bead the doll with its head in a bag to keep hair out of the waySounds like some sort of adult video title, doesnt it?? But its really just about a doll whose head and feet are bound up while she’s decorated.

Hmmm, maybe that doesnt really sound any better….perhaps its time to show pics instead.

Last week I saw the beaded spirit doll (using my polymer clay face) that my friend Laura Humenik had created, and I knew I needed to make one for me, so I can show her off when I sell Spirit Doll Kits at shows and classes. An 8 inch doll, fully beaded, seemed like a bit much as a first attempt (even for me) so I’ve decided to embellish one I had already started, and do a smaller fully beaded one after that.

Unfortunately, this meant the doll already had hair and was partly costumed, and her hair kept getting in the way of the needle.

Normally, I’d do the hair last on an elaborately decorated doll. But she’d been done as a demo model in a Spirit Doll Class I taught last year, and she seemed to be crying out for more beads…so I picked out some that would go with her hand dyed body and hair (including some beautiful mixed pinks size 15 seedbeads–oooeee, but they are tiny!!)

Here she is before I started beading.

Beading a spirit doll 1

Beading a spirit doll 3Laura saw me working on the doll with her hair tied up in an akward turban, and said that she had found that bagging the dolls head,arms, and legs as needed using those taffeta drawstring bags we got for purchases made at shows worked really well.

And she’s right!

Here you can see both the back and the front of the doll after about 7 hours of beading (ok, I’m not very fast yet–just determined. Practice will make me better at it and faster too, at least that’s the theory.)

Beading a spirit doll 2

I’m going to work on her some more today and see if I can get her torso and arms finished, then she’ll need more beads in her hair and some beady shoes…

I figure another dozen hours and she’ll be really splendid. Since I need to make a half dozen dolls for displaying in my booth, she’s a good start for showing this kind of decoration. I’m already thinking about the next one.