Back in July I had finished this beautiful doll and wanted to write a blog explaining more about this art form called reborning. However as my last blog stated the birth of my precious granddaughter had me distracted and I just didn’t get the chance until now. Perhaps this sweet doll just wanted a little more time here with me before heading home to a forever home! Plus it turned out so perfect that I wanted to give her a proper photo shoot!
First let me state that this beautiful doll is the first ever reborn kit released portraying a baby with Achondroplasia Dwarfism. As you will see the head is larger and the limbs are shorter than a typical newborn baby. From the moment this kit was released I fell in love with it.
Now for those not familiar with reborning, we begin with blank vinyl kits, so the features are already there. This kit was originally sculpted by the incredibly talented artist Vincenzina Care. From the original clay sculpt a factory creates the kits. Some kits like this one are limited edition. This kit has now been sold out. My job as a reborn artist is to paint the doll with many layers of translucent paint to give it that realistic skin tone appearance. You will see just like a newborn, this sweet one also has the skin mottling we often see on babies. Once the painting is done I then seal it with my special blends of matte and satin varnish. Next is rooting the hair. This is how I learned to work with felting needles. I use a 46 gauge crown felting needle. I root 1 to 2 hairs at a time from the cut end of the mohair in a directional pattern in order to achieve that sweet newborn swirl. Next is glossing the lips, eyes and nails. And last is assembling the doll, first I weight it paying close attention to where I put the glass beads for weighting, so the end results is the doll feeling like a real baby when its held. The head even needs supported like a real newborn.
These dolls were my first venture into the art world. I started to create them 16 years ago. When I began my goal was to be able to teach myself to be good enough so that I could offer affordable memorial dolls to other mothers that had also experienced a loss of a baby like I had many years ago. Very quickly after my first two dolls sold I began to receive custom orders for memorial dolls. For the next 14 years the majority of my work was then focused on memorial dolls, and it truly was an honor. But last year as my life changed with the coming of my granddaughter, I made the hard decision to stop taking custom orders so that I could just freely create from my heart. And to explore other types of art, like my spirit dolls. I am sure in time I will once again open up to custom orders but for now I will continue with just creating when I have time and listing the dolls then on Etsy.
Again for those that are not familiar with life like dolls like this, they are not for children. Unless of course you have someone like myself that can do yearly makeovers. These dolls are true works of art and with to much play the hair will fall out and the vinyl will begin to shine. They also are not cheap, materials alone are so costly and then the time to create just one doll is at least 45 hours. Creating these special babies are a true labor of love. Even more so with my work, because I also knit and crochet their outfits and toys that they are sent home in. These dolls are meant for the collector, or like I mentioned above for a grieving mother that wants something special to remember their angel by. Some folks see that as unhealthy, but I can assure you, as someone that not only has a memorial doll of my son, but has also made over 150 memorial dolls, they are not used as a replacement, instead like a 3 dimensional picture of our babies. With that said, I like many women also love to just collect these gorgeous works of art. Men have their hobbies, like trains, cars, sports, action figures, etc. So why can’t we women also have hobbies and collections? My doll room is my favorite room of our home, seeing the beautiful artwork just brings me so much joy.
So if your ever interested in perhaps adopting one of my beautiful reborn dolls sign up for my mailing list and you will be one of the first to know when one is listed. This sweet girl will now be listed on Etsy, and if you by chance need a payment plan, just send me a message and we will make arrangements.
I can't believe it's been 5 months since my last blog post. My first grandchild was born and August and life has been beautifully busy since. Our sweet Mileena made her entrance into this world on August 5th, 2023.
Between my weekly visits and making things for her for Christmas my other artwork was set aside. And then we also added in me knitting her baptism dress, so my hands have been busy. But I must say I'm so very excited to see her in her beautiful dress tomorrow for her special day.
She has been such a special blessing for our family. I was so excited to be an Oma for the first time this Christmas that I decided to host our family Christmas Eve party. We had about 35 people here at our home and it was incredible. I know she will not remember it, but it will always be a wonderful memory for me.
I have been blessed to experience so much with my granddaughter already and we are just beginning. This week her mommy went back to work and I started my two day a week babysitting. It was so much fun to have her the entire day. Thankfully mother nature was kind and made sure it didn't snow on my two days, since my travel is about an hour each way.
