Maru and Friends dolls

Tasha Tuesday: Looking at what is around us

Hello again! I’m beginning a new feature on my blog, which will hopefully turn out to be a way of keeping me playful and creative by giving me specific assignments. I’m planning a special doll-related feature linked to each day of the week. I won’t say here what they will all be–for one thing, I want it to be a surprise, and for another, I have so many ideas that they may have to alternate (there are only seven days of the week, after all, and I have more than seven different kinds of dolls). Also, let me state right here, to be kind both to you and myself, that I’m not expecting myself to actually do a blog post every day of every week! This is just an idea to help me post more creatively, more often!

Well then, without further ado, here’s introducing Tasha Tuesdays. Tasha, you may know, is my Maru and Friends Jamie doll, whom I reviewed last spring (click here for the review), and who I’ve named after American children’s book illustrator Tasha Tudor. There’s a special reason behind this association: My first Tasha Tudor book is a very dear book indeed. It’s called Becky’s Birthday, and it’s special because I bought it for a dime from a library sale somewhere in the midwest (I think Ohio) during a cross-country trip I took with my family when I was very little. I didn’t know anything about the author-illustrator then, but it is a beautiful book I’ve loved ever since I picked it out from that sale myself, and evokes many poetic feelings and associations. As an adult, I’ve begun collecting Tasha Tudor’s other books, and when I bought Jamie, she immediately reminded me of Tudor’s illustrations, especially of Becky herself. So it was a simple matter to name her Tasha. Tasha loves reading, everything old-fashioned, simple, hand-made and artistic, especially drawing, just like her namesake. She’s quiet, very thoughtful, and rather shy, but extremely photogenic. Here’s a portrait I took of Tasha last year in our little rose garden:

Tasha

Tasha

I can’t tell you how amazing these Maru and Friends dolls are. To me, it’s because they feel like heirlooms. They have a silky, delicate, porcelain quality, and their height, size, childlike proportions, and especially their faces, expressions, and wigs are absolutely exquisite. Best of all, despite their beauty, they’re actually very sturdy and made for play. I have two Maru and Friends dolls so far, Jamie and Savannah (I’ve named them Tasha and Merida) and I’ve got my eye on Maru herself, especially, as well as gorgeous Tanya.

Anyway, I think it’s Tasha’s heirloom feeling that makes me think of Tasha Tudor’s artwork so much. Tasha feels to me like the very incarnation of Anabelle, from A is for Annabelle. (By the way, if you haven’t read A is for Annabelle, you should! What can possibly be more beautiful than a children’s book about a doll?).

A is for Annabelle pg 1

Here are the first two pages scanned directly from the book.

A is for Annabelle pg 2

Today, Tasha, who loves being very quiet and still and noticing everything around her, wants to show you the bright yellow rabbitbrush that is blooming in our yard, all around our neighborhood, and across the hills and valley where we live.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll with rabbitbrush 1

The yellow rabbitbrush blossoms are an emblem of the end of summer and beginning of autumn for us. They bloom every September, turning the silvery, round rabbitbush shrubs into cascades of honey-scented and bee-attracting bouquets.

Honey bee on rabbit brush blossoms

The color, the fragrance, the texture… Tasha is attracted to them just like a honey bee.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll with rabbitbrush 2

While I was photographing her this morning, Tasha encouraged me to look closely at the flowers.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll with rabbitbrush 3

She said we’re often so busy that even though we see lovely things, we don’t slow down enough to really see them. Sure enough, I realized I’ve never actually studied the rabbitbrush blossoms up close. They surprised me with their strange and intricate structure, which is crisp and distinctive, and quite different than the feathery impression they give from afar.

Rabbit brush blossoms

Unlike many people, Tasha is not afraid of bees. She loved watching their industrious and besotted absorption with the blossoms.

