18 Jan 2012

When my daughter was just a tot, 14 years ago,
 I went along to a Steiner ( Waldorf) playgroup.
 The group met in a private home and the other women were all caring and generous people. 
Together and with help from Cecily, the only one of us who had ever made a doll we started work on a cushion doll.

The first job was to make the head. 
We used a square of white t shirt fabric and wool stuffing that was a recycled car seat cover.
We made a ball of wool in the middle of the square of fabric and then gathered up the edges of the fabric to make a rudimentary head shape.
 We were told by the experienced one that we now needed to stuff more wool into the ball until it was very firm.
 When we had stuffed as much as we could or could be bothered we tied off the neck.
At this point I was deeply suspicious that  my dolly head would look like a wrapped tennis ball but I trusted  Cecily.

Next came tying off the eye line and chin strap. 
Some people's doll heads were too soft and they started to look like peanut heads, mine I feared was too firm but with other hands to help me I tied the head and began to get an inkling that perhaps something really good was happening here.

We stitched the strings at either side of the head and then slowly eased the string across the back of the head down towards the neck and then suddenly there it was, the dearest sweetest little head  cupped in my hands. 
A head so like my own dear children's heads when they were babies that it brought tears to my eyes and a tenderness to my heart. 

It doesn't matter that the first doll I made met its demise thrown unnoticed from a speeding pram as we raced to catch a tram.
 She had already done her work  in so many ways because she gave me such a great gift,
 so many years of pleasure creating new dolls 
and learning  more 
and trusting more 
and growing as  a doll

I do remember that day when I made my first doll.
 I remember how excited I was to be making a doll.
 I remember the uncertainty as my hands worked to make something so unfamiliar that is now so much a part of my life. 
I remember that Kate was playing in the garden with the older children, 
constantly being picked up like a doll by Annabelle, the girl with the red hair,
 I remember that I felt like I had come home,
 I was where I  was meant to be,
 with like minded people making something that I knew I truly loved.

This little one above is Molly 
and she is in the process of becoming a doll 
and she has a little head that I love.
Hopefully she will be ready for the shop in just a few days.

One lucky commenter on this post will be drawn to win a tiny baby.

Whoops almost forgot!
 There is a lot going on here at the moment.

The winner of the tiny baby is..... DEBRA!!!

43 Responses to “Molly”

  1. just a beautifully painted picture! Big smile over here :)

  2. This story brought a tear to my eye. I bought all of the materials to make my first doll just before Cmristmas - PLEASE can you come to Melbourne to teach me. :-)

  3. How much you have learned over time. Your doll making skills are exceptional.

  4. beautiful doll and wonderful story.
    I love it.

  5. Jenny, that is such a beautiful post. Lovely to hear how you became a doll maker

  6. What a lovely way to express the process of doll creation. I'm sure Molly will be a beauty!

  7. I love your creations. I am so glad that you went to that class. I can't imagine not having one of your lovelies. Thank you!

    Kim C

  8. I loved your story. This is what doll making is supposed to be.

  9. What a nice story! I hope that I will be brave enough one day to try and make a doll. Until then, we will leave it to the professionals :)

  10. Awww....14 years ago, and many dollies later = gorgeousness! Every one of them!

    I love red hair! Can't wait to see her finished :)

  11. I can only hope that the friendships I've discovered through my daughters' playgroups will be as long lasting...I also am fortunate to have many talented, crafty mommy friends who share my passion for handmade. :)

  12. I just love that red hair, and your story, too. How wonderful to have other crafty women to learn to make dolls with.

