Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Topsy-turvy, photos, scarves...and more!

It seems like winter just started, and yet it's already about time for spring! Don't get us wrong...we love the warm weather and the pitter-patter of children's (and adults') feet, but it's hard to believe the busy season is upon us again. But for that, as always, we are grateful.

Sometimes visitors ask, however, what we do when visitation is slower. On chilly winter days, while our interpreters wait to greet you, they are typically busy with "behind the scenes" tasks. For example, in January, they worked very diligently to help organize photographs from the Village's institutional archives and place them in albums.

They also decided to undertake new craft ventures to provide even more beautiful handmade (Village made) items for our museum store. Lately the women have been working their fingers to nubbins producing topsy-turvy dolls. Every time one is made, it immediately sells (so please call ahead if you're coming in to purchase one). Fortunately we took photos of a couple of the sweet darling dolls before they went into the shop.

Topsy-turvy dolls have a fascinating history. These dolls became popular in the southern U.S. before the Civil War. They could have been made for slave children by their mothers so they could have a “hidden” doll when the master was around. Or, the dolls could have been made for the children of the slave owner for role play. More than likely, both explanations hold some truth. You can read more about topsy-turvy dolls here. We are currently producing the aforementioned as well as "asleep/awake" dolls.

Interpreters have also begun making beautiful knit scarves. Since Texas is not well-known for its scarf weather, they are also planning to expand their "line" to include blankets, booties, and whatever else they imagine!

And we still carry many other Village-made treats like fresh ground cornmeal, lye soap, hand-forged dinner bell triangles, wooden walking sticks, yarn dolls, candles, and more! Stop into the store and see what's new!

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