Thursday, June 12, 2014

from the heart

Every doll I make is special. I love each and every one of them. I get so much pleasure imagining them with their special little people, sharing adventures and giving comfort and joy. But sometimes I get the chance to work on an extra special project and this doll is one of them.

She is made for a very brave, very strong little girl called Zoe. Her mama and I have been in contact off and on through my Under Rainbows facebook page for a few years. In March she contacted me to make an offer for the pay-what-you-can doll that I was selling at the time, this is what she wrote: 
We have spoken a few times over the past few years. If you remember, my daughter was born with half of a heart. She faces her final planned open heart surgery this spring/early summer at the age of 3. I have wanted to get her one of your dolls for a long time, but being a stay at home mom and medical costs, we just haven't been able to afford one. We would love the chance to get this sweet doll for her Easter basket. I know she would be so, so loved.
I was so touched by her story and by her daughter's amazing journey that I offered to make a special doll for Zoe for the price that they could afford. A doll that will go into hospital with Zoe at the time of her surgeries and be her companion to cheer her up and give her hugs.
 As we were emailing back and forth about the doll I was really struck by how much Zoe's mama loves her. Her love is fierce and strong, supportive and courageous and I really wanted the doll to carry some of this mother-love in her. So I asked Jenn to send me something, perhaps a bead or a little felt heart. I thought she could whisper her love, her hopes and dreams for Zoe into it and I would sew it inside the doll, where her heart is.
This is what she found and sent to me from the States:

So perfect, a smooth angelite heart 'one of the premier healing stones'. She also sent a very sweet card thanking me from the bottom of their 'one and half hearts' and a bracelet to wear to show my support for Zoe.
 I wrapped the stone heart in some sheep's wool
 (as you can see, the whole time I was making this doll I wore the bracelet, I really wanted my focus to be on this doll and Zoe, to fill it with healing thoughts, and wishes and love and the bracelet helped to remind me of that).
 I placed the heart wrapped in wool into the neck part of the doll and sewed it up.
 The heart would then be firmly positioned in the centre of the chest.
 I really love the idea of using a healing stone in the doll. The warmth from Zoe's body heat will be conducted through the wool as she holds her, gently warming the stone and releasing it's wonderful healing powers and all of that special love that Jenn whispered into the stone.
I made the doll to look like Zoe, matching her hair and eye colour. I also embroidered a scar up the centre of her chest between her rib cage, a scar to match the one little Zoe has.

 I dressed her up, as Jenn suggested, as a little princess with a sweet frock and bloomers and a little felt crown decorated with a heart of course. I also made her a wee pair of organic cotton pyjamas to wear in hospital.
Making this doll was so special and being a tiny little part of Zoe's journey is such an honor! If you were touched by this story and would like to read more about little Zoe, her mama has a blog here and there are also a couple charities that you can donate to that have been a support to Zoe, Jenn and her partner:
But if you do nothing else then hold little Zoe and her family in your heart in July when she will having her surgeries
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  1. This is so sweet. Thank you for sharing. Best wishes to sweet Zoe and her family!

  2. Oh Laura, this is incredible. This story goes straight to my heart- what an absolutely wonderful doll. So much love and healing energy infused into her!
    Missing you- so sorry to have been so out of touch! Let's catch up, dear Laura!

  3. Such a gorgeous doll and a lovely story. Best of luck to Zoe and her family.

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  5. Amazing. I stumbled upon your blog as I was looking for how to stich up the doll body. I am making a doll for my 6 year old son.. the doll has been waiting to be completed for 3 years. I was making it for him to have with him during his open heart surgery. my son also has "half a heart" and had his last surgery July 2014. I had this same idea at the time, to sew a crystal heart inside the doll. chills. <3

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