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MamaWestWind, Stories…

Once there was and once there was not, a magical meadow on the edge of an enchanted forest. The forest was home to many magical beings. MamaWestWind knew them all…

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I fell in love with story when I was little.  As a child I loved nothing better than to lay outside under my favorite horse chestnut tree, feel the cool breeze on my skin, smell that green earthy smell of the grass, wildflowers & trees and be carried away by a book.  In my books I could travel to distant times and places all over the world.

When I became a Mom I really wanted to impart my love of story to my children.  One of the books that has captured our hearts is “Old Mother West Wind” by Thornton Burgess.  My boys and I really love the creative way in which the forces of nature are personified.  There is Old Mother West Wind who is the wind, her children the Merry Little Breezes, Old Dame Nature, Old Mother Moon and many others.

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So when I began making peg dolls for my three year old son and couldn’t stop, I knew an etsy shop had been born.  I didn’t have to look very far for the name of my shop, MamaWestWind.   I loved the idea that “Old Mother West Wind” being the wind, the very air around us, would know every creature in the forest. She would know the animals, the gnomes, fairies & all. My littles call me “Mama” & so MamaWestWind became my alter ego, my friend, my creative outlet & so began her story.

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Since that time my little shop has grown and I am so ecstatic to be doing what I love.  I get the privilege of creating little playthings, friends. that children then take into their worlds and imagine the most wonderful stories.  And so the circle is complete.

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(picture by a happy customer & photographer Jacqueline Leigh)

Please visit me at my blog, Chocolate Eyes where I blog about crafting, homeschooling, gardening , just life with three boys in the sunny Southwest.  I recently wrote a post about my brand new studio, so come for a tour!  Also check out my shop MamaWestWind on etsy.   For shop updates and giveaways “like” my MamaWestWind Facebook page.

MamaWestWindblog

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Needle Felting Wee Folk and Their Friends – Tutorial from the Willodel Blog

With so many stories to tell and much imagination to express, making wee folk come to life is a rewarding and delightful work. This tutorial is designed to pass along my own creative ideas as the simplest way to make pose-able  needle felted figures for stories and gnome play.

The possibilities are pretty limitless. You can use scraps of things you already have at home, I always encourage using “found” materials, and things you might have to buy, like covered florist wire, are not expensive. The size of the figures in the tutorial are 4″ to 5″, but this can be changed to anything you like. Your main tool for the frame are wire nippers(called “diagonals” and needle nose pliers. You want to be sure that in making the frame there are no pointy ends that might poke through anywhere. Also, I do not hesitate the add a drop of glue where I need to starting winding some wool and definitely use this for attaching hair and hats. I like using acorns for hats, but there are many other approaches to the this part of the clothing. Please do not hesitate to write if you have questions.

This is Leif the Elf, working with his wishing well.This little Elf has been a model for many of my homes and other tutorials, proving himself versatile and durable over several years. He is 45″ tall.
Here are an array of bendy figures, including gnomes, elves and animals.
This is the link to the tutorial: http://willodel.blogspot.com/p/making.html
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Tutorial: How to make a back to school Waldorf doll angel

Going back to school is a time that is filled with lots of emotion. For some children it is a time of anticipation, reunion and celebration of an environment they love. For others it is a time of isolation, structure and limitation. Either way, a special surprise is most welcome on the start of any school year. This tutorial is to create a simple little autumn angel that can be easily hid in a school bag, lunch pack or placed on a pillow for the first day of school.

Supplies needed:

  • A fat quarter (I used 2 scraps of different cotton fabrics)
  • Thread
  • Embroidery Thread
  • Skin coloured jersey scrap
  • Stuffing
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Paper and a Pen

Ability requirements: These instructions are for a very basic doll that can be completely hand stitched or machine stitched. This version is not suitable for very small children as it doesn’t have the reinforcements to make sure it can withstand a good chew/ tugging match. I have also minimally used any technical information (like right/ wrong sides of fabric, fabric bias touching, grain, hidden stiches etc) as I wanted to make it accessable to anyone. When I did use a technical term I tried to provide a link. If you know enough to know about these terms, you would also know when they are implimented.

Step 1: Place your the palm of your hand on the sheet of paper and loosely use it as a size guide to make a half oval shape

Step 2: Add a 1/4 inch seam allowence to the outside of your half oval.

