Make Me A Monster

cimg3931.JPGOur friends, Erika and Jeremy Carlson, had a beautiful baby girl almost two years ago. Inspired by a picture in Kristin Nicholas’ book Colorful Stitchery, my daughter, Sophie, decided she wanted to make a special toy as a first birthday present for little Anna. She drew the shape of the doll on paper, traced her pattern onto felt and then cut it out. I embroidered the face on the front, and then blanket stitched the two together

Continue reading in you are interested in Chapter 2 of this story.

One of the required courses for my Communications degree at Concordia University, was a study of space, a very nebulous concept at best. For three credits, we had to attend one class and complete one assignment. A relief for your first semester of university on the one hand, but on the other hand, a lot of pressure.

Monster dollI chose the Musée des Beaux-Arts, in particular, an exhibit called Out of the Drawings of Children, in which children’s drawings were faithfully turned into velvet dolls with embroidered features, much like Sophie’s monster doll. The exhibit was created by Claude Bouchard, a researcher interested in studying children’s perceptions of themselves and world they inhabited.

I should say, that this exhibit and my study of it took place in Montreal thirteen years ago, so my recollection of the specifics is a little sketchy. A very helpful archivist at the musée, Danielle Blanchette, provided me with the details. She also mentioned that there was a report in their files submitted by Carole Leah Dawe. Imagine that!

I spent a lot of time at the musée that semester, getting as much as I could out of my free pass. The dolls captured my imagination at the time, and have stayed with me ever since. I’m still delighted when Sophie draws something as she sees it, instead of the way other children draw, or as she has been shown to draw it.


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