I didn't play with dolls. I preferred jigsaws and teddy bears. So to be so fascinated by dolls was unusual. I suspect this, and the BBC adaptation of "War and Peace" in 1971, was to start my lifelong fascination for Russia.
I acquired my first set of nesting dolls during a trip to Russia in 1990 (my first visit). Three more sets have joined them since - only the traditional design. The more modern "trap the tourist" type, produced in quantities worthy of a Five Year Plan, hold no real attraction for me.
For years I have intended making my own version of a Russian Doll. I don't do woodwork, so I thought I would sew one instead. This weekend, I finally got around to making her. Here she is, my prototypskaya. I may make more, if the whim takes me, but for the moment, Natalya will do well.