It's a question that nearly all doll makers get asked from time to time, and I am no exception.
It's a really hard thing to explain. That special, magical feeling you get when you hold a doll is really unique. All the imagination and possibilities that go into making a doll, and those that you get for yourself as the owner of a doll just let me picture my own little world. They help me understand the past, present and future. They give me love and remind me of those that love me. And it all started a very, very long time ago.
Beware of the dodgy 70's photos coming up. The haircuts and decor are scary!
I particularly like the stripy romper suit my Mam has picked out for me. And I did warn you about the haircuts - I've no idea what my Dad looks like but he's always been on his own I guess. My Mam, as always, managed to look pretty and stylish no matter what she wears, even in that dodgy stripy cardie and odd top.
Don't get me wrong, I love vintage. I'm just not sure the 70's are my era. I'm more of a 50's girl.
Many people wouldn't believe me, but I it's true I still have that pink and white blanket upstairs in my closet. And of course Emma the Giraffe still watches over me as I sleep each night.
I've no idea how these beloved things have managed to stay with me all these long 35 years, but there's no way I'd ever leave them behind now. My old toys are some of my most treasured possessions. And I have to thank my Mother for managing to keep them safe and cared for for me as I grew up so that I can enjoy them now.
I loved that pushchair and proudly wheeled my dollies around just like any other little girl, but there's one treasure amongst the rest that's more special to me now that I'm grown - Can you see Molly in her brown and cream dress?
She was my Christmas gift that year, I think maybe from my Grampa Albert, and has been my friend all these years. Her plastic smile never fading, she's always been there, a permanent fixture in my life.
I never really understood why Sally's black wool plaited hair is only on the sides of her head, the back being totally bald. But she's happy and smiles no matter what so I guess it's not up to me to judge her maker. Now her plaits are a bit scruffy, and again her clothes are worn and faded. Being fabric she also has a small repair to one of her seams and around her left eye the fabric has gone very thin. But just like Molly, Sally is special to me.
They've always been there, and hopefully always will be. Stained and battered, loved and worn. Looking over me each and every night. They are the earliest dolls in my life. And all those that came after through my childhood just couldn't compare to them.
Madeline Smith here is coming on well and is almost done. And after taking this photo yesterday I managed to finish off all the lace trimming on her dress. She's sitting staring at me at the moment demanding to have some hair added to her shiny bald head so I better go and see to her. But she wont be listed until next weekend as I'm waiting for a special little accessory to go with her.
I mean, what would a poisoner be with out her very own vintage poison bottle :)