Monday, March 19, 2012


Once upon a time there was a little girl, called Vasalisa.On her deathbed Vasalisa's mother handed her a handmade doll dressed in an outfit identical to her own. She told Vasalisa : 'my darling child, always, always, keep this doll with you.  Keep her safe in the pocket of your dress or your coat.  Keep her as your secret and do not tell others about her.  Whenever you feel lost or you do not know which way to turn, she will help you.  Whenever you are in need of help, she will help you.  You can ask her any question and she will answer.  Keep her close to your dear self, my child. ' Soon after this her mother dies and the adventurous story of Vasalisa starts.  It is one that we have come to know well in various shapes and forms:  her father marries a  stepmother and Vasalisa also gets two stepsisters.  It is not long before the stepmother and stepsisters decide that they need to get rid of Vasalisa and they set various traps for her.  Ideally they would like her to get lost in the forest and be taken by the Baba Yaga, the old hag that lives in the forest.

(Vasalisa and her doll is a story told in the Russion and Baltic cultures and it is known as Vasalisa, the Wise.)

It soon becomes clear that the small handmade doll that Vasalisa carries everywhere with her, is her intuition or her intuitive self.  Each trap that the stepsisters set for Vasalisa she is rescued from by her doll.  She warns her, she whispers into her ear of shortcuts throught the forest that no-one else knows about;  she tells her what to eat, when to eat and she whispers the secret words to Vasalisa. The doll symbolises the small quiet voice that lives in everywoman's heart which is so often drowned in the noise of busy lives.

Dolls have been made through the ages, in all cultures and they have become laden with mystical and magical meanings or just wonderful playthings!

And that is our challenge this week :  dolls.

I love dolls.  I love making dolls and I love telling each doll's story to the world.

Here I re-created the scene of the skeleton-like Miss Havisham from 
Charles Dickens' Great Expectations

A Spanish doll depicting the Rom festival of
St Sara la Kali in Saintes Maries de la Mer in France
where this doll comes from

A small vintage costume doll becomes Little Miss Muffet, sitting on her tuffet,
eating curds and whey

AVictorian dressmaker in her shop - she herself made from paper and pieces of cloth

A tiny kewpie doll dreams of becoming a ballerina


A little woman, sitting with her embroidery, luggage ready, dreaming
of visiting Paris in the springtime

So, this week I invite you to participate in the Dolls Challenge with me.  Often some of you comment that the challenges are so wide you do not know what to do.  I like a wide challenge, so I am not going to limit you or your ideas in any way - I challenge you to create any form of art and to mix media to your heart's content and then to share its story with us - as long as it has to do with a doll or dolls and the voice of your heart!

Join in with us by adding your name and entry to Mr Linky below.  I hope you will have as much fun as me with this challenge!

happy creating!


Yvonne said...

oh oh, I think Mr. Linky isn't working properly :(

Hettienne said...

I checked on mr linky but cannot find the problem - it seems slow with the image - I may have to re-load Yvonne in which case you will have to re-enter your link, sorry!

bohemiannie! art said...

As soon as I can get my pictures taken...I'll add my link. :) I love making dolls. Is it ok if I use one made some time back?

Hettienne said...

Hello bohemiannie, it is absolutely perfect if it is one that you have made a while back - looking forward to it!

Grannie Annie said...

My apologies if you love dolls...

IMGIRL said...

Thanks Hettienne for this fun challenge. Love your doll and story!
Putting the thinking cap on...

Have a great week everyone!

Lisa Richards said...

Because of back spasms today I've gotten to spend a lot of time drawing and painting. Yahoo! I enjoyed this challenge!

peggy gatto said...

I love these dollies!!!!!!!
This is a chance to share a favorite of mine!!!

IMGIRL said...

Here's mine:


IMGIRL said...

I re-entered my link and it works this time but it added me again. The second one is the one that works, but I didn't know how to delete the first one. Sorry. I don't think it's Mr. Linky, I think it's me, the linker! :)


Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Hettiene, I was not sure I could play because of blogger problems, or even SHOULD play this week because I have no REAL doll to enter. In the end, I think I met the challenge. Thanks for pushing me BEYOND my limit.

see you there! said...

My entry is up. Can't wait to see the others.


Used Mr. Linky but just in case...

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Mine is rather "simple" this week. I enjoyed spending lots of time with our daughter home from college for the week.

Kristin Dudish said...

Fun! This challenge pushed my limits a little bit because super-realistic dolls scare me (sorry - they can be beautiful, but they totally freak me out).


Michelle V. Alkerton said...

I'm not a doll person, but I still have my marionette given to me when I was seven :).
Stay inspired!

Anne said...

Lovely challenge! Dolls with big eyes and eyelashes... very inspiring! :))

kirstin mcculloch said...

Great prompt Hettienne!

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