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how to give a doll personality, not relying on a cheeky smile? how to make my rhagdolls more than the simple ones my grandma made?  Detail, detail, detail.

i am always scouting, never knowing where inspiration and imagination hides. a funky floral supply mired in the 70's craft timewarp yields up treasures: silk florals from the '40s, millinery supplies, velvet ribbons, cotton grosgrain, walnut hulls sliced into buttons, feathers.  the thrift store holds embroidered fabrics, silks, eyelets, linens, of a grade I could otherwise not afford. the Dollar store: towels.  antique stores, tag sales.  tins of old buttons lovingly saved.

it is all about detail: carved mother of pearl buttons, metal, wood buttons... ribbons and lace... hand spun wool yarn... straw hats... stitch work on sleeve and hem... slubby silk rich in texture so like home-spun... Jacquards for the Queen... embroidered Talbot capris become an apron... something, anything...

John Wooden spoke truth.  spoke to my creative soul:
"It's the little details that are vital.  Little things make big things happen."

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Jorden ~ Autumn

this doll was all about the details to make her 'Fall': sliced walnut hull button, '60 'USSR' silk leaves, hand spun and painted yarn, richly textured green fabrics, machine embroidered linen...

Jill ~ of jack and jill, the hill, the pail of water..

 how to make a tom boy girly?  plaid, but pink.  aqua, trimmed in brown.  buttons, worn around the edges.  long hair in unruly braids.  cover-alls, my favorite tom boy look.  this was subtly detailed.

Imre ~ Hungarian Men's traditional dress

the traditional Wedding or Sunday shirt with bell sleeves rich in ribbons and embroidery was the detail. I used vintage Hungarian hand-cut lace than I embroidered it with a simplified Matyo design.


  Rapunzel ~

four different yarns, nine yards each, formed the braid for this story book doll.  the process of sewing the hair to the doll took two needles, at the same time, and 6 hours, late into the wee hours.

Ferko ~

a gypsy king in an extravagant hat cut of Hungarian tapestry fabric that I beaded in 'white heart' red beads, a tassel of red and gold. known for their love of bright color I opted for  black, red, white, drama.

Isolde ~ Tristan's love

innocence, nobility: rich silk and linen fabrics, soft colors. the focus detail is the square, hand carved mother of pearl button, a one of a kind wonder.  radiant gold hair is hand spun and two plied.



Cossack ~

black wool felt, embroidered in black, with blue and silver European trim, blue linen shirt the color of a dusk sky.  hand cut, mirror backed antique button, so like the full moon over the Steppes.

Mother Goose's 'Down Daffy Dilly' rhyme ~

meant to represent a daffodil I chose sage green corduroy and eyelet. again eyelet in dainty white for winter's passing.  the Victorian vest button was the final detail.  she wore a butter yellow underskirt.

The Russian Sailor ~

I found the right gabardine in both color and texture for 'dress blues'.  double rows of white stitching on his collar and cuffs.  the anchor on his sleeve was the most important detail.




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