Tag Archives: dolls

Larger Vasilisa Comfort Dolls

I have been carving a series of dolls that are intended to bring comfort, inspiration and delight.

I call them, Vasilisa Comfort Dolls. They began as very small dolls but the series has branched out in several directions:

Small Vasillisa Comfort Dolls LINK

Vasilisa Comfort Dolls: Great Mother Series: LINK

Vasilisa Comfort Dolls that are Lucet Cord makers: LINK

These Vasilisa Comfort dolls are larger than the original ones….

This photo gives a sense of the size difference:

ARCH SHAPE VASILISA COMFORT DOLLS

HELPING HANDS:

In gratitude for all ways that people help one another. 3 1/2 inches/9 cm tall

THE BLESSING CUP: SOLD

about 3 inches/ 8 cm tall

“Being a Mother and Being a Daughter”

about 3 inches/ 8 cm tall

SWEET DREAMS:

about 5 inches/12.5 cm tall

A BLESSING FOR THE CHILD

about 5 inches/12.5 cm tall

AND THIS GROUP OF LARGE VASILISA COMFORT DOLLS HAVE JOINTED ARMS:

“Sunflower Song” We’ll never see Sunflowers in the same way again, will we? Praying for Peace in Ukraine and an end to the invasion

about 5 inches/12.5 cm tall

ROSIE:

about 5 inches/12.5 cm tall

BUTTERFLY DREAMS

I did the tatting, using shuttles that I carved myself. She’s about 5 inches/12.5 cm tall

DREAM CHILD

about 5 inches/12.5 cm tall (GLASS BACKGROUND NOT INCLUDED)

SURPRISE and her BABY

Surprise was a fascinating doll to create…. she kept taking me in new directions…. including wanting a baby…..

With her hat, Surprise is almost 8 inches/20 cm tall

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PURCHASING ONE OR MORE OF THESE DOLLS, PLEASE LEAVE ME A NOTE IN THE COMMENTS (IT WON’T BE PUBLISHED) AND I WILL GET BACK TO YOU ASAP

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Vasilisa Comfort Dolls: Great Mother Series

The Great Mother series of my one of a kind hand carved Vasilisa Comfort Dolls have their roots in my feelings of connection to the Feminine Divine.

I am influenced by images of the Goddess in all her ways of Being, as well as the Black Madonna, and by my dreams, drawings and tapestries, as well as my love of Sacred Geometry. I have a passion for flowers, especially the wild roses that bloom so freely here in Western Canada, so they are an important element in my work- for their connection to the Feminine Divine and for how they symbolize how I am rooted to the land I gratefully live on.

Each of these Great Mother Vasilisa Comfort Dolls is an expression of healing energy and of all the ways that LOVE unfolds in us and around us. My intention is to create one of a kind dolls that will lift the heart of the person who interacts with them.

I also see these dolls as a way of connecting our Present Self to our Future Self, and also to the Inner Child that still lives inside of each of us.

They are lovely to hold in the palm of your hand, but also to have in a special place like an altar or on a shelf with other treasured objects of contemplation, meditation and prayer.

I use all kinds of wood to carve them. I love using upcycled wood (including pieces of old pianos that have come to the end of their playing life, so our friend, a piano tuner, passes pieces of wood from the dead pianos to wood carvers and furniture makers to ensure that the wood is re-created into something lovely).

We are often given logs or pieces of trees from our neighborhood to burn in our wood burning stove.

But, we don’t want to just burn these precious trees that have lived long and lovely lives and then died.

So, my husband has built a sawmill from an old bandsaw, and he cuts slabs of wood from the pieces of log so we can make art with the wood, giving new life to the trees.

Here’s one of the Great Mother Dolls on one of the slabs (I carved her from another one of the slabs):

The chainsaw marks were really hard to sand out! Luckily, Jim’s sawmill now cuts us much smoother pieces of wood! This tree was a maple, so the wood is very hard.

The average height of the Great Mother dolls is about 4 inches, but it does vary with some of the dolls.

