Warm Greeting! My name is Erica Daley…welcome to my tiny space on this very big world wide web.

I create and hand stitch dolls and small animals, as well as many other whimsical little items. I also paint small pieces using watercolors that reflect my interest and joy in nature and color. My work is suffused with a sense of childhood and fantasy, and is inspired by my own love of books and illustrations from so many artists who speak to the beauty of meadows and forests filled with enchanting characters, beautiful flora, and delightful fauna. Sometimes I feel a little born out of time, finding great appeal in the 1800s, and other eras before the late twentieth century, and I think small bits of that shine through in my work.

I tend to choose materials that are natural and simple. Materials that are nice to hold and a pleasure to work with and feel. I use high quality new and up-cycled fabrics, and I like to incorporate vintage and antique textiles when possible to add a sense of timelessness and to create a thread that connects us to similar arts and crafts that have been passed down through the centuries. I endeavor to create pieces that are lasting and not to be tossed aside with each passing fancy. Items that I hope will be passed down through generations…perhaps one day one of my dolls will become a ‘treasure in the attic’.

I have been a maker since my earliest memories. I drew and made art and played outdoors through my childhood. I have always been a dreamer and a child of nature. My professional work started with selling stuffed animals in high school. I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Humanities from the University of Maryland. I studied education and painting in college, and continued to sew in my free time. I then moved on to calligraphy and illumination for businesses and weddings through my early twenties. I tend towards experimenting and trying a variety crafts and projects including Ukrainian eggs, embroidery, paper flowers, weaving, and so many others. This desire to experiment, to work with my hands, and play with materials has enriched my work immensely. I also taught young children for years, which allowed me to extend my own childhood and play with toys and read children’s books far into adulthood.

On a personal note, I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as an adult, and I often use my art to raise awareness about cystic fibrosis, and to help raise funds to develop new medications that would benefit every person with CF, and ultimately, to find a cure so CF can stand for ‘cure found’! Sometimes you will see art that I create for the express purpose of raising funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I hope you’ll consider extending your support.

I’ll end with a poem from Walt Whitman that perfectly describes my experience of nature becoming a part of my soul (just substitute he/him for she/her or they/them as desired).

“There was a child went forth every day,
And the first object he looked upon and received with wonder or pity or love or dread, that object he became,
And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day . . . . or for many years or stretching cycles of years.

The early lilacs became part of this child,
And grass, and white and red morningglories, and white and red clover, and the song of the phÅ“be-bird,
And the March-born lambs, and the sow’s pink-faint litter, and the mare’s foal, and the cow’s calf, and the noisy brood of the barn-yard or by the mire of the pond-side . . and the fish suspending themselves so curiously below there . . . and the beautiful curious liquid . . and the water-plants with their graceful flat heads . . all became part of him.

And the field-sprouts of April and May became part of him . . . . wintergrain sprouts, and those of the light-yellow corn, and of the esculent roots of the garden,
And the appletrees covered with blossoms, and the fruit afterward . . . . and woodberries . . and the commonest weeds by the road…”