Thursday, 29 December 2011

Coming up for air

It was a thrilling and busy holiday season for Making Friends this year! A big thank you is owed for the support of so many wonderful customers.

Everyone got their orders in time for their gatherings, and I can finally re-organize all my supplies and sit down with a nice cup of tea and just . . . relax.

Here are some of the dolls and toys turned out this year - some were finished and shipped so fast I didn't even get pictures!

 It's been a fantastic year, and I've really enjoyed making some well-appreciated toys. Looking forward to next year!
I'll be adding mermaids to the Waldorf line, and monkeys will available for purchase too!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

November already.

The holiday rush never ceases to catch me off-guard. Suddenly things are blowing up and orders are coming in and I'm fielding inquiries and it's just so crazy! Every year I think "I'll get an earlier start next year -- build up some shop stock . . . it'll be fine next year. I'll be prepared." And then WHAM-O! It seems the holiday rush starts a little earlier every year, too.
And on that note - I am deep in the throes of Holiday doll-making!
Zero hour (last chance to ship pre-Christmas) is just 10 weeks away, and I have 9 orders to fill between now and then. Some of them I can share with you as they are completed. Some of them I won't to maintain the surprise factor for customers who prefer to be surprised.

Delivery is already underway for holiday orders. There was the pink spotted puppy.

And there was a local delivery of a soft-sculpture doll.

And just today, I finished up Clara:

Clara was all too happy to pose for the camera this morning.
Doesn't she look great in her mermaid style skirt?

 I'm very much looking forward to the reactions of all these kids when they get their new friends!

Friday, 30 September 2011

With helpers like these . . .

Sometimes I'm surprised I can get anything done in the course of a day.
I have two small, creative, inquisitive children. Sweet Pea (age 3) wants to help. With everything. All the time. Sometimes that works out nicely - like the day I was wrestling the baby into bed for his nap and she tidied up the kitchen and rinsed the dishes for me. All without being asked to. Sometimes it doesn't work out so well. Like when she decides she'd like to cut something, or re-organize my work basket, or what have you. And then there's Boober (9 months) who is just into everything, and on everything, and climbing and grabbing and oh my goodness!!

In spite of all the helpfulness, I do manage to complete things from time to time. And we seem to go through cycles. Right now the kids are feeling co-operative, independent, and gracious. This week, I've completed 2 dolls. Photographing them, however, was a bit of a challenge. And in a few days, weeks, or (heaven help me) hours, they may be feeling more clingy, needy, or wantful. And then the whole thing will come to a stand-still.

What's that saying? Make hay while the sun shines? I intend to!

So let me show you what's been going on around here. I have 3 dolls to introduce to you.

First up is Becky. She's a 10 inch jointed Waldorf style doll.

She reminds me very much of a good friend of mine.
I love the low lights and highlights in her hair -- it really turned out great! And this outfit is just awesome on her!

And then I did something new and a little bit different. One of my fans pointed me towards Dinky Baby. And it turns out the proprietor of Dinky Baby, Vicky, is a super human being. As she says, it's the talent of the doll-maker that really pulls the doll together - she made the pattern, but the doll-maker makes the doll. The dolls are permitted to be sold. So I ordered some patterns, and got to work!

Here's the first one. A 14 inch, soft-sculptured cutie. He wears a newborn diaper, and can wear a modified onsie, although I'm not too crazy about the fit. I'll work on something else for these dolls to wear, I think.

Because this was the first, the sculpting took a whole afternoon, and most of a spool of thread. Well worth it though -- look at that detail!

Boober was pretty interested in helping out with this photo shoot. Or, more accurately, he was interested in swiping the baby for cuddling. It's tough to get your shots when you're dodging grabby little baby hands!

And then, since that one went so well, I made another one! Only this one is much smaller -- just 8 inches. All those futzy little bits just about made me crazy!  But, well worth it, I feel. She's so sweet.

This little girl wears a cloth diaper, a nice soft velour hat, and crocheted booties. She even comes with her own blankie. 

