Annabelle after 3 years of love.
My middle and youngest daughter still play quite heavily with their handmade toys. My oldest sleeps with a few, and uses her dolls primarily for sewing doll clothes. But between the younger two, their collection of toys moves back and forth, from beds, bedrooms, the living room, to Grandma's house, etc. These toys travel.
I sometimes sigh when I pick a handmade doll off the floor, or find one crammed at the bottom of the bed, and take a closer look at their signs of
wear love. But then I remind myself - this is why I make them.
So I quickly pat their hair back into place and tuck the doll back into their bed, doll bed, or trunk.
Gumdrop after 7 months of love.
Sometimes I know beforehand that the yarn I choose for hair won't hold up very well over time. Other times, it's just trial-and-error. I knew that the yarn I used for Annabelle (Blue Sky Alpaca) was going to be fuzzy. I was ok with that. And i had no doubt that Gumdrop's hair was doomed :).
Gumdrop's hair after a few "scrunches"
Still, my youngest thinks Gumdrop looks perfect (big advantage of making things for little ones), so I just scrunch Gumdrop's ponytails and put her back on my daughter's bed.
Rose Doll after 4 years of love.
Yarn choice is important when considering signs of
wear love. I think wool ultimately holds up well. But, unless a doll just sits on the shelf, even the best wool yarn will show signs of love over time. My middle daughter sleeps next to her Rose Doll every night. The top of the doll's head is a bit fuzzy now, but her ponytails look great, all things consdered. I feel like I could "clean-up" Rose Doll's head a bit if I wanted. Hmmm...I wonder if a sweater shaver would work? But then again...why? Toys are meant to be loved.
Mohair, pictured below, holds up, too.
(Floppy) Poppy after 4+ years of love.
Still, floppy necks will happen over time.
Along with other signs of love.
Sometimes, these signs can be cleaned up...
Bunting Doll after almost 8 years of love.
Sometimes this "love" is hard to remove. That's eyeliner on the Bunting Doll above. I tried to remove it years ago. Nowadays, it reminds me how much my middle daughter liked to "explore" the vanity/bath area at our old home. I remember the day that I found my daughter perched precariously on a chair (she was about 1 1/2 ), coloring on this doll. Seems like yesterday.
I'll spare you a photo of the handmade doll that fell victim to a stomach virus...as in, my middle daughter got sick in bed...and the doll was next to her. :(
That doll ended up being scrubbed and eventually put in the washing machine...and she's still stained. I knit her a turtleneck sweater which mostly covers the stains. Mostly.
Sigh. Poor kid and poor doll.
Kit, Chloe, Louise Doll after 4+ years of love.
In a few cases, I plan to "do something" to these loved dolls and toys. Like the doll's leg pictured above. That's silly putty (?!?). Why was silly putty in my daughter's bed? I don't know. But in this case, I plan to replace the leg at some point. Easy enough.
For the most part, however, I'll leave the "love" alone.
When the toys I make my kids start getting dusty sitting on the shelf...when I stop picking them up off the floor and seeing new signs of love...I'll know it's time for me to re-evaluate making additional toys for my girls.
But for now, these toys are loved.