Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Attic Days

There once was a little bit of a doll named Lucy
who was very lonely indeed.
Her days were spent in the dim and drafty attic of a home whose family had long since moved out into the world. The attic was large and yet filled to the brim with the dusty
 remnants of past times. Trunks stuffed with old fashioned clothing
and fine stitched quilts were tucked along the rafters, and furniture upon
which meals had been served, lessons had been taught, and dreams had been dreamt
now stood in ramshackle piles that created a series of
mazelike paths around and about them.
A journey down these pathways promised hours of adventure for all along the wayside
were secreted stashes of treasure to be discovered. Boxes of photos, bundles of letters,
and even a scattering of postcards held clues from which the history of
home and habitants could be chronicled. Larger and more obvious items had their
own stories to be told. A hanging birdcage, long ago party to numerous
conversations from friends both fine and feathered, now stood
an empty watch at the intersection of two paths and a large braided rug,
previously the foundation for childhood fantasy, kept its tales
rolled and bound up tight in storage.

 Sad to say, Lucy’s days of taking journeys were long past. For many years now she had remained nestled in a woven basket along with an assortment of neglected sewing notions. Her company consisted of a small community of pins and a dwindled congregation of buttons. It should not be thought that she failed to appreciate her basket home, however, for it kept her quite safe and warm. She even had a small velvet cushion which, despite some balding here and there, made for a bed of much comfort, and in the winter she could pile snippets of fabric from the scrap bag on top of it and stay ever so cozy.

 Lucy was most thankful, however, for the fact that her basket contained enough spools of thread that if stacked just right, she could perch upon them for a view beyond the brim. If she looked directly down, the enormous chest upon which her basket sat could be seen. It was a finely crafted piece of furniture and something for which she had both fondness and fear. Its contents were of no mystery to her although she could not remember the last time they had been put to task in the decking of a Christmas tree.
She imagined the ornaments within remained as bright and shiny as ever for
while quite delicate and prone to disaster when handled, she knew that stored away in the chest with depths of straw around them they were safe as could be. Opening the Christmas chest had, at one time, been a much anticipated event but now it seemed the excitement within had been forgotten by all but one small wooden doll.
When looking out beyond the chest Lucy’s eyes traveled across the expanse of the attic
                   in ways she feared she herself never would. Maneuvering up and down a few spools of thread was one thing but throwing herself down from the height
of the Christmas chest something else all together. Even in the absence of human presence,
motion of any kind was difficult for Lucy as she was a doll without legs.
The little bit of her that was left had, out of necessity, been permanently attached
to a wooden base. It was an alteration that allowed her to stand up straight on her own,
but unlike dolls of the jointed variety her movements were limited to tiny hops.
To leap from the Christmas chest therefore would be to abandon her basket home forever,
for she knew it unreasonable to even imagine
she could just as easily hop back up.

 Thus Lucy stayed put and made the best of her situation. The great height at which her basket sat, for instance, could be considered a blessing in that it did afford her a view out a front dormer window. She made it a daily habit to hop the spools and stretch her neck as much as a doll is able in order to catch a glimpse of the worldly activities down below.
In turn she would gaze skyward for a peek at the aerial activities of the bluebirds that nested themselves in the eaves along the roof. On occasion, one of these feathered friends would even sit upon the sill and serenade her with a song.
The glimpses of sunshine and chanced birdsong did much to brighten Lucy’s existence in that dim attic and the comforts of her basket home kept her tucked away from the worst of the drafts. For these things she was very grateful. There was, however, one more thing that Lucy had.....
It was perhaps her greatest treasure even though it could not be seen, or heard, or felt. It was glorious and heartwarming in ways no dormer window or velvet cushion could ever hope to be and it was never out of her reach for it lived deep within every fiber of her little wooden being. It was her ability to remember, and although each recalled event was no more than a snippet of the past, over the years she had stitched them into a patchwork of memories that comforted her from the inside out.

Thank you for this opportunity to introduce you to
a little bit of a doll named Lucy
and the beginning of a series of books about her called
"The Patchwork Tales."
The stories have been written, illustrated,
and bound by me, natalie jo! And just because I thought it
would be fun I'm also creating
a line of accessories to go with the tales.
The first two items available are Lucy and a miniature doll sized version
of the first book, "Attic Days."
These and future accessories can be found here in my Etsy shop.


  1. Natali Jo, I received your adorable Patchwork Tale, Attic Days, today. I love your drawings and handwritten story and the craftsmanship of the tiny book. Have you ever done a post about your artist studio where you create your dolls and books?

    1. Many thanks Cathy for such kind words about my little book...you made my day. The closest I have to an artist studio is the three season porch we have attached to the back of our house. Years past it served as a play area for the kiddies but now I have claimed it as my own to use during, at least during the fair weather months! I have a bit of a post about it here- http://www.piccalillidays.blogspot.com/2014/05/eminent-domain.html

  2. Thank you for sending me the link to your studio. I love to see where artists create!