 

Step 3: Place your thumb in the very centre of the straight edge of the oval. Mark either side. This is going to be your neck hole.

Step 4: Fold your fabric in half. Line the straight edge of the oval up against the fold in the fabric. Cut both layers of the fabric around the round part of the pattern only. If you open it up after cutting, you should have a long oval.

 

Step 5: Draw a right angle triangle a third longer than the half oval. Cut off that bottom 1/3 and you should have a triangle with a flat bottom edge like the one in the photo below. This is going to be the hat.

 

Step 6: Fold your material like you did for the body. Place the edge of the triangle onto the fold. Cut around the hat except for the folded edge.

 

Step 7: Turn your hat inside out so the coloured parts are touching. Sew a straight seam up the long angle. Fold a bit of the open edge over and iron. See photo below. Please note: I have used a surger for the angle seam but you don’t need to. You can do this by hand using a straight stitch.

 

Step 8: You do the same thing again with the body of the angel. Put the pattern sides together. Sew a 1/4 inch seam around the round part of the body. Then you need to cut a little opening for the neck. Your pattern will have the marks on it which you can use as a guide. Just a little bit wider than your thumb.

 

Step 9: Turn the body right side around by pulling the fabric through the hole. Then stuff it with your stuffing.

 

 

Step 11: now take your square scrap of flesh tone jersey and fold it in half. It should be wide enough to put your thumb in and long enough to cover your whole thumb. Sew a straight stitch up the long side and across the top. Turn inside out.

 

 

Step 12: Push stuffing in to create a round ball at the end of the tube.

Step 13: Tie a piece of embroidery floss 3/4 of the way down the ball.

 

 

Step 14: With a piece of embroidery floss, sew two small eyes. I use two simple stitches per eye.

 

Step 14: Take hat, turn inside out so that the colored side is facing out and tie it onto the head of the angel. Sew the hat onto the head. I use a ladder stitch.

 

Step 15: Place head into body. Sew around the neck attaching the body fabric to the head.

 

Step 16: Tie off securely and enjoy!

 

Written by Rachel from Oast.  A Waldorf doll maker from Canada living in the rolling hills of the English countryside with her daughter, her gestating son and her awesome husband.

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Interview with Oast

This week we take a close up look at Oast with owner and artist Rachel.

Tell us about you
Hi, I am Rachel and I am a Canadian living in the UK. I live in a small farmhouse in rural Kent. We don’t work on the farm but benefit from watching the seasons change in the orchards and the beautiful birthing that takes place with the cows and sheep in the spring. The mark of the land in this area is the oast houses, which are the buildings where hops are dried for making beer. We happen to have a group of them that I look at as I craft and others on the rolling hills beyond the farm. My environment is very important to me and my surroundings are the ideal place for my small family to live. I have one husband, one child, and one one on the way. Another child, not another husband… oh you.

Tell us about your business
Oast is a Waldorf Doll shop. I have focused mostly on dolls for children 0 – 3 years old. That is starting to shift and I am enjoying the process of making jointed dolls for older children but they rarely make it as far as the shop.

Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in children. I love to watch how they connect with their toys and what they chose to attach themselves to. It is a powerful thing to observe, and often far out of the rationalization of adults. By this I mean, what we would chose for our children seems to rarely be what they would chose for themselves. Like the idea that children like the box a toy comes in more than the toy itself. I see that with dolls as well. Parents are drawn to the dolls with full heads of hair a bit more detailing while their young children are attracted to the simple faces and soft bodies. This helps me trust my craft and inspires me to see the special qualities in each developmental stage that corresponds to certain doll types.

What got you started in your craft?
As is the story of many Waldorf doll makers, I made my first one for my daughter and have been going strong ever sense. It is addictive to create something that a child will grow and share with. After seeing and hearing how children respond to the dolls themselves, I fell even more in love with the process. There is nothing like watching a child hug one of my dolls for the first time.

What’s your favorite thing you have ever made?
My daughter. Seriously the best craft project ever, and the most consuming.

How long have you been on Etsy and how has it been for you so far?
I have been on Etsy nearly a year and I have found it slow going. I sell a product that has a lot of competition and I am just slowly making my way. I enjoy the process of creating and know that as long as I maintain the standards I have set for myself, the rest the sales will continue to come.

