Saturday, February 14, 2015

Making Dolls and Having Fun Failing

I have really been working a lot lately. I am a graphic designer for a developing homeschool curriculum program so I can work at home. However, it puts a pretty big ding in my one-on-one time with my kids. That's no big deal with everyone over 13 (Mom, who? Oh, that lady I seek out when I want some grub..yeah, she's around here somewhere...excuse me, I'm busy in my own world) but the ten year old misses me. I have been super interested in cloth dolls lately so I'm been pinning...and pinning...and pinning in those drowsy hours before I go to bed but have to stay awake while my work uploads. 

I am super RUSTY at operating the sewing machine. I figured it would be a good mommy/daughter thing to start making dolls together. Now, I'm not a stranger to making dolls. But this is my first step into rag dolls. The first thing I realized is I'm lazy. I don't want to paint on the eyes like I did when I was selling soft dolls in craft stores when I was 25. I have been using the eyes from my girl template. And blush from Cover Girl (Thank you Wal-Mart). So far I pretty much stink at doll wigs. This is the doll we made tonight.

As my daughter and I are getting good at this I get to fail (Epic fail at doll wigs). And she can learn to fail along with me. Over the years I've come to realize that the more comfortable we get with failure the more successful we are. It is sad that the good intentions of parents and teachers make us freak when we think of failing. We don't even want to try something if we know we could fail. Life is all about our comfort zone and staying in it. But failure teaches us. If we embrace it, learn from it, and stand on it like a building block we can do some pretty impressive things (See GrannyEnchanted.Com created by some lady with a B.S. in finance and no graphic design training).

This is our doll we made 2 weeks ago. I failed.
  1. I didn't stuff the body enough so the head was floppy and required emergency Popsicle stick surgery for head support (complete with teenager hovering over us while ten year old panicked. Teenager was kind enough to give us the medical "beep...beep...beep" and then the flat line tone of the stopped heart. After we electrocuted the doll with the curling iron her heart started beating again. Phew. That was a close one).
  2. You mean a doll head can't support five pounds of yarn? I was totally going for Tina Turner.
  3. Turns out that it is zero fun to stuff skinny arms and legs.
  4. We nick named the doll "Cricket" because the way I designed the legs made her look like a cricket when she was in the buff.
I failed again this week.

  1. I found a free pattern online and came out with an easy to stuff doll that has really looooooong legs and a squat body. But it was still pretty cute so I can't call it a 100% fail.
  2. Not wanting another five pound head of hair I was too skimpy on this doll wig. So she has bald spots.... that's totally ok...with the white hair (all we had laying around).
  3. I ran out of thread so this doll is sewn all with pink thread.
Success: Okay, I can totally count this as a success. When you twirl the eyes around on the head you can get some really great evil, angry eyes... Halloween dolls, here I come!

So the moral to this story - I'm failing but I'm failing smarter. I wonder what I'll learn on our next doll. The ten year old thinks I'm awesome. I don't think she even noticed that the doll isn't ready for the big leagues. What she did notice is that she was important enough for me to spend a day with her. She'll never forget that.... Oh, I feel a scrapbook page coming!  I want her to remember that her mom loved her and she was worth my investment of time. I'm not going to scrap yesterday's burned Mac n' Cheese though. I don't want her to remember I'm domestically challenged.




Anonymous said...

I thought you did an amazing should have seen my first doll...she was darn ugly..thin..pencil thin...I had to use a skewer to stuff her...I forgot to allow extra width for sewing..then turning...and stuffing...
Love your doll...

Administrator said...

hahaha. We had to use skewers too.