I’m a big fan of art dolls. Unfortunately, when it comes to making them, my enthusiasm exceeds my talent at designing, sewing, painting and decorating. I’m constantly blog hopping and You Tubing to look for answers to my questions, and to view the mind boggling artwork of doll makers. Believe me, there are some gorgeous dolls out there, witches. Some of them have inspired me to try my hand at wall doll art, but that’s on the to do list.
During one of my hops, I’ve found what I think is one of the best tuts out on the Internet. Joanna Powell Colbert’s website gives free, fun instructions on making spirit dolls if you choose to craft your dolls from twigs, fabric, etc. Now let me underscore this. Everyone is a unique individual, and your idea of a spirit doll may be different from the idea of another witch. You may craft yours from found objects and silk, and mine may be from muslin and fiberfill (I gotta try cotton batting after the fiberfill runs out). Your intent guides your hand (and you will hear more on this in my soapbox paragraph on voodou dolls). For example, if you want to attract love in your life, yours will be crafted from objects you associate with love — at least, let’s hope so. As for me, things have been going well, so that I’m making a gratitude for abundance doll. She’ll be made from a green/blue color scheme because I associate green with abundance. Blue enters the picture because Yemaya is my favorite deity, and I happen to like blue. I plan to decorate her with shells because I like shells. Unfortunately, since the closest body of water is a lake, I’ll have to haunt the craft marts. I also like butterflies and beads — I have a fair amount of beads, and a doll has to be properly dressed because you never know when you’ll be tempted to show her off — a safe bet, though, is around other witches.
Soapbox time: Some spirit dolls are gorgeous, and they make you want to say “No use of my buying that. They’ll want the equivalent of a house payment for that.” And others make you want to say “This joker has decided to make a few nickles from selling voodou dolls, and has raided his or her house to make a bundle crafted from twigs, God knows what kind of plant life, and whatever odds and ends he can find in his basement — or trash bin.” Why do I have such a beef with the second purveyor of said goods? The answer is intent, luv. The doll was crafted with the intent to make money* — which may not be your intent unless your intent was to walk away with a lighter purse. In a sense, the doll aided the goal in getting what the seller wanted, so the doll can’t be chalked off as a waste of time — not the seller’s time anyway. The second beef is correspondence. If you decide to do any spellwork with dolls, please be aware of your idea of correspondence and not an author’s idea. For example, if I see a red voodoo love doll, I’ll take a pass on it. For me, red represents the color of warrior spirits, and I don’t want to battle anyone with whom I want to have a relationship — although some of you may see fighting as the prelude of getting your freak whipped up. If I have learned one thing from witchcraft, then that lesson is witchcraft is a fluid, subjective path. In other words, what works for Jane does not work for you because your triggers aren’t the same. You have to find your own tools, darling, and you will reach a point where you will use some of them intuitively, in a way you didn’t expect. And why do a fair amount of said voodou dolls pushed by a fair amount of purveyors look nearly the same? They look as if someone found a pattern of a rectangle with arms and legs. Just to make it look as though someone might have put a bit of effort into things, the makers will add a button or so, or sew in stitches here or there. I wonder if these things aren’t made in China, in which case you would do better consulting a Chinese spirit worker/doll crafter.
*The first may be crafted with the intent to make money, but at least you end up withe something nice to gaze upon.