Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2010... Where did it go?

Is it just me or has this year completely flown by?  I have experienced so many milestones, both personal and professional.  I have made so many dolls, and so many more friends!  I have been able to be part of some wonderful collaborations and have some more fun stuff in the works... here's a little hint at one of them:

As you are giving your children their dolls or watching your kids play with their dolls, please take pictures!  There is no way to measure the joy it brings to me when I get to share a special moment by way of a snapshot.  You can post pics directly to the Facebook Fan Page, or you can e-mail them to me at and I will be glad to post them for you, or I can just keep it to myself if you prefer.  There will be a fabulous and fun photo contest in January, I am just working out all of the details now and I will announce it at the beginning of the year.  There will be several categories and more than one prize :)

I have started a "Reviews" tab on the Fan Page for all of the Facebook mamas... when you get a second, please leave one so others will know how you feel about AppleTreeHouse, no matter how you came to acquire her/him.  When I get 50 reviews, I will randomly select one to get a special little present for their AppleTreeHouse doll.

Also, regarding rehomes, if you should happen to be the recipient of one, please let me know!  I will update the Club Members Album pic with the new location and I will also be happy to send you a new, personalized care card. 

I would also just like to take a second and thank all the friends, fans, and customers of AppleTreeHouse. I am so very grateful for each and every one of you.  Being able to create dolls and have them find special people to live with (be it from a direct purchase, a gift, an "angel", a rehome) is so very rewarding for me.

I hope everyone is able to enjoy special times with loved ones....

XOXO Debra 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Last Upload of 2010

It is hard to believe that we are almost one week into the last month of the year... it has been a busy, fun time around here!  Pink Sparkle, our first Apple themed doll, got made and is on her way home to live in Nebraska with a very special little girl who is new to the Waldorf Doll world.  I am so excited by the way she turned out. 

This week will be the last doll upload for the year.  I am aiming for Thursday, 12/9 at 8pm EST... this is not set in stone yet, if if looks like I can finish an extra doll I might delay it until Friday.  I have 3 dolls waiting for faces and hair, as well as a couple of Mooshy Babies started.  I am planning on reserving one of the dolls for newbie mamas for the 1st 30 minutes, then she will be fair game for all.  Please check the Facebook Fan Page (click the image on the right side bar) for the latest upload updates. 

I would also like to take a moment to thank all of the friends and families that have become such a vital force behind AppleTreeHouse.  Without your support, I doubt my little doll making company would be where it is today, thriving and growing.  I am truly overwhelmed and humbled by your response to my little dolls.  Thank you for making what I do even more fun!

xoxo Debra

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Apple Themes, Doll Kits,& Other Stuff them apples!  "K" came up with a great, fun idea to have everybody name their favorite apple, then design a special doll inspired by that apple and have her come with some cool extras.  I knew there were a lot of varieties of apples, but I was surprised at the diversity of those mentioned!  The top three favorite apples were:  Gala, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious.  I wasn't too sure about naming a doll Granny Smith, so I made an "executive decision" to substitute Pink Sparkle... the overwhelming top choice became Pink can never go wrong with something that is pink and sparkles!  I am working on making her this week.  I also got some interesting suggestions from all the ladies who love their Granny Smith.  I love the idea of making an  "Anny Smith" so she will make an appearance sometime soon as well :)

I recently finished a special doll for Ashley of Li'l Blue Boo that she decided to name "Laurina" after a little Hatian girl that they are fostering thru Three Angels Children's Relief!/pages/Three-Angels-Childrens-Relief/149620460766
I can't wait to see pics of her modeling with Li'l Sally and can't help but wonder if Ashley will be creating a dress to name after her....

I have had many, many requests for more customized doll making kits, and I finally have enough materials in stock (and on the way) to accommodate a few more.  If you are interested in getting a kit, please send me an e-mail at on Thursday, November 18, 2010 between 10-11 am EST if you are in the US or Canada and 10-11 pm EST if you are an International Customer.  I will randomly select some the morning of Friday, November 18 and post a reserved listing on BigCartel that will need to be purchased and paid for within 24 hours, or I will have to offer the kit to someone else to keep things fair.  In order to expedite this whole process and get the kits out as soon as possible, please include the following info in your e-mail:

*  light, medium, or dark skin
*  eye color
*  blond, light brown, dark brown, black, or red hair
*  any favorite colors for fun yarns for the hair, as well as any colors you don't like (a lot of my art yarns are
    multi colored)

As a reminder, customized doll kits are $78 come with the following supplies:  ♥ a pre-made head with a cute little nose, ♥ a pre-sewn body in your choice of light, medium, or dark tan, ♥ eco-wool for stuffing, ♥ a crochet cap to get your doll wig started and yarn for hair in your choice of color, ♥ some art yarns in colors you love to make her hair fun, ♥ high quality threads for assembling the doll, ♥ embroidery threads in your choice of colors for eyes and lips, ♥ easy to follow instructions, ♥ a simple doll tunic and underpants pattern .  I send am ample amount of yarns and wool stuffing so you have the choice to use as much (or as little) as you would like to truly customize your doll.  You will need some sewing needles and a few other basic items easily obtained at most craft style stores.

