Monday, 30 December 2013

New Dolls For The New Year

My Friend Sarah's Christmas Tree Topper

It's been a lovely Christmas here in the Morgan home. And I hope that you have all had a wonderful magical Holidays with your loved ones too. We've had lots of prezzies, lots of wine, and way too much food :) And now the New Year is just around the corner with new things to do and new ideas to try.

Sarah's collection of 12 month peg dolls decorating her Christmas Tree

I've not been up to much, but have got myself in order by totally reorganising my supply cupboard at long last. It's made me feel so much better to have everything organised and ready for new things. Everything looks spic and span and labelled with what's in each box so now I can find anything I need (in theory anyway), and the doors finally close, which is a very good thing :)

My custom doll order for the lovely Ashley is on hold while I wait for fabric to arrive from the US, along with my Red Harrington as I try and figure out how to make her hat and shawl and wait for things for her too. I really need to be more organised and get all my ordering in at the start of the project so I'm not having to wait so long. But they both look so pretty sitting in a corner of my table watching me as I do other things. I can't wait to work on Ashley's doll again and see how her gown will look when it's done.

I've also started on a doll just for myself. One that I've been collecting fabrics and trims for over the last year, so it's wonderful to see her finally in some underwear.

My Queen Victoria is dressed so far in silk cotton drawers trimmed with lace, a shift of the softest cotton, and a petticoat of unusual Embroidery Anglaise. Her corset is made of stripped blue cotton with white lace and you can see that I've added longer under-sleeves under her shift that will help support her elbow joints once she's dressed and won't be seen when she's done.

Even though my Elizabeth I is still waiting for a few more details until she's done I just couldn't resist starting Victoria as well. Working with another artist on Elizabeth has been wonderful and I can't wait until she's done. But it was just the right time to start on my next special very detailed project. I like to have something I can work on in sections through the year. And this doll will be a great challenge for me. I've not decided on the very final outfit for her yet but want to dress her as we have all seen her in later life, with all the fuss and pomp of her official state photographs. Little round crown and all :)

I've also been trying new things and have been practising my painting again. It's been so nice to get out paper, pencil and paint to draw and colour some characters that have been swimming around my brain that just won't suit a 3d doll. They aren't ready to see just yet, but I'm getting there :) I'll be mixing patterns, paper, fabric, paint, pastel and pencils to get the look I want. And I hope I can get back the skill I once had before and improve on it.

I'm not sure just yet what we'll be doing here for New Year, and I still have a few gifts to deliver to friends when they visit next week. I can't wait to see them all :)
Hope you all have a wonderful time, and a Happy New Year xxxxxx

Monday, 9 December 2013

Why A Big Winter Sale?

Why am I having a Big Winter Sale?
Yes, one reason is that I want to be kind to my customers. And yes, I do want to clear some of my stock and make some money so I can make more dolls and all my new ideas. But these aren’t the only reasons, and not the whole reason by themselves.

I have wonderful customers and friends that show me a great deal of support all year round though this blog, Twitter, Facebook, Etsy and E-mail. Many of them I’ll never get to meet in person, and most of them are in countries far away from me. But I cherish each and every one of the kind, supportive, and encouraging messages and comments I receive.
I know I have an odd style and many people find my dolls to be creepy (it’s the eyes!), but each kindness I’m lucky to receive helps my odd mind accept that what I do is right for me and that there are others out there that can see what I see in each blank stare and each soft expression. Some might not understand that I make my dolls with a lot of love and that every one has a piece of me inside them, from the littlest to the biggest. But I know that some of you do understand. And I greatly appreciate it.

One of the most important things to me is that the people that my dolls go to are nice people. Friendly and kind, understanding and imaginative. They may see things in my dolls that they see in themselves, and that’s something that we share as I’m in there too. Being such a small business it’s not very often that I’m able to offer anything to you all. But changes are coming even though they are only small ones. And they mean that I can at the moment offer reductions on my work.

Yes, like everyone I want to make money. But no, I am not doing this in any way to say that my work is not worth the original price I placed on them. Each of my dolls is very dear to me, and some more than others at different times depending on what I’m feeling. Each is handmade with no moulds used, painted and strung using techniques I’ve worked on for years, and dressed with meticulous care and detail. Every seam and hem hand stitched and finished, every ruffle, trim and final detail added by me. And if you’d like proof I can send you a photo of my ruined finger tips lol J

Every creation, no matter who made it or the skill involved, deserves it’s place in the world and the respect of the people that see it. And I truly believe that every work has its merits. I’ve run my little doll making passion selling them so that I can create more. The more I make the more ideas I have and I only have so much room in my little house to be able to store and display my dolls.

I recently decided that spending my time and money displaying my work at fairs and shows in my area was not getting me anywhere, as I unfortunately live in a quiet part of the country and don’t drive myself so always have to rely on my long suffering doll widow husband. So the easiest fix to this is not to do any anymore. Simple as that.

The problem with this of course is that the high numbers of dolls I kept available throughout the year for me to take to these fairs and shows is now sitting forlornly on my shelves looking at me and asking why they never get to go anywhere. And I’ve no room left to get the ideas that are bursting my brain made no matter how much I secretly try and spread all over the house. And Yes, husband does notice and tells me off :S

So really what I’m trying to say is Yes, please do go and grab yourself a bargain. I’m not trying to clear out anything dodgy or rip anyone off. I genuinely want and need to see my dolls leave their nest and me behind as it’s time to let go of them to make room for new ones to come. I’ll even consider offers too if you’re not too cheeky, and am happy to reserve or arrange a layaway payment scheme.

Plans are afoot and very special projects are in the works. Secrets at the moment that I must keep, but I promise to share soon. And new projects coming that will test my skills to their limits and hopefully teach me some new things in the process. I’m tired of trying to please everyone as it can never be done no matter how hard I try, and in my odd little way I have tried. So from now on I’m planning dolls that are even more meaningful to me and hopefully to others. Dolls that share stories and have messages to take with them into the world. And Dolls that I will be working to promote worldwide to my worldwide audience. xxxxxx