How to Brighten Your Day Blue
Like reading a great book, making a doll has the ability to transport you to another place for a while, to develop your mind, reach through and touch you from the inside. Sometimes we need something unusual and different from our regular routine because it can go a long way to brighten a dreary day. Or week. Or month or longer – like when it comes to being on a stay-in-place quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dealing with quarantine
From the window of my high-rise apartment in Brooklyn, New York, I see people wearing surgical masks. I don’t see much traffic down below, which is just weird, and the constant sight of airplanes overhead has ceased. I’m apprehensive about going to the grocery store and too concerned to ride my bike or take a walk in the park. There’s nowhere to go. I wear gloves and a mask to go down to the lobby and retrieve my mail, and I wipe it down before I come back inside. I live in the epicenter of the hardest-hit place in the US, and I’m fortunate and glad to have a large balcony where I can step outside and be safe and get some sunshine. I’d spend more time out there but the weather in New York has been too cold and rainy. I know it will get better soon.
To be sure, this is all very different than what I’m used to, so I made a doll that’s also completely different in a positive way. I used a pattern by another artist to see how my hands would create her. Here she is!
Brighid is my rendition of a pattern by Paula McGee called Kimama. She is a large 35″ fairy doll made entirely of fabric. To me, the most interesting thing about this doll is her big flat face with swirly lines done in marker pen. It was a lot of fun to make a face this way and I’m not sure if I can resist doing it again! This is Paula’s style and I am glad I discovered it because it’s definitely a very happy and “magical” way to draw.
Brighid’s hands are needle-sculpted and detailed using a fine tip pen and some diamond crystal glaze for nails.
The “freckles” on her skin are actually mica powder sprinkled onto the fabric and then sealed with fixative spray and fabric medium. That was my own idea! The powder I used is by Jacquard and it’s called Pearl-Ex Powdered Pigment. It’s one of my favorite art supplies and I use it quite often. Here is a link to learn more about it.
Czech glass beads are sewn right onto her legs, and some trim is wound around to create the laces for her boots. The boots themselves are made of wide antique lace with a strip of velvet glued onto the soles of her feet. I used the lace because I had it lying around for years, and I thought it would look perfect.
I suppose that whenever I look at Brighid, inevitably she will remind me of the uncertain, scary time we find ourselves in now. But more than this, she is a source of very positive vibes. I want to thank Paula for such a nice pattern. For more information, visit her website.
Start a new project. Buy a pattern or take an online class, and try something different. Make a new doll, and make a new friend who will take you to another place and brighten your world blue. Or pink. Or purple. Or orange. Or…