“We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet.
Even longer,’ Pooh answered.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
In the beginning…
Our beautiful baby girl turned 6 months old on June 27, 2012. To mark the occasion, I presented her with her first ever Waldorf doll that had arrived from France. After researching Waldorf dolls for months, this particular one really caught my eye. Made by Sue of Hugger-Mugger Dolls, I love the fact that it resembled Sara Rose, and even came with a little toy bunny! (Sara was born in the Year of the Rabbit, 2011). It was a match made in Heaven, I’d say! And so began my wonderful collection of Waldorf Dolls…
Sue is extremely talented and also makes the best doll clothes I have ever come across. Her hand embroidery is especially skillful and such a delight! I keep coming back to her to order more and more and couldn’t recommend her enough! ((HUGS))
After a series of unfortunate events occurring over the past few weeks, I decided to do some retail therapy to help cheer myself up! 🙂 And so began again my never ending quest into the world of dolls. Ever searching, ever longing for that perfect doll baby that reminds me of my own real baby at various ages and stages of her life. This time, my path veered off from my beloved cloth Waldorf dolls as I stumbled upon unknown territory that can only be described as Wood dolls! To my excitement I found one that captured my heart as it reminded me of my sleeping newborn, Sara Rose, during her first photoshoot with my talented friend Solveig Boergen of Star Photography.
“How can something so simple in form be so complex in depth?
Elisabeth hails from a time and culture where children weren’t showered with new dolls every year: they had one doll – one precious friend – to play with throughout their childhood and beyond. Guided by this philosophy, Elizabeth creates her dolls to stand the test of time. Pongratz dolls are meant to be held, played with and cherished for a lifetime.
When an artist creates with wood, the results are phenomenal. We love the way wood feels, the beauty of its grain, the rich finishes and the unique and telling manner in which it ages. Over the years the wood matures and takes on a distinct look as it reveals your gentle, loving touch.
But wood is a demanding medium. In today’s world, it is rare to find a fine doll artist working in wood and thus their dolls are held in high esteem. Elisabeth Pongratz has brought us her fine dolls from wood for over thirty years. Her design is so perfect that they are fundamentally unchanged since their inception.
Dolls That Speak From The Heart
Inspired by the Munich Art Doll movement of the early 20th century, Elisabeth’s dolls are delicately handcarved and hand-painted in a simplistic fashion – very similar to dolls by Sasha Morgenthaler and Kathe Kruse – with a sweetness that tugs at your heart. The all-wood dolls are fully jointed using a unique spring mechanism specially designed by Elisabeth and her husband, Wolf. Her soft-bodied babies are filled with sand for a sturdy yet cuddly feel. Because of their handcrafted nature, a very small number of dolls are created each year. Elisabeth Pongratz dolls speak from the heart.”
~The Toy Shoppe
I couldn’t have said it better myself! ((LOVE)) I am so excited about my (I mean Sara’s) new doll arriving! hehe It is the perfect way to brighten my day as my delightful hobby of doll collecting continues. Yay!
Another special occasion calls for another special Waldorf doll. Or so it goes in our household ever since Sara Rose was born. 🙂 Mother’s Day on May 12, 2013 was no exception and a new doll all the way from Germany arrived just on time!
We spent a lovely, sunny afternoon at a local park here in Japan. Sara Rose eventually got tired of running around and having her picture taken and took a nap in her stroller with her brand, new doll for comfort. It was oh so sweet!
I really adore this more traditional type of Waldorf doll made by Maria of Mariengold in Berlin, Germany. It is more flexible, bendable and lightweight than our other dolls. Her hair is super soft and well attached too. I just love how this doll feels in my hands! It’s a bit hard to describe so you’ll just have to see for yourself by either visiting us or purchasing one of your own! hehe
“Another day another doll..ar(!)” as the saying goes…
You can see more photos of this incredible doll named “Pekka” by scrolling through Mariengold’s flickr page here.
I am in awe of all the beautiful, handmade outfits she came with! I chose this particular doll because she really reminded me of how my baby Sara Rose looked like as a newborn with her full head of messy hair and slightly reddish (akachan) skin tone! 😉
Doll collecting is just so much fun! xoxo
December 25, 2012 was Sara Rose’s very first Christmas! She truly is a little angel and I wanted her to have a matching angel doll for her 1st Christmas gift and keepsake of this momentous occasion! Again, I called upon Jenn of Lali Doll Nursery to turn my vision into a reality as only she could do so brilliantly!
Well, see for yourself in this picture that is worth a thousands words! 🙂
And if a picture is worth a thousand words, just imagine how powerful and inspiring this video(!) featuring two different pictures of Sara Rose and her Lali dolls:
Peace, joy and love always from me and mine to you and yours. xoxo
Since having my baby daughter, I began a new hobby of collecting dolls. Not just any dolls mind you, but custom Waldorf inspired dolls which have been handmade to look like her! Meaning I work closely with the doll makers to create the cutest dolls in my daughter’s image. It takes a lot of messages back and forth to get the right look and to choose all the options such as hair color, style and material like mohair, eye shape and color, body color, type (jointed or non jointed), size, customized/monogrammed clothing etc. I am proud to say that in working with these talented doll makers they have become my friends and inspiration for new dolls yet to come! 🙂
Doll collecting is not new to my family. My mother has quite the collection of her own! As does my grandmother on my fathers side.
Waldorf dolls are special and unique in their own right. From Wikipedia: Waldorf Dolls
“Made of wool and cotton, using techniques drawing on traditional European dollmaking, its appearance is intentionally simple in order to allow the child playing with it to improve or strengthen imagination and creativity. For instance, it has no facial expression. Its legs and arms are flexible, allowing natural postures.
Traditional Waldorf dolls are made from cotton interlock knit fabric and wool stuffing. They are often entirely natural. Typically the trademark long hair of a Waldorf doll is made of mohair or boucle. Some doll makers use alternative hair material such as wool, rayon, and cotton. The facial features of a Waldorf doll vary with the maker. Most Waldorf dolls have small suggestions of noses, their eye and mouth colors are generally varied with each doll.”
Here is one of the first Waldorf dolls that I had custom made for my daughter. She wears a kimono and second outfit made from Japanese rabbit and cherry blossom fabric that I picked out. Sakura means “cherry blossom” in Japanese. Aren’t her little sandals just the cutest ever too? 😉 The doll maker Jenn from Lali Doll Nursery is an absolute joy to work with!
Perhaps future blog posts will be dedicated to showcasing the numerous handmade dolls and clothing I have been collecting for my daughter.