Holiday Doll Doodlewash


The vote was close this time around, but ultimately, something a little girl might play with won out. I used “might” to avoid any gender issues, as it’s equally okay if a little boy wanted to play with this doll and a little girl had no interest whatsoever. This is a doodlewash of a little Ribbon Candy Ballerina doll from Madame Alexander. This little vixen was part of the holiday collection around four years ago. I don’t own one of these, but was very aware of Madame Alexander growing up because my mother was a doll collector.

After my sister, who’s 12 years older, moved out of the house, my mother used her room to house her doll collection. I was hoping to get that room as it was larger than mine, but the dolls won instead. Some of the coolest dolls in her collection are a series of ordinary Barbies that she made awesome with intricately crocheted outfits. There’s every version you can imagine right down to Scartlett O’Hara from Gone With The Wind.

She, of course, has the “big head” dolls, or dolls made to look “cuter” by exaggerating the head size. For some reason these creep me out. Maybe it’s one too many horror movies, but the larger the head gets the more terrifying they become. When I went to Texas several years ago to stay in the room I always stay in, I discovered my mother had remodeled and I suddenly found myself sharing a room with only big head dolls. While I can usually handle the sight of one, I instead was left alone with 50 oversized heads starting at me with gigantic dead eyes just waiting for me to sleep so they could attack. Okay… that’s a little dramatic, but it perfectly illustrates my neurosis.

So I never really played with dolls. I preferred teddy bears or plush animals of any kind. I even loved the little rubber figurines of animals that you could get to create your own miniature zoo (I liked the fat ones because they seemed more sturdy and valuable so the elephants and the hippos were always my favorites). Looking back, this preference for animals was probably a bit of foreshadowing for my fear of large parties and lack of interest in human portrait drawing. I just really love animals and, best of all, they don’t require you to remember their birthdays or get miffed if you neglect to post something on Facebook about it.

But if, like my mother, you’re someone who loves dolls regardless of the size of their head, then that’s awesome! Maybe Santa will put one under the tree for you this year (if you’ve managed to avoid being naughty of course!). And although I didn’t share my mother’s love of dolls, I loved watching my mother delight in them. In all these years, she never once lost her inner child, and quite thankfully, that is something I’ve inherited.

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

40 replies on “Holiday Doll

  1. Charlie, this made me laugh. There seems to be two doll camps- the love ’em camp, and the creep me camp. I also was not fond of dolls as a child and much preferred stuffed animals. I guess this is telling of what camp I can be found in ;). Beautiful and brave work here though!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always wanted a doll with the color of my eyes – dark brown but they always (used to) come in blue! 😜 Your post cracked me up about the big head dolls! 🙀 I loved to play with Barbies (and Ken) when I was a young girl until my older sister told me I was too old! 😢 I loved the outfits my mom and grandma made for these dolls. Your mom sounds really creative, Charlie! 😍 Your doodlewash of this doll is quite spectacular! 🌟💕🌟 Super details in her outfit! 💖💕 Glad you still have your inner child! 😃🎨🎄🎁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jill! 💕😃 Yeah, these dolls never seemed to have brown eyes. I think if they did, they’d look less creepy! Lol My mom is super creative and really great at making outfits for these little things! Thankfully she also made them for my plush animals friends as well! 😃🐶👍🏻hehe

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so sweet Charlie, a great tribute to your mom! I don’t collect dolls but I loved them as a kid. My first doll was a Betsy Wetsy, hehe. Then I has Revlon doll, before Barbie was out. My mom made all the clothes, great memories.
    Thanks Charlie and 4 more days but who’s counting! 🎄

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Sharon!! 💕😃Haha! Betsy Wetsy! I remember that doll! Then they moved on to Baby Alive which actually pooped as well and had an even larger head! Terrifying! 😳And extra high maintenance! But yay to Christmas coming soon!! I actually only have to wait 3 for the fun since we open presents Christmas Eve!! 😉😃👍🏻🎄

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My girls and I are definitely in the no doll camp. American dolls were becoming popular when my youngest daughter was four and thank goodness they weren’t obsessed. Have you seen the prices? Wow!

