I love matryoshska dolls, aka Russian nesting dolls. They make me happy. Perhaps I am reminded of this:
And now, a moment of silence for my little glass matryoshka ornament, who was killed when she fell from the height of a branch as she was being hung on the tree. Farewell, sweet girl. We never had a chance to know thee.
Target has also been rather matryoshka mad as of late. One of these felted wool doll ornaments is waiting in an Advent calendar bag. Some of these adorable Fred Flare kitchen products (the measuring cups, salt and pepper shakers, and measuring spoons) were spotted on an endcap there recently. (I've seen them at my favorite local health store, too.) Those Babushcups! I need these! And these wooden darlings came home with us:
The girls attempted to name them. I think we have an Anya, a Katya, a Karina, and a Masha, but I could be wrong. Of course, I would love a collection of the real thing. I would love to visit Russia someday. I love Dostoevsky and Chekhov and ballet and onion domes and Orthodox icons... and et cetera, et cetera. There are a few fabulous sites out there for the real thing. For cheap, kitschy and modern, check out Matryoshka Madness. (Many of their nesting dolls can be purchased on Amazon.) You can also find a large assortment at the Golden Cockerel, a company based out of North Carolina and St. Petersburg, Russia. There is also a site called Russian Crafts, based solely in St. Petersburg, that has a huge selection of matryoshka dolls, as well as a brief history.
And last, let me share a couple of our recent library finds!
The Littlest Matryoshka by Corinne Demas Bliss, illustrated by Kathryn Brown. Hyperion, 1999.
This is a sweet story of a set of matryoshka dolls, a set of 6, made in Russia then imported to a shop overseas. The toy shop owner lines them up on a shelf, but the littlest is knocked off the shelf, out the door, and buried in the snow. A little girl buys the set anyway, and the littlest doll begins a long journey, as her sisters stand watch.
The Magic Nesting Doll by Jacqueline K. Ogburn, illustrated by Laurel Long. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2000.
This book is just magical. It is a modern fairy tale about a girl who must make her way in the world, with only the magic nesting doll her grandmother gave to her. The doll may only be opened three times, and only when one has the greatest need. Katya sets out with her doll, only to find out about a sleeping prince who lies frozen like living ice. It is a reverse Sleeping Beauty story, with the heroine rescuing the prince, and herself, by using her magic nesting doll when the need is the greatest.
The illustrations on this one are SPECTACULAR.
For lots more matryoshka goodness, including products, crafts, fabric, sweets, decor, and more, visit my Matryoska Love Pinterest board! (Remember the "There's an app for that!" commercials? My theme could be "I got a board for that!")