Saturday, November 16, 2013

Keep it Simple

The Spirit of Christmas is a slippery thing.
I sometimes look for it in the shopping and baking and wrapping
but it is not there. I listen for it in the tolling of the Church bells, announcing the Birth of the Savior, in the voices raised in Caroling.
Please let me find it. Please let me feel it.
I have had recent conversation with this Fey, who has a watch vial of red glitter in a pouch on her personage.
"Is that Magic Glitter?" I asked her.
She shrugged her shoulders.
I wanted to shake her into confirmation, to make her speak, to tell me that "YES!" This will bring that sensation of feathers around your heart. The sweet Magic of Christmas." But she wouldn't talk.
Later that Night I had a dream.
I was dressed as a Fey, and I could Fly.
My Body was filled with Light and Energy.
My Spirit was buoyant, and I had a wand.
I could see my own Heart, broken from the loss of our Beloved Dog, Albert.
The Magic Fey Flitted about me, mosquito like, darting about.
"Simple," she kept saying the word "Simple."
So this year I will find Magic in what is Simple. Not in spending Tons of money, baking until I drop, or decorating like a department store. Pushing until I have no vision for magic or spirit or anything short of a Lightening bolt to electrify my tired and Broken heart.
That is what the Magic fey is about. Simple really.
Just Magic in the Simple.
The Magic fey is made of muslin and has been coffee dyed baked and painted. She has cloth covered wire arms and legs that have been painted and glittered.
She does have a watch vial of glitter in a pouch hanging at her side, but let it be a reminder to just keep it Simple.
Take care of yourself.
Peace out.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The LaSt LeaF fALLS


The Last Leaf falls,
and the Makers begin their weaving of the Moss Thread.
The looms of the Oak branches, bent with the weight, woven with Moss, spider webs, and Moonlight, yield a fabric of Magic.
You should see them there,
shuttles flying,
Fireflies flying,
bats flying.
A Night Heron eyes their work, feet ankle deep in the mossy creek,
a curious spectator.
If you are lucky, you will see the remains in the woods where they have worked,
lichen covering the rocky places.
Moss sponging the rotted wood.
Here is the MossThread Night Fey.
A weaver of the Moss Thread Magic.
She is made of Muslin and has a collaged dress of bits and bobs. Her wings are printed velveteen and MossThread. She is 15.5 inches tall.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Good News!!!!!

You know when folks say "No news is GOOD News?"
Well that has never been particularly true for me.
I have been away from my blog this summer...quite a lot.
There are times when life has more troubles then other times when things are going pretty good.
You understand that I am sure.
And then for me,
There are times when I am so overwhelmed by problems that are Chronic,
that I just get worn down and loose my perspective.
I get anxious and don't sleep good.
I know I should I don't sleep well, but I didn't.
I am not alone in all of these things, struggles and troubles, but that doesn't mean that every post has to be about sometimes I just don't post.
But today I have GOOD NEWS.
I have been Published in Stampington's Holidays and Celebrations!
They asked me to submit my Haunted House, and I did...
They accepted it.
Its here on page 80.
I wrote a story and everything.

I will say that it means a lot to be amongst such a talented group of artists, and to be published...well, that's a life goal of mine.
I will also be in Prims, another of Stampington's publications.

I am not sure what page I am on as I do not have the mag yet but I am IN THERE SOME WHERE!!!!

So I wanted to share with you this bit of GOOD NEWS!!!
In a world where good news is harder to find then good fishing worms, its a Celebration!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Trudy Fey

"When did this all get to be so very, terribly serious?" asks Trudy, wielding a rusted Bottle cap flower wand.
She eyes me with concern, her mouth dancing sideways.
"You have misplaced your SILLY," she gasps, recognizing my apparent deficit.
I do not have an opportunity to respond, cognitive slowing, evidently.
I do not have a chance to get a word in.
Trudy has already waved her wand at me,
casting her best silly spell, and in response I...
I emit a bubble of a giggle.
A burp of a chuckle.
A lightness, like feathers around my heart.
"Thanks Trudy," I say with some relief, my cognition coming up to speed.
"I needed that."
Trudy is a Fey from the Land of the Baggaraggs.
She is made of coffee dyed muslin, and pink gingham. Her trims are vintage, except her wings which are cut from a child's pinafore. She has painted, cloth covered wire arms and legs.
She is 14 inches tall and has a loop for hanging.
She also sports a rusted and painted bottle cap wand. Perfect for banishing heavy thoughts and cognitive slowing. (DEPRESSION, in other words.)
Be silly!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Summer Letter

