Maryke dolls

MARYKEWe started the year with a great feature of my friend Robyn of Maryke Dolls. She makes the most tender dolls in the world. Each of her creatures is made with very beautiful, natural and sometimes vintage fabrics. Besides being very beautiful, they have a loveable texture and character. I bet you will fall in love with her work and will enjoy this interview with her.

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1. What would you like to share about yourself?

ROBYN: Hi! My name is Robyn; Maryke is my middle name. I chose it as my shop name because it’s also my Dutch maternal grandmother’s name. It fits with my love of family, history, and the tradition of beloved heirlooms being passed from one generation to the next. In that same vein, I’m one of four sisters, and funnily enough, I myself have four daughters. (My dad and husband have a lot to commiserate about. 😉) I have loved dolls since I could barely hold one, and I played with them for far longer than I would admit to my friends. I even wrote stories about them (which I still have!). Even so, I never thought I would end up making them. My family is a creative one, leaning to the artsy literary side of things. We all write a little bit and read a lot. My parents own a used bookstore. So when I was younger my career aspiration was to be writer, with English teacher as a back up plan. Neither of those has really worked out–yet! But there’s still time. Right now I’m staying home with my girls and still have an opportunity to be creative, which makes me very happy.

 

2.Can you describe your dolls in one sentence?

ROBYN: Earthy, nostalgic, character-filled dolls made with an emphasis on texture and story-telling.

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3. When did you start making dolls?

ROBYN: I was always making cute things when I younger–paper dolls, ornaments, little pillows for my barbies, but I didn’t venture into sewing dolls until much later. I made my first rag doll years ago, just to see if I could, and I loved it immediately. But it would be a while before I would convince myself that this could be a business. I didn’t even know how to use a sewing machine back then; I sewed it entirely by hand. The feeling I experienced when I held the finished doll was something special–It felt like coming home. I finally learned to sew by machine on a 1970’s Kenmore workhorse that I paid $40 dollars for. I invited a lady into my home to show me the ropes while my toddlers played around us. It was the one of the best decisions I ever made.

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4. What motivated you to start your own brand?

ROBYN: I spent years making a wide range of things and selling them on etsy, first by hand and then machine, and I made a doll here and there alongside whatever else I thought might sell. Last year I came to the realization that dollmaking made me so much happier than any other craft. I had been afraid to really go there because it seemed there was already so much competition, but I couldn’t deny that it was what I needed to do. I decided that if I wanted to be taken seriously as a doll artist, I would have to start over completely. I wasn’t going to just add some more dolls to my existing shop; I had to get a new shop, a new name, and a new social media handle. I’ll admit, I was a little embarrassed–not to be making dolls, but to say that I was doing something new, again. I went through three handmade business re-brands prior to Maryke Dolls. I didn’t want to do that again, so I practically went under cover when I first started this account. I blocked all my friends and family from following me (here’s the part where I sound crazy haha) and worked very intentionally to make my feed look different from what I had done before. Of course when I finally did tell everyone they were very supportive! It just felt good to be out on my own for a while 😊

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5. Which part of the process you enjoy the most?

ROBYN: I love the thrill of dreaming up something new and making it work. I don’t think I have a signature doll that people can pick out of a crowd, but that’s okay. Waking up and saying, “Today I’m going to make a fox (or sloth or hedgehog or lamb)” and having it done by the end of the day is the best feeling. Designing the outfit and stitching the face is the icing on the cake.
6. What challenges you?

The balance between work and family is a big one, especially since my work doesn’t feel like work. I want to be doing it all the time, so it tends to creep in everywhere, even when I should be focusing on other things. I also find that comparison to other artists is still a struggle. Social media makes it very difficult to kick that habit. It’s not just that there are so many people out there with better skills and more talent that I could ever have–that’s always been the case, but now there is also a kind of “artist persona” that I feel increasing pressure to live up to. I follow all these lovely makers who appear to always be out in nature, growing their own food, sewing all their children’s clothes, and all the while making and selling these gorgeous things. They’re living these beautiful cohesive lives that tick all the “artist” boxes. And while it’s true that I do some of those things, I also shop at big box stores, order pizza, let my kids have too much screen time, and occasionally go days without really venturing outside. So I sort of feel like a fraud, like, if people really knew what I’m like they wouldn’t support me or take me seriously, and that sort of thinking gets in the way of doing my best work.

 

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7. Favorite materials/ tools/ fabrics/ suppliers, etc.

ROBYN: I love wool fabric, especially the thick heirloom stuff, so I pick it up whenever I see it in second hand shops. The feel and weight of it, the little bit of stretch and the scratchy softness just work really well with my vision for my dolls. For doll clothing, I have bits and bobs of everything–new, vintage, upcycled, organic. Recently I’ve started shopping more on spoonflower.com as a way to support surface design artists and find prints you can’t find anywhere else. I have not been disappointed!

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8. What do you consider to set a fair price to your work?

ROBYN: I don’t have a formula. I know I should, but I’m just not a structured person that way. I take into consideration my time and materials, but that’s hard to do that faithfully when you get your materials here there and everywhere, and you sneak sewing time in at weird intervals while constantly being interrupted. So I also just go with my instinct–I ask myself, will I be content if I sell this doll at this price? Will I feel that my work is being appreciated and that my skill is being recognized? Does this price tell my customers that they are buying something special? It’s not an exact science but it’s what I’m comfortable with. The truth is that making art and selling art are two very different things, so I think it must be hard for almost everyone to figure it them out simultaneously.

 

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9. What´s the soundtrack to your doll making process?

ROBYN: When I do get the odd block of uninterrupted time to sew and listen to “grown up”music, I tend to stick in my comfort zone, which is basically the bands I listened to as a teenager: U2, Third Eye Blind, Radiohead, Beatles, and folk albums my parents had. And I belt out every word. I also do a lot of hand-stitching while watching my favourite shows. A good story really keeps my going when I would otherwise fall asleep with sewing in my lap (again). Currently on the new season of The Crown!
10. Any advice to other fellow doll makers?

You have nothing to prove to anyone about who you are. Just make what you love and do it as well as you can. Dive in to new skills and styles and see where they take you. When it comes to worrying about your customers or recognition for your art, I like what Steve Martin said to aspiring stand up comedians: “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

 

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Extra: social media, online shop, email where people can reach you, etc. instagram.com/marykedolls, Facebook.com/marykedolls, marykedolls.bigcartel.com, marykedolls@gmail.com

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Robyn’s cloth doll collection:

 

MARYKE COLLECTION

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Bearded Fellas

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The last feature of this year it’s very exciting because it is about the fabulous work by Bearded Fellas. Ali creates personages full of character and originality. Her work is so fresh and fun. I bet you will love this interview with her as well as the selection of her cool dolls. Enjoy it and wishing you the best for this new year to come. Thank you, Ali. Much love!