She is already showing such an incredible personality, very independent, happy and bright. She started to roll over this month. The other day she was trying to hold her bottle and her hand coordination is absolutely incredible. Perhaps we will have another artist in the family one day.
I will be adding pics of some of my creations that I have made for her, but for now I'll share a picture of her dress.
When I began this project I had no actual vision in mind, instead I set off to see if I would be able to create a bigger and posable doll. And as she took shape her spirit just started to jump out at me. I kept seeing pictures on the internet of a part beast, part woman, gentle, yet strong, nurturing and oh so protective. Flidais was determined to come to life before my eyes and its going to be hard to part with her too, because I have fallen so in love with her. From her captivating eyes all the way down to the laces in her shoes, no detail was left unnoticed. I’ve combined many of my talents to create her, from needle felting, wet felting, crocheting, knitting and even the photography, my creative mind just couldn’t stop when it came to her.
Flidais stands 16 inches tall, holding her I feel like a little girl again walking around with my new doll. I even had to take her to my son’s house to show them her in person, she’s just that impressive. As I was finishing her up I kept getting visions of her reading a book with her fox friend, so I decided to create a little book and a special little briefcase for her to carry it home in.
Flidais will come her with her beautiful shaw, a fox friend, her little briefcase and book. You will have so much fun placing her in your home in all of her different poses. Of course as with all of my art, she isn’t a toy, she is a collectible, one of kind work of masterpiece. She can be handled, but not played with.
I can’t begin to tell you how many hours I have spent on creating her, she started with a wire armature, then I began to sculpt her body and head. Her hair alone took hours and her face was redone at least three times before I finally felt it was perfect. Her dress is permanently attached to her, but her shawl can be removed and her hair can be untied and restyled slightly if you would like.
Unlike my other spirit dolls she does not have a bundle of herbs in her belly, with the wire armature it just made it too hard, and I wanted to focus on her outside appearance more than her spiritual aspects. However let me just say Flidais’ spirit will bring you joy, her face just draws you in and when you pose her she seems to come to life.
I found a wonderful article about the Goddess Flidais here, and I truly feel what is written is captured in this doll.
This sweet girl is very much a wild child. She plays among the wild flowers, looks for fairy’s under the mushroom caps, talks to the squirrels and rabbits, listens to the trees and kisses a frog! She is a free spirited enthusiastic little girl that jumps in the mud and dances in the ran. You will often see her skipping home excited to tell you all about her incredible adventures. One’s I’m sure she would like to take you on too!!!!
This wild little girl is very dear to my heart, there is something so very special about her. She began with her sacred herb bundle consisting of mistletoe, mint, sage, slippery elm bark, frankincense and ginger root. Mistletoe brings forth its beautiful energy of love, hope and friendships, as you can see The Wildling can make friends with every thing, including a frog. Mint gives this doll personal strength and energy, I believe you can truly feel that in her appearance. Sage connects her to the spiritual realm, which will help her to aid you in your own connection to spirit and your intuition. Slippery elm bark not only is a protective herb it also halts gossip, she wants to teach you to be carefree and not to worry what others may think. Frankincense not only brings healing with its energy, but also dispels negativity, let this little one show you true joy, while also deflecting any negative energy around you. And last is ginger root, which brings strength to the body and mind, so that you will have the energy to embark on many adventures with your Wildling.
It was interesting how this little one came to life. I started with making a head that came out a little smaller than my normal heads and as I looked I it I got this clear vision of a wild little girl holding a frog. Now this imagine was rather intimidating because I wasn’t sure I could actually create a frog. But she guided me the entire time and I think her frog came out perfectly. I fell in love with the green merino wool that I used for her dress, not only is it absolutely beautiful, green itself brings forth the energy of nature, growth, wellbeing and hope, all the things I wanted someone to feel when looking at her. The bottom of her dress has magickal mushrooms, just like the ones she finds in the forest when she’s looking for her fairy friends and purple wild flowers. She holds a rosebud from my own garden dried last month just for her. Her gorgeous hair has beads strung into a strand of it and is tied back to keep it from getting in her face as she explores. And her frog buddy clings to her and looks upon her with complete adoration. (Fun facts frogs are incredible spirit animals because they are walkers between two worlds - water and earth.)
