This is definitely my week for drooling over international crafts. Today we jump from Lisbon, Portugal to Budapest, Hungary, where Borbala Arvai creates her needle felted dolls for her Etsy shop, BoriDolls.
Like Pedro Santos, Arvai is not necessarily a Pagan practitioner, but she at least speaks our lingo. In addition to the gorgeous Horned God and Earth Mother pictured above, she creates fairies and mermaids. She’s not all Pagan and fantasy, though: she also creates dolls in a variety of yoga poses and has created a whole needle felted Nativity. She creates a number of Earth Mommas, too, with hair and continents in every color of the rainbow. In fact, she even has a rainbow-festooned Momma to help remind us to celebrate our diversity.
Generally, I’m no great fan of fiber arts, but I can definitely see using these to create an altar for very little children. There’s something very Waldorf and Montessori about them. These are hands-on figures, and they practically invite children to grab them up and play with them. (No, I *never* got in trouble for playing with my parents’ saint statues as a kid…nope, nope, nope!) I can certainly think of worse things for Pagan toddlers to do than to re-create myths with these dolls. It’s certainly a lot more wholesome than the plastic action figures du jour or Barbies or what have you.
On that note, I get the impression that Arvai would be happy to take on custom work. Horned God and Earth Mother not your primary deities? I betcha she’d happily take on Shiva and Kali. I’d love to see her create a Ganesha. If I had kids, I betcha I’d ask her to make me a whole Greek Pantheon.
Maybe at that point I should just learn needle felting for myself?