Friday, January 23, 2009
Poetry Friday: Dandelion, the golden summer queen
I've created three summer-themed nature table figures for my daughter's school auction. Here is the description I've submitted:
Chances are that as a child, you enjoyed blowing dandelion “clocks” and couldn’t understand why grownups looked askance as the multitudes of seeds parachuted over their lawns and gardens. Now, you can enjoy the beauty of dandelions without the drawbacks by way of your summer nature table. Lady Dandelion is created out of wool and cotton plus metal pipe-cleaners for the arms and staff. She is dressed in gold, green and white with embroidered details and stands 5 inches tall. Her flower staff is guaranteed not to go to seed.
This dandelion doll was inspired by a poem in the out-of-print poetry book The Winds that Come From Far Away, by Else Holmelund Minarik (the author of the Little Bear books). Not too long ago, I found the poem in my collection of clippings and scribblings from my New York Public Library days. Here is the poem:
I am the sun in sky of green
I am the golden summer queen.
I’m the friend to every child
Because I’m strong and bright and wild!
Grown-ups cut me when they mow—
forget they loved me long ago.
But when I’m gone, then don’t you sorrow.
I’ll be back again tomorrow!
Here is Lady Dandelion with her summer nature table companions, Lady Forget-Me-Not and Lady Fuchsia:
And now, I'm off to dig some spiky-leafed weeds out of my flower-beds.
P.S. I cannot recommend highly enough Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches. I've given you the Amazon link because it has the most information out of all the online bookstore links I've seen. I work with the book in my lap, as most of the techniques are new to me. As I mentioned in the comments, the basic stitches I used for these dolls were:
Blanket stitch-- for sewing felt pieces together with the raw sides out-- no seam allowance needed.
Chain stitch-- a simple loop stitch that allows one to make lines and curves easily.
French knot-- for dots. Sometimes my French knots don't get tucked in all the way, and I just anchor the knot with a few tiny regular "in and out" stitches
Daisy stitch-- these are the loops for flower petals. Once you learn the chain stitch, you'll have the "aha!" moment with the daisy stitch.
I used a wheatear stitch for the dandelion hem, and added green French knots to it. Wheatear is quite accessible, but I recommend that you be familiar with the chain stitch first.
This week's Poetry Friday Roundup is at Laura Salas: Writing the World For Kids.