I make more & more dolls.

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

I love making dolls. I especially love making dolls for people who I get to meet.

Those are the most special dolls.

This doll is for an autistic boy who lives less than a mile from our house.

 

Iris likes to give each doll I make a squeeze and play with it for just a bit before it goes home.

If I am still making dolls far into the future, I will miss this part.

I will miss this part so much.

 

“Lifestyle” Product Photography

Friday, March 11th, 2016

Iris says she only let me take her photo because I was really just taking photos of the doll.

rainbow waldorf doll

 

 

The sun was in her eyes.

custom waldorf dolls

 

 

It was cold.

all natural cloth doll

 

 

It is not very interesting to just stand there and look at a camera.

naked waldorf doll

 

 

I didn’t want her to just stand there and look at the camera.

naked waldorf doll

 

 

I wanted her to keep the doll off the muddy lawn

naked waldorf doll

 

 

and to make it look even cuter than cute.

hand spun pink yarn

 

 

Iris is, by far, the cutest little girl I’ve ever made.

all natural cloth doll

 

 

The dolls are getting consistently cute, too.

simple waldorf doll

 

 

This one would be perfect, only her body is on backwards.

 

naked waldorf doll

 

 

Tho you wouldn’t have known if I didn’t tell you 😉

 

Dyed Yarn Cakes

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Dying is fun!

I like when the yarn has variation to it.

 

Dyed Yarn Cakes-8177

 

 

niddy-noddy

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

“How to niddy-noddy,” says Iris, taking apart the device and putting it together.

“How to niddy-noddy,” and I don’t know whether it is a question or a statement.

 

Niddy-Noddy-8156

 

 

My previous dye technique involved putting yarn in a pot, dying it,

then spending an extraordinary amount of time untying tangles.

So I* made a niddy-noddy for looping nice hanks.

 

Yarn Hanks-8163

 

Nice hanks!

 

 
 

 

*NOTE: Martin made the niddy-noddy. I told him where to cut the PVC & after he cut it he accidentally put it together. It took all of three seconds. But I took it apart & put it together, so I made it, too. Then I suppose because Iris took it apart & put it together, she made it, too.

Assembly Line Heads

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

I’m working on making a score of dollies. All their homes have been accounted for in advance. Although I am supposed to be making one per week, I have opted to try the assembly-line method of production. It’s really helpful, because I can refine my technique immediately when I did something I realize I can do better. It’s sort-of like lettering drills that elementary school teachers give their students: practice one thing lots and lots, move on to the next, then string it all together.

 

 

“I’ve got all my heads in a row—”

ten doll heads-8120

—I think that stems from a duck-hunting metaphor, which is rather morbid when one thinks about it.

 

 

“Don’t put all your heads in one basket—”

ten doll heads-8117

— I don’t know if that one’s any better.

The Backwards, Forwards, Inside-Out Dress

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Megan's Dress-8006

 

I made a dress for Megan! It’s a simple A-line dress that looks good backwards, forwards, & inside out. The shoulders fasten with hook & loop fasteners. I got the cute patterned fabrics from raiding Ari’s awesome fabric stash (Ari: anytime you want to go shopping for cute patterned fabrics because you have nothing better to do, I trust your taste entirely). Mom, purveyor of fine ric-racs and other sundries (happy birthday, Mom!), will be happy to know I finally found an appreciation for the notion. The ric-rac I used is rather large. Because of the way I attach it & do the bottom hem of the dress, I don’t think I could use ric-rac any smaller, which is a shame, as most of her ric-rac is quite a bit smaller. There’s some fine stitching detail on the green side that is not on the colorful side, which I’m proud of. The greatest difficulty in sewing the dress came in getting the correct tension on my Bernina, which is odd, because it was supposed to have been set by a professional. I just can’t seem to get the bobbin tension tight enough.

 

Megan's Dress-8009

Megan

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

I have been spending a lot of time working on dolls & very little time photographing my family. So here we are. I really like this doll. She’s all my own design. She sits & stands & holds a paintbrush. I’m working on designing a very simple upscale doll for the toddler set. This shouldn’t be too hard, as there are plenty out there, but I want it to look as good naked as it does dressed. I was having issues with shoulder design and issues getting a nice tight seamless neck & chin, both which I’ve solved here. Her body is a very thick cotton knit & she’s stuffed with organic wool & her hair is all sorts of wool. I have some tweaking to do with the pattern— I think I want to make her legs get wider toward the bottom— but I’m pretty happy.

 

Megan Doll-7947

 

I’m really horrid at clothing design. I designed this little reversible A-line dress for her. This one is just made out of an old sheet, for which reason she looks like she’s wearing an old sheet, but it turned out nicer than it looks in the photos. Although I’m tempted to make it slightly more form-fitting, I think it would make it too hard for little hands to dress her. The dress will attach at the shoulders with velcro and it will look good forwards, backwards, and inside out.

Skinning the Head

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

Today I put skin on the head.

I think it was more interesting without skin.

But I’ll see where this is going.

Now I need to design some hair and a body.

 

2-21-25-7134

 

Poke-poke-poke-poke-poke…

Friday, February 20th, 2015

I’ve been wanting to design a small, relatively inexpensive, simple doll in the category of dolls that I’m interested in making (“Waldorf” or “Waldorf-inspired”), as I think that’s a relatively untapped market. I’ve been pretty lazy, what with Iris having a sinus infection then me having something resembling a cold. But today was the day. I was going to do it.

 

To prepare for doll-making, I need to clean the entire house, as Iris likes to take out all the batts of luscious fluffy wool and wrap herself up and roll in them: if there are any loose threads or gobs of dust, they get stuck in the wool. Then, as Iris anxiously waited for me to untie the wool bag, I did a bunch of geometry and came up with a simple pattern. And as Iris rolled herself in batts of wool and flopped around the living room, I tied a little woolen head, just the right size for my pattern.

 

Then I glanced at my newly-acquired felting needle. “Just a few pokes,” I said to myself. “I don’t have the correct size stockinette for such a small head, so I’ll just a do few pokes to firm up the wool.” Um. Well. I took a break after one hour of felting (lunch, nap, learn to use yet another new sewing machine, go for a walk) and resumed felting some time after five. Martin came home around six or so while Iris was on the toilet. I was sitting near her, poking away at the wool. Luckily there was plenty of left-over lasagna for dinner.

 

After about two hours (or so) of felting, the doll no longer fits into the category of “relatively inexpensive, simple doll.” I really have no idea where I am going with this. Although it is so tempting to attempt felt the entire doll body, I won’t. Not with this doll. Not yet. For this doll, I will just put some skin on the head, embroider the features, then design an appropriate body to go with it.

 

Here is the doll’s inner head, my second attempt at sculptural felting:

2-20-25-7127

My New Sewing Machine!

Friday, February 13th, 2015

2-13-15-6910