halo! welcome to my humble headquarters, here you can see what fun we are getting up to in the studio, kitchen, garden and out and about. You can check out our crafty goods in the toyshop and the crafty-shop - and what we are offering in our edible endeavors over at humble food (recipes and fun ideas for nourishing your own sweet family!). Please enjoy!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Making dolls and Making time

I was making dolls over the weekend - finishing up the stragglers from a batch i hatched for The Children's Art Factory, in Guelph, Ontario. I had had a few weeks of really non-productive life; meaning, I was spending more time with my family and housekeeping; less time actually making things. This is not a bad thing, but I did have deadlines I wanted to keep for myself, and actually bailed on one, realizing there was no way I could accomplish all I had hoped. But I did get a good little batch of dollies into the Art Factory, and if you are in the area and feel like checking them out, you should! There will also likely be little artists there making magical messes for you to enjoy.

Balancing wild making yearnings with Family time can be challenging. I try to include my kids in a lot of the process - and this is a win-win for us most of the time, but sometimes I just like to be alone in the creative process. I think part of the problem is I am an extremely messy crafter. I envy the tidy, organized crafter. I often think if I was more That, I would be able to include the kids in more of the process, or at least have them nearby for more of it -- but alas, it is not so. Even in my big space I find I expand and fill all the corners with bits of the various projects that find themselves simultaneously unfolding.

Having a baby rummaging through your stash of thread spools and subsequently wandering though the house in a colourful thread-web is also a laborious side-project that was unplanned for. Then, considering something of that sort (be it thread-spools or yarn-balls, fabric-piles, or what-not) happens probably 10-15 times an hour, it's not surprising I wonder what the heck I did all day and why didn't I get more done? So then, these types of days, the making-for-profit part of my life might spill over into time that really should be set aside for snuggles and stories.

Although at this very moment I am seriously doubting the efficiency of this course of action, as I have yet to have a five minute stretch of time uninterrupted here writing this post! Ahh! I have a baby on my lap and finally just tucked in a very grumpy almost 10 year old who has done nothing but scold me all evening for being on the computer! How many times can I say it, but I know every parent feels it; I just can't win. 

But, I am determined to make time for this blog. I really wanted to write today, for my own selfish self, but also to share these new lovelies...this most recent batch of handmade dolls will be going on etsy tonight or tomorrow morning (depending on the way tonight goes!), and I wanted to share a couple thoughts with you about them before they do! 

The creative process is mysterious, but it's also strangely challenging. It's totally a really ridiculous first world problem, but I do find myself coming up against silly fears in the process of making. I think especially making with the fore-thought of trying to sell something. I could agonize over the choice of fabric for a doll's outfit for half an hour -- or more... pulling out scrap after scrap - holding up against other scraps, considering how they look together... (what a ridiculous thing to feel fearful over! I know!)

 But now I am taming this trouble. The black-haired doll with the colourful rabbit hat is a perfect example of my tactic. I was having trouble deciding on her clothes. I wanted them to be darker, maybe moodier. I got the skirt done then was feeling myself start to fret about the top. The solution; an old trick from the crazy-cowl making times; just pick what i am most doubtful of, or just go in a direction that i don't think would work. Often it does - sometimes it doesn't, but either way, it gets done. 

It's a similar issue I run into with my ink drawing. I start to get attached to the product - the idea of the end result. Some Way I want it to be. Doing the unexpected - going in a direction that I am resistant to, helps to free me from that attachment, or the fear that "it won't work out"... (or look good?). I really enjoy the process of making and I am finding this incarnation of doll-making to be really really conducive to it. The projects are small but meaningful and allow lots of room for play! They also seem to really reach across the board and touch a wide range of people. 

They are so forgiving, they embrace the imperfect, they look good in anything and they have awesome hair. What more could I dare ask for? I hope I get to continue this experiment and adventure for a good while yet. While still making time for this...
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

big changes, small town

How many posts can I start with; oh! I haven't written for so long! So much has happened! Such Changes!! .... ??! and then followed by promises (to myself? to you?) that I WILL write more often ... blah blah blah!! ha!

But Really, I will. I promise.

There HAVE been big changes. Along with our lovely new daughter and homeschooling we decided to add moving to our agenda. And so we did, by the seat of our pants, and now we have landed and snuggled into a lovely big old home in small town (village, actually) ontario. We moved in last August and the girls started school in their new country school that September. All is going well and everyone is thriving in our new quiet and spacious abode.

I acquired a new massive studio in the process. A lovely room with a big window, lots of light and brimming with scraps and plans to be hatched. I really really notice the shift from a cramped space to one that really allows me to spread out and take on endeavors that may have seemed too much hassle before. It seems to have given my imagination space to play and explore...as well as my mess! I have been busy playing with my re-found love of dollmaking. Really playing with shape and character and different ideas and designs. I have had such a lovely response on facebook and etsy. Encouraging and inspiring! I was even recently interviewed about them on the local-to-Guelph radio show Accessibility Matters.... you can listen to the show here (the January 30th show). I am on about at 34 minutes in I think, but the whole show is worth a listen. Some great local music on there.

I am inspired to write today. Inspired to share. Something. This time of year often gets me in a tizzy. I feel what I'm doing is somehow not enough, I crave change. Perhaps it is the brink of spring. The light and the feeling in the air that things are changing...somewhere down deep. Something is stirring. And so it is, in me. But whenever I look at what I am doing and thinking of change; pursuing something more profitable, getting a job, abandoning crafting alltogether, writing more, drawing more...etc. etc (something? anything?) I am always brought back around to the fact that I haven't REALLY gone whole-hog at anything, yet. I have been in love with these dolls and making and it's completely FRESH to me -- really. I just started in December, and I have not given them a chance to bloom -- and yet, already, the fear that it will not lead anywhere plagues me already. The fear, more so, that I will not see it through... (because of my fear.. hm.....)

It stems from a noble vein in me, really. I would love to be able to support my family by doing something (almost anything?) ... but preferably something that can be done alongside spending time with my family and/or even involving them somehow. My husband has been ever-so-giving of his time and life, really, to work and support us and it's been years and years and I would love to be able to relieve him of that stress and allow him time to pursue somethings that I know he would love to - creative endeavors.

So - I am dedicating myself today ... to putting aside my fears and all my entangling plans, and just do what I do. Do what I love. To make, and create, really, whatever I feel like. And to share. I have been reading a lot of blogs this winter and feel like I finally really appreciate them. I love to get a little window into someone's life. And some people might think it's narcissistic, but maybe someone might be interested to get a little window into mine? I know, when we were moving, I was really trying hard to find information about the area that we were moving to. It was hard to find, without being here. I wanted to read about a family's transition. How did they fare, moving  from a city to a village? Or to the country? What changed, for better, for worse? I hope to share my crafts and some things about life here, in general, so maybe someone else considering a move like this can gain a little perspective. Also a hope is to be really open and share the process of some of the crafting that I do, in the hopes that other people might be inspired and try it too!! Along with recipes, projects around the house and garden, and other food and family related things.

So the blog is getting a little makeover. I hope you like it. Please feel free to leave feedback anytime, or contact me at my new email address, humblehomestudio@gmail.com ...

thanks for reading today.