Friday, October 24, 2014

Book Review: Soul Mate Dolls ~ Dollmaking as a Healing Art by Noreen Crone-Findlay

Soul Mate Dolls ~ Dollmaking as a Healing Art
Sparked by a recent trip to  American Girl Place (AG)  in Chicago with my granddaughter, Chloe, I’ve moved into “doll mode.”  My own AG doll has lived with me for at least ten years and I possess life-long love dolls!

The joy of crocheting fashions in miniature, made it necessary to have someone to wear the fruits of my labor. My granddaughter, Chloe, has enjoyed playing with my doll when she visits; and now, as she approaches the age of five influenced by an older friend, she has begun to want her own. Two years ago I put “dibs” on a plan to be the special one to buy her first A G doll since I am the one who loves dolls, unlike my daughters who were never very caught up in doll play.

On the calendar for two months, our special “Girls’ Day Out” finally arrived! I tried my best to contain my excitement to an acceptable level. It was a great outing for all of us, including high tea at the store with the newly purchased Sarah. What fun!

Matching Nightgowns I made for Chloe and Sarah
My love affair with dolls dates back to my childhood and I don’t know if it was more my love of my grandmother, Myrtle, who fashioned my first Ginny Doll clothes or the doll herself that held the allure for me. I’ve written about dolls and I’ve written about the healing properties of the needle arts.

Perusing my crochet book shelf this week, I came upon Noreen’s book, published in 2000. The subtitle, Doll Making as a Healing Art, and the cover endorsements by authors of books in similar genres, Christine Northrup  and Sherrill Miller caught my attention. Noreen’s words, “Turn your stumbling blocks into stepping stones, and open doors to creativity, healing and wholeness, by making dolls that express your feelings, desires and wholeness,” inspired me to revisit this treasured book, jump inside the pages to let Noreen “lead me on a mystical journey, filled with metaphors, magic and special friends that will reshape and restore my soul.”

Noreen oozes with creativity and it plays out in doll imagery. She is an artist, dollmaker and professional puppeteer. Her workshops help women to enrich their lives by inspiring an expanding their creativity. If this book is already on your crochet library shelves, I highly recommend you grab hold and seriously read the text. It is comforting and brings joy to the heart as Noreen addresses everyday concerns that we all have. If this book is new to you, run to buy it!

Grandmother Tree Soul Mate Doll
Not intended as medical advice, the goal of the book is to inspire us to pay attention to images and metaphors with feelings of wholeness as we observe how the procesess works on a deeper level. Noreen's generous instructions in topics such as crochet, emroidery, weaving on a square loom, sewing, knitting and lap loom work, makes it easy to launch from her basic "flat soulmate doll" templates onto creative paths that inspire the reader to personalize the doll as her/his own.

Now let’s launch back to present day and take a look at what the ever-creative Noreen Crone-Findlay is up to now. Stackpole books will be publishing her latest book, Peg and Stick Loom Weaving, in 2015.

Congratulations, Noreen, and I will look forward to reviewing the new book when it comes out!

Noreen Crone-Findlay

Noreen and I go way back. We became fast friends with so much in common when we both taught at Crochet Guild Conferences. We've shared ideas an traded treasures. Two of Noreen's hand-made crochet hooks shall be forever treasured as they are no longer avaialble.

Prin came along to a CGOA conference and met a friend, Woomie
Noreen gifted me this incredible "Queen Hook."

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