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first, forgive me if I ramble,  the road that lead here has many starts and detours, influences and motivations... 

i come from a long line of artistic folks.  my great-grandmother's embroidery graces the walls of my home.  a grandmother made dolls.  another grandmother painted.  my dad made wooden toys for his children.  my mom does it all. I was gratefully doomed to follow in their footsteps. I found the avenue to express my creative voice and vision with my rhagdolls.

having ended my culinary career I stood at a cross roads... where?  what?  why?  Escoffier said 'the best dishes are simple dishes'. I thought this should apply to art as well.  'dolls', said a little niggling voice. I waved at the notion dismissively.  but painting escaped me.  clay did not speak to me.  epic writer's block. dolls, again spoke that voice.  thinking... simple.  soft.  a return to my childhood lost. 

who of you played with an old fridge box?  come on, raise a hand.  twas a robot... a castle... a bus... a boat to sail into the setting sun.  the beginning of a journey on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

in the hall closet there was always a coffee can of Crayolas and old blueprints to color upon... colored paper, scissors and glue lived in an old picnic hamper... these the toys of my imagination...

...dolls.  dolls of fabric wrapped in pretty paper were found under the tree at Christmas, as did a walking Janey doll... Amish dolls all prim and blue and faceless...  but my Barbie doll was Skipper...

nowadays at the store, dolls of plastic and bust sit on shelves.  too happy.  too perky.  at home, my grandma's cloth dolls line my shelves.  soft.  sweet.  sharers of secrets.  where had these gone? 

...dolls.  a joy of simplicity.  a beginning to an imaginary journey.  Neverland.  Wonderland. as a child, so as an adult?  dolls!  said that niggling voice knowingly, laughingly.

soft and squishy.  made with love.

my rhagdolls allow me to indulge many my favorite things and turn them into art and playthings.

i have long had a soft spot for tins of old buttons... the mazes of fabrics at salvage stores... the textures of woolen yarn... rick rack... wooden spools of thread... auntie's treadle sewing machine... jacquard... moiré... silks... thrift store treasures... recycling and reuse...  these I can gladly indulge in the making of my rhagdolls. I can build a whole doll around one single carved Mother of Pearl button, a heavily embroidered pants cuff: Jill's apron... give me 1/8" rick rack and see what happens!

people ask the darnedest question!  if I had a penny for every time I heard the question: 'why don't they have any faces?' i'd be rich. I have a bag of pat answers, but please don't ask.  imagine.

my family, all those arty people, are my strength, my inspiration.  there were those that taught me the skills, others showed me the beauty, many held my hand as I walked to where I am today. they believed in me when I had only doubts.  my love for them colors my work.

remember and honor the grans who made little simple handfuls for their grandchildren.
cherish the hand made treasures.  the simple joys.




please do not copy these images.  they are the people I love and mean the world to me.

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