Honey bee on rabbit brush blossoms 2

Bees are incredibly important in nature and agriculture, and are often misunderstood. We should rejoice, not shriek, when we see a bee! Tasha told me that as long as you are quiet and respectful, a honey bee will never hurt you. We felt perfectly safe crouched quite near the humming bush, watching the bees gather nectar for the last wildflower honey of the year.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll with rabbitbrush 4

I never intended to be a busy person, so preoccupied with the business of the day that I would rush by what is beautiful! Quite the contrary! But somehow, life has a way of taking over, if we don’t set priorities. Tasha’s gentle lessons are a good reminder for me to take time out for what is most important: creativity, beauty, art, poetry.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll with rabbitbrush 5

The sources of creativity, art, and poetry, are all around us all the time, especially in nature. Tasha knows this–but being a doll, she’s never forgotten.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll with rabbitbrush 6

Tuesdays can get lost in bustle, I know! Tasha and I hope you’ll take a few minutes today to nurture your creative spirit.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll with book

Tasha Tudor would have encouraged you as well. 🙂

Maru and Friends Jamie doll with Tudor book

Happy Tasha Tuesday from A Doll’s Picnic!

The Night Picnic

Dolls around campfire 2

Who are those figures gathered around a campfire?

One mild September evening, moonlight shines on the quiet waters of a hidden lake. Out of the darkness cloaking hundreds of miles of woods and craggy hills, a speck of light gleams unevenly. As we move a little nearer, we see it is a campfire, built on the rocky shore of the moonlit lake. The flames flicker and leap, throwing eerie shadows across the trees and water. It almost looks as though figures are stirring in the half-light around the fire. Let’s slip a little closer and see….

The water laps gently in the moonlight and the flames crackle...

The water laps gently in the moonlight and the flames crackle…

Yes, now that we’re nearer, we realize we recognize these figures. Why, they’re some of our friends from A Doll’s Picnic! But what are they doing here on a balmy mountain night, instead of snuggling up in bed at home? It looks… yes, it looks as if they’re roasting marshmallows! A perfectly natural thing to do around a campfire, after all. Hmmm… we don’t see a tent; they can’t be camping. Ohhh, of course. It’s a picnic. A night picnic. Picnics don’t always have to be in the day time! Maybe if we settle down here behind this big rock we can watch them without being seen and hear what they’re saying….

“I just heard a fish jump,” announces Jade, glancing toward the water. She’s deftly roasting a marshmallow with one hand and cradling a cup of cocoa with the other.

Maplelea Jenna doll by campfire

“I heard it too,” agrees Sophie, turning her hot dog. “Do you think the fish can see our camp fire through the water?”

American Girl of Today doll #6 Schildkroet doll blonde

“If they do, maybe they think it’s a star that’s fallen and landed on the shore,” suggests Betsy, her hazel eyes twinkling with fun in the firelight.

American Girl doll #55 with marshmallow

“But maybe they can hear us talking,” says Emma. “Stars don’t talk.”

American Girl doll #27 #55 with marshmallows

“Maybe the fish think they do, though,” says Betsy. “What do fish know about stars, anyway?”

Schildkroet doll blonde

“If stars did talk, I wonder what they’d talk about,” muses Amy, sipping her cocoa and carefully turning her marshmallow. “Do they talk about each other? Like, ‘Hi friend! How are things going in your solar system?’ ‘Not so good, pal, I’m getting sucked into a black hole.'” Everyone laughs.

“Paulina, you hang out with astronomers. What constellations are up right now?” asks Merida from the hammock, where she’s hugging a teddy bear and gazing at the sky.

Dolls in firelight

“Well, it’s a bit hard to see the fainter ones when our eyes are dazzled by firelight, but that’s the Big Dipper,” says, Paulina, pointing.

American Girl Josefina doll

“And if you follow the trajectory of the handle over to there, that’s Arcturus. And there’s the North Star.”

Maru and Friends Savannah doll

“The skies are so clear and so dark at night here,” says Merida. “Even with the moon up you can see the Milky Way. I’m grateful to live someplace with such clear skies.”

