LIL LIT CHIC
I have been creating, collecting, and building since I was a child. I love producing beautiful and useful items of all kinds. Streetside discards excite me! I buy moth eaten garments from thrift stores just because they're worth it. Old notes left in books are treasures I tuck away. There is a glow and warmth to these old relics. You can feel the history that clings to them and I get a sense of it's journey. I sometimes imagine I'm a steward for these items and others must perceive me that way also because I am often bequeathed a great aunts unfinished knitting projects, or gramma's stash of fabrics, and photos so old the relatives aren't remembered - these pieces of their history that don't seem like trash, but no one really wants.
I was raised in the Southern Appalachians and “Make do-Wear it out-Make it Last-Or do without” was a very real thing for my family. That philosophy, and many amazing women, shaped my childhood and beyond. I was taught to save and to cherish older people/places/things, but I was also consistently taught textile skills from a young age. From my Grandmother’s 1950s sewing machine, to “Granny” teaching me embroidery next to the coal burning stove. (She supported her family into her 80s by sewing quilts on a foot-pedaled Singer sewing machine!) I made my own clothes in high school from vintage patterns and then college opened up the world of theatre to me. For five years, it was glorious bloomers and bodices! And a lot of honing in on my self taught skills.
And I just continued to collect and sew and collect and sew until one day I had an epiphany. I started making dolls for all of the precious daughters I knew, with all the precious fabrics and bits I’d been collecting for decades. Somewhere in there I decided to make a Jane Austen (my fave!) doll and an idea was born. Did I mention how important books were to me as a child? When you grew up without electricity, books are pretty essential!
So, I feel that my dolls combine so many things that are dearly important to me; conservation, literature, textiles, history, nostalgia, education, imagination, etc. I love that, though I made them with children in mind, plenty of adults buy them for themselves. They bring me joy and it’s a great honor that they bring others joy also.