Blanche - the Girl who Loves Horses

Any takers for an early morning ride on horseback? Galloping across vast fields when they’re still covered with droplets of dew. Feeling the force of the wind against my face. And leaning close to the back of my dear horse and hearing its deep breathing...that’s what I call a day well begun. Oh, I forgot to present myself! I’m Blanche. Evidently, when my mother first saw my light-colored hair and sky-blue eyes, she decided that I was going to be one of those sweet homebodies. Maybe even a little cupid of sorts. But she soon discovered just how different I was and how bright of an adventure spark I had in my eye! The name stuck though. And I’ve even decided to continue the tradition and name my high-spirited mare Blanche 1. That’s how much I like it!

I was born not too tall, just above 18”. My mother used Swiss cotton and beautifully-smelling wool to make my body strong and flexible, which enables me to be more secure in the saddle.
I have long blond hair crafted of silky soft goat locks. I'm wearing a  peasant shirt made of liberty print, a pair of wide, lined silk pants, a hand-knitted merino wool/silk cardigan, and a pair of mohair/silk shoes . Oh, and I love my alpaca beret, which helps keep down my unruly hair!

Blanche is recommended for a child 6+ or an adult collector and will be available for purchase tomorrow, October 1st, at 7pm EST. Please visit the store to check her out!

Inspired by the French countryside...

"When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else.  Most people in the city rush around, so they have no time to look at a flower.  I want them to see
it whether they want to or not."   
-  Georgia O'Keeffe

This beautiful set is made of Italian linen mesh and gorgeous semi-sheer Swiss cotton voile. The intricate details, such as the ruffle collar, the delicate silk embroidery, and lovely handmade buttons, define this ultra-feminine look. The little hat with a linen bow adds the finishing touch to this outfit. 

The outfit will look lovely on a 16-18" doll.

This set consists of a pin-tuck dress, made of very light Italian linen and fine cotton lace, a cardigan, hand-knitted with a blend of undyed baby alpaca and mulberry silk, and a pair of cashmere/silk crocheted mary-janes. The dress pocket with a sophisticated silk embroidery might remind you of an apron and be used for holding little treasures found in the garden. 

This set will fit an18-20 doll.

Both outfits will be offered for sale in my store on Saturday, May 16 at 12 pm EST.

Looking through the gate...

'The world could change in a second. So I find the sunshine beckons me. To open up the gate and dream. And dream.'          ~Robbie Williams

 

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For weeks the skies were gray, heavy snow fell, and the north wind raged. Branches shook in trepidation and freezing air unmercifully enveloped the grounds and waters. But then there was nothing but stillness, like the calm of the sea after a storm.

Little Nina popped her head out the door and smelled the crispy air. She then quickly put on her woolen shawl and decided to explore the winter wonderland. Thick white blankets of snow covered the fields in front of her. The white tree branches looked like mosaics against the pale blue sky. Her feet sank in the soft snow as she made her way to the frozen pond. Her friend, the bronze boy statue, stood in the midst of the ice. She looked at him and dreamed of the warm spring days when the pond would be covered with lilies.

And suddenly she heard a bird. This beautiful sound felt so warm and uplifting, but where did it come from? Nina turned around and saw an old, rustic gate. She ran up to it and peeked through. A warm breeze blew her hair back and the fragrance of wild roses filled the air around her. Did the bronze boy hear her wishes? Behind the gate the flowers were blooming and the rivers were flowing. She had been dreaming of such days for the past few months and had imagined herself running across the fields with her pony...

Nina is a 13" doll with light tan skin, made with Swiss jersey and stuffed firmly with eco-wool.  Her face is sculpted using needle-felting technique and hand embroidered. Her hair is a hand-made weft of Suri Alpaca and is silky soft. It has been crocheted into a mohair cap and stitched down to the head. The fibers are held well but can be styled and brushed with fingers only. Nina also has little ears, knees, elbows and a cute little bum.

Nina wears an organic cotton shirt; a jumper, made with 2 layers of France Duval-Stalla cotton, and closing in the back; a pair of Liberty print pants with a beautiful cotton lace trim and an elasticized waistband and leg cuffs; a pair of hand-knitted mohair/silk Mary-janes with wooden buttons; a little cotton scarf and a wide lace scarf with a leather button, hand-knitted with gorgeous organic alpaca yarn; and a bracelet with a large engraved button and garnet beads.

