Dyed and Gone to Heaven – An Online Magazine and Needlework Resource  

Noreen Crone-Findlay

"Human beings have an amazing ability to heal themselves, physically, emotionally and spiritually." So states Noreen Crone-Findlay in the introduction to her book Soul Mate Dolls: Dollmaking as a Healing Art, published by Krause Publications. She goes on to say, "When there is a wound in the heart or soul, a wonderful way to heal it is to find a soul mate and embark on a journey of creativity. That's what this book is all about: playing with images and metaphors, while paying attention to how the processes work on a deeper level." Noreen's book is filled with projects that allow one to have an enormous amount of fun with the creative process while at the same time questing for new insights into one's life.

Soul Mate Dolls
Dollmaking as a Healing Art
By Noreen Crone-Findlay
Published by Krause Publications

Noreen is a fiber artist who loves exploring unusual techniques, materials and mediums in her designing and dollmaking. She loves teaching people about how dollmaking can be a magical art, which can inspire, heal and delight. In her workshops, she endeavors to show that these dolls can be special "friends of the heart and imagination," which is why she calls this process Soul Mate Dollmaking. She uses both concrete and abstract tools to make her point; the primary abstract tool she uses is metaphor. Noreen explains, "Metaphors create pictures with words. On a deeper level, they build bridges by forming connections that can illuminate and enlighten us. They help us turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones."

Grandmother Tree Soul Mate Doll
Soul Mate Dolls
Dollmaking as a Healing Art
Published by Krause Publications

Hence, no matter what stumbling block holds you back in your own life, Noreen probably has a doll that fits the bill ­ one, that through the process of creating it, will renew or deepen the connection between your heart and hands. Noreen adds, "Working mindfully with our hands somehow reaches deep into our souls. In making very special objects, like dolls, we can engage our minds at a mythical level and heal our hearts." Noreen's soul mate dolls include ones, which embody either positive or negative emotions, such as serenity, joy, courage, resentment, gratitude, grief, forgiveness, recovery, determination and many others. She also has dolls which encompass concepts, tell a story or reflect themes, such as "The Stumbling Block Coat," "The Doodle Fairy," "The Safe Harbor," and "The Ragged Edge," or "Grandmother Tree."

Recovery Dolls
Soul Mate Dolls
Dollmaking as a Healing Art
Published by Krause Publications

Noreen is an artist who is passionate about preserving heritage crafts, and also about inspiring other people's interest in both that preservation and using their own creativity. Additionally, she is a professional puppeteer, who performs approximately 250 shows a
year to young audiences, inspiring them to take good care of the Earth. Noreen adds, "I'm also a wife (to husband, Jim); mother of a daughter (Chloe) and a son (Angus), a designer, a doll artist, a workshop facilitator and a puppeteer. I really love playing with fiber. I enjoy using unusual techniques, such as weaving, crochet, knitting, embroidery and paper shaping in my dollmaking."

Noreen Crone-Findlay

Soul Mate Dolls are just one series of dolls that Noreen creates. There are others, which are inspired by and depict historical, literary or mythical figures, such as Jane Austen and the Empress Theodora. Others employ and focus on a particular technique, such as fairisle or lace knitting. Still others emerge just from the sheer joy Noreen derives from the process of creating them. What follows is a representational gallery of Noreen's doll creations. All of the dolls pictured below are available as individual patterns. They are not included in her book Soul Mate Dolls.

The Empress Theodora

This pattern is based on mosaics that are in the Cathedral of San Vitale in Ravenna. The Empress Theodora was a magnificent woman who lived in the 6th century in Byzantium. She was a scholar and diplomat and deserves to be remembered and

Homage to Jane Austen

If you enjoy the novels of Jane Austen, then you will love this pattern! Knit all Jane Austen's heroines: Jane, Elizabeth, Fanny, Anne, or perhaps even Jane Austen herself!


Nancy is a sweet celebration of simple lace knitting. Her sweater and skirt are knitted with an easy lace pattern. Her sweater is removable, and her skirt can be knitted in your choice of lengths. She wears spiffy striped stockings and dashing boots under that lacy skirt.

The Angel of Knitting

The Angel of Knitting was featured in the Spring 2000 Vogue Knitting magazine, in the Very New, Very Vogue section as a mail order pattern. This charming pattern for the Angel of Knitting includes her cat, knitted basket and directions on how to make her tiny knitting needles


This doll is based on an ancient image on a Greek pot that is thousands of years old.
Artemis was the protector of young children, women in childbirth, the wild places of the Earth, and of the animals. That's why the patterns for a mouse, rabbit and beaver are also included with Artemis.

Minoan Goddess of the Bees

Do you love Bumble Bees and honey? Then you'll love this sweet knitted doll. She's based on tiny images that were painted on household items thousands of years ago in ancient Crete. Some people think that she's also a Goddess of the Dew, which is a
refreshing thought!

Bundle Baby

There's nothing like a cuddly pocket doll to make your day special! Cute as a button! These Bundle Babies were knitted with Baby weight yarns, embroidery floss and weaving cotton.

Minnie The Elf

Minnie the Elf loves the stars! She's got a lovely moonlit garden knitted on her tummy, and she's inviting you to step outside to admire the stars.


The Permission doll is an invitation to give yourself (or someone you love)
permission to live your life with panache, delight and joy!


Noreen believes it is possible for anyone to open new doors to creativity, healing and wholeness by making dolls, even if you never made a doll before. She offers to lead you on a mystical journey, filled with metaphor, magic and special friends that will reshape and restore your soul. She closes with these words of advice and encouragement; "I believe that the art of dollmaking is a wonderful way to open doorways to creativity, healing and wholeness. I hope that my designs will bring you pleasure and delight. I wish you all good things, in all ways!"

Noreen Crone-Findlay
email: knittingfairy@ematic.com

Quotes attributed to Noreen in this story are excerpted from the introduction to her book, Soul Mate Dolls ­ Dollmaking as a Healing Art, published by and available from Krause Publications in Iola, WI. Krause Publications' crafts division is dedicated to serving the creative consumer and retailer. Whether you are a beginning quilter, an advanced seamstress, a professional crafter or owner of a craft shop, look to Krause's line of four magazines, hundreds of books and a television series for the ideas, information and inspiration you desire. For a copy of Noreen's book contact them at:

Krause Publications
700 East State Street
Iola, WI 54990
Phone: (800) 258 ­ 0929 or (715) 445-2214
Fax: (715) 445-4087
Website: http://www.krause.com

Noreen's Doll Patterns are available from:
Dollmaker's Journey.
P.O. Box 523192
Springfield, VA 22152
Phone: (703) 569-7072
e mail: Info@DollmakersJourney.com
Website: http://dollmakersjourney.com/noreen.html

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