Saturday, December 12, 2009

what i'm working on today...

well, worked on today... she's off to Minnesota!

i had a blast with this doll. i spun the fat slubby yarn and handdyed the mohair. Dad wanted tan skin with brown eyes so *the doll can be whoever my daughter wants her to be*. i LOVE that!! he requested funky hair in his daughter's favorite colors, and we worked together to design a more traditional dress for the doll that celebrated his daughter's love of color while sticking to his more conservative tastes.

i didn't get to name this one...but i hope, hope, hope i get to find out her name once the little girl who loves her decides who she *wants her to be*.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

O Christmas Tree

you've been neglected for too many years. each December we drag you home, prop you up, and allow everyone to inspect your unsightly stand for a month or so. this year, i promise it will be different.

see, i found this wonderful blog entry over at The Paper Pony. step by step instructions for how to make a fancy skirt for you at a fraction of the cost of a store bought one! simple and elegant, too.

tree, we've known each other for many years, and by now you've certainly come to realize i am unable to do anything exactly as suggested. so although the original skirt is beautiful, i have to add to it somehow.

so, i've enlisted the aid of 4 of Santa's elves, and together, we have made a skirt for you that is anything but simple and elegant. but it is terribly, terribly beautiful because we've made it with love for the Season and with love for each other. this year, you may well be the best dressed tree the world has ever seen...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

the one that got away

i just made a custom a gianormous hurry for a 3yr old's birthday. let me say, i don't rush things often, especially Moppets, but this case called to my heart.
and then, when she was finished, i so wished i could keep her.
i was in such a hurry to get her to the post office, that i couldn't even get good photos. but what i have, i'll share with you.

see why i wanted to keep her? *sigh*

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ribbon Bookmarks a Simple Tutorial

my kids and i just celebrate a modified version of "Yes Day". i say modified, because they didn't tell me yesterday what they wanted to do...i just took them to do a whole bunch of things they've been asking to do for quite some time.

one of those things was to make crafts...we got supplies to make several, and i promise to show them all to you along and along.

the first thing i want to show you (all apologies to any of my readers who may also be my kids' teachers) is the book marks we made for teacher Christmas gifts.

yes, i know it's early, but when you have 4 children and each of them has at least 3 teachers, you've gotta get a jump start on things!

here's how to make your very own:

book to measure and/or measuring tape

ribbon clamps
jump rings
pendants or charms
tiny needle nosed pliers (either a jeweler's pair or the tiny one available at the hardware store)
optional: fray check or a lighter (to seal the ends of the ribbon and prevent fraying)

1~measure your book and add 2 inches (we found that 10 to 11 inches is just about right)

2~cut a length of ribbon to those measurements.

3~using your pliers, clamp the ribbon clamps to the ends of the ribbon.

4~pry open your jump ring and slide on the beads and charms for the top

5~now add the loop attached to the ribbon clamp(which is attached to your ribbon...right?)

6~squeeze your jump ring shut.

7~repeat steps 4-6 for the bottom of the ribbon

8~pop in in your favorite book and admire your handiwork!

we've decided that good books go great with coffee, hot chocolate, or tea, so we will attach these bookmarks to a gift card for our local coffee shop. voila! 12 teacher gifts finished in about an hour...and the hardest part was choosing the charms.

p.s. please excuse the quality of the photographs in this post. my assistant was busy...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Winds of Change: They Are a Blowin'

last time i checked in(embarrassingly, 6 months ago), i went on and on about how much i love making Waldorf-inspired dolls, and then, i proceeded to only make 3 more for 6 months. yeesh.
my passion for these dolls hasn't waned in the slightest...i've designed dozens on paper, but i haven't quite managed to get any of them birthed into reality. there are myriad reasons for this, not the least of which is the fun and frolic that naturally accompanies summer...
i'd like to announce that major changes are coming to Imogen's Garden. soon and very soon, you will see fewer options in the shop, but i believe you will absolutely love what you do see!!! (so if there is something you love hanging out in there now, you'd better grab it while you can!)
do you remember the doll giveaway i was talking about? well, it's ON, baby! check back over the weekend to see photos of this little beauty and learn how to enter the giveaway...fantastic way to score an early Christmas gift for the little flower in your life. sorry, this giveaway is for US residents only. i hope to be able to include
my international friends in the next one.

