As I sat down this afternoon to answer some inquiries from kind correspondents who are asking about my dolls, it occured to me that perhaps others of you may have similar questions about buying one of my reproductions of Izannah Walker’s beloved pressed cloth dolls.
This is my open reply to all who may be interested…
I would be very happy to place you on my “new dolls” email mailing list if you will send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org. When you are on the list you will receive an email whenever I post a doll for sale.
At the moment I have more custom orders than I can juggle, so I’m not taking any custom orders until I clear away some of my backlog, which is going to take me quite some time.
However, I do continue to make other non-custom reproduction Izannah Walker dolls and post them for open sales. I think the very best way to buy a doll is when you see one that calls to you and tugs on your heart strings, so I do think it is very important to have finished dolls for sale that people can see and fall in love with.
I’ll add you to the email mailing list right away. Don’t be at all surprised if you do not get an email notice immediately. The dolls each take an extremely long time to make, just as they always did when Izannah was making them… I work more or less constantly on them, but it still feels as if each doll takes “forever”. I should probably also mention that once I post a doll or dolls for sale they usually sell very, very quickly. Thank you so much for your interest in my work. It is greatly appreciated.
post script ~ I do have a “Wish List, that helps me decide which dolls to make for open sales… If you have a particular doll or other item that you would purchase if it were available, please leave a comment to add it to the wish list https://asweetremembrance.com/category/wish-list/ . I’ll take “wishes” into consideration when choosing which categories to open up first, when designing new items, and when making dolls for “open shopping” when I post newly made dolls for sale here on my Izannah Walker Journal.
I haven’t sent out a newsletter in quite some time… the one overwhelming thing I most want to say is that I hope you, your families and loved ones are safe and healthy. This has been such a very sad and difficult year for our world.
I debated with myself about whether or not to write my annual Autumn Newsletter, but in the midst of such very unsettled and stressful times I find that I need a few happy, fanciful things to think about. Tiny bright spots that make life feel a bit more normal and remind me of better days. So I decided to go ahead and write, hoping that you might feel the same and be interested in a bit of studio news and upcoming events.
The dolls and I are busy making plans to celebrate Izannah Walker’s 203rd birthday on September 25th. I started writing my Izannah Walker Journal ~ Paula Walton’s Doll-Making Notes blog in January, 2009. The little Izzy’s and I have been celebrating the anniversary of Izannah Walker’s birth on my blog for ten years! Since my first birthday post on September 25th, 2010!
I’m getting a rather late start on preparations this year. I have to admit that since March I have been feeling much too antsy to make dolls… I have needed to do more physical, less detailed work. To be up and moving all the time rather than sitting… I have been throwing myself into taking care of my little remnant of an 18th century farm. My life is going through a lot of changes at the moment and one of the things I am exploring is the feasibility of farming on a very small scale, so I have been growing a few experimental crops and trying out new plants. I’m not at all sure that farming is in my future, but it has made for an interesting, busy, exhausting spring and summer. I have also been concentrating on taking care of my family and making things for them. I have made masks, masks, and more masks. Not nearly as many as some people I know, who have been donating them on a large scale, but I have still made a fair number ~ about 75 so far, with more requested and on my to do list. My concentration on family has included making toys with my granddaughter and sewing clothes for her first year of school.
Now, just finally, I am feeling as if I can return to making dolls, creating spun cotton fancies, and all the other art and handwork that I love. Apparently I am not alone in this, as I have recently been seeing comments and posts from other artists and craftspeople remarking that they too have not been able to work on their art and creations for months…
So please come join me at www.izannahwalker.com on September 25th, 2020 as the dolls and I celebrate Izannah Walker’s 203rd birthday! We will come up with something fun and festive to mark the occasion and I will be introducing my very first reproduction dolls of Sarah Alice, the latest antique Izannah Walker doll to join my Izannah family. There will be more details to come posted on www.izannahwalker.com , https://www.facebook.com/ASweetRemembrance , and https://www.instagram.com/asweetremembrance/?hl=en
In the meantime, if you would like a bit of extra Izannah Walker fun, you may want to watch a few of my videos on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/asweetremembrance/videos .
Other Studio Happenings
I am very, very honored to once again have been selected by Early American Life as one of their top traditional craftsmen in 2020. This marks the 41st time I have been juried into their prestigious Directory of Traditional Craftpersons. One of my dolls was featured in their August 2020 issue.
Both the Spun Cotton Ornament Class and Izannah Walker Doll Making Class member help sites have moved to private facebook groups. If you are a member of either class and would like an invitation to the group please email me. You must be a member of facebook to use the private facebook group.
In Closing Thank you all for your interest in my work for all these years. I have enjoyed getting to talk or correspond with so many of you! Knowing you has enriched my life. I hope that I have been able to add just a bit of fun, whimsy and knowledge to yours!
I’d like to leave you with this recipe for Birth-day Pudding. It is the recipe that the dolls and I baked for our first Izannah Walker Birthday Party in 2010, and what we will be making again to celebrate this year. It is very easy and quite delicious! You don’t even have to be a doll lover to enjoy it ~ lol!
