Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Time It Takes

It was brought to my attention one day, that there were people who had not experienced playing a musical instrument, or experienced listening and dancing to live music made by people playing instruments, nor did they know what it was like to have or to hold something made just for them by hand - some of them, not even homemade food. Many people on the planet today in what was once thought to be the privileged world, live in fast paced surroundings with no time for any of the above. No time. When there is no time for something, that something becomes diminished in importance. Everyone knows how that feels.
So, I made dolls from antique fabrics edged in lace that had been knotted from tiny strings - tiny strips of lace that took years to learn how to make, months to complete. Did you know that of all the things machines can do, machines cannot tie a knot? I used fine spun cashmere and silk yarn I myself had spun for the dolls' hair. Everything I could find that I used for the dolls' garments was as close to handmade as could be. Even some of the fabrics were hand woven. And when the fabric was not, I hand stitched beads and colored threads to the finished garments. I made these dolls in the hopes a child would be given one and know what it felt like to have and to hold something handmade - and most all of the dolls were given to children.  I also made fruit from colored velvets - golden apples, red strawberries, and green pears. This all took time, but not as much time as it would have taken 100 years ago.

Today, the time it takes to learn a musical instrument remains the same as it did 1,000 years ago.


  1. Your dolls take me back to when I was seven years old to a very special Christmas. My aunt made my sister and me two stuffed dolls dressed as Dutch girls, with the traditional hats and stiff colourful aprons. Their hair was yellow wool. Lovely.
    June in Oz

  2. Thank you, June. It's nice to read that today, 10 years after I made them and for someone on the other side of the world, the dolls evoke memories. Love your blog, by the way.