Make Smart Art Dolls

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Art Dolls at Fiber Arts Fiesta

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Art Dolls at Fiber Arts Fiesta

Nationally-known doll artist Yoka Roos-Huddleston introduced me to art dolls at the 2015 Albuquerque Fiber Arts Fiesta. Her class combined beads, fabrics, yarns, threads, fibers, and more.

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Art Dolls at Fiber Arts Fiesta

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Art Dolls at Fiber Arts Fiesta

Yoka talks about her art dolls as inspiration. Hats off! Her presentation idea expanded into fun experiences for me and my connections.

In preparation for my vacation, I decided to play on the art doll theme and create “smart dolls,” art dolls with a message inside.

Before the roadtrip, I stocked my box with stuffing, buttons, trims and a selection of miscellaneous beads. My vision for two crafting days was broad: in each case, I planned to lead a small group in the doll exercise. As usual, having a purpose caused me to think through the supplies I took. What’s more, it gave me shopping goals as I prowled the junk stores along the way.

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Smart Dolls, Colorado Craft Day, June 2015

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Smart Dolls, Colorado Craft Day, June 2015

For my first project, two members of my mastermind shared the experience. We drafted our wishes or each other and enclosed them in the doll body with its stuffing. I celebrate individual creativity as one doll has a purse, another has shoes, etc.

art dolls-maryellenbeads
What I know for sure: my smart doll contains the heartfelt intentions of people who know me well and is therefore super meaningful to me.

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Smart Dolls, Missouri Craft Day June 2015

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Smart Dolls, Missouri Craft Day June 2015

Creativity jumped to a new level when my youngest niece enthusiastically tackled the project.

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Smart Dolls, Missouri Craft Day June 2015

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Smart Dolls, Missouri Craft Day June 2015

Her doll sported a skirt, belt and beaded embellishment. In addition, she vowed to share the project with others.

Katie found the perfect quote for her grandmother’s (my mother’s) doll:

“For He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your days.” –Psalm 91:11

Each of us present that day signed the slip of paper containing the quote. My mother is rightfully proud of her angel which will remind her of the fun times long after we’re gone.

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Angel Smart Doll

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Angel Smart Doll

Thanks, Yoka for generously instructing me in the art of doll making. See Yoka’s award winning designs on her website.

These five take-aways summarize my message:

  1. Take classes for inspiration.
  2. Find a way to teach your learnings.
  3. Think about ways to enhance the experience.
  4. Come up with your own takeaway.
  5. Share your experience.
©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Buddha Smart Doll, “Ease, Grace and Dignity”

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Smart Dolls, Missouri Craft Day June 2015

The little Buddha doll in this grouping contains this message: “ease, grace and dignity.” It hangs in my car to remind me to keep these values in the forefront as I interact with others.

Do you have a creative idea to share?