Wishing you and safe and happy autumn!
Butter a deep dish, and lay in slices of bread and butter, wet with milk, and upon these sliced tart apples, sweetened and spiced. Then lay on another layer of bread and butter and apples, and continue thus till the dish is filled. Let the top layer be bread and butter, and dip it in milk, turning the buttered side down. Any other kind of fruit will answer as well. Put a plate on the top, and bake two hours, then take it off and bake another hour.
This receipt (aka recipe) is from Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt-Book by Catherine E. Beecher. Catherine Esther Beecher was born in 1800 in East Hampton, Long Island. She founded the Hartford Female Seminary in 1823 as well as other schools for young women in Ohio, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. She wrote A Treatise on Domestic Economy (1841) and Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt-Book (1846).
After buttering my dishes I dusted them with sugar, before layering in the bread and butter.
I cut the crusts off my bread, as the pudding was for a special occasion, but you certainly don’t have to. I saved the crusts as a treat for the wild birds in my yard. You may also save them to make stuffings, bread crumbs, or croutons.
I chose cinnamon, mace and nutmeg as my spices.
I baked my doll sized pudding in a custard cup, which would also be nice if you want to bake yours in individual portions.
I preheated my oven to 350 degrees and baked my puddings for 15 minutes, then I reduced the oven temperature to 250 degrees and continued baking for the remaining 2 hours and 45 minutes. I removed my doll size pudding from the oven after 30 minutes of total baking time. Your baking time is going to depend a lot on the size of your dishes and the thickness of your pudding, so check your oven fairly frequently. It’s also a good idea to put a cookie sheet under your dish, because my pudding bubbled over as it was baking.
Wishing you all a very Happy May Day, from the studios at Paula Walton’s A Sweet Remembrance ❤
Here is the program that I did for the Beyond All Limits Virtual Doll Convention that is being held right now on facebook. All the dolls were very excited to have virtual visitors come for tea ❤
I hope you will enjoy it!
Do you know about the Virtual Doll Conventions that Rachel Hoffman has created on facebook? If not you have been missing something wonderful. Some of you may remember that I have participated in previous VDCs. What you may not have heard about is that Rachel has put together a wonderful free convention that begins next week, as her way of giving something to everyone in the doll world, at a time when we all need to have a break from worry, stress and bad news. ❤
So all of the little cloth girls and I would like to invite you to join the convention, it’s FREE all you have to do is register. Then come for a virtual visit to my front parlor, where we will sit together and I will tell you a tale about Izannah Walker and her dolls. We’ll also talk a bit about mid-19th century clothing and undoubtedly a few other things as well, just as we would if you came to call in person. ❤
Click here to register – Virtual Doll Convention Registration. It is completely FREE! The convention is held entirely on facebook, however if you don’t use facebook you will still be able to see the videos on YouTube, but you will miss out on some of the fun downloadable souvenirs and the watch parties.
We’ve come to the very last day of my Izannah Walker Birthday Celebration ❤ What I had originally planned for today was to introduce you to the finished dolls I’ve been making especially for this birthday week. It seems that the dolls and life in general have other plans. That happens sometimes, so instead today is going to be another look at work in progress. 🙂
You’ll be able to look back at my earlier WIP post, from a few days ago, and see how the dolls have changed as more layers of paint and additional features and details have been added. Once all that troublesome wet paint finally dries, I’ll be able to stitch all their body parts together, add their 2nd skins and move on to getting them dressed. ❤
At this point you are probably asking yourself “so when are they going to be finished?” Good question! I’ve decided that I’m really very bad at estimating that ~ lol! I honestly thought that they would be finished this week… Silly me!
If you received a copy of my Autumn Newsletter, then you know that I’m switching from “Third Thursdays” to all “Pop-Up Shops” for the foreseeable future. I do love the niceness and neatness of having a consistent day each month where you can expect to see new things for sale, but I also love the spontaneity of surprise Pop-Up Shops ❤ . So… this just means that I can start the new round of Pop-Up Shop days in a big way, with all of these sweet boys & girls!!!
If you are on my “New Dolls” email list, I will always send you a little notification to let you know when the dolls are being posted for sale. If you aren’t on the list and want to be, send me an email at email@example.com and I’ll add you. This is a separate list from my Newsletter address list. I also post an announcement on facebook whenever I have dolls for sale and I’ll start adding Pop-Up Shop notices on Instagram and Pinterest as well. Obviously if you subscribe to this blog you’ll get a notification, and my blog posts are supposed to automatically generate a tweet on twitter, though I haven’t checked on that for a while… if I can remember what my twitter password is I’ll go take a look and see if that is still working 🙂
In the meantime, if one of these dolls is tugging at your heart and saying “I am yours…”, you can contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org. At this point they are all $1250, which includes free shipping within the US. Once I have them dressed the price might be slightly higher on some of them if I decide to do very elaborate clothing or add extras, such as aprons. The twins, Peter & Paul, are only going to be offered as a set ~ so the pair will be $2500.
