The Bird of Happiness - that’s what so many different cultures call our little Bluebird. Next time you hear it’s cheerful chirping, lighten up and remind yourself to enjoy all the beauties that Life has to offer!
I love Spring! - said Willie looking through the foggy window. - Without a doubt, it’s my favorite time of the year. I love watching the Earth wake up, with its snow starting to melt and release its damp smell, and currents of water rushing down the streets, the perfect little rivers for floating paper boats…
The idea was planted…
Armed with an old magazine, Willie and I got on with our task. Creating paper boats ended up giving us so much joy that Willie even squealed in delight, clapping her hands and asking me to hurry to the pond.
We were on our way through the forest. It was 5 o’clock in the evening. The sun hid completely behind towering gray clouds, and little drops started falling on my face. There was no rain at first, but a fog-like mist, which made walking really enchanting.
We were so busy choosing the right harbor for our boats, laughing and making mischief, that we didn’t even notice how it started to rain. After all, floating our boats and dancing in the rain filled our hearts with so much happiness!
And I guess it’s no wonder that there and then we caught a cold and had to stay at home the next day. We read The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, sipped tea with honey and lemon, and dreamed of our next paper boat race.
Wilhelmina (she actually prefers her short name Willie) is a sweet and funny little girl, about 16 inches tall, made with swiss jersey and stuffed with eco-wool from Oregon. Her torso was weighted with a sun-kissed stone, brought from the Mediterranean shore. Her face was needle-felted, deep brown eyes and mouth — embroidered, and freckles — painted. Willie’s hair was made with silky soft wefted mohair and could be gently brushed and braided.
Together with Willie, we carefully chose the fabrics for her clothing. She insisted on spring colors and a comfortable style, since she loves to spend time outdoors, playing in puddles or riding her bicycle (not included with the doll).
She comes wearing a lovely pair of wide pants, made from Japanese cotton, a warm cotton sweater, with cashmere neck and pocket, cotton underwear and corduroy/wool boots with leather laces. And to keep Willie warm on a cooler day or in the evening, we made a cozy cashmere poncho for her. So no need to worry if she spends too much time outside!
"Spring is nature's way of saying let's party." -- Robin Williams.
So let's celebrate Spring together and meet at Dollectable at 7 pm on Saturday, April 1st.
Lucie is a cute and funny little girl. She's always cheerful, a little mischievous and even quite stubborn sometimes, but when you get to know her better she's a very gentle and caring soul. She wants to love and be loved no matter what!
Lucie is about 14" long and made with swiss jersey and stuffed with clean and beautifully-smelling eco-wool. Her face has been sculpted with needle-felting techniques, brown eyes - embroidered and cheeks - blushed with beeswax. Her hair is made of mohair crocheted into a wig and attached tightly to the head.
Lucie comes wearing a lovely silky velvet dress with a detachable crochet collar, a pair of lovely underpants, made with organic cotton batiste and trimmed with fine lace, and a pair of Merry-janes, crafted with Liberty print and wool.
If you would like to invite Lucie to your home, take a peek in my Etsy store.
“What are you dreaming of, Bijou?”
“I’m dreaming about the coming of Spring and birds singing, about beautiful lands and mountains, about long walks in fields full of flowers, about new friends and fascinating stories …”
“And this dream will come true, my darling Bijou,” I answer. “Winter will end soon and you’ll travel to new places full of rich stories, meet your new family, who’s not only friendly and hospitable, but also tender and loving…”
“This journey will be the start of a new dream”, she says pensively. “ A dream of making music and singing along with the breath of the wind...” And she begins to sing softly one of the tunes she’s composed herself….
Bijou’s outfit echoes with the quintessential Parisian vibe - chic, crafted from exquisite materials, elegant, and effortless.
She will come wearing a Liberty print blouse with a scalloped collar, a pair of lined cashmere shorts with a leather belt, a merino wool hand-knitted cardigan, long cotton socks, cotton underwear, shearling boots, and a beret, hand-knitted with merino wool/silk yarn.
If you like to dream and wish for your dreams to come true, Bijou will be your perfect companion on this journey.
See you in my etsy store!
“Are you coming?” came the shrill and slightly annoyed voice of her younger sister from behind the door. And a loud, impatient knock followed. She’d probably been calling for a while from downstairs and was starting to loose her patience, but was it Emily’s fault that she heard the call only now? Only now did her sister’s sudden knock awaken Emily from her reveries and pull her harshly back into reality.
