Aging is beautiful and gray hair is not only beautiful, but something to be proud of. After all you've earned all those gray or white hairs. Stand up and say, "I'm gray and proud of it!" Better yet, "I'm a senior citizen and PROUD of it!" This blog is in honor of all the aging, graying, baby boomer, senior citizens, Grandmothers, Nana's, Grandma's and Grannies out there. If you're young and gray-haired or white-haired this blog is for you, too.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Reflections On Age



I think I'm mellowing with age. Either that or I've become much more philosophical in my old age. Now, I'm not really old by any "senior" standards - especially my Mother's and her friends, some of which are 90 and older. But, I officially became a "senior citizen" when I turned 55 this this year.

There was a time when I thought that was really "old!" YIKES!! That was during my youth when I was invincible - nothing could touch me and I had all the time in the world.

Now, time flies by faster than I would ever like it to. In fact, I was thinking about this the other day when I was watching a documentary on the Kennedy assassination, the Martin Luther King assassination, the Bobby Kennedy assassination, and the turbulence of the late 60's and early 70's.

It suddenly dawned on me that I had graduated back in 1971 which is 38 years ago. I'm amazed that it has been that long. Where did the time go? Looking back I know that I was involved with living my life during those 38 years, but what exactly had I done during those last 38 years? Sure, there are lots and lots of things to be proud of, things I accomplished, skills I'd learned, countries I'd visited, jobs I'd had, etc. There were also a lot of people who have come into and out of my life during that time. Some I loved deeply and cherished who are no longer with me - but, whom I'd love to just have one more minute with.

But, I'd be hard pressed to sit down and relay everything to you. I just can't remember everything. I'd like to remember without referencing anything. Fortunately, I'm a pack hound! LOL LOL I keep or have kept everything.

To remember everything that happened during those 38 years or since I was a little girl I'd have to turn to the memory books that I've been keeping since I was 10 or so. I'd have to look back on some of the old family pictures. I'd have to look back to all the old greeting cards I've been keeping since I was about 6 or so.

I'd have to re-read some of my old correspondence and look at all the Christmas cards I'd received over the years. I'd even have to re-read some of my old school papers, theme papers, projects, reports and test answers to see what I may or may not have been thinking at some point in time. Yes - I actually did keep all of them since the 6TH or 7Th grade.

I kept everything and, when I have time - which is almost NEVER I like to flip through some of the boxes. Sometimes such wonderful memories are brought back to me when I do. Something I may have forgotten. Someone I may have forgotten.

Part of me would love to have 55 years again and part of me just LOVES being a "senior" citizen. I'm proud of myself and my accomplishments. I'm in the happiest period of my life and, truthfully, would not like to be a teenager or twenty-something individual again. I know who I am, what I've accomplished, and where I'm going.

I'm a product of the baby boomer generation and women's movement and proud of all that we have accomplished. I cherish it all as I know all to well how hard it was back then and how far we have come. I have plenty of stories to tell - some of which I'll write about some day - some of which I won't.

However, I have a long time yet to go by "senior" standards and would LOVE to live to be 100 years old. I hope I do. I've still got a LOT of challenges ahead of me. So many things yet to do - yet, so little time!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Should I Dig Up The Time Capsule?


I'm going to date myself by telling you this story as it's a story about when I was in the 6Th grade which is some 44 years ago.

Now you might be wondering why I relating a story that is so old. You see, it has to do with something we did when I was in the 6Th grade. And, it has to do with the question, "Should I Dig Up The Time Capsule?"

For those of you who are from the baby boomer generation or before you know what a time capsule is. For those of you who don't - let me explain. Back then time capsules were all the rage with teachers and students. You would take a large metal box or tin can and fill it with all sorts of material items, papers, etc. - anything relating to you and your culture. Then you would bury it outside in the hopes that someone in the future would find it.

Well, my 6Th grade class buried a time capsule back in 1965. Back then my 6Th grade class was housed in an old four room schoolhouse and the time capsule was buried in the back right hand corner of the schoolhouse next to the foundation. We buried it about 3 feet deep - I think.

