Insights from the 2016 Modern Waldorf Doll Making Seminar

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Insights from the 2016 Modern Waldorf Doll Making Seminar

***please note all seminar photos were borrowed from Maike Coelle from Feinslieb Dolls (Germany) link to her blog below! Thank you Maike!***

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One of the many messages written at the hotel in Elspeet, Netherlands

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Beautiful example of a felted face in progress (Maike I believe this is yours?) Here, she is defining the felted features underneath by adding stitching over the felted eyes, nose and mouth features (my next step in my felted face!)

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Maike Coelle from Feinslieb Dolls (Germany) looking on as Joanna from Lalidom (Poland) instructs her in face felting techniques

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A gorgeous doll from Poppenliefde wearing the locks used in the weft class

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Crocheting locks with mohair yarn after they were wefted by hand on the sewing machine. This process is quite time consuming!

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Incredible doll from Maria Asenova (Romania) from Maria’s Nature Dolls

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Adorable baby doll from Lalinda. This demonstrates one of the hairstyles she was teaching in our workshop.

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outside “I am Amsterdam” with my friend Robby!

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beautiful countryside and swans outside Robby’s home

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“Sunflowers” one of my favorite Van Gogh paintings

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one of Vincent’s gorgeous paintings from the period of Japanese influence

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photo op with Vincent!

Greetings from Indiana, back home and reflecting on my recent trip to the Netherlands. I jumped right back into the craziness here, with my daughter’s first dress rehearsal for her upcoming ballet performance (the cutest thing I ever did see). I literally started to tear up when I saw her and her 3,4 and 5 year old dance mates on stage in their costumes and yes, make up. It will be quite the production! I was impressed by the organization and professionalism of the dress rehearsal. She was in awe watching the older girls dance, so I just sat back and let her be with her friends and her teacher, and watched from the back of the auditorium. Growing up so fast! The kiddos did great while I was gone, safe in the hands of my husband and the little one with my mother (who accomplished the great feat of bottle training and getting her to sleep through the night- Grandma’s magic touch!) I heard grand tales of their Papaw coming to visit, trips to the museum complete with treasure hunts and maps galore. Yep, it’s official…they were totally fine without me and I’m a big sap. I did however get a huge hug from my son before he ran onto the mat of his karate dojo and he whispered “Mom, I really missed you a lot!” Then he was off doing roundhouse kicks, jabs and upper cuts.

In Holland, time flew by, it truly was such an honor and treasure to visit Europe. Where should I begin? After traveling for about 24 hours, I reached Amsterdam. It was quite lovely weather when I arrived, only a brief rain here and there throughout my entire stay. Temperatures were brisk, in the 50’s and 60’s but the sun came out every day and the weekend really warmed up a bit to the high 60’s. I was lucky enough to be met at the airport by an old friend, Robby, who I used to dance with 16 years ago! We had a chuckle about that, how time passes so quickly. His partner Sylvia and he opened their home to me and were spectacular hosts, brining me all around their town, ‘s-graveland, Amsterdam, driving me to Elspeet (where the seminar was) and after the seminar to a beautiful town called Laren. For only being in Holland 4 days, I got quite the experience and it was all due to their hospitality. I walked around Amsterdam’s “central park” called Vondel Park, visited cheese shops for yummy samples, had delicious Indonesian food for the first time, and of course experienced lots of yummy traditional Dutch food and Belgium  and Dutch beers. Friday, Robby and I spent the day at the Vincent Van Gogh Museum in in museum square in Amsterdam. This was definitely a highlight. I have always loved Van Gogh’s work and I urge you if you ever have the opportunity to see his work in person, whether in Amsterdam or another museum, GO! There is beauty in his work that can in its entirety only be grasped in person. Our visit there was quite inspirational and moving, definitely a highlight for my trip. Dutch hospitality was warm and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting their country and would love to return one day with my husband to see even more sites that we just didn’t have time to visit.

