Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Silent Blog...

Christmas Eve is here and I realize my blog has been pretty much silent most of the month. Silent Night - Silent Blog. Maybe this can be one of my New Year's resolutions for 2015: more Blogging!

If you have missed me, I beg your forgiveness! If you want to know the latest news. It's been a mad dash all the way to the end. I sewed, and baked, and worked hard every day! sorry for not sharing more recipes and pictures this year. I swear there was no time to write or contemplate any of it. I hope to do better next year.


I hope you have a good Christmas - that is - if you do celebrate. I wish you Frohe Weihnachten if you celebrate German style. I wish you all a healthy and happy 2015!

 May all your dreams and hopes come true!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Is it Advent already?

Whether we are ready or not. Advent always arrives. I am so not ready this year. I can't believe I forgot to dig out my Wreath this weekend. I sure hope I find it today. Wish me luck!

Did you all participate in the Black Friday craziness? I only went to one store with my daughter because there was this pair of boots she really wanted. Strangely enough the store was very empty. I guess we came between rushes. 9 o'clock was a good time.

I skipped JoAnn's completely this year. What a good girl I have been. No more hoarding of fabric over here.

Thanksgiving was wonderful. Just 3 days of messing around in the kitchen. Cook, clean, and serve. Then clean again. Time to start thinking of Christmas cooking.

When I saw those videos of crazed people trampling each other at malls I was so glad to be at home. All the shopping I did was from my computer screen, right here.

Now it's Cyber Monday. If you still need a sweet little treat for under your tree you can visit my etsyshop. I promise it is definitely safe and the most relaxed place to shop. =)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving Thanks

If you are reading this I want to thank you for being here and not giving up on my blog.
I have had a bit of a rough year with my little business. My sales have dropped a lot on Etsy. I don't know why, and I may never figure it out.

Never mind that. On this Thanksgiving Day I have so many things to be grateful for I don't even know where to start.



1. I am thankful for my family, my husband, and kids who support and encourage me every day. They are the main source of joy and inspiration in my life.

2. I am thankful for my new job. It does not pay a whole lot of money, but it gets me out of the house and makes me realize how lucky I am. Lucky that I do have a roof over my head, food, and a husband with a real job. When I am in the classroom I know that there are quite a few kids who are struggling at home. Duh, I knew this before I became a substitute teacher. But being in the world outside my studio has been a real eye-opener...

3. I am so thankful for the loyal customers who have stuck with me and bought my dolls over the years. It really warms my heart when I think of the people who come back year after year for gifts. Every order and word of encouragement means the world to me. Especially since Etsy has been so funky this year. Every little order has been a beam of light. You know, wrapping up an order is my favorite thing to do. Christmas or not. Year around, when I wrap up a doll or doll dress, I picture the person opening it. I hope they find as much joy in it as I had when I created that item. Each package carries a little piece of my heart and my hope that people feel the love I put into it. Like those toys you still remember from when you were little because they were so special, I want my toys to be that kind of toy....

4. This may sound silly to you. But recently I bought myself two pairs of expensive jeans. I have not indulged myself like this and bought clothes in quite a while. It appears that once we have children we turn into birds. Like the mama and papa bird, after the baby has hatched, we flit about and spend everything we got (money, resources, energy) on the babes. We get exhausted and look like crap after a while. Our feathers begin to look rather ruffled. We find our happiness lies in watching our hatchlings grow and thrive. Well, since I have to go out the house more often, I realized it was time for some new clothes. And, oh wow, I love these jeans so much. Now I understand why people are willing to spend $60+ on them. This mama bird is very grateful for that.

5. I am grateful every day that I can sew and make art. Each piece of fabric and scrap of wool I turn into art makes me happy. This can be a problem though because one gets in the habit of having too many little pieces of fabric around... This year I am thankful that I have been able to cut down on supplies and learned to be more reasonable. Instead of buying more I have worked patiently through my stash of beautiful supplies. I think it is part of the human condition that we have so much and always want more. It is good to appreciate the things we have and count your blessings. We should do it more than once a year!