I can't remember whether it was a box or a several coffee cans that we buried. It may even have been the size of the box above - just not as old as that one is. I just can't remember. In any event, I don't remember exactly what we put in it - but, can remember standing outside with the rest of the class while we buried it. I can remember the teacher saying that we were all charged with opening up the time capsule some time way in the future. Whoever was still around. It's coming up on 45 years since we buried it. I'd love to dig it up and find out what we put in it.

The image above is from an article on the Ozaukee Country website and is about a 100 year old time capsule they found hidden within the cornerstone of the County Courthouse .

According to their website, "The time capsule contained newspapers, paper documents from organizations and churches, business cards, 1901 stamps and coins, a small metal plaque memorializing the contractors Wurthmann and Vollmar, commemorative ribbons from the cornerstone celebration, four historic photographs, an original copy of Becker’s poem, speeches from the ceremony, and the script for the laying of the cornerstone ceremony. All these items appropriately reflect the people and the culture of Ozaukee County 1901."

I'm not even sure the old four room schoolhouse is still standing or whether or not the time capsule has already been discovered. I hope it hasn't been lost. If the schoolhouse is still standing do you think I should dig up the time capsule? Or, leave it for another 45 years or even 55 years years until it's 100 years old?

Friday, October 30, 2009

So Many Exciting Things Going On At The Gray Is Beautiful Gallery!


This Fall has been an exciting season for the "Gray Is Beautiful" gallery as the "grays" decided it was about time that they had some new products and graphics to showcase the original gray images and the new "grays." In fact, they pretty much demanded that I do so.

And, of course, since I always try to keep peace in "The Dollie Storage Room" I decided that they were right. It had been a really long time since I'd created anything new for the "Gray Is Beautiful" gallery and there were new grays. But, it wouldn't be fair to just create graphics for the new dolls - I had to create graphics for the old "grays" who had been waiting so patiently since Helena got hers. And - that was a long time ago. So, create I did.

The first thing I did was to create a new banner and button ad. It seemed like it was time for a new one considering all the new grays that had been added during the past year. There are 14 dolls in the "Gray Is Beautiful" collection now and all 14 now have their very own graphics and products.

But, not only do all the "grays" have their own design lines now - there are 33 categories now each with their own product lines. And, within each of the categories there may be 3 or 4 different graphic designs to choose from. In total, we have 863 products in our "Gray Is Beautiful" gallery now. There's a LOT to choose from that's for sure.

We're going to be telling you about the different graphics, categories and products over the next few weeks on our Gray Is Beautiful Blog so please stay tuned for a wonderful adventure. The "grays" thoroughly enjoyed themselves designing their graphics and products and hope you enjoy them as much as they enjoyed making them.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The NEW Grays - Devin A Bunny Gentleman


"Laura, The Quintessential Lady Bunny!" was pacing around the house and couldn't wait for her husband, "Devin, A Bunny Gentleman", to get home. He was working late tonight and wouldn't be home for a few hours. Laura wasn't sure she could wait that long.

You see, she was quite beside herself. She just couldn't understand what they hadn't received their invitation to join the "Victorian Animals Tea Society" that was started by "Bearly Victorian, Ryan" and his wife, "Bearly Victorian, Deb!" for all their wonderful Victorian animal friends.

After getting rejected for the umpteenth time from the latest Victorian tea society that he had applied to "Barely Victorian, Ryan!" decided that he and his wife should start their own club.

Their club would truly have an open membership and be accepting of all individuals and creatures. None of this "open to all", but really closed to animals rules. So what if Ryan and Deb were bears. They were still Victorian to the core. In fact, their lineage was probably older than some of the snooty Victorians who turned down their membership application.

Laura and Devin were not only "animals, but "old money" animals which meant they were the creme de la creme of the Victorian animal establishment. They were definitely eligible to join the "Victorian Animals Tea Society." So, why hadn't they received an invitation yet?

"Devin, A Bunny Gentleman!" is an 18" Victorian bunny gentleman. He is a self standing bunny doll with a square bottom and warm & natural body. His face is embroidered and his cheeks are blushed. The outline of his mouth is embroidered with a back stitch and his nose is satin stitch embroidered with pink floss. The inside of his mouth is colored pink. The outline of his eyes is back stitch embroidered with black floss and satin stitched with black floss while his iris are colored brown. His eyelashes are straight stitch embroidered with black floss. His eyebrows and long mustache are both made of raw mohair. He has whiskers on both sides of his cheeks.

