In just two months, residents and roommates Anne Pippen and Lovell Norman have made 44 sock dolls for children at local hospitals. Lovell mentioned her love of sewing to her Wesley Place on Honeysuckle caregiver Jacinda, and the next thing you know, Jacinda was bringing her a sewing machine.
Before retirement, both women were professional seamstresses, Anne in government work and Lovell with Hedstom Corporation. Lovell also made her children’s clothes as they were growing up, and Anne made outfits for herself. Though Anne has vision loss that prevents her from doing intricate sewing work anymore, her roommate Lovell has found a way to keep Anne busy stuffing the sock dolls the two decided to make together.
“The hospital was Anne’s idea,” said Lovell. “We’ve been roommates for about a year, and we’re still together.” Lovell looks at her roommate and laughs, “I keep threatening her, but she’s still here!”
Lovell’s daughter, a blogger on the YouTube channel Crafting Cousins, brought her a basket with socks, fabric and other supplies, and Lovell and Anne began transforming the socks into something cute and huggable.
They don’t use a pattern for the dolls. Lovell’s mother used to make sock dolls for her and her siblings to play with, and Lovell improved on her mother’s basic sock doll, adding arms, more detailed clothing, and using google eyes rather than button eyes. And, yes, you can even find a few of Lovell and Anne’s doll creations sporting Auburn University gear and University of Alabama gear.
When Lovell first came to Wesley Place on Honeysuckle, she was unable to walk and could do very little for herself. A lift had to be used to help her with mobility. Lovell said she had let her leg muscles go and there was a period of 4 or 5 months that she had pretty much given up on being able to improve. But through her therapy and recovery at Wesley Place, and by finding joy and purpose in her community, Lovell can now stand on her own two feet and walk with the help of a walker. She and Anne have together made various crafts of the seasons to share with their fellow residents over the past year, such as angels, hearts, necklaces, and clothespin reindeer.
When Wesley Place on Honeysuckle first showcased the dolls and their creators on Facebook, the post circulated widely, and people began asking if the two sold the dolls, and where they could get one. Though they have made a few dolls for other people recently, Lovell said that the hospitals are their priority.
“You don’t know how much it makes our day. We get teary-eyed when we talk about all the attention,” Lovell said. “I just hope they like them.”