Posted in Gift Giving on September 21, 2011 |
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When I posted pictures of Lucy’s room, you may have noticed a rag doll perched on her corner chair. Her name is Ruby and for her I searched high and low. Last year, I read an article in Real Simple Family about a photographer named Stephanie Rausser who had recently traveled to Paris with her young daughter, Kiki. The article showed photos of Kiki with a modern-looking rag doll named Coco. I was entranced. The photos were stunning and the bond between girl and doll seemed palpable.
via Stefanie Rausser
You can view a slide show of the photos here. Do it. It will make your day, I promise.
The article did not cite the doll’s designer—only that it was handmade by an artist in Petaluma, California. And so began the googling. After quite a bit of searching, I located the artist—Jess Brown. Her dolls are one-of-a-kind and hand-dyed using tea. With Christmas coming, I set out to find the perfect doll. They weren’t sold in any stores in my area, so I needed to find one virtually. There were plenty of online stores that carried them, but the trouble with one-of-a-kind dolls is that you can’t always see a picture of exactly which one you’re buying. Many stores requested to “let us choose.” Now, if you’ve met me before, you know I’m way too Type A to let someone else choose.
Fortunately, several stores sent me detailed descriptions and some sent me photos. And then I hit the jackpot: a shop in England had the one: an ever-so-sweet ballerina who just looked like she belonged in Lucy’s room. And they offered to ship her to me for only $10 US. (I have to fork over more cash than that to get something shipped from Crate & Barrel, and that’s a mile from my house.)
I guess, to most of you, that probably seems like a lot to go through just to buy a doll, but I am of the generation whose mothers hit Toys R Us at the crack of dawn to procure a Cabbage Patch doll, so I think it’s just one of those things we moms do.
It was Lucy’s big, special gift last Christmas, but I’ll be honest with you: she didn’t really take to it the way I hoped she would. I don’t think we’ll see her dragging Ruby through Paris anytime soon (for a lot of reasons). She mostly stays on top of the corner chair, occasionally making it into the nightly sleeping companion rotation. Sometimes, she stays there for several nights and I think they’re forging a bond—and then back to the chair she goes. Sigh. What can you do? At least she makes me smile whenever I see her…
Ruby's usual perch
If you want to find a Jess Brown doll of your own, check out any of these merchants.
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