I Made This is a weekly blog series that features makers from around the world and aims to talk about the things we are proud of; of the objects we make that have meaning to us and the journey we take to make them.
This week's I Made This comes to us all the way from Minnesota in the US of A. I met the lovely Brienne a couple of years ago when I was lucky enough to share a cabin with a few years ago at Squam. I'm totally in love with her style and her willingness to experiment and make stuff up. Brienne has such an incredible way of putting things together. She shares her successes (and her not-so-sucesses) at her blog By Brienne, she has an etsy shop and you can find her on instagram at @bemoody.
I made this deer last June. I remember the weekend that I made it - it was very rainy. We had hiked in the morning over many slippery, mossy rocks. We had an early lunch that included a bit of wine. When we got home, still encouraged by the morning walk and by the wine, I settled in and began to work on this deer alongside my daughter.
I make mostly garments and handbags but I’ve always been drawn to soft sculpture. Over the years I’ve learned to appreciate a professionally finished seam and a well-fitting, handmade dress. I sew on my machine every day and I have knitting in my hands at all times. In fact, as I write this, all I can think of is my unfinished sweater sitting just inches away from my fingers...
I’m most inspired, though, by the things that show the hand that made them. But I don’t do “hand making” as much as I like. So the deer was a stretch for me. It is all hand-sewn and is made in such a way that the hand sewing is featured. There is no hiding your mistakes. I did all of the stitching and my daughter did all of the stuffing.
The children were so eager to get her in their hands that I allowed them to play with her for several days undressed and with one leg.
I think that her knitted shawl is backwards. Her left leg keeps falling off. I didn’t do the knots correctly when I finished a section. Still - she is the thing that I am most proud of making. And whenever I unearth her from under a pile of dress-ups or when my daughter clips her into an empty carseat to keep her safe on the road, I am reminded of the work that I did to animate her. And of the afternoon spent together with my daughter greedily stuffing her limbs.
I love her so much that I made a boy version of her this fall to give to my son for Christmas. And I have two babies stowed away to be given as a Valentines day treat. Thank you for having me, dear readers. May your next crafty stretch become your new obsession:)