Julie of the Wolves is a series of books my daughter was introduced to in our homeschooling adventures, and we read this out loud to our kids at night. Words cannot adequately express how wonderful these books are. They speak to me, and create such a sense of peace, sort of like how I describe how alive I feel in the quietly falling snow of winter.
Julie is my favourite book character of all time: she is courageous, steadfast, intelligent, kind, thoughtful, patient, determined, self-sufficient, and she listens rather than speaks, and never reacts in anger, always controlled and thoughtful and humble. She allows those she loves to have their own view and waits quietly as they make their own decisions, or sometimes adapting uncomplainingly for the sake of peace. So many ways the opposite of who I am, so I can admire her many of those qualities. However I do see a glimmer of myself in her as she seeks solitude and quiet in nature, feeling strongest when she stands alone, and she is fiercely independent.
While I thought about making Julie, and how she would be represented and dressed, I realized that I did not desire to create an Inuit doll per se, since I know so very little about the culture. So instead of making her Miyax, her given Inuit name, the one she calls herself while living with her wolf family, I decided to dress her more as Julie, the name she goes by when living with her biological father in the community. So I created a dress for her that was simple but beautiful and delicate. But living in the northern hemisphere’s reach means she still needs warm boots and a wool coat and mittens. You might wonder who this little feller is cuddling up to Julie. Well this is Amaroq, her wolf spiritual father who adopted Julie into his pack when she was alone and hungry and in desperate need of a father. Of course Julie needed to bring him along to complete her story as she found her own path.
Well Julie was lovingly made as all my dolls are in the waldorf tradition, a meticulous and time consuming process of rolling wool and shaping it using string and needle felting, covering it in cotton, and embroidering the features using cotton thread. All my dolls are stuffed with locally sourced and processed wool and made from natural materials only, including every article of clothing. Julie is a little over 16″ high. Her hair is made from suri alpaca fibbers which I sewed into a weft and then crocheted into a cap, and as a result this hair style is for adult collectors only since the fibers are so fine and tend to end up all over one’s clothes and home.
She is wearing a chambray dress, and has a purple-grey silk shawl and cashmere socks. Her boots are hand stitched and made from rabbit fur. I crocheted her mittens using alpaca yarn, and her jacket is made from wool and lined with linen, with antler buttons on the front. Amaroq is crocheted from merino wool and stuffed with wool as is Julie.
At the moment Julie is not for sale, I merely wanted to share her with you. Too many attachments exist for me to sell her at this point, my heart longs to keep on to this one, at least for a while… Her shawl I crocheted over a summer in turmoil in the midst of a move and change. The books we read with our children and hold many memories of nights cuddled up close to the fire, their little faces glowing and raptured awaiting with bated breath what would befall her wolf pack, imagining what a life of eternal snow and long nights would be like. Little crocheted Amaroq my youngest loves and has been toting him around the house for several weeks now, stuffing him into little boxes and blankets and making houses for him… How can I possibly share Julie when so many memories are attached to her for me? And her character which I not only feel connected with but also look up to as an example… So I am sorry to say this one will be staying with me and my family for awhile. If Julie and her story somehow connected to you as well please contact me.
I will part with you with one last image, a surprisingly hidden but beautiful carving into the rock at the base of an apple tree at our favourite oyster beach near the Stz-uminus community near our home.Well okay, and another image of the little creatures in my life that mean the world to me and with whom this dolls inspires so many memories over the past 2 years (my better half is not here of course as we are frolicking about the beach, but wishes he was!)