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soo bees littlecherubs

This page is dedicated to the One Off specials that have been commissioned to SooBee, or have been competition entries. Unfortunately these are not for sale but If you are interested in having a personalised cherub done to your requirements please E-mail me using the link on left hand side.


During the summer'Doll' magazine published details of a competition that involved making a cloth doll to a Linda Murray pattern. As the little darling looked so exquisite in the pictures and was the main prize I thought I might have a go. The basic rules were to use the supplied Linda Murray pattern to make a doll but to let your imagination run wild as to how you interpret the design. The judges would be looking for originality, workmanship, interpretation and skills. As a golly fan I thought it might be fun to have a go at a golly based on the pattern.

So it was that 'Purleyetta' was conceived, although of course I didn't have a name for her yet. After much thought I decided to make a golly based on my own practical experience and the design features that I find appealing. Photographs of the finished doll and making up process were required, as the pictures supplied of the doll during her evolution from fabric to character would determine whether the doll was selected to attend the final. Thus it was over a few weeks during the summer months 'Purleyetta' began to emerge. She is about 20 inches high, made from felt with a gold l¢ame jacket and matching shoes, a red dress, white bloomers and petticoat. She also carried a crocheted bag to hold her lace edged handkerchief. Her hair, which was made from wool, was in bunches tied with gold ribbon and coloured beads. She was carefully finished with much attention to detail to ensure that if she made the final her 'seams' wouldn't let her down. A number of photographs were then taken of the whole process to send to the organisers. This was the easy bit believe me! Finally when everything was ready the photo's were sent away with the entry before the closing date of 31 Sep.

The final judging was being held at the NEC on 4 Nov at the Bears and Dolls Show. As the show date got nearer I tried to get my husband to buy some tickets, as we normally attend anyway, but he refused confident that my entry would be selected for the final and we would get some complimentary tickets. I didn't share his confidence convinced that Purleyetta would be thrown to one side and discarded. Nonetheless about 3 days after the closing date a letter arrived to say Purleyetta had been selected to attend the final judging, I think my shout of surprise nearly frightened my husband to death! As he said later 'I told you that you should have confidence in your work'. Final judgement day arrived with an early start from deepest Norfolk. Our loyal but noisy, hound had gone to her holiday home and after carefully packing Purleyetta we set off. By now my nerves were completely shot, as I was worried she might be shown up by some of the other entries and was full of self-doubt. However I tried to set all that to one side and we arrived at the show at about 10-o clock and introduced my doll to Linda Murray. Purleyetta was set up on the show stand together with 17 others and after that I couldn't go near the stand again until the judging was over. I could not bear to see Purleyetta being scrutinised although my husband wandered over a couple of times and reported some interest in my golly. Worse still I was so worried about her and how she might do I could hardly concentrate on the show and even now a week later its still a bit of a daze, I really can't remember what was there or anything.

After what seemed an eternity, but was about 4 hours the judges had finally come to their decision. There was one first and two second prizes. Purleyetta was awarded a Certificate of Merit together with all the other finalists but missed out on the main prizes. I must say that the doll that won was beautiful with such a lot of detail and was a well-deserved winner. With that agony over I was able to relax a bit and finally spoke to Linda Murray whilst collecting my doll. She confirmed the overwhelming numbers that entered the competition, thus removing a nagging doubt that my doll was only selected to make up the numbers!! She also said how much she liked my doll and was extremely complementary about the workmanship and design of the golly to the extent that I felt really happy about my entry for the first time since I had made her. She also said that several people wanted to buy Purleyetta and indeed one man became quite cross with her because she couldn't sell it even though she explained it was a competition entry! And so it was time to go. On reflection I think that I made a credible effort interpreting the pattern in my own way. Each of the 18 finalist's dolls was absolutely unique, not one of the dolls was even vaguely similar to each other, and I think that was the best advert for the competition proving what imagination and innovation can achieve when given a free reign on a basic design pattern. The last word, well almost, should of course go to Purleyetta who has been unbearably smug since the 4 Nov, boasting to all her friends about her big day out! As for me would I do it again? Absolutely no.... well maybe!

J G Junior

Lou Lou