A TALENTED Johnstone mum has been spreading joy during lockdown by creating wooden dolls and giving them away to children.

Christina Rooney, from Spateston, first started painting the 6.5cm-high figurines – known as peg dolls – as a hobby two years ago.

Now she is putting a smile on the faces of bored kids by leaving the crafty gifts on a railing outside her home so they can pick one up while out on their daily walks.

Christina, 45, has created a colourful array of princesses, animals and superheroes, including Spider-Man and Wonder Woman, as well as ‘heroes without capes,’ such as doctors and nurses on the frontline in the battle against coronavirus.

The Gazette: Children have had plenty of peg dolls to choose fromChildren have had plenty of peg dolls to choose from

She told The Gazette: “I think around 60 dolls have been picked up by the kids so far.

“I stick them on the railing so the kids can look at them. That means, instead of having to rummage through all the dolls to find the one they want, they can just take the doll they like.

“I decided to do it because I feel so bad that the kids are missing their friends and school.”

Christina usually works part-time as a teacher at St Anthony’s Primary, in Johnstone, but is currently a full-time carer for her mum Sadie, who has dementia.

Sadie, who Christina affectionately refers to as “her apprentice,” used to help her paint the peg dolls.

The Gazette: Christina with her mum SadieChristina with her mum Sadie

“It’s very therapeutic and relaxing to paint the dolls,” said Christina. “When I first started, me and my mum would both sit at the table and she would paint the base coat on the dolls to pass the time and keep her motivated.

“I initially started painting the dolls for friends and family. Then people started requesting them, so I’ve kept on painting them for the past couple of years.”

Christina plans to continue painting dolls for kids after being inspired by acts of kindness she has seen in Spateston since lockdown started.

“All around us, people are doing nice things,” she said. “I think that, if everybody can do a small act of kindness, then it all contributes to something bigger.

“I’ve had mums asking me to let them know when I’ll be putting more dolls out because the kids are so excited to see what’s there. It’s nice and it’s giving everyone a wee lift.

“If I can make someone smile, then I’m happy.”

More of Christina’s creations can be viewed online at her ‘Crafty Little Rocker’ page on Facebook.

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