Nina is designed and suited for an adult or a child over 6 (due to small parts in her clothing and the nature of her hair).
Her price is $550 (shipping is not included).

If you would like to open your doors to this little girl, please fill in your details in the form below. The form will be open until 9 pm EST Tuesday Feb. 17th. Then a name will be chosen randomly. An invoice will be sent via PayPal and payment is due upon receipt.

Comments are closed now. Thank you so much for your interest!


Winter moonlight

Elegance is the only beauty that never fades. - Audrey Hepburn

This romantic dress was designed with an older child or a collector adult in mind and will be for sale in my hyena store today, December 16th, at 3 p.m. EST.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog!

Christmas blossoms

It was one of those cloudy autumn days when I didn’t feel like sitting at home and decided that a stroll through New York City streets, with their awakening Christmas spirit, would do my creative self some good. Taking my turn around the fashion district always takes a while since I don’t let a single shop window escape me and spend some time looking at all of the beautiful fabrics, lace, trims, and buttons laid out so enticingly in the windows. This time, one particular window attracted all of my attention, in a way that I couldn’t make myself pull away. It was a fabric, the kind one usually dreams up and awakens to find that it has disappeared (that may explain why I kept starring at it, afraid of blinking away the vision). Cascading in loose graceful folds was a most breath-taking white netting adorned with delicate hand-made beaded flowers. It was the kind one usually associates with beautiful vintage bridal gowns (that of Grace Kelly comes immediately to mind). Thin and almost entirely transparent, the netting would provide just enough indistinctness to the garment so as to give its wearer the impression of mystery. “Illusion” was the name given to it by the boutique’s owner, and that is exactly what it felt like to me.

I couldn’t resist the temptation and immediately set to work picking out other fabrics which would help highlight the sense of “illusion” I wanted to create. I stopped on some very fine white wool for the main body of the dress and a mix of alpaca and mohair for the chic burgundy cape that would envelop the doll’s shoulders. A luxurious rabbit-fur collar and a beaded mohair beret would add the final touch. It would be a dress in the classical style, with a unique balance of antique elements and modern design...

At this point, some of you may be shaking your heads and seeing the similarity between my account of this beautiful gown and the masterful illusion created by the weavers in Hans Christian Andersen’s wonderful tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” but I promise it’s all true! After hours of drawing, creating patterns, cutting, and sewing, this gorgeous seasonally-inspired gown is ready for its debut. Will it be your doll to shine at the holiday ball this year?

This set was designed with an older child or a collector adult in mind and will be for sale in my hyena store tonight, December 15th, at 8 p.m. EST.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog!

Enzo

As soon as the sun peeks out from behind the horizon, Enzo is already up and running down one of Genova's cobbled streets towards the sea docks. Teresa, the kind middle-aged lady who sells fresh fruits and vegetables down the street, salutes little Enzo and gives him one of her ripest peaches. With one hand tightly holding onto the soft, melting peach and the other –– keeping his beret from flying away back up the street, Enzo skips on with his beaming smile and sparkling eyes.

He finds his favorite spot –– the rocks –– from where he can gaze undisturbed onto the vastness and beauty of the Mediterranean sea and the bustling life of the seaport beneath him. Enzo watches his father, one of the city’s ship engineers, walk down the long decks and converse with the ship constructors and sailors. The magnificent ship is almost complete. This gigantic structure, built by the hands of many men, is about to leave the shores and sail away into foreign lands and waters. Enzo longs that one day he too will be able to help his father and will construct the largest ship ever to grace the waters of the Mediterranean.

Enzo will be available in my hyena store Thursday, November 13th, at 7 p.m. EST.

Thank you so much for visiting!

Colors of Autumn

This fall collection is full of romantic details you'll love such as intricately-knit designs, subtle lace, flowing long dresses, and glittering stars. Each outfit combines chic fashion with the welcoming warmth and comfort of soft sweaters and coats, so your doll will be all bundled up for her long autumn promenades with her friends. 

Autumn in Paris

This silky soft and cozy sweater is made with a combination of beautiful hand-painted Artyarns  Kid Mohair/Silk Yarn and incredibly luxurious royal alpaca yarn.