“Come on! We still have to run through the last scene, and there’s only a few days left before Mama’s birthday!” came the voice of Reason and Responsibility. Emily sighed heavily, wishing only that everyone would just leave her be, alone and happy with just her books and thoughts for company. Couldn’t they find someone else to fill her role in the play? That comic character of a fat baker’s wife was completely uninspiring to her at the moment. Not her dirty sense of humor nor her silly laughter. Not at this moment, when all Emily could think about were the beautiful verses of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It was a mere coincidence that she found a book of her poems, dusty and seemingly forgotten, on one of the top shelves in her father’s library. Who knew that such abstract concepts as life, love, and loss could be so beautifully portrayed in words, and by who, a woman! Oh how Emily longed to write like this! Maybe one day books of her own poems would make their way across the country…or maybe even beyond, inspiring other young women to be brave and trust their own feelings…
Suddenly the door opened and in flew the sister, a long black cape trailing behind her as she, for a moment, forgot her role of serene and gentle priest. “That’s it! Either you join us now or you’ll be running your own show when Papa comes back!” No one could argue with that last threat. Their father's strictness was a well-known fact. Reluctantly closing her book, Emily followed her sister out of her room. Out of her dreamland.
I have a little confession to make: every doll I make is special in some way, but this little girl has somehow been able to enchant me completely. Seriously, I’m absolutely in love with her!
Before Forest was born, and even before I started working on her, in my dreams, she was supposed to be a boy… A very playful and cheerful boy. But little by little, as I started forming the head, the body, the sweet little features, I saw the face of a newborn appear, exposing the delicate and tender features of a… girl. I can tell you, at first I tried to resist. I had already chosen fabrics for his clothing; even started to knit a sweater. But I felt that this little soul was guiding my hands, and I just followed the path she had chosen for herself.
Looking at her (still naked and helpless, as it seemed to me at that point), I puzzled over her character. She had a lovely sparkle in her eyes when she talked, an ability to make you laugh even if you weren't in the mood.
She was a very happy girl indeed! Impulsive and trusting, she fell in love so quickly and became a loyal and caring friend. My youngest son remarked that she was super charming and funny. And I can assure you that Forest is a joy just to be around!
Forest is about 16 inches tall. She’s made with Swiss cotton and stuffed firmly with wool. She has a needle-felted face, embroidered eyes and painted freckles. Her hair is Wensleydale mohair locks, washed and wefted by me, and then crocheted into a wool wig.
Forest will come wearing a lovely festive dress with a peter pan collar and snap closure on the back; a pair of long underpants and a petticoat, both made of Swiss dotted cotton; crocheted alpaca/mohair boots; and a sweet little apron made from an English vintage, embroidered handkerchief.
Forest loves nature and is a friend to most forest creatures, who walk up to her and eat from her hands. Her true friend Fox never leaves Forest alone and would go to the end of the world for her.
The Fox is about 7” long and is crafted from wool, made according to the lovely pattern by Cynthia Treen .
Forest and Fox will be looking for a home tomorrow, December 1st, at 7 pm EST at Dollectable.
See you then!
#1. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and imagine yourself walking on a path through a winter forest. You can hear the rustle of branches and the silence of falling snow, and an owl hooting from the top of a tree...
Beautifully-soft cardigan, hand-knitted with baby alpaca/cashmere/silk, features an owl design in the front and button opening in the back.
Cotton pointelle shirt with a lace-trimmed collar and buttoned back.
Woolen skirt, hand-embroidered with mohair yarn and tiny beads.
Several hours of embroidery were needed to create this lovely piece. The skirt is fully lined with organic cotton batiste and features elastic at the waist.
This festive outfit will look very sweet on an 16-18" girl.
#2. It's already cold outside, but your little girl will be warm in this crimson corduroy dress! A petticoat skirt (made with organic cotton batiste with a vintage lace trim) works beautifully on it's own or under the dress, adding that extra touch and making the gown fuller. A fur vest is perfect for layering over a dress, and there’s nothing like cuddling up in something so soft and comfy. And of course she can't go out without a pair of bloomers (crafted with Liberty print cotton).
This set will perfectly fit a 14" girl.
#3. And last but not least, a cute outfit for a little gnome 16" tall!