Devin's beautifully tailored outfit is the latest in Victorian gentleman's wear. His shirt is finished and gathered at the neck edge and his lined vest matches his jacket. He has a lace trimmed ascot wrapped around his neck which is overlapped in the front and tied with a DMC bow.

His jacket is lined and has front pockets and a collar with lapels. His sleeves are cuffed and the edges of his lined jacket are top stitched. His jacket is fastened in the front with two large buttons and DMC floss.

He has beautiful straight white mohair hair that is barely controlled underneath his lined, brimmed, and pointed hat. He has wired warm and natural ears with fabric inner ears that are sticking out through the slits in his hat. There is a separate band around the brim of his hat with feather decorations.

"Devin, A Bunny Gentleman!" knows that when he gets home he will have wonderful news for his wife. You see, he has the invitation to the "Victorian Animals Tea Society" in his pocket. It was hand delivered by "Bearly Victorian, Ryan" himself.

Devin wasn't surprised by the invitation. Despite his 70+ years he is still the creme de la creme of society and fully expected to receive a personal invitation. Just wait until Laura hears. She'll be thrilled.


The NEW Grays - Laura The Quintessential Bunny


"Laura, The Quintessential Lady Bunny!" was pacing around the house and couldn't wait for her husband, "Devin, A Bunny Gentleman", to get home.

You see, she was quite beside herself. She just couldn't understand what they hadn't received their invitation to join the "Victorian Animals Tea Society" that was started by "Bearly Victorian, Ryan" and his wife, "Bearly Victorian, Deb!" for all their wonderful Victorian animal friends.

After getting rejected for the umpteenth time from the latest Victorian tea society that he had applied to "Barely Victorian, Ryan!" decided that he and his wife should start their own club.

Their club would truly have an open membership and be accepting of all individuals and creatures. None of this "open to all", but really closed to animals rules. So what if Ryan and Deb were bears. They were still Victorian to the core. In fact, their lineage was probably older than some of the snooty Victorians who turned down their membership application.

Laura and Devin were not only "animals, but "old money" animals which meant they were the creme de la creme of the Victorian animal establishment. They were definitely eligible to join the "Victorian Animals Tea Society." So, why hadn't they received an invitation yet?

"Laura, The Quintessential Lady Bunny!" is a 17" Victorian bunny. She is a self standing bunny doll with a square bottom and warm & natural body. Her face is embroidered and her cheeks are blushed. The outline of her mouth is embroidered with a back stitch and nose is satin stitch embroidered with pink floss. The inside of her mouth is colored pink. The outline of her eyes is back stitch embroidered with black floss and the pupils of her eyes are satin stitched with black floss while her iris are colored brown. The outline of her eyebrows is back stitch embroidered with black floss and her eyebrows are colored gray. She has whiskers on both sides of her cheeks.

Deb has a layer of wonderful lace trim along the bottom of her square body and is wearing a double lace trimmed and gathered slip. Her beautiful coordinating ensemble is the latest in Victorian fashion.

Her dress is gathered at the waistline and along the neck edge. The sleeves are cuffed and are gathered at the shoulders and halfway up the cuff edge. Her dress has has multiple layers of multi-colored and gathered lace trim along the bottom hem edge and along the waistline. She has a matching ascot with several layers of lace trim that is wrapped around her neck, overlapped int he front, and secured with a DMC floss bow.

She has beautifully curly white mohair hair that is barely controlled underneath her frilly, lace trimmed and gathered bonnet which is tied to the right side of her head in a bow. She has wired warm and natural ears with fabric inner ears that are sticking out through the slits in her bonnet..

Her matching shawl is lined, has multiple layers of lace trim along the edges, and is wrapped around her shoulders and tied in a knot in the front. She is carrying a frilly, multi-layered lace trim wicker umbrella with a large silk floral decoration.

"Laura, The Quintessential Lady Bunny!" is quite the epitome of a fashionable lady of society and has been for a very long time. Despite her 70+ years she is still the creme de la creme of society. So, where is her invitation? When will her husband get home?

The NEW Grays - Doug The Handy Dandy Gentleman


"Petronella, The Birdhouse Lady!" is very concerned about her bird friends and their survival over the long, cold winter months.

