Friday, June 24, 2011

Spirit Dolls

I have been making more of the Spirit Dolls. Those are the little dolls I showed last post. They are not easy to make and they are time consuming but they are fun. It is nice to follow the spirit in decorating and placing things on their clothes to make them sparkle. I've also been hunting for wool felt. I want to make the illustrations for one of our traditional stories and I want to try a different medium. The illustrations for the last book were done in wool roving.
I received a broach from my friends who attend the Waldorf School in Burlington, Ontario. The broach is made from wool felt and beads and it is just what I was thinking of doing on one of my dolls. I couldn't seem to find a wool felt source here in the Brantford/Hamilton area and then when I received the broach I thought - ahha, Waldorf school. Okay back to the work and back to the searching for wool felt. I'll post a picture of the broach soon and maybe even a doll. Have a great one.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Conference

This past week I attended the North American Indian Women's Association (NAIWA) conference in Niagara Falls, NY. It was a wonderful conference, no pretense, no politics to speak of, just a grass roots organization of women who walk softly on the earth helping others.

My friend Diane Hill spoke at this conference and she gave two workshops. I set up my table of dolls and my poetry books to sell. I also sold her books for her and gave out her brochures. I made some pin dolls to take with me as well as the other larger dolls. These dolls are a sample of dolls I made but I added legs. I enjoy making these little dolls and made some while Diane was speaking. The only doll that came home with me was the doll with the white face. That white face is a ceramic face made by my friend Steve Smith of Talking Earth Pottery.

This week I a am working on a few more pin dolls and I'm also gathering materials for the next story book that I am illustrating. The first book was one version of  the Creation Story from our people, the Haudenosaunee.(The French Call us Iroquois and the English call us The Six Nations among other things.) I say 'one version' because you have to remember that there are six different nations as well as the different clan families within these nations and although the story is the same the versions can be different. This first book with illustrations done in needle felting is written by Rick Hill, a noted historian and museum consultant from here at Six Nations. This next collection of illustrations I'm working on is to be done in mixed media. I'll say no more.
Have a great week.

Monday, June 6, 2011


I took auntie to church yesterday. Saw many old friends and a relative or two. We went to lunch with my cousin and his wife and had a lovely visit. On the way to the retirement home where she lives Auntie says "I find that I get tired a little faster than before and can't do as much. I'll probably take a nap when I get back home." All this said to my questioning whether she wanted to go the Mohawk Chapel at 7 pm for the re dedication. Mind you, I could understand that because she is 93. I'm so amazed and really want to be as bright and mobile and active when I am 93. 

Last week I made a pin doll and finally named her Rainbow. I got so caught up with her I made three more and now have bodies cut out for at least 7 more. I'm afraid I don't have pictures right now but will post them when I get them. My friend Marzie took the pictures when I showed them at the bead shop. 4 Sirius Beaders is a place I like to go and hang out for an hour or so when they are open and buy supplies and show my work. They were open this past Saturday and while there I got some feedback on my work - all good.

 I am off today to Niagara Falls, NY with my friend Diane to help her at a conference. I am also taking my pin dolls and some of my other work to see if they will sell. It is interesting to me that historically Niagara Falls was the place you would see the other Native Americans/Indians/First Nations people sitting on blankets selling their raised bead work. Today you seldom see that. The bead work is still being done but it is now sold in other places and for much more money than was paid back even thirty or forty years ago. Yes, I'm talking a long time ago the Tuscarora and other nations were selling their raised bead bead work at Niagara Falls. There are many links to the Iroquois Raised Bead Work I'm talking about and this is just one. No, I don't do that kind of work "yet" but I will try some day. I'm more into the pin dolls, art dolls, and the wall hangings for now. And, of course, the children's book illustrating. 
Have a good one.