Trying to keep my promise of one baby doll per month this year, such lofty goals I set for myself I tell you, it was due time to get Robina going. But first let me tell you that when I create a doll I always have a name for them, it is part of what inspires them and it is also part of what fuels the energy I imbue the doll with. I know that must sound extremely weird but I have a hard time connecting to a doll when I don’t know her name. Sometimes, the name comes as soon as I start working on them, but more often than not the name is there way before I even start.
Now Robina played ball in a different way. I set out to work on her, thinking that her name would come to me, at least as soon as I saw her face. Crickets. She wouldn’t whisper anything back to me. I was a bit confused and thought perhaps she needed her hair in order to come more to life to me. Hair done. Crickets. This was starting to get complicated. Maybe is the knitting that is getting in the way and throwing me off my case, so I went about making her a pair of boots and a little bonnet. I sat her on my bed and asked her: ‘Well now, it’s getting awfully late, what is your name?’. Crickets. With a deep sigh and trembling hands, I snapped a photo of her and posted it on my Facebook page. I thought people were going to be so disappointed in me to see the lack of communication with the little person, but lo and behold, the exact opposite happened. I didn’t ask for people to give me a name, but the most beautiful names started pouring, and pouring and pouring. While I was expecting a little reprimand for lacking in dollmaking ropes, even a small backlash to this apparent misbehaviour, people opted to look at it as an opportunity. And now, not only does Robina have a beautiful name suggested to me at that time, but I also have a sketchbook full of wonderful names that have started whispering who they belong to. The world has so many surprises, doesn’t it.
While I didn’t know Robina’s name at the time of her creation, I did know what she was all about. Babies are not very hard to get to know, they wear everything on their expression. Robina is as sweet as honeyed fruit, so cute and playful and open-minded. Like a real human baby. Always eager to see people, to taste, to be cuddled. I do miss hanging out with human babies, but for now I keep my mothering arms at bay with the occasional cuddle of my wool babies. The second best thing I keep telling myself. I love making baby clothes and I get to do it at least once a month, so in my book we are square with the world.
Robina here is a baby of the 14”-tall design. She is made with swiss cotton jersey and stuffed with wool. Some of my babies don’t have ears, but Robina does. She has a mop-head of hair made with mohair yarn in a strawberry blonde shade. She has sandy eyelashes and big blue eyes. Her cheeks denote how well-fed she is and we hope that whoever adopts her keeps the same natural disposition to feed her on demand, and not to schedule. She just went through a little growth-spurt and fattened up quite nicely, but not to worry if her belly gets a little chunky, her diaper has a wide velcro band to accept bulging ponchs.
Robina wears a fancy cotton outfit with simple round neckline, gathered short sleeves and legs with elastic, a little front pocket with a wooden button, closing on the front with three sewn-in snaps. She also has a diaper made of cotton jersey and flannel. Robina has a pair of cotton jersey socks under her cotton boots, that match her pretty lace bonnet. Her generous bib matches the fabric used for her diaper, for those summer days when all babies want to wear is their diaper and bib. The bib closes on back with a snap as well and has a sewn-in bow on the front.
Robina’s cradle has been carefully made by my husband out of walnut, ash and purple heart. It allows us to put Robina to sleep much easily with the rocking back and forth of her pretty bed. The bed comes with a cotton-twill mattress stuffed with wool, a little set of matching pillow and blanket. The pillow is stuffed with wool of course, and the blanket is backed with the same cable-knit jersey fabric used for her outfit. We like to keep babies very cozy in this house.
The thought of Robina travelling alone made me think she needed a little lovey to keep close, so I made her a small squishy baby with a simple pointy hat trimmed with a wooden bead. The baby is made of organic cotton doubled pointelle and stuffed with wool.
I make dolls because I love it. Because they make me happy, and I believe that playing with dolls makes other people happy, calmer, playful. All things we need in this troubled world. I hope Robina finds a loving home where she can work her magic, wether enabling a child to create happy memories that will carry them forth in their life journey; or helping an adult to re-connect to the magical space in time of their own childhood. All dolls help us reconnect and stretch our nurturing muscles, so I encourage you to play a little bit more than usual this weekend, in whatever form you enjoy.
Now as for Miss Robina and her goodies, they will be available for purchase via auction tomorrow Saturday May 2nd from 9 PM to 10 PM. I hope whoever gets them enjoys them for many years, and hopefully hands them down the line in their own family. I like to envision the toys we make as links between family members that span generations. I like to dream like that. Thank you for coming to read my meandering thoughts and for cheering for Robina to find a home of her own. See you all soon!