I could go on with this list for a while but I will leave it at that.

I hope you have a wonderful day with your family. I thank you for taking the time to read my post!



Friday, November 14, 2014

Cool Kid Doll Clothes

Wow, I can't believe November is already half-way gone. Sorry for not checking in sooner!

Between teaching and dealing with the increased amount of orders coming in for my dollshop I have been staying pretty busy. Looks like folks are finally getting their Christmas shopping done.


Since I needed some new blue jeans, my little mini-me Ulladoll, asked for a new pair for herself. She said my regular model was boring and needed some pockets, at a minimum. I can totally understand. I really don't like carrying purses at all. Sometimes I wonder if I was meant to be boy? I am not a fan of make-up. I have never owned a pair of high-heeled shoes. And if I ever do carry a purse around, I promptly leave it behind...Pants need pockets!

Does it matter to you what brand of jeans you wear? Do your kids insist on certain products?
American brand blue jeans have been the bane of my childhood. I guess it really doesn't matter what country you live in and what time. If you didn't have those brand products when you were not a cool kid. My folks never had the money. So if I wanted any kind of brand item I had to work hard to buy it with my own money. What do the cool kids wear now - I wonder?



So here is the new blue jean design I came up with. It has two cute little pockets. Of course, where there is a pocket there must be germandolls miniature pocket doll. This is the tiniest sweetest little one I ever made. Nearly broke my fingers when sewing that little head on.



Not sure I can sell that design in my Etsyshop. Maybe minus the little red label? No, it does not say Levi's on that label. It is just a plain piece of ribbon. It was a real pain in the neck to put on, but little Ulla being a brand-hog insisted. LOL.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

$1 Doll Giveaway

I forgot to mention yesterday that I am having a drawing for a $1 pocket baby. If you would like to participate please visit my Facebook Page. You have time until tonight 9 pm to enter.

My pocket babies are perfect for any occasion. Maybe you need one to put in a Christmas stocking. Or you have a friend who needs cheering up?

                                   
                      Wonder how I took this photo when this little doll is only 3 inches tall?
                                                                    Take a guess!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Happy!

It's time for a new report. Maybe some of you have wondered how I have fared in my new job? Have you missed my musings at all?

Well, if you want to know: I LOVE MY NEW JOB! It has been a great challenge but for the first time, in a long while, I am really happy.

I love working with kids. What kind of came as a surprise to me, is the fact that I actually enjoy teaching High School and Middle School students a lot.

Of course, it could not be helped that the matter of my accent came up. The question seems never far behind once I open my mouth and start talking to a stranger. Are you Irish? (never thought I sounded Irish). What country are you from? Germany! Wow, that is so cool! Can you teach us some words.



Well, that part did not go over too badly... They actually liked my accent. Smiles.

But there were some very hard moments. Like that moment when I had to teach an English class about  Art Spiegleman's Maus novel. When you are German, it appears, you can never get away from your horrible history. You have to live with that fear. Maybe it's just in your imagination. But you are always afraid that people stare at you and think: Her people did that. Or even worse, if folks cannot do the math: She did that... I actually came across a youngster last year who asked me what I did during WWII? Ahem, do I look that old? What are they teaching you in history class?

Anyways. I had never read that graphic novel about the holocaust. Then I had to read passages of it out loud to the kids. I kind of choked on the words. You know there is that part in the story where the Nazis bash little kids' heads into walls since they would not stop screaming as they were taken away to the camps... Tough day at work. I am not sure the kids noticed it. I almost cried...

But it is all good. We must never forget! We must constantly remind ourselves and teach others what can happen if humans don't study and remember their history. We must study it and reflect upon all of it: the Good, the Bad, and especially the really Ugly parts. For if we don't we may repeat the mistakes of the past.

