So now the real reason I've been MIA for the past few months: I'm pregnant! Mr. L and I are so happy and come November our little family will be one being larger. I've thought long and hard about how to share this news. Obviously, it's the most important thing in my life right now, and so it would feel strange not to at least mention here. At the same time, I've had a few letters recently from people who read my blog and seem to want to know more about me than I'm prepared to share. While of course I talk about my life on my blog, its real focus has always been my craft and artwork and that's how I plan to keep it. I know that the vast majority of people who read it read for that very reason and don't want or expect anything more. However, for the few who seek more personal information, I think it's worth mentioning that that's not why I'm here. Every blogger must decide how much information to share about their private lives, and make I these decisions quite deliberately. This includes pictures of myself and my family members; while I know it's fun to see photos of bloggers, I've decided I prefer not to have them here. So, if you don't see it here, there's a reason!
Having said all that, the vast majority of emails I get are about doll-making. Lately, I've been getting several a day and trying to answer them all has become quite time-consuming, so I thought I'd round up the most common ones here. I'm including them in this post, and will also be adding them as a sidebar item as soon as my poor, hormone-addled brain can remember how to do it. I'll most likely add to these answers over time, but I hope these help for now.
I also make dolls;
where do you get your doll eyes/ hair/ other supplies?
One of the fun things
about what I do is finding different sources for materials, and almost all have
been found using Google searches, then browsing through dozens of suppliers
until I find something I like.
Ebay is a great place for vintage glass doll eyes; they often come in
lots of mismatched sizes, so you have to be a little adventurous. You also find
some on Etsy (under ‘supplies’). Contemporary doll eye manufacturer’s also sell
on Ebay, if you’re prepared to wade through their many listings, you can find
beautiful eyes. Dolls eyes
are pretty expensive, however (often from $10 - $30 per pair) so I often make
my own, using different techniques I’ve gleaned over time from a lot of trial
and error. At this time, I’m not
able to offer any tutorials, but I encourage you to experiment with different
techniques – corny though it might sound, there is no better way to learn.
What kind of clay do
These days, I use almost
exclusively Creative Paperclay, which is an air-dry clay. It’s very time-consuming to work with,
and requires multiple layers, dryings and sandings. Polymer clays can be direct-sculpted and oven-baked, so is
less time-consuming to work with, but I prefer the finish and texture of
How do you make your
This question would
literally require an entire book to answer, as I make dolls of different sizes,
with varying degrees of detail and complexity and these all require different
techniques. Even more specific
questions, such as how to attach heads or limbs, are difficult to answer
without lengthy instructions and photos.
I really encourage people who are new to dollmaking (or anything,
really) to do some research, invest in a few good books (see the following
question) and Google until you think your eyes might cross. It’s amazing what you can find out
there but entering the simplest search terms (e.g. dollmaking, tutorial, how to
make a doll, etc.) and I promised that this is how I also learned.
Can you suggest any
good books or online resources?
Oh, yes! I highly recommend the four bibles of
dollmaking by the master, Susana Oroyan.
While sadly Susana is no longer with us, her books have taught me the
most about dollmaking. They can be
found online at Powells and Amazon, among other places. There are many great books on sewing
and sculpting, some my favourites being The
Complete Guide to Sewing and Making Life-like Figures from Polymer
When it comes to
tutorials, Google is your friend and I really encourage you to explore in order
to find what’s right for you. But here are a few of my favourites:
How to sculpt a head —
Doll Designs (links to
a bazillion different tutorials)
NIADA (sells how-to
books and dvds)
I’m new to doll-making and would like to learn more. Will you ever be offering any tutorials or teaching an online class?
Tutorials are a great
way to learn, and it’s possible that I might be able to offer some in the
future. At this time, however, I’m
pretty swamped; I’m running my Etsy store, completing a Master’s Degree and
finishing a novel. There literally
aren’t enough hours in the day for me to get everything I need to done (never
mind the many more things I’d like to!)
And while I’d never
rule anything out, I have no immediate plans to teach an online class. But of course, should that change, my
blog remains the best place to keep up to date on such things.
I like your dolls, but
I can’t afford one. Will you ever
consider making less expensive dolls?
While I know my dolls
aren’t affordable for everyone, I have made an effort in the past few months to
offer a range of prices. I now
make pendants and ornaments, as well as smaller and more simply-jointed dolls,
so that prices for my handmade items start at $42. I also offer payment plans, although I ask that you contact
me to arrange the details before purchasing. You can read more about my layaway policies here.
I also sell prints,
which start at $20, so I hope my shop contains something for everyone!
How can I place a
At this time, I’m not
taking any custom orders. For now, I’m making the dolls I want/ am able to and
selling those. If you’d like to
receive a notice when I list new dolls, you can always sign up for my
newsletter (in the right sidebar, just under my banner).