Candace doll loves clothes


Story and doll
By Mo Conlan

About Candace doll... My friend Karalyn is helping me to catalog my artwork. We have photographed dozens and dozens of paintings and, last Friday, we finished shooting the Green Dolls.

I like having twin passions -- art and writing. But I am still trying to learn how to balance! Hah!

These dolls are made using mostly recycled goods, such as bottles, bags, lids from jelly jars, fabric remnants. (I inspect all packaging that comes into my home for possible use.) Now that we have all the dolls photographed, I want to share more of them.

This doll in the pink ballgown is named Candace. She is made from a glass bottle, fabric remnants, wood pieces and bling.

I have begun writing stories about some of my dolls and this is what I wrote about Candace.

Candace's Story

It’s not easy being rich. It’s better than being poor; but, I think somewhere in the middle would be best.

My family has been very rich since my great-something grandfather made a lot of money a few centuries ago. When I ask my parents how he made it, they say “investments.” Now, Daddy feels he has to give the money “back” in grants to charities and foundations. He works a ton.

My mother sits on boards of charities. They feel the obligations of the old rich.

Sometimes I think people hate you for being rich. Or people expect you should be more than, say, just a girl. They may think you are stuck up -- which I’m not.

My family leads a more or less normal life. OK, not normal -- how many people have 50-foot sailboats -- but not weird and indulgent.

My older sister and brother are eggheads. They studied microorganisms, dead languages and such and work for think tanks.

I’m the youngest. I do not fit the mold. I love -- no adore -- clothes. From the time I was old enough to point, I’ve chosen everything in my closet.

I remember each pair of pink polka-dot tights, each Hannah Anderson dress I wore as a little girl. I loved the soft feel, like a second skin, and how they radiated pinks, purples and orange hues.

Even in pre-school, I was the most fashion-forward girl. I refused to part with a single shirt or dress. I’d layer a too-short dress over tights and – voila -- a new outfit. I knotted outgrown tights and made them into scarves, boas and belts. Some afternoons I would climb up to the cavernous attic of our home and open zippered bags filled with dresses my mother wore, and her mother and her mother. Swishy taffetas, gauzy chiffons, beaded flappers.

These are “important” gowns, to go to a museum one day. Because the flapper dresses were so short, they fit me, sort of, and I would put one on, wrap a boa around my neck and dance.

When my dresses and shirts and pants got down to shreds and tatters, I made doll clothes out of them. I didn’t know how to sew, so I glued together the small outfits.

In a family of do-gooders and eggheads I do seem a bit of a fluff-head. But why, I ask myself, is it more worthwhile to love one-celled organisms or dead languages than to love clothes?

When I graduated from my dismal-uniform-wearing girls prep school – ugh, those plaids! – I told my family I was going to fashion design college. I wanted to learn to make clothes without glue.

At school nobody cared that my family was rich – though they were interested in the dresses in my attic. They had their own stories of gluing together doll clothes.

I’ve made friends here. Soon we’re going to graduate, go to New York and Milan and make beautiful clothes.

This is my senior project dress – “Raspberry Pink Fantasy for a Valentine Ball.” It’s got a kind of poufy retro, blingy thing going on. I made it with some hand sewing and some machine – not a speck of glue.

When I walked down the runway at our senior fashion show, there were lots of “oohs.”

I can’t wait to have my own line. When I get my trust money in a few years, I’ll set up a scholarship for kids who want to design clothes but don’t have enough money for tuition. I’ll tack on a clothing allowance.

Dolls made of bottles and bling

after Candace, read another doll's story.

Read about a doll named Ebonmarie.

After reading Candace Doll, return to home page.