Spring is beginning to show up in my neighborhood with budding blossoms and daffodils. Colorado's weather is frequently a roller coaster as the seasons change. In spring we get periods of sunshine followed by wet snow and then summery heat. Because of this the plants take a while to fully awaken.
Since I am hungry for spring color, I embrace the season early on by decorating with spring colors. On Etsy I found quite a few items that would bring that touch of spring indoors. Here are some of my favorites:
Follow the links to see more spring inspiration in the Etsy shops of these talented makers.
Happy St. Patrick's Day from Myrtle and the Garden Party Girl dolls! We hope your day is full of good cheer knowing that spring is just around the corner.
The girls are enjoying mint tea today while modeling new spring coats coming soon to PinkGingerKitty. These handmade bell-sleeved felt coats have a front bow concealing a hook and eye closure underneath. They look lovely with any hat and add instant charm to your doll's wardrobe. These felt coats fit my Garden Party Girl dolls and will be available in a range of colors in the shop on Monday, March 20th.
They are inspired by the ladylike style of Southern Belles from Charlotte, NC to Savannah, GA. Myrtle is planning a trip to the south this spring and wants one in every color!
Nothing goes better with a new coat than a hat and a rope of pearls!
Myrtle gifted each of her guests with party swag: a bag of mint tea and the book "Happiness is..." by Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar. The book details "500 ways to be in the moment" with clever observations and cute illustrations.
From the book, here are moments guaranteed to be happy: watching birds from your window in the morning, spotting the first ladybug of spring, pouring over a map to plan an adventure and planning a big party. The Garden Party Girl dolls love moments like these!
The dolls would like to add one more guaranteed happiness moment: shopping for new clothes at PinkGingerKitty!
May you find plenty of happiness moments this weekend!
You've just bought a wonderful doll and you are in love with her. You want to showcase her in your home or studio and perhaps photograph her. It would be fun to display the doll in a way that builds on her unique qualities, right?
As a doll maker I fall in love with every doll I make and imagine a story to go with them. I love to set up pretty vignettes that honor their best features. One of my favorite ways to display them is by creating a little scene that tells a story. Here are some ways to do this:
Your doll needs a context and possibly a chair or stand, so gather some props. Think about era and color. Is the doll vintage looking? Modern? Bright or soft colored? Sweet or dramatic? Gather items that compliment her look.
I like to use doll furniture, baskets, books, vintage boxes and vases for doll display. You could also display your dolls on doll stands. I don't use stands because my dolls are flexible and I like to show off different poses in my photos.
I collect vintage books in shades of green and blue. My favorite books in this color range are vintage gardening books which I find at thrift shops. Cloth bound books look great together but large paperback books, especially art books, also work.
I pay more attention to color and condition than the book's subject since I don't intend to read them. However I don't collect titles that might detract from the friendly feeling of my dolls. I'd hate to have someone be distracted by titles such as "The Art of War" or "Nerve Damage and its Causes". Then again, if you have a Goth doll collection, those titles might enhance the scene!
If you don't have doll furniture, you can use books and baskets to prop up your dolls. This display was set up using a stack of books in a blue basket to create a bench for the dolls. You could also set your basket upside down on a table or shelf to form a backless bench.
I collect doll furniture whenever I see it at thrift shops and stores like Hobby Lobby. It may be labeled something else, like "spring plant stand" or "candle stand" but look past the label and think about fit. Is the item a good size to perch your doll on or lean against? You can also find doll furniture on Ebay or Etsy. Type "doll furniture for 18" dolls" or "doll furniture, wicker" in the search line. Garage sales, flea markets and antique stores are another avenue for searching.
I prefer light colored or white doll furniture so the dolls are center stage when I put them together. Its simple to use spray paint on wicker or metal furniture, baskets and glass vases. Painted furniture might need sanding down before you can repaint or stain it.
Easter time is a great time to look for baskets at thrift shops. Decide whether you want a handle or not - it can get in the way of some photos but allows you to hang the basket up for display if you have limited space for display. See the basket in the photo below for ideas.
You can set up a doll vignette anywhere. This doll's basket is hanging from pretty hooks in my laundry room. The floral hooks are from World Market, the basket is from the thrift store and the aprons are from the flea market.
Consider changing up your doll occasionally by adding some color, such as a hat in spring or a scarf in winter. You can either make something yourself or look for options online (my shop has lots of options!). A small seasonal change like this can make you fall in love with your doll collection all over again.
This scene uses a shabby chic cage filled with wood excelsior and a silk flower bouquet, a vintage biscuit tin, and a vase of roses, all in colors that complement my doll's spring outfit (find a similar green coat and hat set here). A few pages torn from a thrift shop book on roses and a vintage tablecloth round out the scene.
If you have several dolls you can easily swap out the flowers or the backdrop pictures to take multiple photos of your dolls in this scene.
An old calendar with pictures of flowers or birds would work just as well as these book illustrations. They are temporarily taped to the wall with washi tape. It makes a really pretty backdrop for doll photos which you can then post on social media, or print on postcards or stickers to share with your friends.
I hope you found these tips useful. I'd love to hear how you display your dolls. If you can, send me a link to your photos!
For dolls and clothing accessories similar to those in these photos, please visit my Etsy shop PinkGingerKitty.
This wicker chair was a natural color and dusty when I found it at a thrift store. I gently cleaned it up using damp paper towels, let it dry overnight and spray painted it pink. Now it makes every doll seated on it look special.
Since Valentine's Day is tomorrow Myrtle decided it was time for a "Pretty in Pink" tea party. What is that, you ask? Its a doll tea party where everyone wears as much pink as possible! As soon as the invitations hit their mailbox, Myrtle's friends rushed to shop at Pink Ginger Kitty for pink coats and hats.