Have a great week!  xoxox Debra

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Time for a Giveaway!

It's time for the Giveaway!  I wanted to do something special to commemorate some milestones... 1,000 + fans on Facebook, 1 year on Etsy, 100 dolls made.... it's unbelievable that all three milestones happened within weeks of each other.  It seemed like a special doll was in order:

Here's Autumn...the fan designed, named, and dressed doll :)

Autumn has very long, soft Apple Tree House style red hair with 4 different types of yarn, ivy green eyes, and is wearing an original Li'l Blue Boo dress (don't forget, you can order custom dresses at and I think there is an option for a matching doll dress) and of course her little apple undies.  Autumn will come with a super cool African Bead bracelet, and she will  also have some more goodies... I will update the pic when they arrive.  Like all Apple Tree House dolls, she is OOAK, an individual, not to be repeated. 

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment here below her picture telling me how you found Apple Tree House: a friend, Facebook, Etsy Search, etc... For an extra entry, refer a friend to "like" Apple Tree House on Facebook, then comment here who you have referred, and have them leave your name in their comment as well.  The giveaway starts now, and will run thru November 10, 2010 at 7pm EST.  Don't forget to leave me contact info in case you win! 

Thank you to all of the friends and fans of Apple Tree House... it has been a pleasure creating dolls this last year.  I look forward to the dolls that are still waiting to be made :)

xoxo Debra

Friday, October 29, 2010

Giveaway Doll

The Giveaway Doll is done!  Stop by the Facebook Fan Page (click on the icon on the right) and help choose her name.  After she is named, it will be time to pick out her original Li'l Blue Boo Dress  .  Here is a couple of pics of the Giveaway Doll...

I left her super soft Apple Tree House style hair very long!

All Facebook Fans and Blog Followers will be eligible to enter to win her... more details on that later.

Have a safe weekend.... xoxo Debra

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Doll Upload 10/27 on BIGCARTEL

I will be uploading 3 dolls on Wednesday, October 27th at 6pm EST to my new BigCartel shop!

There will be 3 dolls:




All 3 dolls were assembled by my friend Susan!  I am so grateful to have had her help this last week.  The first 2 she assembled, Sunny and Spike, are not quite perfect (NQP) so they will be offered at a reduced rate.  They are still very sturdy and made from all the same wonderful natural materials, they are just a bit uneven in spots.  Please be aware of this before you decide to purchase them! 

I am sure you have also noticed Natalie's super stylish upcycled Lil Blue Boo dress... the sleeves are a cherry print and the top of the dress has an original LBB screen print.  Please check out Ashley's shop on Bigcartel as well:

For those of you who may be wondering, "Why Bigcartel?" the answer is quite simple... I wanted to try something new :)  You don't have to have an account to buy, and  I love the ability to preview what is coming up for sale.  This will greatly help those of you who are not on Facebook.  I would also like a separate place to offer doll making kits.  My Etsy shop will remain open, and the extra clothing and accessories will remain there.  I will be sure to post here and on Facebook when things come available, and there will always be a link.  I apologize if there is any confusion!

XOXO Debra

Thursday, October 21, 2010

News from the Tree House...

This week has been busy as normal... but not my usual busy.  My dear friend Susan has been spending some time in my studio, learning how to stuff and assemble dolls!  This will help get more dolls made and in to new homes.  I am thinking of offering the first couple of dolls that Susan has done at a reduced price.  They were made with all of the same high quality materials, and I am still doing majority of the doll crafting, they are just stuffed and sewn a bit differently as Susan is still working on duplicating all of my methods.  I think soon even I will have a tough time telling the difference between the ones she has done and my own!

I am also working on finalizing all of the details for the Vashti auction on Ebay.  My dear customer and new friend Jenn in Australia is working on helping me get the auction listing together.  The auction will include the doll, an original signed and dated "The Dot" book by Peter H. Reynolds, an original signed piece of artwork by the author, and an original Lil Blue Boo dress so she will have an extra outfit!  This auction will be a once in a lifetime opportunity... I will never create another doll quite like this, and she will be tough to part with, but I am so excited at the opportunity to be able to raise money for the school library.  I will post here and on Facebook when the auction is live. 

Back to the sewing machine.....   XOXO Debra

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Doll Upload 10/14

OK, it's that time again!  The next doll upload will be Thursday, 10/14/2010 at 9pm EST.  There will be 2 dolls in the shop, (the one on the left and the one on the right), and the third (the gal in the middle) will go "Facebook Style"... I will post a pic of her on Facebook tomorrow 10/14 at noon EST and you will have until Friday, 10/15 noon EST to leave a comment under that picture to have a chance to have her reserved in your name for purchase on Etsy. 

Here is the bushel of Apples for this week....

