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Taking care of business. How Aspen goes about her days.

Taking care of business. How Aspen goes about her days.

You do remember Aspen, right? That gorgeous little girl who stole our hearts last October? Well, I forgot to share a bit more of her, but here we are. Playing catch up with all my custom wool girls that left late last year.

Aspen, a natural fiber art doll by Fig and Me. 

October days are the perfect days, stated my little Aspen quite early in the morning. I thought it was too early to pronounce such definite statements, however, being a child of October myself I wholly agree with her. 

Perhaps it's the respite from the summer blaze, the change of light (oh yes! October has such a special, honey-golden light), the world ablaze in bronze and yellow. Or perhaps it's the bounty of Mother Nature, with the rose hips ready, the acorns, the pecans, the sweet potatoes, the pumpkins. 

If you are not much of a Fall Lover (heathen! who are you?) well, you just couldn't possibly understand Aspen, or me. We thrive in slightly cooler weather, when the need to bundle textiles (wether handmade or thrifted…or inherited) upon oneself is like dressing ourselves for a ball. Giggles abound, long discussions on the right ratio of layering versus height, etc. 

The frosty mornings are like a shot of energy through our sluggish veins. The fallen leaves, pure treasure. We colour, we bake and we look outside our window, mesmerized by the artistry…and yes. By the anticipation of what Fall entails: Winter on its way, more bundle-ling, more hot beverages. Christmas.

Ah, the world is magical at each and every stage. Having wool children home, who see it all for the first time, keeps that noticing and witnessing magic alive in me. I discover with them preferences and proclivities. I notice attractions (both to fabrics and seasons), and I see the birth of a story in each one. 

Perhaps I am not so much a doll maker, as I like to call myself these days. Perhaps I am just a medium, a facilitator, of their stories to be made into cloth flesh and wool muscle. Perhaps.

Aspen, caring for her little rat (named Twig) and wearing her twill coat. By Fig and Me.

Well, as you can see, Aspen need not attend fashion school, ever. She knows exactly what to wear to tame the chilly winds. She makes no apologies either. 

Aspen loves soft and cuddly things. Maybe because they remind her of her pet rat "Twig". Those silly wisps of fur make her giggle and she keeps gently poking its fat belly (somebody out to call the Rat Nutrition Police or something, this girl spoils that rat too much!). 

So naturally, she is inclined to soft knits. Nothing chunky, low gauge yarns are her jam. Not mine to be honest, so I had to compromise and "bundle" a couple of yarns to create her knitted garments. A Slouchy chapeau, that has the most magical halo thanks to angora. And a soft and stretchy scarf, to keep her cheeks at the right level of warmth.

Aside the beautiful cashmere clothes I had already made for her (which you can see here>>), I had to make her a coat. Knowing Aspen and her true penchant for exploring woods and meadows, I knew she was going to need outer gear. Feeling a bit grandiose under the October skies, I suggested velvet. Well, horror struck her eyes.

No velvet for me, she answered. I need hard-wearing fabrics, so I can brush off dried mud without having to wash the whole thing. Oh dear. What a faux pas. Apologizing profusely, I immediately brought out the ticking. Much better now.

Sweet Aspen, all ready to take care of business. By Fig and Me. Art doll set by Fig and Me. 

Aspen, although down-to-earth and very sensible, has very strong ideas about her appearance. Can you tell?. Tall and thick boots, good for walking but also comfortable enough for dancing, should the need arise.

A scarf for ratty, because he is coming with me on adventures, and we don't want him to catch a cold.

My coat needs to be long, but not too much that is hard to play in. Just one button please. I want a collar and bows. Knitted if you can, in something soft. So if I am bored or anxious I can touch the bows and calm myself.

I tried my best to supply her demands, and even though she may sound too bossy or particular to you, these requests were done over a long period of time so they felt more like guidance than orders. I live in total denial. 

Little Twig, a needle-felted rat made of wool over a wire armature. By Fig and Me. 

I am happy to report that both Aspen and Twig are home now, after a long delay that had us all quite worried. They arrived famished, but already have a place of honour in their loving home. 

Twig was put on a diet (I hope!), and Aspen proceeded to tell her many tales. Ask for oat cakes, get her hair brushed daily and infuse her new home with the lovely smell of wool. 

When I received the request to make Aspen, I giggled as I often do. I was later told that Aspen was a "wedding anniversary" gift, and I giggled a bit more. I absolutely love hearing 'the why" of people requesting dolls from me. Sometimes is just love at first sight, other times are well-budgeted presents, or to embody memories of loved ones. It inspires my hands so much, and it gives me something to focus as I work on their doll.

The fact that I got to experiment making a wool sculpture animal (I could have sewn it but this technique called more to me) was just such a treat for my hands, and it has sparked a whole new avenue for me, which I will be able to show you soon. Yes, I have been taking videos like a crazy person, slowly editing them, and will be releasing them very soon (on a weekly basis) but more on that for another post.

For now, I just want to say thank you to Terri and her wonderful family, that gave me the opportunity of meeting Aspen. I feel so proud of her kind face, of her curious demeanour, and of the fact that you were able to connect so quickly with her. That tells me I did my job right and created something for you, from deep within me, but with some of your energy. 

I am so happy she is home, fed, played with, and that her presence brings you joy. Thank you Terri, and don't forget, a small package of love will be heading your way soon. Perhaps Aspen needs something more appropriate for Spring and summer weather, even though she will always be a Fall girl at heart.

Aspen, a natural fiber art doll by Fig and Me. 

Making a Doll Hat with Repurposed Knits, the easy way.

Making a Doll Hat with Repurposed Knits, the easy way.

Little Amber, it's almost B-day.

Little Amber, it's almost B-day.