Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Today is the Day!

Today is the day I am leaving for Germany. My heart is pounding. I could barely sleep last night. Flying, I have to admit,  is not my favorite form of transportation. My personal favorite is the train. Hope I get to ride the trains in Germany and one of them will take me to Berlin...

If you want to teach your kids about Germany I wanted to recommend Jean Blashfield's new book on Germany to you.


It just so happens that our daughter is doing her country report for sixth grade about Germany. This book is written for kids between 8-12 years of age. It covers lots of topics such as history, economy, government, sights, and food. It was the best book I found at the library.

You can tell that the author put a lot of love and research into this project.

Check it out!

Not sure if I will have time and a computer to post while traveling. But I did leave a couple of recipes on the blog to post while I am gone. Hope you enjoy them!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Little Sprouts...

I think green is my favorite color at the moment. It's the color of hope. The color of growth and renewal. Maybe it's also because we had so much snow, and I cannot wait to see the grass and the veggies grow in our garden. I wrote a blogpost on the NaturalKids team blog about our new raised gardenbeds that we built over springbreak. I am hoping we are done with snow and blizzards for now...



In preparation for my trip to Germany I made another little green blanket doll for a baby. In fact, I made a couple since I thought somebody might need one while I am gone, right? These first dolls are always such a great joy to make & give. I can't put into words how happy I am to finally be able to give one to my babysister.

Everybody in the family was getting worried that she may never have kids. I am not saying that everybody needs to have kids. There are folks who just may not be able to or want kids for whatever reason. It is hard for us who have kids to imagine life without them. We don't want the people who we you love so much to miss out on this experience. For years I have felt this kind of anguish. With each year passing and the biological clock ticking you have to stop, stop, stop yourself. Don't ask! It may be too painful for them...

I am so excited for my little sister and can't wait for this little bundle of joy to arrive.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Six days and a long To-do-list

Oh boy. Only six days left. Time is running out here. Luckily I have the best customers ever. Thank you, Laura for letting me off the hook here and telling me to finish your custom doll upon my return. You are so lovely and very kind!
this Baby will have to wait for clothes until I return from Germany...



Here is my list. I think it's not complete and I am freaking out a bit...Wish me luck!

  1. Make doll for little sis' who is expecting her first baby
  2. Search for baby clothes and books to pack for sister
  3. Finish items for local art show at Madison and Main and drop them off on Saturday
  4. Pack up a doll for customer in Germany. Maybe we get to meet - after knowing each other on FB for so long?
  5. Do laundry and fold is all
  6. Clean my house and studio once more
  7. Get out suitcases and start packing
  8. Return all the library books
  9. Go to store and get supplies for trip
  10. Write downs instructions for husband on how to run my Etsyshop.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earthday, America!

I hope your week is off to a good start. Don't forget it's Earth Day! Let's do something good for the planet. Like remember to bring bags and cloth totes when you go grocery shopping. In fact you should bring bags to each and every store you go to!

I went to Target the other day. It always seems a bit weird when I whip out a plastic bag or cloth tote from my purse. I can't help but feel people in line staring at me. Look at this strange lady - with the German accent. What a weirdo!

 Maybe some day it will be the other day around. I hope that some day soon people will look at the person who forgot to bring a bag...Really Dude? How could you forget? Didn't you know you were going to buy something when you entered the store?


The landfills are running over with plastic bags and other trash that will not go away for millions of years. Seriously,who is the weirdo?

Did you know that they charge money for grocery bags in Germany? If you forget to bring a bag it will cost you a pretty penny. In the US it's the other way around.

Did you know that Target stores pay you 5cents per bag that you bring? I think that is very nice of Target. If overflowing landfills don't convince you maybe putting some coin in your wallet will work?

Happy Earthday, America!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

SPRINGDEAL13

SPRINGDEAL13 - what's that? It's the magic word/code that will get you 10% any item in my shop this weekend. Deal ends tomorrow night at 6pm mountain time.



 
Well, I guess it's my wishwul thinking. I hear it's supposed to snow again in Colorado on Monday and Tuesday. I'll have my sale anyway. So stop by if you need something.
 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

CountDown to Germany

Only 10 days until I get to go home to Germany once again. I am so happy. After not being able to visit for 7 years I am able to go a second time within a calendar year. We are sending our boy to live with his aunt in Germany for two months. Why? To learn the language and find his German roots. Since He is only a young teenager I get to take him to my sister's house. What a lucky duck I am. Two weeks in Germany. It's not very long when you have a huge family and so many friends to visit.

Weimar

But before I can leave I have this long list of things to do. I have decided not to close my Etsyshop while I am gone. When I closed shop last year my business took a big hit. Views went down to zero.  I think I lost a lot of customers because of it. So now I want to try something new: Put husband in charge of my shipping. Please keep your fingers crossed that all goes well and that if someone buys a doll it gets to where it needs to go. We don't want the mermaid doll to end up in the hands of the aspiring ballerina. Hmmm.

To make it very easy, I wrapped up each doll and put it in a box with thank-you-note and all. Each box is marked with what doll is in it. I also gathered up all the doll clothes listed in my shop and put them in a single container. Please forgive me if there should be a delay or mix-up of some sort.

There shouldn't be a problem though, right? If only I could get him to take the course "101 Etsy for Husbands".
What do you think? Will it work?

Of course, best would be if I could sell all the dolls and doll clothes before I leave. So If you want something please go ahead and order yours, now! ;)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Pink Things

They say the only way to get rid of the darkness is to create more light.


I make pink things. Soft things. Beautiful things.

Hoping that somehow it will make up for all the ugliness.

Boston. America. The freaking violence that surrounds me here every day.




How many pink things can I make? If I stayed up 24/7 sewing, would I ever be able to catch up?

