Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Gifts

Okay, I know that it is never as bad as I make it out to be. I'm just not a Christmas person. I may have said that in another post - I don't remember. I am the kind of person that wants to give gifts when I feel like it, gifts I make or find that I feel will be just right for that person. This year as always I gave my mom a gift pertaining to Christmas on her birthday - November 22 when she turned 87. I usually give a gift pertaining to Christmas so she can enjoy them for the season not just on Christmas day. Her gift this year was tree ornaments - including a little rooster. She used to raise chickens when she was younger and able to get out there to feed and water and collect eggs. 

This year I made dolls for my grown children and their families. They are replicas of outfits worn by the Iroquois women that I've seen when we go to ceremonies. I add a lot more beads and decorations to the dolls. These dolls are called stump dolls because they have no legs. It takes me about three months to make one of these dolls because I don't work at them every day. There is an underskirt and then the dress over top. If she had legs she would also be wearing decorated leggings.

I can now share those pictures with you.
Tim and his wife Fina received my gift on the Friday before Christmas when my sister and I went into Toronto to view the Chagall works at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Their doll is called Butterfly Woman - for obvious reasons. Her dress is made out of a black background piece of material that my friend had left over from making her husband a ribbon shirt. I thought the colours were wonderful and found the beads and ribbon and other materials to compliment. This doll doesn't look like she is dancing - she may be resting.

The next doll was given to Mike and Tuesday on Christmas Eve when I go and visit them. I enjoy my time with them and this year I gave them a doll called  Turquoise Woman again for obvious reasons. I found the material and really liked the colours but found it hard to select the ribbons and beads to match. The fabric stores don't always have ribbon that will coordinate with the materials and the sales people get frustrated with me sometimes. The bead store near my home is a little more helpful - well a lot helpful. I bring in the swatch of material and ribbons I've selected and we find the beads that will go with the selections. This doll has some fine wire in her cape to help her look like she is dancing.

The last doll I made was for Monica and Harv and she is called Bear Woman because I don't have a different name for her. She might have told me her name but I forgot and for now we will just call her Bear Woman. She has a skirt and blouse on over the underskirt. That is a different design for me. I've seen one or two women wearing something like this when we go to ceremonies. She has a heavier wire in her cape to make it look like she is dancing hard. Her right arm is to her waist and the left arm is holding her shawl out to the wind. This doll has a lot of bear charms or as we used to call them fetishes. Monica chose the colour of the fabric from my stash one day when she was here and I just made up the rest. I took the fat quarter to Fabric Land and the lady there helped me find the right colour material for the shawl. It was a darker colour than the turquoise of the flowers in the material but it worked. I also found the same shade of ribbon as the silk for the shawl and that was a bonus.

I really enjoy making them - it's the costuming that is the most fun. So now you know the part I enjoy. Making the dolls, costuming and especially giving them.

1 comment:

  1. What treasures, Helen! The beadwork is so lovely, and they have such energy and spirit. Beautiful fabrics and ribbons, too. (I have some helpful folks at our local bead shop myself--bless them.) Wonderful idea to add the wire!

    I hear you on the costuming... that is definitely one of the most fun parts. :o) Right now I'm toying with designs for future dolls that will maximize the parts of doll-making I enjoy--painting faces and costuming--and minimize all the fidgy irritating bits I dislike.