Truer words have never been said my dear friends. It has been quite a while but Doortje finally decided to be brave and find a family of her very own. Please read on to see what she is all about.
"Pretty you are", I say to Doortje every morning. And how could you not? I try not to inflate the dolls' egos by telling them how truly precious they are to me, I nod and accept their suggestions (always putting up a fight so they don't get away with murder!), I smile a lot in their presence, I am agreeable. But I never really compliment them, at least not to their face, and never on their appearance. We like to say things about their character, their achievements, or the ideas they offer. But we leave the superficial things to the way side. Such bright things they are, I'm pretty sure they know it.
But with Doortje we have let the old guard down. She has stirred feelings, she has gotten away with things I would normally prohibit, she is in one word: delightful. Or should I say mischievous? Nah. She doesn't have one nasty bone in her body (wooly bone that would be!) and everything she does get away with, she does it without really knowing how. She's so little, the precious muffin!.
Doortje comes from the meadows and moors. A milking maid is a so-very-close-to-her-heart profession. Why you ask? being around cows all day? smelling hay and inside an ancient barn? Just her cup of tea, she says. Doesn't matter if the barn is drafty, the cow is moody, the flies abound, and the milking pail gets heavy with white gold. She is eager to learn and ready to pounce, like the kittens that were born a few weeks ago and are already learning tricks from their elders. Doortje gets up, dons her linen scarf (made from an old, thick curtain that Grandma wove by hand a century ago), puts her shoes on and goes to milk the cow. We try not to tell her that the cow has no milk, because she is so enthusiastic, who could deny her?.
I should mention that Doortje might be so inclined to the milking profession due to her addiction to butter. Plumpish pies and flaky scones, she adores them all because of butter. She loves the colour, the texture, the smell and above all, the flavour. When in need, she adds butter. Her toast must always have an extra dollop, and her porridge needs a healthy dose of the yellow substance or she won't eat it. She looks at it with a glassy haze, inhales deeply and smiles. Ah! the comforts of your childhood foods.
Aside milking a cow, or dwelling in mounds of butter, Doortje has other aspirations. For one, she wants to learn to make her favourite cookies: snappy gingerbread. Not to make a house, she considers said buildings a true nuisance. Glaring at you with sweet turrets and boiled candy window panes, all for the pleasure of taunting you. No, she loves gingerbread cookies because they are more simple and you can eat several without even noticing. Must be the size of the gingerbreads I say, because the ones I make are so big you can barely carry one with both arms and it would take you a whole day to chomp your way around, deep enough to get to the middle. "Can you dunk them?" asks Doortje with a mesmerized look and wonder in her eyes. "Dunk them! well I never heard such a thing! Dunk them you say, such nerve. No, gingerbreads are not for dunking little miss, they are to be eaten quickly before mother or grandma notice how many more are missing, preferably behind a curtain or under a table. Yes I say, under a table is where they taste best. As you see the flour falls down to the floor, the wafts of ginger and the warmth of the oven get to you, and you can pretend the flour is snow that is covering everything outside. That's how they taste best of all, I tell her.
Doortje takes notes, she does. She promptly lifts the checkerboard table cloth on the look out for gingerbread crumbs. Not a chance I tell her, with two dogs and a cat in here, is a wonder we are all still eating three meals a day. That lot is going to run us out into the streets. Then she checks the cookie jar, to no avail. With one last hope in her eager eyes, she wanders towards the oven and when she sees the light on, her eyes sparkle. "You are making gingerbread again! You are making it all for me, aren't you?". Yes my dear, I say. But not all for you, we have to prep baskets for the neighbours, a hungrier bunch you've never seen. And then there is the tree, we have to dress the tree. Poor naked thing, all green and bare, we must do our share.
With a bit of reluctance, Doortje agrees to share her favourite cookies with the tree. Under the assumption that she might steal one or two when hunger strikes. I accept. We go into the kitchen to check for those blessed cookies and we sit at the table, pouring food colouring, bits of smashed candy cane and a licorice wand or two. You will find us with a piping bag in hand and a crazy smile. 'Tis the season!.
I hope you like these little tidbits about Doortje's personality. She is a little doll child and therefore very innocent and full of wonder. She has washed her hair carefully and painstakingly taking all the knots out from playing outside. She washed her socks and dried them by the woodstove. She has a clean pair of underpants and two outfits to come home with.
Doortje is looking for a family, a child or a mother, that can make her alive with stories and love. She hopes there is a love of baking in the family, and she wouldn't say no to felt food. Not ever. She plays nice and takes turns. Never chews on her crayons. Drinks two glasses of milk before bed and likes to take care of puppies and kittens alike. Doortje loves to fold clothes, sort out socks, carry baskets of kindling, and milk cows. She doesn't know how to ride a bike, swim or go up to the highest part of the old oak tree. We hope you can teach her these very skills. She had a pet mouse once but the poor thing died, so we are very hush-hush about pets. Lest we bring up old memories.
Doortje is a doll made with my Figlette pattern, of the 18" tall variety. She is made with european cotton and stuffed very firmly with carded wool. Her face sculpting is done with needle-felting techniques and her eyes are embroidered. Her hair is a very long, soft and curly, camel weft, sewn to a wool cap. It can be styled, washed, iron and played with extensively.
Doortje comes with two outfits, all made by me. Her day to day outfit consists of a cotton top, with front bib and flounce all around, long sleeves and two buttons. A baby-whale corduroy pink skirt with gold dots and elastic waist. Repurposed merino socks. Wool crochet maryjanes with wooden buttons. Jersey underwear. Linen short scarf. Precious bonnet, made using quilted fabric and lined.
Her fancy outfit for the coming holidays, consists of a medium-thickness cotton dress, with very long skirt and long sleeves, cotton ribbing on the collar and adorned with buttons. A merino crown. One exceptionally puffy circular collar, made with luscious italian alpaca/mohair fabric and lined with wool plaid. The ties are made of mini ric-rac and end on two fabulous black wool felt beads.
All of Doortje's clothes can be gently handwashed and laid flat to dry. Her care instructions are emailed to you once she commences her journey towards your home.
Doortje will sit here patiently with me, we will bake cookies and start dressing the tree. We will make popcorn garlands and maybe a few mistletoe kissing balls. She will have her bags ready, and please don't tell her but I am going to sneak a cookie in her valise.
DOORTJE FOUND A HOME ON SUNDAY DECEMBER 11TH. She is so excited to move to a real farm, where snow abounds and there are kittens at her feet. Thank you kindly to everybody that offered her a home. Your kind words not only warm my heart, but they keep the fire in my dollmaking hands going. I hope one day I can return to each of you the kindness you bestow on me.