Saturday, February 20, 2010

We said good bye to Lucky

She came to us as a stray pup about seven years ago. My son Dave,had recently lost his 13 year old Princess to cancer. He wasn't ready for another dog. I had two dogs so I didn't need another dog.

It was decided that Dave would take the pup to the animal shelter but on the way there he decided he couldn't do it. The little dog was obviously part pit bull. Dave was certain that she would be put down if she was handed over to the animal shelter so he brought her back home. He named the little dog Lucky and she became a part of our family.

She hated snakes with a passion. There are rattle snakes where we live and when she saw a snake she sounded the alarm. That was about the only time Lucky barked for she was a very quiet little dog. The only time she attacked a snake was when the snake happened to be very close to me. she picked it up and swung it around, dropped it and picked it up again. I made her leave it alone for it was a harmless snake, not a rattler.

Lucky was a gentle loving little dog. She was a little bit picky about eating and she played me like a fiddle. She would sometimes balk at eating her regular dinner and of course I would dress it up with little tid-bits that she loved and before long her bowl was empty and she had gotten the treats she wanted. I didn't mind pampering her that way for she gave so much love in return.

Lucky's immune system went awry and last week she got very sick. The Doctor couldn't do anything to help her and with heavy hearts, we said good bye to our little friend. She was placed to rest beside Princess. My two Doberman pups are just lost and there is an emptiness in our home without her. She brought us much love and joy in her short time with us and she is missed greatly.
The words from an old song, Old Shep, come to mind..."if dogs have a Heaven there's one thing I know, Old Shep ( Lucky ) has a wonderful home".

Till next time.
Marion Springer

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Other Passion

I wanted to fly from the time I was about 5 years old but I also have another passion that dates from a very young age. From early on I wanted to create dolls.

And so, I made dolls. My husband , Docko would tease me, I think he was teasing, he would say , " You have come full circle. You are playing with dolls". My answer was always, " I am not playing. I am creating".

Through the years I made cloth dolls for my daughters. But what I really wanted to do was to create realistic dolls, not dolls to play with but to be displayed as one would collect and display art and items to be cherished.

I leaned toward making Indian dolls, because of my heritage and because I liked the Indian way of life.

I tried making dolls from various mediums and finally discovered polymer clay. Polymer clay is a plastic based clay. It is used to sculpt all or parts of dolls which are then cured in a regular kitchen oven or toaster oven. Curing sets the clay in a hard permenant position.

Occassionally I will make a doll all of clay from head to foot but generally I only sculpt the head, hands, feet and legs of polymer clay then attach the various parts to a wire armature . Next a fabric body covering is put on over the wire armature and filled with polyester fiber fill.

Synthetic fiber is used for hair. The part I enjoy most is making the clothing and accessories. The material used for clothing is deer skin ( buckskin) and is all hand stitched . Moccasin's and other accessories are decorated with hand beading.

The picture above is an 18 inch cradleboard with baby. Used leather coats are generally used as covering for the cradleboard. Used fur from old fur coats is often used to line the cradleboards.

The baby in the picture is about 15 inches long . The baby's head is polymer clay on a fabric body. Other cradleboards I make are from 8 inches in length to full size 36 inches. My next cradleboard baby is going to be a life size infant in a 36 inch cradleboard. I plan to fully bead the sides of the cradleboard. Beading is slow tediuos work and it could take me many moons to finish the beading but it will be a treasure when finally finished. I plan to keep the life size baby and cradleboard for myself, or try to keep it anyway. My family has a way of talking me out of most of the dolls I make.

Most of the Indian dolls ( I say ' dolls' for lack of a better word ) I make represent adults engaged in the daily tasks of life as it was back then. The dolls range from 18 inches to about 22 inches in height.

If you care to see some of the work which has resulted from my other passion, click on my website .

Till next time.
Marion Springer