Thursday, June 14, 2012


My mermaid project is coming along OK. No real pictures to show yet. This is a project that I want to really do well with in hopes of being selected. I am experimenting with fabric paints in different color combinations and trying to come up with a fish tail design that I really like.
Whenever I design any of my dolls I like to make up a story about her that tells me who she is, what her history is and all of the little details that give her a personality. After reading some folktales about mermaids (some of them were a little strange), I went to sleep on it and came up with two stories of my own. Both mermaids will be very different. One will have a heroic legend and the other will be a fantasy figure with all of the glitz and glamour of a fairy tale. Both will represent very strong women.

 The challenge right now is trying to keep up with all of the projects I have started. I hate it when I do that to myself. Recently, someone asked if I could create a kid friendly doll because my dolls are not for children. I decided to use a commercial pattern that is very basic with only a few details. Terese Cato, author of Make Cloth Dolls had a great guideline in her book about making dolls for children. They of course, have to be safe with no wiring that could poke little fingers and no small pieces that could be swallowed. Because the doll will most likely be "loved to death" don't spend a lot of time on sculpted details or fancy costumes. I remember a doll I made for my niece Cindy about 38 years ago. The body, the head, arms and legs were all one piece and she had yarn pig tails. Cindy was about two or three at the time and I wanted her to learn how to button buttons and zip zippers, so the doll had two outfits that she could change. Every time I would visit my niece, the doll never had clothes on, her pig tails were fuzzy and undone and she had a variety of stains on her from peanut butter to ketchup. The wonderful thing about the doll was that she was always in the middle of  what ever was going on in Cindy's life, so I knew she was loved and that she was my little niece's friend. I'm trying to recreate a doll with that same appeal. The pattern I'm using just isn't doing it for me. I cut out two dolls and stuffed and assembled them but they just aren't me. I am committed to finishing them though. Maybe I'll like them better when they're done and maybe a little girl will be happy with one of them.

I'm also in the middle of a group of dolls that are like my "Grandma Kizzie" doll. I love this group of dolls because I'm using colorful batiks and beads and they all have a mystical, fantasy quality about them. I have a weekend off for the first time in a long time and the weather forecast is for HOT weather in the 100's. I don't do well in the heat so it's a good excuse to stay in and finish some of my dolls. I hope I'll have some photo updates for my next post. 

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