After the Holiday Fair on Munjoy Hill I then organize myself and start the annual posting of things on Etsy. Today I started with the dolls. Every year I make 12 dolls, take them to the Christmas Fair, and then put the rest online so that they can find good homes for themselves. I did this starting almost 20 years ago when the Christmas Fair, for me, was in Hilo, Hawaii instead of Portland Maine. I started making dolls in Hawaii when Devan was six years old and this little face on the left makes me nostalgic for my own little girl, and for the island breezes that blew over the land we owned when we lived there. These dolls are a real labor of love, which is why I only make a few of them a year. I don't want it to turn into a production kind of task. I like to hand stitch them one at a time, from hand dyed, natural, and vintage materials, and to pay attention to each face as I finish.
I sew the dolls all by hand, or on the antique Singer treadle machine that you see in the picture at the top of this posting. This is the same machine that I used in Hawaii and it belonged originally to Joe's great-grandmother Annie. We took it to Hawaii when we moved from Topsham, Maine because we knew we'd be off the grid and the treadle is a wonder of mechanical advantage with no electricity needed. This doll to the left is an Asian inspired doll, with a long black braid down the back. That is why I have her dressed in this linen and silk kimono style jacket and posed with these Mongolian boots. She is standing in front of one of my Hawaiian quilts and on top of the cabinet of the antique Singer treadle machine.
And this little Penny Person is the only one remaining from the collection that I took to the fair on Munjoy Hill. She is looking for a home for the holidays and you can find her on my Etsy posting at this link. Penny Person I call them Penny People because they are made from the scraps left from making the bigger dolls, they are tiny (only 4 inches high), and because they have an actual penny sewn into the bottom so that they are flat and heavy enough to stand up. I'll be posting some more tomorrow, and maybe some of the bears if I get ambitious.
Pictures for you of the first night of the SEA Holiday Sale at the East End School on North Street on Munjoy Hill. I will be hanging out there all weekend -- today until 5:00, tomorrow until 4:00 -- spinning and chatting and generally having a good time. And here is a picture of the dolls, the rug wool, the Penny People and some hand dyed mohair yarn, all of which has been beautifully displayed by the Amazing Martha Mai. She will be at the booth with me for most of today, and part of tomorrow.
And lastly a picture of the Amazing Martha Mai -- who is working with me in the studio now and has been invaluable in pulling things together. She is talented, creative, an amazing photographer and extremely adept at managing and organizing her Auntie (that would be me). The whole experience of getting ready for this fair has been greatly enhanced by her presence. She is a blessing -- and we have plans, big plans for the Studio for 2013.
If you would like to stay with us this is the room we rent via Airbnb. I would love to see you and give you a tour of the studio, some quality time at the knitting table, some scones and warm drinks.