The other dolls agree, and take a break from staring into the flames to gaze up into the sky at the brilliant first quarter moon and the glittering stars appearing more thickly as the darkness deepens. After a pause, the fire snaps and hisses and everyone jumps and checks their marshmallows to make sure they’re not scorching.

“Your marshmallow is almost ready, Paulina,” says Emma. She’s been roasting two marshmallows, one for herself and one for a friend.

American Girl doll #27 with marshmallows

Paulina thanks her, and then Emma turns to Sharon and Poinsettia, who are talking about famous Canadian astronomers and scientists. “Are you sure you guys don’t want one? I can make another.”

Maplelea dolls Taryn Alexi in moonlight

“No thanks,” smiles Sharon. “We’re fine with the ginger cakes and brownies and sandwiches and apples and oranges.” Everyone laughs again.

American Girl doll #4 with marshmallow

“Why do you think food tastes so good at night?” asks Patience, getting ready to slide her marshmallow off the stick. “I think I like picnics even better after dark than in the afternoon.”

American Girl doll #4 Maryellen in firelight

“Maybe it’s all the energy it takes to build a fire and fend off the night-time monsters,” laughs Millie, sipping her soda.

American Girl Today doll #6 in firelight

“Or all the energy it takes to stay warm,” agrees Sophie. “Though it’s not cold tonight–it’s perfect. It’s practically warm enough for a swim.” Her dark eyes sparkle with daring.

Schildkroet doll blonde with marshmallow

“Oooh, not me,” shivers Paulina. “I’d be certain a lake monster was going to come up and swallow me.”

Schildkroet doll blone with mug

“Me too,”adds Amy, giving her marshmallow one last turn. “I’m glad Ali won’t let us get wet.”

Dolls in firelight

“Speaking of monsters,” suggests Jade mischievously, “does anyone know a good story?”

“One dark night, by a little lake, far from civilization, a group of friends sat roasting marshmallows around a campfire…” begins Betsy, in a mysterious whisper.

The dolls giggle and huddle closer to the fire, listening to the lake water slapping against the rocks in the dark.

Doll camp fire

Happy Autumnal Equinox, from A Doll’s Picnic!

“About the dolls” update: Photos added!

my doll collection on shelves

My (almost) current doll collection on the shelves.

Hello Friends!

Do you ever get so busy that you sort of forget about the things you love? You know, the things that express your creativity and make you sparkle? It’s been that way around here for the last month or so, as I’ve been working to balance my skating practice with all my other duties and interests. But Natalie Alexis kept nudging me to get back to work on A Doll’s Picnic, and finally with her inspiration I’ve jumped back in, and I’m so glad. This afternoon I’ve had so much fun photographing several of my dolls and adding portraits to the doll bios on the “About the Dolls” page. Please feel welcome to take a look and see all their adorable faces! Every doll in my current collection now has a photo up on A Doll’s Picnic. Eventually I plan to post pictures of my teddy bears and soft toys too, but that’s a project for another day. I’ll continue to add to their likes and interests in the weeks and months ahead. 🙂

It was so fun to spend time in the garden with my camera, remembering how special these precious and delightful imagination-friends are. I especially enjoyed photographing Tasha, my Maru and Friends Jamie doll, and Alejandra, my Karito Kids Pita doll. They were each so photogenic, and their taller height and elegant proportions harmonized so beautifully with the garden (wild and unkempt as it is).

Maru and Friends Jamie doll with rose 1Jamie enchanted me with her ability to lean forward and grasp a rose bud. Her hip joints make her very poseable, and even with her small feet, she balances pretty well on uneven surfaces.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll with rose 2Her dress is so adorable and gardeny, too. 🙂

But I was especially astonished by the beauty of Alejandra! She poses so naturally that it is like taking pictures of a real girl.

Karito Kids Pita doll with sweet peaShe found a volunteer sweet pea that came up from last year’s seeds among the strawberries and wild dill. I love how she can hold flower stems in her beautiful hands.

