Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Craft Therapy and healing

It all seems a bit fuzzy now, but the night of the fire we went straight to the Floyd Hotel. We had nothing but the clothing on our backs. Shortly after arriving we met with red cross who provided basic necessities like soap, tooth brushes, blankets etc.  So the next day the first thing we did was head to town to buy clothing.  We went to goodwill and purchased 2 pair of pants, 2 shirts and a sweat shirt each. We also purchased food, and let each of the kids pick out a new toy. We were in survival mode, and our needs were very minimal.  However for me, buying new craft supplies was a huge priority.  i didn't need much, just a few supplies so i could continue to make my bendy dolls.  It really wasn't a want, it was truly a need.

This picture was taken the second week after the fire when we were staying above the garage at a friend's house.  i had several wonderful friends send boxes of craft donations.  Supplies to make bendy dolls, yarn and crochet hooks, fabric, beads and even doll making supplies.

My dear friend Justine told me "I just KNEW that you needed to make those dolls. I know how important it is to still be YOU even in everyday matters, I cannot imagine how vital that could be when your world is literally melting."  

She was right on.  i needed to make the dolls, i needed to crochet, i need to cling to anything that would keep me from falling apart completely.  i need to craft both as a distraction, and as a way to heal.

 So only two weeks after closing my The Enchanted Tree FB page/shop indefinitely  i reopened and began to sell my dolls again..

Making hand made gifts for my children has always been incredibly important to me. When i think about all that we lost, it's all those handmade items made by me, and others that really hurts. So once we were 'settled' in the rental house i immediately began making my kids handmade gifts  
i had made my daughter a new doll every year that she as born. i had made her crocheted dolls, rag dolls, felt dolls, bendy dolls and waldorf dolls. 
So i had an intense need to make her a doll.  The first new doll  i made was this felt elf/fairy for my daughter. Because i had limited craft supplies i just used what i had on hand.  It was intended to be a fairy, but when my daughter saw it she wanted it without the wings. i plan to still make the wings, but  she'll be able to take them on and off. 

My boy is 11, so i wasn't sure if he would want a doll.  For x-mas i had made him a Harry Potter Bendy set, and was planning to replace them eventually. However, when i asked if he had any interest in a doll he requested Gandalf.  So this is the doll i made for him. i would have liked to have used different shades of gray in his cloak/robes...but i used what i had. i still think he came out pretty neat, and i love the way the staff turned out. 

Last year, for my daughters 6th birthday i made her a 16" Waldorf doll. You can read all about it here.  It was such a beautiful doll, so much love and time was put into her. :(  With my girl's 7th B-day coming up in June i suddenly was over come with the need to make a new doll.  

So last week i sat down and created this lovely waldorf doll.  Having not made any waldorf dolls in over a year, i am pretty happy with her.  i felt such a need to make her that she was completed in only two days. i still plan to make more clothing and accessories for her.  We will be in the RV at the time of my daughter's b-day, and i doubt i'll be doing much sewing there. So i'm trying to get as much done as i can before we move over there. 

She is 12" tall, and all the materials for her were donated from various friends...making the doll even that much more special. Although she was made by my hands, it was the love of many that helped her come to be.   She does not yet have a name, and i would love suggestions if you have one.  i've been thinking Grace, but i'm not quite sure that its the right name for her.  i would love something that represents the combined love that is put into her.

i have such a terrible time wrapping up these blog posts. i'm not the best of writers, and i typically spot lots of typos weeks later when i'm deleting the spam comments. :)  i guess i just wanted to express gratitude once again to all those who have helped us along the way.  It's one of those things i think about every single day.  i wake up and put on a skirt sent by one friend, a shirt from another. Almost every item in this house that belongs to me, connects me with someone else.  i wake up every morning grateful for all of the people and  blessings in my life.

Although i know i'll never be able to replace all the handmade items we lost in the fire, i am making new things and i am healing in the process.  It's going to be a long road of healing, but i know we'll get there eventually. Thank you all for your continued support.


  1. I've not commented before, only recently discovering your blog. It was sad to read your story of late, but I understand the need to return to normal. We experienced the 2011 floods in Australia and life was turned on it's head for several months afterwards. Our house was safe, but it's more about fixing the damage to the land and healing on the inside.

    My daughter and I made a hen with 4 chicks during that time, to represent life emerging again.

    As for a name for your new creation, I was thinking, "Amberley". Because life is ambling at it's own pace and rhythm, and she came together with so many gifted pieces. Life is still ambling forwards, so I thought Amberley may be appropriate? It can also be spelt Amberlee or Amberlea.

  2. It may be a bit late, but how about Faith or Hope? Or in the case of you and and your family, Keena. It means courage. Now your little girl will always have courage with her... I'm weird about names like that. I like to learn the meaning of them... well anyways I am happy you started crafting again. Remember, even if you are thankful, let yourself be sad. Blocking it out all the time only makes it worse, and know that you are in everyones heart. reguardless of if they know you or not. every person you ever touched, or talked to is with you, even if only in their dreams. So, with so much support, it's ok to be sad or even angry. We got your back. let it all out. we are listening.