Over on Instagram,lots of makers, including me, are using this month as an opportunity to tell our story. In case you don’t follow me on Instragram (I’m @Polly_had_a_dolly) I am going to post each weeks themes here for you to be able to read them all together.
The #marchmeetthemaker tag is organised by @JoanneHawker so thank you to her! Each day we all share a picture on a different theme, here are the first seven:
My brand image is my logo inspired by Mabel Lucie Atwell of a little child kissing her dolly. The child is deliberately drawn so it can be interpreted as a boy or a girl. The image is my local woods, I love to walk here and a huge part of my inspiration is the season and the natural world.
So lots of pictures of me (how embarrassing). I am a mummy to two beautiful red haired girls, married to Matthew, I run two small businesses – dressmaking and doll making and I am a follower of Jesus.
Here’s mine. Right in the centre of my family living room it is easy to combine motherhood and my creative business.
These are the tools I use as a doll maker. To be honest I had no idea I used so many! I have lots of different sheers and scissors ✂️ – all for slightly different tasks. I also use a rotary cutter for cutting out. I have pins with a bead top so I don’t lose them in a doll and John James milliners needles. The beeswax is to strengthen thread and stop it twisting, the chopstick is to stuff dolls with. On the bottom row I have a slicker for Dolly Mo hair, there are two felting needle holders, a quick unpick, various fabric markers, a permanent marker for template plastic, tweezers for turning, doll needles and a bamboo point turner. Three sizes of crochet hooks and finally my omnigrid rule! Phew 😅 I also use my Husquarva Viking sewing machine (445) but you saw that in my workspace photo 😊
Coffee is the thing I can’t live without. But it isn’t just the caffeine buzz; it’s the ritual of getting away from my studio, the high pitch ‘wur’ of the coffee grounder, the inevitable spill of coffee grounds on the worktop, the click and hiss of the gas hob. It’s the necessary pause in my day to enjoy my kitchen window view while the Moka pot does its magic. I normally take it black but my weekend coffee is with a generous dollop of condensed milk.
My most important material is the British lambswool I use – it is only washed and carded and still very much a raw material. I shape and felt this to form the dollies heads and bodies. My other materials are less raw but I do try to source responsibly and look out for ones that have Oeko-Tex 100 certification. They also all have EN71-3 certification to ensure there are no harmful chemicals. There is 100% wool felt, Cascade Peruvian yarn, Westfalenstoffe cotton velour, DMC embroidery threads, De Witte Engel doll skin jersey, Gutermann sew all thread, Dolly Mo yarn and Kona cotton. I also using tying thread in various shades to match the skin colour.
The idea to start selling my dolls started whilst making dolls for my daughters and I had forgotten how much I enjoyed making them. I was shocked by the poor standard of manufactured dolls on the market and amazed by how undervalued they were by children generally. They had no love or value as they were hard, plastic, with faces they struggled to relate to. After I found my love of Waldorf dolls I wanted all children to be able to have one so I try hard to make a full range of dolls to be affordable to everyone.