(Left to Right)  Sloane, Serena, and Sadie

The girls are all 10 inches and have soft, full heads of Apple Tree House hair.  Sloane and Sadie will be $99 each, and Serena, who is styling in her Li'l Blue Boo Original Sally Style Dress will be $115.  Ashley is also working on some Sleeping Beauty inspired doll dresses, please see her Facebook page for more info.  Here is a link to the blue princess dress available now:

Have a great evening!

XOXO Debra

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dolls, Dolls, Dolls!

This week has been a fun one... I made my first dark skinned boy doll, Aidan.  I have not seen one quite like him yet!  He was so fun to make and so hard to part with, but he now lives in Canada.

I am also so happy to announce that  Li'l Blue Boo will be dressing some of the Ready 2 Go Home (R2GH) dolls!  You can see more of Ashley's creations at .  Her model, Li'l Sally is a real crowd favorite.  I was able to get some more of the specialty yarns that we all loved in Sally's hair, so there will be a few more with this amazing style.... although there will only be one Li'l Sally :)

The Giveaway Doll is in the works... she will have light tan skin, green eyes, and fun & funky red hair.  I will post a pic when she is done and announce how the Giveaway will work.  The Giveaway will be conducted here on the blog as Facebook has some rules and regulations as far as Giveaways go. 

This coming week, there will be 3 dolls... Serena, a medium tan skinned doll with black hair with turquoise hi-lites and eyes to match; Sloane, a light tan skinned doll with the most amazing hair in browns and blues and eyes to match the blue, and Sadie, a fun loving blond... I will post a sneak peek soon!

Thanks again.... XOXO Debra

Monday, October 4, 2010

Individuality is Healthy!

A lot of you have been asking about t-shirts with my slogan and the original artwork by Stephanie Corfee.  I have done a lot of research, and decided to offer them to you directly on Zazzle!

There are tots, kids, and ladies sizes available... to make your t-shirt a really cool one of a kind piece, stop by Dharma Trading and search for "fabric markers"...

There are quite a few neat products that you can color the shirt with  for a truly unique piece of clothing! 

Please send pics of your li'l one (or yourself!) wearing your t-shirt and Iwill share them on the blog :)

XOXO Debra

Friday, October 1, 2010

Doll Giveaway!

As many of you are aware, Apple Tree House reached a big milestone this week... 1000 Facebook Fans!  I am always humbled by the number of people who love dolls the way I do.  As a thank you, I have decided to do a really special Giveaway...  Facebook Fans can help design the doll and then enter here for a chance to win her.  I can't take credit for this fabulous idea, I have had several suggest it to me and have been waiting for the perfect reason to do it. 

So far, she has light tan skin and red hair, green eyes, and fun hair!  You can see her pic here:!/photo.php?fbid=10150308003780243&set=a.339920055242.343456.334216215242

Thanks again to all the friends of Apple Tree House!  XOXO Debra

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

1000 Fans!

Wow!  I am just completely blown away by all the support... Apple Tree House has surpassed the 1,000 Facebook Fans milestone... I am amazed how the word has spread about my little dolls.  To thank everyone for their support, I would like to do a Giveaway here on the blog, as Facebook has some pretty strict rules (and I do not want to get the Fan page shut down!).   I have had inquiries about a Fan Designed Doll Giveaway, and this seems like the perfect time to do one!  The prize package will include:

  • Fan Designed Doll -- On Facebook, I will post an option (the first one will be skin tone, then other options will be hair color, eye color, etc).  You will have time to cast your vote, until it is time so select the next option.  Then when I am done with the doll, you will have the option to comment on the blog to enter to win her. 
  • An African Bead doll bracelet
  • Some other surprises!
And a few more surprises along the way!  I will start the voting on the skin color tomorrow on the Facebook Fan Page (link on the right).  I am so excited, this is going to be so much fun!!  Thanks again to all the friends of Apple Tree House for all of their support and encouragement along the way.  XOXO Debra

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Moving on...

This will be the last time I talk about this subject… too much time and energy has been devoted to this matter already, but I would like to put it to rest peacefully.

I knew when I decided to offer the doll making kits it was a possibility that someone might dissect the materials in an effort to gain insight into how I do it. Written disclaimers, licensing agreements, non-compete agreements and copyrights on artistic creations are tricky things, as is intellectual property. I have said in the past that the basic patterns for Waldorf dolls can be easily obtained in books and on the internet. There will be many more doll makers in the future who will also use the same basic patterns and concepts. The originality in Waldorf dolls lies in how the concepts are put together.   I make no specific claim to any of the basic concepts or patterns, just my brand and what it has come to be known for.

I have been contacted by the other doll maker and she has stated that the pattern is her own; she said she has been making dolls for years. I believe in taking people at their word, even when appearances may indicate otherwise. I believe that she honestly did not realize that it might look bad on her part and give the wrong idea to buy a kit then decide to make very similar dolls to sell.

