Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Creativity - I wantz it back

I made these dolls between 8 and 12 years ago, when I was thinking of opening a craft shop. I sold some of the dolls I made to people I worked with, and at a couple of craft shows, but I couldn't make any money at it (there's a lot of hand sewing in them, which takes time). I have several more that are really elaborate, soft-sculptured and anatomically correct. I have one that isn't finished yet, it's a Pan (human torso, goat back legs) that I created the bottom half of the pattern myself (I still need to carve the hooves, and give him his hair and beard). I still have all of my supplies to make dolls, but my creativity and "mood to sew" seem to have flown the coop. So, do y'all think there is a market on the internet for these? Maybe if I could sell them, that would bring back my enthusiasm and spark that sewing mood again.
Rastaman (the dark doll in the red outfit) was one of my first attempts, and his "dreadlocks" are a simple crochet chain stitch cut to length and knotted, then hand-sewn to his head (his moustache is made the same way). I also made his clothing.
The doll with the long light auburn hair is wearing jeans and a t-shirt that I made, with a picture I transferred onto it.
The little doll in the blue and white outfit was made before Rastaman, and her outfit is made from recycled kitchen curtains (my own design). I also made the little hair ornament at the back of her hairdo.
The doll in the pink/white pajamas (I made those too) was made mostly as an experiment, trying for a different hairstyle.
I have other pictures of dolls I've made, but they aren't on my computer. I'm going to have to see if I can find them and scan them. I'll post them as soon as I do, one of them is of an anatomically correct toddler that stands about 20" tall (about 80 hours of work went into that one).
I have an idea for a mermaid, a pattern for a frog, and one for a stuffed rocking horse (I made a couple of those, will have to take a picture of the one I still have). Hmmm, looks like writing about them is bringing back the ideas and the enthusiasm. I'm going to have to go upstairs and start organizing my sewing room and finding all my supplies and patterns.
I have to thank Mickie at fatgrrl for the inspiration, her crocheted animals got me thinking. So, Mickie, here's to creativity :)


  1. Why not open an Etsy store? You could even offer your customers a made-to-order service, so you are not putting a lot of hours into making something that may or may not sell.

    I love Etsy. I don't sell anything on there, but I've bought some fabulous stuff. :)

  2. jamboree - I've thought about that, I've seen that some other bloggers have etsy shops. I'll have to look into it and see what it costs and then figure how to handle invoicing and payments.

  3. How lovely to have dolls that don't default to white - and they are so beautifully made, too.
    Recently I was trying to buy my baby cousin a doll that wasn't blonde or a wierd looking plastic baby (those things freak me out), I would have loved it if I'd found one of your dolls.

  4. My 16 month old daughter was on my lap when I was reading your post and she was very impressed with your dolls! She was pointing and making all manner of happy noises! Being pagan, I love the sound of the Pan doll. You could do a whole goddess/god series!

  5. I LOVE your dolls. They're the kind that a kid could really love and have fun with. So many people make those fussy dolls with porcelain heads that are only good for show. Yay, rag dolls!

  6. These are beautiful, seriously, seriously beautiful.

    If you find that you can't sell them at a price that would make it worth it to do as a business, I have another idea:

    Donate them. They are beautiful pieces of art that could be auctioned off for charity or given to kids in traumatic situations.

    If I ever have any money again, I'd love to buy one!

  7. anonymous - I believe in diversity (and my granddaughter, Brooke, has a black father, and she always wanted a black baby doll) so that's why I made dolls with different skin shades, different eye/nose/mouth shapes, etc.

    bri - I have an idea for a centaur too, I just haven't figured out how to meld the human torso to the horse body yet.

    dee - the porcelain dolls are more for show and collecting than for loving and playing with. I like making things that people will use, not just look at.

    liz - I had about 30 dolls at one time that I couldn't sell (everyone said they were gorgeous, but didn't want to pay more than $10 or $15 for them). I ended up donating them all to the Salvation Army one Christmas season with the understanding that they would go to kids who wanted a doll and their parents couldn't afford to buy them one (some were girl dolls, some were boy dolls). I know that kids like them, when our grandkids come over, they play with the ones I still have upstairs, so it's all good.

  8. Oh my... so very cute! You should definetly open an etsy store. If it's something you're really interested in, you could make custom made dolls from photographs...

  9. Your dolls are awesome! I can't believe you made them. I think etsy is wonderful. I just found it a few weeks ago. I'm trying not to go over there much for fear of getting myself into debt.

    I have a soft spot for handmade items. My mom was a talented seamstress. My greatgramdmother could look at a dress(or anything) and make it with no pattern. My sister tats lace and beads.

    I didn't inherit their talent but am a great appreciator of all art forms, including crafting and sewing. I think there is a crafting/sewing revival going on. I wonder if it is due in part to all the crafting type programs on HGTV and DIY and shows like Martha Stewart?

    I'm loving seeing so many people (especially young people) becoming interested in handmade things again.

    I think Miranda's idea of custom dolls from photos is great. Let us know if you open a shop!

  10. I tried one time to make a doll from a photo, and I just don't have that kind of talent. I had thought that maybe taking a photo and transferring the face to transfer paper and ironing it onto the doll's face might be an option, but I haven't had the nerve to try it and see how it would work. I don't have the software it would take to enlarge/shrink photos without distortion to create transfers for faces. Might be something to look into, if I get back into the doll-making thing again.


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