 Here she is, showing off all of her sculpting -- which took significantly less thread this time!

I can't decide which part of these babies is better -- the wee toes, or the little buns!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Busy, busy, busy

Between home life, 2 wee kids, and gearing up to apply for a guest artist spot at the Stitch & Kitsch I haven't had a lot of free time lately. That's why it's a kind of a big deal that I have this new and exciting thing to share with you. The package arrived on Thursday. I read and prepped it all on Saturday. Today I was able to put the finishing touches together. And tomorrow, I'll photograph and share!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

August clothing

I've been asked - more than once - for clothing to fit my dolls. This presents an interesting challenge for me. Typically, when I outfit a doll, I make their clothes to fit them perfectly. Making something 'stock' as it were - well, that's new for me.

So I spent some time thinking about new designs, cut out a few things, mulled it over again . . . and I went for it. Today I put the final touches on 9 outfits, and photographed them.

Modeled by Cerise, Grace and Sweet Pea's own princess. She burst into tears when the words 'for sale' crossed my lips. I had to assure her over and over that I meant the outfits, not the doll. I didn't realize she was so attached to her!

This is where I turn to you for help. I am willing to offer these outfits for sale provided the price is right. That said, I have no idea what a reasonable price would be. If you have input, visit the Facebook fan page and leave your comments on the album!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Introducing Jewel . . . or Rebecca . . . or something else.

The finished product of our 'process' series, this is Jewel AKA Rebecca, AKA whatever J decides to name her. I like Jewel - suits the hair, I feel. Jewel is a mixed rainbow 14" Waldorf doll. She has fair skin, and brown eyes. Her jeans are made from a pair of Sweet Pea's pants that developed a hole. They were one of my favourite pairs of her pants . . . I salvaged the buttons for later use, too.


I'm especially fond of her shirt, and the adorable shoes. I don't know why I don't do shoes more often.


Currently, I'm working on a big clothing upload. Stay tuned for lots of pretties! Here's a sneak preview:


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The process continues

When we left J's new buddy, she was nothing but a set of arms and a head. She's come a long way since then.

After attaching the arms to the head, the whole thing is assembled in a marathon of hand-sewing. When it's done, it looks a lot like this:


There's more hand-stitching to do at the ankles and the hips. I like to add a belly button - an outie just like my little son.


Next up, one of my favourite parts -- the face! Features are first marked with pins


Then embroidered in place


Finally, the hair is added. This girl's hair is only half done - I'll be finishing it and adding the final touch (blush) in short order. Next time you see her, she'll be finished!


Friday, 5 August 2011

The process . . .

Currently, I'm neck-deep in a rush order custom doll. The good news is I'm pretty interested to see how she looks at the end, so it's a job I want to do quickly. So far, it's all going very well - bed time for the kids last night was pretty rough, so I'm not as far along as I had hoped this morning . . . I lost some precious hand-sewing hours last night. PLUS SYTYCD. That results show was a real nail biter for me. No working while being nervous for my favourite dancer (Tadd - yeah, I know he's unlikely to win, but I really like his style!)

As part of this order, I've been asked to take photos of the process. This is intended to give J (the giftee) a glimpse into the making of her one of a kind friend. I was going to make an album on Flickr -- but then I thought why not let everyone see?

It all starts with the head. Here's a head pre-skin.


I've heard it said that getting the shape of the head just right is the trickiest part of Waldorf doll making. I'll agree to that. That, and getting the stuffing to the right firmness without lumps, bumps or breaks. It's difficult, and it takes a lot of practice.

Once the head is tied and shaped, and you're happy with how it looks - it's time to put the skin on.

There is some detailing to do, to clean up your working surfaces - in this case, it's mostly done. 

Now to attach the arms!


I've got them pinned, and waiting for stitching in this photo. Thanks to a lengthy simul-nap, the arms are now stitched in place.

I'll continue to post process pics as I go along. Keep watching!