Dear Friends of the Baggaraggs.
The summer rains have come, and the cycle of thunderstorms have arrived. I'd like to say that's about it, dust my hands together in a gesture of "DONE!"
but really that would  not be true.
I am not sure how to write about what is happening here in the Land of the Baggaraggs. Maybe I will just borrow a line from one of my Favorite movies "Star Wars" and say "There is a disturbance in the Force."
I will spare you the gory details, but in truth I am worried about my family. 
 I have made mistakes in parenting, I'd like to add the caveat that most parents do, but somehow I think that makes mine look insignificant.
They are NOT.
I am reaching for greater honesty.
Reaching for the courage and strength to try to free myself of old patterns in my family of origins.
I would like to suffer less, and I would like my children to be free of any suffering I have created for them.
I am working hard to try to pave a way, an emotionally safe avenue for my children to work out past STUFF with me.
I am holding out my hand and my heart...trusting that I will have the strength to endure the pain of what needs to be said, and face my own shortcomings as a Mother.
So the summer thunderstorms have come,
Bringing some potentially healing thunder and emotive lightening with it.
And so on the Fourth of July,
I would like to invite you to your Own Independence day.
A day Independent of Fear.
One Independent of Old Grief, and sadness.
A Celebration of greater Honesty with your family, courage and tenacity to untie old knots,
and patience to listen to each other. Hear each other.
And greater Love.
May all beings be free from suffering.
In love, Robin
PS How is your summer going?

Saturday, June 29, 2013


It is a time of summer storms. Rain and greening. The grass grow faster then I can mow it. The lichen and mosses and tiny bits of verdant green cover everything, mossy fingers that reach out in tropical chaos. The plants do not grow so much as they hurtle upward toward the sun.
She is almost a part of the landscape. Our Enid. I see her for a moment, a glimpse of her face there among the gingers, by the creek. She smiles and shows me her bouquet of rag flowers. and then with a flit of wings and a flutter, she is gone.
I hope you find magic this summer. Something to stir you to wonder after it rains.
Enid is a fey. Made of muslin, and scraps of fabric, some vintage. her wings are made from a vintage quilt. Her arms and legs are painted cloth covered wire.
Enid is about 9.5 inches tall.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Seaside Angel

It is some years ago now, a summer of grief.
I swam daily in the gulf, my tears over the loss of a deep love, mingling with the waves.
I know I was swimming out too far, way over my head.
I could not touch the bottom of the sea, or my sadness. I knew I was in danger, but I did not care.
I heard a distant call from the beach, someone calling my daughter's name "Amanda."
It was this name and perhaps the frantic note that alerted me, as my daughter was not with me that day, I swam alone.
Perhaps it was the nudge of an angel, that made me turn back to shore, look over my shoulder to see her.
A little girl, maybe 5 years old...well over her head too, gasping and struggling as her Mother shouted from the shore.
I see her little head disappear under the waves and a shock goes through me.
I swim, already winded, though this matters not to me now.
I grab her arm. She surfaces, her little face drawing breath in a gasp.
I drag her to the shore, where her Mother, hip deep in the surf, snatches her from me, weeping, and angry.
I am spent now, but so is a part of my grief.
This brush with danger, this covering of angel wings has saved me from drowning too.
This Seaside Angel is a memory of that time and for someone who is recovering from a grief.
May she protect you, or just remind you to protect yourself!.
She is 12 inches tall, and is not pleased with your recklessness.
and this is actually a true story.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The painted lady Butterfly Fey.

I had to call my daughter this morning.

She's in Seattle.
My story maker had taken a break, I'd like to think not a break down, but none the less,
was in a deep sleep.
I woke her up, it seems that my story maker wasn't the only thing who was sleeping.
I told her that I needed help.
A different perspective on a story for a doll named the Painted Lady.
I described her, and I said that it looked like she had been out all night dancing in glitter,
we talked about places a person could go to have this experience...dancing in a field of Glitter.
That is how the story was born.
A Collaborative effort...
I hope your wishes come true,
and even if they don't...
I hope we all get the chance or make the experience of a night filled with dancing in a field or meadow of places where the shooting stars have landed, and planted their wishes.
Maybe if you can't make your own wish come true,
you could pick up someone else's wish and grant theirs.

The Painted Lady Butterfly Fey

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

No mistakes!

Some folks have asked me at times
"Why do you coffee dye your dolls?
And why do you bake them?

