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I’m Extremely Honored That I Have Been Juried Into the Early American Life Directory of Traditional American Crafts for the 40th Time

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 ❤

See Me in Print

The December Issue of Early American Life is Here!

Our home is shown on the cover photo of EAL's December 2013 issue.  You can see more of our house and my dolls in the article on pages 20-29.
Our home is shown on the cover photo of EAL‘s December 2013 issue. You can see more of our house and my dolls in the article on pages 20-29.
You can also see my full page ad on page 11 of Early American Life December 2013
You can also see my full page ad on page 11 of Early American Life December 2013.  I have to be the proud mom and say that my son Colin did an amazing job of creating this ad for me!  🙂

post script:  Edyth, Thankful is in the ad on pg. 11.  Patricia, your new doll is also in the ad, both dolls dressed in whites to go with the Christmas color theme.  Charlotte, both of your dolls are in the top row of thumbnail photos in the ad.  Evelyn, your doll is in the top row too.  Mary’s doll is in the third row of thumbnails, along with Edyth’s and Patricia’s dolls again.

Susie, Suzy Belle is in the article on page 20, along with Charlotte’s Savannah and Kathy’s True Blue.  Suzanne there are two photos of Charlcie on page 27.

p.p.s. – I forgot to say that the magazine is currently in the mail to subscribers and will be for sale in shops and on newsstands on 10/22/13…

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Early American Life Directory of Traditional American Crafts

“True Blue” my reproduction Izannah Walker doll pictured in the August 2012 issue of Early American Life magazine. She is shown here with her antique trunk, one of her three extra dresses, her miniature antique tintype photograph, signed copy of the magazine and her Early American Life tag.

I’m extremely honored to have been juried into Early American Life’s 2012 Directory of Traditional American Craftsmen.   This is the 25th and 26th time I have been chosen for the Directory.  This year in the categories of Toys and Dolls and Clothing or Accessories.

I know not everyone is familiar with Early American  Life and their Directory, so here is a copy of the official press release.  The magazine editors wrote  such an elegant  and informative description of the Directory, there is no way I could explain it better.

National Magazine Honors Area Craftsperson

June 2012 – Paula Walton of New Milford, CT won the highest award as a traditional artisan in this year’s Directory of Traditional American Crafts, and her work is showcased in the 2012 August issue of Early American Life magazine.  She ranks top in her field, according to a panel of national experts convened by the magazine.  The experts – curators from such prestigious institutions as the American Folk Art Museum, Frontier Culture Museum, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Hancock Shaker Village and Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, the National Trust, Old Sturbridge Village, Southern Highland Craft Guild, Strawberry Banke Museum, and Winterthur Museum as well as antique dealers, independent scholars, and professional instructors – selected the top craftspeople working with traditional tools and techniques for the magazine’s 27th annual Directory of Traditional American Crafts.  Walton’s handcraft showed mastery of the art form, heritage techniques, and workmanship, according to the judges.

The Directory of Traditional American Crafts is a special listing that appears in the August 2012 issue of Early American Life, a national magazine focusing on architecture, decorative arts, period style, and social history from colonial times through the mid-19th century.  The Directory has been used for nearly three decades by curators at living history museums, owners of traditional homes, and motion picture producers to find artisans to make period-appropriate furnishings and accessories for displays, collections, and use.

“The judges look for authentic design and workmanship, whether the piece is a faithful reproduction or the artisan’s interpretation of period style,” said Tess Rosch, publisher of Early American Life.  “Scholarship, as well as use of period tools and techniques, is particularly valued in this competition.”

One goal of the Directory is to help preserve traditional handcrafts, part of our culture that is rapidly being lost in the digital age.  Many of these skills were passed down from master to apprentice for hundreds of years, but now few new people choose to learn and master them.  “If our traditional arts are lost, we have forgotten a part of who we are as Americans,” Rosch said.

The August 2012 issue of Early American Life, on newsstands June 19th, lists all artisans selected for the Directory as well as contact information for those wanting to own their work.  The Directory layout features lush color photos of many of these artworks photographed at Renfrew Museum and Park in Waynesboro, Pennslvania.

“The Directory is a source for collectors and historic museums eager to own fine handcrafted, period-accurate objects and also a means of supporting those who perpetuate the art forms that are such and important part of our nation’s heritage.” Rocsh said.  To learn more about Early American Life, for subscription information, or to purchase a copy, visit

Early American Life is a bimonthly magazine with a circulation of 90,000.  The magazine was founded in 1970 and is owned by Firelands Media Group LLC, Shaker Heights, Ohio. 

A Mad Scramble

I was thrilled when EAL asked if I could send one of my dolls to Pennsylvania to be photographed.  Unfortunately,  I did not have any unsold dolls available when they asked.  The good news was that I did have several dolls that I was working on at the time, so a wild and intense two weeks of painting and sewing ensued!  I finished True Blue, just in time to send her Express Mail to the photo shoot.  I love this doll!!!  I was sorely tempted to clutch her to my breast and  declare her “not for sale”…  but I have decided that I could have fun spending extra time with her by creating a trunk full of possessions for her to keep in the antique doll’s trunk I found for her in Brimfield, on my May shopping trip.   So True Blue is going to be for sale just as soon as I put the finishing touches on her third and fourth dresses and make her chatelaine.   If you are interested in learning more about her before I get her final photos and write up posted on my website, you may email me or call  860-355-5709.

In reading through Early American Life editor Jeanmarie Andrews’ August column, I learned something that I hadn’t known before.  Jeanmarie states ” It might seem like we pick our favorites to photograph year after year, but we don’t.  Instead we rely on antique dealers and collectors, museum curators and directors who know which colors, designs, dimensions, joinery techniques, and finishes harmonize to produce a masterpiece.”  The Early American Life Directory has been in existence for 27 years and gone through many changes to reflect the mission of the various publishing companies who have owned the magazine during that time.  I’m not quite sure when they changed the method of selecting items for photography, but I will say that it made me even more humbled and thankful that they chose to photograph one of my dolls.

True Blue and a copy of the August 2012 issue of Early American Life that I am putting in her trunk as a remembrance of her journey to Pennsylvania and the time she spent at Renfrew Museum during the EAL photo shoot.

True Blue and her Possessions

I think that I have given True Blue a good start on her hope chest.  She is dressed in a chemise, pantalettes, two petticoats and an indigo print dress.  In her trunk she has three more dresses, a tiny antique tintype photograph, a chatelaine to keep all of her sewing essentials close by and a flag to wave at the 4th of July parade.  She also owns several necklaces to wear on Sundays and to parties, as well as two aprons to keep her clean while doing everyday chores.  All of her clothing and keepsakes fit into her antique trunk.  Her adoption fee is going to be $2900.

If you’d like to add more items, such as additional underwear, dresses, bonnets, etc.  I would be happy to make them for her.  Just inquire at for prices.

May You Live in Interesting Times…

I’ll try to get her dresses finished and get her posted for sale sometime next week, but I can’t promise…  I’m working around a wedding.  One of my sons is getting married on June 30th, so there are only 15 days left on our wedding count down!!!  Not a problem unless you happen to be the mother of the groom who is also the head seamstress for the bridal alterations department, the chief baker of the wedding cake, groom’s cake and an entire tower of tiny heart shaped tarts, and art director in charge of wedding decorations 🙂  I also have to figure out how to get the house cleaned before out of town relatives arrive for the wedding and get my drivers license renewed!!!  Never a dull moment at our house… but at least there is no time to get bored 🙂

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Studio News for August 1st – New Dolls, Ebay Auctions, More…

A family photo of the dolls in my studio this week. Not all of them are fully finished and dressed, but all are currently available for sale. 9/29/11 Update - the doll in the pink bonnet, the doll in the brown and red dress and the doll with the blue body have been sold.

Here is a glimpse of the dolls that I am currently working on.  Email or call me if you would like to see more photos of a particular doll, or would like to ask questions and prices. or 860-355-5709.

SOLD - Thank You!

She has SOLD, thank you for looking.

I got a little carried away when I was listing items and set up twenty five auctions.  I’m selling several antique dolls,  vintage teddy bears and some antique cooking implements.  If you’d like to look at every thing I have listed on eBay, click here.  Most of these auctions have closed, but there are a few still running for Izannah and Spun Cotton Classes.

Do you want to learn how to make reproduction Izannah Walker dolls???  The sign up deadline for my September doll making retreat is approaching fast.  If you can’t come to Connecticut, my class by mail is the next best thing.

My favorite reading this week is the August issue of Antique Doll Collector magazine.  It has a fantastic eight and a half page article about the Izannah Walker Reunion held last November by the Doll Collectors of America.  The article is full of glorious photos of the 31 antique Izannah Walker dolls that attended.  If you don’t already have a copy of this magazine, you need to get one immediately.

Another Izannah Walker article to be on the look out for is one being published in the Christmas issue of Early American Life magazine.  I’ve just finished working on my advertisement for that issue, nothing like thinking of Christmas in July!  I’m very proud to say that I will be in the 2011 Holiday Directory of Traditional Crafts that will also be in the EAL Christmas issue.  Thank you Early American Life!!! This is the 24th time that I’ve been chosen for the Directory 🙂