Friday, May 8, 2009

Mugwort Mourning Dolls on Etsy

I've had this idea for sometime about creating dolls stuffed with the magical herb mugwort. Mugwort was used in ancient times, and still is used in protections spells and for contacting the dead. It is also used in protecting yourself from evil spirits. It provides protection in traveling and aids in Psychic work.
I am fascinated by all things mystical and magical, so I wanted to create dolls incorporating this magical herb. I wasn't sure about how to do the body in order to be able to stuff it using the herb, so... Mary Lent was my first victim in experimentation. Her head and hands are polymer clay and the body is hard stuffed muslin using wool and mugwort herb. She is 7 3/4" tall and her dress is made from a victorian mourning cape and from it hangs victorian mourning beads. Also used is victorian black net with gold metallic threads, all in keeping with the times. I hand sculpted her bone and skull beads. She was the first proto type.
After I finished Mary, I wasn't sure thats how I wanted to do the body and thought it would be much more fun to do one in a casket. As my daughter Kimberly's boyfriends dad ,Vern, (thats a mouth full) ,is a wonderful wood worker, making hearses, wagons, carriages and caskets (how perfect was that) I commissioned him to make me some cool little caskets for my mugwort babies. Lucy resides in the first one. I changed the body to more of a minature type, which is 5 1/2" tall, the casket is 6 1/2". Lucy has head, hands, and legs sculpted from polymer clay and the body is hand sewn from muslin, and stuffed with mugwort. She is removable from the coffin. Lucys clothes are made from an antique pink ribbon that had silver lined beads sewn on. It has vintage lace, vintage millinary net and pink silk ribbons. Mohair curls, hand painted glass eyes.

The interior is tufted cream silk velvet, with the same on the sides of the little casket. The top is removable and held on by tiny nails. Lucy is removable and can be displayed with the top on or the top off the casket as it stands up on it's end. I like this idea better than the first, so the next few I will make will be of this type. The top of the casket has antiqued gold dresden trim for decoration. The poems for them are as follows: "Mary Lent, her little life spent..when into the witches cauldron she went"
And... "One dark gloomy day, little Lucy went out to was a day of dispair, as she ceased to breathe air..and now in her casket does lay"

Both Little Mugwort Mourning dolls are now available in my etsy shop waiting for new homes to haunt! this should get you there, my etsy user id is queenofthefaeries.
I am also working on some other similar pieces using another famous poisen herb in the mixture! so be watching for the next magical batch!
Happy Hauntings, Gail


Unknown said...

Oh Gail,
These two little dollies are so soulful and magical. Beautifully detailed and the accessories are wonderful!! I love the idea of the Mugwort, and I especially love your poem. Sooo cute!
Dessa Rae

Unknown said...

Bravo! what an excellent concept, that really takes on another dimension with meaning.

Sprite said...

They're both awesome Gail, I'm partial to Mary's darkness. Would buy her if i could! Love love love the costuming. I've been curious about including herbs within too, thanks for sharing and great luck on etsy. I'm sure they won't be there for long! :)

Hope all is well on your end, so glad to see you creating!


3rdEyeMuse said...

these are incredibly fantastic! I love the idea of stuffing them with herbs, too!

julie campbell said...

Wonderful idea Gail . I love the whole herb stuffing concept ! I have tried the scented route using scented oils on the dolls underclothes which is great at first but then wears off (still very effective though and there are so many wierd and wonderful aromas !)
These two are beautiful and that little casket is so sweet if thats the right word for a casket !
julie xx

Karri said...

What a wonderful extra touch of magick to add to your lovely dolls.

Brightest Blessings!

Three Spotted Dogs

essie said...

They are gorgeous Gail.
What a great idea to use the mugwort in the dolls!
I hope to be the proud owner of one of your you dolls someday (think I'm gonna tell my hub to save money so he can buy one hehehehe)


Crafts From The Stash said...

WOW, what a fantastic idea Gail. One day when my kiddies have left home and I have mummy pocket money I am going to save up for one of your dolls cause they give me tummy bubbles :O)
Debie xxxx

Julie said...

OOO I am loving these, the whole concept, materials and ...well they have me all of a flutter and excited!
Pass me the smelling salts!!!

Once Upon A Blue Crow said...

YOU are amazing!

Anonymous said...

Gail both these dolls are fabulous!
I grow mugwort here at my home and I know about it... maybe thats why I can't move from my

Gail Lackey said...

Thanks everyone! They were fun to do. Although It was a bit messy stuffing them! I love all things magical, even better when there is meaning!
hugs, Gail

Anonymous said...

Gail I love these dolls... I went and checked earlier and the large one was sold... now I bet the other one has also... So how's Boise?

BoneyLittleFingers said...

Gail, your mugwort creations just tug at one's heart! Every detail is so beautifully done and their stories mournfully endearing.


Lola Enchanted said...

You do such amazing and magical work!!!! I love those little dolls!

Tristan Robin said...

these are nothing short of attention to detail, spirit and personality.

once again, brava!

(heh heh - I used to make dream pillows filled with mugwort to sell at gatherings and faires in my younger days ... as I recall, the scent remains on your hands long after handling!)

Sue said...

Wonderful idea using the mugwort Gail, and your creations, as always, are

Jdee said...

They are both precious Gail! I can't decide which I like best so I will have to love both the same! I can't wait to see your new ones!

Unknown said...

WOW! They are truly adorable. I love the eye expression of your dolls, very unique and a way to identify your work. Just fantastic!

Faerie Hugs…

Anna said...

The dolls and art you create are absolutly adoreble and cool! =)
I`ll keep visiting.

julietk said...

Wonderful as usual :-) Juliet

Anonymous said...

More, please!
What a wonderful pairing of casket and doll.

Congratulations on Victoria's new home, by the way!

Hope you find a little time for yourself soon, hang in there.


vintagepaletteart said...

You're little creations are nothing short of amazing! The detail and so creepily crafted! ^~^


FlightFancy said...

I love these little babies! Such attention to detail. Your work is fabulous. They are creepily enchanting!

Valarie said...

Your creativity is so inspiring! It gives me ghost-bumps!! Thank you for your work of such soul-FULL beauty!

sharon said...

Too cute. Your imagination never ceases to amaze me. They are absolutely darling and I, too, love the incorporation of these magical herbs. Best of luck with this newest venture!

sharon said...

Too cute. Your imagination never ceases to amaze me. They are absolutely darling and I, too, love the incorporation of these magical herbs. Best of luck with this newest venture!

Skellyton Art said...

I so enjoy seeing your little darlings! You have so many admiring fans,you probably will miss this post. I was so thrilled when you stopped by to visit my blog, It made my day! I hope you come back again... some dark and dreary night....

ReneeBuchananArt said...

Gail, they are both FABULOUS! I have the art doll book that you are featured in and your doll is my FAVORITE. The way you capture the sad emotion is just incredible.

The coffin is great... did Vern think you were completely insane for asking for a mini coffin?

Renee :)

Gail Lackey said...

Thanks all for the kind comments!
No Renee, Vern has turned into a crazed coffin maker!!! He's forever finding new and "improved" ways to create them. I can't make dolls fast enough to occupy the ones he's made! LOl!