I was sorting through an old box that had been sitting far too long, waiting for its turn to be organized, when my fingers felt a familiar soft fuzzy edge. There was no surprise, only a tug at my heart and a smile of remembrance, when I pulled out a well used pattern piece made from a file folder.

 Thirty years ago, I started making simple cloth dolls stuffed with rags for a local antique shop. Cereal boxes, gift boxes with graphics that I liked, and basic file folders were my go to materials for my doll body patterns.

True to myself, my work was always scattered around the table and evidently too much of a temptation for my oldest son, seven years old at the time, to resist helping out his mom with her creativity. While I was tending to his younger brother, he lent a hand with drawing in a perfectly primitive face and my favorite part, the heart. He drew a heart and I loved it. 

That day I wrote the date of his scribbles on the pattern piece, retired it, tucked it safely away as a keepsake, and promptly made a new one. That old one had been traced around so many times that the sharp edge of the card stock had been worn into a fuzzy soft edge gray with lead pencil.

Today when I pulled out the doll pattern, and I saw that naively drawn face and heart, all the years caught between now and then disappeared, and my heart welled up with love for my little boy who dared to  grow up and have children of his own.

As someone who loves simplicity but is sentimental at heart, a battle often brews within of should I keep or should I not. Today, my momma's heart is glad that 28 years ago, there was a day when I decided to keep.

How about you? What have you been glad, years later, that you kept?


From time to time, I still make dolls and use the same basic shape as I did thirty years ago. Here are a few from over the years.



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