People seeing my dolls at art fairs often ask "What are they for?"
I guess I thought it was "so obvious" that I never spelled it out for myself, and I assumed the someone asking this wasn't sympathetic enough with the dolls or me to be a genuine buyer. I would laugh off the question with a glib answer - "Oh they're just pretties".
However increasingly I believe that I am selling myself short, and diminishing the importance and impact these "pretties" have for my true customers - the people that love my dolls - or my potential true customers. I need to be able to elucidate the answer.
So what are they for?
Well they ARE pretties, but not "just" pretties. They are decorative objects to beautify your environment and inspire loving thoughts.
Living with beauty, living with things that give you the pleasant tingle of aesthetic appreciation, enhances your whole life.
Does food taste better from a nice plate? I know top chefs believe that to be true. Does the heft of a beautifully balanced knife make chopping easier? Does the fragrance of a lovely candle in a pretty jar add charm to your day? Will the pleasant musk or lavender of one of my Wish Doll pillows will remind you of the wish or dream that the doll itself inspired?
Aesthetic appreciation starts with the senses but then moves on to the imagination. My dolls are beautiful in different ways to each person. I have noticed that people will be drawn to one doll in particular. It reminds them of someone, or of themselves. They like the colors, or the charms.
These people, my customers, find a special meaning in the doll that starts with seeing the pretty, and then takes them into their imagination.
Some people have called their doll their "totem". Since these are not living beings, then the meaning must be "a distinctive, often venerated, emblem or symbol." (Dictionary. com).
Wow. These folks are seeing the doll as an emblem or symbol of something beautiful and good in themselves. Perhaps they are aspirational. I imbue my dolls with positive intentions, often expressed in the charms - Live, love, laugh; Friendship; Hope; Presence. I see them as representing mindfulness.
So how to use them, how to display them?
Recently I have responded to a sense that people wanted help with that, and I've been custom embellishing doll stands to match each doll. These make it easier to place the doll in a free standing situation, instead of having to lean her on the wall by the mantle, or the window frame, or - as many people report - the side of their computer by their workstation.
I encourage you to go further than simply having them in your background but to use them intentionally. Periodically consider, or even meditate on the thoughts and reasons you have for liking her, what drew you to her in the first place. The dolls don't so much have lessons for you, but hold a key to unlock you inner knowledge. So your doll can be a facilitator for your own wisdom.
Perhaps she reminds you of a family member who has a lovely saying that inspires you. Perhaps the color combinations help you spring into a delightful memory. Perhaps her motto is a goal for your life - a motivator. Perhaps she will inspire you to forgive someone, perhaps yourself.
Another way to use your doll is to inspire conversations. Your friends might see the pretty, or they might be such a kindred soul that they see the meaning in the totem.
I hope your doll brings more love, more pleasure, more mindfulness into your life.