I had received many, many emails about the other dolls before I wrote my original post and was hoping to avoid any controversy, which is why I will not name the other company.  I bear no ill-will; I can only hope that all other doll makers continue to come up with their own looks and concepts that they can be proud of. There is plenty of room for all individuals :)   XOXO Debra

Friday, September 24, 2010


This post is very hard for me to write.  I have received a lot of e-mails from friends of Apple Tree House asking about another doll maker...wanting to know if I had hired someone to help me, had I seen the dolls that seemed to look a lot like Apple Tree House dolls.  Honestly, I didn't think too much of it at first, Waldorf dolls are all mostly made from the same, simple pattern.  Then I saw a picture.  Something didn't sit quite right with me.  I saw the shop name and something was familiar, but still a bit different.  I didn't think about it again until I got some more e-mails, then I decided to dig a bit.  I am very sad to say that this doll maker bought one of my doll making kits in August, and in September started selling her own 10-11 inch Waldorf dolls.   The doll making kits were always intended for one special purpose:  to give a mama a chance to make a special doll for her little one using the same high quality supplies that I do, using some of my secrets to make it easier for her, so she would enjoy the process and love the results and be able to bring joy.  Seeing this happen, after all of the time and work and effort I put in to putting together the "perfect" kit, completely breaks my heart.  Theft of intellectual property is a big deal.  If you have recently purchased a kit, please remember that this kit is for personal use only.  Please also remember that all Apple Tree House Dolls will have an apple birthmark, that is how I sign them so you know it is real.

There are a lot of other lovely doll makers out there, I would never want to discourage anyone from buying any particular brand of doll.  I love seeing what each doll maker brings to the table.  Please support the true artists that have taken the time to develop their own patterns, looks, and methods, use the highest quality materials and craftsmanship, and have the highest ethical standards.

Individuality is Healthy.

XOXO Debra

Monday, September 20, 2010

50th Blog Post

I can't believe that I have had 50 posts on the blog already!  Who ever knew I had so much to say? (WINK!)

Last week was something else... my 100th sale, more kits, more custom slots.  I also had a super experience getting to "know" one of my all time favorite children's book authors, Peter H. Reynolds.  I had decided a while back that I wanted to make a doll based on our family favorite book, "The Dot".  I thought it would be fun to make that doll to coincide with International Dot Day on September 15th.  I made my mark, and here is where it took me:

I am so happy with the way Vashti turned out!  Believe it or not, this is the first doll I have ever done with bangs.  She is so very sweet... she has watercolor rainbow yarn in her hair.  I had an idea to auction Vashti to benefit a new Elementary School in my town and I wanted to sweeten the deal a bit, so I contacted Peter's company to see if he would be willing to sign a book to include in the auction package.  Many of my fans were kind enough to make a plea on his Facebook page in my behalf.  Much to my surprise, Peter contacted me HIMSELF and has agreed to send a book!  I am so very excited to be able to do this for the new school.  I will be hopefully getting the auction up and running on Ebay in the next week or so,  please check back here and on the Fan page for updates.  If you have never read the book, I highly recommend it for kids of all ages, the message is universal and really transcends all ages.

I have been also winding up the September customs... there is just one left to go out.  I will be gathering supplies for all of the kits and hope to have them out in about a week's time, then I will be putting more Ready To Go Home (R2GH) dolls in the shop as I work my way through the new batch of customs.  I am also looking into several options for producing t-shirts with the Apple Tree House slogan and original artwork by Stephanie Corfee and hope to be able to share that soon as well!

Thanks again for all of your support  XOXO Debra

Monday, September 13, 2010

What happened to the first half of September?

How did this happen?  We are almost 1/2 way thru the month, and I haven't posted even once?!?!
I guess I must have been busy.... :o)

Here's a pic of the last batch of girls....

Lucy is going to live in NY with Lea and Daisy

Mary Ellen is going to live in MI with Melissa and Astrid

Susanna ( I can't announce where she is going to live yet!)

For this week, the first things I will be finishing up are Vira's custom (an adorable brown eyed girl) and the Vashti doll inspired by the character in one of my favorite kids books, The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds in celebration of International Dot Day.  If you haven't ever read this book, I highly recommend it, the message is so powerful and good for people of all ages!  The custom dolls for Mary and Amy are also nearing completion... it would be so hard to part with these cuties if i wasn't sure that they will be oh so loved in their new homes.   I will post pics as the dolls are done.

In honor of International Dot Day (see the Facebook page for more details) and the spirit of creating something,   I will make 3 more 10 inch doll making kits available on Wednesday, September 15th at 10 pm EST.  Kits require some sewing expertise and even more patience.   Please have an idea of what you want for skin, hair, and eye colors so I can get the kit together and shipped ASAP... I will send you a convo shortly after purchase to discuss details.  I will be placing my last yarn orders this week!

Now, on to a subject lots of you have been asking about...  customs!  I will reopen a few more slots for   10-11 inch custom dolls on Thursday, September 16th.  Since the last upload went so nicely, I think I will try something a little different for custom doll slots this time... e-mail me at
 between 4pm  and 8 pm EST with the following info:

  1. Your Name

  2. Your Etsy Name

  3. The skin tone you would like (light, medium, or dark)

  4. The base hair color (blonde, light brown, dark brown, red, black)

  5. All curly, no curly, or curly bits (Apple Tree house Style)

  6. Eye Color

  7. Favorite Colors so I know what colored bits to put in the hair and what to look at for clothing

  8. If there is anything you absolutely MUST HAVE or  DO NOT LIKE
I will not be able to make any changes, changes take a lot more time than you would think and take me away from doll making, so think it over before you send your e-mail! 