Hand-knitted mohair/silk cardigan with a little pocket to hold an acorn or another little treasure from the woods, features a wooden cat button and a pom pom on its hood. The corduroy pants have elasticized waist for comfort.
All these outfits will be available tomorrow, November 1st, at 7 p.m. EST at Dollectable store.
See you soon!
“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” – Oscar Wilde
Recently, visiting our friends in Boston, we were sitting in the park, talking, laughing and sipping hot cider. It was a lovely September afternoon, when a funny little guy suddenly perched himself near us on the bench. He looked a bit older than my sons, maybe about 13 or 14. But what struck me was his nonchalant manner and the way he completely matter-of-factly joined in on our conversation. Antoine was his name. He turned out to be a fantastic narrator and just plain cool (if I can permit myself to borrow my sons’ cutting-edge vocabulary)! He told us about his life in Paris (because obviously that’s where he was from), and about how he traveled everywhere only by bike, since he didn’t quite trust the metro system and took the plane only in extreme situations, such as crossing the ocean (and even then, he hoped that a bridge connecting Europe to the US would soon enough make this unfortunate circumstance unnecessary). He also told us about his passion for dressmaking. How he only wore clothes designed and made by himself, clothes that perfectly suited his busy urban lifestyle. And as a true Parisian, he definitely knew what he was doing when it came to style.
Here are a few tips given by Antoine.
1. Be simple!
2. Layer up.
If you want to adopt a chic Parisian way of dressing, don't forget to layer. The key is to make sure that each layer peaks out just a little bit.
A collar shirt in light pink pairs incredibly well with an olive wool jacket!
3. The right shoes.
Every Parisian is willing to have a pair of brown leather shoes to compliment his look.
4. Oh stripes!
There is probably nothing more French than a traditional Breton stripe. A pair of striped socks are amazingly versatile and look fantastic in every season.
5. A scarf.
Never leave your home without a scarf, even in the summer. Just toss it in over your jacket or shirt.
And of course, don't forget about hair. Leave it floppy and seemingly nonchalant for a perfect look.
If you'd like to bring a bit of French style into your wardrobe and get your own adorable and trendy fashion adviser, get in touch with Antoine!
At some point, every little girl dreams of being a princess. But Lage (that's how she calls herself in Swedish) has always tried to assure me that she was born a mermaid.
I remember when I saw her for the first time, sitting on the edge of a cliff above the ocean and letting the wind play with her curly hair. She turned her head and looked at me. Her eyes were blue like the ocean water, and her smile - gentle and soft as the morning sun.
Since then, Lage has been living with my children, playing, reading and dreaming together with them. She is a very quiet and thoughtful child, and nothing gives her so much pleasure as hearing stories of the sea world. She loves hearing, over and over again, stories of coral reefs or aquamarine icebergs floating along the northern coasts, or even about migrating whales. She makes us tell her everything about underwater rivers and deep sea lakes and longs so much to move closer to the sea.
“All grown-ups were once children... but only few of them remember it.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Sometimes she just has to take out that reed pipe and play one of her favorite tunes. Otherwise her white, furry charges all stroll away in different directions, and then it takes her hours and hours to get them back together. She sits down under the green canopy of some old oak, leans back onto its sun-warmed trunk, and listens to the soft rustle of its leaves. And then she responds to them. With a tune of her own creation.
It usually works. The sheep suddenly raise their heads and turn toward her. It’s actually a little funny how much they love the sound of that pipe! They start waddling over, pieces of grass sticking out of their mouths, as they chew and chew and chew. Coming over, they crowd around, pushing each other and bleating loudly, as if each wants to add its voice to the song. And then Marika pets them. Their coats feel warm and furry under her hand. “About time for a shave,” she thinks and tenderly hugs the balls of fur pushing into her from all sides. Then she pops an olive into her mouth.
Marika is a custom little doll, born in my studio, and finally ready to go home!
I just came back from teaching at the European Waldorf Seminar in the Netherlands. It was a wonderful experience! Meeting and working side-by-side with other artists just as passionate about doll-making as I am is always really exciting and inspiring!