Andrea, Birdie, Jemma and Myrtle are wearing many shades of pink in these portrait shots. From their hats and coats to the felt valentine necklaces (Jemma forgot to put hers on), they celebrate the cheerfulness of pink. Is there any better color for chasing away the blues?
The dolls enjoy a bowl of sweetheart candies with their tea. The festive pink honeycomb balls adorning the floor are from Oh Happy Day.
What might you serve at a "Pretty In Pink" tea party? How about rose buttercream and chocolate cupcakes with hibiscus tea? There are many pink foods that could be added such as strawberries and cream, raspberry scones, pomegranate goat cheese on crackers, and pink lemonade. Go ahead and get carried away with your theme - its fun!
Don't forget to invite your dress-up kitties - they like tea parties too!
I hope you're inspired to have a "Pretty in Pink" tea party soon. Your dolls and girlfriends will thank you!
Happy Valentine's Day!
Here's an easy Valentine project you can make this weekend: felt and ribbon heart bracelets! These pretty tie-on bracelets consist of a double felt heart stitched onto a ribbon. If you like you can embellish them even more with a few sequins. They make fun party favors for little girls. Bonus: they double as doll necklaces! Dolls shown here are available in my PinkGingerKitty shop on Etsy.
You need only a few supplies to get started:
2 colors of felt
22" of ribbon per bracelet
Contrasting embroidery thread + a needle
Here's how to make a felt heart bracelet:
Download the free pattern for the HeartsPattern or cut your felt hearts out freehand.
For each bracelet, cut out hearts from two colors of felt, one big heart and one small heart. Layer your felt hearts over the center of your ribbon. I have numbered the photos above for reference so you can follow along.
Your bracelet is now ready to wear!
Package your bracelets for gifting by cutting out two notches the width of your ribbon on a piece of card stock. Tie the bracelet around the card, add a greeting and slip it into a snack bag with some candy. These make adorable party favors!
The Garden Party Girl dolls like posing with them for pictures to put on social media.
The Sweet Friend dolls like adding colored sequins to their felt hearts for a touch of bling.
I hope you are inspired to wear your heart on your sleeve (or wrist) this Valentine's day!
Have a fun weekend.
Dress Up Kitty doll Lulu tried on several necklaces until she found the perfect one to compliment her outfit.
Every artist needs inspiration. We often start our craft out of admiration of artists who's work we love. I fall for handmade toys with unique character rather than the calculated appeal of mass marketed goods. As Austin Kleon says in his book Steal Like an Artist "Nothing is original so embrace influence, school yourself through the work of others, remix and reimagine to discover your own path."
I love looking at whimsical and creative toys on Instagram and Etsy. There are many wonderful artists out there creating beautiful dolls. Some are well known and have large followings (forestcreaturedolls, humbletoys, phoebeandegg, lespetitmains) while others are more obscure.
Here are some of my favorite inspiring doll shops with links so you can go exploring. I could go on and on but its easier if you just go to my Instagram page and see who I'm following.
Note: All photos below belong to the doll makers who took them.
I hope you were inspired by my tour of Etsy handmade toy stores! Stop by my shop if you are looking for cute dolls in fall fashions.
Have a fun weekend.
I love this time of year for its fleeting beauty and outdoor events that celebrate the season. I thought I take you along on a trail walk so you can enjoy it too. These are views from a portion of the South Boulder Creek trail, a mixed use trail for biking, walking and creekside pet play.
My dolls and I love fall antiquing, looking for pieces to add cozy color to our decor. Florence and Poppy are bonding over recent finds with a cup of tea. Do you like the naive lake painting? It was 99 cents at a thrift shop!
Handmade dolls available in my shop, PinkGingerKitty, on Etsy.
Happy weekend, friends!
The weather around here has been lovely as summer turns into fall. There's an abundance of fairs, flea markets, farmer's markets and opportunities to be outside before chilly weather arrives. I thought you might like to see what the dolls have been up to...
Myrtle is watching her "Silver Moon" pumpkins plump up, hoping they will be ready in time for Halloween decorating.
Ellen has started a fall Sketchbook Project with some of her friends.
Poppy is planning a few fall tea parties. She's thinking about tea pairings that go with cinnamon apple cake.
My dolls went to a charity gala last night as table centerpieces. They decorated two tables, with front and back views for everyone.
The movers arrived yesterday from New Jersey with my mother-in-law's furniture so we are in the midst of setting up her assisted living apartment. The facility is lovely with helpful, friendly staff and we are sure she will enjoy living there. This Labor Day weekend will be busy with unpacking and helping her adjust to her new lifestyle. She already loves the mountain scenery and Boulder's foodie culture.
A new handmade Garden Party Girl doll is in the works. Her name is Candice. Candice needs a pretty hat and jacket and a background story to go with her colorful dress. It's made from a piece of designer fabric I found at the thrift store. Her yarn hair is a gorgeous color called "Colonial Pink", which is like an antique rose. The yarn is vintage and came from Art Parts Creative Reuse Center here in Boulder.
I planned to put Candice in my shop today but she won't be ready until next week. Meanwhile you can see her in progress above. Her sweet face features hand-embroidered brown eyes and a pink heart-shaped mouth. Her boldly colored dress has pink, orange, gold, and rust patterned stripes with a lavender leopard print belt and metallic lavender ribbon at her throat.
I have been saving these gorgeous silk remnants for fall because they were too rich for summer clothing. They are remnants of heavy silk twill from a custom necktie shop. Lots of yummy colors! Now that fall is upon us I can add them to my doll clothing mix. I'm still experimenting with them but expect to see hats and accessories with gorgeous accent stripes.