On the days I go in to teach I get pretty tired. I find myself coming home and in need of a nap. Since I am only a substitute teacher I get called whenever there is a teacher missing. Kind of keeps the job very interesting. You never know what can happen. =)

On the days I stay home I  get to make dolls and reflect on the human condition. It's the perfect combination for  my soul. Like I said, for the first time in a long while I am truly happy.

I filled my doll shop with goodies for Christmas. I made tons of little boots because I have this huge stash of felt that needs moving. So if you need some doll shoes I'd appreciate it if you bought a pair. Let me know if there is a color you would like to see that I forgot to make...




Monday, October 6, 2014

ch ch changes....

Don't get me wrong. I love being a doll maker. And I have enjoyed every minute, or at least most of the minutes, I have been creating dolls over the last 15 years. Gosh! Has it really been that long since I made my first doll?

But this January I decided it was time to embark on a new journey. After all, one can't spend one's life, cooped up, talking to oneself and dolls. It is even harder when you have a good head on your shoulders and that head demands to be used.

picture by Jes Anthonis 

It took me many months to get my school records from Germany. Yes, I do have a Master's degree (see sidebar). But who would have thunk it could be so hard to get proof of it. That the mills of German bureaucracy are of such very low quality and extremely slow. That it would take seven months to find a person who could help me fill out some paperwork and attest to my education in American Studies, Economics, and Psychology.

Ah, the battles the lowly immigrant has to fight every day. They never cease to amaze me.
If only one had listened to one's parents' advice "Bleib mit dem Arsch zu hause!" is still ringing in my ears...

Alas, I made it! Success! My records have been received, translated, and accepted by the Colorado Department of Education. I have been fingerprinted and background checked a sufficient number of times. Now I am the proud holder of Colorado Substitute Teacher's License.

I love it. I get to work with children and use my brain! Change is scary but good.

A doll I am working on...

Now you may be wondering if this new job will impact my doll making? I am wondering that myself. But no worries: I am not giving up doll making, my friends!

I will probably make fewer dolls, depending on my schedule. Down the road I am planning to give up making doll clothes for sale. I will offer the clothes through the end of the 2014 Christmas season. After that I will only sell my dolls.

Wish me luck for my new career as a teacher!




Saturday, September 27, 2014

Germandolls' Fall Coupon Savings...

Happy Fall to all of you! I know it's been quiet over here. I got a new job. But I will talk about that later this weekend or maybe next week, if the spirit moves me so...

For now I just want you to enjoy a coupon I made for my etsyshop. If you use the code Fall14 you will get 10% off your purchase this weekend. Hope you stop by and feel inspired to start your Christmas shopping.

My little store is nicely stocked now with doll clothes for your Waldorf lovelies.

                                                              Happy Fall!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sweet William - a Christmas Elf

I don't think this Waldorf doll needs too many words to describe it. I am really happy with the way he turned out. I named this little dude William.

Sweet William is pretty perfect. I know it may be a little early to be thinking of Christmas but it's my favorite holiday. Hope you enjoy my sweet Elf as much as I do.


He is ready for some serious hugging...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Penelope

This is Penelope. She is only my second doll made with Tibetan lambskin. For the longest time I was scared to use this material. It is so expensive and hard to come by...One wrong snip with the scissors and you will have to go bald, little one.

Luckily I did okay, and Penny ended up with this gorgeous dark brown - almost black - head of hair. I really adore how it can be styled in many different ways. Whether you tie it into one pony, or make two smaller ones, or just leave it open - it always looks fabulous.


Penelope is now available in my etsyshop!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Waldorf Doctor Doll

I have been thinking a lot about doctors and medical workers last week. Seems like every day there is a new story about a medical professional who has been infected with Ebola while doing their job of helping folks in Africa.

I have great admiration for this profession, the people who risk their life to help others. So I wanted to create a doll outfit honoring them and the dangerous work they do.

Here is little Bella in her doctor outfit. She told me that she wants to be doctor when she grows up...



Little Bella is now up for auction in my Indieshop now. 10% of the proceeds from her sale will go to Doctors without Boarders.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sophie's Audition...

