Sunday, July 29, 2007

Gifts and Comfort

My birthday was back in June. My sister sent me the dvd of the PBS program "Craft in America" and a note stating this was only part of the gift. The rest of the gift was delivered Friday: the coveted tote bag from Trader Joe's! Hurray! Ever since I caught a glimpse of it on Be*mused's blog I've wanted one. We don't have a Trader Joe's close enough to us for me to shop for one myself but I mentioned it to my sister in Oregon and apparently she was keeping an eye out for me. When she finally found one she bought it and kept it at her house to air out for a few weeks. I don't know how comfortable I'll be carrying it into Fred Meyer or our food co-op to pack my groceries home in but I'll sure enjoy having it to look at in the studio! If I were a knitter I would use it to carry around my WIP. I may have to find a nice big UFO to keep in it so I can justify leaving it out in plain sight! (Shouldn't be too hard, considering the number of UFO's I have on hand...)

By the way, if you haven't seen the "Craft in America" program yet be sure to look for it on your local PBS station. DH and I caught it accidently one day and were mesmerized. That's when I mentioned it to my sister. She had seen it too and was also fascinated by it. I've watched the dvd twice now since receiving it for my birthday a little more than a month ago.

Every day last week I seemed to run into something that made me ill. Just when I'd begin to feel better, wham! a new toxin would hit me. I hardly left the house either. Which means the toxins were coming in through open windows or being released here in the house. I felt well enough Saturday to do a bit of beading on a doll body I'd made a few years ago:

(I wish the beads showed up better in the photo.) I'm not sure whether she's done or not. I'd like to do something for a face but everything I've tried hasn't looked right. I really like the swirls of color in the fabric so that's what I used to direct my beading. My intention is to send this along to Pat for her Comfort Doll Project. I'd like to get another one done and send a pair of them at one time. I have other doll bodies I might be able to use. Or I might make up a new pattern. Just for fun let me show you a few of the small dolls I made back when I was making more dolls than quilts:

This is my first "Belle." The placement of the pattern in the fabric makes this doll. I only added the bells and beads for her hair. I happen to love the tinkling sound the bells make. To me they are the voice of the doll, speaking words of encouragement and comfort.

I think of this one as my "Beach Belle." Same hairdo, button face (mother-of-pearl) and another button I see as a sand dollar or other natural ocean flotsam one would find on a beach (I cut off the shank so it could be sewn flat to the doll body).

Finally there's Flo. Flo is straight out of the 1950's and ready to serve tea. I don't have a clue where she came from. She's very prim and proper and a very conscientious hostess. I am SO not like her!

All of these dolls are original creations. I only have these and a couple of others still in my possession. The rest have been sold or given away. What's amazing to me is how these little inanimate objects - nothing more than fabric, stuffing, and bits and pieces of embellishments - can have so much power to soothe or lift a wounded spirit.


  1. I LOVE those dolls. Flo is a hoot! And I'm not like her at all -- she would not approve of my home. The one you were just working on has such wonderful colors and movement in her!

  2. Very cool dolls! I really like the swirly one that you are working on!

    Wish we had a Trader Joes near us. I went to one in Las Vegas and LOVED it!!

    Take care. Been thinking of you.
    Hugs, Carol

  3. Lovely dolls, I love the ones with bells on their heads, great idea !


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