I was talking about dolls with a friend last night and my mind wandered in it’s dusty reaches to recall some of the dolls I’ve made in the past. I think it’s time to share these little ladies for today’s Rearview Friday!
I made them, wee versions of us, as a gift for my co-choreographer Lindsay Zier-Vogel on the premiere of our dance work Edith and Eliza in the spring of 2006. The dolls are based on Waldorf dolls (that’s right I was a Waldorf kid! And I have a deep sentimental fondness for these little dolls with the simple faces). If you want to know more about Waldorf dolls, I found a lovely how-to here by Amber Dusick, who also happens to be the brilliant lady behind Parenting. Illustrated with Crappy Pictures. I am a big fan. You probably should be too.
Anyhoooo, back to the dolls: in addition to sort of looking like Lindsay and me, the dolls are dressed in tiny versions of costumes from 2 of our collaborative dance projects, seen in full size and context below. As you can see they each have an envelope. This is because part of our creative process for Edith and Eliza was to actually write and post letters to each other as “Edith” and “Eliza”, fictitious war brides we created to develop a story behind the dance. Some of the text from these letters was woven into the soundscore as a narration. Each letter snaps onto the dolls hand and actually has a wee letter in it. Because I am awesome. And obviously humble. But seriously, it was a really fulfilling creative process. The the doll making was a cherry-on-top project in the fun department.
The dances that the doll’s costumes were made to honour:
And lastly, our lovely selves with the dollies. Just before we went into the theatre for the premiere. Edith and Eliza and the costume dolls were the last major dance and crafty-sewing projects I worked on before becoming pregnant and a mommy. Feels like a lifetime ago, but not in a bad way. Just a “huh” way. Life was so utterly different then!
Cheers to art, all kinds of it, making our lives so full. Happy Friday folks.
Yesterday was Valentines and Rudi worked for hours at making some spectacular cards for us. He’s learned to use tape and is very proud, his tongue sticks out with concentration and his little fingers work so carefully:
I’ve been trying and mostly succeeding at doing some of my artistic work during the day amidst and around the mothering of my 2 wee boys. But it’s come at a cost, I feel like I’m unraveling a bit and the balance of life vs work/art is swinging back and forth wildly, dizzyingly, instead of wafting tolerably.
It was working for a bit but I realized that I was putting-off my 3 year old more than usual because I was either preparing food, nursing the 5 month old or working on some sewing or online on the blog or researching. Not fair to him. And sending me in too many directions, which always ends up making me feel useless. Not fair to me. And since I have a lot of interests, I tend towards this anyways — being in too many directions at once, having a lot of “in progress” projects that get done bit by bit as interest and time allow. And then the feeling useless translates into me getting defensive to the world and being a major brittle, cranky pants. So it’s time for a schedule overhaul!
We are now playing with Rudi for a while in the mornings immediately following breakfast, instead of us both going off on our own, he to play and me to work. Today we were in spaceships (he made one for me by arranging all the balls he owns around me in a circle!) We talked on walkie-talkies (wood pieces from his play tool set) and took pictures of planets with his toy camera. It gave a much better tone to the day, Rudi was happier and I’m feeling like I actually accomplished something rather than just spinning my wheels.
And instead of trying to do everything — mothering and art-working — all at once, I’m going to try dedicating 2 to 3 nights per week to the sewing and crafting instead of surrendering to the couch and good/bad TV with the hubby every single night, as tempting as it is. And the days will be more for the boys, and food prep, and walks and whatever comes along, like unexpected poos or cuddles or naps or cleaning jags! We’ll see how it goes, I’m going to give it the old college try anyways.
I’ll leave you with this little nugget of goodness in honour of yesterday’s love day. I’ve been following the blog of artistic mom Adele Enersen since I found it in 2010 — you should check out her etsy blog to see what I’m talking about – her sleeping baby adventure photos are utterly inspiring! Rudi was too old to try this with by the time I saw her blog, so when I had Gene I knew I wanted to make some of my own with him during his sleepy times. Here he is, rocking the Cupid:
It’s January and yet the Toronto weather has covered almost ALL of the currently available seasons, from relatively balmy to pouring freezing rain to snowing and back around. Rudi (who is 3) is deeply confused about what footwear to use as there is a smorgasbord of shoes and both snow and rain boots. Today it is a rain day, serious enough that we buckled down for a crafty, cozy, thoughtful day in.
I tend towards melancholy and sentimentality (in an Anne of Green Gables sort of a way) so a rainy day really cranks up my dramatic misty-eyed side! Lots of contemplating change and what my work means to me and how I do/will define myself as a crafter and/or business woman with my sewing, what I’ll choose to make for business and what I’ll reserve for simple creative pleasure, and so on. It’s all good thinking inspired by a conversation with a new friend made last week — a friend of a friend who’s a long-time, self-employed creative type.
Alongside the contemplating, there’s some good old fashioned Hotwheels and Cars 2 games going on throughout the house, just to balance things out!
Rudi agreed to help me create my first ever how-to for the blog while we made some rainy day juggling balls! So here we go, for a quick and easy craft, just follow along!
Here I am, joining the blogging world, sending my humble, ahem, brilliant (obviously!) musings and adventures into the ether. I’ve been excited, heartened and inspired by many blogs by other artists and women over the past few years and now have the impulse to add my own voice to the mix.
The plan (a.k.a. my challenge to myself) is to write 2 or 3 times per week so as to be consistent but not ruled by the blog. In particular I’ll be writing about my adventures as I create and launch my independent sewing business, formalizing and making professional something I’ve done for years as gifts friends and for the simple joy of it. I’m sure that my life and whatever’s in front of me will leak in as well and am excited to be starting this record.
I started 2012 with the delivery of my very own rubber stamps featuring my lovely logo (designed by my excellent friend Christa Couture — tangent: she’s not only a great designer, she’s also a fantastic musician!) that I’ll use for labeling my work. They were beautifully made in Canada by The Old Island Stamp Company.
If you’d like to read a little more about me, check out my bio.
I think that’ll do as a starting point, til next time!