Little by little, a stitch here, a puff of wool there, and Hester come out to play. Please come in and meet her.
Truth be told, Hester was a long time coming. She was the first little doll I dreamt of making while still in Canada, but knew she would be the first to be finished in Mexico. How do I know these things? My gut just tells me. Maybe it's experience, or maybe I knew how desperately she wanted to come out of the wool batting and meet the world. Let me tell you more about Hester, because in all honesty, I am head over heels with her.
Hester arrived in my studio on a very dark morning, the skies heavy with rain. As the heavenly drops made everything smell so fresh, the darkened fog made me feel very secretive. Hester absorbed those secrets. She kept asking questions like: "Would I have a fat bum?" -Oh no, my dear, just a very round one. "Would my hands be very hard so I can punch boys when they pull my hair?" -But Hester! what kind of behaviour is that? No punching anybody!. "Not even if they deserve it?" -Absolutely no punching. Bad manners that is. "Is my gut going to hang over my underpants, like Imogen's?" -Now really Hester, those are some harsh words so early in the morning. No, your "gut" won't be as chubby as Imogen's, however you are going to have a very round belly. Your diet allows for it.
On and on the questions kept coming. Questions regarding friends, future adventures, the soup of the day, the names of the clouds, insect behaviour (something to do with the pestilence called mosquitoes…I tell you, this child has a very disturbing language for such a young age!). Keeping face and trying not to shock her or laugh out loud, I answered to the best of my abilities, which is not much to say. I seemed to have silenced the onslaught of curiosity, at least for the day.
Hester tells me she is so intrigued by this world. Not only does she have an inquiring nature, but she seems to absorb the minute detail of it all. The bent flower by her foot, the crunchy edge of a fallen leaf, the steam rising from a mug of tea, the crumbs under her pillow. Best of all she likes gardens and with botanical fervour we set out to discover her wardrobe.
Flowers were a must, and always are she told me, when we think of gentle souls. She picked pink for her blouse, as it "denotes a feminine touch" and she wanted everybody to know all aspects of her personality. When choosing the cashmere ribbing for the blouse, she was adamant it had to be that one, "otherwise it'll be much too girly and too much bother".
Then we tackled the dress. "Practicality must win, and not emotion". Those were her words. So we chose a dark chocolate brown print, thin so it dries quickly if she takes a tumble and dirties herself, wash quickly before mother notices. Wide skirt and linen underskirt, "because practicality is not angry at prettiness; they are sisters and can join forces to dress me."
Flowers on her blouse and on her dress. I wondered where else was Hester going to request the bedecking. "A round collar, please. But not with buttons that tickle my chin. And I want them different colours, and with my name on it." Promptly I uncovered the embroidery mess of a box and we selected floss that accented her clothes. "Acqua, because I like it; bright fucsia for Mexico, where I was born; green for nature; orange because it's October and light pink because I'm a girl."
Seeing as the weather is just starting to turn, we chose nice wool for her shoes. Moccasins, all knit up and hugging her small feet, which are covered in cotton ribbed socks, that she likes to scrunch up when is not too hot, or pull up when the wind bites her legs.
Obviously she had to have a bonnet. Not all my dolls have hats, but I do try and convince them on this matter. They keep the hair out of their face, it keeps it somewhat clean, they look so well cared for and they just look like my own children did at their age. Sentimental as I am, when the dolls agree to wear a topper my heart skips for joy. Pink corduroy, lined with brown polka dots; twill ties ending in crochet beads. And finally Hester was ready to meet a family. Always a bittersweet thing for me.
And so here we are, looking for a kind family that can answer questions by the pound and never lose face in front of her. One must remain kind but firm, stoic yet pliable and answer truthfully but with simplicity. Hester requires a diet full of hugs, stories, family gatherings, baking and gardening. You know, the good things in life. If you feel you belong in such a family and would like to bring Hester into yours, please enter your details in the form below.
Hester is an 18" figlette doll, made entirely by me. She is made with swiss jersey and canadian wool. Her face is needle-felted and her eyes embroidered. Her hair is very long camel weft, sewn by hand to a mohair cap of DollyMo yarn. Her clothes are all made of natural materials and can be gently washed and lay flat to dry. Hester has many small parts and her long hair, so I recommend her for an older child 10+ or an adult collector, that can handle her with care. She is made very sturdy and feels great in your hands, and while tall her features are dainty and she is quite thin. She will come with a PDF file for her care instructions.
- - - HESTER HAS BEEN SOLD. THANK YOU!
Thank you so much for coming to see Hester. I wish her the best of luck and hope she finds the family of her dolly dreams. Now, if you'll excuse me, there are custom dolls that need attending so I must go. I will come back tomorrow to check on Hester's fate and will see you all then. We are finally back, writing stories, taking photos and creating beautiful souls made of fabric and wool. It feels good to be here again.