I hope this little one brings you as much joy as she has brought me, I’m so excited to see who will be the one to give her a forever home. It will be hard to see her go, but also so much fun to share her joy.
She is one that loves deeply and with that she can also feel the emotions of those she cares about completely. To recharge she needs to run free in the forest barefoot, so she can ground herself to the Earth that she adores. She is one with nature and sees the beauty even in the creatures that scare most. She is the wild one. Often misunderstand, but those that know her, adore her.
The spirit of this dolls pretty much just happened. She was wanting to be brought to life. And all of her has so much meaning. Beginning with her sacred herb bundle inside her belly (pic below). When I began to look for the perfect herbs I received a clear message they should all come straight from this land where she has been created. Acorns had just fallen from the storm, so I collected one for her from the big Oak tree out back. I also found a small twig from the maple tree, then I took the herbs I had just dried a few weeks back to complete her bundle. They were comfrey leaves and flowers, mint, and rose petals. Everything within her bundle freshly grew this season. Acorns bring the energy of growth. Maple brings love, and longevity. The comfrey flowers and leaves bring in protective energy, and also the power to overcome obstacles. Mint connects her to the cycles of life, death and rebirth. And the rose petals bring in the essence of passion and love.
Her beautiful peaceful, petite face just took form right before my eyes. The crescent moon on her head is a symbol of her being the master of time and a reminder that her spirit is timeless. The painting on her face symbolizes how she is connected to her primitive instincts. Her hair is beautiful, yet unruly, much like she is. And her crown is a symbol of femininity.
She has no set style. She doesn’t follow the social norms. She is her own unique wild self and enjoys being just that. I dressed her in light purple to bring out the essence of her light-hearted, passionate and fun nature. And when you look closely at this wool you will see the many beautiful multi-colored threads through it. The mushrooms on her dress shows the connection she has with all of nature and mushrooms themselves bring good health and good luck. And last is her gray cape, this is a symbol that even a wild woman can be sophisticated. It brings the balance in her beautiful personality.
Last is the heart that she holds upon her own heart. Within the heart is a beautiful mix of flower petals, a reminder of just how pure and beautiful her heart truly is. The stone on her heart is a Pink Girasol, this stone activates the Heart Chakra, it expands the aura and brings a deeper connection and communication with the Divine. It brings the energy of love into your life as well as peace and tranquility. And the rays around the stone are a reminder to always allow the heart to shine through. Even when your feeling like an outcast or judged by others as the wild woman often is.
She is ready to be the reminder to someone special, to let that wild woman within you break free. And that when the heart is pure, your beauty shines from within.
She is the wise woman, the one that is all knowing. She will guide you in all spiritual realms and provide you with the insight that only a wise woman is capable of knowing.
This doll was the results of the 4th lesson from the Sacred Familiar course I’m currently taking. For this lesson we were allowing the spirit of the doll to weave her face to life. I completely allowed the spirit of this doll not only to show me her face, but also to guide my hands with every part of her, including the colors she wanted to be placed on her.
Very early on she made me aware of the fact she wanted to be blindfolded. By covering her eyes she is able to tap into her intuition on a deeper level, a lesson she wants to teach to others. It was also a strong sign from the dolls spirit to use my own intuition in all aspects of her creation, beginning with her sacred herb bundle in her belly (picture below). I began with mugwort, collected last year from my medicinal herb garden. Mugwort encourages flow, opens channels in the body systems and in our energy bodies. It cleanses, protects and heals. The next is worm wood, this herb increases psychic powers and is a great help in divination. Then a Bay leaf which is also known for is power to help with psychic abilities, which seems like the perfect goal with this spirit doll. White Oak bark is also included for its calm and peaceful energy. Sandalwood chips to ward off any negative energy, promote healing both emotionally and physically and enhance meditation. Blessed Thistle for its help with communication with the spirit world, and its joyful vitality. And last is a Shamanic Blend of sage, tobacco, cedar and sweetgrass, this blend was used as an offering of gratitude to the spirit of the doll.
Now let's get into the meaning of her beautiful dress. I started with the gorgeous moss green color, this color is known for growth and renewal.. In the center of her chest is blue howlite crystal. This stone contains very positive and bright energy. It aids in interpreting things in a positive easy way, raises awareness levels and increases daily well-being.
