All About Dad
You may remember that my beloved Dad passed away on July 13th this year. Everyone in the family loved and respected him, and we miss him more than we know how to say.
A few days after he died, Mom pulled out his neck ties and asked me if I thought any of my brothers would want one or more of them. Instantly it popped into my mind that I could use the fabric in his ties to make memory dolls - one each for Mom, me, my brothers and sister, and each of Dad's grandkids. Mom liked the idea too. Most of us picked out the specific tie we wanted.
Here is a picture of the dolls, constructed and with picot bead edging around the bodies, ready to embellish.
Here is one side of my first completed doll. This one is for Mom; it's the tie she picked.
Here is the other side of Mom's doll.
I did silk-ribbon roses on Mom's doll because Dad always bought her long-stem red roses for their anniversary... and often on Mother's Day or Valentine's Day or her birthday, as well.
Each of the dolls will have a locket around the neck. The lockets open, and inside there will be a picture of Dad on one side, and a picture of the person for whom I've made the doll on the other. Each of the dolls will also have a miniature book hanging from one of the arms.
The book represents a favorite family tradition - that Dad always read out loud to us before bedtime. There are five kids, with 16 years between the eldest (me) and the youngest. As my brother and I entered High School, "mature and sophisticated" as we were, we still hung out around the dining room table to hear Dad read to the younger ones. And after we left the nest, part of the attraction of a visit home was to hear Dad read. He always chose books that were good literature, well written, often challenging to the intellect... books like Wind in the Willows, which was popular with all of us.
I made miniature copies of this book by scanning pages, reducing them, printing, and binding with Nymo thread. Thery're only 1/2 by 3/4 inches, but with a strong magnifying glass, you can actually read some of the text!
Each of the dolls also has flowers and leaves (because Dad loved to garden), a jade bear (an animal considered to offer a connection between mortals and the spirit world), pearls (representing Dad's purity and honesty), a heart (representing his love which still surrounds us, and our love which surrounds him wherever he is), a star (because of his wry sense of humor and way of laughing, his eyes all a-twinkle), and a dove (representing his spiritual beliefs). Oh, yes, and each of the dolls includes the label from one of his ties.
At first, as I cut apart the ties and began to construct the dolls, I felt ragged... grief, loss and emotions all over the surface of me. I could only work on the dolls for a short time before the tears would come. But as I've continued to work on them, meditatively, holding dear thoughts and memories of Dad in my heart, I've begun to feel less raw and more connected to him in a special new way.
Note: This is my first post in Beta. If you have any difficulty leaving comments, etc., please email me at this address: robin[AT]robinatkins[DOT]com. Hope it all still runs smoothly for you.