Sunday, 17 July 2011


My little girl turned 3 recently. Last week, we held her birthday party - and we had a lot of fun! 30 helium balloons, and a kiddie pool at capacity.
One of her gifts was a wooden doll high chair and a new vinyl doll to go with it. I was not convinced the vinyl doll was going to be played with. I mean, my daughter has a fair number of dolls already. Dolls she doesn't really play with. There are 2 Waldorf dolls I made her, a hand-knit 'Sally' who she loves beyond reason and plays with once in a while, a Barbie who hasn't seen the light of day since Sweet Pea bought her with her very own loonie at a yard sale . . . I'm sure there are more.
Imagine my surprise when Sweet Pea refused to go bed the night of her birthday party without her new baby. And she COULDN'T go to bed until her baby's teeth had been brushed. I chalked it up to newness, and bedtime stall tactics. But no, I think she really legitimately likes this doll. She's been playing with her all week. Yesterday she learned the baby drinks and wets . . . and now I need to make some doll diapers.

But oh, the irony! Spend countless hours making dolls with love . . . and she wants Baby Alive. Sigh.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Celeste - reverse rainbow

Given the popularity of our little rainbow friend, I decided to make another! Here is Celeste, a reverse rainbow, 10" jointed doll.

Celeste is wearing a cotton skirt and hand-knit cotton/soy blend shirt. Neither article of clothing has any fasteners - they just pull on and off.

Celeste has reverse rainbow hair - violet is near her face, red is at her crown.

She has purple eyes - it just seemed to fit with her complexion.

Celeste is currently being offered on my Facebook page exclusively. She'll be heading to Etsy in a few days if she's not spoken for.

Monday, 4 July 2011

And the winner is . . . .


Anonymous said...

I love the rainbow girl and I'd call her Happy. You can't help but smile looking at her!
26 June 2011 20:37

The winner has been notified via email and now has 48 hours (until Wednesday noon, EDT) to respond. If there is no response, I'll have to draw again.

And now we wait . . . .

Sunday, 26 June 2011

So who's up for a giveaway?

I'm ready to kick this thing off, how about you?


First things first, let's talk rules.
1) You are NOT required to 'like' Making Friends on Facebook, favourite Making Friends on Etsy, or follow this blog. However, if you like what you see well enough to want to win it -- well the decent thing to do is to follow in some way, right? So while you don't have to - I would love it if you did.
2) One entry per household. You're on the honour system here. Don't break my heart.
3) There will be ONE DOLL given away. The point of making 3 dolls was to give you a choice and me a push. I think it worked.
4) To enter, please comment on this blog post. Include which doll you'd like to win (which one you like best), what you'd name her, and a way to contact you. The contact info cannot be facebook - I'm not flying in the face of their rules. Etsy would be fine. Email would be fine. Also, don't flake out. I need to know which doll you want in no uncertain terms. If you don't make a choice and your number is drawn, I will move on to the next entry. Ie you'll be winning it for the person under you.
Please keep in mind that you can comment anonymously, but you will need to leave a way to contact you.
5) The giveaway begins now and will close on July 4, 2011. The winner will be drawn at noon EDT, and will be notified immediately.
If it becomes apparent I've left anything out, I'll revisit this post to edit.

Let's have a look!


Our three ladies. Your input at work!


Here's our chocolate doll. She's a brand-new release for Making Friends! A 14" Waldorf doll and new to the line-up.


If you look real close at her hair, you'll see some sparkle. It's hard to capture on camera - but gets lots of notice in person!

Next up, the mocha girl.


Her hair is a layered wig, with lots of great blue highlights.


I absolutely love her outfit. The ruffles kill me!!

And finally the rainbow girl.


Look at those colours! This is something I probably wouldn't have made on my own - so, a big thanks to you! I'm so pleased with how it turned out!


She's just lovely!

If you'd like to see additional photos, there are lots on my Facebook page. Thanks so much for your support and encouragement in the last year.
Good luck everyone! I'm excited!