Friday, April 13, 2012

Esther's Examples ~ The Birth of an Idea

I've been sewing like a mad woman over the last few weeks...Spring Break slowed me down considerably...but it was worth it!

About 4 weeks ago my brain hit on an idea that has taken on a life of it's own.  I've had such an explosion of ideas in connection with the original, I'm barely sleeping...

Esther is the little girlie in the middle in the pretty fairy hair.  She was my first doll that I've made since I was about 14 or 15.  She is the star of my new project here on the blog.

Elise has hit another sticky patch.  She is having a lot of behavior problems again, due in the most part to Sensory Issues and Communication Issues.  I am trying desperately give her a voice and base that can help her.

There is an idea out there in the special needs community that pictures can stand in for words, in preparing a child for experiences, helping them find "words" that others can understand, in allowing them to express themselves without having to "explain" takes many formal forms, usually in a very simplistic form: stick figures, quick drawings, generic black and white prints. 

Elise likes pretty things.  (Don't we all?)  She already utilizes dolls as "Activity Support" in that she uses them as a few extra votes for things that she wants to do against her siblings and me.  And it occurred to me that I could use them as "votes" in the activities I wanted to see her attempt, do, and avoid.

I was going to do it for Elise and myself.  I was going to get a "Little Elise" doll that I was going to utilize for us, privately.  Then I realized with a shock, that it may not be just my child.  And thought maybe, I'd try for a book...and then thought that if I needed it yesterday, then maybe others might, too.  And I decided to make an attempt at a good, old-fashioned serial.  I am going to aim for once a week...but definitely every 2 weeks.  And I am going to make picture stories of some behaviors that we need to make a point with Elise....and these lovely dollies are going to be my helpers.

My "Special" dollies have the rainbow fairy hair.  My "Typical" dollies have standard hair colors.  There is a Mommy and the other adult is going to play the part of teacher, doctor, therapist, and random needed adult.  There may be new friends added as needed.  But this is where we start.

Since I hope to one day put together a book of my serials, I needed the stars to be original.  They are my own patterns, made exclusively by me, on brown paper bags.  Their clothes will be as well.  I am still working out the brass tacks of their "set" of their adventures and activities.  But I am sure that I will have to wrestle those needs out myself, too, to achieve the goal of being copyright independent.  (Keep in mind, My Lovelies, this brainstorm is protected by intellectual copyright laws!)
This project has been named "Esther's Examples".  Esther will be exhibiting our goals with her friends. 

Esther was not randomly named.  I wanted to have an "E" name, because Elise is hyper aware when names start with the same letter as her own.  I needed her to identify with the star.  I wanted the doll to have a unique name she was unlikely to run into at school.  And Esther is my very favorite Bible story.  Despite the fact that God is unnamed in the entire book of the Bible, you can see his influence in the entire story. 

Also, in this project I am hoping to mediate many of my fears and worries for my child.  It smacks of  one of my favorite quotes from The Patriot, "Stay the course."  Which is what I feel like I am doing most of the time.  One foot, in front of the other...doing the best I can, inch by inch.  Mediating.  Mediating.  Mediating.  And beautifully enough, the symbol of the the quote in the movie, was a star necklace.  Star.  Which is what Esther means.  Could it be anymore meant to be??

I believe that my next post will be show-casing each doll.  And then, "Washing Hands" will be my first serial.  A sink is giving me fits, but I think I've finally got it worked out in my to make it!

And so...Stay Tuned.  And pray for this project?  Please?  I think it could be really good.