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1. What would you like to share about yourself?

ALI: Hey there! My name is Ali. I live with my husband and four kids in downtown Kansas City, Our house is in a diverse neighborhood, surrounded by other artists, small business owners, and creativity appreciators.

2. Can you describe your dolls in one sentence?

ALI: Anthropomorphic textiles that resemble bearded guys and those that love them. (I feel like that would be the Wikipedia definition haha.)

 

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3. When did you start making dolls?

ALI: Growing up, making art was just part of our home culture. There really hasn’t ever been a moment when design, composition, color, and implementation hasn’t been mulled over and poured out. Throughout the years, it’s come in a variety of mediums. I went to school for architecture and fell in love with painting. Precision and attention to detail has always been of high importance, and I developed techniques that would allow for that. Using fabric as a medium started as an experiment in college. The assignment was to “paint” with a “non-paint” medium. But it wasn’t until about nine years ago that i started experimenting with it in a 3D format. Once our first son was born, I was like, “Boys need dolls too!”. Boys need to learn to nurture and be gentle just as much as a girl. It seemed only logical to start with a variation of the familiar: a dad with an awesome beard, in doll form. With each child we’ve brought into the world, there has been inspiration to add to the lineup of what I make.

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4. What motivated you to start your own brand?

ALI: So I had started making these long, lanky dudes, with simplified faces and hipster hair/ facial hair: versions of my husband and the people we hung with. The first ones were for our son and our friends’ kids. I started making them to give to all our artists friends who were expecting. At one friend’s baby shower, there was a huge number of women that I had never met before. As we’re sitting there eating cake, watching the gift lineup, the gift from me was opened. There were about three or four people that asked if I made them to sell. At the time, I hadn’t really thought of it. It was just the “thing” I was doing at the moment. The idea I was implementing before moving onto the next thing. But the fact that people, other than friends or family, expressed interest in purchasing my work was the “aha” moment to try it out in a business sense. The name “Bearded Fellas” was the most logical roll-off-the-tongue descriptive banner. Some friends that own a local coffee shop started carrying them in their shop. I opened an Etsy account. It all just kinda snow balled from there.

 

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5. Which part of the process you enjoy the most?

ALI: As Ive mentioned before, I love detail work. When working with fabric, my number one favorite thing is embroidering the facial features. My next favorite would be the overall concept of establishing who the character is and doing the mental “math” of how to get it to look like what I see in my head. There’s something so satisfying about tackling and completing a concept to make an invisible thought seen!

6. What challenges you?

ALI: Arms! For some reason, they are my least favorite. And I would call that a challenge to regularly deal with and get over. It’s not that they’re particularly difficult or anything. I haven’t quite figured out what the deal is there…
But one of the real challenges is the business side. I’m cool with pen and paper and toiling away in the studio. Hermit mode is a more natural tendency for me, getting caught up in the creation process. But to run a business, there are messages to respond to, social media to play show and tell on, events to plan for, pricing to configure. All while still getting dinner on the table, nurturing family, growing friendships, building relationship, and investing in community. Balance is crucial. As is having my fantastic husband around who understands technology and other practicals that have proven tedious for me.

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7. Favorite materials/ tools/ fabrics/ suppliers, etc.

ALI: Blank index cards and a Micron are my all time favorite tools. It’s so crucial to get all those ideas out and visible. I like the index cards instead of a sketchbook because they can shift. Finding organization and meaning in piles. Allowing easy access by being propped on a window sill. Easily snagged while running out the door. A small stack perfectly fits in a back pocket. There are index cards with sketches and quotes circulating through every room in our house! A quilting ruler and quality cutting tools would also be at the top of my list. That said, I’m all about quality materials. I use 100% cottons and wool in all but a few scenarios. Buying local is of utmost importance in my book. Buying from a small, mom-and-pop shop online is the next best option. Sure they occasionally don’t have certain things. And that’s what a big box store is for. But when you buy local/ small, it makes a difference. It makes a difference in the life of the shop owner, his/her employees and family, and even the other people who shop there. Buying from the “little guy” allows you to be a part of a community, to talk to people who are knowledgeable on what they are selling, to get inspired by other creatives, and to learn. Small businesses supporting small businesses is where it’s at.

8. What do you consider to set a fair price to your work?

ALI: Oh man. Pricing is so hard. I try to think about what I would be willing to pay for something comparable. Then I relate it to the amount I have spent on time and materials. Price points seem to be the thing that a lot of people second guess and have questions about. I’m no different. There’s that balance of making sure the buyer feels confident that they’re getting what they pay for and the reassurance that the amount of work put into a piece is fairly componsated for.

 

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9. What´s the soundtrack to your doll making process?

ALI: When I’m in the studio, my mood is what dictates the soundtrack for the day. Music usually takes up the greatest percentage. This week I’ve been on a Radiohead kick. Last week it was RJD2. But then the week before, I was listening to an audio book on Hoopla. (The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis is pure magic!) Sometimes though, I just need to hear the hum and whir of the sewing machine and the laughter of my littles running around the yard. I used to do Netflix, but that can sometimes eat valuable time.

10. Any advice to other fellow doll makers?

ALI: For anyone currently (or considering) doll making, I would say to do what you love. Make sure – whatever it is – that it’s an expression of your truest self. Madeleine L’Engle’s words in Walking on Water come to mind: “The artist at work is in kairos. The child at play, totally thrown outside himself in the game, be it building a sandcastle or making a daisy chain, is in kairos. In kairos, we become what we are called to be as human beings, cocreators with God, touching on the wonder of creation.”

 

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EXTRA: You can find more of the Bearded Fellas adventures @beardedfellas on Instagram and Facebook and at www.beardedfellas.com. For any questions and other communication, a great way to reach me is via email, ali@beardedfellas.com

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Ali’s cloth doll collection:

 

bearded fellas collection

 

Sasa Loo

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Monica is the creative mind behind the original dolls Sasa Loo. There is something special and unique about her dolls. I love the  Japanese vibe and the beautiful fabrics she uses.  Each doll looks full of details and pretty embroideries that make each doll a real heirloom treasure.  We started her feature on the full moon of November 3rd and here we present you the whole interview with her. Thank you, Monica!

