I have collected shelves and shelves of doll books; antique doll photo books, costuming, instructional and reference books. I cannot tell you one of those books that I have read from cover to cover without putting it down.

I have always found dolls with wardrobes to be irresistible. My first wardrobe was for my Bebe Louvre reproduction. Then came Mignonettes, Daisy, Bleuette, Rosette, Bambino, Loulotte, Princess Marianne and France, and Little Darling sized dolls. Of course Bleuette has captured the imagination of so many, with 55 years of both LSDS patterns and the GL outfits, along with the various faces of Bleuette over the years. I think what intrigues me most with antique or vintage dolls is this: Who played with that doll? Where did she live? What was everyday life like?

This past Friday I received a special gift in the mail from Christine Arbelet who lives in the south of France. She has authored a "must have" Bleuette book. The book is published in French, with an English translation. I have my 3 year old granddaughter on weekends and she is very demanding of my attention, which of course I do not deny her. But during nap time on Saturday and Sunday I read the book from cover to cover and I will keep it by my chair in the living room because I will be going through it again and again.

Christine Arbelet and her husband inherited thousands of unpublished photos taken by Paul Arbelet in the early 1900's. Paul was acquainted with and friends with artisans, models, actresses and other highly educated people of the time. He traveled widely and was a prolific photographer, telling the story of everyday life with photos of people, places and events. He may have even been introduced to Bleuette at some point - but I will leave that story for you to discover in this enchanting book that covers the years 1905 to 1922 of the LSDS publications.

Almost every page depicts a wonderful LSDS outfit created by Christine using vintage fabrics and trims. Each outfit is matched up with a photo by Paul Arbelet that depicts the lifestyle of that time period. There are little excerpts from the LSDS magazines that most of us never see unless we are fortunate enough to have the original magazines; tips and hints on sewing, recipes for cakes and treats, crafts and other interesting little tidbits. There are letters from famous people to Paul and mementos of his life and travels.

Because I love the social aspect of history, which is so beautifully laid out in the photos in this book, it is a perfect way to see the world around Bleuette depicted almost as though it is through her eyes.

This is the 2nd book that Chrstine has authored - the first book is

"le trousseau de Bleuette”

You can contact her direct at : [email protected]