I signed up for a doll swap through Vivian's wonderful blog Viv on a Whim . This was fitting as my decision to enter this swap was truly on a whim! I have never done a swap before. The theme was "Beat the Winter Blues". The doll had to be joyful and springlike. This turned out to be good for me as it forced me to think about making something joyful and happy to represent the change of seasons when my heart really wasn't into it. Just a few days after I signed up for the swap my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer and a couple days after that my dear friend Janice died of the same disease (see post below). My mind was swimming with all sorts of dark, one-breasted art dolls representing the helplessness and uncertainty of this awful disease. But I put the cancer dolls on hold for now and started needle felting this gal. I knew I wanted to do a female figure but what I didn't know was how I wanted to pose her. Originally I planned on a nude figure, perhaps representing Mother Nature, lovingly holding baby Spring (a needle felted baby wrapped up in flowered silk) but it just didn't seem right. So though I went through pains to make sure she was anatomically correct, I had to abandon that idea and cover up her lovely body with a dress. I think that was the correct decision though and I'm happy with how she turned out. I only hope my swap partner likes her. So here, holding the first pussy willow of the year, is Spring. I hope you can see plenty of signs of her wherever you are..