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1. What would you like to share about yourself?

MONICA: My family and I live a semi nomadic lifestyle. My husband is an officer in the Air Force, so we – along with our three girls and dog (Sasa) – move every couple of years. We recently moved from a three year stay in Okinawa, Japan. Art and music have always been a big part of my life. For art, I grew up drawing animals and dinosaurs from the book series Dinotopia. When I was little, I went through a dog breed book that I had and would draw pictures of the breeds I wanted. I would then take it my parents (usually my mom) and gave her facts about that particular dog. Eventually I think I wore my parents down and they got me a puppy. Victory was mine! I then attempted the same technique to try and get a horse, lol.

Being artistic runs on both sides of my family and I have family members who are incredibly gifted in art, hand crafting, photography, and singing. When it comes to music, it’s part of my very soul. I grew up playing the piano, being in choir, and very briefly attempting to launch a career as a singer. For all my experiences, I’m incredibly grateful for where I am now – I wouldn’t change a thing. I sing constantly when I’m at home… like all the time. To my babies, with my babies, when I’m working, when I’m doing house chores. And when I’m obnoxiously trying to get my girls out of bed, like this morning, when I blurted Revelrie. I wonder if my husband ever gets tired of it. Ha!

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2. Can you describe your dolls in one sentence?

MONICA:  Heirloom dolls that bring you world – real or make-believe – a little bit closer.

3. When did you start making dolls?

MONICA:  I began my journey in 2014, while living in Okinawa and 7 months pregnant with our second daughter. I wanted to make something for her with my own hands but I was terrible at knitting anything. I also wanted it to be something she could hold and love on. My mom used to make me clothing and bedding, so that’s probably where my drive comes from. I had wanted to make her something that embodied the local culture, knowing that she wouldn’t remember our time there. My eldest daughter was delighted with what I was doing and asked if she could keep my earliest dolls. It gave me immense joy to put so much love into something that could be loved on by my babies for a long time. I think that’s when my mindset changed forever. My entire first collection are culturally inspired. It wasn’t until Christmas 2016 that I made my first unicorn, which started my whimsical Snapdragon Meadow collection.

 

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4. What motivated you to start your own brand?

MONICA:  What started as a personal project quickly became an idea of “maybe other mom’s feel the same I do.” Maybe I could be the one to offer what I considered both a service and product, with my dolls. With so many American families on island and not so many job opportunities, there was a huge movement and community for being an entrepreneur. A huge help in my start on this part of my journey was a lady and fellow mom-preneur by the name of Lakesha Cole.

 

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5. Which part of the process you enjoy the most?
For both my kokeshi and unicorns, I enjoy each part of the process to one extent or another, but I think I really enjoy adding the hand embroidered details the most. It’s what gives my dolls their unique expressions and a glimpse into what would be their soul. Their eyes especially! Eyes are what we first connect with, for most people. I love deciding on what color to go with and then the varying shades.

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6. What makes it challenging for you? / What challenges you?

MONICA: As a doll maker, finding a style that is all your own and sticking with it, while trying to produce work that is appealing to customers is challenging. There are so many makers out there and they are talented! I find that as I make, I evolve my design over time. Also, I am a stay at home mom with only one school aged daughter. So, finding a balance between making and being attentive to my almost 11 month old and newly 3 year old daughters, and along with my normal household responsibilities, is a whole new level of challenging. I try and set aside shorter amounts of time during the day that I work in my studio while my girls are playing and entertained. My long stretches are only obtainable at night and usually mean that I sacrifice my sleep. It’s hard not to feel guilty at times, but I make sure to limit my work during the day so that I can still be the mom they need. Eventually they’ll all be in school, so I need to be patient and see the blessings I have right now.

 

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7. Favorite materials/ tools/ fabrics/ suppliers, etc

Muslin cotton is my favorite for doll bodies. Especially for my unicorns, I choose an unbleached one that has a bit looser weave to it so that it stretches more. For my kokeshi, I use one with a bit tighter weave. My absolute favorite tool that every doll maker should have is a pair of hemostats. When I started, I used chopsticks, but you really need hemostats! They’re great for grabbing and turning. For holding stuffing and getting in where you need it. I only have one pair but you can get them in different sizes. When it comes to stuffing, I work with both polyfil and sheeps wool. I use the ‘crunchy’ polyfiber that is plush, so I don’t need as much as it and the doll stays light weight. I choose wool for my art kokeshi dolls to add a nice weight to them. I don’t want them to easily topple over. The downside is that it takes much longer to stuff because you need to compact it more. There’s no ‘bounce back’ plush factor. I personally use Fairfield Polyfil and West Earl Woolen Mill for my wool.

 

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8. What do you consider to set a fair price to your work?

MONICA: This is by far the hardest part of what I do. Apart from the hours it takes to cut, sew, and hand embroider each doll, there are so many other factors to consider. I do everything myself, including the photography, editing, writing up each listing, sharing and promoting on social media, packaging, and making the trip to the post office. There’s a lot of time invested! When you want to do something right and with quality, you can’t be sloppy. I try and be as efficient with my time as possible, but I refuse to sacrifice on quality. My materials have varying costs, sometimes per piece. I ask questions about my vintage pieces I have so that my customer knows what they have as well. I have to take all of that into consideration, just as a base to calculate a price from.  Also, I wash most of my fabric before use… depending on the project. My craft is an art that I do to bring extra income to my family and I see as a business.

I’ve worked years on my craft, have developed a style that is uniquely mine, and I’m worth more than a few dollars hour. It’s not about being greedy, it’s about pricing what is actually fair to the artist. A lot of makers fail to see or second guess their self worth and that is something that needs to change. However, there is a growing awareness and appreciation for hand crafted work and for everything the artist invests into their creations. And that’s awesome!

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9. What´s the soundtrack to your doll making process?

MONICA: Oh gosh, a soundtrack? I used to listen to artist’s albums as I would make, like Ellie Goulding. I then  moved to a playlist on my iPod with different upbeat music that was bright and upbeat. I’m pretty eclectic in my musical tastes. Now I prefer to sew while listening to audiobooks or having a TV show in the background. Big Bang Theory is a favorite. I’ve seen every season so many times that I don’t really need to look to know what’s going on. The dialogue is enough, lol.

