Last week, our darling little dog died. He was 15 years old and we miss him terribly.
The day before he died, a branch fell from the huge Elm tree in front of our house. I love the tree and so I picked up the branch and moved it onto our lawn, thinking that I should probably carve something from it.
A couple of days after we came home from the Vet, without our dear boy in our arms, the impulse to pick up the branch and start carving grew stronger and stronger.
I had been feeling called to carve another 6 inch doll like one that had carved last fall, so I used her as a companion and guide:
I used the same branch for her arms:
And for her legs, but I got the first pair all wrong, so I made another pair from another scrap of wood.
Of course, it took me a few days to carve her and to allow the still wet wood to dry before I could paint her.
This allowed me to follow my inner prompts that were a gift from this little healing dolly and start work on carving a teddy bear. I have posted about him here: LINK
I was surprised that she wanted a very round head, but when I went to carve it down, she firmly told me to just sand it smooth and live with it. Okay…. it’s important to not try to push the doll where she does not want to go!
She let me know exactly what she wanted for her hair, leotard, leggings and boots:
I knitted her a dress that was totally wrong for her, but works beautifully on a different doll.
Then I tried a different dress that I had knitted for another little doll. Nope.
She wanted me to weave her a white skirt and shrug from yarn that my daughter in law spun.
So, I did….
Her name is Pollydolly and I have found the process of carving her (and the teddy bear that I will post about next) to be very soothing and healing.
Dollmaking is very much a healing art and no matter what form it takes, it’s good for the soul.
Grieving is a journey that is unique to each person who has to follow the path, and it’s important to do the things that help the grief be nurtured in a transformative way that becomes the root of compassion.
Carving dolls and bears and knitting and weaving are an important part of my way of healing.
In the next post about the Teddy Bear that Pollydolly told me to carve, I’ll show you where she is sitting now. LINK
If you are grieving, please know that you are not alone. There is so much to grieve right now, and we all have to find our way through it. Blessings on your journey!
My husband, Jim Findlay, and I really enjoy co-creating.
He has always had a penchant for welding and metal smithing, and because of the pandemic, was able to explore his love of metal working more.
He’s a musician, and has had almost all his gigs cancelled for the last 2 years.
So he re-directed his creativity into his woodworking and metalsmithing.
Seeing what he was up to inspired me…. I’ll show you more pictures of some of our co-creations later…
I have loved the ‘Heart and Hand’ blessing image from folk tradition and worked with it in various ways for decades.
I asked Jim if he would be into welding hands that I could add hearts and cuffs to in various ways.
He liked that idea.
And then, we started taking Fused Glass classes, and we got all excited about making the
hearts and cuffs in Fused Glass. We loved working together on the glass. It’s magical!
We decided that this was the perfect Christmas gift for several family members.
We took the class several times over the spring, summer and autumn to hone our skills.
(We make Christmas presents all year long, so it’s part of our rhythm as a couple.)
It took a lot of trial and error to get the hands just right, and so Jim built a very
nifty jig to shape the rods. (Lots of cutting and welding was involved!)
We are sooooo pleased with how the Hearts and Hands turned out.
They were totally made with love in every step!
One of our family members said that hanging it in her window
would be like waving to her neighbours, and sending love out into the world.
I was delighted when she said that, because that is exactly what the Heart and Hands are meant to be!
They are a symbol of welcome, but also of protection, too….
and the metaphor of saying that only good things are welcome is pretty significant these days.
We learned a lot while making the Hearts and Hands.
We have also started exploring including wooden hearts that I sculpt from offcuts of fallen trees that have been given to us for firewood, but Jim has been milling into usable lumber rather than just chopping for the wood burning stove.
( We sent the first one of the sculpted wooden heart version off to friends without remembering to take a pic of it, but will make more and then photograph them.)
The Heart and Hands were the inspiration for making the cardboard folders
I have been absent from the world of social media for quite awhile- I was working to deadline on a book.
It swallowed me completely, and I vanished for awhile. (I met the deadline! Yay! And my editor likes it! Yay!)
But then, I got sick (ugh) and have been taking naps to recover, and didn’t have the jam to deal with blogging or dealing with the interwebs, so I didn’t.
Now, I’m on the mend. And, working on new projects.
And taking lots of naps.
Oh my… this afternoon, something delicious happened that has made me need to pop back into the world of bloggdom.
Today, I received a wonderful little package in the mail.
It was from my sister. ❤
In the box was this little, oh so magical wee box of delights.
I opened the tiny old box and squealed with joy-
A treasure that my sister’s dear mother in law had found at an antique sale, bless her heart!
My sister has been cherishing this precious little box of heaven and, (bless her heart, too), decided that I would enjoy it, so she mailed it to me. ❤
Sigh…. so much happiness in a little package!
I love Teneriffe lace and was ecstatic to see the awesome little brass loom.
And, a hairpin lace loom and some bone tools that will be lovely to use in small loom weaving.
I had to warp up the Teneriffe loom- how could I resist?
The little Teneriffe motif is wonky as all get out, but I think I should send it to my sister, doncha think?
PS: (added the day after I originally posted about the Teneriffe Loom) I’ve been working with the Teneriffe Lace Loom, and have polished up my technique as I am working on a video to show how to do this technique with upcycled materials.
Butterflies are the symbol of transformation, and since everyone I know seems to be experiencing some kind of transformative experience or another, it seems to me to be a good time to make some little butterflies.
They are very quick and easy to make, using a Lucet – although you can also use spool knitted cord, if you prefer.
They can be used to embellish anything that you can think of, or can be stitched to a ribbon for a book mark, or have a pin sewn to the back so they can be worn on a hat, bag, scarf or lapel. They can be attached to a key ring.
They can be used in scrapbooking or card making.
It’s lovely to have one in your pocket to give to a friend who just needs a little comfort…..
Here’s the video for how to make the butterflies:
We are in deep, cold, snowy mid winter in Western Canada, so it’s lovely to have butterflies flittering about the studio, even if I had to make them myself! 🙂
That just reminded me of something that I hadn’t thought of in years….
My mother used to give us ‘Butterfly Kisses’, which were a quick little flutter of her eyelashes on our cheeks.
Tottie Talks Crafts Blog · Noreen Crone-Findlay talks about the crafts she loves with her friend, Tottie Tomato. They'll be sharing tutorials, how to's and step by steps for spool knitting, crochet, doll making, small loom weaving, wood working, paper crafts and all manner of other fun crafts. This is a family friendly blog.