The sun is shining, the day is beautiful. You feel the warmth of the sun on the skin of your arms and your cheeks start to flush. A perfect day to walk through the garden.
This day will come, I told myself many weeks ago. When the snow is gone, when you can rejoice and feel the grass between your toes. Winters are long where I live, and these winters shape you. You learn to appreciate the days for what they are, you learn to seize any moment of warmth, any light, before it's gone.
As I was trying to make myself cheerful over another cold day, I happened to find an entire collection of fabrics that were screaming just that. The simple beauty of their designs, their dreamy and demure nature, the soft double-gauze material, this told me I needed to create a group of dolls based on them. And inspiration happened.
Most people, working with fabrics, can attest to the fact that when you have them in front of you, you can see all the things you want to make with them. If you are a seamstress and your thing is making bags, you can see a piece of fabric and immediately see it turned into a bag, you know the feel, the weight, the size it will be, etc. This happens too in the dollmaking realm. It happened to me, and the need and urge was so strong that I felt I had the duty of bringing a doll in each design.
I saw them all, with their dresses, playing in the garden. Surrounded by flowers, grasses, dirt and baskets. Now, I dont garden much and I am pretty well known for my capacities to kill all living plants within my immediacy, but I am slowly learning the patience, the skill and the joys that come with owning flower beds, with weeding, with walking through your house and smelling the flowers cut from your own garden.
This group of dolls embody those yearnings, these thoughts. They also embody the sweet nature that comes to me when I think of Tasha Tudor. The dolls are not wearing old-school style dresses, like the period of time in which Tasha illustrated her books. But to me, they have the vibe of her watercolours, some very vivid, most very watered down and almost like they are not there. We own several of her books, and I have read quite a lot about her throughout my life. I wish one day I can look back and see the trajectory of my work like Tasha did. Knee deep in her garden, spinning her own cloth, making preserves and preparing for the long winters, knowing that the quietness of a snowy day is the best balm for your tired body, and is the best incentive to sit down and work on your creative outlet. Hers was writing and painting, mine is creating dolls.
Each of these dolls bears the name of a flower, in a heirloom variety. Most are wearing a little cardi, knit by me feverishly on a sweet camping trip. All are barefoot as it should be. Two are wearing straw hats. They are all very cute and giggly. They will all be available, to start the journey to the place they will soon call home, over here at 11:00 am eastern time tomorrow. I hope you consider taking one to join you in a garden of your very own.