Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Story of Lilli Belle.....

Dear readers, I know in my last post I promised to show you some Christmas crafting and fab swap goodies, however, I woke up quite ill in the wee smalls this morning. I thought I would just post one craft creation and the story that goes with her as she is a little Christmas paper doll ornament and her story is a Christmas story.

I made this little paper doll ornament for Pinkie D over at Pinkpomegranate. She was one of the participants who signed up for my Pay It Forward craft gifts. She loves dolls, collects them, restores them, and even makes her own. She said it was OK to share her and her story. Pinkie's custom made doll has a little green vintage velvet coat and tiny pink slippers ,(Pinkie's favorite color is pink!), made from vintage velvet ribbon. This little paper dolls name is Lilli Belle and this is her story:
Lilli Belle grew up in the antebellum era in the rural South. The South was still reeling from the effects of the Civil War and trying to recover. Christmas time was fast approaching and Lilli Belle's mother, Vivian Rose, wanted to have some sense of normalcy for her family during the holiday season but times were lean indeed. The thriving plantation life they had once known was an ever present memory and a painful reminder that the lifestyle they had led was a bygone era and change was inevitable. What little they had left, that which had not been burned or looted was very precious indeed. Vivian Rose fretted over what she could do to make this Christmas a special one for the one remaining child she had, losing two young sons in the war, yet still thankful for the return of her husband, Captain Clark.

This particular winter seemed more bitter and cold than past winters, perhaps it really was, or maybe it just seemed so with so much raw pain and loss so recent in the heart and memory. Vivian Rose, being a talented seamstress, wanted to outfit Lilli Belle in a warm outer garment at the very least. She sifted through the meager family possessions and found some worn green velvet that had served as a bed covering and she found a pink velvet pillow cover that had faded and aged and was a bit spotted here and there but yes, these would do nicely. She carefully laundered the velvets and sketched out her patterns and late at night while Lilli Belle slept her mother stitched by candle light until her fingers were weary and her eyes heavy. Captain Clark was concerned about his little daughters health and well being also, she having always been of fragile health, and wanting to make this Christmas special went out hunting early one morning. A light dusting of snow covered the ground and little animal tracks could be seen imprinted in the snow. Just what he was looking for, rabbit tracks, could be seen leading off into the winter dead blackberry bramble. Setting a trap he hoped to snare a rabbit for two reasons, one to provide food for his families table and the other for a Christmas surprise for Lilli Belle.

Lilli Belle was a very bight and merry child and she delighted in the world around her and was a great comfort, joy, and blessing to her parents. She had a beautiful clear singing voice and often sang solo's in her church choir. It was often said that she was aptly named, for she was named after her mother's favorite flower the Lily of the Valley. The Lily of the Valley was regarded as a symbol of purity and the return of happiness for it is the sweetest flower imaginable. The flowers were also called Ladder to Heaven because the miniature flower-bells grew like steps up the stem. So it was that she was called Lilli Belle, Lilli for the name of the flower and Belle for the flowers shape. Her voice rang out pure and clear and gladdened the heart of the hearer and lifted the soul up the ladder to heaven.
Both the efforts of Vivian Rose and Captain Clark were rewarded as a little green velvet coat and dainty pink slippers took shape under such skilled hands of a clever seamstress and there was meat on the table as well as soft warm fur enough to trim out the entire little coat with enough left over to be fashioned into a warm winter muff to keep Lilli Belle's tiny hands warm. Vivian Rose wanted to make the little garment extra special so she took some trim from her wedding gown, gossamer tulle, pearls, ribbon roses, buttons, and lace and skillfully and cleverly applied them.

On Christmas morning Lilli Belle awoke with a song on her lips and joy in her heart. Such is the resiliency of a child, to be able to find joy in the midst of sadness. She was particularly excited about singing a solo later in the morning at a special Christmas gathering at church. She fretted a little over the fact that her now "best" dress was growing worn and faded and did wish, as all young girls do, to have something new and pretty to wear. With a sigh she decided it did not matter so much as long as she still had mama and papa.

The ringing of sleigh bells sent her into action as she leapt from bed and raced into the parlor. There stood papa by the tree, sleigh bells in hand, ringing in the Christmas morning as he had always done. Mama sat in her chair by the fire smiling and holding the family Bible. Lilli Belle curled herself upon the hearth rug tucking her feet up under her for warmth and settled in the hear papa read the Christmas story. As papa finished reading he and mama seemed to have special twinkle in their eyes. Lilli Belle was curious but said nothing. Papa invited her into the kitchen for one of mama's Christmas buns and warm milk while mama excused herself and said she would join them in a moment. Lilli Belle swung her legs from the tall chair upon which she sat and enjoyed the delicious sweetness of the bun as mama entered the kitchen. Vivian Rose and Captain Clark shared a knowing smile and suggested that she hurry and get ready for church.

Lilli Belle entered her room, stopped, and stood statue still near the edge of her bed. At first she thought her eyes must be playing tricks on her. She tentatively reached out her hand to stroke the soft creamy fur trim, fingered the pearl beads, and examined the tiny pink velvet slippers. Then a cry of joy escaped her and laughter, dancing, and singing followed. She twirled to find mama and papa standing her doorway with smiles wreathing their faces. She thanked them for her Christmas coat, slippers, and muff.

Later that morning she stood before the congregation enfolded not only in the warmth of her new Christmas garments but in the love of her parents and she sang. Her voice rang out loud and clear and filled each heart with Christmas cheer.

I hope you enjoyed the story of Lilli Belle and that you will be filled with Christmas cheer this season.

Merry Christmas,
Miss Sandy


Pinkie Denise said...

Oh, yes I know that Christmas Cheer,
She brings me joy everytime I see her.Lilli Belle has a good home now and much company, with her other dolly friends. Thank you so much Miss
Sandy for your wonderful gift of Lilli and her precious story........
Merry Christmas Pinkie Denise

Cathy said...

Sandy, Thank you for stopping by and enjoying my pink holiday decorations. Your blog is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, I love Lillibelle's story. And your beautiful blog. Thank you!
Stephanie V.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Very nice story...Lilli Belle is beautiful.

Hope that you've been feeling better today.

bluemuf said...

Sandy, The doll is lovely and the story of Lilli Belle is so beautiful. Thank you and Pinkie Denise for sharing this lovely Christmas story you wrote.


Be Inspired Always said...

Great story :)


~~kattz*cottage~~ said...

What a Lovely Lilli Belle & such a precious story! Thanks for sharing & thank you for visiting my cottage!

Happy Holidays!

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