At 8pm EST on Thursday, I will print out all the e-mails then randomly choose some to make.  Reserved Custom Listings will be set up in the shop that evening with a $40 deposit (the balance will be due on completion, custom dolls will be $115-$135)  The dolls will be completed by November 15th. 
You will have 24 hours to pay for your Reserved Custom listing...if it goes over 24 hours, your spot will be offered to someone else. 

I would also like to say Welcome and give a very special Thank You to Kristina...
She is the new page moderator on my Facebook page!  Many of you have greatly enjoyed the pics and fun things that Kristina has posted about Tatiana, now everyone can enjoy her adventures. 

Tatiana loves sparkly things...

Have a great day!  XOXO Debra

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Upload 8/27

Sorry for the last minute notice....but I am planning an upload for
Friday, August 27th  at 8  p.m. EST.  There will be 5 Mooshy Babies and hopefully a little brown eyed red head.

Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway!  You can enter one time each on the bag pic on the right to be taken to the right spot to enter.

Thanks for stopping by!  XOXO Debra

Thursday, August 19, 2010


It is time for a giveaway! Since we just started back at school here last week, school bags have been a big topic here.  So, here is the prize:

It is a super special one of a kind hand knit bag from Tia at
It was made as a full size bag for the 10-11 inch dolls, but will work well as a smaller bag for bigger dolls as well.  I just love the apple she put on it :o)

To enter the giveaway, simply be a Fan on Facebook, follow the blog, & leave a comment here...each person can enter one time per day.  The winner will be drawn randomly on September 1st at 2 p.m. EST.

Also, thanks for an amazing upload on Wednesday...all three dolls (shown below) sold in under 30 seconds.  As a doll maker, it is truly overwhelming to see my dolls so loved by so many people.                                    If you missed out, please do not despair...I am always working on another batch, and the uploads are announced here first. 
FYI...there will be a couple more doll kits available Tuesday, August 24th at 8 p.m. EST.

XOXO Debra

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Upload Wednesday, August 18th

Ok, you heard it here first!  The next upload will be Wednesday, August 18th at 10 a.m. EST...I know that is a little earlier than most uploads, but I am hoping the west coast mamas will get a chance before their day gets too crazy.  Here is a peek at a dark skinned beauty that I just finished....

There will also be a light tan skinned doll with blue eyes and rainbow hair and a medium tan skinned doll with black, purple and pink hair....

XOXO Debra

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Next Upload

Just a quick note...there will be an upload next week, either Wednesday or Thursday depending on when I finish this batch.  There will be a dark skinned gal with natural colored hair, an asian beauty with pink and purple dreds, and a rainbow haired lovely that I am having a hard time parting with!  I will announce the exact date and time this weekend.

I am also planning another giveaway!  It is a Bitty Bag in honor of school starting here.  Tia of Bitty Bags made the most beautiful little sack with an Apple on it...I will announce the details in the next post.

XOXO Debra

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Here is the doll I am entering into the Li'l Blue Boo / Dharma Trading Ugly Upcycle Challenge!
You might remember her a little differently from an earlier post...she had lighter eyes and lips and was called Hope.  Well, not too long after that post, another doll maker decided to name a dark skinned doll she made Hope.   I was not 100% satisfied with her face, so I decided to re-do it and give her a new name to go with her new expression, and hopefully some good new energy.  I am thrilled with the way she turned out!  My family thinks she looks like a dark version of Li'l Sally, which really made me chuckle as I spent a lot of time looking at Li'l Blue Boo's photos when I was piecing the dress.  I am also sure you have all noticed the dress, and yes, that is my special doll portrait from Stephanie Corfee printed on the front of it!  I am not licensed to sell Li'l Blue boo doll dresses so you will be seeing this design show up on doll t-shirts at first, and maybe some kid sized stuff too, along with my slogan "individuality is healthy" :)  More details soon!  Please take a second and stop by the Facebook Fan Page and vote on your favorite picture of Zoe...the winning pic will be submitted to the challenge.
Thanks!  XOXO Debra

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer is over here...almost!

It is so very, very hot here, but summer must be almost over.  School started here yesterday...can you believe it?  I have mixed feelings about this.  It is nice to have time to sew (and take care of my other "real" job) without interruptions, but I have to admit that I miss my girls!  I am so very proud of them, they are growing up so very fast and are such nice young ladies, so kind and confident.  Now I am tearing up again!