 

Monday, April 15, 2013

I love Instagram

I recently joined Instagram. I really love how it lets you manipulate photos. I could play with it all day. Have you used it? Here are some recent photos of my dolls I took with my phone. I think my favorite feature is the ability to change the frame of a photo. But I also love changing the lighting and adding sepia tones to a photo.

 
 
The possibilites seem endless...Now I just wish I could figure out how to post my photos directly to my Facebook business page instead of my personal page. Anyone know? My friends who are fans of my page may get sick of having to look at the same photos over and over again while I play with it. Sorry, folks!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Mermaids, Princesses, and Ballerinas

I have been working on some theme dolls this week. They are such a joy to make. I created a new crown for my mermaid princess doll. It took about 5 attempts to get what I wanted. Maybe I'll add some jewels to it lateron. I kind of like the simple look.

Tessa is a 12 inch girl with brown hair. She has some strands of fantasy yarn added with tints of blue and green. And check out her cute merbaby!
 
But then she is a real girl with legs...
 


I would have loved to play with these kind of toys as a child. I guess that's why I make toys. I get to play with them as I create them. It is so much fun to think of more things to add to the set. Maybe a treasure chest with jewels for the mermaid.

 
or a new warm-up jacket for the little dancer...
 
 She still need some slippers and leg warmers. I am on it...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

2 more GermanDolls gnomes

Since everybody ejoyed the gnome doll so much I cut into my precious Heather Ross fabric once more and made another. If you would like to purchase this set, you can contact me or leave me a comment on my Facebook Page or here.


The doll has green wood grain patterned undershorts and matching little woodland felt boots
 
This fabric is out of print and very rare. Check out the beautiful detail and you understand why...
 
 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Friendship

I went in search for quotes about friendship and found this one this morning.

“I think if I've learned anything about friendship, it's to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don't walk away, don't be distracted, don't be too busy or tired, don't take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.”
Jon Katz

 I think it describes perfectly what friendship is about. I took a series of doll photos to go with it. It was a tough balancing act. The two dollies kept flopping down unless they were perfectly balanced. But I did not give up. Don't ever give up on an important friendship! Keep working at it. Keep looking for balance.

 
 



 
I hope you enjoy the quote and my photos.

 


Friday, April 5, 2013

Little Gal in Gnome Outfit

I am very proud of this one. She is such a cutie in her very special Heather Ross Gnome Outfit. This fabric has become very rare and impossible to find. It is the most treasured fabric in my stash!
Everything is perfectly matched, and she is so soft and cuddly to boot!



Hope you love her, too!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Where is Waldorf?

I published these words previously (June 2011) in a Note on my FB fan page. Then I forgot where I had left this article. I honestly believed I had written this article for my blog. Since these words are still very important to me, I wanted to repeat them here.




"When I look at the assortment of dolls that are labeled "Waldorf" on various websites these days I am always amazed. It looks like people are more and more getting away from the original idea of Waldorf. What is that idea?

The two main thoughts behind waldorf style toys, I would say, are: Simplicity and Nature.

I have been making dolls in the Waldorf tradition for over 10 years now. It is an old tradition of making cloth dolls developed in Germany, where Waldorf Schools were started in 1919. According to the Waldorf philosophy, dolls should be made from what nature has given us: natural fibers such as sheep's wool, yarn, and cotton.
The dolls have a unique inner head construction which gives form but not detail to the face. The dolls have very simple features, sometimes no features at all. Strict followers of the Waldorf education principles believe that giving too much detail in a toy stifles a child's imagination. When a doll's face is left blank the owner has to fill in the doll's expression. The child fills in whether the doll is happy or sad. If there was a permanent smile painted on the dolls face, it would be hard for the child to imagine a sad doll.

When I encountered my first Waldorf doll I was instantly in love with it. How was it possible that a doll this simple was so beautiful? How could it be that something so basic held such great attraction to a child and the child in me?
It was a doll made by a mom for her own child. The doll had a simple line for a mouth and two dots for eyes. Her clothes were equally simple. She had a plain dress withouth any thrills. It was simple to put on and take off for the child.The doll was warm, soft, and huggable.

I instantly knew that this was the kind of toy I wanted to give to my own children. I made my first doll and gave it to my daughter on her first birthday 12 years ago.



When I look around at the wide array of dolls sold as "Waldorf style" these days, it makes me kind of cringe. Often I see dolls that are not made of natural fibers at all. Some people stuff their dolls with fiberfill or use synthetics like soft minky fabric for the baby dolls bodies. I see noses big and small, sculpted faces with chins, and protruding lips. I see eyebrowes, dimples, freckles, belly buttons, fingers, toes, and rainbow colored sparkly hair.

I am not saying that these types of cloth dolls who have lots of details are not beautiful in their own right. Many of them I find quite amazing. I find myself in awe about how realistic and lifelike some of them look. I would call them art dolls rather than waldorf style.

Does the simpler kind of doll without a nose or ears somehow strike people as crippled or incomplete? Does my little business have to give in to fads in order to survive? In a market that is totally oversaturated I find myself compromising because I have learned that dolls with a nose sell about 10 times faster while the traditional baby will linger on the virtual storeshelf forever.

Hmmm. What was the original idea? Are you able to fill in the blank and make your imagination soar? If your answer is yes, you may prefer my kind of doll.

My ultimate goal is to promote the love for the more traditional type of doll. It's a constant struggle between the need to insure the survival of my business versus preserving the original idea of Waldorf - and wanting to stay true to my German roots. I want each doll to be sweet and simple like that first doll I created for my own child.

So I'll keep creating what is in my mind the "essence of doll".


If you would like to learn more about the Waldorf movement, please read here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldorf_education
http://wiki.anthroposophie.net/Spielzeug