THE SEMINAR:

The hotel was set in the forests of a small, quaint countryside town in Holland, gathered a group of incredibly talented doll making artists. This seminar was organized by Kamrin and Berend te Kronnie from Kamrin’s Poppenatelier. They were so sweet and the organization of an event like this I’m sure was very involved! Coming around and brining us coffee and tea while we worked and making sure we were comfortable. Many thanks to all involved who made this possible! The doll artists present ranged from professional dollmakers whom I have watched grow and have inspired me for years and others who I just met this time around who also sell their work maybe locally in their countries or on Etsy like myself. There were  women who have been making dolls for years and years who were raised Waldorf and some who make dolls for themselves because they love the joy of creating, and others who create for children at European kindergartens. All the dolls I saw were inspiring and so different, and when you are able to hold these pieces of art in your hands, you really can feel the love of the maker. I can’t say enough about the joy I experienced from being able to attend this seminar. The instruction was incredible and the topics very interesting. If I could have taken every single workshop, I would have. Obviously, time was limited, but  I learned so much from the ones I did attend. I focused on face felting (an all day workshop on Saturday) with the incredibly talented Joanna from Lalidom in Poland, embroidery (baby hair style) with Agnieszka from Lalinda (Poland) and a clothing workshop from Maureen from Poppenliefde (Netherlands). I really fell in love with face felting for the first time. I have done very simple face felting on a few dolls, but never the detail I achieved in Joanna’s workshop. I will be finishing the face hopefully this weekend and posting a picture on Facebook and also here. I knew it took a long time to felt, but wow, after 7 hours on Saturday (with a 1 1/2 hour lunch break in the middle to break it up) my elbow and shoulder were feeling a bit beat up, I will need to revisit my proper body mechanics! And that was just the face…and it’s not finished yet! I guestimate I will need another 2 hours to have the face finished and doll skin attached, which is in line with the average time that I was told it should take, about 9-12 hours per face. People often ask of the price of these dolls, and I think just that small tidbit of info helps to explain the type of time and work that goes into making a Waldorf and a Fiber Art cloth doll.

On Sunday, I first took a hair embroidery workshop from Lalinda, which gave me lots of information on how to play with yarn hair. This specific type of “baby hair style” is especially great for younger children. The hair is very secure and minimizes shedding of the wool fibers. Also, it’s adorable. I look forward to creating many cute baby dolls with this technique. Sunday afternoon, I took a dress making workshop. I was relieved that the machine closely resembled mine at home, so that was not too much of a challenge, however I quickly ran short on time in this workshop….did I mention in takes me a really long time to sew up doll clothing? But again, I have the knowledge now and a really sweet pattern from Poppenliefde to practice at home…and the fabric! We used fabrics from Monday’s Milk which included a lovely washed linen and a sweet gift of Nani Iro. I suggest you try these fabrics for anyone who sews! It was quite dreamy. I have used Nani Iro double gauze in the past, in fact I have a lovely stash of it at home and it is hands down my favorite type of fabric to create with. It looks like a painting, every single print she puts out looks like a masterpiece, coupled with the softest texture in her double and triple gauze. You and Mie turned me onto Nani Iro, years ago. Her blog is quite inspiring and she is also quite active on her Instagram account. Then poof! The seminar had come to an end, and it was time to return to my friend’s home in the country, after a stop in Laren for Dutch appetizers and beers on a beautiful sunny terrace and then traditional Dutch pancakes, called poffertjes (YUM!). The next day, I jetted back to America where I was able to give into the exhaustion and lay down with my littles after no sleep for almost 24 hours. This opportunity I will hold dear to my heart on this doll making journey for years and years to come.

I hope you enjoy the pictures I do have, some are from my adventures on Friday inside and outside the Van Gogh Museum and the others are borrowed from another sweet doll maker, Maike Coelle from Feinslieb Dolls in Germany. Enjoy!

 

 

 

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2016 Modern Waldorf Doll Making Seminar, Netherlands

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Hello all! Wow! I am embarrassed at the lack of attention I have given this blog. Quite honestly, I am much better at updating on my Facebook page here.  I have quite the exciting news, so I thought I would post here as well and give the blog another go.

