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I'm Alison, that's my little boy Finn, and we are absolutely thrilled to have you at BrocanteHome!

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Monday, 18 January 2010


Though occasionally I fall in love with some of the scrappiest, shabbiest most charming of hand-crafted dolls like those produced by Nicki of Nostalgia at the StoneHouse fame, I have never otherwise been a dolly kinda woman. In fact I would go as far as to say that I find those who are a tiny bit odd, with a special dose of my own brand of bemusement reserved for the kind of dear lady who piles her bed with teddy bears and talks in a squeaky voice when she wants something from her husband.
You see I just cannot fathom the kind of mind that delights too voraciously in the thrills of childhood when there is a whole grown-up world to be explored; the kind of woman channelling her inner child because she imagines it is cute, or the kind of man willing to tolerate the frilly-silly antics of the child-women...

But enough about me and my much sallied aggressive opinion, especially when I am sitting here at my shivery-cold desk with the specific intention of informing you that though I may not be a "dolly kinda woman", there is a special place in my heart for the Kewpie, love-child of the much talented Rose O'Neill and adored Darling of many a little girl (and grown women!) for almost a century, which mean m'dears that you are more than entitled to declare me something of a hypocrite after the rant that is the first paragraph of this post...

But oh how cute they are: that darling little quiff atop their little round heads! The podgy little hands! The little pot belly so familiar to Mommies across the world! They are just babba's personified without too much of the "baby made plastic" so typical of the quite terrifying baby doll's currently on the market, so often now equipped with far too many bodily functions and usually bearing the kind of expression even the most dedicated of pint-sized Mummies couldn't love...

But more than the dolls themselves I am just mad about Rose O'Neills illustrations. The two above can be downloaded as pages to colour in here and are scrumptiously perfect examples of the way Miss O'Neill was so effortlessly able to capture the heart-wrenching innocence of all our children, while  a quick search for Rose O'Neill on Ebay reveals vintage magazine illustrations, cartoons from KewpieVille and postcards, often accompanied by witty little poems of the kind sure to delight even the most hardened all growed up hearts...

While I hardly think spending one's time dressing dollies in even the most divine of vintage wares is a suitable past-time for a grown woman (Lordy! Get off your high horse Lady!), even I can imagine inviting a little Kewpie into my home as a celebration of the little girl I used to be, or a reminder of what a little curly quiffed chubster my little Finn once was, because as the poem Rachel Ashwell dedicates to her recently departed Mum in Shabby Chic Interiors  suggests, perhaps inside we are all just "bigger little girls"...

"Mother is just a little girl who trod my path before me;
Just a bigger, wiser little girl who ran ahead-
Bigger, wiser, stronger girl who always watches o'er me,
One who knows the pitfalls in the rugged road I tread.

Mother is a playmate who will always treat me kindly- 
Playmate who will yield me what true happiness demands.
She will never let my feet stray into brambles blindly-
Mother's just a bigger little girl who understands.

Mother is an older playmate who'll befriend me-
Yesteryear she travelled in the path thats mine today.
Never need I fear a foe from which she might defend me
Faithful little pal who ran ahead and learned the way."   

P.S: Please note my love of KewPies, does not and will not ever extend to this... 


Anonymous said...

Cute Kewpies! I loved the little plastic/rubber dolls as a child...

Your P.S. was too funny, Alison!
Have a wonderful day!

sjhackney said...

Wow Alison, that Kewpie mayo kinda grosses me out. Smiles! Sally

JoAnn S said...

you said it all lol i agree. i love cupies tho and also frozen charlotte type figures. child-woman is a no no around here. i have instructed my two sons in how to choose a mate, not that they listen lol.

Rialanna said...

Have you seen the work of May Gibbs? Although it's set in Australia, her Gumnut Babies characters (like Snugglepot and Cuddlepie - how cute are those names??) are just gorgeous and very much like Kewpies but with lots of adventures in the Australian bush and a wildlife conservation message! I think it was created in the 1930s or 40s, but I will be reading it to my little boy when he's old enough.

Sasha said...

OMG - the mayo is just freaky. Seriously. Freaky.

That poem however, is one of the best I have ever read. It puts in words exactly how I feel about my relationship with my little girl, who is always saying she wishes I could come to school with her as her playmate. Loverly.

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