Thora and the moth quest, a natural fiber art doll ready to play.
Once upon a lady…"no, no, no! You are doing it all wrong!". Thora begs for a different beginning, and so we start again.
As we walk through empty streets, flanked by uninviting fences wrapped in red vines and covered by yellow canopies, Thora and I look for moths. "My spirit animal" she says.
What spirit animal? I ask her. Where did this whole "spirit animal" idea came from? Certainly not from me. I never talk of such things. But nowadays (I blame technology) children come home with all sorts of ideas. Their ideas, or their class mates'. But a lot of ideas they do spout. And is our duty, as protective and zealous parents, to smote them right out. Ah no! my mistake! To encourage those ideas that are brilliant, new and different. Like the spirt animal one.
The walk has now taken us to a very small and always empty "callejon" (spanish for little alley). Thora likes this alley, she says it reminds her of Robin, and Carolina. Right she is. It reminds me of them too. She especially loves it because it has a little creek, lots of vines, a few adobe dwellings and a big nopal (spanish for prickly pear cactus).
But we digress. Again. The reason we are out so late in the afternoon, against our better judgement, is because Thora wants to find moths. She is attuned to them so to speak. And although she finds them a bit scary, she faces all fears head on.
Especially when you have a trusty side-kick like her bunny friend, whose name is Mossy and is very quiet, attentive and never loud. Like a good side-kick ought to be.
Mossy is always tucked inside his little pouch. Thora doesn't dare go on adventure without him. She says he misses her dearly, but I secretly know it's because it gives her comfort, a wee tremor of joy when she feels his presence.
Every now and then, when confronted with large and over-bearing adults, who ask too many questions (and always the wrong ones!), Thora seems to find a bit more courage by touching Mossy. She pets him so to speak. "But not really, she says, because he ain't a pet". "He is a sidekick, and silent as a fish!". Gotcha.
Now that I'm all sorted out about proper sidekick behaviour, and in her favourite alleyway, we start looking for the spirit animal.
Thora decides a vine crown makes her look more inviting to curious moths, so she swiftly snags one and tucks it right behind her ears. Wrapped in this arterial concoction she looks a bit mad, but a bit coquettish I do agree. I smile to myself.
Children are so resourceful, aren't they? It seems to work so well, this independence, unless you ask them to fetch you something or solve a housekeeping problem. I wonder.
"See, if I sit here, right so, and stay very quiet (unlike her true fidgety self), a little moth might come and think I am a tree and sit on me. Do you think it would tickle?". Poor Thora asks with a tiny bit of horror in her eyes. She despises tickling. Aside laughing like a maniac, it gives her an upset stomach.
"Well, it might tickle, but just a little bit. Only on your skin, not like a deep tickle. But I think is much too early to see moths today Thora, we might have to wait until it gets darker and then you can go out with a candle and see if the moths want to say hi. Should we go home?". I plead with dark reasons of my own.
Ashamed by the rumble in my tummy, and the slight dizziness from illness-derived weakness, I envision a cozy blanket and a pot of tea. The smoky afternoon beckons and is no time for adventuring, not for me.
I try to convince Thora to head home. She wants to take "one last look" through the nearby meadow. So we head there, fighting our way like viking hordes through forests of brambles, and getting covered in burrs and poky seeds, we must look like raving lunatics.
Meanwhile, all I can think is this is definitely not the kind of forbidding quest I am after, give me a book! I pray. I need to return to my daytime nest and hibernate the evening proper.
Thora, crushed by the encumbrance of adult behaviour, starts heading home. Reciting the names of moths seems a rather fitting pass time, so we try to make a song. Not much to rhyme with cecropia I'm afraid, but we do stitch together some jolly tunes.
A patch of yellow golden-eye beams like a beacon of hope. We absolutely must stop. Again.
Thora keeps reciting obscure moth names (I must keep up with this child! must remember to add moth book to amazon wish list) and my head now can't fully decide if lying down on the hard earth is a bad idea or not.
My crazed look must have given her pause to think, because she held my hand and with a spring in her step, she led me home, through darkening streets, with lit windows that let the inside chatter spill out, dogs barking in the distance and the smell of early wood fires raising into the cold sky.
Children are so understanding, aren't they? I think to myself as I drift to sleep.