  13. You are inspirational. <3

    I adore creating dolls too :)

  14. Looking at your beautiful dolls has given me a hunger to learn to make them for my own girls and perhaps grandchildren when the time comes <3 thankyou for your inspiration and giving children a chance to make their own "Velveteen Rabbit" story <3

  15. Such sweetness! I waited 9 yrs after my twin boys and then welcomed a baby girl! She was a miracle...and when I discovered Waldorf dolls 2 plus yrs became a bond btwn the two of us that became happy playtime with handmade love! I hope someday I am able to create one for my sweet girl! Thank you for sharing your story! <3 Theresa

    1. Theresa, my daughter is my third child after two sons and gap of 5 years and she too was a miracle

  16. She is darling!! What size will she be? robin

  17. I loved reading about your introduction to waldorf dolls! Amazing that you remember that moment the doll came to life in your hands and the excitement and uncertainty you felt. So glad you found your 'home' in doll making :)

  18. What a sweet, endearing story of the birth of your first doll and your doll-making quest! Very sweet! And Molly is going to be adorable! Love the hair and the little piggy tails. Bless you!

  19. Thank you for sharing your story in how you started. The little redhead above looks so sweet.

  20. Molly looks like she is going to be a beauty! I love that kind of hair!

  21. Molly is just precious. Your story is inspiring.

  22. What a lovely post. Thanks for sharing :) Molly is a lovely dolly.
    Michele (endless-at-ican-dot-net)

  23. I love this doll, so sweet, so pretty !

  24. Beautifully written, Jenny. Thank you. That is exactly how I felt when I shaped my first dolls heads for my two children last year. I was in awe at what was coming to life under my hands and they too feel like children of mine! I'm well and truly hooked. Incidentally the doll for my daughter is called "Molly"! I've been meaning to send you a picture of them both finished but am a bit of a dud at resizing photos so just waiting for help from my other half. Thanks again for the lovely post. Kate

  25. Such a sweet story.I make dolls and wish that I had some like minded women to share with.

  26. Such a lovely story <3 I love seeing you dolls they are inspiring. I made my first doll for my son as I couldn't get a boy doll I liked.Much like you but in reverse I had three girls then my boy he loves his doll and his doll is pretty tatty now after 18 mouth of love will have to make a new one sending love from Scotland xx

  27. Thank you for your words. I remember the first doll I made and I felt exactly like you! It was magical. I make dolls too for my children and all the cousins around. It makes me happy, brings me innerpeace.
    Jezahel from France

  28. J'adore votre travail ! Ce sont vraiment des poupées que j'aurais voulu avoir lorsque j'étais petite ou pour offrir à ma fille ! Continuez de nous faire rêver !
    Aurore (

  29. Molly is so sweet! I love, love, love her pretty red hair. She is a beauty!

  30. Lovely! Very inspiring! Love that hair!

  31. Molly is adorable! I love her hair too! Jenny do you write? Your words are so smooth and poignant. I feel like I'm there in that moment you are describing... what some authors struggle with. A beautiful doll and a beautiful story.

  32. Lovely words. It is like magic, isn't it, when that adorable head and face emerges?

  33. What a joyful moment for you, when your wrapped tennis ball was transformed into a dear doll's head :-) Thank you for sharing this moment with us, and reminding us what a gift it is to be a dollmaker.


  34. I love this story. I have been wanting to make a doll for the longest time, and am still trying to amass the courage. I have bought a dollmaking needle here, found bits of fabric for the skin there, and so on, but I see all of the amazing dolls from dollmakers such as you and think that I could never do it. Heck, I can barely even sew. But just this morning I was browsing a Waldorf dollmaking book and thinking that perhaps I, too, can take little baby steps and make a tiny bit of magic. Thanks for always being so inspiring. :)


  35. Oh Jenny,
    this is exactly what I felt with dollmaking... it´s heartwarming (does this word exist in english?) and it makes me feel like doing something very right!
    King regards
    from Hamburg (Germany)

  36. I loved your story about your first doll. I have always wanted to make a Waldorf doll and I have put it on my list of things I absolutely have to do. I have never actually seen one in reality so I would love to win your tiny baby:)

  37. Thank you for sharing your story Jenny, I absolutely love reading your blog; you are not just a talented doll maker but a great writer too! Wishing you and your loved ones all the best for a wonderful 2012!


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