Monday, 29 May 2017

Take Flight - An Art Doll Cat

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven. Around 2 years ago I took an Artful Gathering class on line with the very inspiring Mary Jane Chadbourne. Named 'The Imaginarium, the anthology of an art doll', the class was a wonderful opportunity to learn all kinds of collage and mixed media techniques while creating free-standing art dolls. Now Mary Jane is running an encore class at Artful Gathering for students who might have missed it the first time around. Inspired by Mary Jane's beautiful wooden kits, I learned to cut my own wood shapes from our children's old bunk beds. Although I'm not on this current class, I wanted to re-visit the doll idea, but this time to explore some animal characters. Here is my first creation in memory of our cat, Daisy who we had to bid farewell earlier this year.

As Mary Jane will be teaching this class, I won't give step by step instructions on how I made an art doll. I would urge you to take one of Mary Jane's classes if you can. I would also like to tell you a little about the cat who inspired this creation. Daisy meant so much to all our family. She was the gentlest of cats, always there to offer us comfort. She was a good listener, the perfect, counsellor - always there for us through good times and tough times . Just stroking that little ginger head and hearing that extra loud purr helped get all our worries into perspective.

And in all the sixteen years we had her, Daisy never harmed a single bird. She would sit in a spot of garden sunlight and listen to birdsong without even a flick of her tail.

Now some might say this was laziness, but we preferred to see Daisy as a peace-loving feline. We reckoned she was the darling of the local bird population.

They certainly flocked happily to the bird-feeders without fear.

Daisy seemed as enchanted by bird-song as we were and she would lie on the grass with her eyes closed in ecstasy. We wondered if she ever dreamed of a world in which cats flew on tiny golden wings.

Daisy's last resting place was in the garden she loved. Both our children had taken the day off work to be there to say 'Goodbye' and as we lowered her tiny body into the earth the birds gathered in the trees around and seemed to be singing her a special hymn. 

Thank You so much for stopping by today and taking the time to look at my homage to a beloved pet. I wish you a lovely, creative week.


  1. Oh Julie Ann....Daisy must have been so special....I have never lived with a cat and am more than happy that she listened to birdsong and left them to their own, fascinating lives!
    I am so happy that you now have such a beautiful memorial to her! I, too, am imagining stroking her lovely ginger head and hearing her purr! Xx 😊

  2. Oh Julie Ann! It's several years since our cat died but this has brought such lovely memories back ! I think your Daisy must have been such a lovely cat - our Snowy was not so kind to birds! Big Hugs, Chrisx

  3. This is such a beautiful art cat, julie ann. I love the colours you have used and her beautiful face. I wish i had had a chance to meet Daisy before she died, and i remember that sad day she had to leave you all. She sounded a sweet little character. Mum had a chihuahua last week and now she wants one every week, i am having to explain not all the carers will have a pet.

    Lucy x

  4. Aww Julie this is beautiful...I love your cat and know how hard it is when we lose one of our pets...they are part of the family. Heres hoping your new little kitten gives you as much love xxx

  5. What a beautiful and so special post Julie Ann! I love reading about Daisy and her lack of interest in hurting the birds- I agree with you, she was content to hear their songs and be wooed by the birds not a killer kitty but a peaceful loving creature!How special and rare!
    Your tribute wooden kitty is beautiful and I am sure it holds some solace when you look at it-thinking about the wonderful years of love you shared with your furbaby!
    huge hugs,Jackie xx

  6. Just a little tear in the eye here Julie, this is an amazing piece of art, and an amazing cat too. Mine are also in the garden that they loved, and I still miss having them 'help' me craft. Happy memories xx

  7. Dear Julie,
    such a special friend, you had,I know she will be missed, and that you all treasure, the many merry and lovely memories you have as a family, from the years with Daisy. I love your wonderful own created memory ,of her, showing her love of birds, and her loving eyes. I`m sure she is now flying on golden wings, looking down and missing your loving company, just like you misses hers !! Dorthe, xxx

  8. Oh! this is wonderful memory of Daisy. So beautiful and great imagination of her, I can feel from the doll how much you loved her and the big things she gave to you. Really she is happy now!! xx


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