Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Araina has been sold!

So now just Paul is available!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Paul & Araina--handmade dolls, recycled fabrics

These dolls (named Paul and Araina only for purposes of identification) are of original design, handmade by me, and for sale in my Etsy shop, http://www.bybarbarabell.etsy.com/. I have pictures of some other dolls that aren't for sale that I wanted to post here, but they're not quite on the computer yet, so till then, you're welcome to look at these--and the others in my shop.Paul and Araina are soft stuffed dolls made of all recycled fabrics--body and clothes. Even their hair is cotton knit fabric (old T-shirts) cut in narrow strips and wrapped or twisted to make wigs. I especially like Araina's cornrows, trimmed with multicoloured heart-shaped beads! Their shoes and stockings are integral (non-removable) but their outer clothes are on-and-off, with elastic instead of buttons or other fasteners. Their faces are hand-embroidered but most of the other sewing on these dolls is by machine, as they're intended to be used in creative play by children. I'd say "small children" but because of Araina's bead-trimmed cornrows they probably should be kept for those over the age of three...unless you wanted to remove the beads and just tie a knot to keep the twists from unraveling.

"Rhythm & Roots" festival, Bristol TN

Daughter(12) and I just came back from a pleasant morning in Bristol TN at the annual "Rhythm & Roots" festival held in celebration of country music. Her choir, the East TN Children's Choir, sang at 9:30 am, and after they were finished she and I traipsed up and down State Street looking into all the little booths selling musical instruments, jewelry, handbags, toys, clothing, food and other goods. (Well, we tried to stay away from the food as much as we could, and concentrate on the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches we had brought with us; but in the end we did buy a stick of teriyaki chicken from an Asian vendor.)

Did you know that State Street in Bristol goes right down the state line between Virginia and Tennessee? We had been to Bristol, and on State Street, any number of times, but because we were driving and not walking, we had never noticed the little stamped metal plates fixed along the double yellow line every few yards designating "VIRGINIA/TENNESSEE" so you knew which state you were in at that moment. Since State Street was closed to motorized traffic for the festival, we--and several thousand other people--could stroll right down the line if we chose, saying, "Now I'm in Virginia and you're a whole state away from me..."

We got to play some beautiful handmade mandolins manufactured by a company called Eastman. There was one similar to mine that I thought I could live with and enjoy playing, if it were mine. I wrote down the model and serial number just in case I ever have that much $$ on hand, and nowhere else to spend it. (And it wasn't even one of the more expensive ones!)

We also admired, and played with, wooden puzzle boxes at another booth, and in another place we talked to an artist who creates handmade one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces from recycled vintage fabrics and papers. You can see the work of this artist, Betsy Carr, at her Etsy store, http://www.foundling.etsy.com/. It was delightful to talk to someone else who agrees with me about the unique pleasure of creating original art from old or previously used materials.

Speaking of Etsy...you can view MY shop, too! Here's where: http://www.bybarbarabell.etsy.com/.