Saturday, November 12, 2011

Making dolls with friends

I have kinda skipped out of craft group; still in touch by email but haven't gone along on a Wednesday all term. I was ready for a change, it had stopped being fun and was becoming a chore ~ a clear sign to move on.

A couple of friends from playgroup ask if I would help guide them in the creation of a doll each for their daughter's third birthdays - just a week apart in early October "Sure, that could be fun".

Neither of them are sewers or crafters and both were pretty anxious but also very keen. Monday nights were put aside and my very good friend Tanya of Love Bytes Photography gave us a beautiful space in her studio to hold our doll making evenings.

If you have ever made a doll, fluffling out wool to form a head, think back to your first time...remember what all that wool looked like?

Making a head, especially the first time, is hard work and it is nice to have friends along for encouragement - look how pleased these two look when they had all that wool compacted nicely into their stockings.

 What started as two quicky grew to six keen doll makers plus me... so I shut the door; we were running out of comfy couch space!

The first two finished their dolls with a few days breathing space before their daughter's respective birthdays - I think they were both very pleased with themselves - their dolls are beautiful, full of love and very much loved by their new mummies.

Daisy was 'born' first

and a few days later Simonie made her appearance

I hope to show you pictures of the other women's dolls I have 'midwifed' - they are in a mad race to the finish line as birthdays and Christmas loom large.

While standing at the ready to help I made a couple of dolls myself... They were quite an experiment, big dolls with tails, aka Mermaids.

First I hand dyed some cotton velour and then drew a couple of tail patterns to fit the body patterns I already had. I also hand dyed their they are well and truely hand made!

I was just putting the finishing touches to the one above when A friend announced "she is mine". Her daughter's birthday was at the very end of last month and she declared her a perfect gift; she named her Isabelle.

I made the second mermaid with a straight rather than curved tail and I gave her a nose because I have been wanting to experiment more with noses since the little winter icicle gnomes.


She is for sale in the local Steiner inspired toy shop Nature Play (also online and facebook) if you are interested.


DaffodilAngel said...

Gorgeous Shannon, love the mermaids.

Linda said...

So beautiful!!

Carole said...

i love those belly buttons !

M. Bloom said...

Such lovely mermaids... Ah! dolls with tails! You mentioned to me a while back that you were making dolls with tails. I inquired whether they might also sport horns, fangs or hunchbacks... I guess not!


W-S Wanderings said...

No. What? Seriously? These are FANTASTIC!!!! And why, oh, why do you live ever so far away from me? It just seems cruel :P

Gorgeous, gorgeous creations. I love how your midwifery skills follow you into the crafting studio.

Lisa said...

It was a wonderful process and Shannon you are a patient and thoughtful teacher. Thank you for guiding me through and keeping me sane in the process :)

Shannon said...

Thank you all.
Carole I love the belly buttons too, I can't think of a doll I have made without one; must be the midwife in me?
WSW do you think if we lived closer you would drop your protective shield? ; p
Lisa, my absolute pleasure.

W-S Wanderings said...

Oooooh, GOOD question. Dang that incognito quirk of mine!

Ronnie said...

Love those mermaids - they are awesome. Wish I could come along to your classes:(

Hinterland Mama said...

Oh my!!!
There is just something so very special about Steiner style dolls.
I bought Making Waldorf Dools a few years ago and still haven't made one.
Shannon, you have a magic about you, helping such beauties come to life ღ

rhyme said...

dolls with tails! awesome & Gorgeous.


K said...

I have never been much for dolls, oddly. But these seem pretty darn huggable. You do really good work, kiddo. The first mermaid, especially, takes my eye.