There are a lot of methods for aging primitive creations.
You can find recipes for making your dolls look primitive or old, all over the internet.

I like strong coffee for this process of aging. and usually use it hot and right from the same pot that I am drinking from.

It takes a little bit of nerve to pour it over your freshly made creation...
and I sometimes think..."OH NOOOOO!"
"I've ruined it."
and truthfully, in the shaping process and rinsing process that occurs afterward, I try to redeem some of the colors that get muted.
I literally hold the face under the kitchen spigot and rinse it...and shape the neck and clothing. Wringing it out to get the extra fluid out...
I place the doll FACE DOWN on aluminum foil.
into an oven at 325 degrees.
I like to think and I do BELieVE that baking them gives them something I cannot.
It infuses them
with an unknown.
Turns them over to an in between where my hand creates and that of the unknown,
 where I think Magic happens.
In the TWEEN,
something Happens. I cannot explain it to you...other than to use these words...they are all that I have.
I trust this process.
When I paint the face,
and lay down the first color of complexion,
The coffee migrates to form a halo around the face itself.
Framing the chin, the eyes and so forth.

Be fearless.
There are no mistakes.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Butterfly Boss

Vivian butterfly Fey Vivian butterfly Fey Vivian butterfly Fey Vivian butterfly Fey
The butterflies are very busy this spring.
I have not weeded my front garden yet and the Bidens attract the Zebra Longwings.
I think I may leave them, even though most folks consider them to be weeds.
I will consult my resident Butterfly fey, Vivian.
"I say, Vivian?"
Vivian is directing Butterfly traffic, buzzing about, zipping here and there.
"I've got an open Porter weed here," she yells to a monarch, who is apparently waiting to dine.
I can see this is not the best time for consultation with Vivian.
Butterfly Boss.
Vivian is made of muslin and calico. Her legs and arms are tulle. her trims are vintage. She has moss ribbon wings that are layered with vintage silk leaves, and butterfly vellum. There are tiny bells hanging from her waist.
She has been coffee dyed, baked and painted.
Vivian is 8 inches tall.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Winnie Fey

The mornings are still cool here in the Baggaraggs. Albert and I are up early and take the path behind the house to wander down the way. The birds are so busy, flittering about in the early light of day. I stop to watch them and see who is a visitor and who is a resident.
Albert waits for me, looking back, his brown eyes questioning, a gentle smile on his dog face.
I see them now. The Fey.
They have gathered for a spring wedding, all who attend carry a Bouquet of Rags.
That's right: Bouquets of Rags,
and they are just lovely. All the stolen scraps from the floor of my sewing room made into a lovely bouquet.
I catch Winnie's eye and she smiles a little at me.
I smile back.

Winnie is made of muslin, and fabric scraps with a tulle skirt. her wings are upholstery fabric, vintage corsage leaves, and her lace crown is vintage. She has wire arms and legs. There are bits of moss ribbon on her wings and feet.
Her Rag Bouquet has been assembled from the tiny scraps lovingly gathered from the floor of the studio.
She has been coffee dyed, baked and painted. She is 13 inches tall.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Happy day from Dorthe!

I know I have been away for a bit.
I have been working hard none the less and may soon have good news to share with you. 
I am not sure if I am supposed to talk about it, so I will try to keep a clamp on my lips until I know.
hard for me to keep a secret of my own. I am a big blabber mouth.
Meanwhile I can show you what my lovely friend and soul sister across the sea (as we call each other) in Bornholm, Denmark sent ME.
 I love, LOVE, LOVE getting packages from her. She calls them packets. I love that too. She is a sweet and generous person. Dear to me. You will find the link to her Blog at the top right corner of my blog. She is, as you may know, a fabulous doll maker.
Ok so here is what I came home and FOUND!

Oh sweet Giggles.

I opened it up.
Beautifully wrapped up...I am doing the excited dance....

and look at this fabulous package of BITs and BOBS!!!! I am near to swooning!

I can't wait to dive into this...imagination OVERLOAD!
Take a look at this beautiful COLLAGE!
I love bird stuff. (wonder why,
huh ROBIN?) and LOOK at these beautiful things. Sweet with the smell of Lavender. That's my favorite scent.
Thank you DORTHE!!!!!!!! Love you Dear one!

Oh and coming soon: a face tutorial on how I do my faces.
Peace out!

