Saturday, July 26, 2014

Painting Faces On Acorns

My grandmother was descended from simple country folk. As a child, she and a girl friend would go into the nearby woods to make doll houses. They had no doll houses or even dolls, so they would make them.

They started with slabs of tree bark, (maybe shag bark hickory) which they used for the walls and roof. For carpets they used sheets of moss, which was appropriate, for her name was Green.

What about dolls to live in these little houses? Hollyhock blossoms! The little bulbs at the stem would be the faces, and the petals made beautiful, flowing skirts. For extra fancy dresses, hollyhocks of different colors were used. Maybe white for the outer dress and pink for the petty coat. In her old age, her face would light up as she recalled these memories.

One day we went for a visit, but Grandma did not answer our knocks. We searched the house and finally found her in the basement, seated at a little table. When she noticed us she blushed. "Oh, you've caught me!" she said.

Spread out on the table was a basket of acorns with their caps removed. She had yarn too, some of it carefully teased into strands and braided to make doll hair. She had been gluing these tiny little hairdos onto the acorns and then replacing the caps. Last stage was painting delicate faces on her natural dolls, tiny little smiling faces. We had caught her, being natural, and recalling the happy days in the woods of her childhood.

Isn't there a Smart Phone app for such things now? No, and there never will be.

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