Little Amber, it's almost B-day.
Sweet Little Amber has been waiting, tucked inside a box for almost a month, waiting for the magical morning when her little mama wakes up and she is discovered. I wish I could be there to see them together, but in the mean time we will show you what Amber is all about.
Amber is a quiet girl, patient with little children, that loves to tell them her own stories. Sometimes she writes them in bits of paper, to remind herself later of important characters or twists in the plot; but most often than not, she makes it up as she goes along.
Amber loves to include fantasy in her stories. The last one she told me involved a gigantic cat, who was part-wizard part-librarian. I guess both profession are neatly tied, at least in her mind. Books do contain oodles of magic I say.
This cat, being a wizard, could change shape, size and colour. But it was always a cat. But sometimes black, sometimes tabby, sometimes all white. And it talked like an English professor. I personally would like a cat like that, all I have is a marauding one who keeps getting itself caught in our tallest pecan tree and we have to coax down every time with treats or threats.
Aside the storytelling streak, that I hear runs in the family where she landed, Amber loves nature. Especially mountains. When I was helping her get inside her traveling box, I told her she was headed to Switzerland and she was just so beside herself. She told me she hoped to be taking on many expeditions and perhaps a mountaineering trip or two.
I did explain that most of her early-life trips will involve the neighbourhood park at the most, but she is hopeful. Bless her.
Amber was a custom order that I had the privilege of creating late last year. She is made with my personal version of the Little Fig doll pattern, so she is a wee bit taller, a wee bit fatter and with loads of mischief.
She was made as a special present for a little girl's birthday. A little girl who wanted a doll with long hair, and not a baby. I knew exactly the kind.
While most of my dolls are sold to collectors, or made at their request, still from time to time I get the chance to make a doll for a young child. This always poses different questions, and developmental needs, but I won't lie. It is equally exciting for me to create them for a little person, than an older person. Even if I have to reign in all the needs-wants of tiny buttons, wee snaps, etc.
For Amber's little mother's sake, we chose simple clothing. A hardy, but pretty, pink dress of simple design. With wide sleeves and full back opening so her young hands can dress her. Her shoes, not pictured, were crocheted in wool and come on and off without the need of straps or buttons.
I did want to make her accessories, for the dressing-undressing pleasure of young children. So I showed Amber my pattern repertoire and she was immediately drawn to Raisa's mouse hat. But she wanted if a bit different. So we lined hers with a lovely cotton muslin, chose red and white stripe ribbon for ties, a lovely repurposed merino knitted fabric for the outer layer and pom-pom trim throughout her bonnet and matching removable collar (or is it a cape? we are not sure).
And even though Amber's sweet face full of shyness and caution, is sculpted heavily with needle-felting techniques, I think she is still full of mystery, imagination and simplicity. She has a beautiful and warming expression, but it is not over-the-top. At times she looks smiling, at other times she looks very quiet, like she is biting her lip in deep concentration.
I wish I could say that was exactly my intention. That I did it on purpose. But no. All I wanted was to give her face enough expression to make her come alive, but to leave plenty of room for imaginative play. I had no idea she was going to come out like this, and this creation process is every bit as magical to me as the day I started making dolls. The dolls still surprise me.
So here I am, waiting patiently with Amber for next week, when she will get to meet her new friend and when she will be lugged around and played with for many years to come. Hopefully with a mountain or two in between every now and then.
Happy Birthday Little Olive! I hope you love your new doll!.