As a prelude to Mardi Gras (coming up on February 9 this year) and with a nod to the epicenter of Louisiana/New Orleans Voodoo, we are making voodoo dolls! To be specific, that's the collective we: you and we. Oui?
My family thinks I've gone around the bend and off the deep end, but they think that a lot. This little idea has blossomed into a bit more so read on...
Many years ago a friend jokingly gave me a voodoo doll as an outlet for my frustration over a boss that was ignorant and overbearing. They are both long-gone now, but something about making the doll has "stuck" with me over the years (pardon the pun).
And so, we're having a class.
It's the perfect beginner project for both machine sewing and hand stitching - especially showcasing our new Sajou embroidery floss and Merchant & Mills linen. And if you mess up, it doesn't really matter because it will just add to the "enchantment" of the doll! (Couldn't resist.)
Moreover, you can be tres creative with these - embroider them, add scraps of fabric or ribbon, beads, buttons, found objects, whatever.
Once I started down this path, of course, I began to second guess myself and wondered if folks wouldn't get the fun in it. So I decided to delve a little deeper into the subject.
Although voodoo dolls are now synonymous with Louisiana/New Orleans Voodoo and the cultural and spiritual folkways of the West African, French, Spanish and Creole populations of Louisiana, doll effigies date back to antiquity in many pagan religions of the world. In fact, according to one website, it was actually "cunning folk in Britain" who made witch dolls out of rags and other materials and then pierced them with pins with the intention of inflicting physical harm.
I also discovered that in Louisiana/New Orleans Voodoo they have a lesser-known figurine called a hoodoo doll which, instead of imparting ill-will, breaking spells and/or seeking revenge, this doll serves a conduit for sending good wishes - like karma.
Thus was born Bolt & Spool's Karma Doll. She serves as a visual aid in sending good wishes and positive karma to someone.
Taking this one step further (and probably TMI):
I visit my alternative medicine people on a semi-regular basis and they always talk about qi, prana, chi, or our life or energy force that moves through specific nodes, chakras or meridian channels in our bodies. There are seven major chakras and each is associated with a physical and an emotional component. When one or more chakra is not in balance it depletes our vitality.
I married this knowledge with my yoga instructor's directive at the beginning of class a couple of weeks ago (...plug here for YogaRoots in Cleveland Heights and their upcoming chakra workshop!!!). She said, "as we get started today, focus on your intention for this practice on something you'd like to work on or simply focus on 'I am enough.''' (Read more about setting intentions here.)
Thus was born Bolt & Spool's Chakra or Zen Doll. She serves as a visual aid in your personal healing or growth journey by setting intentions for specific chakra centers. (Read more about chakra energy here.) Zen doll is similar, but she can be used to help regulate your breath in preparation for meditation as you place your focus just below your navel at the origin of your breath.
Hopefully you can make it to our class on Saturday, February 6th at 10am.
Sign up to make one of these darling dolls here. Not into black magic with a voodoo doll? Send good intentions to someone with the karma doll. Or...if you are in need of healing, make the chakra or zen doll!
You will be sewing on the sewing machine and learning a few simple embroidery stitches in this class. We will have everything ready for you when you arrive, including king cake and mardi gras beads! You will leave with your beads, your doll, three decorative straight pins (not the ones pictured!) and the pattern to make more for your friends!
Call me crazy, but I just went with it.
As they say, "laissez les bons temps rouler!