The last few weeks have been full of neat things.  I have to say that my favorite was a collaboration with Stephanie Corfee.  I heard about Stephanie first on Li'l Blue Boo's fan page.  I loved the whole idea of Stephanie's "When I Grow Up" print, the idea that kids can be encouraged to imagine.  I contacted Stephanie and asked her about a custom print.  I wanted a picture of a doll with my new trademark "Individuality is Healthy".  Stephanie looked thru my album at pics of the dolls I have made and this is what she came up with:

Stephanie did such a fantastic job!  It came out better than I could have imagined.  I was very surprised when Stephanie asked about a doll for herself...she wanted one that evoked her personality without being a total lookalike.  We decided to use her fabulous "Baby Bohemia" print as the inspiration for her doll's hair.  I contacted Syrendell on Etsy about having a custom yarn done in the correct colors, and this is what happened:

Don't you just love her outfit?  Li'l Blue Boo was so very kind to send a super special OOAK dress with Stephanie's artwork on it for the doll to wear.  We thought it would be nice for Stephanie to have something as she doesn't have a little girl to dress (yet!).  When you get a second, stop by Stephanie's Etsy shop
and look at her wonderful artwork...I have several things hanging around my house now :)

I have gotten a lot of enquiries about custom doll orders lately...I am still working on the last batch, so as soon as I have an idea of when they will be finishing up I will re-open custom orders for fall.  I am thinking of opening a bigger number and promising delivery by the end of November, but it will all depend on my sewing help and the loads these mamas  are able to handle.

Also, there will be a giveaway soon!  I am hammering out the final details....

XOXO Debra

Friday, July 23, 2010

Doll Making Kits

Life has been very busy lately...summer vacation is starting to wind down and the kids will be back in school in a few weeks.  I will miss having them around, but I am looking forward to getting back into full swing making dolls! 

After a lot of deliberation, I have decided to offer a doll making kit.  There will only be a couple at first, and they will be available at a lower price point until all of the kinks are worked out.  I am hoping to get feedback from the first few to make the kit better for the rest of mamas that want to make a special doll for their kids.  The kit will include a pre-made head with nose, a pre-sewn body in your choice of color, lots of yummy wool for stuffing, a crochet cap in a color of your choice with matching yarn for hair, and plenty of fun yarn to make your doll unique.  I am working on finishing up the written instructions today, the listing will go active in the shop Saturday, July 24 at about noon EST.  The kits will be shipped out within about 10 business days.

Have a great Friday!  XOXO Debra

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sorry I have been a bit quiet lately...I have been elbow deep in LilBlueBoo's Ugly Knits Design Challenge!
I found an ugly, old, slightly stained white t-shirt and some ugly wool stuffing, dyed the shirt with coffee and henna and some other stuff to make it dark so the ugly wool wouldn't show,

 and turned it into this:

My girls have named her Hope...they Hope she wins the challenge LOL

I didn't dye all of the fabric dark though...the rest we tie dyed and will turn into a dress for her. 

Don't forget to check out LilBlueBoo's blog and try the challenge :o)

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Batch

Here's the latest trio that will be going in the shop sometime on Monday...I will announce the exact time as soon as I finish their clothing.

(L to R) Ivy, Blessing, and Candy

They are a little under dressed at the moment, but the studio is warm so they will be OK ;)

It has been kind of slow going around here with the kids out of school.  I am planning on uploading dolls through the summer, but I am also planning on doing a lot of "experiments" with the patterns and hair styles.  If I am happy with the way the "experiment" turns out, you will see the doll in the shop.  I am also planning on gearing up for more custom order slots so as many mamas can get their dream dolls as possible.  If you have a dolly emergency and need something special ASAP, please let me know and if there is any way for me to accommodate your request, I will! 

Also, Judith from is scaling down her snUGG booties pattern so I will have some smaller boots to show you soon....they will be available to order as soon as I can verify to Judith that they fit properly.  I do not currently own any Waldorf Dolls from any of the other talented doll makers, but I am fairly confident that they will fit them as well. 

I hope y'all have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What makes a doll a Waldorf?

With all of the new doll makers popping up, that is a question I am asked a lot lately.  To fully understand what a Waldorf Doll is, it helps to understand what the Waldorf Method is. 

Simply put, anything Waldorf is derived from the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, a German-Austrian educator that lived in the latter half of the 1800's.  Steiner firmly believed in the specific, developmental stages of the child, and that subjects such as arithmetic and reading should be introduced to the child in a living way that speaks to the child's developmental stage. Each thing is presented through direct experience and is usually augmented with art, poetry, music, drama and movement. The teacher’s aim is to draw out the children’s inner capacities and abilities by creating an atmosphere in the classroom that fills the children with interest, wonder and enthusiasm. A Waldorf-methods school will typically include handwork classes, wood working and other “practical arts”, music classes, two foreign languages and eurythmy (movement) classes.  

(We did not have access to a Waldorf School when my kids were young, however we were blessed to find Montessori education which has a very similar philosophy.  I was fortuate to be able to complete a work shop for Assisting in the Montessori classroom and had the opportunity to help in the classroom and with the children on many occations.)

A Waldorf Doll is a doll that would be used to enhance early Waldorf Education.  It is designed to capture the child's attention.  It will always be made from materials that are found in nature:  Cotton for skin, wool for stuffing and hair.  A Waldorf Doll's facial expression is always simple, this allows the child's imagination and creativity to flourish.  The child can look at the doll and the doll immediately assumes the emotion that the child needs for a fulfilling experience.  Yes, a doll can do all that! 

