Mad In Pursuit Notebook

Doll #5: Nadita, Queen of the Negative


1.22.2014. Nadita is a service doll. Trying to be creative? Trying to do something crafty or inventive or just plain thoughtful but the brain chatter -- the inner critics -- won't stop? This came up yesterday when the participants in my online quilting class started posting their diligent attempts at free-motion quilting. So many were fretting and pointing out every little swerve and deviation. I contributed mine:

Quilt block 1.2 done. I don't mind a certain dreamy off-kilterness... I float, I glide, I space out. I allow the energy of the universe to move the me-quilt. But it's those hiccuppy jagged twitches I can't stand. It's like the shoulder troll (you know the one, who tells you everything you do is crap) -- it's like that shoulder troll gives my guiding hand a kick just to prove he's right. Begone, shoulder troll!

The teacher gave me an "LOL" and suggested I make a Shoulder Troll doll to stick pins in when he misbehaved. Great idea! But when I got down to the task last night, the Shoulder Troll wasn't quite what I needed. I needed a doll to take those negative thoughts AWAY, not kick my hand.

Challenge: how FAST can I conjure up what I need? Maybe I could do a sock monkey sort of a thing.

I started with a worn pair of socks, a small jar from the recycle bin, a stick, and a knit craft-show dust-mop cover that I never used and has been falling off the shelf in my studio for months. I filled the jar with dry kidney beans. Then I stuffed her sock-head with Poly-fil, wrapped a rubber band around the opening, put the head on my stick and poked the stick through her knit shift. She looked goofy without arms, so I sewed up a hotdog-shape and stuffed that. The sock cuff provided her with a turtleneck (to hide the rubber band).

This morning I gave her a yarn wig and painted her face. Her costume is fastened with safety pins right now and if she's turned over the beans will fall out. But long-suffering Nadita says, "Oh, that's all right. I really haven't done anything to deserve a better outfit yet. I've been so lazy." By the way, Nadita is Spanish for "little nothing."

I wrote out some of my negatives and pinned them to her head. I want them to look like chattering thought bubbles -- snarky remarks from the Shoulder Troll and other critics -- and the pins lend a nice voodoo touch. The idea is to transfer my own no-can-do nuggets to her at the outset of a work session (or maybe when I reach a frustration point), then solemnly walk her out of the room, out of my sight. A ritual. Some projects may require several trips to banish additional messages to her shrine. She has a nice big pocket in her dress. Maybe there I can store my "library" of favorite self-scolding and self-restraining blurbs, to be readily available, as needed. Gosh, a library of negativity... how depressing. But writing them out to Nadita -- maybe that will get rid of some forever.