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...