Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Greats

I just remembered the time when I was in junior high and we studied about some of the Russian czars. I was really taken by Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. Somehow I got it in my head that they were married - not all THAT stupid, as Peter was married to a woman named Catherine - and that their last name was The Great. Or something like that. Anyway, I was so fascinated by these two that I made a doll of each of them. I don't remember exactly how I did it. I think I used some kind of wire for armatures, and wrapped them with some fabric. I don't know how I made the heads, but I remember using white cotton snitched from aspirin bottles to make the hair. For their royal purple clothes, I had this wide satin ribbon in a deep purple color. Not the easiest thing to sew, but somehow I managed. I got hold of some pearls and gold thread and other fancy stuff and really dressed them up. I took them to school and showed them to my teacher, and she put them in the display case for a couple of weeks. I sure wish I had a picture of Peter and Catherine The Great.

If you haven't read Robert K. Massie's "Peter the Great," you owe it to yourself. He was an astonishing character who dragged Russia kicking and screaming from the middle ages to the beginning of the modern era. It's one of my favorite biographies. I even got all interested in detailed descriptions of his many battles. It might be time for me to pick that up again. It might also be time to re-read Massie's "The Romanovs: The Final Chapter." Must be winter coming on, I want to read about the Russians.

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