Donna urged me to consider submitting some "trivia" articles to a history magazine, so I've been working on one about china dolls. I have two--a reproduction made by my great-aunt in the late 50s or early 60s and the head of a doll dating from the 1880s given to me by my beloved "Uncle Dutch".
A bachelor, Uncle Dutch lived and died in the house built by his parents, pioneer ranchers in the early days of the county. He never married, so he passed on some of his mother's things to me, including the little china doll head. It is mounted on a felt "lily-pad" and wears an elfin hat (both of which I removed for the picture), so I don't know if his mother bought the head for the purpose of making the table decoration or if it came from a doll she played with as a child.
I've done a great deal of research online and at the library. Last week I went to two antique stores which I'd contacted by phone to ascertain that they had some china dolls in stock. Both places were more than willing to allow me to photograph the dolls. At one shop I met a woman who collects dolls and is knowledgeable about them, so I went back today to interview her. She gave me quite a few interesting facts to add to the draft of the article.
So it remains only to write the article in final form and organize the photographs before submitting. I would love to have the article accepted for a variety of reasons, the most important one being that researching "old" information is particularly satisfying, and writing about it even more so! I'd love to do more of that---and being able to sell such articles for publication would be very motivating.