In fact she is so concerned she asked her husband, "Doug, The Handy Dandy Gentleman!" to make her several birdhouses that she could put in the yarn to help her feathered friends.

The problem is that Petronella doesn't want just any birdhouses. She wants fancy Victorian birdhouses, with style and class. Lots of details and intricate molding.

Doug, on the other hand, doesn't want to invest so much time in making birdhouses that are just going to be destroyed by Petronella's fine feathered friends. He doesn't want to make them, but he loves to please Petronella.

"Doug, The Handy Dandy Gentleman!" is a 13" squared bottomed self-standing Victorian snowman warm & natural cloth doll. He has an embroidered face with black bead eyes, resin carrot nose, outline embroidered mouth, and blushed cheeks. He also sports a cute wool fleece mustache.

Doug a full head of straight white mohair hair that is barely controlled under his lined felt top hat.

He is wearing his favorite felt jacket with white piping along all the edges, a left side breast pocket, and two front pockets. His jacket is secured in the front with three buttons and two large fringed scarves are tied around his neck and then in a knot in the front.

He also has two felt earmuffs over his ears to keep him warm and being the gentleman that he is he's carrying a handkerchief in his breast pocket. = He just never knows when his wife, Petronella, will need it.

"Doug, The Handy Dandy Gentleman!" knows how much Petronella's fine feathered friends mean to her and has no problem making them birdhouses. It's just that to have to make finely crafted and delicately featured Victorian birdhouses for "the birds" is really going overboard.



The NEW Grays - Sweetheart Faith


"Sweetheart Faith!" is just the sweetest snow-lady you'd ever want to meet. She just loves her life, loves being outside, and especially loves being in the garden.

Even though she's been growing flowers for decades she's still amazed by their beauty. There isn't a flower or plant that she can't identify or any flower or plant that she can't nurse back to health.

She has quite the "green thumb" for a snow-lady and is the envy of all the "ladies" in her Victorian gardening club. If you've got a gardening question - ask "Sweetheart Faith!"

Got a sick plant - give it to "Sweetheart Faith!" Need help designing your Victorian garden - ask "Sweetheart Faith!" Need a floral arrangement for a special occasion - ask "Sweetheart Faith!" to help you. Anything and everything floral - ask "Sweetheart Faith!"

"Sweetheart Faith!" is a 14" squared bottomed self-standing Victorian snow-lady warm & natural cloth doll. She has an embroidered face with black bead eyes, resin carrot nose, outline embroidered mouth, and blushed cheeks.

She has a full head of straight gray mohair hair that is barely controlled under her lace trimmed and gathered bonnet.

She is wearing a scalloped eyelet lace slip that is gathered at the waist. Her sleeveless dress is lace trimmed on the bottom and gathered at the neck.

She has a felt jacket with top stitching along all the edges and lace trimmed front pockets. Her jacket is secured in the front with a button and two large fringed scarves are tied around her neck and then in a knot in the front.

"Sweetheart Faith!" has such a "green thumb" that she's won the award for the best grown orchids five years in a row. Plus, she's won the award for the best variegated violets three years in a row. "Sweetheart Faith!" certainly knows her flowers and plants.


Saturday, February 28, 2009

The NEW Grays - Rebecca



I love "faceless" dolls as I believe that without their faces the doll's personality can speak for itself. You tend to look at the whole doll for her beauty versus just looking at her face.

There is a quiet beauty to "faceless" dolls and "Rebecca" is one of those quiet beauties. She is new doll from our "faceless" colonial boys & girls series.

She and her two friends, "Ursula At Play" and Ursula's brother, "Zacheus At Play!" are a tight knit group of boys and girls. They are all "faceless" colonial beauties who just love hanging out together. Rebecca is the most dignified of the group and the most studious.

Ursula and Zacheus are much more playful and love to tease each other as only "brothers & sisters" can. They pay attention to their studies, but when their done - well, they just love to play.

Whether it's the gentleness that surrounds her, the colors of her outfit, the way her hair is fashioned, or her intricate beauty Rebeca is a beautiful Colonial doll.

"Rebecca" is a 12" Colonial "faceless" cloth doll with muslin body and blushed cheeks . Her boots are painted black and cross-laced. Rebecca has a mass of curly gray yarn hair all over her head.

She is wearing lace trimmed pinafore bloomers that are gathered at the waist. Her slip is lace trimmed pinafore and gathered at the waist, as well.

