Back in 2008 I decided that I was going to try making something new that year. I wanted to try and make a type of doll that I hadn't made as of yet.
Now I know what you're thinking, "Linda, how could there possibly be a doll you hadn't made?"
Well, there were a lot of them and one of them was a beaded goddess art doll. Either with a clay face or with a cloth face.
I had been wanting to make one for quite some time. The problem was - lack of time. So, I thought that maybe if the bodies were already made then I could just embellish the rest. Maybe?
So, when I saw that Monica Magness, who used to write the "Girl Gone Thread Wild" blog, had a batch of 10 small goddess art forms for beading, painting & altering for sale on her Girl Gone Thread Wild Etsy shop I decided to buy them! The doll bodies were between 4"-6" tall and in various colors.
Back then I was already thinking of the different beads and embellishments I might try. Hmmm.....
Should I try clay faces or not? Hmmmm.....
How many beads? Hmmmmm....
What else should I use to embellish them? Hmmmmmm.....
I decided that whatever way I was going to embellish them it would be a delightful adventure. So, I put the package with 10 dolls aside until I could make them.
Over the years I kept trying to fit some time in for creating my goddess dolls and, as always, just couldn't fit them in. Plus, I still wasn't sure exactly how I was going to finish them.
Some of the "goddess dolls" that I have seen were either faceless (which is fine with me) or had cloth faces, clay faces, sun or moon faces, even beaded faces. Some of the face shapes were round or oval, some square, and some were triangles. I hadn't quite decided what kind of face I wanted to try as of yet, but I always liked to be prepared.
I thought they probably should be clay so I decided to buy some polymer clay to sculpt my own and also buy some molds to use in the event my clay ones didn't look exactly as I had envisioned them. If these didn't work then I figured they could have cloth faces or be faceless.
If I was really adventuresome I would give them beaded faces, but that would be time consuming. Or, I could just decide to do several of each. I wouldn't know until I start creating them.
I also needed to decide whether they should have hair or no hair. Headdress or no headdress? At the time since I was running out of doll hair (well, not really, but you never know what you want to use until you start creating) so I decided to replenish my supply of doll hair.
Also, I wanted my "goddess dolls" to have beaded decorations along their bodies or in their clothes (should I decide to add something along these lines) so I decided to visit my local craft stores to see what they had. I was expecting a little section of beads.
Au Contraire! Make that ROWS and ROWS of beads. Aisles and aisles of beads. So many so that it was almost impossible to decide.
Should they be round? Should they be flat? Should there be a combination of the two? Should they be large, small, or medium in size? What color? Solid or multi-colored? Shiny or not? And on and on it went!
Obviously, this was not going to be as easy as I had thought. I really hadn't thought this through and should have tried to design what I wanted my goddess dolls to look like before I attempted to by the beads.
Should they be traditional mixed media art dolls or should I make them a little different? Maybe they shouldn't even have beads? But, I really wanted to try beading as the dolls I'd seen were just so beautiful. Time consuming to make, but beautiful.
In any event, I bought several different colors and sizes of beads and because I like to be organized I also bought some containers to house my beads. Can't have them falling all over the floor. That would not be good!
So, I had my doll forms, ideas and supplies for various ways to make the faces, and lots and lots of beads. With my supplies bought I decided to put everything aside until I had time to make them,
Well, since that was 7 years ago my supplies were eventually used for other dolls or crafts I was making. If you asked me today what I had bought for them back then I really wouldn't be able to tell you. Aging is such a pleasant experience - isn't it?
In searching through my craft supplies a few weeks ago I ran across my package of 10 goddess doll bodies and decided that this time I would finally make them. So, believe it or not, I did.
I didn't exactly make them as I had envisioned. For one thing I decided not to go the beaded route. The reason wasn't because I didnt want to - I couldn't. You see, I've been working on some beaded cross-stitch kits and my finger tips were just too sore right now from the little skinny (monster) needles going into my finger tips.
I love beaded cross-stitch but don't love having to tape my fingers so I won't be killed by those dastardly little skinny needles. I think they're evil monsters in disguise - out to get me!
Plus, I had another wonderful way to make the faces which didn't involve baking sculpey clay. Instead I would be using a wonderful invention called paperclay. See, sometimes it does pay to wait. Sometimes things come along that are just better. Yeah, I know, I have to find good reasons for my procrastination - don't I?
In any event I decided to use the paperclay and molds I had bought to make my goddess doll faces and have to admit they came out wonderfully. I wasn't sure the molds I had bought would work, but they did. So now I had the bodies and the heads but I was still left with the question as to how I would finish them.
After gluing the paperclay heads to the cloth bodies I decided I wasn't happy with the gap between the cloth and the paperclay heads so I decided to add a wimple made of Apoxie (A + B) clay around their heads, neck, and sides of the face which I could then stamp and color with powdered pigments. I stamped all the wimples the same and then colored them with powdered pigments that would compliment their fabric colors.
Now all I had to do was figure out how to finish the bodies. I had a really good excuse for not beading them but, truth be told, I just didn't have the time required to cover all ten bodies with beads. However, that didn't mean they couldn't have some sort of beads on them. After all, that's what beaded embellishments are for.
So, I decided to finish them with a combination of mixed media, beaded embellishments, lace, velvet leaves, glitter leaves, ribbons, butterfies, wool florals, silk, and ruffles. Half of them would be delicate goddesses and half of them would be goddess angels with leaves for wings.
All of them would have hair. Some I made with alpaca fibers and handspun yarn from my sister's Rock Garden Alpacas business. Some were funky yarns I had. Some were wool hair braids.
All in all I was pleased with the way my goddess dolls turned out. They weren't wild and funky artistic creations with beautiful beaded bodies but delicate and angelic.
Despite the fact that it took seven years they finally came into being and I sensed they were happy with themselves which, for goddesses, was the way they should be.