I am sitting in Canada now waiting to return to the states from the 2016 Modern Waldorf Doll Making Seminar in the Netherlands. What an amazing opportunity to gather with other doll makers, get excellent instruction, share information, see beautiful Holland and have fun! I have decided to take 2016 off from custom dolls and explore my creativity, hone new skills and develop my inner artist. I feel this is very important to begin the journey to becoming the doll maker who I strive to be. Not that there is ever a final destination, but explore my own paths to be able to create along my own path for awhile, experiment, fail, create some more (and yes, probably “fail” some more) and explore that freedom. If you never make mistakes, you never learn, and I’m so excited to grow.  Apologies…this is not the most well written blog post as I have been traveling for the past 17 hours with no sleep 😉  So, I’m just going to ramble, OK? OK, now that we have that out of the way. The seminar was wonderful, I can’t say that enough. Such a lovely gathering!  I  also was able to re-connect with a friend whom I used to perform with…16 years ago! For those of you who may not know, I used to dance in Independent groups and then with Blast! on Broadway…many many moons ago. Art used to manifest in me through dance and movement, now the dance and movement has simply moved into my doll making needles. I also have a few more recent dolls to share with you on this blog. I will include them here within the next few days. I unfortunately did not bring my camera to Holland-Gah! Who does that? I did, I blame it all on “newborn brain”, oh and other big news is that we have welcomed our third child, a gorgeous baby girl, it been 7 months already!

Thanks for tuning in again and a warm welcome to those who may be newly checking out my blog. I appreciate your support as always. Stay tuned for some new techniques I will be playing around with from the seminar. It’s now time to catch my last flight of the day, I can’t wait to give big kisses and hugs to my babies and the puppy…oh yes, a puppy too!  Warm wishes to all of you!

Rain and Flowers…and of course more dollies, oh my!

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Rain and Flowers…and of course more dollies, oh my!

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageHello all! I hope you are enjoying the warmer days of Spring. We just got into warmer days actually yesterday and it seems as if we have finally turned the corner from the short cold, winter days.

I have been busy working on some wonderful custom dolls over the past few months and will be finishing up the last lovely lady from a large custom order this weekend. Then, two more dolls next week that are very patiently waiting for heads!

The kiddos and I made a stop out at Zen Sheep Farm this week, where I buy my local wool from organically-raised sheep here in Indiana. The farm and lovely owners, Nancy and Tom, are always so welcoming and a joy to visit. The lambs were just born on March 1st, and one even this past Friday! The littlest was only 4 days old when the kids and I went for our visit, so precious. It warms my heart to be able to pet and talk to these sweet animals who unknowingly supply their wool for my craft. It’s so special when doing handwork, stuffing the dolls, rolling the heads, that I have the vision of their sweet faces eating hay from the hands of my own little loves.

I will leave you with some images from the farm and the dollies that have now been sent to their new Mama and Papa’s…and the cheeky sister that still needs a special outfit. Follow along on my Facebook page here for weekly updates. Happy Spring to everyone!

Christmas Dollies

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Here are a few new dollies that made it home just in time for the holidays. Both are 17″ sitting dolls, made from my new pattern with DWE (De Witt Engle fabric) and of course stuffed with 100% organic wool from Zen Sheep Farm. I love their big feet and long arms:) Hope everyone’s holidays are going well! Merry Christmas!

Newest doll, a Christmas custom. 17" doll, Warm tan skin, brown eyes, and so sweet! Overalls pattern is from Petit Gosset, long sleeve T from my pattern. Stuffed with 100% local Indiana organic wool from Zen Sheep Farm.

Newest doll, a Christmas custom. 17″ doll, Warm tan skin, brown eyes, and so sweet! Overalls pattern is from Petit Gosset, long sleeve T from my pattern. Stuffed with 100% local Indiana organic wool from Zen Sheep Farm.

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New dolly-meet Coral!

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This wee one is so lovable and now off to meet her new Mama! Love her sweet face! She is my newest doll pattern coming in at 9.5 inches. ❤ This wee pattern still needs a bit of tweaking, but overall it’s super cute. My original thought was for her to be a fairy…but the wing pattern is a work in progress. Her hair was is so big and fluffy that she didn’t want it smooshed by her wings! I said fine, you are perfect just as you are! Coral is this sweet little’s name.