Monday, February 25, 2013


Tupelo follows the Path back to where the Butterflies congregate, back by the Bidens and the Tupelo tree, a black gum growing out back there. The bees hum the air and buzz by, speed mad in a desperate search for nectar. A Monarch, lands upon her arms, resting a bit, resting a while in the sweet sunlight that filters through the trees.
Tupelo is made of muslin and purple polka dot cotton. Her trims are vintage and there is moss thread sewn into her wool hair. A butterfly perches on her arms, held like a posey. Her wings are made from a child's quilt. She has been coffee dyed, baked and painted.
Tupelo has a lazy and sweet smile.
She is 11 inches tall and 7 inches wide.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The First Baggaraggs Bird Purse

So, there are so many times I just need an extra pocket, or what I am wearing has no pocket at all, and I want one to carry my Glasses, my keys, Ipod, my phone. WHATEVER.
I have as a result , created this Fabo Bird purse!
I have made myself quite a few and folks seem to like them...I thought maybe you would too.
This bird is completely lined, sewn with my trusty Elna in a 5 thread chain stitch over lock, and is made from a rust colored upholstery fabric. It is lined inside with heart fabric, so your hand will get some LOVE when you reach inside.
Well, that's the idea anyway.
There is a buckle on her wing that doubles in design as the purse flap to close it.
The usuable pocket of the bird is 6x6 inches. It is meant to be worn across the chest, and sits at the hip or ribs, depending how tall you are. The strap is 22 inches long on ONE SIDE. In total 44 inches. The strap itself is made of canvas duck, fininshed with a 5 thread chain stitch over lock too.
Her beak is burlap, and her primary wing is made from a vintage quilt scrap.
Buttons are vintage.
She has a black tassel tail.
Peace out!

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Fishes Tears

I quietly sat and read to the Fish,
and much they marveled at the Dish
of Keats,
They Leapt and gulped the air,
(Where is the sea bound catapult that slings you from the depths, I thought)
And from my rock seat saw them gather or
and round my throne,
they waggled their tails and mouths agape,
waited as I turned the page.
Keats they Loved and yearned for more,
Schools of silver, arrows launched from faraway, gathered to listen,
to tickle one an other's sides with fins of slimy transparent hides.
But as I explained his tragical death, their
leaping ceased, and how they wept!
Their tears,
 they flowed,
the ocean rose, and planted there upon my rocky throne
 I watched the tide of their despair.
And soon the shoreline disappeared, high tide it was and more I feared
these crazy fish would drown us all,
They wept and Wept!
And  then a minuscule crab,
 clothed in brown
sideways comes to quiet them down.
quietly stifles their tears and sobs,
sends them off into the depths,
 those Keats adoring, literate pets.
And the tide recedes, it backs away,
I am left understanding this day:
The Table of Tides and the Fishes tears,
Finally explained after all these years.

robin ridener2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Last year's curious crop
(the people of my mind)
have all been born.
carried into the world on a wave of thread and paint,
cloth and crochet,
lace and love.
The urgency of the maker leaves me now.
resting in the chilling hours,
sleeping long among the untidy bundles at the pedal of the Thread Pusher,
donning her nightgown and yawning loudly,
resting in the chilling hours.
 She sleeps.
and like a child who stands beside a parent's bed,
who hestitates to wake a Mother from a slumber,
my restless fingers poke the sleeping maker,
my imaginary friend.
"Lie STill," she says, "Rest!"
I fear its "Rust," say I. Knowing that fear will not wake the spring.
not wake the sleeping maker,
I must honor the waiting.
I wait to sew the curious crop.
(The people of my mind.)
They will be carried into the world
on a wave of thread and paint,
cloth and crochet,
lace and love.

Robin Ridener 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chilling Hours

Not unlike the fruit trees that lie dormant far North of the Baggaraggs,
I too am dormant at this time of year.
After the initial serge of witches and bats and Halloween hats, to the final push of Christmas whimsy,
I now rest in chilling hours.  Like an apple tree. They require any number of Chill hours from 200 to 1000 hours. (Chilling unit in agriculture is a metric of a plant's exposure to chilling temperatures.) They require this time to set fruit and be productive again......

I am coming to trust this concept...that it is a natural part of my creative cycle. I am not saying that I like it. I am learning to honor it though and not fear it. It does not mean that I will not create, or that my gift has gone away.
It means I am resting.
I push and this is what I have made...
but it is not easily done

They sleep, waiting for faces.
Their feet will soon dance!!!
Hoping you are happy in your resting as Well...
Robin of Baggaraggs