Anyone with a lot of patience can make a Waldorf doll that their child will love.  I have always said there is nothing like a mama made doll.  Selling dolls is another thing entirely.  There is not a lot of profit in quality doll making... I put 16-20 hours into each  and every doll I make.   I use only organic cotton for their skin.  I put only the finest wool into my dolls, wool that comes from family farms where the sheep are not only treated humanely, but really cared for like pets.  They are allowed to graze naturally.  My dolls smell good, fresh and clean.  Wool is naturally antimicrobial so the doll won't go "stale".  It absorbs the smells of home so a child can carry that safe feeling with them.  The dolls are stuffed carefully and firmly (this took A LOT if practice!!) to avoid the lumpy look that can develop as the wool compresses.  The hair is something that is really special to me.  I have a passion for beautiful yarns.  They must be natural, and they must be soft.  There are faster, easier, cheaper ways to do hair, but that won't do for me.  I make each doll as if it was going to be for my child, so it has to be special.  Each doll has between 600-1500 strands of individually applied hair.  I do the hair in a way that it can be "repaired" if a doll gets a little too much rough love.  Using these methods assures me that I am making dolls I can be proud of.  I have been creating  dolls for about 7 months now and have loved every doll that I have made. It is truly a labor of love.

Thank you for choosing Apple Tree House Dolls for your family!

P.S. Please do not copy or reproduce any part of this blog without written permission! 

Read more about me at

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tie Dye Anyone?

I have never tie dyed anything in my life.  This summer, that will change!  I have always loved the fun way the colors mix, and I think it will be a really fun project to do with my kids this summer.  Ashley of LBB fame introduced me to a company called Dharma Trading Co. that sells complete kits, as well as quality items of clothing to dye.  Thru Dharma Trading Co.'s facebook page, I heard about a wonderful blog
that is doing a giveaway for a free tie dye kit.  What a great way to start!  Check out Chantele's blog for more info on how to enter.

I wonder if I could tie dye a doll? Hmmmmm......

Monday, June 14th

These first few weeks of summer vacation have sure been crazy!  From graduation parties, to a last minute move of the family reunion to my house, to a sprained ankle (the one attached to my sewing foot, no less).  I am hoping that things start to settle in to a routine here this week. 

I have two friends, Diana and Aubrey, who have joined my "sweat shop" as DH calls it.  I supplied them with patterns and a big box of fabric I received from Treasure Bay Fabrics... a.k.a    They have a background in custom apparel and will be making some adorable little clothes. 

I am finishing up a special custom that will be named Ocean...I am also finishing up 2 custom dolls, a brother and sister duo for Stephanie.  I will try to get a couple of gals done for the shop by the end of the week as well.  Next week I will be finishing up an adorable little carrot topped boy for Tiffany's nephew in CA.

Now for an exciting sneak peek...I have a friend named Judith in England who is working on something extra special.....That's all I am going to say about it for now!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tuesday, June 1st

It has been a crazy busy couple of weeks here...friends in town, end of school parties, graduation parties, kids out of school.  I managed to finish another redhead (with rainbow!!) for the shop, and the ginger curly girl is ready to find a new home :o)  I will put them in the shop on Thursday about noon EST.

I also finished work on a custom blond for Amiee....

I hope everyone is having a great week!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday, May 24th

There is oh so much going on at my house this week...I am going to try to squeeze some doll making in to keep my sanity!  The last day of school is this week, there is school parties, field day, a graduation party for a dear friend's lovely daughter.  I got 2 special packages in the mail from MamaJudes with some gorgeous plant dyed boucles, and one from NorthYorkshireYarns with some beautiful thick-thin texture yarn in bright, happy colors.  Blondes, redheads, fairies, oh my! 

I finally finished the small 10 inch dolls for my girls...they have waited so patiently.  The dark blond with lilac purple is Cricket, the light blond with pink is Sugar.  I put the dolls on the girls' beds while they slept, it was the first thing they saw this morning when they woke up.   There is nothing like giggles and smiles first thing in the morning :o)  The good news is my youngest is ready for me to share the copper curly girl with all of you, I will post her later in the week with another sweetie...I am thinking another Butterfly Fairy Princess with one of the yarns in the picture above.  I will update this post and let you know on Facebook when the upload will occur. 

***Don't forget, the Giveaway ends Wednesday, May 26th.  Please click on the link to enter if you haven't already.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday, May 17th

This week is going to be crazy...I have company coming in, end of the school year activities, husband's business is crazy busy (more book keeping for me), 2 dolls to finish for my kids (end of the school year presents!), customs to start on, and I want to get a doll done for the shop.  There will be another doll in the shop towards the end of the week, probably a curly redhead.  I will post a preview pic if there is time.

Congrats to Cassie on adding Annabelle to her family...she joins Maisy.   Also, LilBlueBoo got her doll in the mail today, I am sure there will be loads of pics and an incredible wardrobe!

