I recycled our old bunk beds to make four art dolls in all while the course was running; but there was still wood left so while the weather was fine and dry I cut myself more girls that I planned to decorate over the winter.
Perdita, Queenie and Hazel like to chat, but Miss Homebody, my fourth doll, has to have a shelf all her own!
Now I have completed my fifth doll who I call, The Frost Maiden.
She is to form part of my Russian themed Christmas decorations this year. Twenty-eight years ago Mr Magpie and I were married and we chose to go to Russia for our honeymoon! We were there over the Christmas period and I think it was the most magical time I've ever known! Glittering icons, snow-capped cupolas - and everywhere pictures of Father Frost and the mysterious Frost Maiden!
I created a face for my Frost Maiden very early on in the process of making her. I wanted her to have sad, grey eyes and the lovely high cheekbones that so many beautiful, Russian women have. Her kerchief under her 'little house in the woods' head-piece is inspired by the vivid floral head-scarves I remember from our Russian stay.
Another memory of Russia is the array of beautifully decorated, colourful Matryoshka dolls - the one above is a charm from Retro Cafe Art Gallery - that were on sale as souvenirs - and the tiny lacquer boxes that illustrated folk and fairy tales on their lids. I wanted my doll to reflect these jewel-like colours. I used scraps of paper - gifts from my good friends, Etsuko from Japan and Sue and Dominique Wild. My Frost Maiden does glitter, but this is difficult to capture in a photo.
As you can see, the snow-flakes dance about her stockings made from Shaved Ice Frantage! The Russian story tells of an elderly couple who lived deep in the woods and longed for a child. Father Frost took pity on them and created a daughter for them, fashioned from the ice and snow and left her near their humble cottage.
The Frost Maiden came to love her 'foster' parents as much as her poor, cold little icicle heart could, but when she saw lovers riding through the woods, she longed to know what real human love would be like!
Every day she grew more lovely: her dresses were made from blue-grey clouds, and diamond snow-flakes glinted in the folds. One day a shepherd lad saw her and declared his love for the Frost Maiden. She so wanted to return it. She called on the Spring Goddess and asked how she might acquire a warm heart. If she wanted to love, the Spring Goddess said, she would need courage! She could grant her wish; but it would mean that she would eventually melt away to nothing: a human heart would make her mortal.
The Frost Maiden felt that no sacrifice could be too great to make for love, so she agreed to have her icicle heart replaced with a warm human heart. She knew a brief period of love with her shepherd; but as the Spring burst into life and the small birds began to sing in the trees she melted away in her lover's arms. Father Frost is not entirely cruel, though, he granted that every year the Frost Maiden should be allowed to return to the human world in all her icy beauty to spend a little while with the kind parents and the shepherd who had loved her.
Thank you so much for stopping by Magpieheaven as we make our way into winter. May you stay warm and safe and creative whatever the weather.