10. Any advice to other fellow doll makers?

MONICA:  Believe in yourself and your ability to create your own unique style. Be true to yourself and make because the love of your craft. Don’t get discouraged, don’t be afraid to ask questions, no issue is too big to figure out and solve if you really use your head, the balance of life and making that works for someone else doesn’t mean it’s the right balance for you; and that’s ok,  give back where your can, keep track of your expenses (!!), and always be humble. Also, get a pair of hemostats – PRONTO!

 

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Website: http://www.sasaloo.com/
Instagram: @sasaloo.sewing
Facebook: /sasaloo.sewing
Blog: monicabrenoskie.com
Email: monica@sasaloo.com

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Monica’s cloth doll collection:

 

monica collection

SCARLET ELFCUP

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Young -the talented woman behind Scarlet Elfcup-, describes her work with the following words: Dreams, Imagination, Adventure & Playfulness for all ages. Oh it is so true! Her work is truly wonderful and inspiring. She makes magic while working with natural fibers, there is such a beautiful delicacy in each of her handcrafted creatures. It was a pleasure to feature her work in this corner of the digital world. Her monthly feature started on October 5th and here at last is the whole interview as well as a selection of her exquisite dolls. We bet you will fall in love with them. Enjoy!

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Young, thank you so much for sharing with us!

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1. What would you like to share about yourself?
YOUNG: I live in California with my husband and our two young children. In a life previous to motherhood, I dabbled with a number of work experiences…a mechanical engineer by training and a few years of work in the bio-medical engineering industry, a math and physics teacher for a number of years, a Peace Corps volunteer and Peace Corps employee for some time, and my latest undertaking…a crime data analyst for a university police department. After being pregnant with my first child, I closed the doors to all those ventures to delve into full-time work as a mother.

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2. Can you describe your dolls in one sentence?
YOUNG: Scarlet Elfcup dolls are marked by their signature size of about 6 inches (15 cm) tall.

3. When did you start making dolls?
YOUNG: 2014

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4. What motivated you to start your own brand?
YOUNG: Scarlet Elfcup began early on in 2014, inspired by the doll making journey of the one and only significant Fig&Me….shortly after I discovered the world of handmade dolls and toys, as a way to combine my love for knitting, sewing, reading, writing and photography hobbies. In this time, it has evolved to much more, providing not only an outlet for creativity, but a home for the gratitude I feel for all of my inspirations, and most importantly, the connections I am making with amazing people from all around the world. I invest in this endeavor not only because I love the art of weaving words and images together to tell a story, but because, in doing so, I find myself looking more deeply for the beauty in life and consequently finding it in more places.

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5. Which part of the process you enjoy the most?
YOUNG: I have no formal training in anything to do with doll making, textiles or sewing. I’ve learned it all myself through books, the internet, and experimentation. I am a mechanical engineer by training. So, my background goes hand-in-hand with what I enjoy most about the creative world of fiber arts…measuring, puzzle piecing patterns, playing, experimenting, testing, failing, and doing it all over from scratch to work toward a final product is part of the process that I enjoy tremendously. This is how I’ve learned doll making and textile art and this is how I’ve built the skills that I have today. It will always be a continuous learning process for me and I hope that the learning never ends.

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6. What makes it challenging for you? / What challenges you?
YOUNG: I think that my answer to question #5 and question #6 sort of blend in and go hand in hand…so my answer here is the same as in #5.

 

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7. Favorite materials/ tools/ fabrics/ suppliers, etc.
YOUNG: My favorite tool…my hemostat and knitting needles
My favorite fabric….cotton poplin
My favorite supplier….I don’t have a favorite supplier because I use various ones consistently for different reasons. But, here are ones of many I love getting supplies from….Weir Crafts, Kamrin’s Poppentelier

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8. What do you consider to set a fair price to your work?
YOUNG: Eventhough my dolls are small, they take nearly, if not more than the amount of time it takes to make a bigger doll…between 20-40 hours. I also like to use only the highest quality natural fibers, which costs more than cheaply made synthetic materials. So, both time and materials factor into the price for my doll making.

 

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9. What´s the soundtrack to your doll making process?
YOUNG: It depends on my mood….I can listen to anything from solo piano tunes to pop songs by famous artists.

10. Any advice to other fellow doll makers?
YOUNG: My best advice for the doll maker starting on her journey….consider doll making as just that….as a journey by which the learning is what will propel the movement forward, make many mistakes for they give you the new skills you need to develop your style, be patient and take it one step at a time, keep making what inspires your heart, keep making from the heart and you’ll always enjoy the journey.

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Scarlet Elfcup is on:
Instagram
Facebook
Pinterest
Etsy
Dollectable

Naptown Boys

The dollmaker of September was Nikki, who creates very beautiful and imaginative dolls under the name of Naptown Boys. She makes super special Waldorf dolls, especially boy dolls. I hope you enjoy her original work and this interview with her. Thank you, Nikki!

-What would you like to share about yourself?

NIKKI: My name is Nikki and I am a Painter as well as a Dollmaker, we live on the East Coast of the U.S with my husband and two sons, all of the boys (my husband is truly a child at heart) keep me active and silly. My dream as a child was to be an artist, there was a small period of time when I stopped declaring artist and instead told everyone I would be a “mad scientist” when I grew up. I feel like I have become a little bit of both.

My artwork has always focused on the relationship of humans to animals as well as the denial of our instincts and animalistic nature. I have fun with these ideas by creating little animal people but I also want to teach my children that we are not so different from animals after all. I believe that it is very important to teach our children about the damage we are causing to the environment by living the way that we do now and I hope that they will come up with a new way for us to live that is more in balance with the earth. My favorite book is Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. I am inspired by his ideas on how we came to be as we are now and his optimism that there is a way to change the way we live to make a better world.

“If the world is saved, it will not be saved by old minds with new programs but by new minds with no programs at all.” Daniel Quinn

– Can you describe your dolls in one sentence?

NIKKI: The Naplings are capricious little characters whose undeniable animal nature shines through.

– When did you start making dolls?

NIKKI: I started making dolls about 8 years ago, shortly after I had my first son. I was looking to find a boy doll to give my son and nephew for Christmas. I wasn’t able to find any available commercially so I started looking for handmade dolls, made using natural materials and I discovered Waldorf style dolls. I instantly fell in love with the style of doll and wanted to make dolls to look just like my son and my nephew. I bought the materials and made 6 in just a few weeks. It was an incredible creative outlet that fell in line with what I needed as a new mother. My life had transitioned from a busy Grad student with deadlines and stressful demands to the very slow pace of a newborns sleep schedule. I was so bored, I needed an activity that I could pick up and put down easily to accommodate the demands of a baby. There is a lot of hand sewing and slow work that really demands you to sit still and breathe, I found that I was trying to fill my sons nap times with busywork which made me feel unnecessarily stressed. Adding this slow craft gave me something to do with my hands but let my mind calm.

– What motivated you to start your own brand?

NIKKI: After discovering Waldorf dolls I realized that even though boy dolls were available they were very hard to find. My original dream was to fill a shop full of boy dolls. After making Waldorf boy dolls for about a year I was making a small doll and his eyes were Owl colored and ended up a little too large which gave him an owl-like appearance. It was almost like he was telling me he had to be an Owl. I stitched on wings and owlish ears and he became the very first Napling.

– Which part of the process you enjoy the most?

NIKKI: This changes daily. Some days sitting still is more difficult than others, on these day I love to dye fabric. It’s a pretty active process and all the chemistry feeds my fantasy of being a mad scientist. But I think I really love the hand sewing the most. I’ve added in embroidery detailing on some of the dolls not only because I love the way it looks but also because it is the part of the work that I enjoy the most. The stillness and focus has become very meditative.

– What makes it challenging for you?

NIKKI: Coming up with new patterns is challenging, I have so many ideas for new dolls but executing them is always a challenge. Getting the doll to look the way I imagine it usually takes a few attempts. This process is difficult but usually rewarding in the end. Not always, I do have a basket full of parts of dolls that just never made it!

– Favorite materials/ tools/ fabrics/ suppliers, etc.

NIKKI: I love wool interlock. It is so squishy, soft and stretchy but it’s also really thick and durable. I feel lucky that I stumbled upon the material as it is not very common. I purchased mine from Nature’s Fabric to make a few diaper covers for my sons cloth diapers and just happened to start using the scraps to create the Naplings.

– What do you consider to set a fair price to your work?

NIKKI: First I consider the cost of the materials, I then add in the amount of hours it takes me to make the doll from start to finish and pay myself hourly.

No… wait… that’s not what I do, that’s what you are suppose to do when you sell handcrafts. There is no way for me to time myself on each individual doll or clock my hours, I sometimes work on a few at a time, often I have to stop and start while tending to the needs of my family. I have decided on a price for each individual style of doll that makes me feel that the love and effort of my work is being appreciated.

– What´s the soundtrack to your doll making process?

NIKKI: I’m not sure why but I like to listen to album’s with all of the songs in order. So if you catch me on a Jim Croce day you will hear the entire album, most likely on repeat. Some of my other favorite artists are Erika Badu, Fiona Apple, Pearl Jam, The Black Crowes, Bob Marley, Pink, Bill Withers, Adele, James Taylor… just to name a few at the top of the list.

– Any advice to other fellow doll makers?

NIKKI: Don’t let fear/perfectionism stop you. I have a handful of dolls that I’ve never shown online, they went straight to the kids in my life or the recycle materials basket because I was overly critical of the work. Now that I look back on some of them I wish I would have embraced them and their quirkiness and let them inspire me to go further instead of only seeing the flaws.

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Nikki’s cloth doll collection:

Dulce Barbola

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On the  full moon of August 7th, we started a monthly feature dedicated to the work of Dulce Barbola. Yamell is a Mexican dollmaker who creates colorful, tender and yummy dolls 🍭 The concept of her brand is lovely, she makes ragdolls that are inspired by all the aromas  and textures found in Mexican traditional candies. I hope you enjoy this interview as well as the selection of her work. Thank you for sharing your dollmaking journey with us, Yamell!

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  • What would you like to share about yourself?

YAMELL: I´m an outgoing woman who loves music and my family. I simply can´t do a
thing if I´m not listening to music, this is my pleasure and delight, I like to spend my money in vinyl records, gigs, music festivals you name it. My family is my motivation, I´m the first of 7 siblings, I´m married to my best friend and we have a daugther who keeps amazing me every single day.

 

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  • Can you describe your dolls in one sentence?

YAMELL: Unique handmade dolls made with love and sweetness, a reminder
that simple is better, going back to childhood, to the joy of that innocence where you dream about pink milk lakes, cotton candy clouds, and caramel rainbows.

  • When did you start making dolls?

YAMELL: At August 2013.

 

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  • What motivated you to start your own brand?

YAMELL: My first dolls made were 25 Rapunzels to giveaway as a party favors
for my daughter´s 5th birthday party, they were a hit so friends start asking me to make more for they girls.

 

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  • Which part of the process you enjoy the most?

YAMELL: Creating the whole character, I take the time to think of giving it a name,
decide the pallet of colors, story etc. They all have to be related to my main inspiration, which is color, texture and aroma of the cheerful mexican candies.

  • What makes it challenging for you? / What challenges you?

YAMELL: I really will love to become an entrepreneur, I´ve worked for
more than 20 years in big corporations, and I recently quit my job, my plan is not to come back to work for a company and to make Barbola my only economic support.

 

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  • Favorite materials/ tools/ fabrics/ suppliers, etc.

YAMELL: I love cotton fabric, full of color, as I mention before, Barbola is all about
happiness,and joy, therefore you will rarely find black, grey or neutral colors in my pallet. The aroma I have created for my dolls, as they are all candy scented with oils (secret recipe). I also love yarn and I can´t work without my wood pencils which I also use for stuffing.

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  • What do you consider to set a fair price to your work?

YAMELL: The time each doll takes to be done, the detail on each one is unique
as a handmade item is an slow but full of quality process. I want the owner of my doll to feel special, knowing that the doll they have in their hands was made specially for them.

 

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  • What´s the soundtrack to your doll making process?

YAMELL: I hope I understand correctly, Pulp, Radiohead, Blur, The Smiths, New
Order, The Cure, Artic Monkeys, Arcaide Fire, “sighs” I will not stop, but that is mainly what I listen while I work.

 

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  • Any advice to other fellow doll makers?

YAMELL: Don´t be discourage by all the beauty in other dollmakers work, trust
your self and keep on going. Creating your own style and designs is exhilarating, every one of us have something unique to offer.

 

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WEB: dulcebarbola.com
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM
EMAIL: ventas@dulcebarbola.com
SHOP

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Yamell’s cloth doll collection:

 

barbola collection

alia grace dolls

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I had the opportunity to meet Alia in person and hang out with her a few days and I can tell that she is a very talented, sensitive, creative and good soul. Her work is divine and I bet you will enjoy this interview, especially if you enjoy dolls in tune with nature. She creates characters full of imagination, the color palettes are always exquisite and she uses natural fibers. One of kind dolls to be hugged and loved. I hope you enjoy this interview as well as the  selection of her awesome work.

Thank you Alia, for sharing with us about your dollmaking journey. It is always a delight to admire your fantastic creations!

 

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– What would you like to share about yourself?

ALIA: Making art has always been part of my life…. I grew up as an only child which may have propelled a lot of my creativity — with much time spent alone, I learned how to entertain myself and engage in imagination and creating — Art was always ‘my thing’. I’ve always loved animals and when I was a kid I wanted to be the next Jane Goodall… I thought I might find myself working with animals later in life. I was interested in all sorts of things (and still am), and art was just kind of a way of life and not something I considered as a profession. But when the time came, I wound up going to school for art and majored in fine arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Those were some of the most invigorating years of my life. I’ve worked both big and small and in a wide array of media. I think I have stuck with doll-making longer than any one thing, and I enjoy it because the possibilities are endless. I really enjoy fiber arts and sculpture and love working with fabric and textiles. I would love to create a body of work that is more sculptural and maybe have an exhibit of new work one of these days.

I came to the southwest several years back to learn about sustainable, off the grid building techniques and I now call New Mexico my home. I love the sunny days, and appreciate the rainy, cloudy ones more than ever. Now that I’ve lived near the mountains and heard the coyotes howl at night, I don’t think I would ever have it any other way.

My goal is to buy a piece of land, build a home, live simply. This dream may be coming closer to fruition.

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– Can you describe your dolls in one sentence?

ALIA: My imagination come to life

– When did you start making dolls?

ALIA: I started making dolls in 2014… The idea came to me when I realized that it was a way to combine so many of the mediums I love to work in: Sewing, painting, knitting, beading… the possibilities are endless. It’s fashion on a smaller scale. Working on a smaller scale was also economical for me and practical as I was somewhat transient at the time and didn’t really have a space of my own or much space to work. I had no idea if there was even a market for handmade dolls, but I figured if I put enough work into something I could create my own market. Soon after, I was encouraged to join Instagram and found a small community of other dollmakers. Since then, the interest in making dolls and collecting dolls has grown. It’s been pretty cool!

 

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– What motivated you to start your own brand?

ALIA: To be able to make a living and support myself doing what I love, is my dream.

– Which part of the process do you enjoy the most?

ALIA: Without a doubt, my favorite part is dressing the dolls when they are all finished. Making the clothes and and choosing the fabric and how they will dress is probably the funnest part, and finally dressing them is so satisfying because it is the last step and it means the doll is finished. It’s incredibly satisfying to have a vision, and then make it come to life in the third dimension. It’s like the feeling of setting a goal and achieving it. It’s wonderful. And then beyond that, I love boxing up the dolls and sending them off to their new homes. It makes all the love and time put into each doll incredibly worth it.

 

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– What makes it challenging for you? / What challenges you?

ALIA: I’d say the most challenging part for me is the marketing involved with getting my work out there. I’m not terribly good at it and don’t always know how to do that. I would be very happy to just hide away and create with my hands… but then no one would see my work. So there’s a balance and I’m still trying to figure that out.

I also sometimes have to holdback from spending too much time on each doll. It’s in my nature to become very immersed in the details, but in order to create a doll that can still be played with and remain within a certain price-range, I have to stop myself from going overboard. That’s why I hope to create a body of work that is a bit more sculptural and less functional. I think I need a separate outlet where I can unleash my crazy obsession with detail and not worry about how much time I spend on a piece.

 

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– Favorite materials/ tools/ fabrics/ suppliers, etc.

ALIA: Linen, wool, and cotton are staples in my work. The bodies are generally made of linen and their clothing sewn from linen or cute cotton textiles. I use wool to felt their spirit hoods and sometimes use it for hair. I’m kind of yarn obsessed and find myself drawn to the most luscious hand-spun, hand dyed yarns. I think I might drool over yarn even more than chocolate and nothing can stop me from purchasing an expensive skein if it’s perfect for the doll I want to make. I also am a fan of natural dying which I dabble in here and there, so I save a lot of kitchen scraps like avocado pits and onion skins, and collect other botanicals that make good natural dyes. I shop a lot for supplies on Etsy and I like to buy from other small shops, particularly for yarn and stuff like that. Ive been sewing on my trusty brother sewing machine for the last three years, and it has all kinds of quirks that sometimes drive me crazy. I’m way overdue for an upgrade and I’m pretty sure I would cut down on about a third of my sewing time if I didn’t have to deal with some of the malfunctions this machine gives me. It’s not a high quality machine, but I’ve built my whole business around it, so I have to thank it for getting me this far. Never let limited recourses stand in your way! Where there is will, there’s a way.

 

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– What do you consider to set a fair price to your work?

ALIA: A yes, this is also one of the harder aspects of what I do. I consider the time spent making a piece and the cost of supplies that go into making it. I want to set a price that is fair for me and fair for the buyer. There are a lot of steps that go into making a doll and when added all up, it takes a lot of time. Sometimes I wonder if people really understand the amount of work that goes into making a hand made doll, but truthfully, it seems that most people who are fans of handmade dolls, and those who buy them, enjoy them for all the work and detail, and originality that goes into each one and this is very pleasing to me. It makes me feel good to know that my work is valued and appreciated.

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– What´s the soundtrack to your doll making process?

ALIA: I enjoy different types of music… Sounds I like are: clapping, stomping, whistling, joyful singing… I like the banjo and love the cello. I enjoy instrumental music like John Fahey, the majestic sounds of Midori Takada, Yann Tiersen… New and old folk songs, old time, rag, Edith Piaf and others like her I enjoy… And a lot of the time I just work with the door open and enjoy listening to bird sounds and the wind rustling in the trees. Silence and stillness is calming to me and I need a lot of it.

– Any advice to other fellow doll makers?

ALIA:Do what comes most naturally to you! They say there is nothing new under the sun, but I truly believe each person is a portal through which something completely new and original can manifest. Just like each persons handwriting is unique, so is the art that comes from your soul. Sometimes I ask myself if I am truly making the art from my soul… and I dare say, I am probably not… there is probably a lot more that my soul is craving to make, and it may mean even moving away from dollmaking. But as far as dollmaking is concerned, I think the most success anyone can have is when you truly make something in the style that comes naturally and easily to you — that is when you will produce the most work and have the most success. Your art is like your fingerprint. It’s fascinating to see something completely new — it is exciting, and pleasing to the eye.

 

 

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Extra: social media, online shop, email where people can reach you, etc.

