Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hat of Many Unfinished Projects and Inspiration from ADU

I always am amazed and inspired by all of the talent exhibited by my fellow All Dolled Up Cloth Doll club friends in Ottawa. I recently attended the June end of the doll club season tea party. There I was amidst a sea of well dressed and well hatted doll makers, one donning a hat that I had seen worn by the Queen in photos not so long ago, others in beautiful fascinators similar to those worn by guests of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and here I found myself in the Hat of Many Unfinished Projects. I guess my idea of “going all out” was different than the other members of the ADU. It all started at 5:00 AM the morning of the ADU tea party. I really hadn't thought about what I was going to wear to the tea party but remembered something sent to members to “go all out” with the hat. So, since there had been a challenge to complete unfinished projects for the past three months, and since I really haven't finished my unfinished projects for the past three months (instead I chose to start new ones, even the night before the tea instead of finishing just one project I chose to start a brand new watercolor journal and start a watercolor painting in it, is there such a thing as Artistic ADD? ), I woke up with the “brilliant” idea at 5:00 in the morning to attach as many unfinished projects as I could to a straw hat of mine to wear to the tea party. 

So I wore it to the tea party. Have you ever heard about the universal dream of embarrassment where you find yourself taking a test in your underwear? Well, it sort of felt like that when I walked into the tea party with my Hat of Many Unfinished Projects amidst all of the many classically dressed, well hatted ADU doll club members. But, I took a deep breath, relaxed, and went ahead with my plan to wear the Hat of Many Unfinished Projects. I even brought another bagful of unfinished projects to share in our show and tell segment of the program. I brought a set of jewelry that needed to be completed but instead of completing the project, I started another jewelry set. I brought dolls that I was working on for a wedding cake topper that I had not yet finished. I even brought the bunny that I had developed the pattern for, shared with my doll club members and presented tips on how to complete the bunny in March, and THEN NEVER FINISHED MY BUNNY! But all in all, it actually turned out to be quite a fun tea party and my embarrassment quickly faded as I was reminded so kindly by one of my doll club friends that doll making should never be taken so seriously that you can't have fun!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


This is my dear friend Vola at her home after we went out to lunch together a few weekends ago.  Vola has been a dear friend for many many years. The way she lives her life is an inspiration to me and most who are fortunate enough to have crossed her path.  A long time ago she tried to teach me how to quilt.  I wound up making a quilted table runner, realized how much time, work, and effort is involved in quilting and decided to go off into the worlds of doll making, beading, painting, jewelry making, and collage.  I may sometime go back to trying my hand at quilting when I feel I have more time to spend.  But I still use the stitch she taught me that hides how the thread is tacked onto the quilt, and how to use it to end a thread you are using to quilt.  I use it all the time in my doll making.   But, that is a little off topic.

 What is inspiring about Vola is that she spends her life every day trying to do something to make someone else's life just a little bit better.  She lovingly works on quilts daily to give away to all that she knows, to the homeless,and  to the children that are victims of domestic violence.  When she is not busy making quilts to give away with love, she is knitting hats to keep those less fortunate warm in the cold winter months.  I had the good fortune a year and a half ago of sitting beside her at her 90th birthday tea party.  People from near and far came to wish her a happy birthday.  Many shared with me how Vola had touched their lives in a very significant way by her acts of kindness during a difficult part of their life journey.  I have always told Vola that when I grow up I would like to be like her and feel lucky to have her friendship as a part of my life for so many years.  Not only does she inspire my art but she inspires how I try to live my life.