. You’re my favorite!