Busy Christmas time

I’ve been so busy over the last couple of months that blogs on this page haven’t been written I’m afraid. But my last Christmas fair is over now and once all my on- line sales are fulfilled I can start thinking about presents for my family and friends.

Ive travelled up and down the A1 to do fairs in Cambridgeshire and Essex, and I’ve met lots of stall holders who also do these fabulous fairs. The photo shows a bit of my stall at RHS Hyde Hall. I can’t praise the event organizers highly enough, and thanks to every customer who bought one of my lovely rag dolls. There are going to be some very happy recipients on Christmas Day!!

Topsy-turvy dolls

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Over the last two years I’ve noticed with pleasure that my topsy-turvy dolls get very popular in the lead up to Christmas. Perhaps it’s because they’re a bit unusual. Of course, topsy-turvy dolls are traditional but they’ve been out of fashion for a long time. Thankfully the trend is changing and now they’re ‘new’ fashion. Many older people who stop to chat at my stall tell me that they had a topsy-turvy doll when they were young, and many have knitted them.

Topsy-turvy, upside-down or double-ended dolls often reflect fairy tale favourites such as Cinders and Cinderella, Captain Hook and Peter Pan, or Red Riding Hood and the wolf dressed up as grandmother. When I designed mine, I knew I couldn’t make a passable version of an animal so I opted to go for ‘Rags to Riches’ which is loosely based on Cinderella. One end of my doll shows a pretty doll with a sad face and work clothes (patches on her skirt and a headscarf, ready to do the chores). The other end shows the same pretty doll with a happy face and a party dress with a necklace, ribbons and a wrist bag in which a personalised card can be put. I try to put a bit of sparkle or pearls in the decoration on the dress and sometimes the happy doll has a sparkly ribbon in her hair, or rosebuds adorning her hair.

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I hope you like my topsy-turvy dolls. I’ve made plenty for my Christmas fairs this year, each one completely unique. The outfit at each end has a contrasting colour scheme. They make wonderful presents for older children who have good imagination and love making up stories or plays, and they look great on a shelf as they can stand unsupported on their head!! Take a look on my shop page to see the wide variety of colour schemes and hair colours available, or contact me to request one in your chosen colour scheme.

A christening doll

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A few weeks ago I had a request via the website to make a christening doll for a well-loved niece. The customer sent me a photo of a christening doll she commissioned from a seamstress several years ago to give me some idea of what she was after. I love challenges like this! I designed a 56cm doll with a full-length dress and underskirt, and added some hand-embroidered wording in accordance with my customer’s wishes on the underskirt. Both the customer and I were very pleased with the result. One beautiful doll, gift wrapped and all ready for the christening on 7 October.

New records

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Over the summer I’ve been at some wonderful fairs both locally in Yorkshire and down in Essex, where I lived until May this year. Two records were set during this time. I had one customer who bought a doll for herself and came back about an hour later saying that she loved her doll so much she decided to buy one for each of her grandchildren for Christmas. She proceeded to buy three more. That was the first record - selling four to one customer at one time.

Then when I was down in Essex a customer decided to buy a doll for herself. Whilst I was putting the doll in a bag and getting ready to receive the payment, she decided to buy a doll for each of her grandchildren for Christmas. She proceeded to buy four more! That is my current record - selling five to one customer at one time.

These sales were unexpected but a real boost. I’m so glad people love my dolls so much!