If you wish to purchase one of the Great Mother dolls, please post a note in the comments and I will get back to you asap.

GREAT MOTHER: DREAMING OF PEACE (MOTHER AND CHILD)

GREAT MOTHER: HOSPITALITY:

Vasilisa Comfort Doll: Great Mother- “Grace”
Can you see how my tapestries influence the way I carve?

Vasilisa Comfort Doll: Great Mother- Holding Close

Vasilisa Comfort Doll: Great Mother- Water of Life

Vasilisa Comfort Doll: Great Mother- Dream of Greening

Vasilisa Comfort Doll: Great Mother- Rose Child

I have placed her on a fused glass piece that I recently designed and made, that is not for sale as it is going to become part of a larger piece.

Vasilisa Comfort Doll: Great Mother- Paradox

It can be challenging to live with paradox….

Vasilisa Comfort Doll: Great Mother- Forgive

The Vasilisa Comfort Doll: Great Mother Series has subsets –

One of the groupings that has emerged is the ‘Sisters and Aunties’

Here are the first 3…. Singing Together:

I love how they work together. I drew their shapes on the wood all at the same time, so it makes sense to me that they would form such a good trio.

The Vasilisa Comfort Doll: Great Mother Series – ‘Sisters and Aunties’

Great Mother Series – ‘Sisters and Aunties’ Bending, Not Broken

Great Mother Series – ‘Sisters and Aunties’ Courage

Great Mother Series – ‘Sisters and Aunties’ Dreams of Roses and Greening

GREAT MOTHER: Courage (Dreaming and Waking) 

MORE Vasilisa Comfort dolls that are available can be seen at LINK

and at  LINK

To see the larger Vasilisa Comfort Dolls, please click on LINK

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Carved Wooden Vasilisa Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay

(UPDATE: Many of the dolls in this post have sold. To see which of the Vasilisa Comfort Dolls are available,

please go to LINK 1 and LINK 2)

To see the larger Vasilisa Comfort Dolls, please click on LINK

I have been carving wooden dolls non-stop for the past year.

I’ve been working on several series of dolls.

One of the series that has brought me great joy is my ‘Vasilisa Comfort Dolls’ group.

I call them this because of the Russian folktale, Vasilisa the Brave. Vasilisa’s mother knows that she is dying, so she makes her darling daughter a doll that embodies all the mother love in her heart.

The little doll acts as a guide and comfort for Vasilisa throughout the story.

My Vasilisa dolls are also an embodiment of love, and even though they look very simple, they are deeply heartfelt, contemplative, meditative and powerfully healing.

I have used all kinds of wood- some it is from old pianos that died and the wood was given to me, some of it is from trees that were pruned or felled because of old age, some is from old furniture or planks of upcycled wood in other forms. There is a very small amount of new bought wood, as I prefer to plant trees, rather than use them up. Upcycling soothes me.

I have separated the Vasilisa Dolls into different categories.

Many of them are meant to be held in the palm of your hand or carried in a pouch (carrying them in a pocket with coins, keys, pebbles etc is not recommended, but on their own in a pocket is fine).

The Vasilisa dolls are all about 2 1/2 inches tall.
Just perfect to be embraced in your hand…. and held to your heart!

Here are the ‘Square Body’ Vasilisa’s dolls

Some of them have cords, because they are necklaces.

Some have dear little wooden legs that turn them into lucets, so they can make cords.

Some of them have brass nail antennae that also allow them to be used as lucets.

Some of them have lucet cord arms that allow them to hug your finger, thumb or house plant.

Here are the ‘Heart Shape’ body Vasilisa dolls:

Here are the Round Shape Body Vasilisa Dolls:

The group of Vasilisa dolls in the photo below all have pins on their backs so they can be worn as brooches.

The group in the next photo are necklaces and I realize that some of these should have been in the Goddess photo, too, but, you know… keeping everything straight…..

