Let me confess that the train spring I showed you last week is not the only knickknack I keep around. Other unnecessary objects, though they are a select few, hold residence here. Like the spring, their merit is their sentimental value.
This lovely lady came all the way from Russia. I’ve had her (and her succession of increasingly tiny daughters) since I was a kid. Family friends brought her back from one of the trips they made in the process of adopting their children.
I can’t pinpoint her appeal to one trait–maybe it’s the glamour of her Eastern past; maybe the delicateness of her structure–the wood is quite thin and very smooth; or maybe it’s her painted dress, so richly colored and carefully detailed. I just like to look at her. And every child who visits likes to dismantle her.
Right now she’s actually serving a purpose. That slip of paper she’s sitting on is a due date slip from the library. The library books this reminder applies to sit on the opposite end of the shelf, begging me to hurry up and read them. (Why do I always check out so many more books than I have time for? Seriously, I think I have about seven out right now, and they’re not all short!)
Miss Russia’s American cousins occupy the lower shelf, and they have a story too.
Before we get to that, though, let me go on a minor tangent. You can see the shelf context a bit in this photo: library books above, purse to the left. This shelf is the catch-all that serves as our entryway since we have no official space for that here. We need a place to drop keys, charge phones, corral library books, and so forth. I brought out all my lil’ doll faces to personalize the organizational experience. Now back to the story I promised.
This set of nesting dolls was a gift from one of my sisters. She bought them blank then painted each one to represent a member of our family. I love the vibrant colors, but what’s even better is the way she symbolized each personality. For instance, our mom loves gardening. Her doll is sky blue with a sunflower on it, and a tree drawn up the back. If you flip it over, you can see that on the bottom she even added a puffy white cloud. So much thought went into these! She gave them to me right before my post-college move, so they are special for many reasons. Here’s a closer look: