Creative Inspiration: Jess Brown Dolls

Having spent many, many unfortunate years suppressing my creative side (I'm talking about you, law school!), I am so inspired by all the artistic people out there.  But the people that really get me excited are the women who combine their creative passions with motherhood.  (After all, that's what I'm trying to do right now with Star Sisters).  Those are the woman I emulate, whose websites I obsessively troll trying to gather tips or insights about their paths.  

Jess Brown is one such victim of my stalker-ish tendencies.  I can't remember the first time I saw one of her dolls but it must have been before I had children because I swore that my daughters would only play with Jess Brown rag dolls, no plastic barbies with synthetic hair for my precious unborn offspring.  Well, those lofty ambitions fell by the wayside once I actually had children and realized that (1) they had minds of their own and (2) sometimes things are mass produced in cheap plastic because they are just so darn helpful (this realization started with the obnoxiously colorful and loud baby excersauce, commonly known among my friends as baby crack).  But I still stop and sigh whenever I see a Jess Brown doll.  So lovely, right?

Each doll is handmade and they're not cheap.  But fear not, there is an affordable way to get some Jess Brown beauty into your life.  "Kiki and Coco in Paris" is  beautiful book that tells the story of a girl named Kiki and who travels to Paris with her Jess Brown rag doll, Coco.  Photographed by Stephanie Rausser, the book is full of gorgeous images of not only Paris, but also the doll.  The story is a touching one about the connection between a doll and "her girl" who are meant just for each other.  It's one that I've read over and over, as much for the content as for the mini-bedtime escape to Paris.  

Or, if you're really in need of a Jess Brown doll and you've got a snow day on your hands, you can make one yourself.  I made this one with my oldest daughter one snowy day last winter.  It was a lot of work and I had to sacrifice an old sweater or two but I think it came out pretty well!  And we named her Coco, of course!