Dollmaking, my favorite pasttime

Finally, finally, finally, I had a 1/2 day to dive back into my favorite sewing project. My newly purchased tools for this purpose have been sitting in the studio for months….but my primary jobs come first.

dollmaking tools


Where to start, faces or hair first? For me, one leads to the design of the other.


doll hair


Loved the ribbon, I want to work with more of this.



I have missed the feel of my sketch pencils in my hand. Oh to be a professional artist, but suffer, my dolls unto my hand.



Ribbon hair.


Wool Roving curly.


Wool Roving Blond….. which awaits blossoms and birds, I want a nest in the hair. Than onward I will go to the huge basket of fabric that I hoard specifically for gowns and cloaks for dolls, to soothe the piece of me that desperately, so desperately, misses dressmaking.

Toys arrived.

The missing elements to Dollmaking have arrived and await my very enthusiastic attack. I also, in preparation, spent the weekend gathering all things I have tucked away for Dolls. I have wool roving, baskets of dress fabrics, odd artsy needlepoint, strange and wonderful yarn for hair and my favorite patterns I made so long ago.


I cant wait to start but to do so means I need the day cleared of everything else. Every artsy person has a process, mine is to clear the day of everything and everyone and then dive into the art with music filling the air in the studio.

And how I miss dressmaking, the old fashioned cut-it-right-out-of-the-fabric dressmaking. With Dolls I have no limits, no one worrying, no one elses preferences to consider. Just me and what comes of the fabric. Again, I can’t wait. This is my happy place.

_MG_8563 _MG_8564

But for now…..Yay! The last of my things arrived, I am poised to begin as soon as a clear day comes. Well, it won’t really “come”. I will have to smash everything out of the way to clear a day to have serenity and peace to drown in dollmaking.


I cant wait.

Saving Crap is wicked good

Dolls were the first item I sold at craft fairs in the 80’s. They were also the first item that got me accepted into a real live professional art gallery. And  surprisingly there were woman who collected my dolls……I still have trouble actually stating that as a truth but it is.

This year, I am adding them back to my business as a secondary item. They will be my happy place. (Don’t you have a life that serves as a happy place? you are probably asking…No, I don’t….:)…)

Today was the day to collect all the doll making supplies and get them organized into one place. Lo and behold I found early attempts that I saved! How exciting is this? I have my very first sculpy doll! I also have a few bad attempts at heads…they really are bad, aren’t they?


It’s awesome to save your firsts. I think it’s important to know where you came from, from where you started and understand your present expectation of yourself. Here are a few bad attempts at a head.


I also was known to make some pretty good hands, although this would not be such an item.



I can’t wait to get started. I miss painting, I miss fashion design, and I miss creating something that comes completely and effortlessly from my soul.  If only there were other like minded artists around here…..and maybe a genealogist or two. Then I could have a bigger happy place cuz I could have a friend…. in the meantime I will make dolls. They pretend to be friends….:)


Me…..and Dolls

I have made Dolls for what seems like a lifetime. They have been a continuous thread woven throughout my life. Whatever form my sewing takes, whatever part my business forms into an income, dolls have been my playground. They are where I have no cares, no expectations and no standards to meet. It’s just me, fabric, paint and free flowing creative mindfulness.


Their forms take shape based on what I feel at the moment. Their hair and features also depend on my mood, my feelings or the music that I am listening to at any specific moment. They are born from my feelings more than any other work I produce.


I have boxes of vintage fabric, containers of real wool roving and paints and brushes, all awaiting my free time. I have missed making them. They have not been in my life for years. I have eeked out a place for them to rejoin my life. They have their trunk of supplies in my studio, their own Etsy shop and await only my time. They are where I go for fun.



Saved Photos of Firsts from the studio

Just like children save their art projects from school. I think most artists save their own projects. Here are a few of mine that are still fun for me to see. Not all the pictures blow up well but they bring back nice memories.

Patty was my first Ebay sale and now lives out West. I always loved making dolls and hope I have more time to include them this year.

First Ebay Sale

My first attempt at unrefined curly wool roving hair. I decided that I liked it and it is now my standard…..(on most days unless something really interesting comes along with which i need to play). Clarissa now lives in Vermont with the artist that adopted her.

from First Vermont Doll Collection

Morrison, my first non-fur, bear now lives in England. I heard he did really well on the very long flight home.

First Cotton Bear with Hair

My first baby bear, Silkie lives nearby.

First Silk Teddy Bear

The first pair in the Doll Sculpture Collection, These Victorian Bridesmaids  adorn the living room of a wonderful German woman who wouldn’t let them be separated. These were always my favorite form of dolls to make. They take on emotion much more easily than other forms.

First Sculpted DOll with Dress

Amish Amy was the first to inspire me to take a more creative hand to my photography, using the sun and darkness equally, I am still drawn to the technicalities of photography. The light in this photo still draws me into it.

Country Doll





Doll Clothes;Dresses of Our Keepers.

What is it about Dollclothes?
No matter how old we become, there is kinship with the dolls of our childhood. There is comfort in their prescense and comfort in the clothes they wore. We all have them tucked away somewhere; Barbie’s gown, Betsy’s blankie, someones lost shoe, all bring tugs to our heart. And why not? It’s deserving. These pieces of stuffed muslin, cast plaster and vinyl were our first friends, the first receivers of our whispered dreams, the first ears to hear our cries and displeasure at the world around us. No one knew us, like our Dolls. They carried our heart and feelings until,well, it wasn’t that we outgrew them…no, none of us did. We simply became too old to carry them publicly. So we quietly, thoughtfully, and regretfully began to set them aside. But they remained our keepers. They are the ones who still and will always be there in the night ready to listen, always agreeing, while wearing the prettiest dress we never did get around to ironing and silently accepting whatever hairdo we graced upon their heads. They remain our first best friends and keepers of our early secrets. Here are a few of the outfits I have made for someone’s Best Friend.