The group in the photo below are all Lucets (and I’ll send a pdf on how to use them as well as links to 8 video tutorials on lucet cord making with these Vasilisa dolls)

These are the Finger Hugging Vasilisa Dolls:

These Vasilisa dolls are based on Goddess energy and inspired by Goddess imagery:

The Vasilisa dolls are great for storytelling…..

I couldn’t resist making one little Vasilisa Snowlady 🙂

They are for sale and range in price from $25 to $95 +shipping, just send me a message or note.

Not all of them are still available.

I am quite emotional about posting them, as they have been such a source of healing for me through the pandemic…. I hope that you can feel all the love in them, too. ❤

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Teneriffe Lace Weave Along Fairy Hair

In my last post, I showed how to make a Teneriffe Lace Fairy.

The video got so long that I decided to make the ‘Hair making’ video separately.

And, so, here’s the video showing how to make the hair for the Teneriffe Lace Fairies 🙂

The links for all the videos in the Teneriffe Lace Weave Along is   L I N K

 

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Mermaids woven on peg looms and weaving sticks

I have always loved mermaids, and I am totally addicted to weaving mermaids these days.

I’ve  made a video showing how I used my Mermaid pattern on etsy to weave Mermaids of different sizes  on peg looms.

I took the original Mermaid that looked like this for the pattern:

And added a wooden face, leather hands, a little tatting, and a seashell:

She was woven on 1/4 inch diameter weaving sticks and is about 11 or 12 inches tall.

Also woven on the 1/4 inch diameter weaving sticks is this Mermaid, woven with hand spun art yarn and  needle felted:

 

The same etsy pattern can be used to make totally different mermaids by changing the size of pegs or weaving sticks used and different thicknesses of yarns.

I used the smallest pegs on my 6 inch peg loom to weave the smallest Mermaid, who’s about 7 or 8 inches tall.

She’s woven on the 1/8th inch pegs.

The Mermaid woven with the 3/8 inch pegs is about 20 inches tall:

I did some geometric pattern weaving in her body, but it’s a little hard to see in this pic.

I used 2 strands of a very bulky chenille yarn held together to weave the largest Mermaid, who is around 28 inches tall.

When I was weaving the different sizes, I did tweak the pattern somewhat to adjust for the differences in the size of the pegs and thickness of the yarns.

Here’s the link to the pattern in my etsy shop:  LINK
(sorry – it’s not free)
Happy weaving and happy Mermaiding!

The looms are from Dewberry Ridge Looms: LINK

 

My book: Peg Looms and Weaving Sticks is available from all your favorite online book sellers, and can be ordered through your local book store.  It’s full of weaving yes-ness!

Here’s the video about the Mermaid dolls:

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6th Sense One of a Kind Art Dolls

For many months, I have been working really hard on new mixed media fiber art sculptures.

The 6th Sense is intuition/inspiration/imagination.

These one of a kind art dolls are based on dreams, memories, meditations and contemplations and are an invitation to embrace creativity, healing and wholeness.

They are a combination of tapestry weaving, narrow band weaving, lucet cords, tatting, knitting, wood work wire work and leather work.

Here’s a slide show video of my 6th Sense One of a Kind Art dolls.

Most of the 6th Sense One of a Kind Art Dolls in the video are for sale, but some of them have already sold and gone to live in their new homes.

 

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Wooden and Woven Dolls for Christmas

Recently, I had a lovely conversation with my darlin’ grandson.

He said to me: ‘Nanma, I LOVE your dolls.  Will you make me one for Christmas?’

I was thrilled that he is pleased with my work and that he wanted me to make him a doll for Christmas.

What an awesome 7 year old he is!

I asked him if he wanted a wooden one or a woven one, and I was convinced that he said, ‘Wooden’….

So, I stayed up very, very late one night, and got up early, to carve him a wooden doll:

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016

I used a birch branch from our son’s neighbour’s tree.  It’s been drying for a year and a half and is lovely to carve.

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Tottie Tomato cheered me on as I carved.