What do you hope to gain or contribute to the Natural Kids group?
I am pretty isolated where I live. The UK has amazing fiber arts and a lot of natural crafts people. I don’t have access to them on a regular basis from where I live. I hope to continue to be inspired by the NK community. I love the process of creating and also the professionalism projected by the team. I work very hard at not only making a high quality doll that is safe for children but one that will make many journeys. The Natural Kids group follow this same ethos. The doll makers on the Natural Kids Team are all amazing and I feel so happy to be amongst them. I am hoping that I will be able to contribute to the team through my enthusiasm and love of community.

Share your links:
oast.etsy.com
oast.blogspot.com
http://www.flickr.com/photos/58465055@N05/

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For Love of Dolls

This past weekend I got to spend 3 wonderful days with a fellow team mate, Dayanara from Pin Pon. We spent our time crafting, eating yummy food, and watching crazy reality TV. When the rest of the family was asleep D. and I would spend hours talking and crafting.

Free Form Cutting
An Artist at work

Watching her hands work as she lovingly brought the dolls to life was magical. We shared fabric and collaborated on combination of colors, so much fun! I loved to see her work with just an idea in her head… no pattern just free form cutting. Almost as if the doll had already been in the fabric and she was setting it free.

Finished Doll, Miss Kitty
D. dog guarding the supplies

The following day we had great fun setting up a photo shot with the kids. My daughter had the best day getting to do dress changes, she was in princess heaven! The boys and dogs got in on the action  too and we all had a great time. At the end the we all promised to do it all again!!

D. setting up the shot. Swing Top by Imogen’s Garden
Apron by Pin Pon
Rainbow Playsilk by The EnchantedCupboard

Post by Beccijo of The Enchanted Cupboard

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How to make a Winter Wattle Fairy Doll

This week’s How-To is How to make a Winter Wattle Fairy Doll by Amber from Mama Moontime.


Take a pipe cleaner about 10 cm long. (10 cm is approx. 4 inches, ed.)

Thread on a bead for a head and twist pipe cleaner over it to secure.

Take a second pipe cleaner and twist it around the first, just below the bead.
The closer to the bead, the better to later hide the ‘neck’.

Trim arms to a natural looking size, plus a few millimetres to
bend over to secure the fleece in the next step.

Take a 1cm wide strip ( half inch, ed.) of natural coloured fleece sliver.
Place it about 1cm (half inch, ed.) from the end.
(Spotlight sells Merino lengths which will be fine for a small project)
Contact me if you have any difficulty sourcing fleece in your area and I’ll point you in the right direction.

Wind the fleece towards the tip, trying to keep the sliver as wide
as possible to prevent wiry threads appearing.

At the end, turn over the tip to secure the fleece for long term

longevity of the doll then wind back towards the body.

Any excess fleece can be wound around the body in a diagonal,

either way, as this will be hidden under the dress.

Follow the same instructions to wrap the other arm.
Loop up the bottom pipe cleaner for safe keeping.

Take a long length of green fleece, about 25cm long (that’s about 10 inches, ed.)
Split into two, long ways.

Place it over the ‘shoulders’ of the fairy.

Cross the lengths over, both at the front and the back and

gently pull it down to make the bust of the dress firm, and not puffy.

Take a small sliver of yellow fleece.
Wrap it around body under bust to secure the dress.


Gently shape the ‘dress’ into a pointed shape.

Give her a ‘shampoo’ of glue.

Then attach a 8 cm length of gold fleece for her hair. (8 cm is approx. 3 inches, ed.)

Embellish as you wish!
I have used small yellow beads as the wattle flower, and a golden thread for her crown.
I also threaded a fine cotton thread up through the back of the head where the pipe cleaner holds the bead, so she can hang above the nature table.

The actual paper ‘invitation’ hangs on this thread.
It is a simple ‘fire’, signifying the light of the winter candle that burns through the dark nights.

Happy Creating!

This tutorial is brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla.

Please visit Amber (pictured above!) at: www.mamamoontime.com where you can see her original post plus other tutorials. Amber also teaches workshops and blogs on other natural crafts, eco-living & parenting in Australia.

