And here is Little Amanda.
As you can tell, the dolls are staging a coup, and have decided for proper introductions in nothing but their birthday suits. Whatever will come next?
I have known the special human that this pretty doll is inspired by for quite some time. I have seen her grow before my very eyes, and not until now did I get the chance to try to capture some of her essence, some of that elusive quality in her smile, into a cloth and wool doll.
Obviously, the word 'grateful' doesn't even come close. And not just because I actually started working on her last Fall! dear me, it has been that long. But because like I always say, certain dolls come into my creative realm always at just the right time. I am left wondering why that is, but it's true.
Her mother and I had a hard time deciding which 'time period' of Little Amanda's life we wanted to re-create. After diving into many, many beautiful albums, this was the age that most spoke to me. The time where her curls were predominant around her face and she always had a big wide smile for the camera. Ah! children!! They are so unbelievably kind to us when they are little.
Trying to attain that hair style though, proved to be nothing but a nightmare. I started with the idea of a pre-made mohair wig, and bought a few because I had never used them on my dolls (except for Millicent…but Amanda was started earlier than her!). Well, I made so many mistakes and had to return two separate shipments.
I gave up on the idea of the wig and went ahead with my tried and true 'weft-alpaca-and-try-not-to-die-coughing-hair-balls' process. But Amanda, the real Amanda, wasn't there in that hair. Whimsical, beautiful, yes. But not the right colour, and not the right thing for her.
So we bought pre-made weft for hair, in a loose curl. Nothing. I tried making the wig and washing it, styling it differently. It just wasn't speaking to me at all.
The hair conundrum of this doll was putting the whole thing in such an odd place. She was ready, excited, wanted to meet the peoples and all, but not without hair! She asked me gently to revisit the bought wig thing. I was so hesitant. But I do listen to the dolls, at least I do that.
We bought some again, and as soon as I opened the box containing the one she is wearing I knew. I knew I was going to have to do something to it to make it fit, and while it's not exactly her hair colour, nor the curl to her hair, it is the closest thing to my eyes and Amanda did love it! She loved it. I was so relieved!.
Now, the next step was telling her mother. Oh boy. I have told you many times how nervous I get of introducing custom dolls to their parents and my partners in crime. There is always this nasty little voice, whispering day and night in my ear, "they won't like it, they will be so disappointed, are you crazy to even show them this doll? make another one!".
But if anything, presenting Millicent with her bought wig gave me a little courage to present Amanda to her mother. Like I say, the dolls are finished when their creation process is finished, and when I achieve some sort of 'closure' and inner-learning stage as well. Now, we all know, shipping them away is another matter entirely. That takes me weeks!.
Now, her wardrobe has been in the works too, and while she won't wear anything just yet, I might persuade both her and Aoki to start modelling their attire. Oh! so many sweet and lovely doll clothes we have been making. Wee shoes, and wee pyjamas. All to be revealed during the next few days, if they allow me.
Back to the sewing horse. See you on the other side!.