The blog is now at 112 followers and growing...thanks to all for helping spread the word about AppleTreeHouse!  Please remember to enter the giveaway if you haven't already, the link is near the top of the sidebar on the right. 

Thanks everybody!


I am sold out at the moment...I will work really hard to get some more gals done ASAP!
Thank you XOXO Debra

Friday, May 14, 2010

Next Upload

Just a quick note...the next doll upload will be Saturday, May 15th about 1 pm EST.  The pink curls and blue eyed brunette will be in the shop, as well as a surprise doll and a few dresses.  The ginger curly girl will go into the shop soon, my youngest started to cry because she thought it was for her :o)  I am going to make her a doll this upcoming week with the pink hair, then I think she won't mind if the ginger doll comes off the shelf to go to a new home.  There is a link in the upper right sidebar to enter the blog giveaway...please tell your friends.   Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Time for a Giveaway!

The giveaway ended 5/26, Congratulations JennJK!

I have reached 100 follwers on my blog, and as promised, it is time for the Mooshy Baby Giveaway!

To enter the Mooshy Baby Giveaway,you must follow the blog.  Please post a comment here, don't forget to make sure I have a way to contact you, and please let me know how you found AppleTreeHouse.
One entry per follower please. 
The contest starts today, Tuesday May 11, 2010 and will go through Wednesday, May 26, 2010. 
 The winner will be picked randomly and notified by e-mail on Thursday, May 27.
The doll in the picture is an example.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sneak Peek 5/10

Here's a peek at 3 of the 4 that I will list in the shop sometime this week...I am still trying to decide on the hair for the last little lady.  The girl on the left has hair from MamaJudes on Etsy, and the pink curls on the right came from her as well.  The sweetie in the middle has a really special handspun hair from FrolicNfibers on Etsy.  The yarn is undyed and the chocolate and cream colors come from the alpacas and llamas Diana cares for on her farm.  I will edit this post when I have the date and time for the upload.  Thanks as always!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Crazy Week

Things have been more than a little crazy around here...sewing machine jammed up twice, monster wasp terrorizing my studio, no school due to teacher conferences.  My personal favorite moment that put me behind on my work this week actually happened yesterday:  the boys at the corner of the street were setting off FIREWORKS IN THEIR GARAGE while their parents were not at home!!  The only reason I was able to see this was I took my ironing board and fabric onto my front porch to cut out a bunch of tiny little dresses...quite a visual, I know :o)  I kept hearing a funny noise, then I saw what looked like a dust cloud...then it happened again, and again.  My neighbor, a 5th grade teacher was just getting home and started yelling.  The boys knew they were busted, they didn't even try to lie about what they were doing.  The interesting goings on in suburbia!

Back to business....I am putting faces and hair on 3 10 inch cuties.  They will all have light skin.  One will have a mix of warm and sandy brown curly hair, one will have sandy brown and rosy pink curly hair, and one will have darker brown hair, not sure about the hilites yet, if there is something you would like to see let me know!  I will probably wait to put them online until they are all completed, that way people will be able to choose which doll is right for them. 

Also, I am inching closer to the mark...100 followers on the blog and I will give away a baby doll...see the Mooshy Baby post for more info.
Thanks for sticking with me!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday, May 2

This week, I will be finishing up 2 last big girl for Sabrina and Lil Sally for Ashley...both of these girls are going to have amazing hair!  I am also trying to get 3 little girls ready for the shop.  Here is a peek at one of them....I am going to call her Jody (a variation on the name Judy) to thank the wonderful lady who dyed this absolutely gorgeous yarn for her hair.  Judy is on Etsy and makes the most beautiful naturally dyed yarns and other items.  She actually uses plants to acheive these perfect colors.  I highly recommend her work, and you will be seeing a lot more of her yarns on my dolls.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sneak Peek -- Camille

Here is a peek at the Butterfly Fairy Princess Camille (as she is called at our house)...

Oh, and don't forget to tell your friends about the blog...there will be a giveaway when I reach 100 followers :o)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday, 4/27

This is going to be a busy week!
I finished Tiffany's custom, Gigi :o)

I love the coloring on this sweet girl...I have some of the yarn left so I will definitely be making a small doll.
I will be finishing Celine's custom...she will be going to live in Malaysia.
I have also started on the Butterfly Princess... she will be a beauty!  Look for her on Thursday.
Don't forget, tell your doll loving friends to follow the blog, when I reach 100 followers,
 I will be giving away a doll. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Mooshy Baby" Doll Giveaway

I have not been great about promoting the blog, so to fix that, I would like to do a Giveaway!

When the Blog reaches 100 followers, I will do a giveaway for a brand new pattern...the "Mooshy Baby"!
My kids picked out the name for this one :o)  It is about 10 inches high, and is lightly stuffed and suitable for all ages of children.  My 10 year old wants one to snuggle with, so I know it is a winner!

When we get to 100 followers, I will announce the Official Start of the Giveaway.  Please tell all of your doll loving friends about AppleTreeHouse Dolls!