After awhile, I needed to rid myself of some nervous energy, so I took up hand sewing. I appliqued strange, comical faces, and then turned them into pillow people. It was really satisfying and soothing to do. The first ones I ever made looked like this:
My husband liked them too. One night, while waiting in the ER we both took turns sketching plans for more:
After my mom passed, my husband got accepted to grad-school and we moved to Bloomington, IN, a happy town. It was winter when I finished moving and everything was gray, and cold. I had a small inheritance from my mom, so I didn't need to find a job right away, and I slowly fell into a deep depression. Taking care of my mom when she was very sick was difficult in all the ways you can imagine, but I loved it, and it made my life meaningful. Without her, I wasn't sure who I was or what I was supposed to be doing. It was a dark time. I watched bad tv and mindlessly clicked around on the internet. If it weren't for my dog needing walked, I probably would have never left the house.
This may sound bizarre, but for some reason, they were very healing to me. They are so strange and delightful. They were like nothing I had ever seen before and they made me want to start making things with my hands again. Then, I read up on the woman behind these creatures. She is a Cuban woman, her name is Elsita, and she is now living in LA with her two children and husband. She made these weird little guys after her son was diagnosed with autism.
Here is what she writes about them:
I have a rule: When things get too serious do something silly.
So I made them. I was so extremely sad when I found out about my son's disease
last week. Things got as serious as I have never ever experienced before in my life.
But honestly, that's all gone, gone with the wind. I am back now from all those dark places and I am here to celebrate life and love. My son is healthy, he is strong and energetic and he is different too which makes him unique. I love you Diego, I love you all little Dudes, and I love everything and everybody!!! Viva la vida!!!!
Elsita has a blog, and I probably read the whole thing in one day, and continued to read every post after that. She gave me the kick in the pants that I needed. I have never met her, but I do feel like I owe her so much for getting me out of my depression and motivating me to embrace life and making things again. Shortly after discovering these guys, I gave myself a mission. I was going to sew a "Pillow Monster" a day for 30 days. I was going to treat it like my job and see where it would take me. I really was just looking for a creative jump-start. To keep myself accountable, I was going to also keep a blog about what I made. I had no idea that 5 years later I would still be sewing dolls.