It begins...

A friend recently forwarded an email to me titled "The Invisible Mother," a short essay comparing the tireless and often thankless job of a mother to the builders of Europe's great cathedrals. Both give their whole lives for a work they will never see finished, both make sacrifices and expect no credit, and both are fueled in their passion by the faith that the eyes of God see every detail. The writer of the essay was inspired by the thought that our endless efforts in motherhood, invisible as they may seem, are worth it and can make an enriching life.

For many of us, the way we choose to hold our invisibility at bay is by creating something tangible. For me, my days often end with knitting - my love of fiber and the need to do something relaxing end up producing something I can hold and look at. Nobody will know how many times I swept under the high chair that day, or how many toys I picked up, or how many times I tried to coax a "please" or "more" or "sorry" out of my 5 year old. But a darling, handmade infant hat? That you can see.

I start new projects every day, and my 10 year old does the same. In this process of creating (and yes, often not finishing our projects!) we connect with each other and a bigger picture of ourselves in the process. My plan for this blog is to share the projects that excite me and bring some accessible proof of my existence in this invisible world of mothering!

So, this blog is dedicated to the mothers out there whose days are filled with the minutia of tasks that build our children and our families. I often tell people that I haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up. But for now, I am the builder of a great cathedral. With every shoelace tied, lunch packed, and forehead kissed, I build.

And I can hardly wait to create something new...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Couple of Dolls

Kansas recently had it's 150th birthday, and to celebrate Rowan's 1st grade class got to dress up as pioneers or cowboys - Rowan chose to dress like Laura Ingalls. We borrowed a bonnet and doll from a friend, and MAN she looked the part! She fell in love with the pioneer fabric doll, and from that day has been designing and planning a similar doll of her own.
She pulled out her sewing kit and muslin and has been leaving it all over the house for weeks whilst she cooks up her plan. She finished her design yesterday morning, and is ready to dig in.
We made a Hobby Lobby run yesterday for a different project, and while we were there I told her I had fabric remnants at home we could use to design her doll's dress and bonnet. She asked what we would use for the doll's body, and I said I assumed we'd use the muslin from her sewing basket. She got very serious, and with her most adult voice said, "Actually, Mommy, I had envisioned her having dark brown skin."  Okey dokey! Luckily the cotton broadcloth was on sale, and I let her pick out the brown she wanted.Very happy camper.

This morning we pulled out the remnants and she chose the yarn (oh dear, it's BRIGHT orange) for the hair, and pulled two blue buttons for eyes. With Brad knee-deep in taxes and Brynn entertained by her "Signing Time" video, Rowan and I spread out on the kitchen table and got to work.
First we used cardboard to sketch a doll shape, remembering to leave extra for the seaming. I traced half the doll on paper, cut it out, then flipped it over to trace the perfectly symmetrical other half. We cut out the doll pattern, held it over the brown fabric and cut that baby out. (Rowan did about half the cutting, but my big fabric scissors hurt her hand.) She was SO happy with the cut fabric she asked if she could hug it for a minute before we went on.  Awwww!
Next she sewed on the button eyes.  After a few finger pricks I helped out, but she did great on her own!
She designed the mouth and cheeks out of felt, which I mostly sewed on for her, but the few little pink stitches she did were so stinkin' cute!
This evening while I was cleaning up the counter before dinner, Rowan put on the eyelashes, so baby "Grace" was ready to get sewed up. This is where I needed my mommy. We pulled out the sewing machine, pinned Grace's back to her front, and I attempted to sew evenly along her edges. Well...Rowan loves her and that's what counts. Her head is quite lumpy and lopsided LOL! And I'm pretty sure her arms are different lengths. Maybe we can hide that with the orange hair and a long-sleeved dress??

Rowan loved stuffing her with fiberfil, and is working on hand-sewing her bottom seam as I write. She is thrilled she will be able to take Grace to bed tonight, despite the fact that she is bald and naked. Are they a couple of dolls or what!

1 comment:

  1. NOW I see!!! When you said 'no legs' in the email, I was dumbfounded, but who needs legs when the long dress will cover her wonderful body. The photos of the process of Rowan designing and working on her doll, and the pure joy on her face as she holds her own creation is just fabulous. I was almost moved to tears! Baby Grace is adorable and obviously much loved by her 'mother'. Naked and bald is just how she should be on her first night of existence. :) Sleep well, little dolls. :)