Tag Archives: Greenwoman Market

Callicrate’s Call to Action: Let’s Break up the Monopolies and Build a Resilient Agricultural Alternative NOW!

Mike Callicrate talks about the problems facing us in agriculture and what we must do. I agree 100%.

(And, as an aside, this dovetails beautifully with what I’m doing with Greenwoman Market—promoting LOCAL, Earth-friendly businesses! Many creative solutions are necessary to build a better world.)

“Avoid the global economy. Avoid the global monopolies that are now currently extracting the wealth from the economies of the world. They have to go away. We can’t get rid of this overnight, but we can certainly start building an alternative . . .”—Mike Callicrate

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Creating the Greenwoman Doll – Part II

Last week, as I was writing the first post on the Greenwoman doll/mascot, I was also learning a little about our doll’s creator, Bee Hale. When I told her I’d be writing two more posts about the process of creating this doll, I asked if I might share a little about her and her life. I asked a few questions: how she got into creating dolls, what it’s like to live in Cornwall—and if her real name is Bee!

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Bee and her Mini-Me

One of the first things I noticed when I looked at Bee’s Etsy site, Bee Real Dolls, was that Bee was from Truro, England. Truro, I discovered, was in Cornwall. I’d heard of Cornwall, the rugged southwestern tip of England, with it’s wild moorland, hundreds of beaches and towering cliffs, and, maybe most famously to some of us, the home of the legendary King Arthur. So romantic! I’ve not had the privilege to visit (it’s on my list of dream vacation destinations), but my daughter Zora has. She attended graduate school in Dublin where she met her Irish husband, and during their courtship they took a trip to Cornwall. You see, Zora grew up with plenty of mythology, fairy tales, and legends, and she really wanted to see the birthplace of King Arthur, Tintagel Castle.

When I learned Bee was from Truro, I asked Zora if she’d visited there. “No, we wanted to but didn’t have time.” Then she added, “You know that’s the town in Poldark.

(Ah, PBS Masterpiece‘s Poldark—the riveting story of Ross Poldark, a redcoat who returns to Cornwall after the American Revolutionary War. I loved that show! Maybe If I wasn’t so distracted by the dashing, I-will-fight-for-my-people Ross Poldark, the name Truro might have stuck with me. Alas, it did not. But I digress.)

Zora loved Cornwall. She was surprised and delighted by the mystical vibe, telling me, “There’s a lot of hippie/Earth worshipper stuff there.”

What a perfect place to create the Greenwoman doll!

I visited Bee’s Facebook page and saw more of her artistry. She’s created dozens of one-of-a-kind dolls, including a custom Prince, Spock, Daenerys Targarian, John Snow, and a David Bowie. She also up-cycles secondhand dolls and says she enjoys using all her skills (sculpting, painting, and creating clothing and accessories) in one project. She says it’s “pure delight working on my dolls as their individual characters come to life,” and that she loves transforming “these little discarded toys, from head to toe, into the true and REAL beauties they deserve to be.”

On May 5th Bee wrote:

“I’ve made a start on the body tattoo and the doll’s face, still needs a few more layers on both to make them pop.

The little bra and skirt also made, pictured next to the doll. How short do you want the skirt? I’ve made it to come above the knee but can take it shorter.”

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Wow,
I thought, lovely. I was so pleased by how it was coming along, but . . . there was a problem. Her expression wasn’t the fun-loving smile I was thinking of. When this doll’s out on her Instagram adventures, I want her to look like she’s having a great time!

Within minutes I’d figured out how this happened. Bee had created her exactly like the logo, with a serious expression.

Bee hadn’t been able to read my mind.

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I saw that I’d failed in describing what I wanted with the tattoos as well. While Bee had beautifully recreated Mike’s design, I was imagining colorful filled-in tattoos, like the Pict images in the last post. I hadn’t shared that information with Bee either, and she’d drawn outlines, exactly as in the logo.

Oh, no, I thought, I really messed up!

I sent her a longish letter telling her about my mistakes and apologizing, asking if she could make changes, telling her I’d be happy to pay extra. We also decided we’d prefer a little shorter skirt, mid-thigh.

Bee wrote back within an hour:

“Hi, yes, this is the early stages so can make those alterations. Giving her a smile and raising her brows slightly and was going to ask you about adding shading to the tattoo, so good to know that I can do that.”

She said she’d soon get to the questions I’d sent her too.

She added:

“I’m excited working on this project with you, it’s right up my street.”

(So cute! It’s “right up my alley” in America.)

I breathed a sigh of relief and sent her a couple of images of tattoos, just to be clear this time.

tribal tattoo green and brown

tribal tattoos green and brown

Two days later, Bee sent me a message sharing a little about her life:

My actual name is Rebecca but everyone, including my family, calls me Bee. I didn’t like Becs or Becky so chose Bee when I started a new hairdressing job with someone else who worked there called Rebecca. So ever since, Bee has stuck, besides it suits me and I adore Bees, even if I am allergic to their stings.

I am also a freelance hairdresser specializing in vintage hair for weddings. [That business is called Beehave Hair. Adorable!—S.K.] Thank goodness for my doll business right now, keeping me in pocket whilst this lock down is in place ^>^

Here’s my FB shop page link if you’re interested- www.facebook.com/www.beehavehair.vpweb.co.uk/

As far as my dolls and art, I’ve always incorporated some form of art in my life, from making glass panels, stained glass, drawing comic books, sculpting, painting and the list goes on . . .

As a young girl, I have always felt that I could not relate to the dolls I was given to play with, so I would end up making my own using Plasticine or clay. In my creative works, later on in life, I have added clay to fashion dolls to enlarge them in my “Barb Plus More” art projects in 1996. I was part of quite a few art installations in London with my pieces—I would cast their reliefs onto walls in plaster or mold them into silicon rubber to make fuller figured dolls. These projects focused on the subject of the “Body Beautiful” and what was accepted in the world we live in.

So in 2015 a new movement to repaint dolls to be more suitable for young girls hit the circuit, which I jumped on with gusto. I got a big mention in Bored Panda and coverage on our West country ITV news and in the papers. I haven’t looked back since, my business is growing and growing, with inquiries everyday. Most of them become commissions, so busy busy Bee ^.^

I’ve been living here in beautiful Cornwall for seven years now, had to break away from the smoke of London. We love it here, so lucky, we can actually see the sea from our window, facing east, so the sunsets are amazing every day.

I’ll go a head and start filling in the tattoos with shading using greens and browns. I’ll update you with pics over the next few days. ^.^

I loved learning about Bee Hale! How lucky we are to be able to do this project!

I’m looking forward to the next step.

—S. K.

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Creating the Greenwoman Doll – Part I

It’s been the best of times and the worst of times to start a new business.

I’d been working on my new venture, Greenwoman Market, all through the winter. It is a a business that promotes earth-friendly Colorado businesses (you can read about it here). The launch was set for March, with the first big debut event scheduled for Saturday, March 14th.

Tragically, Colorado had its first death from COVID-19 on March 12th. Events were cancelled, one by one, in rapid succession.

My launch would not include gardening events and farmers markets; it would be via emails and social media.

Like many businesses owners I had to come up with new ideas, fast, and put my faith in “it’s all figureoutable.” Two weeks ago, I found myself chatting (well, Facebook messaging) with my sister-in-law, Sally Cato. She had seen the article mentioned above, and we were discussion marketing. When I mentioned that I couldn’t wait to visit some of these Colorado businesses and take photos for the new Instagram account I’d set up, even if I had to wear a mask and gloves, she asked if I had a Greenwoman statue that I could take with me to use in the photos.

“What a brilliant idea!” I wrote. I thought of those kidnapped globe-trotting gnomes that were a sensation in the 1990s. This is a fun idea! But no, I answered, I didn’t have a statue. We brainstormed; searched for appropriate figurines on Etsy and eBay. We considered a Mother Earth/Gaia, a green fairy . . . nothing seemed right.

Sally then suggested that I create something unique, something that couldn’t be easily copied. I agreed; that would be the way to go. That afternoon I messaged artist friends and learned how creating a one-of-a-kind small statue or figurine is not hard to accomplish these days. You could adapt something already made with air dry clay and you could create a resin mold. I was thinking that it could get expensive, but I was already committed to the idea—at least in seeing what the possibilities were for now. Maybe I could figure out what I wanted to do and save the money to do it before this summer.

As I puzzled over how to move forward, I told my daughter Zora about it. She said, “Why don’t you do a Barbie?”

Two brilliant ideas in one day! I remembered seeing an article about an artist who personalized dolls, stripped off their face paint, and repainted them to look realistic, changed their hair. This could be easier than I thought! This could be do-able now!

I looked in Etsy and found an artist, Bee Hale of Bee Real Dolls.

I really loved her work. Here’s what she did with a Made to Move Barbie, transforming it into Meghan Markle.

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Jeann Cope added a photo of their purchase

I wanted my doll to look like the Greenwoman logo.

A little backstory: Greenwoman Publishing’s logo was inspired by antique drawings of the legendary Picts—Celts who painted their bodies before going into battle. The images of these women warriors resonated with me; their bodies displayed natural and celestial designs, their vibe both lovely and ferocious. Here, I thought, was a female who could represent Greenwoman!

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Fierce, and a blue body (dyed with woad). Late 16th century, John White.

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Another interpretation, A Young Daughter of the Picts, by Jacques Le Moyne, circa 1585.

Jacques Le Moyne’s illustration, the all-over floral, was purely from his imagination (Le Moyne was a student of botany and ethnology). The first version is undoubtedly more accurate, but no one knows how much is lore, how much is fact. There’s almost no written history on the Picts, and some accounts read more like gossip.

(It didn’t matter; I loved the concept.)

Colorado Springs artist Mike Beenenga of Artistic Gold Creative Concepts created the Greenwoman logo. (The sword replaced with something mightier, the pen!)

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This winter, Mike created the Greenwoman Market logo.

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Could Bee translate these logos into a doll? I felt she could. I took the plunge and commissioned an order.

Bee recommended a Made to Move Barbie (very pose-able, which would be perfect for photo shoots). We both knew she had to be a more realistically proportioned, curvy Barbie!

The first question had to do with the bust size. Should I go for large breasts like the full-figured logo? Motherly breasts? My instinct was yes, and Sally also thought she should be round like an Earth Mother. I learned that Bee could make these modifications.

Should I or shouldn’t I?

More of Bee’s work. A custom figure, a là Kim Kardashian!

I ordered a bigger bust line.

Then my daughters, in their 20s (and not mamas yet), disagreed. They said the mascot, which would basically be an Instagram model, should be “cuter,” less voluptuous, more family friendly. We looked up the Made to Move curvy Barbie and they liked the shape. So did I.

I wrote Bee telling her I’d changed my mind and didn’t want additional body sculpting.

Within a week, Bee (in England) had received the doll. She sent some photos. She re-rooted her hair, making it longer, right away. I loved the body shape.

Greenwoman_Doll_April_30_2020

Here she is!

Bee offered to make a bra top and skirt from some small print leaf fabric she had. I said that would be wonderful.

We decided the foliage tattoos would be earth tones, brown and green. When seeing the doll with more fabric samples, I thought that another leaf print (that I had okayed before seeing the doll with the prints) might turn out to be garish. Bee agreed, saying the colors of the tattoos and fabric could clash. I left the decision of what fabric to use with Bee.

My daughter Lily said she had to have green eyes. I was thinking brown. Lily has green eyes, so I jokingly said that’s why she wanted the doll to have green eyes. But then Lily pointed out, “She’s Greenwoman, that’s why her eyes should be green.”

Again, I agreed. Green they should be. I sent another note to Bee.

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Our mascot and some fabric samples.

Her face, body tattoos, and clothing are coming soon! (Then I have to wait for her to arrive from England).

I played with Barbies a few times as a child but I never owned one. When I was at the age when I wanted them (ages 7-10), we were poor and couldn’t afford them, and by the time I was 11, and earning my own money through babysitting and chores, I had outgrown dolls. Now I find myself very excited to see what comes next! I’ve even ordered her a few outfits and a couple of inexpensive flower crowns. (I couldn’t resist!)

I am excited to see what Bee creates.

I also discovered that our mascot will have to have a proper name. That will be a fun contest down the road. For now, we wait for the next step . . .

Which includes, in the next post, finding out a little about the artist! ❤

Stay tuned!

—S. K.

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