Thursday, October 06, 2011

What's in a Name?

I've always enjoyed naming my handmade rag dolls. Its a part of the whole process that I save until the last. I take a look at the finished doll and think what she'd like to be called...Generally its the fabrics that I've used for her clothes that suggest a name, such as antique fabrics from France, so she'll need a French name. Scottish mohair used for a cosy jacket will mean I'll give her a typically Scottish or Celtic name. Dainty ditsy printed cotton dresses on my dolls, usually mean she'll have a particularly feminine name, one I can imagine a sweet little girl being called.

I generally go for traditional names though, sometimes a little old fashioned, or ones in less common use these days to suggest that she's a doll from a different time...An old sole from another era.
A name which I feel appropriate is hand written onto a tag and is tied to the doll's wrist. I then feel she is as complete as I can make her, and she is ready to find her new home.

For some time now I have collected old postcards with girl's names printed on them. I had been considering using them instead of my hand written tags, but it has been difficult to find enough to use. So instead they remain with me and have joined the other postcards in my collection.

This one would have been perfect for a handmade dolly!
Phyllis must have been from the same series of cards...
Cora is one of my favourites, with her tarnished silver glitter letters.
Three cards that must have been another design style for a whole series...
and Rose.
Flora is a photographic card and has actresses faces of the time making up the letters.
Wednesday (OK, I've cheated on this one! ;-))
And Elsie.
Lovely names and beautiful postcards from a time when they would have been carefully selected for a recipient...A perfect sentimental keepsake and far more personal than the email, e-card, or text message of today!
I'm just an old fashioned girl at heart!
Niki x
PS: I just wanted to thank Krissie for her very kind and generous blog post that she has written today, about me and my blog, and all the items (including a rag doll) that she has bought from me over the years. Thank you very much!! x x


  1. Anonymous8:56 pm

    Hi Niki,
    Oooooh i love those name cards so much and Cora is such a fabulous name,i have not come across the girl's name post cardss before and that is one of the reasons i love your blog its not only full of beautiful pictures it takes me to lovely old pretty things i didn't know existed and to places i haven't seen before.

    Love to your old fashioned heart,
    Krissie xxx

  2. Hi Niki.
    Wonder always visit your blog.
    It 'a daily appointment to which does not give up ever!
    Thank you, a hug, Maria.
    (with translator)

  3. I love your dollies they are so pretty, and those postcards are wonderful.
    One day I will make it to your shop! (Long story as to why I didn't make it last year)
    Julie xxxxxxx

  4. Wonderful dollies, beautiful evocative cards.
    Hope you have a lovely weekend.
    Carol xx

  5. Hi - I feel like I know you already after reading your profile. I too have 3 daughters + 4 gorgeous grandchildren - I live with my husband of 33 years in Queensland, Australia, but visited Bath and your area of beautful England 3 years ago - my grandparents came from England. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog and will definitely be back - please feel free to visit me and feel welcome to follow me - thanks, Jenny @ French A La Beach.

  6. I collect vintage postcards.I shall have to go and see if I have some name ones.I love your rag dolls.

  7. The postcards are lovely (as are your dolls!)
    I have a collection of silver & gold name brooches with delightfully old fashioned names. My grandmaothers were Gertrude & Olivia - Gertrude is definitely old fashioned now, but currently Olivia is one of the most popular names for girls!

  8. Hello Niki, I love the postcards ( and the beautiful dolls too, of course). I know it wouldn't be quite the same but could you scan in the postcards on the printer and make them into labels that way? I'm thinking of doing that with old book covers....Jane x

  9. I just stumbled across your blog for the first time -- your dolls are lovely, and those name postcards are so neat!


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx