Monday, 26 March 2012

Results from the Doll Making Class in Seeshaupt

Dear readers, 

I had another doll making class this weekend, my students and I spent a great time in Seeshaupt/ Bavaria.

 Two busy days, never idle hands, au contraire! Each of my students made a 45cm/ 18 inches cloth doll, two of them made baby dolls.

(I´ve asked each of my students to write down a few lines for you to introduce their new dolls)

Enjoy the photos!
Kerstin´s doll
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Françoise´s doll
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Ramona´s baby boy doll
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Andrea´s doll
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Maria´s doll
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Maxi´s baby boy doll
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 Sandra´s doll
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Steffi´s doll
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Manuela´s doll
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Cornelia´s doll
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Can you imagine how much fun we´ve had? 
(And blisters on our fingers? ;-)
 Thank you so much, Andrea, Cornelia, Françoise, Kerstin, Manuela, Maria, Maxi, Ramona, Sandra and Steffi! It was a very special and sunny weekend with wonderful results - and I hope to see you all again soon...

Thank you, dearest Nina, for welcoming us so warmly in Seeshaupt!

I am looking forward to more classes in the coming months, I so much enjoy to teach, to meet new students, to see well-known faces from earlier classes again, to get to know all those lovely people that my e-class students send to me from far, far away... 

It is a true gift for me to help people to make a doll for themselves or their children. Quite a few of them have never made a doll before. Today the students and I have been talking about a class for mothers and their daughters only, about a crafty weekend for you to bring your kids and to make a doll. Maybe Kiki in the Meadow is up for such a family class? I will have to give it some thought, we´ll see, we´ll see ;-)  
If you´d like to be kept updated on this, please sign up for the newsletter (see the sidebar)

Warm greetings,

Juliane



Friday, 23 March 2012

Dolly Makeover

Dear readers,

Between two doll making classes,  the first one last weekend in Freiburg, the second class starting tomorrow, I am spending time with friends in the Bavarian countryside.

Almost two and a half years ago they ordered two custom dolls for their children.
Lilly and Fritz, those were the names they gave their new little fellows.
Dearly loved. Well played with. Every night by their side. 
Every day together with them on their adventures.

Now it was time for a dolly makeover.
I checked all seams, mended wee holes.
 I brushed their mohair wigs...
Added some blusher here and there (especially on all their dimples)
...and added ears, detail that all my dolls are getting since spring 2011.

(Today I got told that Lilly and Fritz behaved much more nicely during the night because they do listen now, if you tell them to sleep ;-)
(I so much love my little handprinted needle book, a gift by Erika/ Mikodesign)
In 2009, Nina was one of my customers. We emailed a lot and it took us only a short time until we became friends in real life as well. Her kids do find it quite practical that a dollmaker is visiting them. So do Lilly and Fritz, I suppose. For me it is just wonderful to sit in the sun, to enjoy the company of a dear friend and to do a little dolly makeover. Every little stain, every tousled strand of mohair shows me how much love my dolls get in this home. (And I know that my dolls get a lot of love in other homes as well...)
 
And while I was busy sewing, dolly clothes were drying on the laundry line in the spring sun after a long bath. I had two little helpers who truly enjoyed their part of the dolly makeover. 
So nice that spring is here!

Sunny greetings to you, my dear readers,

Juliane

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Morning Hours

Quiet morning hours. 

I am having a cup of coffee, enjoying the silence and the first rays of sunshine.

This is usually the time when I read through all the notes 
my customers send me before I get started with their dolls. 
I read about their memories. I read about their dreams. 
I read about childhood places and about autumn scents, 
about someone´s favourite song and about fading colours.
About forgotten sounds and long journeys.
 
For me these notes are far more important than details such as 
hair colours and clothes style. They don´t tell anything about the soul of a doll.

While I am doing something else, cutting fabrics, 
preparing material for classes, my thoughts start to wander.
They meander, like a little river, through a landscape made of all those 
memories and dreams my customers write about. 

The personal dialogue with my customers is food for my creativity.
This is why I love to make dolls.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Results from the Doll Making Class in Freiburg

Dear readers,

I spent a fantastic weekend in Freiburg together with seven inspiring women (and wonderful hosts). During two days, each of my students made a 45cm cloth doll based on my patterns and instructions. It is amazing to see all the dolls after such a weekend course, their sweet little smiles made us all forget about blisters, broken needles and tired eyes...

Enjoy the photos from the doll making class!
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I spent a wonderful weekend in Freiburg, together with seven crafty women. All of us enjoyed the warm atmosphere and each other´s company, the laughter, the sun, the delicious food, inspiring talks and the many hours of sewing, crocheting, stuffing and embroidering. 

I´d like to thank all of you - Bärbel, Claudia, Kathrin and Kerstin, Sabine, Steffi and Stephanie - for these two days. 

Last but not least I´d like to thank my dear friend and colleague Ursula and her family 
for being such wonderful hosts, I enjoyed it so much to spend time with you!

Sunny greetings,

Juliane

P.S. New classes are coming soon (have a look at the class calendar in the sidebar)



Saturday, 17 March 2012

I love to teach

This weekend I am in Freiburg, in the south or Germany, teaching a weekend class in doll making.

When I started with my very first course in autumn 2009, I wouldn´t have guessed that it is so much fun to have classes. Believe me, it is intense too. I do rounds all the time, and while my hands are helping with a few stitches here, my eyes are already somewhere else and I certainly know what I have done after such a weekend. 
One of the doll heads made by my students today.

Today, after eight hours, we had managed to stuff the presewn legs and to finish the head (without the details such as eye and mouth and ears, notabene). Eight hours! Not that I am concerned, everything is exactly according to schedule. But every time I have a class, I am so proud of my students. They all work so hard, they are eager to learn something new and they do not complain when I let them undo a seam and make them redo a step until it looks really neat and nice.

I love to teach because I think it is one of the most wonderful ways to meet new people. I feel blessed to have this opportunity to share my knowledge, to laugh, to sew, to discuss, to get to know inspiring women. I love to teach them craftsmanship and I truly enjoy that my students always have so many ideas, that they fill the room with airy merriment and happy chatter.

I love to teach.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Get Well Soon!

Dear readers,

There are lots of reasons why a doll needs some special love

a hurting tummy
homesickness
a running nose
very cold feet
a sore throat
too little vitamin
There are several ways to treat such a doll:

Fill a hot-water bottle
Make some tea
Bring some chocolate
Serve strawberries
Count cough lozenges
Open the windows to let in fresh air
Most of all: treat your doll with love
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Get well Soon! doctor sets (for adult toy collectors only), now in my webshop, more to come in the next days. 

Each set contains a cardboard box, a scenting pillow (filled with kapok, anis seeds, lavender and rose buds), a little box with (fabric) chocolate, strawberries, a vintage silver spoon, a hot-water bottle* and a Mini Mi, a medicine bottle filled with lozenges (sugar hearts), a vintage tea cup, a tea bag and lots of fresh air.

*Just as the real stuff, the rubber hot-water bottle can be filled with warm water. Due to small parts, this is a product for adult toy collectors only
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I love to make these play sets. Such a fiddly work to do with all those tiny details, but I would so much have loved such a doctor set when I was a little girl! My dolls were constantly sick, and I so much enjoyed taking care of them, tucking them under warm blankets, reading stories, doing cold leg compresses and making them take their medicine...

Warmly,

Juliane

P.S. The beautiful ivory fabric with brown dots and the one with the Little Red Riding Hood theme I used for this set are both GOTS certified organic fabrics designed by my dear colleague and friend Suse/ RevoluzZza.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Why Size Matters

Dear readers,

I am currently finishing several Get Well Soon! doctor sets for dolls (for adult collectors only) to put in my webshop. 

