I always loved the photographs of little girls with giant bows on their head; I’ve always wondered how this style came to be! Who came up with such a disproportionate hair ornament for a little girl?
I have a few antique bisque dolls of my mother’s that inspired me to felt this doll. Needle felted completely from wool, each piece (arms, legs, body and head) was individually needle felted and then sewn together. The head is my favorite part of the doll to make. I take great care to give her a face with an authentic look, I like to style her hair and I think the eyes are the most important part of the face. I found these particular blinking doll eyes in the flea market, I think they’re old because they’re made of metal, not plastic.
I really don’t like to do the arms and legs, I find it challenging to make both arms and both legs identical (or close to it).
The dress for this doll is similar to the original dress of the antique bisque doll, but made from felt. I needle felted a design on the bodice to break up the hot pink color.
I made the socks from some white tricot and old lace that I had, and the little black Mary Janes are also made from felt.
The teacup hat is more for me than for the kids. All that a teacup represents, socialing with friends, domesticity, acceptable behavior or not being accepted (as Alice wasn’t in the tea party scene, in Alice in wonderland) are dashed by wearing this hat. Like wearing a lampshade on your head, wearing my teacup on your head says to me “#!*!” to all that is expected of you. Are you brave enough not to wear the latest fashion? to look silly? to call attention to yourself? This hat says “fun” to me and don’t we all need a little fun? I added a base and handle to the hat, I added bias tape around the edges to imitate gold leaf trim found on fancy teacups and I appliqued some fruit that I cut out of an antique piece of cloth. Voila-teacup!
When I was a kid, I remember how long the summers seemed to be. Trips to the family farm in Lexington Indiana were special to us; my grandpa Perk was born there in a little cabin in the woods that fell down long ago. We stayed in my Aunt’s house, where my grandpa also stayed when he was working on the farm.The two story house was white with a front porch and of course an old hound dog named Duke, sleeping by the front door. My sister and I slept on a feather bed that enveloped us; I can’t imagine what sleeping on that bed would do to my back today. We slept in pitch black (no street lamps) and listened to a symphony of crickets and bull frogs outside. My grandpa would get up at dawn and so would my sister, they would check the cows, then go fishing in the pond by the house. I always slept late, but when I finally got up I would go out and look at my aunt Lee’s horses. By the lake, we swam, played in the fishing boats, and walked around the property. I helped my dad clean the fish that we spent the day catching and my mom and grandma would fry them in a skillet on the fire.
I’ve been so busy working on projects for my store, that I haven’t had time for summer. I’m taking time out right now to reflect on what summer should be.
The first dolls I ever made were made from vegatables from our garden, then I started making dolls from my mother’s fabric scraps. As I grew older, I had to take home economics in school; I learned how to follow a pattern and this allowed me to make rag dolls. As time went on, I started making dolls from paper mache, wood, clay and mixed media. After we moved to Israel, the girls were little and I made puppets for the girls to play with. My fabric puppets, evolved into mixed media puppets and now I;m making mostly felted puppets. I taught myself to neelde felt a few years ago. Needle felting is like sculpting, its additive and subractive like clay.