Dolling Up

2013-07-09 10.51.15Lately I have been a little at loose ends.  After quitting Web Parts (see this post for the story on that bust) I have looked for a job and tried to find out just what it is that makes me tick.  So, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my children and getting caught up with, and in their lives.

They are terrific motivators, my kids.  They are always busy, cheerful and alive.  They have always been artistic and creative.  I like to think my genes may have contributed to that fact.  Not only are they creative, they are enterprising as well and recently they opened an Etsy store to sell the crafts they are constantly producing.  The “Live Long and Fandom” store sells the stickers, key chains. woodwork and jewelry they base off of popular television shows like “Supernatural“, “Doctor Who“,  and “Star Trek“.  They encouraged me to start crafting as well and I was excited to be invited to share their new venture.

At first, I didn’t know what to do.  I used to do glass etching and tried my hand at that making a mug that featured Dean from Supernatural on it.  It came out really well, but I wasn’t particularly inspired to continue the practice.  Then I tried to do some woodburning like my daughter Sarah, but again, not really my thing. Then I tried making a plushie doll.

Suddenly I found myself not only inspired, but almost obsessed!  I pumped out three dolls in three days, each one a little more complicated than the next.  First, a Castiel doll, then a Spock, and then a Legolas joined the products in the store.  But I still wasn’t satisfied.  Sure, the plushies were cute, and I really enjoyed the process of planning and producing them, but since they were simple and made entirely of felt, I couldn’t give them features and realism I found myself craving.  So, I turned to something I saw my other daughter Janine doing.

She was making tiny cartoon-like figurines of television characters with Sculpey, firing and painting them and turning them into pendants and key chains.  It looked so easy to work with.  I went to Hobby Lobby and did some shopping, finding the raw materials to make something more detailed and complicated.  Gandalf the Grey is my first project, and he is coming along so well and has been so much fun to create that I am on fire!  I am now starting on a mission to create realistic character dolls with sculpted heads, hands and more.

When I was a little girl, I used to draw, paint, sculpt figures out of soap…always making something and always expressing what was in my 3D brain one way or another.  As an adult, I just stopped doing it.  Life somehow always got in the way.  I used my job to keep my creative tendencies assuaged, making websites and designing print pieces.  Somehow I convinced myself that I was OK with that and that it was enough.  But doing these things for someone else, doing what they dictated, dealing with someone else’s subjective opinions made me feel less like an artist and more like a workhorse.  But now, I feel like…well an ‘artist’ again and it is making me feel so good!  Even as I work on completing the first doll, I am planning the next and the next!  Granted, it may not make any real money or give me a real job, but it is giving me back my sense of self.

I have spent the last few months wondering WHY all this misfortune fell on me.  It feels like I am getting an answer.  Maybe not a fiscally advantageous one, but definitely a spiritually uplifting one.  I feel more like the person I was meant to be.  I feel like the little girl again, doing what made her happy.  I needed to put down the expectations of others and pick up the pieces of my heart.  My heart wants to create and it has been dormant for decades.  Like a bear coming out of hibernation, it is ravenously hungry.  So I am feeding it.  I don’t think I ever want to put it on a diet like that again, even if I DO get a real job I think I have found the ‘thing’ that feeds my soul.  Who knows, maybe it will feed my kids too, after all, if some of these dolls sell I might be able to pay a bill or two.  Lord knows, today I am paying the debt I owed my soul.