I’ve seen a lot of posts in the craft blogs recently about how to craft using your children’s drawings and I wanted to share something I made a number of years ago.
This little art doll is now hanging behind the counter at the store. She is as much a mascot for My Eclectic Mess as Minerva (the dressmakers’ dummy). She hangs above the original artwork that inspired her.
Mini-Me went through a phase when she was about 5 or 6 of drawing these very detailed girls. I saved my favorites and eventually made this doll from this one.
I didn’t write up a tutorial at the time because I wasn’t a blogger (did blogs even exist back then? We’re talking old-school website at the time!) But I can give you a general idea of how I did this.
I traced the basic body parts with mylar and a sharpie to make a pattern. There are three basic parts: the hair, the head/face, and the body. I also did the lower arms/hands separately to make turning them right side out easier.
Then I traced each part onto a doubled piece of muslin. The traced line became my stitching line and using a small stitch length, I stitched around each piece. I did not leave a hole in the seam for turning, rather after sewing and triming very close to the stitching line, I carefully separated the layers and cut a small hole in the back of each piece for turning.
The hair piece was done differently so it would remain flat. I layered two pieces of muslin over a piece of batting and stitched, leaving an opening and then turned it right side out. Then I machine quilted the “hair” lines.
After turning and stuffing each piece I applied a generous coating of gesso and let it dry.
The clothes were painted on with acrylic paint. The face was drawn, following the look of the original as much as possible with colored pencil to imitate the crayon lines in the original. I made earrings using macramed embroidery floss and pony beads.
After everything was dry I hand sewed all the parts together and attached a small ring on the back to hang her by.
Having really creative children is a joy. I’m continuously inspired by both of my daughters. It is easy to feel at times as a mother that our children are inhibiting our creative process. We’ve all known that moment at one time or another where the creative spirit has hit us hard and we’re up to are eyeballs in a new and exciting project and WHAM! we realize it is time to run pick someone up from school or drop someone else off at practice. Or maybe read an article or blog post that gets our creative juice flowing right before the baby wakes from his nap and the moment is lost. It happens to everyone and we soon realize that it is just the way it is sometimes.
But other times our children serve as our muse and provide us with the impetus and inspiration needed to move us up and out of our creative ruts. Their freedom and inhibition is a powerful creative tool that we can all learn from. Give yourself permission to play, alone or with your children and you may be amazed at what you can make!
Tomorrow I will share a project Little E and I started Saturday at the store. It started off as “my project” and when she added her energy to it, it really took off. She has started coming to the store with me on Saturdays and it has become a time for us to create together and brainstorm new ideas for classes and projects we can offer for parties and teen clubs. Having her there with me that one day a week has helped me step away from the “business” side of the store for at least one day and tap into my creative energies again.