Thora did find her moth, although it was a dead one. I promised to take her outside, later tonight, so she can entice some of them to come and meet her with a lit candle. And I always keep my promises, especially the ones I make to the dolls.
You probably already know, that Thora has two "sisters". They are far away in distance, but close to her heart and fiber. Thora was born out of the desire to collaborate with two of my dearest friends, Juliane and Winter, doll makers at Notes from Björkasa and Winterludes Dolls respectively.
This collaboration started more than a year and a half ago. As is with busy people, who decide to spend their days covered in wool and threads creating wool children, life really has a knack for getting in the way. Moving countries, postal strikes, dealing with chronic health issues, holidays and you-name-it, it all took this collaboration on a bit of a joy ride.
There was a moment in there where I thought it was just not going to happen. Once all dolls were made, life just kept throwing hard balls. Unending rain meant no photos could be taken, "my doll did this", "my doll did that"…seriously!. Things were starting to get cookier than usual, but I suppose when you put a child from Björkasa, next to a Fig and tied to a Winterludes, things are bound to get crazy.
In the end, the constant love and unending patience of the doll maker persevered.
Here they are. All three. Beautiful children, born out of our imagination, created solely by our hands, written with a bit of mischief in their nature, for your viewing pleasure. You can play with one, or all three of them!.
If you would like to try your luck at bringing Miss Thora home, then read on!.
Thora is a 19" (and a bit) tall doll, made in my Figlette style. She is made with cotton skin, stuffed very firmly with Canadian wool, and her face has been sculpted with needle-felting techniques. Her eyes are embroidered with chocolate-brown thread, her freckles (only 10 she asked. I agreed.) hand-painted, and her rosy cheeks were blushed with red beeswax. Thora's hair is made with a very soft mohair curled weft, and sewn to an alpaca/mohair cap made by me.
Thora comes wearing a lovely hand knit shawl, made with Madelinetosh hand-dyed yarn. She also has a cotton top with three pleats on front to give it more room at the waist, a ruffle collar, opens fully on back and closes with hand-sewn snaps, long sleeves and a wooden button that reads "hand made".
She is wearing a full double skirt, made of cotton pin dots and a lovely seer-sucker floral in lighter blue. The skirt was decorated with three vintage buttons. She is wearing blue underwear made with cotton pointelle, and adorned with a pink rosette. Her navy blue socks have white specks, and her cashmere shoes have leather ties and double sole so her feet don't get too tired on long walks.
Thora also comes with a lovely light-blue bonnet, made with repurposed quilted fabric. The fabric has some minor cosmetic flaws, but only on the lining. This thick and sturdy bonnet has cotton twill ties, finished with handmade crochet beads. And her trusty side-kick Mossy is made also with cashmere and stuffed with wool. He can be taken out of his cozy pouch, but he loves being inside all tucked away for adventure.
Thora is recommended as a doll for an older child (10+) or an adult collector, that can treat her gently, teach her all about moths, be patient with her when you go on long walks, and above all, always let her have Mossy by her side. If you are willing to fulfill these duties, you can fill the form below and enter to be chosen (at random) to purchase Thora and Mossy (absolutely must promise not to tickle!).
The price for Thora, her clothes and Mossy, is $1200 USD plus postage. She travels home with insurance and tracking number. ($65 Canada, $35 US, International will need a revised quote). Please only enter your details if you are personally interested in bringing Thora home, and not on behalf of someone else. We will leave the form open until Tuesday November 14th at 10 AM EST, at which point we will select a person at random to purchase Thora, a Paypal invoice will be sent, and payment due then.
- - - The entries for sweet Thora are closed. We have notified the lucky family and if all goes well, Miss Thora shall be traveling soon to her new home. Thank you to everyone that wrote such kind messages for my young moth aficionado. I have quite a few "petite" surprises in the works for you all. Much love, as always.
We wish Asta and Chouko the best of luck in finding their homes. And we hope that whoever ends up with Thora in their arms has loads of patience and a naturalist heart.
Thank you for coming to read about my little girl.
Thank you to my dear friends for allowing me to play with them, making dolls and dreaming stories. I do look up to them with shiny eyes because their stories and dolls always fill my days with magic.
But above all, thanks to my wool children, that day after day they keep filling my life with nature, love, creativity and imagination. My world would not be the same without them.
Now I must go, I have moths to chase after. Wishing you all a lovely Sunday and a stellar new week.