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! 

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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!