Strongheart Medicine Doll

I made my first Strongheart medicine doll a few years ago when my dear friend was having romantic trouble.  I wanted to remind her that her heart was strong and would always be able to bounce back from whatever breaks it endured.  I made it wild and whimsical but very durable with button feet and felt arms.  She was enchanted by it, but when she was mad she was able to whack it or toss it across the room and have some catharsis.

Since then, I’ve made a series of them, following the same basic design, but each different as the hearts they are made to help.  Here is the latest one I made for my young doll maker friend, from start to finish.

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STRONG HEART STORY

Sometimes we all feel that our hearts are weak and easily broken.  I believe the heart is strong and will always lead you back to a place of contentment and happiness.  There is a bit of whimsy, wildness and adventure coursing through every human heart.   So it’s only natural to sometimes get into situations that are uncomfortable and even painful.

This Strongheart Doll was made to remind you of the heart’s true nature.  It’s a one of a kind unbreakable work of art – shake it up, squeeze it tight or throw it across the room.  When you’re ready to hold it close again, it’ll be there for you – strong and happy and ready for the next adventure.

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Young Dollmaker

My friend Mary’s grandaughter Maggie came to visit Portland.  She is 12 and already an accomplished dollmaker.  I was very impressed by the fact that she was hand-sewing her creation.  I loaned her my two books on sock dolls — Stupid Sock Creatures by John Murphy and Socks Appeal by Brenna Maloney.

I decided to make her one of my Strongheart dolls.  I met her on Monday and we had dinner again on Saturday.  She’d made 6 dolls and I’d made the one.

She whip stitches the figures together.  I backstitch with the idea that  my dolls should never unravel.  Either way we had a great time  sharing our dolls.

Maggie's dolls
Maggie's Dolls
Joy & Maggie play dolls
Joy & Maggie play dolls

Then we traded — A Strongheart for Raspberry the Spotted Owl

Raspberry the Spotted Owl
Raspberry the Spotted Owl
Strongheart
Strongheart

It was a wonderful experience at play and enjoying the company of a budding fabric artist.   Next post I’ll write about the series of Strongheart dolls I’m making.

Check out the sock books, too.  Both are very whimsical but I love the way Brenna Maloney writes about her craft.  Maggie said she sounds like one of her friends — chatty, informative and very funny!