Izannah Walker History · thank you

Today is International Woman’s Day, Time to Celebrate Those Women Who Inspire Us! Thank You Izannah Walker!

Izannah Patent Hand Written pg 1Thank you Izannah Walker for inspiring me with your beautiful, intricate painted cloth dolls. For being an enterprising 19th century woman who was able to support herself in a male dominated world. For being the first woman to be granted a United States patent related to doll making. You have changed my life!

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Izannah Walker 1870 Census

Izannah Walker 1870 Census detail

Custom Made Dolls · Izannah Walker Reproduction Doll · thank you

A Sweet Note & A Fond Farewell

Emmaline says goodbye
Emmaline took time to say farewell to some of her older relatives before packing her bags for her journey home…

I just want to take a  moment to say that one of the most rewarding parts of being a doll maker is the receiving all the lovely notes from the doll’s new owners.   All of them touch my heart and make the many hours I spend working on each doll worthwhile.  Thank you!

I’d like to share just a bit of Emmaline’s farewell note…

“Hi Paula,

She’s gorgeous!  The whole package works, I love the way all the colours complement each other.  I searched long and hard before I ordered this girl, without really knowing which one, although Anna is a favourite.  As this is likely to be the only one that I own made using original methods I wanted a very traditional Izannah.  You have made just that.”

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Emmaline
Emmaline’s paint is a bit shiny and new now, but over time as her paint oxidizes, it will look more and more like her antique sister’s…
Antique 19th century children's clothing · Awards · Doll Clothing · See Me in Print · thank you

Some Good News to Share

Last week I received some very good news.  Early American Life magazine called to tell me that my work has been juried into four different categories, Toys & Dolls, Clothing, Miniatures, and Holidays, in their 2017 Directory of  Traditional American Crafts!  I feel extremely honored.  These four new entries will mean that I have been included in their Directory 38 times.  Thank you Early American Life!!!

Here is a glimpse of my work in the Clothing catagory ❤

Antique Izannah Walker Dolls · Izannah Walker Reproduction Doll · Restoration and Conservation · thank you

New Year’s Day ~ Thankful Reflections & Ebullient Hopes

The wheel of the world has turned once again and it is time to welcome in a new year…  Even more so than Thanksgiving, New Year’s is a time that causes me to think about all the things I am thankful for and to consider all of my hopes for the upcoming year.

I AM GRATEFUL…

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I am thankful for the opportunity to study, care for and love the Izannah Walker dolls in my collection. They may not be pristine, perfect examples of Izannah’s work, but each mark of wear and evidence of love holds a special place in my heart.

Everyday I realize how exceedingly fortunate I am to be able to do the things I love.  I can not express how thankful I am to be the current custodian of eight of Izannah Walker’s dolls!  I am constantly amazed that these dolls are mine to love and care for.  It’s been a long time coming, with years upon years of searching and more hours than I can count of work to pay for them.  If you had asked me 25 years ago if I would ever own even one Izannah Walker doll I would have said no, but the longing for one these amazing dolls never waned.  So I continued to search for a doll I could afford and try to save money to pay for her…  It’s good to hold on to your dreams, whatever they are, to continue to strive for your goals and not  get discouraged! It also helps to be tenacious and downright stubborn!  🙂   Because I know that I am blessed, I try to share my Izannahs, both old and new!  I have always been grateful to others who have been kind enough to show me their dolls, in person, in photographs and online, so I attempt to repay my thanks by doing the same – plus adding in bits of my imagination and the world it lives in…  Come by in the months to follow and see the dolls at play ❤

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To my immense surprise and delight, 2016 brought two new Izannah Walker dolls into my little doll family!
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I have named Josephine (on the left) and Eliza Jane (on the right) after two of my great-grandmothers. One of the things I am most looking forward to in 2017 is making reproductions of both of these dolls. The chance to focus on each doll intensely, learn her similarities and differences, and simply enjoy being in their presence for the many hours it takes to make a new reproduction doll for the first time is a treat to look forward to!