And last is the stunning Luna Moth carefully created on her dress. I allowed the dolls spirit to guide my hands with the colors that felt right. Although its not you actual Luna Moth color, as the dress color itself truly is a perfect color for a Luna Moth. I feel the colors created the perfect picture and energy for this doll. The Luna Moth, is all about hope and new beginnings. The Luna Moth and Howlite Crystal truly compliment each other in aiding the dolls owner to step into their light, and allow for renewal.
The Visionary Doll is ready to bring all this beautiful energy to her forever home. She will guide you in your life, aid you in starting something new, sit with you during meditation and enhance your visionary abilities.
She who connects us both deep within the Earth through her roots and high up in the Heavens with her branches. She is the portal to the spiritual realms, the tree of life. She is the source of life, a force that connects all lives, or the cycle of life and death itself. She is here to bring healing to whomever feels drawn to her. A teacher of self love and firm boundaries.
Mother of Magic is my 3rd project in the Sacred Familiar Doll course that I’m currently working through. As soon as I began to read through the lesson I started to envision her. She was a strong force wanting to be born. And once I did the lessons meditation I had a completely clear vision of how to bring her to life.
She began with her sacred bundle inside her belly, filled with yarrow for healing and love. Lavender for serenity and devotion. Chamomile for peace and calmness. And Sage to connect to the spiritual realm and enhance intuition.
I wasn’t sure on how to create her branches at first and if my idea would actually work, but it went so smoothly. They sit upon her head perfectly with her hair wrapped around to hold them snuggly in place. Her roots on her dress and sleeves were time consuming but so very worth it. They depict how she connects us to all of things. And she offers you the beautiful little acorns that were gifted to her by the big oak tree in my back yard. Just as I was working on her there was a storm and the tree dropped a few branches, the acorns are still small and green, but they go so perfectly with her.
Last is the adorable surprise that rests upon the Mother’s back, her sweet little sapling. The little one also has a sacred bundle of the same herbs as mother. Wrapped in a multicolored merino wool. This little one came to life so simply, and the pair are just breath taking together.
May you find peace and love as you look upon them, I just know they will one day bring great healing to someone special.
This gorgeous doll has been in the works for quite some time. For some reason I set her to the side when she was almost finished and just never got back to her until yesterday. Her little bouquet of dried roses sat on my work station for what felt like forever. I just couldn’t decide exactly how I wanted her to hold them and needed to finish the detail in her sleeves. She was started before I began making the sacred belly bundles, so there are no herbs or crickets within her. But she is still full of so much meaning and beauty.
I feel she is the perfect reminder to take the time for yourself to feel beautiful. Wear the beautiful bright colors. Put on your jewelry, and buy yourself some flowers. And just like her, add a little sparkle to your everyday life.
I was truly in love with the glitter in the multicolor merino wool used for her skirt. It’s a superfine wool and I really wanted the colors to stand out on their own, so I didn’t want to needle felt it to much to the point they would just begin to blend together. So instead I needle felted the top and bottom of the wool and allowed it to stay at its natural texture on the actual skirt. For some reason braids were just calling me with this doll, so first I attached one to her curly locks and then I made the braided belt. And when there was wool left from her skirt I decided to braid that too and drape it around her delicate shoulders. Her hair is naturally curly wool locks with hints of purple and pink through them. I’m a sucker for curls and think her hair is absolutely stunning.
When I finally finished her yesterday I just sat and stared at her, she truly is a beautiful doll, a pure spirit of beauty and love and I’m sure she will bring that energy into your home if you decide she is meant for you.
Oceanna has been such a joy to bring to life. When I began creating her, I had nothing specific in mind. I just knew I wanted to try my hand again at facial features. I allowed the spirit of the doll to guide me in the entire process, and it truly was an amazing experience.
As her face came to life, she began to take on a personality so very unique. I was guided to try my new dark blue wool on her eyelids and I knew then her theme was meant to be the sea. That small little feature was the one that showed her pure spirit. Very quickly I began to envision an ocean landscape being created on her dress, a dress that still was not even started and I knew she needed long flowing sleeves, but was still unsure if I could create my vision.