You can find my dolls on my website: AliaGraceDolls.com

You can also find me on Etsy, Facebook and Pinterest under: AliaGraceDolls

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Alia’s cloth doll collection:

alia collection

 

 

 

khadil dolls

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Hilary is the creator of Khadil dolls. In her studio she brings to life very tender, unique and natural dolls. In her own words, her dolls are “Sustainably handmade heirloom dolls crafted in New Zealand using natural materials, wool stuffing & a foot-powered Singer sewing machine.” It is evident that these beautiful dolls have been made with care and love. As it is a tradition to have a new feature each full moon, on  June 9th we started a monthly feature dedicated to her special work on the Instagram account of dollmakers. We find her work very inspiring and we bet you will love it too. So here  is the interview with her and also a selection of her huggable dolls. Thank you Hilary!

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– What would you like to share about yourself?

HILARY: I am a dollmaker and illustrator living in Christchurch, New Zealand. I love the stillness of mornings and creating.

– Can you describe your dolls in one sentence?

HILARY:  Wholesome, handmade dolls to inspire adventure, imagination and connection within.

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– When did you start making dolls?

HILARY:  I made my first doll while doing The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron after a stint of bad health and feeling utterly lost in the world.

– What motivated you to start your own brand?

HILARY:  Khadil (pronounced ‘cuddle’) is my dream to re-ignite our inner child and re-awaken our imagination through joyful, soft creations. This world can sometimes be a little overwhelming and I want to make things that connect us within, center us, so we can move forward from our heart.

 

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khadil package

– Which part of the process you enjoy the most?

HILARY: Definitely stitching on the eyes, at that moment the doll or illustration comes alive with their own little personality.

khadil collage

 

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– What makes it challenging for you? / What challenges you?

HILARY: I am challenged by anxiety and putting way too much pressure and expectation upon myself – basically my creations soothe and center me first, then I hope they carry that same power out into the world.

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– Favorite materials/ tools/ fabrics/ suppliers, etc.

HILARY:  My favourite materials are those that are handmade –  handspun thread, handwoven cotton, hand-block printed cloth –  there are no machines used in the making of some of my fabrics. I feel these fabrics contain the consciousness and heart of empowered artisans and carry the energy of loving hands. I use only natural materials, environmentally friendly and ethically sourced or upcycled, and stuff the dolls with wool. I feel all of this connects the doll’s beholder to the wonderful people around them and the healing natural world. I also use an incredible 1946 Foot-treadle Singer sewing machine and love the feeling of investing myself into every stitch!

 

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– What do you consider to set a fair price to your work?

HILARY: I just try to put my whole heart into each doll, and price them at the minimum time a doll takes to make.

 

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– What´s the soundtrack to your doll making process?

HILARY:  I really like music that is calming and centering, something that touches my heart.

 

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– Any advice to other fellow doll makers?

HILARY: I feel that dolls are really important and we should all keep making them. I love to think that one of my dolls may become the life-long best friend of a little person out there or be gifted to a ‘grown up’, a doll to remind us that we are always safe and loved. Dolls have a powerful and magical way of bringing out our inner voice of intuition to guide us, and we have a lot of stimulus in our culture now which draws us away from that. So, I think we should all just keep making dolls! And I definitely recommend The Artist’s Way.

 

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FB: www.facebook.com/khadildolls

INSTA: www.instagram.com/khadildolls

Website: www.khadil.com

Email: hilary@khadil.com

Miss Moth Dolls

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We really love the monthly features! It is a great way to learn about the doll making journey of talented and creative women around the world. Once the month ends, we share with you the whole interview accompanied by a collection of the featured artist. So here we go! On May 10th we started the feature dedicated  to @missmothdolls a Canadian artist who creates whimsical creatures. Her name is Caroline and her work is magical and imaginative, each doll seems to come to life from a fairytale. These unique heirloom dolls are the perfect companion, I bet they’ll make your imagination fly high. They are full of lovely details, great clothes and amazing textures as Caroline uses a lot of natural materials. Thank you so much Caroline for participating in this feature even when you were in the middle of giving birth. It was a pleasure to get to know you better and your work!

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– What would you like to share about yourself?
CAROLINE: My name is Caroline, I’m 29. I am mother of a lovely little fairy girl and very soon to be mom for a second time! I am a dreamer and have a huge imagination. One thing is for sure, I will never grow up!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been expressing my fantasies through different art forms, mostly drawing, sewing, writing and dance.

I am a bohemian dreamer and I love fantasy and nature. I bring back a new plant home every chance I get! I collect beautiful little things and I like to thrift, looking for vintage treasures.
I love to create characters and whimsical creatures, sketch them and write their stories, but making dolls is my favorite way to bring them to life! Creating them brings me so much joy and I feel like every time a new doll is born, she’s bringing a little more magic to the world.

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– Can you describe your dolls in one sentence?

CAROLINE: They are precious little works of art inspired by nature and fairytales and they are as curious about us as we are about them!

– When did you start making dolls?
CAROLINE: I started about five years ago. This is when I made my first pattern for a doll. Before that, I studied writing, sewing and I worked as a seamstress. Doll making came quite naturally to me. I spent more time drawing characters then I did clothing or costumes, so I ended up making them out of fabric too. I strive to create more and more and push the art form further, there is always something new I want to experiment with.

 

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– What motivated you to start your own brand?
CAROLINE: All the ideas dancing around in my head! I need to be free to create and work as I please. Creative freedom and entrepreneurship goes hand in hand so I was meant to create Miss Moth. I love that I can work from home and be present for my daughter, this is very important to me.

 

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– Which part of the process you enjoy the most?
CAROLINE: Everything I can do by hand! Embroidery, adding small details and most of all, working on tiny faces! Embroidering them is as close to drawing as needlework can get and I love it!
Also, I have an obsession with creating patterns, I can work on new doll ideas or just play around with my patterns for hours, tweaking and bettering them and trying new stuff!
But truly… I like ALL about the doll making process!

 

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– What makes it challenging for you? / What challenges you?

CAROLINE:Doing everything by myself is what I find the most challenging.  If I only had to create dolls and focus on the artistic aspects it would be a lot easier! But all the other important stuff, the promoting, the taking care of website and shop, craft shows and expositions … and paperwork (which I’m allergic to) it’s all very time consuming!

It’s hard to find balance and doing all of this within the time I allow myself for creating can be frustrating sometimes! (But this is the price to pay for my creative freedom so, in the end, I can’t really complain.) I just aim for balance as much as I can and try to stay on tracks!