    I just didn’t get playing dolls. Just never could. My girls had a doll house and even my son would play with it but those dolls were smaller and they were members of the family. One summer, kids and I decorated the house. Put shingles on the roof, carpeted several rooms, tiled others and put wood down in the living room. We had more fun doing that than we ever did playing with dolls! Lol. I think when I was a child, I always loved paper dolls so I could create outfits for them. But I totally get the creepiness of big head dolls.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe! Glad you agree Kari!! 💕😃And I agree on doll houses! I found them so fascinating with all the little miniature objects. I always wanted one to put together and design, but didn’t want any tiny people for it. 😊 Paper dolls would be fun to design from scratch! You should try that! Hehe

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this doll. And the outfit is perfect for the holidays. We still have the baby dolls my girls played with…one even went to the doll hospital to be reconstructed, she was played with so much. I preferred paper dolls as a child myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. OOOOHHH Charlie O! I am not a doll fan, but I am a Charlie fan, and I cannot believe how amazing you doodlewashed this!!!!! How I would love to watch you do this from start to finish as i cannot even imagine how you whip this masterpieces up daily – like it is nothing! Such TALENT! I am blown away once again by your talent – not to mention your great storytelling – your social consciousness – your integrity – and most of all your HUGE Heart! 4 more days, buddy, until you get to give and open those treasured gifts you are hiding! Holiday hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Did you just try to see how many compliments you could pack in to take the blush meter over the top!!? 😊😊hehe Thanks so much Jodi!! You’re the sweetest! ❤️😃 And I know!! It’s getting so close to gift time…I really think Philippe will give the best gifts as always, but I hope he likes my little attempts! 😊hehe


  7. Extraordinary painting, she look’s delightful and sweet as a button. Your ordeal spending the night in a room full of “big head” dolls, with those flat, doll-like eyes just watching…staring… oh my…./shiver. Teddy bears and animal plushies rock…just saying. Thank you for a another delightful feature, always enjoyable. Peace….(the image of that room with the dolls, I need to go find my Teddy for a hug…lol)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a funny post and all the reactions to dolls. Seems few of us played with dolls. I wasn’t a fan of dolls either, although the one you painted is very cute. I too liked plush critters, blocks, legos, coloring and a few real cats and dogs, and of course my orange awesome bike.

    Now I’m hoping you doodlewash your christmas presents. All this anticipation, how will we see what all was under the tree?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe it’s something doodlewashers just have in common…hmmm….hehe. No idea what that means. But plush and Legos seem to be a common theme with us as well! And as for the gifts… No idea yet if they’re be something inspiring for a doodlewash. Hehe, but I know they’ll be super cool! 😉🎄😃

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I like the doll you’ve doodlewashed and I don’t think that would creep me out. I love the colours! I’m with you on dolls with huge heads and piercing dead eyes, though. Hideous. Thankfully, I don’t remember ever having to put up with such things – no-one in my family had very many dolls…

    …well, my brother had Batman figures and I had WWF figures, which of course are dolls, much as we both tried to refute those claims. But they weren’t nearly as creepy as the concoctions of which you speak.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, ah yes, *that* was what they called them! Boys would never play with dolls, of course. Indeed, they weren’t on the level of creepy dolls, but some of the faces were so bad they probably unnerved a few!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh, my! Of all your doodlewashes that have crossed my path so far, this is your masterpiece! I bet from the colours of her outfit that she’s a little Italian miss. And love those dainty booties. She looks ready to dance, right arm up — tango or salsa? *sigh
    Merry Christmas wishes to you, Charlie, Philippe, Phineas and Buff. I won’t be around for the next few days, so thought I’d better get in early (have posts scheduled). I’m glad you’re a part of the WordPress family….cheeri-pip! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Janina!! That’s so sweet of you to say…I think she is ready to get her groove on! Hehe I’m really glad you like her!! 😃😃💕 And Merry Christmas to you and yours!! So thrilled to have “met” you here! See you on the other side of Christmas! 😉👍🏻🎄😃


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