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Looking forward, looking back.

Today is my birthday. And this week the anniversary of Fig&me. 5 years. This morning I got up very early, I couldn't sleep. So much to do in my head. After puttering about in the kitchen for a bit I went outside to open the coop for our little ladies (our chickens) and noticed the darkness at that time of day. Back in the summer it was so bright at this hour, yet the morning fog floated through the yard, the damp and cool mist that envelops everything around here at this time of day. While it might sound spooky or even cold, it was beautiful.

Instead of heading straight to work, as I do in the mornings. I realized "today is my birthday", and so I came inside, made a cup of strong coffee and looked at photos. Photos of my children one year ago (how much they have grown!), photos of my dolls (how much they have evolved!), photos of yesteryear. By now you already know I am the type of person that takes a lot of comfort in wandering through her memories. 

I feel so grateful. Tired, enthusiastic, hopeful and grateful. Those are the four states of body and mind that come to me when I ask myself that question: and how are you?. There is so much for me in the future, seeing my children grow more and more into their bodies, displaying who they are and who they want to become; so many smiles await me seeing my husband produce his work and to be there with him while he fulfills his dreams; I know there are many paths to walk in my doll-making journey still, so much to learn, to write, to photograph, to witness. I am so grateful to be alive. 

One of the many things I feel incredibly grateful for is having found the medium to exercise my dreams. Not only that, but also having found kindred souls who love what I do, and support my work time and time again. Without the support of all of you I just couldn't keep doing what I am doing. Sure, I would still be making dolls as they come out of me like a force of nature, I can't stop it, but perhaps I wouldn't be here, this way. I have found staggering support for my creations, for my wool children, and I also have found the kind of loving and caring support from other doll-makers, who I look up to and whose work I adore. They know who they are, as I tell them constantly how much I appreciate them. They are my people.

It has taken me five years to be where I am. I am so ready for another five. I am 36 today, and I will look back one more time when I am 41.  When Fig&me is ten years old. Who will be with me then? Which of my current beloved customers will still be kicking around? Whose children will I be making dolls for? What kind of dolls will I be making then? Will I be teaching? Will I be writing? We can only wait and see. 

I will leave you now to go and wake up my children, whom have been wrapping their own toys in shiny paper for their mother to open on her birthday, as is their custom. Giggle giggle. The fact that they grab whatever is around them, wrap it all up with bits of yarn, fabric and painter's tape, and give it to me with so much love, speaks of the fact that they consider their toys valuable possessions yet they are willing to part with them and give them to me. It also reminds me that is not what is inside a package that matters, but the intention with which is given. And with that in mind, I hope you appreciate some of the little things I am planning to give away in celebration of the five years I have been creating dolls.  

*some people have asked me over the years why I chose the name Fig&me. I have never answered that question. Fig are my initials plus my nickname. Those that know me can tell you what the G stands for, but we will leave a bit of mystery for you!.  And now I leave you with this...


The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day! 
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

Robert Frost

Through the looking glass...

Baby Joni and her pink bonnet