I have two little ones being created right now. This one came to life this week, and her friend will be soon to follow. Now that I can see her face I am beginning to dream of her personality, what she might like and do, what her interests are, how she might behave… And of course asking the big question: how am I going to make her clothes to fit her personality?? What would someone with those attributes wear? This is my favourite part of doll making… This is where the creativity sparks and the ideas begin roiling around in my head.
We had a big ugly plastic play kitchen given to us a couple of years back, very generously by some kind and well meaning friends. And while our -then at the time 2-3 year old- played with it now and then, it was mostly the food that she enjoyed. So this giant plastic eyesore sat in our small play room/hallway taking up much valuable space collecting dust and old apple cores that she tucked away secretly. So one day, after we decided our kids needed to purge old toys as we generally do twice a year, we all decided it was time to let go and move on to other things.
But I kept all her food: her wooden PLAN food that she can cut in half, which she LOVES, and all the crochet food that I had made her previously. And low and behold several months later she rediscovered her love of play food and started making us all ‘food’ again. But boy was she upset when one day she remembered that she used to have a kitchen. What good is play food without somewhere to play-make it??
And so one day after hopping on Pinterest and happily pinning a ton of ideas on end table kitchens, I had the wonderful idea of putting my husband to work to make this for our now 4 year old as her Christmas gift. Being a congenial fellow he liked the idea, but our days are full. So it wasn’t until just a few weeks before Christmas that we discovered this old and unique RCA cabinet. Solid wood, glass front, and loads of possibilities. So without further ado please meet our RCA cabinet to Kitchen makeover candidate!
The cabinet already had a drop down cupboard on the top painted black on the inside: a ready made oven. We just bought a new cupboard handle, a magnetic latch for the inside, and voila! The attractive glass door on the front that I thought would make an excellent glass door fridge turned out to be a problem. This puppy was so well made, our initial plans of taking the glass and frame out together and reattaching with hinges was thwarted by heavy duty construction. Which isn’t a bad problem to have, but just required some more work and sweat: so instead my husband had to make a smaller frame to fit inside. And due to our complete lack of glass cutting experience, let me just vaguely say that we ended up replacing the glass with 1/4″ thick plexiglass, cut to size at a local shop. And again with the shelf inside the fridge. Which is probably a much safer idea in the long run considering this is for children, but it did add another $25 to the cost. The stovetop/countertop is the other obvious thing that needed attention and imagination. An extra dog bowl with its flat bottom served as a perfect sink, as did an old bathroom tap found at a local Restore. For the stovetop elements I found many options online, such as painting wooden trivets black, making them out of black felt circles, cutting circles out of wood, painting them directly on… but we thought we would try something new and better suited to our personalities (and also what we could find at the local thrift store merely days before Christmas). So we used small vinyl records, chosen by me merely for their colour, not musical significance. I should add for interest sake that my husband’s first purchases of Beach Boys was met with much consternation and condemnation by our Beach Boy loving brother, who thought it was sacrilegious to use GOOD records for this purpose. So we relented and found colourful options instead, and guess what he got in his stocking??The knobs were just wooden handles from the local hardware store. Then of course we had to decide if we had the time and energy (we as in my husband) after work to produce a backsplash. I was persistent and he gave in and worked many hours into several nights cutting wood into pieces of appropriate length, sanding the old paint off, and making a shelf for the top. And the results were worth it! I love that it looks like an old vintage kitchen wainscotting! We had originally purchased a small amount of subway tile and grout to put over it, but it looked amazing without the tile, and I think the wood backboards add an amazing amount of charm! So to make it a bit more fun, last but not least I added the final touches: the pennant across the back, the chenille backed towel, and matching oven mitts. I happened to find a narrow rectangular teapot that fits the little shelves perfectly, and sewed lavender filled teabags for it. I made canisters for sugar and tea and flour by buying tins from Michaels and painting them (DON’T do this! The paint dried lumpy and the lids don’t fit, and the paint chips off! Use white spray paint instead. We were short on money and time…). I covered the tins with inspirational coloured sparkly scrapbooking paper which I Mod-Podged around it, and the knobs on the top mere also from the Restore. I completed the ensemble with a chalkboard label sticker. The pots I got at Value Village, as did the metallic serving tray which she used as a baking pan. And the little cup and saucer set we found in the clearance bin at Winners/Homesense. So there you have it! A kitchen that our daughter has enjoyed everyday so far, and one that is so well built and has such heart put into it, that I hope to keep one day for grandkids. Thanks for viewing!
Now that Christmas gifts are all unwrapped and being played with in our household, I can share with you the crochet food that I made for our youngest (who also got a kitchen, you can see as soon as I get some good light in our house to photograph!). Many of these patterns, such as the cookies and pies, are free patterns from RAVELRY. Other items I saw online and loved and simply made my own pattern/version. Enjoy!
I named her aptly I believe, because that is what I had this weekend. In the mad rush to finish making stock, tag and price, inventory, pack, send out orders and emails, advertise, and take care of domestic duties solo as my husband was away, I didn’t think I would be able to pull her off before I leave this weekend for market. But somehow I had grace and was able to produce this lovely little doll.
Her sweet face and charming freckles, her cheerful kind eyes, her lovely quirky multicoloured Wensleydale lock hair, her British style coat and clothing, all conspired to win my heart. After so long not making a large doll (the last ones were in the spring!), I felt a little unsteady as I began her. But my hands remembered what they were to do, and everything came together beautifully. So I introduce to you, very proudly and with my heart filled with amazement: Grace.
Grace, meet the world! I know someone will fall in love with you as I have.
Grace is a handmade natural fibre doll, made in the waldorf tradition. She is stuffed will wool, her skin is made of cotton interlock, her hair is wefted wensleydale locks crocheted into a cap and attached to her head. Her eyes and mouth are embroidered with cotton floss, and her cheeks are brushed with tinted beeswax. She stands 16″ high. She is wearing a dress made from cotton gauze, lined with lace, with cotton bloomers underneath. Her booties are made from wool, as is her jacket. I crocheted her scarf and satchel out wool. Her hat I bought from another seller, and is also crocheted. Her jacket has wooden buttons, and her dress has antique vintage glass buttons, both of which are small parts and so not recommended for young children.
I will be bringing her to market this weekend, but if you would like to take her home after that I will have her listing posted in my Etsy shop after December 12th. Thank you for viewing!
Its hard to believe, December is almost here, which means my GIANT Make It Market in Vancouver is almost here as well. The event that I have been preparing the better part of the year for… One of the last things I completed this week were these little Snowflake Angel ornaments. I made a handful of them last year and they sold out almost instantly, so I thought a few more were in order…
Oh the past few weeks have been fun! I have been finishing my mom’sdoll dresses by making button holes and sewing on vintage glass buttons, making pantaloons, photographing them… And then this week I made 7 new large sized doll beds. Four different patterns/colour sets are available, and I will have the listings up in my Etsy shop very shortly if you wanted to make your little girl one happy elf this Christmas!
It is giveaway time! Head on over to your Instagram and enter this giveaway. Next week one winner will be taking home ALL all these amazing products, worth over $175!! All items are locally made in BC, and are Woodland Adventure themed. Included is one of my all natural 5″ Foxy Pocket Kid! Thank you to my dear friends at @fromtheseeds, @thejargirl, @pecantreecreations, @littleradjack and @treelinedesign for contributing to this awesome giveaway!