It’s that time, when I start thinking of the year gone by and the year ahead. And 2014 was wonderful. I made loads of dolls, and therefore bettered my skills and my eye for detail. I moved my little operation to a new location, and felt the new-to-me freedom of creative time – and oh how I’ve used it (sometimes I even forget about lunch). The dolls went on an Alberta road trip for the first time! And, I was lucky enough to participate in two group shows, allowing me to explore the soft sculpture side of plush making, and I’ve loved it.
I’ve got big plans for next year, probably way too big, but better too big than too small (it’s like kid’s clothes, right? you can always grow into them…). I am taking a break over the holidays to see family and lounge about, or well, as much as I am capable of that last part – but I’m sure I will eagerly be back in January.
I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported me this year, whether through the purchase of a doll, a kind email about my work, or by sharing something of mine that you are fond of. As always, I am so thankful to be able to do creative work – and it is largely because of the support of all of you! Thank you so very much, and Merry Christmas!
Creating a Waldorf-inspired doll is something that I have wanted to do for a long time, most certainly this entire year. But I knew that this was the kind of project that required time – to source materials (almost nothing I needed to make this doll was available to me locally, how sad!), to learn several new skills, and to be able to focus for a few days. And so I promised myself that I could work on this over Christmas holidays, but I couldn’t wait.
There are certain things that I love about these dolls, especially that they are made with natural materials like cotton and wool. The materials are wonderful to work with, and the process of forming the head and body is one that can maybe be best described as ‘slow craft.’ Admittedly this one took a long time because I was making up the pattern (I am very interested in the proportions of dolls, and wanted to get what I thought was the right look), learning how to make jointed limbs, learning more about face sculpting, and learning how to make hair. So that by the time I was done, I was feeling quite attached ~ but if I had given in to this feeling every time I’ve experienced it, I would have a room full of dolls. Um, no. I made this one as a Christmas gift to my son’s Montessori school, and because I thought it might be used as a kind of teaching doll I wanted to make it a ‘real baby’ size, with a diaper and clothes.
There are still most definitely skills I need to work on and ways to improve, as always, but I loved this process. I was always a little curious about the kind of obsession and prices that surround modern day Waldorf dolls, but I get it now. The hours spent are many and in the end you can totally feel it. Man, dolls totally pull at my heart, and I am part of that crazy club. Count me in.
I am so excited about this little (okay not so little, most of these animals are pretty hefty) group of farm friends that is part of a group exhibition happening at the Saskatchewan Craft Council Affinity Gallery right this very minute! My piece is called ‘Farm Family Photo’ and as you can see, the animals have decided that they should most certainly have their photo taken. It was sent out with their Christmas cards…sheep made sure.
If you are in Saskatoon in the Broadway area you should really stop by and see the show, it is full of good, fun art, and would also be a wonderful place to take some *well behaved* children. The Gallery is right on Broadway, and you can even take your own wallet sized version (that sheep! she is on top of this!) of the Farm Family Photo while you are there. Thanks to the Craft Council for putting on this show, I am delighted to be part of it.
As part of our decorations for Winter Wonders, we created these so so fun, large paper Christmas trees! Several people were curious about them, so I am posting our method of making them here…just in case anyone wants to give it a try.
The base for the trees was made of large pieces of cardboard. You’ll need big, thick pieces of cardboard, like these ones from a crib box. I cut the cardboard into tall triangles – I did not measure each one, but as long as they are thin on top and big on the bottom, you’ll end up with a cone shape when you place them together. We found that Tuck Tape works best for holding the cardboard.
The leaves were cut from cardstock – we bought a load of those color ombre packages from Micheals planning for a few different color ways (the colorful ones were made up of our extra pieces at the end, but we all ended up liking them the best!). For a tree this size we used a standard 8.5″ x 11″ piece cut in half, and then each piece shaped into a point. Each tree took about a package, or 50 sheets, of the cardstock. There are no pictures of us actually putting the leaves on (lots of helpers + small studio + loads of glue gun fumes…), but you start from the bottom, working your way around attaching the top (flat part) of the leaves with hot glue. Just be sure that each layer is low enough to cover the next and not leave any cardboard showing. With enough glue (*you can do anything*), you can fold the leaves around the corners, making fewer seams. The last tippity top part is a cone from a single piece of cardstock.
Cost: cardboard was free / scavenged recycling, each package of cardstock was $3-4, about $5 in glue per tree
Time: a few hours by yourself, a lot more was accomplished with willing friends (thank you!)
And that’s it! I loved the way these turned out, and it was fun getting to live with all 7 of them in my little studio for the last month. Have fun if you attempt it~
I’ve been missing from here – last week I was darting from place to place like a crazy person in preparation for our Flock and Gather Handmade Market, and this week I’ve been in recovery. Planning events, big or small, is a.lot.of.work. I always feel like a proud mama when people flood into the show the minute we open the doors, and then like a limp noodle the moment it all ends. I wasn’t selling at this show, but I want to say a personal thank you to everyone that came out and purchased something from our vendors – everyone who shopped at the market instead of at the mall that day. You are supporting artists and makers, giving people confidence to keep doing what they love. It’s so much more than just buying things, and we are so glad you came.
Things should get back to normal here soon, thanks for checking in~