I then went to my apothecary and intuitively picked out herbs that just felt right to make her bundle that would be nestled in her belly. A picture of her herb bundle is at the bottom of this post. It consists of the following; mugwort, white pine bark, orange peel, juniper, ash leaf and ginger root. Each of these herbs have such beautiful spiritual meanings. Mugwort is one of visionary and its helps you find a greater self expression and a deeper awareness of self. White pine bark is a symbol of great peace, much like the ocean brings to so many. Orange peel helps to remove negativity and brings in prosperity. Juniper adds in purification and its spirit teaches us to stand our ground. Ash leaf helps with creative expression. And ginger root connects us to the spirit world. The essences of these herbs, along with Oceanna’s own beautiful spirit will definitely bring with her new owner healing, strength, connection and peace.
Once her bundle was formed her body started to appear. The ocean scene just seemed to happen all on its own. At first I didn’t have a sun on her, but I woke in the middle of the night knowing the next day I just needed to add the beautiful rays of the sun. Then I went through my craft room finding the perfect little things to adorn her with. The shell and stars are so very perfect and the blue beads on her dress just make her sparkle. The pearl represents purity and the stone on third eye is a blue chalcedony, which is a powerful healing stone that balances the mind, body and spirit. Removing negative energy to allow positive energy to flow through.
To make her even more special I finished her on my 50th birthday. I woke today not feeling well. One thing I know after years of dealing with autoimmune disease is that when I create I feel better and that was definitely true today. I felt her healing energy flow through me. Her smile brought me joy and her colors a calmness and peace that I very much needed and that I know she will bring to her new owner too.
This doll has been such an incredible journey to create. There is so much meaning in every aspect of her. The assignment was to make her simple and basic, like the doll makers of our grandmothers would of created. With this doll we are invoking the skills of the ancient ones. So within the belly of this doll (picture below) , I included a key, this was a symbol of the ancestors opening up the doors to the old ways of creating, the ancient knowledge of the world and the connection with the land and materials that they worked with. Along with the key is an Alder branch, the same wood used for her staff. The Alder tree represents strength, protection, determination and confidence, these are the things I’m looking to the ancestors to bestow upon me. I once again included dried flowers of roses, lavender, chamomile and hops to represent the women of my linage. Mint collected from my yard from last year to connect this ancient one with the land that I live on. Last in this special bundle is mistletoe. When I think of my female ancestors I think of the Goddess Frigg. To me she represents the ancient Germanic women and the meaning of her and mistletoe is one of sorrow, but also beauty. It is the mistletoe that kills her beloved son, but she found it in her heart to forgive the mistletoe, so it has become a symbol of love, hope and forgiveness, and that is what I want to infuse in my art, love and hope and for people to be able to heal and forgive.
As for the doll itself, I used very bland colors, her skin and dress all one color. I feel by doing so it truly highlights all of the little details of this doll. I wanted her shawl to look hand woven, so I knitted using the linen stitch to get that affect. Her belt is made of 5 braided strands, representing the 5 elements of earth, air, fire, water and spirit. Hanging from her belt is a ruby in kyanite double terminated crystal, which removes energy blockages, enhances intuition and amplifies manifestation. It is wrapped in copper wire. Copper is believed to provide harmonic connections between the physical and spiritual realm. The small stone on her shawl is magnesite, which encourages creativity. The stone on top of her staff is agate, this is a grounding stone, and one that enhances spiritual awareness. I also adored her staff with yellow flowers, which symbolizes creativity, and happiness. There are also feathers on her staff to represent the guardians and angels of my ancestors.
And last is the 3 Elder Futhark Runes. I picked these three specifically because they spell out OMA, or grandma. The idea of this doll is to invoke the knowledge of the ancestors and doll makers and to me that would be the grandmothers. When broken down each Rune has a specific meaning which made this an even more powerful symbol to bestow on this doll. The first symbol is the Opila, it represents heritage, heirloom, legacy and land of birth. The second symbol is the Mannaz, this represents humankind, the self, the friend, sense of morals and values and relationships with self and others. And last is the symbol of the Ansuz, this one represents insight, communications, wisdom, inspiration and true vision.
So much meaning in one 8 1/2 inch doll. She will stay here with me, to help guide me in all of my future creations.