Making Dreams Come True…
Izannah Walker dolls have been my dream for a bit more than 30 years… the dream started when I happened to see an Izannah Walker doll pictured in a country decorating magazine. She was sitting next to a Christmas tree amongst an armful of other antique dolls… I just thought “THAT Doll!!!” There was just something about the way that doll looked. I could not stop thinking about her! To start with I didn’t even know that she was an Izannah Walker doll, since the photo caption didn’t include that information. Eventually I would see another Izannah Walker doll pictured in a room setting in Early American Life. Thankfully this time the doll was identified.
My dream had a very tiny beginning and has been oh so slow in the making. It took me a very long time in the beginning to even learn anything at all about Izannah’s dolls. At that point I never thought I would even be able to see one in person, much less own one.
Slowly my dream shifted and I began working towards making enough money to buy an Izannah Walker doll. Once I finally accomplished that goal, my dream changed a bit more and I passionately wanted to learn how Izannah made her dolls and to try making a similar doll myself! It’s a good thing that I am stubborn! Stubbornness helps! Especially during the ten years it took me to finally figure out how Izannah had made her dolls and to eventually be able to make a close approximation! Since then I’ve continued to work on and refine that process, until I can now make historically accurate reproductions.
There are times in our lives when I think we need to be our own fairy Godmothers! ❤ We can’t wait for someone else to make our dreams come true. So if you have a dream, doll related or not, I want to encourage you to try to make it happen!!! Working towards your dream will be a rewarding, though sometimes frustrating experience! Your dream might wind up changing along the way, and that’s OK too. Sometimes I settle for smaller, tinier versions of my original dreams, and you know what? Those little bitty bits of my original dream make me incredibly happy! Occasionally, with dreams like my Izannah Walker dream, I surprise myself & my dream becomes so much more than I ever thought it could be… ❤
I can’t help you with all of your dreams, but if you too have an Izannah dream, then I would be happy to try to help you make it come true!
My Izannah dreams have been helped along the way by so many people. I have wonderful friends who support, encourage and inspire me! I obviously have the best customers in the world, I’ve met so many fantastic people while selling dolls and teaching classes, and made some lovely friendships. I also have a very tolerant family, my three sons are no doubt very tired of hearing so much about dolls, but they don’t complain and are willing to listen to me prattle on about this doll thing and that… which is just one of the things I love about them. I even have one little family member, who for the moment at least, appears to love dolls as much as I do! She told me the other day that my Izannahs “need a daddy and a brother”. A kindred spirit, as I was already in the midst of making a big bunch of boys!
So thank you for being you! Thank you for your interest in my work and dolls! I hope I can inspire you like you inspire me!
Just a note about two little things that happened after I had written the draft of this post….
The first is that I saw a wonderful documentary film the other night, The Biggest Little Farm. It is beautiful, fascinating, and oh so very inspiring! The dream the film maker had of being able to farm the way farming used to be and the story of how they created their farm is incredible! If you need a huge dose of inspiration, this is a great movie to watch. ❤
The other little thing is a comment I received early this morning on one of the videos I posted this week on YouTube. ” Just delightful! Just “discovered” your site! Now a subscriber, anxious for future videos! You inspire me. I repair vintage bisque and composition dolls and have hit a wall with dolls stacking up to repair and redress. I think I have got the bug again thanks to you!” ❤ So I guess this inspiration thing is working. 🙂 We are all inspiring each other! I think that is wonderful!!!
Hello! We are back again on this lovely Saturday morning to welcome you to my painting and sculpting studio, where I will be giving you a guided tour of the Izannah Walker doll house that I created.
You may have noticed that in the videos from this week I am talking to you just as I would if you happened to drop by my studio for a visit. Think of them as a bit of a one sided chat 🙂 None of them is scripted, so I occasionally correct myself, or accidentally mention something twice, as I did in this video… I do that in person too! 🙂 lol
The dolls and I hope you enjoy exploring their home from top to bottom and that you have a lovely weekend ❤
My Izannah Walker Birthday Week Celebration continues tomorrow through Tuesday, October 1st with something new to see here each day ❤
I hope you have been enjoying my Izannah Walker birthday week activities so far ❤ Today I thought I’d invite you all into my studio for a look at the dolls I am making for this year’s birthday party. All the little antique Izzies are very excited to see their newest brothers and sisters coming to life 🙂 They love showing off the “babies” in the family!
We looking forward to seeing you tomorrow as our Birthday Celebration continues here on http://www.izannahwalker.com September 25th ~ October 1st, 2019 ❤
I’m so pleased to announce that I have been juried into the Early American Life Directory of Traditional Craftsmen for the 40th time! It’s an incredible honor to be included with such a prestigious group of artisans. Thank you Early American Life!
It’s been a busy summer here, so I’m a bit later than usual in mentioning the Craftsman Directory. I’m sure you all know how that goes… but today I am slowing down a bit and spending the afternoon reading in honor of Book Lovers Day. I hope you are all having a wonderful summer and enjoying a few long, lazy, laid back days filled with dolls, good books and dear friends ❤