Today, once again, holiday preparations have been underway in the doll’s house. I can hear all of the sweet Izannah sisters chattering gaily, rushing around their house preparing everything just so on this 5th day of December. The dolls are clearly just as excited about this Christmas as they were about each of their very first ones, now more than a century and a half ago… This afternoon they cleaned and tidied their kitchen, adding boxwood sprigs to the mantle over the hearth. As dusk began to fall, they lit two candles on their Advent wreath, which they made using clippings from the garden and a great deal of madder dyed ribbon. Afterwards they carefully lined up their shoes by the fireplace so that Saint Nicholas could fill them with treats when he comes to call in the middle of the night…
Meanwhile, as the dolls have been keeping themselves well occupied, I have been steadily working away. Yesterday I painted deeper shades of color on the six new little doll sisters that I am slowly bringing to life. The poor dears are now in their “ugly duckling” phase, where I fear only a mother could love them. So gawky and awkward looking, with their inner beauty hidden away by translucent coats of streaky, uneven looking paint! It is a time for courage, and faith that everything will be alright in the end.
After all six were painted, I very quietly tip-toed out the door (so that I wouldn’t wake the napping little cloth girls) and walked through the farmyard to the sewing studio. I spent all the rest of Saturday sewing arm, after arm, after arm!
Today I was back to painting, and am happy to say that all of the new dolls are looking somewhat better with the addition of another coat of paint! They still need many more very then coats of their “flesh” tones before I will be able to start painting their features and hair, but such care is well worth the time involved.
I dared not step away from the doll’s house today, as I knew the sisters would be lighting candles! I hope to be able to trim and turn all of the many arms this evening, and perhaps I will even be able to stay awake long enough to begin stuffing and stitching a few fingers! Though I should try not to stay up too late, as the dolls will no doubt be up exceedingly early in the morning to see what Saint Nicholas has left them!
The little cloth girls were very busy today. In a flurry of Christmas spirit they went up to the attic of their very tall house, unpacked all of their Christmas decorations, and carried them down to the parlor! A great deal of extremely animated conversation was shouted back and forth throughout the doll’s house. Christmas is definitely on it’s way!
… and where was the dollmaker you ask, while all of this frenzied activity was taking place in the doll’s house? I was very quietly and contentedly working away in a corner of the studio, creating new dolls especially for the holidays! Making dolls for Christmas always brings it’s own special kind of magic. There is an element of the time tested tradition of creating handmade presents for loved ones, the hope of making someone’s Christmas dreams come true, and the fun of getting to be a part of “Santa’s Workshop”.
I hope you will be able to come back and visit here at my Izannah Walker Journal this month, to follow along with all of our Christmas preparations, celebrations, and joys! Wishing you all a beautiful, love filled December ❤
It’s been a very busy Saturday here in the doll’s house. All the little cloth girls were up very early, excitedly chattering away about who they needed to take a May Basket to, what to put in the baskets, and most importantly ~ how to keep from being seen after they left the basket on the doorstep and knocked on the door!
First things first… Tilly Lamb, Sarah Alice and Izzybelle volunteered to arrange the flowers and fill the May Baskets. Little Izzybelle even offered to tuck in extra Happy May Day “wishes” from her big jar of dandelion wishes ❤
Some of the other girls decided to go out for a walk around the gardens and the farm to enjoy the bright sunny morning. On their walk they discovered quite a bit of new growth popping it’s heads up everywhere they looked! How exciting!!! Naturally when they saw that the seeds they had sown in the field last autumn were finally growing they knew that they would need to spend some time tending the field today too.
After their farm chores were finished, Charlcie, Tilly Lamb, Zanna, Isabeau, Ismay, Sarah Alice, and Izzybelle loaded their wheelbarrow with May Baskets and called to the dogs, so that they could finally go deliver the baskets to their dearest friends and neighbors.
At the end of the day the tired but happy little Izzys came back home to have the warm cozy supper that Eliza Jane, Isane, and Hannah stayed home to prepare…
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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, email@example.com. 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!!!
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’ve been working away here in my studios, preparing for one of my favorite times of the year, my annual Izannah Walker birthday celebration. It is always a special event here in the doll’s house, as the dolls and I make time to simply play and enjoy the very special dolls that Izannah Walker created.
My Izannah birthday celebration changes a bit from year to year, but always features my collection of antique Izannah Walker dolls, plus some of the dolls I reproduce from her originals.
This year there will be a bit of make believe, a scoop of education, a cupful of beautiful photos, and a pound of fun, all stirred up with a pinch of magic! … oh yes, and cake, lots and lots of cake! ❤ Introductions to some of the new dolls I’m making, just for this celebration, will also be sprinkled in throughout the week, just like decorations on top of a birthday cake ❤
So please come visit everyday next week as the dolls and I share our birthday party with you!
As many of you probably know, I’ve been busy working on reproducing a very special Izannah Walker doll to coincide with the June Virtual Doll Convention
Here is a tiny update on how my first reproductions of Charlcie are coming along…
The two part molded cloth heads have been joined together, then sewed onto a fabric shoulder covering, which was then attached to the doll’s torsos. As of late yesterday afternoon they have had four very thin layers of oil color applied to their heads and shoulders, and have the color blocked in on their eyes, cheeks and eyebrows. None of the fine details have been painted on their features yet. Painted curls and three more layers of paint on all the “skin” areas still to go! ☺️
I’m very happy to be one of the sponsors for the June Virtual Doll Convention. If you’d like to know more about the convention click here: