It was my escape…

     The other day my co-worker and I spent the slow afternoon at work cutting out little cards from paper.  As we snipped carefully around the black edges she said, “I love to cut! It is so soothing to me and such a good time for reflection of the mind.” I couldn’t agree more, I felt very at ease and content at the moment.  It took me back to my childhood, where I spent it cutting…paper.  

     Let me begin by telling you that I was a very creative, imaginative young girl. I loved crafts and art and making things out of everything! I was very resourceful, I saved every piece of paper, every ribbon, every little thing I thought that could be used somehow to make art. I aslo loved to draw, paint, anything that I could do to exploit my visionary mind. The best part was I always had a creative partner, that being my twin sister. Together we formed worlds, characters (who I probably knew better than myself) and many other amazing things. It would take too long to describe it all. Drawing was an outlet for me, I would fill notebook after notebook of my doodles and sketches of people, animals, flowers, scenery…  My favorite (still is) was to draw people and especially girls in pretty dresses. To add to my list of I what I wanted to be when I grew up (besides, dancer, artist and mother) I wanted to be a fashion designer. I had some very innovative ideas.  I honestly don’t know where all that inspiration and devotion to art went…

     When I was about seven, my mom told me that when she was a girl, her and her sister used to make paper dolls.  They would then create clothes for the flimsy dolls and what an extravagant wardrobe they had! This sparked some inspiration in me and that was the birth of my cutting era. After my mom told me about her dolls, I decided I was going to give it a try. I got some thick paper and drew my ‘doll’ on it, cut her out and started making clothes. I remember the doll wasn’t that pretty, but they got better as I grew older. When I was ten, that’s when the real serious cutting happened. My twin sister, my best friend, Joanna, and I got together one day and decided we were all going to make paper dolls. We were creators of three girls, all best friends, just like us, but their world was limitless. Well as limitless as our imaginations led us to be. I remember I named mine Annison: she was from France and was a fashion designer. (go figure) Let me tell you, these dolls lived a pretty full life. All the way from college years, to getting married, to having kids…Over the years I kept adding paper dolls and pretty soon I had a whole tribe of them, so to speak. And the more dolls you have the more clothes you have to make and cut out. My twin and I would spend hours just sitting in our room, listening to the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack and making beautiful clothes for our dolls. In a sense we lived vicariously through our paper dolls, because they could wear and do anything they wanted. We would flip through fashion magazines, daydreaming about the clothes, wishing we could wear them and instead we made them for our dolls. We also made houses for the paper dolls. We got empty shoe boxes and filled them with homemade pillows for beds and then we would get ads from the Sunday paper, (like Best Buy and Wal-Mart etc…) and we would flip through them cutting out stuff. My paper dolls had plenty of TVs, kitchen supplies, we even cut out food, decor we liked, pets(!)…it was a lot of fun. After hours upon cutting, my little fingers would be so cramped, but I didn’t care.  I just remember it being a lot of fun. And who knows what this did to me, being caught up in my little paper doll world. Sure, we played games with the dolls, making them go places and such; but I  remember the best part was making the clothes and cutting them out. It was very hard, intricate work, having to make sure everything was cut out perfectly.  The best part was trying the clothing on the dolls and then letting them wear it for some time. Paper dolls is every girls dream, especially if you can make the clothes for them. I kind of want to pull out again and make some more…maybe on some rainy day when I am bored.

I hope one day I will have daughters and I can give them the idea of paper dolls and let them know how wonderful it is. That’s why I have still kept mine, because they are a big part of my childhood. It was nice to be taken back to my cutting days…

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