We have been getting to know Eileen, and she has been keeping us all under her little finger. No doubt about it.
Eileen came to us by the hand of her grand-daughter. I know this story so well it's like the back of my hand.
I kept wondering how come the last two dolls I made have been requested by the loving children of two grandmothers, who raised them and became their beacons in life. It's just so darn funny how that happens all the time to me: synchronicity.
The little girl grew up with her Grandma Eileen, learned so many things from her, and to the day, looks up to her example as she walks her own path in life.
She wanted Little cloth Eileen to be made after her, to have a little of that joy of life and character that her Grandmother has. And so here is our Little Eileen: a total firecracker or a doll, a playful, twirling, crazy about cats, little doll.
We wanted to dress her in something a little retro, and Eileen started choosing her little details. Wanted pocket flaps, wanted a double-breasted dress and puffy short sleeves.
Then she requested summery fabrics, red and blue. She loves blue more than anything. And a circular collar she said (those always give me nightmares, I rather prefer the Peter Pan ones but hers turned out ok).
She also said she wanted sleeve cuffs that could turn up and a very twirly skirt, which we adorned with a contrasting inner hem. So fancy!.
Now we are working hard to pick all the buttons she wants, a very special one for her chapeau. We have made her shoes, and undies and knitted a wee bit for her.
Little by little, the wardrobe for Eileen is taking shape. As she tells me more about herself, as I work on her, more ideas and tidbits come to mind.
Oh! I wonder if I should make her a satchel? Or maybe she needs her very own furr ball? Maybe she wants a swimsuit?!. The mind of an over-excited dollmaker is a thing to behold I tell you.
I just adore the simplicity of her face. I have been thinking a lot about doll sculpting lately, especially in preparation for all the wool sculpting workshops I am going to be giving next year.
I think I have a very particular style (do let me blow my own horn for a bit!), it's not just the head shape (which I vary all the time), or the eyes, or the way I sculpt the lips. If I am so bold as to say this myself: each doll is very unique. You can seat them all together, and they look like a family but no two are the same. I LOVE that about my dolls!.
I find it so inspiring that I can still make a doll and she can be her own little person, not a copy of someone else made before. And while you can trace things that make them all relatable to my hands, they are also their own little people.
Now, we shall go and keep working on Eileen's clothes. Something tells me it has to do with being in the garden…her favourite place in the world.
Be right back!.