This silky soft and cozy sweater is made with a combination of beautiful hand-painted Artyarns  Kid Mohair/Silk Yarn and incredibly luxurious royal alpaca yarn.

The corduroy knee-length pants feature lovely cotton lace trim.

The corduroy knee-length pants feature lovely cotton lace trim.

The sweater opens in the back with two little purl buttons

The sweater opens in the back with two little purl buttons

Provence Escape

This beautiful floral dress is made with Liberty of London cotton lawn and fully lined with Swiss cotton voile. Opens in the back with nickel-free snaps.

This beautiful floral dress is made with Liberty of London cotton lawn and fully lined with Swiss cotton voile. Opens in the back with nickel-free snaps.


Gorgeous France Duval Stalla lace....

Gorgeous France Duval Stalla lace....

Autumn Bouquet

Fully lined coat, made with cotton velvet and a detachable real-fur collar. The coat back features lovely coconut button.

Fully lined coat, made with cotton velvet and a detachable real-fur collar. The coat back features lovely coconut button.

Gorgeous Liberty Print corduroy dress features opening in the back with nickel free snaps

Gorgeous Liberty Print corduroy dress features opening in the back with nickel free snaps

Starry Night

Lovely wool hand-knitted cardigan and a festive skirt, made with France Duval Stella tulle and little golden stars

Lovely wool hand-knitted cardigan and a festive skirt, made with France Duval Stella tulle and little golden stars

The clothes are appropriate for children 6+  or an adult collector.

For all your lovely dolls, this collection will be for sale in my hyena store tomorrow, October 21st, at 10 a.m. EST.

Thank you so much for visiting!

Art inspired - Vincent Van Gogh

Look at the intense and contrasting colors in this famous Van Gogh painting. How beautifully the blue of the sky and the resting peasants complements the yellow-brown hues of the field and hay... This is the painting I thought of as soon as I saw the soft gradations of yellows and blues in the sweater I was knitting...

Noon: Rest from work (after Millet), Vincent van Gogh

Noon: Rest from work (after Millet), Vincent van Gogh

Gorgeous, lace-weight hand-painted cashmere yarn from Artyarns + leather buttons

Gorgeous, lace-weight hand-painted cashmere yarn from Artyarns + leather buttons

Silky soft vintage French cotton velvet + leather buttons + silk

Silky soft vintage French cotton velvet + leather buttons + silk

Hope your doll will enjoy this lovely set on a sunny autumn day and, relaxing under a hay stack and looking up into the clear blue sky, think of the great artist who had been inspired by that very same landscape.

 

Art inspired

Take a moment to look at this flower painting. What do you see? A confident stroke of the pencil outlining a flower petal, a bulky stem, a detailed pistil... When I first saw this image, I couldn’t help myself from comparing this type of bold line with the ones I see in my husband’s hand-drawn architectural plans and sketches. I guess this comes to show the uniformity of architectural training across not only continents but also time, since the author of this painting was a representative of the Belle Époque at the turn of the 20th century. His name was Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and he was a Scottish-born architect and artist.

 Charles Rennie MACKINTOSH

 Charles Rennie MACKINTOSH

Take another look though and notice the colors. The dark blue with hints of purple, the ochre, the olive green, all applied to the paper in the thinnest of layers. So thin, in fact, that the petals and the leaves seem almost see-through. There’s very little modeling to show depth and, instead, the flowers almost look a little flat. Almost decorative, as if they’re a kind of geometric design. And it’s no wonder, since Mackintosh belonged to a group of artists who broke with traditional, heavily-painted realistic art and sought out fresh ways of capturing the life around them. The style they developed became known as Art Nouveau (New Art), a style inspired by Nature, its flowers and plants, and its curved, flowing lines.

 

Charles Rennie MACKINTOSH

Charles Rennie MACKINTOSH

Art Nouveau was a very interesting movement because it didn’t just content itself with the visual arts, such as painting, but embraced all aspects of daily life, from architecture to interior design to jewelry to furniture and, finally, to textiles. Yes, people could be entirely surrounded by it and have an Art Nouveau life! Now, as you know, ideas like this really intrigue me, and I decided to find a way to apply this Art Nouveau style to my own doll fashion.

