Archive for 'The Mary Frances Housekeeper'

Mother Doll Here. Heaven knows I’ve done my best to teach my children good housekeeping skills! The baby is still too young, but May Belle, Amy, Hazel, Tony and Willie all do their part to keep our home running smoothly. One thing that makes the time shorter and the job happier is to sing while you work. I have 7 songs in my repertoire and today I’d like to share The Bed Making Song with you all. It will remind you to place the top and bottom sheets right sides together when you are making a bed. That way, when the top sheet is folded back, you can see the pattern and the finished edge will show. Take a look at this video!

August 06, 2012

Mary Frances here: The Mary Frances Housekeeper 100th Anniversary Edition is an activity book.  It contains paper dolls to color with colored pencils; paper furniture to color and fold into 3D dollhouse furnishings; and plans to build a beautiful 2-story doll house that you can paint and decorate as you wish.

The original Mary Frances Housekeeper from 1914 included 2 sets of paper dolls and furniture: 1 black & white set to hand color, just like the ones in the anniversary edition, and 1 color-printed set. If you don’t want to color your own dolls and furniture, they can be purchased in color, like the versions below, from my publishers. Contact Piano recordings of my housekeeping songs are also available!

I love to color and you will discover that colored pencils have a lovely effect when overlaid on a black & white illustration. I like to photocopy the pages with paper dolls and furniture first onto cardstock so I don’t have to cut my book apart. And here’s a tip for your doll house: Try using patterned scrapbooking paper to make rugs for the rooms! It makes all the difference!

Now, meet the Doll Family..and their housekeeper, Lucinda!

Look below to see the page with Father Doll and Mother Doll that I hand-colored with colored pencils. Purple is my favorite color and I just had to make one of Mother Doll’s dresses purple!

April 04, 2012

Mary Frances here. I don’t know about your paper dolls…but mine have the greatest adventures when there are no adults around. That’s what my third book is all about. The Mary Frances Housekeeper is the story of The Doll Family of Sandpile Village: Mother Doll, Father Doll, Amy, May Belle, Hazel, Tony, Willie and Baby—plus a feisty maid named Lucinda. They live in the sand pile in the corner of my playroom and they were homeless until my mother and I (with help from Billy and Father) made them a beautiful cardboard doll house. Mother Doll was ecstatic! She never imagined she’d be so fortunate as to have such a fine home.

The Paper Doll Family’s House


Now, Mother Doll was a stickler with the housekeeping, and she was determined to raise children that knew how to keep house. She taught them everything there was to know on the subject—girls and boys alike—with chores such as washing windows, dishes and clothes, dusting, bedmaking, furniture care, and setting the table. I learned right along with them, and by reading this book, you will learn, too! I can’t wait to have a house of my own someday, and when I do, I’ll know exactly how to care for it. (If there’s anything I’ve forgotten, I can always refer back to my book!)

The Mary Frances Housekeeper 100th Anniversary Edition makes it fun to learn about housework because you learn by playing house. The book has plans to make a doll house just like the one I made for the Doll Family, plus paper dolls and fold-up furniture to cut out and color. It even has housekeeping songs! Singing while I work makes me twice as happy and the time seems so much shorter. Oh, and I mustn’t forget to mention the patterns—special to the 100th anniversary edition—to make an apron and dust cap just like the ones I always wore to clean house!

The Mary Frances Housekeeper 100th Anniversary Edition at


Click on the book cover to go to!