The other day I was having a bad day. Don't worry, nothing serious, but I was feeling rather sorry for myself. The kind of day where you are instantly a small child who stamps their feet and declares life to be "unfair". The sort of day where you feel like nobody likes you, everybody hates you and you might as well go into the garden to eat worms.
Yup, I was having a big fat sulk.
When you are self-employed, unfortunately those days happen. Come to think of it, those days happen no matter what your working life may be. They just happen.
But not everybody gets to be cheered up the way that I was. Because in my cranky-pants state of mind I opened an email from doll maker Colleen Harvey. And these pictures are what I found:
These are images of Colleen Harvey's 2012 Hoffman Challenge entry, entitled "Surprise".
And what a delightful surprise this doll was. Meant to mark both the 25th anniversary of the Hoffman Challenge and Colleen H's own 25th wedding anniversary, this doll instantly lifted me from the dumps.
Colleen told me that she has used my Treasures of the Deep pattern as a jumping off point for her design. Here is what Colleen said:
"I learned so much from working with your pattern and I have even more respect now for your talent as a designer after making this doll! I tried designing my own doll first and it was such a disaster I decided it'd be much better to use your pattern and modify it as needed. Two of the three dolls I've made so far have been from your Treasures of the Deep pattern, and I feel that I've gotten so far in this short of time because of what a great pattern you've created. My one fear is that using your pattern may have ruined me for ever designing one of my own!"
Well heck, you just can't stay grumpy when you find such effusive praise in your inbox, accompanied by such beautiful images of a gorgeous doll.
And despite Colleen H's fears that my pattern may have spoiled her forever, I think the innovative assembly and beautiful design of that cake base which is the sole brainchild of the very talented Colleen Harvey tells me that Colleen can look forward to a wonderful future in designing her own dolls from top to tail. Don't you think?
And just when I thought that my Fairy Dollmother had finished with me for the day, I got an e-mail from doll maker and blogger, Karen Mallory. And guess what?
Despite using the same pattern as a jumping off point, Karen had created a very different doll complete with a Victorian style bustle, hat and nipped-in waist. Karen, a woman after my own heart, used historical fashion as her inspiration.
Karen was actually one of three testers who originally tested the Treasures of the Deep pattern for me and helped me to make the pattern what it is today. So I guess I owe Karen double thanks for her services as a pattern tester and for being one of the two very special doll makers who made my day.
Thank you Colleen and Karen.