In the four plus decades, I estimate there have been about three hundred designs created. I am often asked to make a doll to look like a grandson or a daughter or even boyfriends! With a wee personality hint and a photograph, off I go. Keepers like Grace, Claire, Rachel and Owen were all created in pencil, a dab of Photoshop and once signed off - embroidery. So what's the rage all about?
It appears that the nearly 100 dolls here do remind a visitor, either on the web, at a fair or here in the gallery of someone. Those are the eyes! Her mouth is just like that. Wow, that's her hair. Can we make one really special? It's like My Doll Design. I do not say no. In my eyes, heart and mind, every doll is special, but with bits and pieces or picking and choosing, we come up with some winners.
Kim loves pug dolls. Her Mira is gone and she just didn't want to let go of the memory of that sweet dog. She sent us pictures.
We worked together to find shape and size among our offerings and Ella was perfect. I sent Kim the swatches for the clothes and body and the final drawing. Before assembling the doll we emailed the embroidered face. The photo we worked from was dark so she just suggested lightening up "the fur" a little on the head. Bingo. Imagine, anyone who reveres her dog could memorialize it forever - just like we created Mira for Kim.
Baby Olive was born in San Francisco, three thousand miles away from grandma. But she will be moving back east soon so Pam wanted her granddaughter to remember where she came from. Sure, we can do the Golden Gate Bridge. I've even seen it in person. I gave it a good Girl Scout try - all orange, the lines, its towers--all to be within the design concept. Lew touched it up with his expertise in line drawing of architectural structures. We photographed it and emailed it across town. Pam and Ed both loved it. While here in the gallery, Pam loved the clothes on Anne of Green Gables; and remembering the Japanese gardens, I steered Pam to the Shan-Tzufabric. Must have an olive green pinafore with gold touches; and hair, Deidre's strawberry blonde ponytails were to die for. In the end, mixing two yarns, one Ironstone loopy and a mohair of the same color and the effect was perfect -- finished in time for Olive's welcoming party. See for yourself.
Maybe these personalized dolls in this economy are necessities to celebrate the life of a child or adult. These special requests just keep coming and the challenge is exciting and rewarding both to the customer and the doll maker.