Guys and Dolls

Cleo and Caeili

Today was one of those rare finds which despite the fact it was not accompanied by icecream, sunshine, or more adult pleasures, was almost perfect in its fabulousness.  My friend Leslie took me to see her mum’s doll making studio, which I have been dreaming about on and off for years, since first seeing my first Margie Hennen doll in a  photo my mother took. It was breathtakingly elegant in it’s simplicity, made from something

embroidered doll faces

like smokey blue felt fabric and not frilly or fussy but still soft despite its angular modernity.

Margi’s house is ordinary enough on the outside but step inside and each room seems to be painted it’s own striking colour, like the petal of a different flower. There are cool expansive abstracts on the walls, but down the stairs is a little room with a bay window which though well organized feels riotous with creativity. Margi  has fabric stacked by colour and print in a shelving unit of gym baskets rescued from the Dalplex. Her large wooden desk is a drafting table bought at auction. While she works, with her abalone shell filled with little scraps and doodads, her pin cushion in a  teacup, and her unfinished dolls spread before her waiting for their faces, she looks out on  the water and trees and light of Cole Harbour.

gym baskets filled with fabric!

There are dolls tucked here and there like Easter eggs, lining bookshelves and walls and baskets of thread. Some of them are Margi’s, others are by friends of the artist, and other creative folk. She seems to treasure each one as though she’s just been given it. She shows me everything, generous with her time and ideas  and offering me art supplies should I want to try making something. I do, I do!

Seeing where someone makes beautiful things is almost as exciting as seeing the beautiful things themselves. Thanks Margi for letting me in, and Leslie for opening the door.

To meet more of Margi’s dolls please visit her website.

This afternoon, I spent in the playground with my brother-in-law Ian and my nephews William and Felix while my sister Soonya had a much needed rest.  I don’t know if people feel the same way about running around in the grass with little kids, kicking their brand new soccer ball and chasing them til we’re all red in the face, but it makes me feel happier than just about anything else i can think of. We made grass stew in a hat, found the arm of a Buzz Lightyear figurine  which captivated Felix, and spun in circles until we were dizzy with delight.

That’s it. A cheap thrill of a day.  None better.

doll body of plant dyed fabric, embroidered with flowers

guys on the beach on another perfect day…

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