Rebecca's blue blouse has 2 layers of lace trim along the sleeve hem and is gathered at the neck which is adorned with lace trim. Her beautiful striped skirt has gathered lace trim and straight lace trim along the bottom hem edge and is gathered at the waist. A lace edged and matching sash is tied around her waist and knotted in the front.

Rebecca's bonnet matches her blue blouse and is lined and ties in a bow just under her neck. She also has a lace crocheted old handkerchief which is delicately wrapped around her shoulders for a shawl and then knotted in the front.

Rebecca's quiet beauty speaks to her quiet nature, gentle disposition, and inner grace. She is a beautiful, graceful, lady like Colonial doll.


The NEW Grays - Grandma Aurora May On An Expedition and Grandpa Lewis On An Expedition


A little while ago I asked the readers of my Linda's blog and my customers what kind of dolls they would like to see me design. Well, one of the responses was to design a "Grandmother and Grandfather" couple. I liked that idea and decided to make my Grandparents a Victorian couple.

I also decided that my "Grandma and Grandpa" couple should have marvelous gray hair so they could join the "Gray Is Beautiful" series of dolls. Of course, I had to ask all the "Gray Is Beautiful" dolls if this was okay with them. They thought about it for awhile and then told me they would be thrilled to have new members to their exclusive club.

So, "Grandma Aurora May and Grandpa Lewis" were born and became the newest members of the "Gray Is Beautiful" series of dolls.

"Grandma Aura May - On An Expedition!" is ready to go. She's been ready for over a year and is anxious to get started on her expedition with "Grandpa Lewis - On An Expedition!"

"Grandpa Lewis - On An Expedition!" isn't as anxious to go. He loves to please his wife, but is really more of a homebody and would prefer to stay home working on his coin and stamp collections.

Grandma Aurora May loves a good adventure and loves finding new places and new venues to explore. She'd rather spend all day looking for a great site for a picnic and always looks forward to their annual expedition to the beach.

Her main reason is that she loves to spend time with her grandchildren and loves cooking for them.

It's not that Grandpa Lewis doesn't love his grandchildren - he adores them. It's just he doesn't have a lot of patience for his grand children's boundless energy and "ants in their pants" inability to sit still. After one day at the beach with the grandchildren he's ready to go home.

Grandma Aurora May tells him to lighten up a bit. That's the way children are. Full of energy. Exploring everything. What's wrong with that?

Well, Grandpa Lewis doesn't mind enthusiasm and willingness to learn. He just can't stand little idle hands playing with the cherished coins in his coin collection and touching all the stamps in his stamp collection.

And he can't leave his collections at home while he's on a three month expedition to the beach. He'd go stir crazy without something to keep him occupied all that time.

Grandma Aurora May really does understand her husband and knows that she has to keep him happy or their won't be anymore expeditions to the beach. And, that she wouldn't be happy about. So, each and every year she tells the grandchildren that Grandpa Lewis's stamp and coin collections are off limits.

Most of the time the grandchildren listen. Sometimes, however, there are those idle hands.......


"Grandpa Lewis - On An Expedition" is a 15" Victorian Grandfather cloth doll with watercolor penciled face. His boots are cross-tied and painted black.

Grandpa Lewis is wearing his favorite plaid suit with his favorite blue collared shirt. His plaid pantaloons are gathered and his plaid jacket is lined with a gathered bottom section. His lined jacket with lapels has two buttons and is tied with a plaid sash. He has a gray mustache and his gray roving hair is long and thick and tied in a ponytail at the back of his neck.

He fancies himself quite the gentleman and expert on rare coins and stamps. Now if he could just keep his grandchildren away from his coin and stamp collection. He loves his grandchildren but thinks they need to learn the value of a rare coin and stamp collection and how destructive idle hands can be.


"Grandma Aurora May - On An Expedition" is a 16" Victorian Grandmother cloth doll with watercolor penciled face. Her boots are cross-tied and painted black. She is wearing gathered and lace trimmed bloomers and a gathered slip.

Her fancy Victorian expedition outfit has a dress bodice with a lined lace trimmed front band, double rowed lace trimmed over sleeves, and lace trimmed neck edge. The dress skirt portion of her fancy Victorian dress also has a double row of lace trim and is made of a coordinating striped fabric. Satin ribbon is tied around the waistline and a stain ribbon bow adorns the front of her dress.

