Sep 6

On Labor Day, Scott and I went to an antique mall about an hour and a half from home.  This one is huge and we have never been able to go more than half-way through it before getting overwhelmed at all of the stuff.

This time, though, we had a couple of interesting things happen while we were there.  The first was that we saw owls everywhere.  No matter what booth or where we turned, there was an owl someplace among the stuff – whether it was a salt and pepper shaker set, or a picture, or a figurine, or a blow-up owl like you use to scare away rodents, or what have you.  We must have seen hundreds of them.  Now, Scott likes owls and collects them, but this was beyond coincidental and it got to be both funny and a little spooky.

The second story was about my own time there.  Everything I saw that I liked was outrageously expensive for what it was.  From a sweet little doll-sized Hoosier Cabinet for $225 all the way down to a wee tin dolly measuring cup for $13.  No way was I paying any of those prices no matter how cool I thought they were.

Then we walked into this one booth that had a lot of dolls and other toys.  I glanced things over briefly as I was beginning to get tired, then turned to walk out.  Something “nudged” me and told me that I was supposed to find something in there.  Now, I’ve learned to listen to those little nudges, so I turned back and continued looking around.  Then I saw her:

Mary Todd

I love taking naked dollies (shoot, I could have used Naked Doll for the N photos!) and dressing them up.  So, I picked this one up.  The front of her shoulder plate says “Mary Todd Lincoln” and the back says “1980 Yield House Exclusive.”  She was in really good condition, nothing broken or chipped and she was pretty clean.  She has a bisque head and shoulder plate, arms up to the elbows and legs from the knees down.  I even liked her face as it wasn’t a typical doll face but looked like it could be a real person.  The price? $6.  So, okay that was the first thing I saw that was within my budget (under $10).  But, really, what did I need with another doll?  So I carefully sat her back down, leaning her back against the shelf wall.

Then the really spooky part happened. I turned around, looked at Scott and said, “I like her, but I don’t need another doll. Let’s go.” At that second I hear a “clink” from behind me.  I looked at Scott’s shocked face. “She just moved, didn’t she?” I asked.

“Yes, she slumped forward.  I just watched her move,” he said.

I turned back around and, indeed, she had slumped forward and looked utterly dejected. Needless to say, Mary came home with me.

Now, I need to dress her, because… well… she hates being naked (wouldn’t you?).  I have several books on making period doll clothes, so I started looking through some last night.  Nothing really intrigued me.  Then I got the idea that, rather than dress her from the 1860’s, I would dress her like a modern person.  I want to knit her a sweater, sew her a bra and panties and make her either some jeans or a denim skirt.  Her hair doesn’t look like it belongs to a different time, and could well pass in today’s world.  Actually, her hair style is similar to mine except I have bangs and she doesn’t.

So, between the owls everywhere and Mary moving when I was ready to leave her behind, Monday was a weird day at the antique mall.