One of the fun things that we did in the doll club I belonged to was to have what was called a "Paper Bag Challenge" and what we did was to each make a doll of our choice and bring it to the first meeting of the challenge in a paper bag. This was to be just the doll - no drawn features, no hair, no clothes or shoes. Just a doll - using whatever pattern we chose. It could be large or small, funny or realistic and made from fabric(s) of choice.
At this first meeting of the challenge we exchanged our dolls with another member, who would take the doll home with her and create the doll's underwear. The next meeting we brought the dolls back with us in the paper bag and after show 'n tell we exchanged again - this time to take the new doll home with us and create the outer clothing. The following meeting and exchange, it was to create that doll's features and hair - and the last meeting our mission was to create the accessories for the final doll we would be working on, which could include a prop to display the doll, and at this time to give the doll a name. When we returned for the final meeting of the challenge the now completed doll would be returned to it's original owner.
It was great fun to see the dolls evolve - everyone added their own creativity and projected image to the doll and it's personality could, and often did, change dramatically from meeting to meeting.The show 'n tells were often times so surprising and/or amazing that we laughed and laughed. I thought it was the best thing we did as a group together during the years I was in the doll club. The club no longer exists and I miss it very much - not only for the friendship and fun, but for the inspiration the meetings gave me to create and also the confirmation as a dollmaker.
I also would create a photo journal of each doll's stay with me to accompany the doll when she left and in this way I documented the time spent in my studio of the four dolls that I worked on. Our doll club meetings were held every other month so we had each of the dolls for two months in our care. They were all wonderful.
But the last doll, the one I named Little Doll, was special and I came to love her very much. I had this doll for the final session, the one where I was to make the accessories and/or display prop for this tiny little doll - who had by now evolved into a sweet and very proper little lady. After she was completed and still in my studio, I started to work on another project - which was a large wool felt cat for my dear friend Andrew. Little Doll was a very active and curious doll and insisted on helping in his creation. During this time, Little Doll fell in love with Big Cat and when he was finished and able to express his own feelings, he told Little Doll that he had come to love her also.
It had a bittersweet ending as Little Doll had to go back to her original owner and Big Cat went on to live with his new owner - but while they were together it was wonderful. They will never be apart in their hearts. Tomorrow I start their photo journal story.
Wishing you a day today spent with someone who loves you.