August 06, 2012
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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 info@classicbookwrights.com. 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!