She comforted the new doll, because she knows that the knives, chisels and sandpaper are very uncomfortable, and that paint brushes tickle….

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016-2

After he was done, and I had knitted his sweater and jeans, Tottie Tomato and New Boy went to hang a few ornaments on the tree in the village.

Something was feeling not quite right….

I thought: I have to check and see if Grandson actually said that he wanted a wooden doll…..

So, I asked him which dolls he loved?

Wooden or the woven art dolls?

We were out at a concert of his Grampa’s music, so I sketched the shape of the 6th Sense art dolls in the air.

YES! he said, firmly!

THOSE are the ones I love!

Oh oh….

I asked him to draw in the air and show me what shape he had in mind.

Yup….. Woven Women 6th Sense art dolls, and NOT 6 inch tall wooden dolls….

oops.

He specified that he wanted it soft to cuddle and that it had to wear black shoes.

I asked him to draw exactly what he wanted…..

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016-4

He held his hands up in the air and showed me the size.

So…………………………

I have been weaving up a storm…………….  well, a doll, along with a few other things……

I used the tapestry weaving technique to weave the body front, and plain weave for the back.

I did a clasped warp technique for the arms and legs to make the color changes work for the arms and legs.

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016-5

I hope that he approves of how I interpreted his design!

I hadn’t thought of making him a doll for Christmas, so I am incredibly grateful that he asked.

And, because I didn’t get the brief right first time around, our little sweetheart gets TWO dolls, not one!

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016-6

For now, they are chilling out by the Village Christmas tree, enjoying themselves in knitted armchairs that I designed for Findlay and Flora Bear.

The pattern for the chairs is in my etsy shop:

LINK

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016-7

I can’t bear to wrap them until the last moment, so I will have a chance to enjoy them, too!

Merry Christmas, Happy Channukah, Happy Solstice, Happy Yule, Happy EVERYTHING to you and yours!

Love and blessings all round.

May 2017 bring Peace, Wisdom and Compassion!

 

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6th Sense One of a Kind Art Doll- Tree Mother

Last month, when there was a spectacular Super Moon, we stepped outside to admire it.

The gigantic moon looked like it was suspended in the huge trees that line our street.

The image of the Great Tree Mother, rocking the Moon in her arms, rose up in my mind….

and I knew that I had to build one of my 6th Sense one of a kind art dolls.

Here she is:

Great Tree Mother Rocked The Moon in Her Arms:

6th-sense-tree-mother-rocked-the-moon-in-her-arms-1-c

While I was contemplating how to build the Great Tree Mother piece, my husband and our daughter took the dogs for a walk one morning.

Chloe came home with a wonderfully gnarly branch that had been pruned from someone’s tree and tossed into the alley.

She just knew I needed it…. even though, at that point, I hadn’t told her what I was mulling about 🙂

We have a very deep connection!

It is perfect.

So’s our daughter….

Anyhow…

The faces….

Years ago, my dear friend found a moose antler that had been shed and she asked me if I could use it.

I cut 3 faces from it, and carved them and painted them.

Two of them became part of this piece:

6th-sense-tree-mother-rocked-the-moon-in-her-arms-2-c

Tree Mother’s face.

She also has a ‘Hidden Face’ that is hidden inside the piece and will never be revealed.

Too bad I didn’t photograph it!  Oops…

Here is Moon’s face:

6th-sense-tree-mother-rocked-the-moon-in-her-arms-3-c

I carved the hand from wood.

I wove the bands on 2 different looms and knitted the grey hand spun cloth of her robe.

6th-sense-tree-mother-rocked-the-moon-in-her-arms-4-c

All of the 6th Sense Woven Women have 6 pennies incorporated into them, as a metaphor for coming to our senses, and embracing intuition, intelligence and inspiration.

6th-sense-tree-mother-rocked-the-moon-in-her-arms-5-c

She is 29 inches/72.5 cm  tall and the branch spreads out to 15 inches/37.5 cm wide.

She is not for sale.

By the way, she is also a celebration of creative adaptive re-use and upcycling.  I love that.