As I always jump at opportunities to visit the “Old World,” I was very happy that I could stay an extra week in Europe following the Seminar. And I used this time to just travel and breathe in the wonderful smell of history I so miss back in the States. As a good homeschooling mom (read sarcastically!) who’s always on the look-out for educational connections, I also didn’t want to miss this chance to show my twelve-year-old son examples of Medieval towns. In the process, we uncovered a jewel of a town that I’d never thought of visiting before: Ghent, Belgium. It was raining almost the entire day we were there, but towards evening, the sky cleared up and we were blessed with a most beautiful view of the city.
Though only indirectly related to my doll-making journey, I couldn’t resist sharing with you some photos I made of this magical place!
At last spring has sprung!
It's a season that bursts with new beginnings, new life, and, of course, new little dolls...
May-Elise is a natural fiber art doll, a little over 18" tall. She was made with Swiss cotton interlock and stuffed very firmly with wool. Her hair was made of beautiful, silky-soft Suri alpaca locks, that were combed, washed, dyed with black tea, sewn into wefts, and then crocheted into a wool cap. Her hair is very fragile and should be styled with fingers only (no brush). Her face was sculpted with needle felting technique, brown eyes - embroidered, light freckles - hand-painted, and cheeks - blushed with beeswax.
May-Elise wears lovely cotton batiste underwear, crafted with French lace; Liberty of London dress with underskirt; fully-lined cashmere jacket with a leather belt; hand-knitted silk/mohair bonnet and scarf; hand-knitted mohair socks, and velvet boots.
May-Elise is recommended for children 8+ or an adult collector.
If you would like to offer your home to this beautiful girl, she will be available in Dollectable store on May 1st, at 7pm EST.
Who likes the magic of a fogy morning? Especially when it involves crossing a bridge that seems to be floating in the clouds? That’s Janelle’s favorite part of her morning commute to school. She’s moved to London only quite recently and is completely in love with this kind of weather. Almost as if someone is playing around with a magic wand!
Here she’s asked me to take a photo of her emerging out of the fog. “Can you see me? and now?” she asks eagerly, as she steps farther and farther away. I laugh. What can I say? The little bright red beret of hers is just not doing a very good job as camouflage!
Janelle is a natural-fiber art doll, a little over 18" long. She is made with Swiss cotton interlock and stuffed firmly with eco-wool from Oregon. Her hair is straight mohair weft, crocheted into a wool cap. Her face is sculpted with needle felting technique, eyes - embroidered, and cheeks - blushed with beeswax. Janelle has hand-painted freckles which, I think, make her so sweet! (Since I added them at the last moment, you may not see them on some of the pictures.)
Janelle is recommended for children 8+ or adult collectors.
Janelle will come wearing a lovely spring outfit:
- Long-sleeved onesie, crafted with gorgeous floral Liberty of London cotton lawn;
- Wide linen skirt with organic cotton underlay, trimmed with beautiful cotton lace. Skirt features snap closing in the back;
- Cardigan, hand-knitted with Shibui merino wool/silk yarn. Features a leather belt and a linen flower;
- A pair of hand-knitted mohair/silk socks;
- Beret, hand-knitted with silky soft mohair/silk yarn;
- And a pair of leather shoes with leather ties.
Maëlle is a natural doll, about 18" tall, made with wool and swiss cotton. Her head was made with a needle-felting technique, her eyes and mouth - embroidered. Her hair is beautiful Suri Alpaca, sewn into weft by me and then crocheted into a wig.
Maëlle's clothing was made especially for her. She will come wearing: a striped cotton bodysuit (featuring snaps in the back), a pair of wide linen pants with a wooden button closure in the back, a hand-knitted cardigan, made with beautiful mohair/cashmere yarn with sequins, matching striped socks, and a pair of wool/leather shoes (unfortunately, the little goose isn't coming with Maëlle since he's staying with his siblings at our pond).
Due to the nature of Maëlle's hair (Suri Alpaca is extremely delicate and very soft, making it tangly and difficult to brush), the doll is recommended for an older child, 9+, or an adult collector.
Thank you for visiting!
I love Amsterdam! Since my extended family lives there, once in a while, we go visit them and breathe a little of that Dutch air I so love.
You better like biking if you want to live there though! Dutch people cycle everywhere. From town to town. From home to the train station, to the supermarket. Across picturesque canals and past little thatch-roofed cottages. Biking paths are literally everywhere. And people seem so relaxed on those bikes, almost as if those two wheels are just a continuation of their own bodies. You hear them singing, whistling, laughing, or even having the most serious conversations, sometimes even meetings on those bikes. And little kids are no exception, making me imagine that their first memories are most likely full of bike images.
