Monday, January 17, 2011

"The Bell Ringer"

I'm welcoming the new year with art doll "The Bell Ringer".  To paraphrase an old rhyme 'with bells on her fingers and bells on her toes - she shall have music wherever she goes'.  These warm colors boosted my spirit during the snowy, grey/white January that we've been having.  It was almost like a warm sunset sitting on my work table as I stitched away on her.

She ended up with 229 French Knots -- no, I wasn't counting as I went, nor was I trying to beat a record.  It just dawned on me as I finished the last one - 'wonder how many French knots I've done'.  So of course I had to count them.

Working on art dolls requires constant movement going from one type of stitch to another and I like the energy it involves.  Not much quiet meditation when working on such a small item - because you no sooner get involved in one stitch when that area is finished and its time to move onto the next.  I love trying out various stitches and looking for fibers to add to the surface.

"Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in". -
Leonard Cohen


  1. She is wonderful! I love french knots too. I once did an entire scene on a denim skirt in nothing but french knots....

  2. Oh MY! I've been waiting, and here she is! She makes me smile! Not only are the colors heartwarming, but the tinkling bells and that face with that smile, perfect! Now for a couple questions: you said she's small, just how big is she? I see the bells that look so vintage and I love them, and all those French knots are perfect, but what other elements did you add? My monitor isn't giving me a good enlarged view to be sure. The mid-section squares, are they felt with decorative stitches on them? How did you fashion the hair? What other fibers did you add to the surface, I see the meandering line, what's that made of? Sorry, so many questions, but I love this. Actually, I want to hold her and feel all those knots in my hands!

  3. Here's all the info for Barbara, and perhaps others might be interested. She is a little over 10" tall (including her hair and her 'bell shoes'). I found the bells on a Christmas decoration thingey at a florist shop! The larger square on her center is felt and the inside square is cotton. I used seed stitches all over those. I used a spiral stich on her hands and I used a fiber on her arms which I stitched on in curvy lines. I used cross stitches on her feet and on her chest. Her hair is just some curly yarn that I had, and I cut it in pieces, stitched it onto her head and covered my stitches with a bell. One surprise thing that happened as I was stuffing her, her lifted up arm kept moving closer and closer to her head. I'm glad she has a big bell in her hand or you would have thought she was saluting. *smile* Oh and one more thing - I have done the exact same decoration on the back of her.

  4. Deja vu or what. Your little quote was one I just read today in Elizabeth Edwards' book Resilience. She stated that those words became her anthem. They are from Leonard Cohen's song 'Anthem.'

  5. I love this doll! The face is perfect and the details are wonderful.

  6. Wonderful gal you've created!
    Funny but I just read that quote last night. I don't remember where as I've been on a artist blog blitz lately. However, it was not from Elizabeth Edwards, that I know. Here is a youtube performance for you to see:
    If you google the lyrics...you may find them equally worth pondering!
    I am glad I found your site from Sweetpea Path. I plan to explore more!
    Thank you for sharing your art,

  7. Thanks for the info on the quote. I love these words. Nancy, thanks for stopping by, hope to see you often.

  8. Came to this post via the suggestions at the bottom of the minstrel post. I absolutely love your bell ringer! Wonderful!

    Funnily enough I also love to make French knots. Isn't it strange? There's just something so rhythmic about making lots of them!



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