 

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missmoth dolls materials

– Favorite materials/ tools/ fabrics/ suppliers, etc.
CAROLINE: I prefer working with natural and recycled materials (cotton, linen and silk are my favorites fibers). Most of my creations are made of recycled or repurposed fabrics and I really like to go hunting for them. It’s important to me that my work is eco friendly and this is my way. I upcycle and thrift for my family and myself as well, not just for the dolls. As for tools, since I love to work by hand, I have my treasured favorite set of needles. The machines I would never separate from are my semi-industrial iron and my camera (yes, they come before my faithful sewing machine!).

 

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– What do you consider to set a fair price to your work?
CAROLINE: It’s not easy to set a price. I consider the time, the materials and the level of details/difficulty involved. Working small and detailed is more difficult in many ways, it takes longer. As for small patterns, millimeters can mess it all up! I think pricing any handmade item is quite difficult, we always have to willingly forget about some things, some hours, because if not, prices would be too high. Again, creative freedom obliges…

 

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– What´s the soundtrack to your doll making process?
CAROLINE: So many different sounds! When I work it’s often soundtracks or instrumental. I like gypsy music, indie, rock and alternative. Windows are open, I like to hear the wind and the birds while I work (the end of winter is always really hard on me). And when I have a lot of needlework to do I do it while listening to tv shows (but never my very favorite ones, or I would miss too much by only looking up once in a while!).

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–  Any advice to other fellow doll makers?
CAROLINE:To never stop working on patterns and always try to better your art. Stay true to yourself and your style, make things your way. There are trends in doll making and if you pitch in, I really like when I see makers who achieve their own unique interpretations of a theme! Be yourself and be special!

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Social media:

www.missmothdolls.com
www.missmothdolls.etsy.com
www.instagram.com/missmothdolls
www.facebook.com/missmothdolls
info@missmothdolls.com

 

 

Anacardia Atelier

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On April 11th we had the privilege to start a monthly feature dedicated to the original, great and awesome work of Carol, the creative mind with magical hands behind Anacardia Atelier. Her work is truly fresh and inspiring. Every doll from her tells a story and will make you fall in love. They are so playful and have such a personality. It is a delight to know that these little handmade and unique friends are coming to life thanks to the talent and imagination of this amazing Brazilian artist. Thank you so much Carolina for inspiring this community so much and for sharing with us part of your doll making journey.

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– What would you like to share about yourself?
CAROL: I’m Brazilian, from a city called Franca. I’m not great at writing in English, but I’ll try… lol

When I was a child, my favorite dolls used to be little sticks that I found on the floor of my grandfather’s farm and dressed them in flowers and feathers. This memory is very present in my life.  I think I’m still playing with them when making my fabric dolls.

I’ve always enjoyed drawing and I studied architecture. Since I was a child, I remember watching my mother sewing, but I only learned it when I was more than 30.

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– Can you describe your dolls in one sentence?
CAROL: I think they are a piece of childhood. We all have a child inside us. I love when an adult holds my doll and says that makes them feel like a child. I like to think that this is my doll’s role: To awaken and embrace the child within us.

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– When did you start making dolls?
CAROL: I was 32. My mother and I were making a baby bedroom wich had a doll as part of the decoration. At that time, I used to design the bedroom and the whole decoration and my mother would sew all of the fabric pieces. She made a fabric doll and I fell in love. I had to learn how to sew because I wanted so much to make my own dolls. So I got my grandmother’s sewing machine as a gift, and my first doll was a Frida that I still keep.  Besides that I feel in love with the whole process and since then, I can’t stop making dolls.

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First doll by Anacardia Atelier

– What motivated you to start your own brand?

CAROL:  When my second son was born, during my maternity leave, I started making some handmade gifts, just to pass the time. But as I love making things and drawing, I thought maybe this would be an opportunity to stay home with my kids and make things that inspired me and made me feel good.

–  Which part of the process you enjoy the most?

CAROL:  I like so much to make the faces. I love it when they seem to look at me, their little face seems so full of emotion… it’s magical.  It´s so much fun making their hair. And I also am an enthusiast about the experience of making tiny dolls.

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– What makes it challenging for you? / What challenges you?

CAROL:  There are a lot of challenges if you want to make a living from doing what you love. I think that choosing a fair price is always challenging. Is also difficult manage the time. Everything here is made by me, I have to package, take pictures, edit pictures, write posts, go to the post office, buy supplies, there are lots of things I must do.

Other challenge is that your hands are much more slow than your head can think. I have so many ideas that I can’t materialize, sometimes this is quite frustrating.

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– Favorite materials/ tools/ fabrics/ suppliers, etc.

CAROL:  I like cotton fabric, linen, cotton lace, woolen yarn, fabric prints, stripes, paper flowers, buttons. I try to be aware of what I already have in my studio to use it in my dolls. They are so tiny, that I shouldn’t need to buy supplies very often…lol. But I love buying a new fabric or piece of wool sometimes…

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– What do you consider to set a fair price to your work?

CAROL:  This is really the hardest part. Each project is unique and it is always complicated to set a price. The main value of a handmade product is the time you dedicated to it. Everything is quite slow, all the process take so long that we have to take this into account. And there is so much love involved in this kind of work, that it makes even more difficult to put a material value on the product.

Besides, I believe that all work originally made by women is undervalued and we need to fight against this thinking.

I’ve been lucky, because normally most of my clients can see the difference between a handmade product made with love and care, an industrial or serial product. They give me a lot of support and because of this I feel encouraged to follow my dreams.

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anacardia payasita

– What´s the soundtrack to your doll making process?
CAROL: I love Music. I’m pretty eclectic. I love some movie soundtrack like Amelie Polan and Frida. Lately, I’ve been listening a lot to Nina Simone (my son always complains hearing “feeling good” again!). I also love Brazilian ‘MPB’ music, such as Marisa Monte, Lenine and Chico Buarque.

Sometimes I work listening to my older son studying guitar, he loves playing rock 🙂

anacardia collage

anacardiastudio2

–  Any advice to other fellow doll makers?
CAROL: I’m not sure that I can give  any advice… I think it’s important listen to your heart. Each person has different needs and paths. I always try to be in touch with the child I was. From time to time I need to experiment new things, new patterns, another kind of sewn. Sometimes I want to express myself, other times I just want to play with forms and colors. What I’ve been trying to do while making dolls, is to respect my wishes and feelings…

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Carolina’s cloth doll collection:

anacardia collection