Longtime blog followers will remember when I began drawing trouble dolls several years ago . It started out on a whim when I drew my sister’s childhood worry doll, LeeLee (legendary in our family) in what I thought was a one-off illustration. But it quickly turned into a bit of an obsession. A succession of illustrations, watercolors (which always include musical instruments in the illustrations) and even the making of actual trouble dolls soon followed. Trouble doll making sessions became contagious and even spread into a teacher friend’s classroom as she turned it into a school project for her third grade kids (chronicled here on the blog). My sister and I turned making trouble dolls into a project we took with us to last year’s Newport Folk fest as well, and I continue to produce new trouble doll illustrations and related items. Most recently, I released the first in a series of Trouble Doll illustration greeting cards.
In short, trouble doll art has become a huge part of my life in the past years. There is something infectious about them. Trouble dolls are meaningful to me in many ways: they are symbolic of taking away worries, which is so valid in an era where stress is rampant in our society; they are a physical piece of art that embodies folklore from another culture, of which I have a deep interest in; and at the very basic level they are just so tiny and cute that simply looking at them brings smiles to faces. I find myself slip into a state of cathartic happiness when I am painting and drawing them. Constructing an actual trouble doll is meditative and a big stress reliever.
In putting together the whole package that comes with the trouble doll greeting cards, I decided that with each order I would send a thank you gift to the purchaser. I am including a hand made trouble doll (made by me or a family member), and I thought I’d share in a behind the scenes look at the making of one of the trouble dolls, who will soon be sent to its new home to help wipe out some worries and spread a little extra joy! Meet . . . Fuzzhead!
Trouble Doll Series Cards
Series 1: “Trouble Drums”
I have gone to great lengths to research and make decisions that would result in producing cards that are environmentally sound, high quality printed pieces, unique, and that enable me to put some positive energy out in the world in some way.
- Cards are 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper, scroll to the 13pt Uncoated stock for specs
- Coordinating envelopes are 100% recycled and look like little miniature kraft paper bags
- Outer mailers for orders that need shipped are 100% recycled, from Ecoenclose
- High quality printing handled by my favorite local printer, Jakprints
- 10 cents per every card sold is donated to Oxfam America (made in quarterly payments)
- Every purchase comes with a little thank you to the buyer in the form of a handmade trouble doll, each one is unique and made by me or a family member
For more information on purchasing the cards and what comes with a trouble doll greeting card purchase visit the Tulip Tree Studios etsy shop. Single cards are available in the shop, and custom orders of more than 4 cards can be created as well (get in touch for that).
Use this 20% off coupon code (valid through this weekend) that is a thank you to Mental Beans readers if you should decide to make a purchase. Use code TYBEANSAPR13 when you check out!