Poor Sophie! She had worked so hard on her dance moves all year. Never missed a class. 

Then she went to Nutcracker auditions and didn't get the part she tried out for... 

Why mommy? Are the other kids really that much better than me? 
At first, all Sophie wanted to do was cry. The disappointment was just more than her little heart could stand.

 Since the moment she started walking all she had ever wanted to do was dance...


But you can't stay sad forever. So this little fighter picked herself up and went back to dance class. I'll show them! See you at auditions next year!

this story is, of course,  based on totally fictional events and characters...



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Cantaloupe Muffins

Did you know it was possible to make muffins with cantaloupes? Well, I didn't until we came home from our community garden patch with yet another batch of fruit that was really sweet but a wee bit on the soft side.

Our son was determined to find a recipe to make use of the fruit other then turning them into smoothies which has been my strategy lately.


Little Willow was at first very dubious about the recipe. She turned her back and would hear none of it.

I hope you get to try this recipe if you should run into a mushy but still edible melon...

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch allspice or nutmeg
  • 1 cup cantaloup puree

butter or oil for greasing the muffin pan


Preheat oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit
Mix together all the dry ingredients: flour, oats, brown sugar etc.... making sure you break up all the brown sugar clumps. I didn't do this. So there were some holes in my muffins because the brown sugar melted and left strange holes behind - like in Swiss cheese...


Scoop out the flesh of a cantaloupe and turn into soft pulp/ puree.
Add cantaloupe pulp to dry ingredients and mix together well.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.


Here is Willow enjoying a delicious vegan cantaloupe muffin. Her comment was that the muffins are not as fluffy as regular old muffins and definitely more chewy. But overall the flavor reminded her of a super tasty oatmeal cookie. And that's not a bad thing to have first thing in the morning. I am sure it will give Willow and the rest of the family lots of energy for the rest of the day...



Monday, August 25, 2014

Tart Apples

I am not sure if you remember the post I wrote about foraging for food a couple of years ago. This has been a great year for apples. We are very happy that the pantry is slowly but surely filling up with jams and jellies for the Winter. I just finished making another batch of apple butter with crab apples from the "secret tree" in our neighborhood.

We actually planted our own Dolgo Crab Apple tree this year. Just in case... The fruit of this type of crab apple is a bit larger than the regular ornamental crab apples. The little apples measure about 1- 1.5 inches in diameter. When they turn dark red color they are ready to eat.


I wish the dolls could help make the apple butter. After all the apples are doll size. If only I could teach the dolls how to handle sharp knives. Their hands are the perfect size for these mini apples. My hands are very tired and sore from processing pounds of tiny crab apples. But they are so oh so tasty! Hope you find one of those wonderful trees and give this forgotten fruit a try. They are definitely worth the trouble. And your friends and neighbors will be astounded when you share such a wonderful treat.



I am planning on making some Apfeltaschen later this week - once my hands recover...


Friday, August 22, 2014

What children want

When I was little I only owned dolls with light skin that resembled my own coloring. When people ask for custom made dolls I have noticed that folks mostly ask for dolls that look like the child they are buying for.
In understand that desire. After all, the first doll I made for my daughter was blond and blue-eyed like her.

But now I remember that what I always wanted as a child was a doll that was different from me. I wanted to own a darling little black baby. In raising my own child, I noticed that she always seemed to prefer the dolls that were different from her. Maybe it's because as children we are not prejudiced. We have this wonderful curiosity about things that are different from us.

So now that I make waldorf dolls I love that  I can make up for the years of missing out on ethnic dolls. My favorite kind of dolls to make are dolls that have darker skin colors or are a different ethnic background from my own.

This is Elizabethmy sweet dark gal, in her two-pocket jumper dress.  She comes with two of my tiny little bonbon babies. They are so sweet! This set is listed in my Indieshop now!






Wednesday, August 20, 2014

soft baby dolls...

I live to make soft dolls for young ones...
First dolls for toddlers and young ones - the real simple ones - are my favorite toys to make...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

When I am sad I make dolls...