THANKS TO YOU…

Thank you all for your support of my work these past 30 years!  I didn’t say much about it, but 2016 was the 30th year I have been making and selling my handwork.

Thank you for your purchases, both large and small!  Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and your compliments.  It is a scary thing to expose items you have lovingly created to the world!  Thank you for making it a rewarding experience, and much less frightening.

Thank you for being the kind of customers and students who turn into friends and brighten my days!

A huge thank you to those who have entrusted their precious dolls to me for restoration!!!  I have appreciated the chance to take care of your treasured dolls, and to carefully undo the worst ravages of time and past accidents.  I learn so much with every doll I have the opportunity to study and observe!  I know I’m slow and cautious when restoring dolls, so thank you also for your patience.

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Emmaline after restoration.
www.izannahwalker.com
A 2nd after restoration photo. The change in color is very subtle. These photos were taken before the doll was seen by her owner. After the owner had a chance to see the replaced arm and replaced antique linen upper arm covering, we decided to “age” the fabric and arm more.

An immense armful of thanks to those few special individuals who feel the same way that I  do about sharing the beauty of Izannah’s dolls, and who have graciously allowed me to make reproductions of their antique Izannah Walker dolls! I truly can not thank you enough. ❤ ❤ ❤

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Lily after I finished her restoration. What a beautiful Izannah Walker doll!
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The Lilys! Sisters, best friends and bosom companions through thick and thin

KNOW YOURSELF

One of the good things about being older is gaining a deeper understanding of yourself!  After a lot of trial and error, I know many of the things that make me happy.  I know that I am the happiest creating beautiful,intricate,  time-consuming things.  I do make and sell a large number of items… and I used to make even more.  Yes, I can make simple, less expensive dolls, bears, clothes, pincushions, etc. etc. etc… but doing that is more like drudgery.  I strive for special, amazing, perfect work.  That is what makes my heart sing.  I may not always reach my ideal, but that doesn’t keep me from trying again and again.  I know this is not the right way for everyone, but it is for me.  So know yourself!  Be kind to yourself and follow the path that is uniquely yours. Don’t follow the crowd, follow your heart! ❤

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Cartridge pleated baby dress.

HOPE FOR THE NEW YEAR

A new year traditionally brings new beginnings.  My hope for 2017 is to be more creative.  To try projects that I’ve been daydreaming of for years. To let that spark of creativity light all the days of this brand new year!!!

My hope for you is that you will be able to turn some of your long held daydreams into reality in 2017, and that you will be surrounded by those you love and care about!  Try something new!  Happy New Year to us all!!!

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Stray Comments · thank you

My Heartfelt Thanks for Your Kind Messages, Notes & Cards…

www.izannahwalker.com

Many thanks to all of you for your thoughtful notes and expressions of sympathy.  I truly appreciate all of your kind words more than I can possibly say.

 

REMEMBRANCE IS THE SWEETEST FLOWER THAT IN THE GARDEN GROWS…

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Laughter and tears are the lights and darks that make up the patchwork quilt of my life.  These past few weeks have been filled with sunshine and shadows, but most of all love.  Thank you for your friendship.  Plus a huge additional thank you to all of you whose dolls I am working on, your kind understanding has taken a tremendous weight off of my shoulders.

 

BACK AT WORK

While I am not totally back up to my regular pace yet, I am back at work.  So please feel free to call or email me with any questions about your doll orders and classes.  New things have been continuing to happen in my studio.  Yesterday Hannah joined my Izannah Walker doll family.  I already have molds of her in progress, so in the not too distant future I will be making reproductions of her, which will bring the number of original antique Izannah Walker dolls that I can reproduce for you up to ten.

Hannah arrives! www.izannahwalker.com

Hannah has joined my family of antique Izannah Walker originals. www.izannahwalker.com

Hannah the 6th antique Izannah Walker doll in my collection www.izannahwalker.com