Sunday, 8 June 2014

My Mantle - A Doll Collection

We live in what I call a comfortable house. It's not that modern, and not that neat in places. But it's full of things that we find beautiful. There are prints and photos on all the walls, and all our little memories in typeset trays mounted on the dining room wall. Nothing really matches, and there are lots and lots of books. And you'll always find my latest projects cluttering up the table top. But for us it's home, and as I sit here with my Meanna at my side I'm surrounded by things that make me smile.

My mantle holds many of my art doll collection (that's me in my scruffy Sunday lazy with my hair scrapped back - Very pretty!), creeping over onto Hubby's side of the shelf and squeezing up his fossil collection. I'd like to share these with you and the amazing artists that created them as they make me happy and I fell in love with each of them as soon as I saw them. So from right to left here is my mantle.

These two poor old dolls heads I found tucked away in a dusty box under a table at a doll fair. They looked so sad and neglected under that table of beautifully restored antique dolls in their fine lace dresses, and when I asked how much the lady wanted for them I could hardly believe my luck. So with my purse only £6 lighter and a huge smile on my face I went back to my own stall with my treasure.

Next to my old battered dolls heads sits the wonderful Maelgwn, my very own little puppy sized Werepup. Asia makes the most fabulous detailed realistic little werewolf babies. And I was so excited when I got in touch with Asia and ordered my little pup. I was able to choose what fur and eye colour I'd like, and if I wanted a little girl or a little boy which I left up to her to have a surprise, and Asia was really helpful an friendly. I named my little pup Maelgwn, which means both Prince and Wolf in Welsh. And I'm definitely saving up for one of her human baby sized pups.
Werepups -

Stood tall and proud at Maelgwn's side is Poe, my beautifully feathered Crow Boy by Kim of Homespun Dolls. His long skinny legs with his shinny shoes are hidden at the moment behind the twins. But it's his wonderful face that made me fall for him. He has sad sleepy little eyes and a gentle smile with all his soft feathers sticking straight up from his head. All of his clothes are made from different black silks and fabrics, and on his back are beautiful folded feathered wings. Kim puts a lot of effort into the details of her dolls, and my Poe is no exception - Homespun Dolls -

Next to Poe's head you can see a little photo of my Great Great Great Grandmother Susan Boyd. The little baby on her right is my Dad :)

In front of Poe stand my newest little dolls - a pair of grumpy babies from Colleen of Loopy Boopy.
Bud and his sister Babette have just perfect expressions, and their shiny sad eyes and round belly's made them hard to resist. I'm a huge fan of Loopy Boopy's work, and as soon as I saw these new grumpy babies I was totally struck by their poses and faces. Babette looks so sad and upset, just as if someone has stolen her lolly, and Bud looks so fed up. How could anyone not love them. they even have perfect little bums :) - Loopy Boopy -

Next along is another of my Loopy Boopy dolls, and Victoria rules all as Queen of the New Orleans Insane Asylum. Her pretty red hair reminded me of my little sister when she was small, and once I read about her and her life I just knew I had to adopt her. She has lovely little brown leather boots, and a slightly tattered checked dress with a mustard shawl around her shoulders. Again (or rather as always) Colleen has managed to create another stunning face, Victoria looks so wistful and dreaming that I often stop as I go by to stroke her soft hair and smooth her clothes - Loopy Boopy -

Next comes Buster who stares at all who enter the door, glaring at them all and clutching tighter to his dolly. I always think he looks as though he's really frightened that someone is coming to take his doll away from him. I think someone must have tried it before and he certainly won't let it happen again. Nicole of Mealy Monster creates really imaginative characters that always make me smile. From tiny snails, to big glamorous witches, all colourful and expressive and simply wonderful - Mealy Monster -

This little group of characters are all tucked up together, three friends spending their days chatting and giggling at their own jokes. First comes Maude in her black and red dress made by the lovely Cynthia of Fairies Nest. Maude came to me as part of a swap between me and Cyn, and I can't remember who I sent her in return now, but little Maude in her stripy stockings smiles out at me.
In the middle is Edith and Bun Bun by Dance Sippy Dance, smiling down at her poor dead rabbit as if she knows that she'll see him again soon. I know many think it morbid, but if you've read the Garth Nix books Sabriel, Lireal and Abhorsen you might understand why I immediately had to have this wonderful piece. Her colours and the shading are done so well, and her pose is just perfect as Bun Bun sits out in front on the shelf and can be seen as you go by in full detail.
Large and looming next to Edith is Maulie by Evie atWee Art Things. He's sad and aged with layers of fabric and paint. His confused little face under his mop of hair I find very appealing. And he wears his heart on his chest for all to see - The Fairies Nest -  Dance Sippy Dance -   Wee Art Things -

Under a glass dome given to me by my Grandmother that once held thimbles is No 2 Austere by Karly of Cheeky Bottoms. This wonderful face drew me in as soon as I saw it, and the cinnamon scent of the hard stuffed jointed body is so lovely to hold. He has tiny button eyes and I love the tinted colouring he has. I love old dolls and have a small collection of heads, so I was really drawn the the breastplate head and shoulder design over the cloth body - Cheekie Bottoms -

Next come two of my husbands dolls. A little tin toy panda that plays his drum when he's wound, and another little Mealy Monster Monster I bought him for valentine's day one year. Cris has named this little guy clutching his heart shaped sweets Nugget, but I'm not really sure why. He has a lovely cheeky smile :) - Mealy Monster -

Hubby likes fossils, and his collection comes next along the mantle. Some teeth and spirals, a skeleton and an amethyst geode with a lump of shiny coal we picked up somewhere on one of our travels.

One day I'll find a nice little shelf set for him and squeeze him off the Mantle all together :)

I made The Joker for Cris when he asked me to make him a doll as a birthday gift. And I was terrified as I carved up his face to make his evil cut grin. I learnt a lot about constructing a suit and all the different layers making this doll, and I mean one day to make him a chair using the vintage playing cards behind him. (I'm not mentioning the Transformer. Although I know that he's an original one I've no idea of his name).

Hanging below the mantle are another two art dolls, both of them made as hanging decorations. I have this little ghost from Mealy Monster dressed in rags and strips of wispy white, and my Elf from Loopy Boopy that gazes sadly down at the table where my sewing sits with his lovely pointed ears and tall stripy hat :)
I hope you've enjoyed having a look at my mantle collection. I'm always adding to it when I can, and I'll show you the others around my house soon. I don't get a lot of spare money to buy myself these wonderful things, but when I can afford it I love to invest in beautiful art for our home. xxx

Loopy Boopy -
Mealy Monster -


  1. I enjoyed seeing your dolls, so varied and interesting!! A great mix of creativity with a twist!

  2. Wow..I'm so jealous of your collection:) Am honored to have my work amongst all those lovelies. thank you Natasha!