Liberty of London corduroy overalls + baby alpaca/cashmere/silk cardigan with silk bow

Liberty of London corduroy overalls + baby alpaca/cashmere/silk cardigan with silk bow

I came upon several Liberty prints which so closely resembled Mackintosh’s flower designs, that they seemed to have come out from under his press. The same subdued and beautifully-matched color palette, the same interest in the flowing curves of flowers and leaves, and the same irresistible fragility. I immediately saw how beautifully these fabrics would suit the fresh, crisp days of the approaching Autumn. The soft, velvety corduroy I decided to use for a pair of light-weight overalls, and the fine mix of wool and cotton - for a loosely-fitting dress with a raised waist.

 

                                                                                                                Charles Rennie MACKINTOSH

                                                                                                                Charles Rennie MACKINTOSH

Liberty Of London cotton/wool dress and cashmere/silk cardigan

Liberty Of London cotton/wool dress and cashmere/silk cardigan

Opens in the back with snap closures for easy dressing

Opens in the back with snap closures for easy dressing

Why not a give a try to living the Art Nouveau life? Who knows, you might like it and decide to travel back in time to the dawn of the 20th century...

La Princesse des Papillons

It was a warm summer day in Nîmes. The sun’s warm rays seeped through the tree leaves and played with the shadows on the ground in the park. Birds sang beautiful melodies in the sky and landed on the street to enjoy some left-over crumbs from Monsieur Boulanger’s prosciutto baguette sandwich. Beside the old man, on the other side of the park bench, sat a little girl. Sophie was her name. She was told by her two older brothers to wait on the bench for a couple minutes while they ran to the ice cream shop. The park was Sophie’s favorite place; she loved the colorful flowers that were planted along the path and the butterflies that fluttered from flower to flower. As she watched the little travelers, slowly her eyelids grew heavier and she fell asleep...

 

Sophie woke up to someone yelling her name. As she opened her eyes, a maid in a white silk bonnet came running to her, telling her that the guests had already arrived at the palace. To Sophie’s surprise, it was her birthday and she was a princess, daughter of King Gustave of France! As she put on her favorite green dress, Princess Sophie ran to her father and greeted the guests. The day was spent in laughter and excitement.

Everyone was happy and enjoying the beautiful day -- everyone but the little magic troll, who lived in a hidden cave house in the shadows of the palace garden. He was not invited to the birthday party. No one even knew that he existed. From his cave he could see the palace and the dancing crowd behind the glass windows. Unable to bear the grief, he decided to seek revenge using his magic powers...

 

The little troll knew that every evening after dinner, princess Sophie came to the gardens to feed the birds with crumbs left over from the royal dinner table. Then she played with the butterflies and took care of her favorite flowers, the pink rose hips. This evening, using his evil powers, the troll’s plan was to turn the little princess into a butterfly herself...

As the birthday dinner came to an end, Princess Sophie ran to the gardens with a bowl in her hands. Her face beamed with happiness as she put the bowl on the grass and hundreds of birds flew to be fed. The princess then watered her favorite pink rose hips and looked at the crystal clear sky. But suddenly, heavy clouds darkened the sky and a fierce wind blew all the crumbs and birds off the path. The storm calmed down in a few minutes, but princess Sophie was no longer there -- the evil troll had turned her into a butterfly. “This evil spell can only be broken if your father, the King, recognizes you,” he told Princess Sophie.

 

Back in the palace, the King and the court began to wonder at the long absence of their princess. They searched for her in the palace, the gardens, and the nearby towns. Princess Sophie was nowhere to be found. The King became desperate. He refused to eat or sleep. Every evening he took a bowl of bread crumbs and went to the gardens to feed the birds as his daughter did. The birds did not come, however. Flowers hung low to the ground, and only one butterfly circled above the bushes of the pink rose hips. The next day, as the King came into the garden, the same butterfly sat on the petals of his daughter’s favorite flowers. Every time the King noticed this little butterfly, and one evening he said sorrowfully , “This butterfly loves the pink rose hips as much as my daughter did.” Hearing these words and seeing the love the King had for his daughter and the sadness this evil spell brought to him, the troll sitting in his cave could no longer hold back his tears at what he had done. He had never felt so miserable in his life. His guilty heart had grown too heavy these past days.  The spell had to be broken!