One would expect a wee dolly would take much less time to make. But I can tell you, it truly is a matter of size! Everything is so tiny and fiddly and takes ages, but it is oh so much fun!
I am so glad that I have found these small hot-water bottles. Almost a year ago I purchased a whole bunch of them but couldn´t get them any longer before christmas. I was really desperate, because without a Mini Mi, the whole idea of the doctor play sets wouldn´t work.

It took me several days and endless phone calls around half of the globe (I am not kidding) to finally find a remaining stock, else I couldn´t have made new Get Well Soon! Sets. While I am else quite open about my material sources, I keep it a secret, for Fröken Skicklig´s sake ;-)
 The wonderful thing with these wee hot-water bottles is that they work like the real stuff, which means that they can be filled with 200ml hot water (instead of 2 litres capacity that the normal Little Mi hot-water bottle has).

To me size definately matters, what would the doctor sets be without a Mini Mi? 

Warm greetings,

Juliane

Saturday, 3 March 2012

The Snowflake Girls

I know that you have always been wondering 
What all the little snowflakes do
In all their white fluffy dresses
When Mister Spring is just
Around the corner.
I too have been wondering 
About this for quite some time
But I think I know now
What happens to the snowflakes
Around these days in March
They sit in the pear tree
Dance on the garden fence
In the meadow they gather
Where the deer are standing
In the winter sun
 All of them are wearing
White woolen stockings
And a tutu made from
Sparkling stars
And frosty rime
 
They love to sit high up 
In the trees or play  
Hide and seek 
In the buckthorn thicket 
Together with cheeky winter winds
But after all their play 
In tree tops and meadows 
The little snowflake girls
Are feeling tired whilst
The cheeky winds are still dancing
Their feet start to tickle, their noses too
And so do their bellies
And after some time their delicate skirts
Made from frosty rime
Are gone
 And while they feel
So heavy and tired
Something magical happens
Believe me, I have seen
It with my very own eyes
It starts with their feet
Goes up to their nose tips
And soon they all are
Dressed in the most beautiful 
Little grey capes
Like small shiny beads
They prettily sit
On window panes
Hang from the branches
Of the apple trees
Dressed as raindrops 
They gather
In sparkling puddles
Hop from the roof 
Play catch me in the grass
It won´t surprise you
That they are getting quite 
a bit breathless and warm
Under their hoods and capes
And again something magical happens

All of the sudden
They all are dressed 
In the most delicate batiste 
Thin as cobwebs
Thin as sighs and warm air



In the early morning 
You can see them
High up in the trees
In their delicate dresses
And waving goodbye

Whilst you think you see
Only drafts if mists in the meadow
A mild spring breeze is taking
The snowflakes back to their cloudy home 
High above in the sky

(From there they will come back, next winter, I promise)

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The Snowflake Girl was a 50cm custom doll for Star (what a beautiful name, don´t you think?). She has found the most warmhearted home in a part of the U.S. where it is always summer. 
I didn´t get many specific hints regarding her clothes or style, and to me it was very clear that Star and her family needed a Snowflake Girl. 

All her clothes are made of organic fabrics - only the silk for her tutu was vintage. It was a piece of a thin curtain we used many years ago for a theatre performance (it has travelled a lot with us and seen many stages). I love when things have a story, not only my dolls...

Have a wonderful weekend!

Juliane


P.S. I am holding a dollmaking class in Freiburg/ Germany the 17/18 of March. Two spots had to get cancelled at short notice - if you want to join us for a crafty weekend, you can find more info here


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Friday, 2 March 2012

The good old days...

back in the good old days
even everyday objects
looked like little treasures

my friend has still the pincushion 
her grandmother used fifty years ago
(and a long time ago it was used by her great grandmother)
for my birthday she gave me 
those precious envelopes with sewing needles 
safety pins and a package with old bobbins

not that I wish I would live 
back in the days when our grandmothers 
had to do the laundry in the bathtub
(it was anything else but romantic)

but back then 
such everyday objects were treated 
like little treasures

...


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