I am very much out of words again this week. Why so sad?

 Robin Williams. Am I silly to care? Why would a celebrity's death get to me so much?

It is hard to wrap one's mind around the facts. If people who have that much money, talent, and fame cannot make it - how are us regular folks supposed to make it?

It is just too weird. To picture that person in his huge mansion. Alone. Lonely.

I often feel lonely, and I do get depressed. I miss my family and friends in Germany. I often feel like nobody here gets me. Even my own husband and kids.


I guess I try to turn all the negative stuff into good stuff. When I get sad I make more dolls to keep me company...

Farewell, dear Robin! Wish you could have turned things around. Wish you could have turned all that damned sadness into laughter. And stayed around a little longer... RIP

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Giveaway

I am running a Giveaway on Facebook page. So please stop by. It will last thru Friday night 9pm my time.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Soft Pumpkin Baby

I know the last pumpkin baby is not exactly cheaply priced. It will go up for auction in my Indie-store soon. It is probably a doll that not a lot of folks can afford. But considering the amount of hours I put into my fully formed dolls (15 hours and more) I have decided that I can no longer sell them for under $250. So I try to keep simpler baby dolls around my shop for folks who can't afford the dress-up dolls with all their little doodads.

My little soft dolls are perfect for introducing youngsters to natural Waldorf dolls. I just mailed one to my little nephew in Germany. Hope he enjoys playing with this little blue feller.



This morning I finished the little orange dude you see here. Well, could be girl doll too. You decide!


Monday, August 11, 2014

Pumpkin Baby

This is little Karin. My sweet 11 inch pumpkin baby.
She will go up for auction in my Indiecart store on the 15th of this month. Hope you stop by and check it out!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Veggie Pizzas

I have had so much fun cooking with all the fresh veggies and herbs from our garden this summer. Last night I made the most delicious pizza pies. My daughter and I made the crust from scratch. We prefer to make crusts that are partly wholewheat flour. I like it because it gives the crust a lovely nutty flavor. The extra fiber in the diet can't hurt either, I suppose.




Here is my pizza crust recipe in case you want to try it:

2 cups regular flour
2 cups wholewheat flour
2 Tsp corn meal
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cup warm water
2 1/2 tsp yeast
1/4 olive oil

mix together by hand or in food processor until you have a lovely stretchy dough. If too sticky add more flour. If too dry add a bit more warm water...let it rise for about an hour

punch the dough down and knead by hand, then roll out into individual pizzas, I get about four 12 inch pizzas from this amount of dough

topping option number 1
Photo: Homemade pizza with arrugula and prosciutto

make some seasoned tomato pulp by cutting up fresh tomatoes from the garden (or use canned tomatoes) chopped up finely, add a couple pinches of salt, 3 Tsp olive oil, clove of garlic minced
spread this on your rolled pizza dough, top with some shredded mozzarella cheese, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, sprinkle a bit more salt on top

bake this in oven at temperature of 450 degree until edges turn brown and cheese begins to brown
take out and sprinkle with pieces of prosciutto, and top with fresh arugula and more grated Parmesan.

Topping option number 2
Photo: Goatcheese, Kalamata olives, banana peppers, roasted red bellpeppers

brush rolled out pizza crusts with some olive oil
top with goat cheese chunks, kalamata olives, banana peppers, and some fire roasted red peppers
finish off with grated mozzarella cheese on top

bake in oven at 450 until edges turn brown - about 10- 12 minutes per pizza pie

this recipe will feed a family of 4 plus leave you with some nice leftovers for lunch the next day.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

nightgowns for waldorf dolls

I took some new pictures of different patterns of nightgowns I have available in my shop. the doll in the pictures, little Trudi, was a good girl during the shoot. She is available for sale. She is the only 15 inch doll living in my studio right now. You can contact me via my Etsyshop if you would like to purchase her.

The Christmas in July sale in my shop is almost over. So hurry on over before it's too late...