Friday, January 11, 2008

There's a first time for everything

Hello, Everyone --My name is Janice and I am a brand new blogger. I am a novice dollmaker (coming up on two years) and member of the Garden State Artisans doll club. Having been inspired by the work of my fellow doll makers, I wanted to start putting my stuff out there - shamelessly seeking help, kind critique inspiration and encouragement from you all.

I made my first doll about two years ago after getting my feet wet in quiltmaking. Attended a class at the Newark Public Library given by Lisa Sheppard on the African Mosaic Quilt and I loved it. After that, I browsed Amazon for books on quiltmaking, and one day, Amazon suggested Cloth Doll Making by Patti Culea. Well, I ordered the book, tried a basic doll pattern, and it was on and crackin' as the kids say from there. It was as if some kind of power was set free inside of me as I made doll after doll after doll. Thanks bunches, Patti!

Then, one day late last spring, I was fabric hunting at Creative Sew N Sews quilt shop in Manalapan (they have since moved to Englishtown, NJ). I had my dolls that I call "the twins - Justice & Truth" in my tote bag. One of the ladies I was chatting with pointed across the store and said "Stephanie makes dolls, too." What an understatement! Stephanie turned out to be Stephanie Novatski, of Garden State Doll Artisans, and one of the featured dollmakers in Patti Culea's book Cloth Doll Couture. Stephanie graciously invited me to a meeting of the doll club.

As inspiring as it was to look at dolls published in books and on the web, that is nothing compared to actually being in a room full of "live" dolls and their creators. The inspiration, encouragement and instruction these women provide makes my spirit soar. Dianne Kearney, also a member of GSDA, invited me to attend "A Day with Dolls" where I met so many amazing creative women from New York, New Jersey, Connecticutt -- who knew such a thriving community existed all around me and right in my own backyard?

I am such a technophobe, it may be awhile before I can actually figure out how to post pictures on this thing... More later