Friday, 25 February 2011

BJD Confessions

I must confess that I have been a lover of dolls from a very young age. Whilst my sister would shriek at the site of baby dolls, (and still recoils from anything remotely doll-like), I secretly harboured a desire for a baby-born (complete with 'feedable' mouth and nappies that needed changing as a result). Looking back, I feel that I owe some gratitude to my sister as her hatred for these dolls spared me the delights of cleaning up baby mess in those tender years. This privaledge was reserved for my adolescence, where my part-time job in a nursery sated my curiosity as to what I had been missing out on. Nevertheless, my love of dolls was something I harboured throughout my childhood, school life, and university career, and did not revisit until recently.

Since joining the Etsy community, I have come to know some wonderful and inspiring artists who have encouraged me to explore and celebrate the side of myself that I had formerly concealed as 'juvenile'. Part of this exploration involved admitting that I do love dolls, and has evolved into a desire to own as many as possible! The revellation that I am not alone in this pursuit has also been enlightening: I have met some wonderful, artistic doll collectors through the Den of Angels forum!

In this and following posts, I would like to introduce you to the wonderful world of Ball-jointed-dolls, and to share some of the beautiful dolls and doll-related items that have been created by Etsy sellers.

I was looking to buy my first BJD (ball-jointed-doll) with the money I received as a Christmas gift (hoorah) and I really had no idea where to start. Fairyland was recommended to me by an Etsy artisan, and I just fell in love with their dolls! Their pukipuki 'Sugar' was the one that I just HAD to have, she is just too cute! I don't have a picture of her yet as, although I ordered her in December, she has yet to arrive (unfortunately the processing time is quite a wait).

And now a further confession: I have ordered my second BJD! Her given name is 'Lan' and she belongs to a company called Angel of Dream. At 44cm, she is larger than a pukipuki (a wee 4") and I think she is just beautiful. They are both on their way and I can't wait to post pictures of their box openings once they arrive! Any inspiration as to what to name them would be greatly appreciated!

Here is AoD's Lan

Dolls on Etsy

Everytime I browse this intriguing online marketplace I am astonished by the talent that I find. I adore 'Howl' the wolf, who has been made by The Mushroom Peddler. Her little corner of Etsy is a cavern of creative delights!

Another proficient artist of glorious dolls is Garden of Dolls. Her beautiful designs include adorable elf dolls, sultry gothic dolls, and pretty fairy dolls. Below is one of my favourite.

The lady behind Damsel Dolls skillfully customises the make-up of Obitsu dolls. This is very skilful work, and I am intrigued by the beauty of her dolls.

The following doll has been made by Uniquely Yours By Bdent. Brenda Dent is a full-time doll artist been who has been sculpting OOAK (One Of A Kind) dolls in polymer clay since the early 90's. I think her work is just stunning!

I hope that I have suceeded in introducing you to the wonderful world of BJD's, and that you will peruse the shops owned by these fabulous artists! Even if you cannot afford to buy these beautiful works of art, (and do not wish to save every penny you have towards owning one, as I do), I hope that you will enjoy viewing the artistic expression embodied by each piece. I love the photograph opportunities provided by popular BJD's (made by companies such as Fairyland, LUTS, Volks, Angel of Dream, etc), but still love looking at those crafted by Etsy artists. I cannot wait until my dolls arrive, and look forward to taking photographs of them to share!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Allow me to Introduce Clara's Closet Bags!

This is my first ever shop feature, and I cannot think of a lovlier Etsy seller to feature than Sallianne Norelli! She and I met through Etsy-she is the first ever adoptive parent of a Teacup Teddy!

Sallianne Norelli and her mom, MaryAnn started Clara's Closet Handbags in the summer of 2010 as a tribute to Clara, MaryAnn's mother and Sallianne's grandmother. Clara had been a lifelong crafter and everyone in the family prized her creations. When Clara, whose Alzheimer's and kidney failure got the best of her in later years, finally passed away in 2007, the family was left without a creative force. So mom and daughter decided to do Clara proud by creating artsy handbags sewn by hand. They are decorated with vintage accents like buttons or pins from Clara's collection.

The Clara's Closet line then grew to include home decor items like soft pillows. The pillows are called "Pillows with a Purpose" as a portion of the proceeds go to Alzheimer's research. Sallianne then started adding her handmade softie animals to the collection and also vintage finds like perfume bottles and other vintage wares. The selection is always changing.

Sallianne and her son, Joey
Sallianne not only makes gorgeous items, but she blogs too! I had a read of her blog and thoroughly enjoyed it! She certainly has a way with words.
The Clara's Closet Blog celebrates a new artisan or home crafter with each entry. The Norelli ladies both believe in cheering other artists on as well as giving back to the community.
Please visit Sallianne's wonderful shop and show this fabulous Etsy seller the support she deserves. My nan had Alzheimer's, so I think it is wonderful that we have sellers like Sallianne who raise awareness and give support to such charities.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Valentines Discount!!

