Thursday, December 24, 2009

That Barbie Girl Has Everything!

When my daughter, Elizabeth, was in elementary school my father built a wonderful two story doll house for her. My mom put in carpet scraps for the flooring and beige drapes with golden swags for the living room windows. For the next Christmas, I spent all my nights after my daughter had gone to bed, sitting crossed legged on my couch, bent over sewing everything completely by hand. I didn’t even wear glasses then. I was in my late twenties, but I would get up to go to bed around 1 or 2 only after I almost lost circulation in my legs.

I made beds using unused books for frames, Kapok-filled mattresses, little blankets, and even a faux bulletin board for the kitchen wall. It was made of black construction paper, brown paper bags, and tiny multi-colored beads for push pins. I hung it on the little wall with a piece of jute. I even made teeny weenie notes and glued red and orange beads onto the top of the paper so they looked real. I also made overstuffed chairs out of small milk cartons and filling. Oh, and with matching pillows.

I remember it as a very happy time in my life, totally engaged, feeling very happy and creative, and anticipating how much fun she would have with it. Well, my daughter is 35, very pregnant with her second child, and she is the mother of my 5 year old granddaughter, Rebecca. A few years ago I had given Rebecca a used Barbie Recreation Vehicle I bought at a thrift shop. Since then the RV had become somewhat shabby and faded, but still she loves it and continues to play with it.

This child has so many toys and will get many more. So I asked her if she would like it if I renovated the RV for her for Christmas. She liked the idea. I asked her what color she wanted it. She replied, “Blue.” For the past few weeks I’ve been haunting fabric, hardware, and doll stores gathering supplies. I put down good money at Ace Hardware for paint that works on plastic (Krylon is great by the way). I went to Whippersnappers in Lafayette to buy itty bitty Coke cans, a little box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, and an inch long metal whisk. I kind of became obsessed. My wonderful niece, Michele, let me spend a day at her house using her sewing machine, calling out over and over for her to fix the bobbin or rethread the needle. (She was adorable about it and I owe her a morning of babysitting!)

So the RV is all done. I knew I was done when I found myself at midnight last night making a very little paper towel holder for the RV kitchen.

I made it out of a cut up Tootsie Pop stick and paper towels sliced up with manicure scissors. My creative juices have been spent and my back is tired. So here’s what I made: Bedding and pillows, fleece comforters, curtains, a bathrobe, beach bag and matching towels, seat cushions, tablecloth and napkins, and much more that I can’t remember.

Merry Christmas!


  1. That is SO AWESOME!!!! Make me one next, ok?

  2. It turned out great!! She's going to love it.Maybe you should start doing it it for real RV's.