I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Monday, March 31, 2014

“Creativity takes courage. ” ― Henri Matisse

I'm working on my Fairy Doll.
MJ came over on Friday and helped me with the stuffing and a few other tricks of the doll trade. But, the problem is that she keeps leaving.
Remember her two dolls that she brings with her?
Well, she finally has the boobs covered with this cute little crocheted vest and her doll only needs hair.
She left me with instructions to draw a face, on paper and transfer it to the head. She also said to sew the legs and arms to the body.
Saturday I sewed the arms together...

 and realized that Amethyst only has three fingers... well actually a thumb and three fingers.Thinking I had made a horrible mistake, I looked at the pattern again. The picture of Amethyst has five fingers, but somehow I ended up with four. That was my first indication that something was seriously wrong.
Then I took a look at her head.
It seemed kind of small. I mean, I know that fairies are small... of course I do... but this fairy head was smaller than MJ's head and we both used the same pattern.
"Courage, Farmlady!"
I re-read the directions and they said that I needed to stuff the fingers, then lightly stuff the two finger unit and top stitch the fingers. 'Two finger unit'? I thought I did that, but there was still a finger missing. So, I followed the directions, but somehow I came out with a thumb and three fingers.
This little fairy doll is going to have three digits and a thumb, forever, because I'm not doing this over again and magical little people are... well... magical.  Maybe she'll just grow another one. I've decided that this little fairy is going to live with one less finger. It's called creative license.
But,it looks a little odd...
 That's only the beginning. Take a look at her thumb. (On your right.) I stuffed it too much and the seam popped. Now she looks like she had a badly wrapped up, wounded hand... I think she got it caught in my ineptness. But, she has a cute little dimple on her wrist, right where it's suppose to be.
"Courage Farmlady!".
By Saturday night, I felt like this doll looked... in pieces.
I left it all and went to bed. Sunday I walked past her from time to time but never picked her up. I rested from my doll making efforts for a whole day.
Today, I decided to be brave and draw Amethyst a face. That didn't happen either. I choked. I couldn't do it. I looked online for ideas. I drew a face on paper and then, when I started to draw it on the doll's face, I  froze. This was not going to happen without MJ right by my side. I've invested too much in this doll to end up with a face that looks like her three fingered hand... only in color.
So, I sewed her bloomer covered legs to the bottom of her body, using one of the Prospector's heavy duty pliers to pull the needle through the layers of fabric. Someone knows more that I do about all of this. There must be secrets to sewing into a stuffed body. Then, I sewed her ears and her arms on.
I can't even critique my efforts so far. I feel that I've failed her... but she is a work in progress and I will continue on.
One ear is bigger that the other. She has one arm that appears longer, because I stuffed the other one too much and stitched the elbow in the wrong place. Her head is not sewn on yet and she needs boobs... and clothing... and wings... and hair... and a FACE.
"Courage, Farmlady!"
I'm calling MJ tomorrow and bribing her (again) with lunch. I will ask her nicely if she will come over and help me finish Ms.Amethyst. Maybe I will cry a little over the phone for some sympathy.

I'm sorry Amethyst.I know that you are a wonderful little personality just waiting to be born. I will finish you ...and hopefully I can make you a sister too...  or maybe not.
I'm learning a lot. I know that I will never use old, unbleached Osnaburg fabric again for skin. It's not strong enough to be stuffed without a wider seam allowance.
And I know that your hand hurts, so I think that I may redo both of your arms.
And, at some point, you will have beautiful cloths, some wings and hair... and I give you eyes, to see us all and a mouth to sing some Gaelic songs.
Geallaim go mbeidh mé a dhéanamh go hálainn tú. 
(I promise that I will make you beautiful.)


  1. but don't you know imperfect is beautiful. I love her wonky ears and her long arms. I can see a beautiful face coming into picture and really, she doesn't need much in the boob department. He hands show she has led a curious life and has many stories to tell. Yes, keep on breathing life into the old girl.

  2. but you learned a lot...i think she is cute....and you had fun...so its a win...

  3. When you finish her she will be just beautiful. Hope you can bribe your friend to come over and help you once again. Have a blessed day. Madeline

  4. Bi croga (be brave in Gaelic) Connie! She will find herself! You can always disguise her ears with hair and give her a posy of flowers to conceal " the hand". I think it's quite something to even attempt this. I tried making dolls before and they are finicky. With your creativity she will come out looking fine!

  5. Yes, I think it's true that "creativity takes courage." And you are doing fine...take courage...and continue on. It is so interesting to see the process of making this doll. What a lot of patience it takes! I suspect you will learn a lot of tricks by the time you have finished her. I would be scared to do the face by myself, too. The face is so important, and an artist wants the right look to be communicated! Carry on, Farmlady...you're doing fine...

  6. I'm reminded of a Peter Rabbit poem but I can't for the life of me remember the words, I just know it is about loving imperfection. You can buy a perfect doll anywhere and another 100 like it but this lady is unique, perfect in all her imperfections. I love her already and know she will emerge as an utter beauty.

  7. I think I already love her personality. Handicapped fairies are just as beautiful as the rest of them. Keep working on her, she will turn out wonderful! Love T

  8. Charming BagladyApril 2, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    You are absolutely correct that creativity takes courage. Your descriptions of all you are going through, your fears, your mistakes, etc. all remind me of my many less-than-desirable bouts with creativity. Usually I just quit. I salute you and I congratulate you. You’re a braver soul than I, Gunga din!
    You have a great bunch of blog buddies. They all have such positive and artistic points of view and are a fabulous support system for you.


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