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Woven Star Baby – Part 2

In Woven Star Baby- Part 1, I showed you how to shape the body, and make the Star Baby’s face.

star-baby-1-c

Here’s how to finish the Star Baby:

ARMS:

Weave the yarn ends into the cord up to the middle.

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Place the arms behind the body and stitch to the back.

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LEGS:

Weave the yarn ends into the cord up to the middle.

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Fold the cord in half and insert into the lower edge of the body.

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Stitch the body closed.

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STITCH THE STAR TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD:

Using the needle and thread, stitch the head to the star.

star-baby-22-c

 

FINISHING:

If the Starbaby is going to be a hanging ornament, leave strands of yarn at the top point of the star and tie a knot about an inch/2.5 cm from the star point. Trim.

If the Starbaby is going to be a pin, stitch a pin to the back of the star.

Weave in all ends.

I added a little heart sticker to the chest.  You can cut one or punch one out of paper and glue it on if you don’t have heart stickers.

Sweet Dreams and Happy Weaving! ❤

star-baby-23-c

Please note:

This is Noreen Crone-Findlay’s original design and is copyright protected.  It is not to be sold or used without permission. Thank you 🙂

This is a tiny video that I made to introduce the Star Babies:

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Woven Star Baby – 1

Many years ago, I had a wonderful dream about the Northern Lights.

I dreamt that thousands of shooting stars were streaming down the Northern Lights (aka Aurora Borealis), but when I looked closer, I saw that the shooting stars were actually Star Babies 🙂

They were laughing, tumbling and frolicing in delight.

It was a wonderful dream, and ever since then, I have designed and made variations on the theme of ‘Star Baby’.

Here’s my woven Star Baby:

star-baby-1-c

STAR BABY TO WEAVE ON THE DEWBERRY RIDGE STAR AND THUMBELINA LOOMS

DESIGNED BY NOREEN CRONE-FINDLAY ©

These woven Starbabies can hang up as ornaments or be pinned to a lapel or just played with as cute little dolls.

 

FINISHED SIZE: Approximately 5 inches/12.5 cm tall.

WHAT YOU NEED: Dewberry Ridge Star and Thumbelina Looms, Latch hook lucet from Dewberry Ridge Looms or a regular lucet.

About an ounce/28 gm star colored yarn and about and ounce/28 gm yarn for the body.

Face: 1 inch/2.5 cm diameter button and a 1 ½ inch/3 cm diameter circle of lightweight fabric.  Needle and thread to gather the fabric circle.

Features: Fine tip permanent marking pens, light pink crayon for cheeks.

star-baby-23-c

WEAVE:

1 Star following the instructions that came with the Star loom from Dewberry Ridge Looms

1 Thumbelina arch shape following the instructions that came with the Thumbelina loom, also from Dewberry Ridge Looms.

 

Make 2 LUCET cords:

Arms: 2 ½ inches/ 6.25 cm

Legs: 3 ½ inches/ 8/75 cm

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ASSEMBLING THE STAR BABY:

Fold the Arch shape in half.

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Stitch the Center back edges together to become the body. Leave the lower edge open.

For the head, leave half of the arch not stitched.

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FACE:

Stitch around the outside edge of the fabric circle,

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then place the button on the circle. Pull up on the thread to gather the circle of fabric tightly.

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Stitch in place on the back several times to secure the stitching.

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Draw the features onto the face.

The seam is at the back of the body.

Place the face button onto the head.  Pull the edges of the head forward and over the edges of the button.

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Take the needle and thread through the back of the head and park it for now.

Thread a length of yarn  into the weaving needle, then take the needle through the edge stitches. Pull up to gather the head around the face.

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Wrap around the neck several times.

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Take the yarn end to the back of the head and stitch in place to anchor it.

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Use the sewing thread to stitch through the back of the head to secure the face button in place.

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In Part 2, I’ll show you how to finish the Star Baby.

This is a tiny video that I made to introduce the Star Babies:

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