Spring dolls - a new blog post!

 Hello again, a funny thing  happened after my week of blogging.... I took a break from blogging and almost but did not entirely forget about this blog. I had good intentions - planned to share work with you etc.. but the past month or so has been so very busy and so....

Here I am today with a little update on my latest doll collection, a bit of a life update (nothing dramatic) and so on. I hope you may have a moment to read on...

spring dolls

I have been busy dollmaking.... the urge to make hand stitched work took hold a few months ago. I became interested in cross stitch after years and years of never having much to do with it. But then I discovered a whole different world of cross stitch. There's a whole rabbit hole to go down into and make discoveries.... Also I became more interested in hand stitch, what people like to call 'slow stitch' and patchwork to make new cloth etc... Much inspiration and a big nod of thanks to Jude of Spirit Cloth - who has inspired me for years in so many ways. I looked again at some of her basics tutorials - eg. how to piece cloth and what to do with seam allowances. I do recommend all of the above.

And so here I am with eight new dolls making something of a spring collection II - because you may have seen I already made a first clutch of dolls a few weeks ago. If you have no interest in dolls then I understand they are not for everyone, but I cannot overstate the pleasure they give me and the humbling messages I get from collectors. 

This will be it for now - until I make another midsummer collection. I am hoping to have that for you to see in late June.... 

So these newest dolls  will be in my shop later today, Wednesday 24th March at 8pm UK time.

If you are new to my dolls, here's a bit of an intro.... I started my professional career as an artist working with textiles and making dolls. Of all the things one might make to sell, perhaps dolls is not the most obvious venture - but they were an interest then as now, and I had to work with the skills I had. But at that time I was not a developed painter - the painting has evolved over time.  This was many years ago when I needed to make an income, suddenly and importantly, being a single parent of two small children and having no one to rely upon.....  I was encouraged by a few very good friends to explore my ideas and see where they took me. I began to make dolls and teach myself to use a sewing machine, developed ideas on how to knit hair for dolls, gathered scraps, was gifted fabrics, collected buttons and generally made things, experimented and put my work out there on the very new marketplace called Etsy. Times were different back then, Selling online was a whole new world....

For a while I must admit I sometimes felt making dolls was not really 'important' enough and that I should make more serious 'art'. I am done with that feeling - these days I value the opportunity to make something unique, charming and hopeful. I do feel my dolls offer a bit of joy and light. These things matter, don't they. So I have no worry over whether making dolls is too much play, or too crafty or whatever the next put-down might be. I am older and know life is short, making beautiful things is important and everyone can be themselves - but I will do me, thanks very much. 

This does not mean I will ditch everything to make dolls. I do enjoy doll making as an opportunity to work with a variety of techniques and materials. It is great to think one doll can involve a variety of skills: sewing, knitting, patchwork, embroidery..... But I do enjoy painting and working in my sketchbooks so very much. So, as delightful as doll making can be, it is an interest I will enjoy from time to time.

In other news.... I am painting and making new work, not only for my own shop but also for a future exhibition in September. I will give more details some time soon. It is great to be working toward an exhibition again, especially as it may be one people will be able to visit in person! The idea of going to galleries and seeing work up close and personal again is very heartening. I am inspired to paint when I think about the possibilities ahead.... My newest paintings have been much to do with home, interiors and collections, paintings in paintings etc... and I will continue to explore these ideas, see where they take me.

My family and I have been keeping well, I am grateful to say. I had my first vaccination jab a few weeks ago almost now. (A few days of feeling rough is better than getting covid, in my opinion.) I am going to be having a gentle week this week coming - Easter week seems to be just the right timing for a week of slowing down a bit and reflection. I may just write a blog post or two next week. 

I hope you are keeping well. 


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