So that’s the beginning of my story, a preamble.
A couple of weeks ago I was working on my new doll. The weather was changing from hour to hour, clouds letting through only a little bit of sunshine every now and then, but mostly, it was drizzling. We were done with our lessons for the day and my children, being a little reluctant to play outside in this weather, were siting close to me and, inspired by the drizzle, were recalling memories of our last trip to Holland. They had a bunch of photos. It was so nice and cozy sitting with them on the couch and listening to their babbling voices. Sometimes excited and high pitched. Laughing. And other times, trailing off and nostalgic, just like the rain on the window pane.
Thus my little Dutch girl Femke was born that day.
As Norwegians say “we’re born with skis on our feet,” so Femke was born on a bicycle.
She is a lovely girl, very eager to please and be loved in return, even if at first glance her tenderness may not be so apparent. Often, she just tries to hide her emotions, so as not to seem overly sentimental, but, trust me, when I say she has one of the sweetest personalities I’ve met.
Femke is 17” long, made with swiss cotton and beautifully-smelling ecological wool. She is a slim girl with long legs and knobby knees. Her face is needle-sculpted and eyes are embroidered. Her hair - made with silky soft Wensleydale lamb locks, that were gently cleaned, separated, wefted, and then crocheted into the wig by me.
To celebrate the approaching spring, she comes wearing a silk sleeveless dress, hand-knitted mohair/silk sweater with an owl design and real Turquoise stones (her favorite!), a pair of cashmere leggings, and comfortable boots, made with linen. (The bicycle is not included).
Femke is recommended for a child 7+.
If you like cycling as much as she does and would like to welcome her in your home, Femke will be offered for sale at 7 pm EST in Dollectable store on March 1st.
Princess Malou Estee Anwen was born in late January in a country that lies far, far in the North. That night the sky was studded with thousands of twinkling stars and the moon was very, very high. The face of the newborn girl, brightened by the moonlight and reflection from the snow, seemed so beautiful and calm.
Since it’s very unlikely that her father will ever become King (because of a long line of uncles) or that she will ever inherit the title of Queen, Malou is free to do what she pleases. In other words, she fully enjoys her life! She lives in a small house in the woods, and not in a castle, she likes to play outside and get messy, she loves to climb trees, and to read books, while sipping chamomile tea by the fire.... The trees, the birds, and her parents adore this little girl!
But sometimes Malou puts on her fancy starry dress, made by her grandmother, a cashmere sweater, warm long socks and shearling boots, and dreams of a handsome prince whom she will one day possibly marry and live with happily ever after.
Since her hair is very delicate and fragile (made with wefted suri alpaca), the Princess is recommended for a child 7+ or an adult collector.
Malou will be waiting for you on Monday, February 1st, at 7pm EST. Please visit the store to check her out!
“…Adventures don’t come calling like unexpected cousins calling from out of town. You have to go looking for them.” — unknown
Have you ever met Katie whose smile lights up the room? She lives on a charming Scottish Island with her little cousins and their grandmother. Katie loves the tranquility of the island and the sound of the wind rushing through the grassland. But she is not a quiet romantic girl as you would think; her life is full of adventures. Oh yes, she is a dreamer, but she has the courage and curiosity to chase her dreams!
This little girl occupies a special place in the hearts of islanders; everybody adores her. Katie is very passionate about what she does and is always eager to help with sheep that wonder up into the nearby hills, or with posting letters to the wrong addresses... She could be funny and stormy at the same time, but thanks to her determination, energy, and stubbornness, she always finds her way out of troubles.
Katie is very happy to meet her new friend! A darling little sheep will travel with Katie to warm her up during freezing winter days and whisper her stories about the beautiful island she will definitely one day revisit.
Let me introduce little Lumi - a Christmas Girl!
Lumi is about 15" tall. She is crafted with Swiss cotton interlock and stuffed very firmly with sweet-smelling wool. She has a needle-sculpted face and her hair is made with fine alpaca goat mohair weft that has been crocheted into a cap and stitched down to the head. She also has little ears, knees, elbows and a cute bum. Lumi is wearing underwear, made with organic cotton batiste, silk ribbon and beautiful French lace, a festive cotton dress, and a pair of hand-crocheted mohair/silk boots.