She has a full head of gray thick roving hair fastened in a puff. Her bonnet matches the bodice of her dress and is lined and lace trimmed. She is carrying a wicker basket with lining and ribbon trims.


The New GRAYS - Blue Bell Sara


"Blue Bell Sara" and her sorority sister "Swing Sweetly Annabelle" are two of the newest dolls from my new "The Long Sleek Sitting Doll Series!"

Both are elegantly attired and ready for their afternoon walk.

"Blue Bell Sara" is wearing the finest in Victorian afternoon attire and is an elegant faceless Victorian doll who went prematurely gray. "Swing Sweetly Sara", on the other hand, is wearing her best Colonial attire for an afternoon stroll and has a beautifully embroidered and water colored face as well as a full head of burgundy colored hair.

Both dolls belong to the "Only Elegance Alpha Phi E" sorority as did both their mothers and several of their grandmothers before them. So, they really had no choice in the matter as it was wholly expected of them that they would join.

So, join they did and both are reporting that they are so happy to be part of such a wonderful and elegant sorority. Neither, in accordance with their sorority rules, will tell you what they've been up to though. It's a secret and only discussed amongst sorority members! The only thing they will say is that they have an upcoming event, which everyone will surely enjoy, but which they can't and won't talk about.

"Blue Bell Sara" is a 28" Victorian "faceless" cloth doll that prefers to hang on a wall in any Victorian decor. She has a long sleek body, long sleek arms, and long sleek legs with black cross tied boots.

Her bloomers are 2-tiered with gathered lace trim and straight lace trim along the bottom hem edge. They are gathered at the waist and ankles. Her slip has gathered eyelet lace trim along the bottom hem edge and is gathered at the waist. She is wearing her best pair of lace gloves.

"Blue Bell Sara's" intricately two-toned dress has multiple panels of coordinating fabric. Her sleeves are two-sectional and consist of faced cuffs and a large puffy sleeve gathered at the shoulder. Her darted in the front dress has multi-colored side panels and underarm gores and 2-tiers of gathered lace trim along the bottom hem edge. The collar is lined and box style.

A long lace trimmed and gathered ruffle surrounds the shoulders and runs down the front sides and meets in a "V" below the waist. Long white pearls are draped around her neck.

"Blue Bell Sara" went prematurely gray at a very early age and wears her long gray hair with bangs tied up in a bun in the back. Her lined and coordinated bonnet with tulle sits lovingly upon her head and bun and is decorated with ribbon and silk floral. Her bonnet ties are wrapped around her neck and decorated with silk floral. They also serve as her wall hanger for the loop in the back of her neck.

An old handkerchief is wrapped around her shoulders and around her arms for a shawl.

"Blue Bell Sara" knows she has some tall shoe's to fill in the "Only Elegance Alpha Phi E" sorority as her mother and some of her grandmother's were past presidents. However, she's not worried. She knows she is up to the task and, if elected president of the sorority, will have no problem fulfilling that role. After all, she is from an elegant line of long, sleek sitting dolls - isn't she?


There's Some New "Grays" In Town!

Our five original "Gray Is Beautiful" dolls don't know it yet but there are some new "Grays" in town. We're hoping that they will welcome the new arrivals with open arms. We think they will - we're hoping they will. Let's put it this way - they'd better!!!!!

After all senior citizens need to stick together. Especially when there are 1,796 dolls - most of which are not "seniors." So, we think they will be happy to have some new "grays" - especially gentleman "grays!"

We'd like you to meet the new "Gray Is Beautiful" dolls:

LW289 Blue Bell Sara



LW256 Grandma Aurora May On An Expedition



LW257 Grandpa Lewis On An Expedition



LW262 Rebecca



LW218 Sweetheart Faith



LW219 Petronella The Birdhouse Lady



LW220 Doug The Handy Dandy Gentleman



LW203 Laura The Quintessential Bunny Lady



LW204 Devin A Bunny Gentleman


The new grays will all have their own product lines, too. So far only Helena has shown her products lines. However, all the "grays"will have their own product lines and we are hoping to unveil them all within the next few months.

In the meantime, I hope everyone will welcome the new "grays.