Artist Profile: WhimsiDoll

Now that most of you have received your envelopes, I’d love to see where you put your WhimsiDoll print. I cut a few sprigs from the tree outside our house (sidenote: can anyone identify the tree? I am truly a nature ignoramus) and put it next to our print.  As I mentioned in my daffodil post, we are definitely ready for spring at the Hitchcock house! imageHeather Gray (of photo tutorial fame) incorporated her print into her nature table. I also spy a postcard frame, a spring fairy and a Holtztiger rabbit (all HHP treasures!).

imageI thought our readers would be interested to learn more about Paige McMerritt, the artist behind WhimsiDoll, so I sent her a slight variation on the questions in the HHP team profile section. In the future, you’ll see these questions again from the artists and shop owners we partner with each month. I think it’s fascinating to ask different people the same questions. We’ll read about how many ways there are to approach a Waldorf lifestyle, and what it looks like in various homes.

Here’s what Paige had to say:
imagePlease tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a Waldorf-inspired, home schooling mother of two. I say inspired because I’m still not sure I can fully bring a Waldorf education to my littles as well as a fully supported Waldorf school/community. I still try my best! I’m sure there are other families that can relate.

We have been in the Louisville, KY area that last few years. It is really lovely, peaceful, and inspiring in the country. We have been blessed to make some very sweet friends here. Getting back into my art has been helpful in the transition from city life to country life, where we knew no one. I’ve been creating all types of art since I was very young. I’m so honored and happy that others are enjoying my artwork as well!

What brought you to Waldorf?
My husband is retired military, and we were about to drive with our newly one-year-old from South Carolina to California. I asked a doula friend about a parenting book in preparation for our move and being in a new place. She suggested You Are Your Child’s First Teacher by Rahima Dancy Baldwin. I was instantly in love with it! I was also lucky enough to be heading to the East Bay, where I was so blessed to meet an incredible Waldorf graduate who was also a new mom, who became a great friend and inspiration. I also took parent/toddler classes at the San Francisco Waldorf School, which was just so wonderful to be a part of!

imageWhat is your favorite Waldorf celebration? Why?
My favorite celebration is Advent and the Harvest Faires that are held in SF and the East Bay. We used to go to the harvest and winter faires at three different area schools! Always such a magical experience no mater what the celebration. Yet having our own Advent spiral in our yard with friends and loved ones has been pretty special and magical. As well as lantern walks. Really, its pretty difficult for me to pick a solid favorite, as I truly love them all! They really bring a sense of connection to the changing seasons for myself and my children, as well as a reverence in that rhythm and the magic of nature.

What aspects of having a “Waldorf home” do you feel strongest in? What are you still working on?
I’m constantly working on something. Keeping things simple, and being sure that the kids have free unstructured play and getting outdoors has been the most essential. We have a school room with lazured walls, and honestly a mixture of Waldorf toys and legos. Happily both my children still love to build with their tree blocks as well. It took a while to find a rhythm for schooling two different ages, that fit with the in and out breath, while still working with all of us. When we have our rhythm and do our baking, painting, and handwork; our days are always better. If that rhythm starts to fall out of place, it is very obvious in all of us.

The thing I think I will always be working on is balancing our rhythm with changing needs. As well as making time for my business and artwork without staying up until 4 AM too often!

imageHow long have you been in business?
I started selling hair clips at local shops in California. Then it turned to an Etsy shop when we moved, which changed to include peg dolls. I didn’t get into my artwork again until last Easter. I have the Waldorf swap groups I was in to thank for that! It stretched my idea of what I thought I could do. They inspired me to delve into wood burning and to get back into painting. The first painting I did was in honor of my aunt who had passed away. I was recalling going to church with her as I grew up, and it was fitting that it was for a Whitsun swap at that time. It was scary to put my artwork out there, but I pushed past that in the memory of her and her strength. Since then I have had good responses to push past my own artistic hesitance. I appreciate all the support I have had through the Facebook swaps, the Waldorf Tag Sale, and the friends that I have made there. They helped me to continue to paint and grow with my shop, and in many other ways as well.

imageWhat’s your favorite item in your shop?
My favorite item are my number cards and my Dancing Fairies print. Though I have a couple new creations in the works that may become my new favorites!

Finally, do you have any interest in sharing a discount code with our readers? Thanks so so much!
I’m happy to share a discount code for your readers 🙂

Use code: HAPPYHEDGEHOG for 15% off. The code is valid through 5/20/15.

Happy shopping, Hedgehogs! Check back soon for a profile of Jennifer Compton, shop owner of From Jennifer.

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