Sunday, July 18, 2010

Food, Headless Dolls & More...


The title of this blog post was the subject line in a recent email that the members of TAGG received to remind them of our July party. The July dinner meeting was to be the last one before our doll-themed art show in August and was being hosted by Judy in her lovely secluded home next to Elk Neck State Forest. 

Elizabeth, Lisa & Judy
Several weeks ago, Maggie, a friend of TAGG and a member of the Trashy Women (a group of women who create artwork from recycled items) announced on Facebook that she had headless doll bodies if anyone was interested in them. Maggie had severed the heads and used them in her own art pieces and didn't have a use for the bodies. Of course, I jumped on this opportunity and Judy picked up the bodies at a designated rendezvous point and had them waiting at her home for us. 

Lynn & Susan

The dolls were lined up on a picnic table on the patio. Next to that table was another picnic table full of items that Judy was giving away. (We often incorporate a swap meet at our dinner gatherings.) And it didn't take long before the ladies were picking items off the swap table and using them as heads for the dolls; gourds, light bulbs... the possibilities were endless.

Lorraine, Susan & Pam

After playing with dolls we all headed back inside for the fabulous potluck feast which featured the most delicious salmon burgers I've ever tasted and then we moved on to the "show & tell" portion of the evening.

Lorraine with blue ribbon & trophy
We were tickled to learn that Lorraine recently won first prize in a gourd show and she brought her trophy to show us. She also shared with us her latest gourd creations... mermaids. They were all just exquisite and I'm so sorry that this photo is blurry. Hopefully, though you can get an idea of how beautiful they are.

Gourd Mermaid by Lorraine

Susan also brought a mermaid to share. I think our entire group is somewhat fascinated with mermaids. Hmmm... could be a theme for a future show.

Mixed Media Mermaid by Susan
We were fortunate to have a guest artist with us that night; Lisa. And she brought some special pieces to share with us. She told us that her mother used to make dolls and when she got older and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, she wasn't able to make dolls without help. Lisa then designed a doll project to work on with her mother and they made "Bubby" dolls. Bubby as in the Jewish endearment for grandmother. 

Lisa and Bubby Doll

The dolls she brought were beautiful and so carefully crafted and loaded with detail. Lisa said that she could tell when her mother was having a good day or a bad one by how well she was able to sew.

Bubby Doll in Under Clothes
So they designed and created these perfect little Jewish grandmothers with layers of old world clothes; some of the fabrics were even printed with Jewish iconography. And when the layers were peeled away we discovered that the doll body was lovingly anatomically correct.

Bubby Doll in her All Together

We were all touched by this special last mother/daughter project. Lisa's mother is gone now, but she has precious memories tied up in these dolls.

So on that note we ended our evening and many of us picked up headless dolls to take home and turn into our own art pieces for the show. Of course Bob flipped out and thought I'd joined some sort of coven when I came home with headless dolls, but what does he know?

P.S. During the course of the evening, Judy solicited our help in trying to identify a kitchen tool that she'd inherited from her mother. We were all stumped. If you know what that tool is in the following picture, please let me know.

Unidentified Kitchen Tool


Alan M said...

The mystery kitchen tool looks like it's probably a device used for holding a fruit (maybe a tomato)to be sliced through the cuts in the "hands".

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

The 'device' is an EGG slicer!!!! OMG, how do I know these things? I have studied so many Vermont Country Store and Yankee Magazines, and cookbooks, that I'm filled to the brim with useless knowledge! You hold the egg in the center of the tongs, and slice through the tong 'fingers' for perfect slices! As a senior in high school I got the Betty Crocker Homemaker Of The Year award, which, to this day, causes my husband to cry "Truth In Advertising!!!" cause, well, I'm not really domestically inclined....
p.s. does this make me an honorary member?

Kristeena Crabb said...

Thanks, Kelley! We had actually ruled out egg slicer because we're used to the ones that have wires to slice the eggs. But this tool is the perfect shape for holding an egg.

And seriously, what artist has time to be domestic?

P.S. Absolutely this makes you an honorary member of The Artsy Girls Guild. Welcome!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Wow, those headless dolls are kind of grim but I'm sure you all will fix them up!
This looks like our girlfriend group at party and show and tell time.
Do you believe that Kelley? She is the diva of knowledge.
I thought it was just a pair of fancy tongs.