Archive for March, 2011

So, it was what you might call a blustery day…Amy, Bri (our good friend and photo assistant) and I rounded up the (10!) kiddos and braved all that wind in order to try to get some fun photos of the kids with the “Bohemian Rhapsody” dolls. The kids didn’t seem to be very bothered by the cold- of course, they were huddled up under the tree wrapped in blankets, while we ventured out of the shelter to set everything up. I guess we had what might be called a whirlwind of  a photoshoot. I think we set up, snapped photos, and loaded it all back up in about 15 minutes.

Even though the day didn’t go exactly as planned (I would have loved getting some more shots of all the kids holding the dolls), I think we got some great shots. You never know what to expect when trying to take pictures of children under the age of twelve, I guess. Here area few behind the scenes shot I thought you might enjoy… (And here is the link to the “real” pictures http://www.flickr.com/photos/38970413@N03/sets/72157626396513450/) Thanks Amy and Bri for all your hard work today- I love the pictures that we got!)



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About five years ago now I made my first Waldorf dolls- they were for Cate and Grace and I got a kit from Joy’s Waldorf Dolls. I had been introduced to that company by my sister, Amy, who now sews almost all the doll clothes you see. She had made one for her daughter, Hannah and I loved how it felt.

You see, I have always loved making things, and dolls in particular were a fascination of mine- I wanted to make a doll, but I wanted it to be the perfect doll- lifelike, three-dimensional, yet not creepy. When I saw the pictures of Waldorf dolls I knew they were just what I had been looking for. So, I made two dolls that year, to give to  Cate and Grace for Christmas. I knitted their entire outfits because the sewing machine and I didn’t get along at that time. Haha, who am I kidding, we still don’t get along that well- we have a love-hate relationship that I will go into at another time… 🙂 I commissioned Amy to sew the dolls nightgowns though, and up until a few months ago, Tumbleberry Toys has gone that way since the very beginning. I made the dolls and knitted the clothing, and Amy sewed all those tiny little doll clothing pieces!

As I rolled the wool into the round shape of the head, I literally squealed with delight- it was so cute! Amy, who was instructing me since she had made a doll for her daughter the year before, told me, “Just wait until you tie the face and make the nose!” Sure enough, the shape of that head, detached from the body, with no skin fabric covering it, was still about the cutest thing I had ever seen. When the dolls were completed, and given to my daughters, I decided it was one of the funnest crafting projects I had ever done. Too bad the girls only needed so many dolls…

I made a couple of other dolls for some friends that year, and the following Christmas I got the itch to make dolls again. I figured I could justify giving Cate and Grace another doll, and I made one for Evie, who was just a baby, that year, too. I made Evie a little heavy baby stuffed with millet. I even managed to sew the pajamas myself. Meanwhile I had been scouring the internet for pictures of other Waldorf dolls, and came across Little Jenny Wren, and Moonchild Studios, and Bamboletta. That was when I realized there was more than just one way to make a Waldorf doll. And I began to contemplate whether I could ever sell dolls on the internet, too. I asked my husband if I could by some extra doll making materials (the materials were EXPENSIVE) and experiment. Ben loved the idea as much as he loved the dolls I had made, so I ordered more fabric, wool ,and yarn, sketched and designed my own pattern, and made about four more dolls. And then the dolls sat in a box for about a year.

Next Christmas- something about that season makes me itch to make dolls, I guess!- I finally decided I should pursue selling the dolls I made. I bought yet more materials, deciding that the ones I had made previously weren’t really good enough to sell. I made yet another pattern, this one for a 16″ doll with moveable joints, and then converted this pattern so that I could also make a 12″ doll whose limbs moved. Ben thought of the name “Tumbleberry Toys” which after contemplating it for a little while I decided I loved. I made four dolls, took photos, and explored the options on the internet. I knew absolutely nothing about the internet, or uploading photos, or making banners, or photography, but somehow or other I managed to get those dolls put into my shop on Etsy, and I sat and waited for the dolls to sell…

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Gypsy Dolls

Here is some hair for the “Bohemian Rhapsody” dolls I am making this week. Oh, boy, I had Amy so busy this week. She is so awesome- I discuss my ideas and tell her what I want and give her a pile of fabric and a week later she hands me back a bag of gorgeous doll clothes!  Rachelle, another girl who started working for me a couple of months ago, is sewing some of the doll clothes for me now, too, and I am actually about to add on another seamstress this week! It’s really exciting.

I love “work in progress” pictures. I hope you enjoy this one, too! I think the colors of the dolls this week are gorgeous. It is coming together just how I envisioned it. I love that! Silky scarves, bright warm tones, flowing fabrics; I’m really excited for this one. Stay tuned… 🙂

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It’s about time Tumbleberry Toys had a blog. I plan to hold giveaways on here, as well as drawings for dolls to be reserved. Also, I will post on here semi regularly just to keep everyone updated as to where I am at with the doll making process. So, here it is…I have plans for a drawing on here for a Thimbleberry Doll in just a few days…so please keep checking back!

Tomorrow (3/24) at 9 AM MST, I have an upload planned. It will be my first time using Big Cartel, so hopefully it will all go smoothly! Here is the link: http://tumbleberrytoys.bigcartel.com/ There will be five 16″ dolls, as well as five Tumble Friends. The Tumble Friends are special edition dolls, dressed in the style  I am calling “British School Children Chic”. Hope you all enjoy them!

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