Karito Kids Pita doll next to sage flowers 1She was also excited about the sage that has flourished in an old wine-barrel, within the protection of the fenced vegetable garden. She said it reminds her of Mexico! She reminded me of a beautiful Aztec or Native American princess!

Karito Kids Pita doll next to sage flowers 2Wow.

Karito Kids Pita doll next to sage flowers 3I love how her tilting head joint and lovely neck and shoulder area help her pose so naturally.

Karito Kids Pita doll next to sage flowers 4What an incredible doll. I am so glad I found her on Ebay brand-new in box, at her original price! I wish these dolls had never been discontinued.

Every time I make time to slow down and play quietly with my dolls, I fall in love with them all over again. Thanks for your patience during my break from blogging, and I hope you enjoy the pictures!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Introducing Maru and Friends Jamie

When I first saw pictures of the Maru and Friends dolls on the My Doll Best Friend Facebook page and read the excellent review of Savannah at The Toybox Philosopher, my original impressions were that the dolls looked very beautiful, but were also a little, well, odd. Being a collector of soft-bodied 18 inch dolls for so many years has somewhat warped my view-point, I know. The Maru and Friends dolls have lovely faces, but their taller height (20 inches), lanky limbs and tubby little all-vinyl bodies seemed strange to me at first. Thankfully, a huge part of the fun of collecting dolls is revising our first impressions, which are often far from impartial. I’ve found my initial responses to a new kind of doll to often be based on prejudice against anything different than what I’m used to–embarassing to admit, but there it is. I’m happy to add that as I’ve expanded the range of my appreciation of dolls, I’ve gotten quicker at seeing beauty and charm in the differences and unique qualities that each kind of doll offers.

Anyway, it wasn’t long before I began to be captivated by the beauty and sweetness of the Maru and Friends dolls, despite their lanky proportions and what I thought might be awkward neck joints–and I soon found myself falling in love. My usual way of going about adding a new doll to my collection is to troll the internet for candid photographs of the doll(s) I’m interested in. I found there have been several good reviews of Maru (such a beautiful doll!) and the cute red-headed Savannah, but not so much of Jamie, the hazel-eyed curly honey-blond who was my immediate favorite. So I decided to buy Jamie to review. Oh my goodness. Little did I know where this would lead! I saw a comment somewhere about the Maru and Friends dolls that said something in effect: “For me, the only dolls in the world.” At the time I read this, I thought this was going a bit far. I have had Jamie for about two weeks now, and since opening her box there have been moments when I have seriously considered selling all my dolls and collecting only Maru and her friends from now on. I really love all my dolls, and I love the variety in my collection, but I have to say, I now know what that comment meant.

Maru and Friends doll box

What will she be like?

Opening the box that held my Jamie doll turned out to be the most special doll-opening experience I’ve had so far. I love opening new dolls: it’s exciting, but also a little scary, because there’s no way of knowing exactly what they’ll be like and whether I’ll really like them as much as I think I will. The perfect doll-opening experience has a lot to do with everything coming together: the time, the place, the doll, my expectations. But it also has a lot to do with how the doll is presented. I give Maru and Friends an A+++ for their beautiful, thoughtful packaging, which is as tasteful and lovely as the doll herself. This was a big part of what made this a truly special experience.

Opening Maru and Friends box 1

The exciting and scary moment when I lift the lid…

Peeking inside....

…and peek inside.

I could tell this was a special doll from the moment I opened the cardboard box in which she arrived.

Maru and Friends box open

Ohhhh….

This little card in its pretty transparent envelope made a big impression:

Maru and Friends thank you card 1

Maru and Friends thank you card 2

Talk about making the customer feel appreciated! What a beautiful phrase: “Made with lots of love, for hours of joy.” Wow.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll in box

Oh my goodness.

