Monday, July 28, 2008

Simple Dolls

Willow hasn't yet really been into dolls--sure, she had her fair share of eco-conscious cloth dolls and dolls made by Mama, complete with doll cloth diapers and kid-sized doll slings (which are great for carrying toy dinosaurs in, apparently), but the types of toys she prefers over dolls are vast, indeed. Sydney, now... Sydney likes herself some "babies." Sydney loves the cloth dolls and the dolls made by Mama and the cheap plastic discard dolls from Goodwill and stuffed animals you can treat like dolls and kittens you can treat like dolls and even playing with her old toy garage this morning, I heard her talking to the Matchbox cars--"Momma. Dadda. Baby car--night, night."

And so, as it was with the dinosaurs, when my kid gets into something, I tend to come to appreciate it, too. And by appreciate, I mean make stuff: I really love, now, felting old wool sweaters and sewing them (this post on SouleMama about dying wool felt is about, I fear, to take me in another new direction) into awesome stuff. I've done felt food, shapes for the girls' felt board, ornaments, pincushions, stuffed animals, quilts, and all manner of other things that both turn out and definitely do not, all with tacky old wool sweaters cut up and felted in the washing machine. I'm most fond right now, though, of making children's playthings, balls and cubes and bean bags and these dolls, for my Syd and my etsy, all with really simple shapes.
It's in some ways a response, I think, to the wide variety of overstimulating children's toys on the market today, sort of like in The Bean Trees: A Novelwhen Taylor's roommate, Lou Ann, goes to work at a salsa factory and all her cooking becomes really, really spicy, so on the nights when Taylor cooks she makes the blandest foods she can think of, white fish and mashed potatoes and such. I make really simple toys for kids, with simple, organic shapes and single fabrics with interesting textures----and my girls love them, at least. Although I don't know what possessed me to put the creepy eyes on:

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