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Friday Feature with Alkelda

Tell us little about yourself!
I am a musical storyteller and doll-maker who was trained as a children’s librarian. My husband and I live in Seattle, Washington, USA, with our 7 year old daughter. When my daughter was 2, I decided that I wanted to learn either to sew or to play guitar, and ended up doing both. I don’t work in the library anymore, but I cannot resist a reference question, especially if it involves trying to locate a favorite childhood book. In the beginning of our courtship, I impressed my future husband by locating a copy of the out-of-print book Dinosaur Comes to Town, written by Gene Darby, which had the refrain, “There’s a meat-eating dinosaur—and you’re meat!”
The meaning behind my shop name:
The name “Alkelda” is Old English for “healing spring.” Alkelda is an apocryphal saint, and her feast day is my birthday. When I decided to become a seller on Etsy, I elected to keep my username as my shop name and added “Dolls for Storytelling” to make it clearer what the shop offered.

What do you make and how long have you been creating?
I make embroidered wool felt dolls for storytelling through creative play. As a teenager, I would hand-stitch small dolls out of fabric remnants to give to family and friends, but it never occurred to me to seek out specific fabrics until I started making the little felt standing dolls like the ones in the shop. I started out with doll-making kits, and then developed my own patterns. I learned to embroider as an adult with the help of several embroidery books.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by plants, the curriculum in Waldorf schools, folktales, music (some of my dolls carry felt guitars), ironwork scrolls, and embroidered tapestries. My daughter loves dolls, and she often comes up with ideas for me, as do friends and family members.
A few years ago, I read her Sibyl Von Olfers’s The Story of the Root Children. She enjoyed it, but asked, “Why are all the root children blonde?” I explained to her that the author was Prussian, and she probably knew a lot of blond children, but that the majority of the Earth’s population has brown hair. When I talked about this conversation on my Saints and Spinners storytelling blog, friends of mine wrote about how they had longed for depictions of fairies and fairy-like dolls with dark hair and skin, and how rare it was to find them. Many of the dolls I make are for my friends when they were children as well as the people who are children now. I am glad that I can find cotton interlock for faces in a variety of skin tones.

Prior to using a book, my embroidery looked like a mess. I am the kind of person who needs specific instruction and guidance before free-form experimentation can take place. My first dolls (larger standing dolls with wire arms) were created with an embroidery book in my lap. I still consult my books quite a bit for new, complex stitches, but I’m glad that I finally have the basics “memorized” in my fingertips. Speaking of fingertips, it’s handy that I play steel-string guitar, because the calluses protect me from many of the needle-jabs I inevitably experience. (As a friend of mine asked, “Haven’t you ever heard of a device called a ‘thimble’?”)

How long have you been on Etsy and how has it been for you so far?
I started out as a buyer in June 2008 and became a seller in May 2009. When I started, I had no intention of starting a cottage industry business. However, when I started to make little dolls and people asked for commissioned work, it occurred to me that there might be a tucked-away corner of the market that would have room for my virtual stall. I was fortunate to have an online community already established for four years through my storytelling blog, and friends were willing to mention my new shop. Still, I was bowled over the first time I received an order from a stranger. I was glad to be able to join the Natural Kids Team because I liked the artisans and wanted a sense of connection with others who liked to create things that appealed to children.

What advice would you have for other Etsians?
Of course, I’m still learning from those who have been around far longer than I. What I would like for sellers in general to understand is that many people are inundated with data and noise to the point of saturation. Respect your potential customers by offering the best you have to create without getting into their personal space with a deluge of marketing. As a buyer, I went to Etsy to find well-made, handcrafted creations at fair prices, not mass-produced “bargains.” As a seller, I strive to make my shop a welcoming place to potential customers as well as people who simply enjoy looking at my dolls. Each listing ends with this mission statement: “I care about each doll I sew, and hope you will find a doll in the shop that you feel is yours.”

What do you hope to learn/gain/contribute from being part of the Natural Kids group?
I am a worker bee. I like low-profile jobs such as editing and organizing (although please, do not look at my desk as an example of order, as you will not find it). I hope those skills will help the team as a whole. What I really appreciate is
that when I have a question, people on the Natural Kids Team have perspective and can give guidance.

What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?

As an adult with experience, I prefer to give my daughter toys made out of wool, cotton, wood and clay. These natural materials are warm and living. When minimally formed, these toys allow for many layers of creative play. However, I can understand the attraction of battery-powered toys. Before my daughter was born, I bought a little fire-engine train that had a battery for the siren. I got a kick out of pushing the button every once in awhile to hear that siren. However, when my daughter received the fire engine as a present, she pushed the button repeatedly. When she wasn’t looking, I took the battery out, and then gave her back the fire-engine train. She pushed the button and looked at it quizzically when it made no sound. After a few moments, she set the fire engine train down on the track and said, “Chook-ca-chook-ca-chook” (her train sound). I realized that by taking the battery out, I was giving her imagination room for its own discovery.

Links:
Alkelda: Dolls for Storytelling
http://alkelda.etsy.com

Facebook:
http://facebook.com/Alkelda

Storyteller page:
http://faridadowler.com

Interview by Beccijo of The Enchanted Cupboard

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Friday Feature with Fairiesnest

Tell us little about yourself!
I am a wife, mom of 3 boys, toy maker, believer in fairies, fiber addict, avid gardener, devourer of books, owner of too many pets…or maybe they own me, and doll artist!

What do you make and how long have you been creating?
I have always loved dolls and my sister and I spent much of our childhood making up elaborate stories for our many dolls. I made my first doll when I was 6; it was a simple cookie cutter shape with yarn hair and one button eye. For some reason that’s all the face that doll ever had but we called her “one eye Susie” and played with her all the time! My mother, an excellent seamstress, taught me sewing and knitting, and I had a very “crafty” grandmother who was always trying some new technique and then passing it on to her grandkids. I definitely learned a lot from both of them, and I’m pretty sure I also inherited my mom’s acute fiber addiction in the bargain. I learned costume construction in college where I majored in theater, and it was there I started making cloth masks for mime performances. Being a fiber junkie, I took classes in all sorts of needle arts along the way but curiously none in doll making. I really got into making dolls again when my sons were small, creating a cast of occupants for a castle my husband built. It was so much fun I just had to keep at it. I started out making Waldorf style dolls and my dollhouse dolls developed from this technique. Later, I tried a few patterns by other doll makers, but I couldn’t find a style that fit the dolls I saw in my head. It was after reading Suzanna Oroyan’s wonderful book, Anatomy of a Doll, that I was inspired to develop my own designs. It’s been very much a process of trial and error, but I have learned so much along the way.

What inspires you?
Other artists definitely! Wendy Froud – I love her fairies so much- and I find doll artists like Jane Darin, Akira Blount and Akiko Anzai very inspiring. I also get a lot of inspiration from books, contemporary and traditional fairy tales, and of course Mother Nature. There’s nothing like a hike on a mountain trail to bring out the fairies! I seriously always have several fairies knocking around in my head waiting to get out…it really gets crowded in there!
Of course I love being able to create toys that are natural for kids! There is something so much more magical in a handmade doll or stuffed animal, a perceptible feeling of love in every stitch. And the knowledge that you’ve made something that is environmentally friendly to boot?! Now that’s priceless.

How long have you been on Etsy and how has it been for you so far?
I had to go look and see! I joined February 16 2007, so I’m coming up on my 3 year anniversary…wow! It’s been one of the best things for me in so many ways. My business has really done well and I’ve met so many wonderful, encouraging, and inspiring people…many right here on the Natural Kids team.

What advice would you have for other Etsians?

It takes more work then you think to have a successful business on Etsy. You really need to step outside of Etsy to advertise and promote. I know everyone says that, but it’s true! Start a blog, find on line groups, hand out cards, and join a team…or several! Some teams are much more successful and active then others so it really is worth the time to try several out…I highly recommend the Natural Kids team of course. 🙂 And be open to change! I find lots of great ideas for improving my shop all the time. Read the forums and the Etsy blog, but also take the time to look at successful shops and see how they are set up, what kind of tags they’re using, what their pictures look like. Always be willing to learn.

What do you hope to learn/gain/contribute from being part of the Natural Kids group?
I’ve been a member of The Natural Kids team since it’s beginning – through all the many changes, holding a variety of positions, and I have always found it to be an amazing group! There is no other team that is so encouraging and caring and it has been wonderful to see the team grow and become so active! I hope to see that growth continue and to help in any way that I can.

What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?

With all the over stimulation that children are exposed to in our modern culture they need the time and the tools to connect with the natural world in a peaceful and harmonious way. This is how we learn to think creatively and critically! Natural toys are a part of this because they allow for open ended play that requires imagination. And just getting kids outside is so important…let them make up their own games, build forts, and find treasures like acorn tea cups and magic stick wands. This is the stuff of magic!