Happy Valentines everyone!
As a special gift I'd love to offer you a discount in my shop

You lovelies can have 15% off until the end of the week!
Just type in this coupon code at checkout:

Enjoy :-)

Saturday, 12 February 2011

My Little Pony Cherish

I have been working on this little girl lately, and I'm delighted to have finished her!

 Her name is 'Cherish'. I thought it suited her as she is such a feminine little lady, and 'Cherish' strikes me as a very girlie name.

Cherish is a very little lady, measuring approximately 2.5" from her toe to her head (when standing on all fours). She has precious onyx bead eyes, and the softest micro-plush fur and mane.

I hope that you love her. Here is her poem:

Do you like to style your hair?
Curl your lashes? paint your lips?
If so, you need Cherish there
to give you make-up tips!

If you would love to give Cherish a home, you can adopt her here:

If you would like to adopt Cherish, but can't quite afford her yet, I will gladly reserve her for you. I also offer a layaway option :-)
I do this because my little creations cannot be replicated, (even if I try!), and I think it is important that they all go to the people who will love them the most.
That's what makes creating them so fun!
Tiny Teddy Hugs (until next time),
Amy xxx

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Sweetheart Pancakes

A fellow crafter/blogger recently advised me to update my blog reguarly and to blog about anything and everything that I am passionate about. As I developed a lot of intolerances a few years back as the result of stress, experimental cooking has certainly become a daily practice and passion of mine. I love cooking healthy meals for my husband and myself, and thought some of my recipes would be a fun thing to share with you all. I hope you enjoy them!

As Valentine's day is just around the corner, I decided that today's recipe would be for 'Sweetheart Pancakes'. They are 'Sweethearts' because they are a more healthy adaptation of a traditional recipe and, well-they're sweet (and heart-shaped if you can get your mitts on a heart-shaped pancake mould!).

This recipe is wheat free, yeast free, sugar free (bear with me on this one-they are sweet), and is suitable for a lactose-free diet.

As some of the ingredients listed will be new and/or unfamiliar to some of you, allow me to briefly introduce them (and don't panic if you don't know where to find them. They are all available online and at your local health-food store):
Goat's milk and Yoghurt: Goat's milk is a natural alternative to cow milk and can comfortably be consumed by many patients who suffer from cow milk allergies or sensitivity.*
Xyliotol: A wonderful alternative to sugar. Suitable for diabetics, lower in calories than sugar, suitable for thise suffering with a Candida infection. It even promoted healthy teeth!
Buckwheat Flour: Gluten-free, wheat-free alternative flour.
Spelt Flour: A wheat-free alternative flour. Not suitable for those with an intolerance to gluten.
Coconut Oil: The best oil you could possibly use! Virgin coconut oil is one of the few oils that is not damaged when heated to temperatures used in cooking, frying, and baking. It is wonderful for your skin, digestion, and has been associated with weight loss!

...This is an easy recipe, I promise! Just take a breath, recover from information overload, and enjoy :-)

♥ 120g Buckwheat or Spelt Flour (if you find these icky, you can use wheat-flour)
♥ 2 eggs
♥ 200ml goat's milk mixed with 50ml water (you can another type of milk if you prefer)
♥ 3 tsps goat's yoghurt (use probiotic cow's yoghurt if you don't like goat's yoghurt)
♥ A pinch of salt
♥ A pinch of cinnamon
♥ 2 tbsps Coconut oil (and some extra to grease the pan)
♥ Xyliotol and lemon to sweeten

Here we go....

1) Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl. Make a well into this and add the two eggs. Whisk this all together, making sure that you add all of the flour from the sides of the bowl.

2) Keep whisking, adding the salt and cinnamon. Add the milk and water mixture bit by bit. Finally add the yoghurt. 

3) Whisk until you have a smooth batter.

4) Heat a frying pan and melt the oil. Spoon two tablespoons of oil into the batter and mix in.

5) Put a spoonful of batter into your frying pan and 'smooth' out using a serving spoon. If you have a heart-mould, spoon the batter into this (not too thickly now!).

6) Fry until golden and flip (just don't get them stuck to the ceiling!).

7) Serve with a squeeze of lemon and a teaspoon of xyliotol. Happy Valentine's Day!!

*If you have a lactose-intolerance, please consult your doctor before starting to take goat's milk.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Please allow me to introduce Jasper

Hello everyone, today I'd like to introduce you to my new little fellow, Jasper.

Jasper is a first for me in several ways: I've never made a bear with eye-whites before, I've never made a bear from upholstery velvet before, I've never crocheted one of my bears a scarf before, and I've also experimented with the photography (and my light tent) to take Jasper's picture!
So I think he's quite special :-)

As I've already mentioned, Jasper is made from upholstery velvet fabric. He has Admiral Blue suede paws and feet. He has precious onyx bead-eyes and is stuffed with polyfil. I have made him a chunky wool scarf to keep him warm. Jasper measures approximately 4" when standing and 2 3/4" when sitting. He is five-way jointed for great posing!

I hope that you love him too! He is available for adoption here: