As some of you know, in October I started a program called the Doll Friend Project. For every Phoebe&Egg doll I sell, I will also make a doll for a child in the foster care system.
The dolls serve as transitional objects, basically a comfort object.
I have a "list" of the children with just enough information to help me decide what type of doll would be appropriate for that child. I take age, sex and ethnicity into account when designing a doll for these children.
In October, I made dolls for girls. I started with them, because making dolls for girls is what I know. I was a bit hesitant to move onto the five boys on my list. Their average age was 10.
A ten year old boy is far different than a six year old. By ten, they are very aware of what the other boys think about them. By ten, they often care more about being macho. By ten, they won't cry in front of their peers. I remember ten well with my own son.
At this age, they begin to worry about being stigmatized. More so for this group of boys, who don't necessarily have all of the things most boys have that positively affirm their identity.
A traditional doll will is unlikely to be a security object for them. It could be embarrassing, hidden, dscarded.
So for awhile I was not sure what to make this group. The "doll" needed to be: not embarrassing, endearing, enduring and portable.
Selfishly, it also had to be enjoyable to make. So for a awhile I just mulled, feeling guilty that I had not done anything yet.
The one day I realized that the answer had been there all along. A pattern from ElfPop that I had pinned from Etsy onto Pinterest a few months back, with a few tweaks, would be perfect.
I made the puppies out of a soft cotton brushed twill and their spots are made from various tweeds that I have. Instead of embroidering their faces I used safety eyes and a really cool tool to attach the safety eyes from Glass Eyes Online. I also used an awl to punch the hole first. I first read about the safety eye tool on Abby Glassenberg's While She Naps blog.