The Yomy dolls

I created the 15 inch tall Yomys from simple, everyday materials – cotton socks, yarn and pieces of calico and lace. They are lovingly put together with needle and thread as Maebelle, the fictional slave mother in The Yomy Tales, An American Experience, made for her twin daughters, Gracie and Goodie.

I chose to represent the Yomys in ruffles and lace outfits, not the usual attire for slave children’s dolls circa 1850. However, in the story, Maebelle is an experienced seamstress and you will soon discover how she came about making the Yomy’s pretty outfits.

Moon Spirit

Moon Spirit was the first rag doll I made to illustrate the main character in The Adventures of Moon Spirit.
Inspiration for her design came from my old Raggedy Ann doll that not only survived my childhood, but that of my daughters, Rachel and Amanda and granddaughters Kristin, Leigh, Jackie and Amy. As for my original Raggedy Ann, I can tell you that she is now getting a much deserved rest in a display case at the Toy and Dollhouse Museum in Bennington Vermont.

Anna

When I realized that my memoir Anna Heart of a Peasant was turning into my grandmother’s life story, I knew that I had to recreate a picture in my mind of what Anna looked like as a young girl growing up in Russia at the end of the 19th century.

There were no photos taken of her to go by so I did some research on the Library of Congress website and discovered some wonderful old photographs of people who lived at the same time she did in the countryside of what is now called Belarus. Inspired by these photos, Anna appeared wearing a colorful print blouse, multilayered skirts with the mandatory babuska covering her long thick hair.

Anna and Vincenty
Of course, my Anna doll was ever present as I wrote her story, encouraging me to explore her world. As the story progressed, I changed her appearance a bit, giving her the red embroidery on the blouse and a more grown up look suitable for a young girl that was turning into a beautiful young woman.

Months later I felt the need to represent my Anna as a young bride since the only professional photograph we had of her was taken on her wedding day. Still later, I created Anna’s beloved husband Vincenty as a doll to be with my grandmother forever.