Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Very Special Doll Artist...and Delightful Friend!

          One of the nicest parts of having the stores is definitely the people I "meet!"  I received an inquiry a year or so ago from someone in Tasmania, Australia.   She was inquiring about some 4" doll molds I had.  I have a couple of other customers in Australia, so when I answered her inquiry I asked her if she was anywhere near where the flooding was (Australia was having some monumental flooding at that time).  To be totally honest, if the e-mail hadn't had the "au" designation, I'm not sure I would have known for sure where Tasmania was!!  So much for the geography I had in school!
           Her answer was typically her...that they were an island (she also sent a map) off the coast of Australia and "the next stop was the South Pole!!!"  That was just the beginning!  I had just "met" one of the most delightful people ever!  Her name....Dianne Smith.
          She was thrilled that I had the set of 4" DA doll molds (evidently, she said, the last ones in existence) and would I send them to her!  I did...but I had no idea what an artist I had just "met!"

           I have made porcelain dolls for some years now but I was flabbergasted at the ones she does...the finest, tiniest miniature babies I've ever seen!  Not only that, but she knits beautiful clothing for them!  Even the smallest one I've made looks gigantic next to the exquisite miniature babies and children she creates!  

           Oh, yes!  She also moderates some miniature knitting groups on Yahoo and test knits for a miniature pattern blog!   All I can figure out is the days "down under" must have more hours in them for her to get so many things done!!
           Here are some of her prize-winning entries in one show:
           She did send me this picture of a Pouty Billy she made (23-1/2") so that I will know she makes the larger ones as well!
           In addition she had a daughter who is a musician here in the US so we can share our love of that as well.  I also get wonderful funny tidbits about the life in her part of the world....what an education I've had!
           We've visited back and forth for more than a year now and every time she sends a new picture of her creations, I'm in awe all over again.  I'm sharing the pictures with you with her permission of course so you can see what beautiful work it is!

            I don't often get surprises so when I received a package not long ago from her, it was totally unexpected.  She had made me a tiny Pence jug from the finest of threads.  It stands a mere 2-1/2" tall, knitted in one piece!  An incredible piece of workmanship!  It came at a time that I was immersed in a mind-boggling mess of health insurance paperwork that seemed to be going on and on (try explaining some things to a computer that are simple to a a zip code?).  Suddenly I received this serene and beautiful work of art...a gift that must have taken hours upon hours to create...and just as suddenly the frustrations of all those weeks seemed to become much less important!
           From what I understand it is made from a very old pattern and is created from one continuous thread from beginning to end.  That she had taken the time to create this charming bit of beauty for me made all the computer chaos and tangled technology just melt back into perspective.  When you have friends like this, you realize what's really important!
           I keep hoping that one of these days things will work out for us to meet each other...I'm sure the conversation would pretty much non-stop for days...we have lots in common besides the dolls!  In the meantime it's such fun to know that on the other side of the world I have a friend who is marvelously talented and delightfully funny.  Thanks to that set of molds for 4" dolls and our computers, I have a friend, a marvelous doll artist, a half a world away. the greatest!!