Friday, May 23, 2014

A Just Because Gift

Beautiful white dress and photo of dolls in background wearing dresses using the same material

Last year's birthday gift from me to me will be a year old in June.  Smiling Debbie (Smilling Debbie) arrived a couple of weeks after last year's birthday.  She made her first appearance on the blog here.

Smiling Debbie has been redressed a few times but has not enjoyed a redress since the Christmas season of 2013.  I recently shared photos with fellow collectors and made a note during the share that she was long overdue for a redress.

This past Wednesday, which was my birthday, I visited the post office to retrieve mail and was pleasantly surprised by a package.  The contents consisted of a letter, a photograph, a gorgeous white dress sewn from the most beautiful ribbon-accented fabric, a length of yellow ribbon as an extra sash, and a pair of white lace anklet.

Dress with blue sash, white lace anklets, and photo of two of Betty Ativie's dolls

The package was from doll friend, Betty Ativie, who made the dress without the use of a store-bought pattern.  Her letter indicated she made dresses from the same material for her favorite doll, Leleti (by Annette Himstedt) and Janelle (a Lorna Miller Sands creation) and had enough fabric left to make one more.   The dress I received was the additional dress.  Betty ended her letter by writing, "I hope you will enjoy this 'Just Because' gift."

I read the letter while seated in my car on the post office parking lot.  After admiring the dress,  I immediately knew who would be the lucky recipient.  So I rushed home to "play dolls."  What a perfect way to spend the afternoon of the anniversary of my birth.


After Smiling Debbie's redress, I telephoned Betty to thank her for her kindness.  She had no idea that day was my birthday.  We were both fascinated by the coincidence of her making the dress and it arriving when it did.  We both agreed the act was inspired by God.  She said, "He wanted you to have that dress!" 

Since Smiling Debbie did not have shoes to complement her new dress, I traced her barefoot on a piece of card stock to create a pattern before going shoe shopping later that day. 

Tracing of Smiling Debbie's foot, which was used to measure shoes for her extra wide feet.

At the store, the tracing served as the doll's foot.  I was able to insert the tracing inside shoes to ensure a proper fit.  I already knew she would require a toddler size 6, but due to the width of her foot, unless the shoe is a wide cut, not any size 6 will fit.  I found white ballerina style shoes at Marshall's.  A day later, I purchased an extra pair of infant's lace ankle socks.

After the redress, Smiling Debbie took the following photos to share.
A grosgrain ribbon rose accents the toe of Smiling Debbie's new shoes. She holds the anklets Betty sent, which are too small for her.
She models her new dress, shoes, and anklets while holding Anisha by Heidi Plusczok.
The yellow ribbon sash prompted an exchange in doll companions from Anisha to Jamilla by Wendy Lawton.
The final photograph was taken outside with a brown bear companion who has lost one of his yellow slippers somewhere in the doll room.
Isn't this dress lovely? 

Thank you again, Betty for your thoughtful generosity and for brightening my day.  Smiling Debbie thanks you, too!



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21 comments:

  1. Gorgeous! Happy Blated sis......there are so many angels amongst us...The best gifts to give and receive are those just because gifts!

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    1. Yes, yes, yes... I definitely agree. We are surrounded by angels. Some we can see, some we cannot. Some we know. Some we do not. I love receiving and giving just because gifts!

      Thank you for the happy birthday wish. Happy birthday to you, again, Cathy!

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  2. Happy belated birthday! That dress is simply divine and perfect for Smiling Debbie. You are so right about the just because gifts. I've received my fair share, and lately I've been blessed to send out some myself. It's such a wonderful way to put a smile on lots of faces.

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    1. Thank you, Vanessa! It's good to have lived this long. As they say, the more you give, the more He'll give to you.

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  3. I forgot to mention.....I like your new banner picture. I've been wanting to make some updates to my blog. Maybe this will inspire to get it done.

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    1. Thank you for the compliment on the blog's new look, Vanessa and others who have commented. I am deeply indebted to Bobby Ellis Jones (Son of Ellis) for sharing his wonderful gift. He transformed the original of the image of me and some of my dolls into this remarkable work of art.

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  4. Happy Belated Birthday, Debbie! The dress is beautiful, and Smiling Debbie looks extra happy now. I love the new photo at the the top - very cute!

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  5. Happy Birthday!

    The dress is lovely - and the new banner is fantastic!

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    1. Thank you jSarie!.

      I am loving the dress and the banner, too!

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  6. Happy Birthday! This doll is truly precious!

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  7. The dress is gorgeous! A belated birthday greeting to you.

    I like your new header photo!

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    1. Still celebrating, Muff 'cause it's good to still be here. I want to stay at least 59 more years.

      :-)

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  8. Happy slightly belated birthday. I love the dress and the fabric is so wonderfully dimensional. Also, your new header image is lovely.

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    1. Thank you, RLC! I have the answer (or an approximate answer) to the question you asked about Cynthia's original price. I will share that in a follow-up post soon.

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  9. Happy Birthday - late yes, but sincere. Glad to hear you received such a lovely doll dress for Smiling Debbie. The blog banner is cool, too. Congratulations on it! Bobby Ellis Jones did a great job.

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    1. Thank you, D7ana for the sincere happy birthday wish and for the congrats on the banner. I am loving it (I think I wrote that in an earlier comment, but it it true!)

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!