I have to take a minute to rave about the beauty of the Maru and Friends doll boxes. In my opinion this is the most beautiful box I’ve seen so far (although Bonnie and Pearl runs a close second!). Orange is not my favorite color, but it is happy and sunny, and the flowers and lady bugs are so tastefully and simply arranged around the window area. The box material has a glossy finish too, which feels lovely. Everything about this doll, in short, said “high quality” and “attention to detail” even before I opened her up. Here are a few details from her box:

Maru and Friends box detail 2

It’s playtime!

Maru and Friends box detail 1

I love the ladybug!

Maru and Friends box label

I really took my time opening this doll and just savored each moment.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll in box 2

Yes, those are some of my other dolls watching in the background.

I couldn’t get over how beautiful Jamie is. I kept staring and staring at all the details.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll in box 3

Finally I opened her box and removed the extra package of outfits I ordered with the her. It was wrapped in personalized printed tissue paper, another special touch:

Maru and Friends doll outfits in package

More ladybugs!

When opened, this package revealed the outfits I ordered: the adorable ladybug pajamas (there’s definitely a ladybug theme going on here!), pretty spring dress, and priceless gingham shorts outfit:

Maru and Friends doll outfits 2

Back to Jamie: here are some pictures of her in her box. She was tied in with ribbon, for which I’m so grateful! This seems to be a new trend in doll packaging shared by several of the main doll brands, and I am very much in favor of it! Jamie was held in quite securely and safely, yet the ribbon ties are so much easier to remove, and gentler on the doll as well as my fingers. She had a hairnet over her perfect face and hair:

Maru and Friends Jamie doll in box 4

After a little while I slipped the insert out of the box and continued to gaze at her in wonder and admiration.Maru and Friends Jamie doll in box 8

I couldn’t get over the beauty of her eyes, the delicate painting of her eyebrows and eyelashes, and the minuscule little sprinkling of freckles across her nose:

Maru and Friends Jamie doll in box 5

Look at that face!

Not only are her eyelashes individually painted, but there are light, shorter painted eyelashes in between each longer painted eyelash. Then she has real glued-on lashes as well!

Maru and Friends Jamie doll in box 7

What a doll!

Her arrival outfit too, which consists of a white quilted ski parka over white athletic pants and a jersey-knit blouse, is of the highest quality. Because I bought this doll in spring, this outfit hadn’t really caught my imagination, but it is so much nicer and cuter than I expected, and now I am looking forward to winter again when she can pull the plush-lined hood up around her face! I was struck by the detail of the zipper, the quilting, and the cute pom-poms.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll in box 6

Jamie also comes in pink snow boots, and includes the Blue Moon Over New York hardcover storybook, featuring the continuing story of Maru’s adventures in America (Maru is the central character in this series of dolls). I haven’t read the book yet, but it looks sweet. Also in the box was Jamie’s certificate of authenticity.

After savoring her perfection for a long time, I untied Jamie and brought her to life.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll 1

My husband can bear witness to the fact that I kept exclaiming over the beauty and quality of this doll at every point in this process. At this point I was particularly struck by the perfection of her glossy hair.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll hair in net

Jamie has the most beautiful-looking hair I’ve seen so far. The colors, highlights, softness, amount of curl, and especially the high shine, are truly divine. Here it is free of the hairnet:

Maru and Friends Jamie doll 5

It was so perfect I was almost afraid to touch it. In fact, at first I was actually wincing at the idea of giving a doll this exquisite to a child! I know that Maru and Friends dolls are made for children to play with, and that although they look delicate, they are made from sturdy vinyl. It’s just a little hard to believe this doll is appropriate for an eight-year-old when you see how beautiful she is.

Jamie’s hair is pulled back from her face with a small loop of stitches on each side. I am planning on removing these stitches so I can style her hair as I like, but it is a very pretty style:

Maru and Friends Jamie doll 19

Maru and Friends Jamie doll 20

Maru and Friends Jamie doll 7

Look at her precious little profile!

I just love the warm, golden-honey color of her hair; it’s such a pretty shade of blond. I also love the amount of curl. Some of the Jamie dolls shown on the Maru and Friends website have really curly hair (perhaps this is what the first edition dolls looked like?). I love the amount of curl in my Jamie’s hair–just enough for beauty, without being so curly to make me afraid to play with it.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll 6

At this point I took Jamie’s ski parka off, since it seemed a bit warm for our mild May weather, and I posed her with two of my American Girl dolls, my custom hazel-eyed Caroline doll and my #24. I usually don’t compare dolls for the purposes of a new doll review, because I like to consider new dolls as individuals, and would rather save comparisons for a separate occasion, but in this case I was curious how much taller Jamie would look than a standard 18 inch doll.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll with American Girl dolls

You can see that the height and body proportions are quite different. Not so different, however, as to make me not want to play with her with my standard 18 or 19 inch dolls.

Notice the adorable embroidered flower applique on Jamie’s blouse. These little details are part of what makes her so special:

Maru and Friends Jamie doll 8

I was excited to try on the other outfits I bought for Jamie to wear. Maru and Friends has a diverse little range of outfits available for their dolls, and I thought some of them were exceptionally cute when I was looking at them on the website. But I was thrilled with how they turned out in person. The detail and quality are stunning! I also love that the styles are fun and different, without being too popular or trendy-looking.

In undressing Jamie, I found she takes the prize for the prettiest pair of socks ever to be hidden by pants and boots!

Maru and Friends Jamie doll 10

Wow! These are too pretty to hide!

Also, her blouse closes in the back with real snaps!

Maru and Friends Jamie doll 9

Here is Jamie sans arrival outfit. She came in nice little undies:

Maru and Friends Jamie doll 11

Her body proportions seem more natural and her joint construction seems less odd to me in person than on The Toybox Philosopher’s review. I don’t actually find the hip joint area as distracting as I thought I would, and I really like her little torso. The way her joints are constructed actually gives her quite a range of poseability, which is a good thing! Her arms have a fairly significant bend at the elbows which gives her a very life-like look. Though her legs are long and unbent, they don’t seem too straight or unnatural to me (maybe it reminds me of the Barbies I played with as a child?). And I’m most surprised by how much I actually like the construction of her neck joint. I don’t find it at all awkward, actually, and I really enjoy tilting her head for poses.

Here are her little hands, which are just slightly different from each other (another nice touch that I’m really beginning to appreciate in dolls):

Right hand.

Right hand.

Left hand.

Left hand.

It’s hard to see the difference in the pictures, but it’s there (her fingers, especially the forefinger, are slightly more bent on her left hand than on her right).

And here are her pretty little feet:

Maru and Friends Jamie doll feet

Her feet are simple, but very pretty: small, delicate, with nicely sculpted toes, little arches, and even gentle ankle-bumps. The bottoms of her feet are flat, but her toes are lightly delineated.

My favorite outfit in the pictures was the “Fancy Shorts” outfit. I’ve just got to share the details on this outfit:

Maru and Friends doll outfit detail 1

Look at the pearly buttons!

The outfit consists of a short-sleeved blouse and blue gingham jumper-style shorts. I adore gingham! I am so impressed with the beauty of this ensemble. Look at the pleats and embroidery on the blouse:

Maru and Friends doll outfit detail 7

There is lace on the cuffs of the sleeves:

Maru and Friends doll outfit detail 8

And the buttons on the shorts match the blouse:

Maru and Friends doll outfit detail 2

One of the things I was most excited about is that this outfit closes with, that’s right, more snaps!

Maru and Friends doll outfit detail 6

Maru and Friends doll outfit detail 5

The inside of the waistband and the flaps of the (real!) pockets of the shorts are lined with satin, and the pleats are lined with contrasting gingham:

Maru and Friends doll outfit detail 3

Look at the pleat detail on the pocket: also lined with contrasting gingham!

Maru and Friends doll outfit detail 4

The outfit includes tall knee socks and the most adorable pink moccassin-style shoes:

Maru and Friends doll pink shoes 1

Maru and Friends doll pink shoes 2

I love these shoes!

Maru and Friends doll pink shoes 3

Here is the complete ensemble on Jamie:

Maru and Friends Jamie doll 14

That is an outfit to die for.

Jamie’s ladybug pajamas are also too cute for words, and I might add, they are my favorite pajamas ever for a doll (so far):

Maru and Friends Jamie doll in pjs 1

These too have wonderful details:

Maru and Friends Jamie doll pj detail 3

Maru and Friends Jamie doll pj detail 2

Real pockets!

Maru and Friends Jamie doll pj detail 1

love these pajamas. In fact, I want a pair just like them! Jamie seems to love them too:

Maru and Friends Jamie doll in pjs 2

I only wish slippers came with the pajamas (they are available, but they have to be purchased separately).

The last outfit I bought is the “Spring Bloom” dress and hat set, because it looks so May-ish:

Maru and Friends Jamie doll 16

This is such a pretty dress. The sandals are very cute, and so is the hat, though its a bit difficult to get–and keep–on Jamie’s smooth head. A little chin strap might possibly help this problem. I love the details on this outfit too; my only disappointment was that this outfit closes in back with velcro instead of snaps.

Maru and Friends doll outfit detail 10

Cute little buttons, crisp pleats, and a ruffle.

Maru and Friends doll outfit detail 9

Maru and Friends doll red shoes 2

All in all, I am tremendously pleased with the Maru and Friends outfits and eager to collect more! I like almost everything in their collection, which is unusual for me.

Here are a few more close-ups of Jamie’s precious face.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll 17

I also love her ringlet bangs/fringe.

She has a very pale flesh-tone, which does indeed resemble porcelain, as advertised, and is incredibly beautiful. She has a soft blush on her cheeks. Her eyes are a unique shape: long, lyrical almonds that reminds me of a cat’s eyes. Her irises are an amazingly realistic hazel, which is part of what drew me to her (I have hazel eyes, and I love dolls that have hazel eyes too).

Maru and Friends Jamie doll 2

She has a very cute little snub nose and an impish little mouth. Her neutral expression looks like it is just on the verge of a smile.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll 13

To me she has a thoughtful look, and seems like a quiet, observant sort of person–someone who might be a little shy, but funny once you get to know her.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll 22

I am delighted with Jamie’s beauty, poseability, elegance, accoutrements, and overall charm.  She is a pleasant weight and very nice to hold, and she actually cuddles up nicely in my arms. 🙂 She is as poised and as graceful as a princess, but she is playful too. She strikes a wonderful balance between childlikeness and dollishness. I love dolls to be dolls, and there is something almost quaint and antique about her that is very satisfying and appealing. There is something storybook-ish about Jamie; she puts me in mind of the dolls Sara Crewe might have seen with her Papa while searching for Emily in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess, as well the dolls in Tasha Tudor’s A Doll’s Christmas. At first Jamie seemed almost familiar to me, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on whatever it was she reminded me of. Then I remembered these illustrations in a beautiful storybook called Becky’s Birthday by Tasha Tudor:

Tasha Tudor illustration 2

Tasha Tudor illustration 1

Jamie reminds me so much of Becky!

So I’ve named my Jamie doll Tasha, after the beloved children’s book author and illustrator. Tasha is a treasured family member here at A Doll’s Picnic, and I very much hope to have her friend Maru join our family sometime as well. This is the first doll I’ve owned who truly looks like she was made by an artist. I am in awe of her, and cannot recommend her highly enough. My only reservation is that I would hesitate to give Jamie to a girl younger than eight or nine, on account of her delicate curls. These dolls are sturdier than they appear, but they are so beautiful that it would be a shame to see them abused by a careless child. This is a doll that a loving child would treasure for years, and is certain to become a precious heirloom. In all, I am amazed and delighted by these exquisite dolls, and I hope Maru and Friends will be available to children and collectors for many years to come.

Maru and Friends Jamie doll 21