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A Summer Fairy

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I hope everyone is enjoying these beautiful summer days. I know we are around here. Things have been slow in doll making world, but a recent trip to the hills of Southern Kentucky to visit family ignited a lot of inspiration within. Here is my latest work in progress, a dainty little 9.5″ fairy who will be a lovely surprise for someone…can’t wait! I will also be working on this pattern, making a few adjustments before putting this as an option in the Etsy shop. I just love her dreamy hair and can’t wait to add her eyes, mouth and create a sweet little outfit for her. Please feel free to comment below and let me know what your summer inspiration/events have been! Have a lovely weekend!

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Etsy Shop is Updated!

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Hello all! It’s been a little while since I’ve done a post, so I thought I would update you on current doll shop events! Two of the dolls had awesome makeovers complete with new very sweet Michael Miller dresses (Wee Wander collection-Yay!). They all now have crocheted shoes, the two 18′ dolls Vemvane and Cora have crocheted ballet style shoes that cross in front and tie in the back-too cute (they have been dancing around the studio nonstop 😉 My Mom actually crocheted the shoes-she’s the crocheter and I’m the knitter-thanks Ma! I also knitted the two 18′ dolls a sweet gnome-style art yarn hat that are FREE with the dolls, for the lucky Mama that purchases one of the first two dolls I ever listed! They had a photo shoot and their prices were reduced to boot! I am currently playing around with new doll styles to really create my own, unique style. The dolls in the shop are perfect- stitched lovingly and to my high standards. I’m quite the perfectionist, it’s actually maddening sometimes, and I’m super proud of these creations. I wanted to offer them at a more affordable price to customers and get some of these cuties in homes, so please take a look. I’m currently working on a few customs and added a custom slot to the shop! I hope you all are enjoying this special 4th of July weekend and celebrating with your loved ones.

With peace and gratitude,

Lynn

 

Has this mother found the best school for her children?

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Check out my interview with Samuel D. Osborne as we chat about education, dolls, and other random stuff 🙂 Samuel is really awesome guy from Perth, Australia-this will link you to his blog, one you should check out often! Cheers!

Coffee With A Beatboxer

Changing the concept you have of children could significantly change them.

It’s really new way of seeing your child.

A new mindset that starts with you.

A refocusing that causes the child to grow and develop in a different way.

Hopefully towards a positive outcome. So get out your dictionaries and turn to the page where is says child. Or type ‘child’ into your preferred digital interface.

What did you find?

Did you know a child is a relatively new concept?

Created to support the industrial revolution.

These little angels have been considered mostly weak, inexperienced and in need of adult help for most things.

As an educator, I would have to agree… sometimes.

However, several case studies have highlighted that the way you treat and talk to a child can define how they think about themselves.

This shapes the child’s life quite a lot. From happiness, friendships, occupations and  a whole lot more.

Makes sense really.

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Happy Homemade Sew-along // mixing it up

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Hopefully participating in this sew along! Anyone wanna join me? So cute!

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So we’re gearing up for the Happy Homemade Sew-along!  It’s the week of June 16-20.  By now, you should either have the book in your hands or maybe you’re waiting for it arrive.  Today, Meg and I have some hoodie inspiration for you so you can start planning YOUR hoodie.

One of the reasons we picked this pattern to sew, is because the possibility for simple modifications is endless!  Now there is nothing wrong with sewing up the pattern exactly as directed, but if this isn’t your first time sewing this pattern or you are looking for something a little different, here are some ideas of ways you can mix up the pullover parka pattern.

Hoodie Modifications // you & mie

The original pattern features a hood, 3/4 length sleeves, a drawstring for the bottom and a partial elastic neckline.  Let’s talk about some ways you can mix it up!

*We aren’t going to…

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New Etsy Shop Grand Opening!!!!

Oh happy day! So excited to share with everyone that my new Etsy shop has opened and I have two completed dolls in the shop, with more on the way shortly. Check out the link above! In other news, it’s my birthday and I’m off to enjoy this beautiful sunny day with family, friends, and a much needed night out with the hubs. Oh and free yoga. How could the day get any better? Thank you for your support and enjoy your weekend!