A gentle breeze swept through the gardens and...

Sophie woke up. She was sitting on a bench in a park in Nîmes. Monsieur Boulanger had not yet finished his lunch. Birds were still pecking crumbs on the path, and she noticed across from her a bush of pink rose hips, just like the ones in her dream...

 

Blooming garden

Inspired by the colorful (and, of course, aromatic) patches of flowers outside my window, I decided to use my newly-discovered treasures of lace and ribbon, to create a collection of doll clothes all united by this one summery theme: flowers. Flowers embroidered in hand-dyed silk ribbon, flowers peaking out of the finest Mokuba lace, flowers printed in the style of Liberty...what more could a fashionable young lady dream of?

Gorgeous linen and lace tulle dress with silk ribbon embroidery.

Gorgeous linen and lace tulle dress with silk ribbon embroidery.

Baby alpaca and silk cardigan, designed to complement her special dress. Made to fit an 18" doll.

Baby alpaca and silk cardigan, designed to complement her special dress. Made to fit an 18" doll.

White linen and tulle dress...

White linen and tulle dress...

with beautiful silk ribbon embroidery and a velvet sash. Made to fit an 18" doll.

with beautiful silk ribbon embroidery and a velvet sash. Made to fit an 18" doll.

Linen jumper, organic cotton jersey shirt, and a pair of silk underpants, will fit an 18-20" doll.

Linen jumper, organic cotton jersey shirt, and a pair of silk underpants, will fit an 18-20" doll.

Liberty print and linen overalls, made to fit a 20" doll

Liberty print and linen overalls, made to fit a 20" doll

Elegant and classic, crepe de chine silk dress, with an exquisite Makuba lace and two layers of underskirt, designed to fit an 18" doll.

Elegant and classic, crepe de chine silk dress, with an exquisite Makuba lace and two layers of underskirt, designed to fit an 18" doll.

The clothes are appropriate for children 6+  or an adult collector.

For all your lovely dolls, this collection will be for sale in my hyena store tonight, June 19th, at 9 p.m. EST.

Little Mia

Wrinkling her nose in the most charming of ways, Mia smiles at the world through her freckles. She is like a little ray of sunshine, peaking into a room and filling it over the top with warmth and joy. Ever so gentle and sweet-tempered, Mia leaves no one behind in her adventures and games. “Ready or not, here I come!”

Little Léo with a dress for his beloved sister

Spring was finally here. Every afternoon, after finishing their lessons, the children went and played in the garden. They were happy to smell yellow daffodils and purple crocuses and to feel the soft new grass under their bare feet. One day in the farthest corner of the garden they saw little Leo. He was sitting very quietly, listening to the birds who sang so sweetly, while beautiful flowers poked their heads out of the grass above his head. Leo himself looked like a daffodil. It was a lovely scene.

Leo told them his story. He told them about the beautiful garden where he was born, his older sister with whom he loved to play hide-and-seek in that garden and who, he was sure, was hiding somewhere at that very instant. Suddenly, they were startled by cracking branches behind us and a loud lively voice which cried "Peekaboo!" and they all knew that Leo's sister had joined their little party.

Sometimes Léo can be a bit shy, but he quickly warms to new faces and becomes a loyal friend.

To cover his silky soft cashmere body (which is about 10" long), we decided to make additional clothing for him. He found a gorgeous Liberty print cotton for his pants and also asked us to make a festive dress for his beloved sister, who is 18-20" long. He is such a loving brother! We chose a matching gorgeous cashmere yarn for his vest, hat, and his sister's cardigan. As a finishing touch we added small leather buttons and a rabbit fur pom pom. 

When the clothes were ready Leo suddenly became timid and hid his face in the skirt.

Now he is all ready to meet his sister. If, by any chance, this young lady lives with you and you would like to open your doors to her brother, Leo would be thrilled to join your family!

Leo and the dress will be available for sale Tuesday, April 25th via a short auction, from 7 PM EST- 10 PM EST.

Due to small parts which can pose a choking hazard, Leo and the dress are recommended for children 4+.

Thank you so much for stopping by!