This is Mai and she is my most favorite doll. My husband bought her for me for my 33rd birthday. He and Sadie had been visiting Mama W. here in Punta Gorda and came across a local artist that had a shop at Fisherman's Village. The shop was called something Pepperberry and the artist is Joanne Brook. Ms. Brook passed a while ago, so I am pleased to share one of her magnificent creations.
I tried doing a search on her to provide you with a link to check out her other stuff - she was a prolific folk artist that made signs, paintings, and other things, too. Unfortunately, my search came up with nada. Bummer. Most of her dolls had animal heads - sheep and cows ... maybe ducks if I remember correctly ... and not so many people faces. I think her faces are fabulous:
My husband and I married on November 22, 1997 in Phoenix, Arizona. On December 9th of that same year we packed our meager belongings and headed east. We set up house in Baltimore, Maryland (walking distance from University Hospital and the Johns Hopkins campus). Uber-spouse worked at New Arts Foundry while we were there, so we were lucky enough to be exposed to a lot of local artists. Baltimore actually has a pretty fabulous art community. There was a street in Hamden that boasted a number of "galleries" ... my favorite was called Mud and Metal. Mud and Metal carried Julie Buchness's amazing and unusual dolls (she's been married since those days, so it's possible that her name has changed ... when I tried to search Julie, once again I came up empty handed). One cool side note ... Julie's sister worked with the spouse at New Arts Foundry ... we bought our first Julie doll without knowing of the connection, so once we found out, we were extra pleased. This one was the first we purchased - her "crown" is made from porqupine quills. Julie uses twigs, seed pods, beads - actually any found object or little treasure she deems fit to use on her creations.
The strand of garnet didn't come with the doll, but until I find use for the beads, they seem to be at home with the doll.
This is a little out of order (the one above was the first Julie purchase and the one below this one the second) - this one was actually a gift from the artist herself. It's really simple and yet still so expressive.
Here's a close up of her face and "head-dress" - love it!
OK, so this one was the second of Julie's dolls that we purchased. She has such an earth goddess / native sort of feel to her. I adore her to pieces.
I really love her face. I should admit that my daughter isn't as fond of my dolls as I am ... she would tell you that they are all pretty creepy.
The next two dolls are much more recent purchases. They both come from Gothic/Surreal/Folk artist Michelle Steele (check out the FABULOUS flamingo on her banner) ... once again the Uber-spouse purchased them as gifts for me for my birthday ... if I ever forget, you MUST remind me that I am one lucky girl for being smart enough to say, "yes" that night over that game of backgammon. Life is WAY better with him in it.
I guess that I can see there might be a little bit of creep factor, but you have to admit they are pretty amazing ... seriously, just check out their eyes ... and their noses ... and the texture ... yep, I'm so drawn to them.
Finally, below is the first (and only) doll that I ever made. When Sadie was just a bitty critter she had all these adorable little one-piece outfits. One day I thought I would be clever and turn one of the outfits into a doll that she could love, love, love. OK, I admit it - I knew absolutely nothing about making a doll. I stitched the outfit closed and stuffed, stuffed, stuffed it full of that fiberfill stuff before adding a lopsided (hairless) head that I had embroidered eyeballs, nostrils and tiny lips onto and dubbed her (yes, it's a she) Bubby ... once upon a time Sadie did actually snuggle with Bubby, but at some point she became a bit frightened of her ... honestly, I think the fear has everything to do with not-so-uber-spouse giving Bubby a bit of a creepy voice ... I could be wrong, but I think not. Anyway, I know that she's a bit poochy, misshappen and has no eyelids, lashes or hair on her head, but I can't seem put her out to pasture ...
OK, I admit it ... I'm a little attached to Bubby at this point.
If you have actually made it this far, tada! This is the end. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my lovelies.