Yesterday I stumbled, by chance, upon a lovely blog called Inside a Black Apple. I have really enjoyed looking at all of the art made by The Black Apple's Ms. Emily. I especially was drawn to her little Pointy Hat family, and a felt cat she made for herself, which made me think of my m-i-l, who is very talented and artistic!
My m-i-l, that is to say, my husband's mom (b/c I have two m-i-ls) has a lot in common w/Emily in that they share an aesthetic, as well as similarities with the beloved Amelie. My m-i-l possesses a sense of artistry in living that is quite special, and she's always ahead of the times & trends way before they hit the mainstream. You might find her collecting Spanish moss from the trees and drying it out in her oven, or molding a piece of birch bark around a wide candle. When you visit my m-i-l's house, you might think you are in a chic little home in the Marais or someplace full of adventure and romance, her decorating is really a feast for the eyes. She has a unique & creative hand and is terrific at accessorizing a house (a job that makes me skittish). Every year for Christmas, she makes me a special gift. This year, she gave me an apron that is lovely & waterproof!
Here she is on Christmas morning w/her new pink pashmina.
She's been very kind and supportive since my Mom died, asking me how I'm doing, and volunteering to babysit. Before Christmas, she came over w/supplies, and made these adorable reindeer ornaments w/the boys -- starting with clothespins. Look at that face!
When one of my sons wanted a doll, she made him one. The doll has a hand-painted face, and came with an elaborate outfit, but the boys stripped it off long ago.
Growing up, I was more of a tomboy and loved my stuffed animals & dog, yet also had a couple unique dolls, one a "Raggedy Ann" with long, blonde braids that was made for me by my godmother. My Mom was an expert seamstress, and even took the time to make clothes for our Barbies -- something I think is truly amazing now that I am a mother. I don't think I would have the patience!
This is my Golliwog, which was a Christmas gift made for me by my m-i-l a few years ago. Each of these dolls has specific points that make them authentically made. In the case of the Golliwog, one example is that you can see the hand stitching of his clothing.
This doll is quite small, and apparently was a hit back in the American pioneer days. I know that there is a specific name for the type of doll that it is, but I can't remember it. Anyway, you see her here...
...and then you turn her upside down, flip her skirt down...
...and voila, she is an entirely different doll! Two dolls in one!
I'm not especially talented in the creative arts, but I've had a few moments in the sun. I made a heart-shaped pillow for Wyatt, embroidered with a message for him, and I made a black velvet wrap for my Mom. It gave me a real sense of pride to present these.
Contemplating these dolls & Emily's blog has reminded me of how greatly I appreciate a sense of life that incorporates slowing down and taking the time to create. It makes people feel special to receive something that was created with thought and care, be it a doll or a cake or a pillow. And furthermore, it highlights how we are all have our unique stamp to place on this world. We need more of that.