Your items can be found where:
In galleries across the country and my shop http://fairiesnest.etsy.com
You can also see my online gallery here; http://fairiesnest.deviantart.com/gallery/#_browse

Interview by Beccijo of The Enchanted Cupboard

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How long does it take to make a German Doll?

Often people will ask me if there is a discount when they buy more than one of my dolls. Then I have to tell them that making a Waldorf style doll takes many hours of work. Most of the work is done by hand. If you know how to sew or have ever attempted the task of making a cloth doll from scratch you may know how hard it is, and how much labor goes into the production of a single doll.
Aside from the fact that the materials I use are high quality, hard to come buy, and mostly shipped to me from faraway places because I cannot buy them at the local store – the price of a Waldorf style doll is mostly explained through the many hours go into making of a doll. Here is a list of the many steps it takes to create a doll:


1. Washing every piece of fabric and materials that goes into the dolls, ironing: 1 hour
2. Tracing and cutting out the body from interlock fabric: 20 minutes
3. Making a shaped doll head : 1 hour
4. Sewing and turning the body: 30 minutes
5. Stuffing the body: 45 minutes
6. Sewing on legs, arms, head: 1 hour
7. Embroidering the face, putting on blusher: 30 minutes
8. Making the hair/wig, sewing it to the head: 1 – 1.5 hours
9. Making the doll clothes: 1-1.5 hours
10. Putting on final touches: 30 minutes
Total: 8 hours
Of course each doll is different. Depending on the clothes and what hairstyle, the production time may vary. But when you look at my list, please understand that I cut no corners. Whether I make 1 or 10 dolls the labor remains the same. Maybe I can save a few minutes if I trace and cut 10 doll bodies and make a number of heads at once. My husband and children find it quite amusing whenever I am having a “ head making day.”
To turn out a high-quality German Doll I must put in at least 8 hours of labor per doll. It also takes time to order and search out materials. After a doll is finished it has to be put on my virtual “store shelf.’ Taking pictures and listing an item is one more step not included on my list. Getting it to the customer all wrapped up and pretty another…
So really when you consider all the hours of labor that go into one of my sweet dolls, my asking price does not seem all that high any more. I have to pay myself at least minimum wage to continue…
Each doll is a little work of art. I enjoy the process of creating each little personality.
I tremendously enjoy being able to stay at home with my kids. I also like being my own boss, manager, advertising agent, photographer, shipper, wrapper, accountant, and and and….
It sure beats working at Walmart…

Your German Doll Maker
Ulla Seckler

www.germandolls.etsy.com

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Life as a Waldorf “Short Order” Cook

The other day my daughter was asking me:”Mom, what are all those little sticky notes on the window behind your sewing machine?” I responded:”Oh, those are the custom orders I received and need to finish for Christmas.”

If you are an artist/crafter and offer custom work in your etsy shop, life in the months before Christmas can get pretty complicated and hectic.

You may find yourself worrying and asking the following questions:
How many custom items should I offer?

Do I have all the materials to make them?

Do I have enough shipping materials, and will I be able to ship it on time?

How do I keep my store stocked at the same time?

How do I balance the custom work with my desire to create new items?Should I just skip sleep and work 24 hours? Now is the time, right?

I have been struggling with these questions since August. I would really like some input from other crafters who offer custom work. How do you stay organized and make it through this busy season?

Sometimes I get so tired of the balance act I am performing that I want to stop taking customs orders altogether! But then I get some wonderful Feedback or a really sweet message from someone who received their doll, and I forget all about the stress.
I find, that the challenges of custom orders bring out the best in me. Often customers come to me with ideas I never would have come up with myself! Or they point out how one of my items sold previously was so great because of a certain feature and why don’t I combine it with this other feature…I think my customers make me a better artist. Even when I find myself grumbling at times about a difficult request…

My favorite kind of dolls are ethnic dolls. I made the Asian dolls you see in the pictures for children adopted from China. There is a great need for such items because it is hard to find dolls with Asian and other ethnic features on a regular store shelf. I feel that my work is important and appreciated by the children and parents alike!

But I am only one woman. I wish I had some elves to help. Maybe some day my daughter will be old enough to help. But for now it is just me.

Later I might post a picture of all my little sticky notes in the window of my “studio”. I feel like a short order cook at times. Which is a funny way to put it since my orders take hours to complete. =)

Hope to hear some opinions from all of you who do customs!

Love, Ulla