finally...patterns for Jane/Peter and Anya dolls are up in the shop! get yours and get to crafting your own custom dolls!! go! now!!

big squishy love to you all....♥anna

Wednesday, April 8, 2009



i thought it was bad when i was making only rag dolls. then i ventured into the wooden them, too.

but Waldorf-inspired dolls...


it's all i think about anymore!

it's fun to daydream dresses for my girls and for my shop. i love to hear that a mom is especially happy with a skirt i custom made for her hard-to-fit-daughter...but none of that compares with the deep, obsessive love i have for this doll making.

i have made six 14/15 inch dolls to date and 3 little snuggle dolls (and one wee pocket-sized doll for my daughter who was obsessively jealous of the pocket doll given to me by Ulla of Germandolls. (check out her shop...we do the same things, but so differently...she is really, really gifted...and her dolls are made from a *secret family recipie*!) i refuse to share...i made her a poor replica instead)

right now, i have 5 dolls in the hopper. 2 boys for my 2 boys (but don't tell the big kids on the bus), 2 mermaids, and 1 golden skinned doll who must be River's little sister. i wonder what her name is... are photos of Helen's doll *Rosa*. she's made from wool i sourced locally with the most fabulous hair! i would never have picked it...leave it to Helen to choose something totally unconventional and have it totally rock. the thick slubby stuff is yarn i handspun from a roving by Woolyhands. the rest we chose at the same sheep farm from which Rosa's stuffing came. i made Rosa's dress and bloomers, but her FABULOUS sweater came from Elaine at GrannysKnits with a button for closure by Gina at GinaMStudios. there are more sweaters on the way...assuming i can keep them out of Helen's greedy little mits.

i've been pondering a Waldorf-inspired doll giveaway...what say you all?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Wooden Friends

well, lovies...i have been quite negligent in the blog posting department. i assure you, it is not without cause!

Helen and i have been making hoards and swarms of little wooden friends(okay, i've been making them, and Helen's been supervising)...and now you may pick up your favorite in my Etsy shop!

this time i made gnomes, pirates, mermaids, fairies, ballerinas, bathing beauties, and a grandmother with her grandson.

i estimate that it takes about 45 minutes of constant painting to complete each doll. however, each doll requires drying time between multiple coats of paint and many of them have loads of details. to save time and sanity, i try to make several dolls at once. this means that you'll see new dolls less frequently, but when they are ready...loads of them will appear all at once!

here are photos of the dolls in process and of Helen painting a doll house for all of her new wooden friends.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Joyful Girl

my girl Clara is a bubble. always cheerful. always loving. generally agreeable. always moving...impossible to get a good photograph.
this week we designed a skirt together, and i asked her to model it for my shop. she agreed, and i was able to snap some wonderful photos of my joyful girl. don't you just want to eat her up?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Isn't She Lovely?

isn't she wonderful? (thanks, Stevie, i always hear you when i see my girls)

without ANY assistance (or permission-CLARA!), they've gotten all dressed up. and Mommy gets to order new make-up!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


so, i've been busily making Waldorf-inspired dolls (and loving every minute of it ~ here's *Fawn* for those of you who have yet to meet her)

my girl Helen (4) is busily designing hers. we've agreed that i'll only make her one EVER, so she needs to think a bit about what she wants her doll to look like (so far, she's firmly decided on peach colored skin and pinky-peach hair, but she's still debating the eye color...lavender at last check, but yesterday it was black...we'll see)

Clara (2) desperately wants one of these lovelies, too. since she's so little, i just cannot imagine giving her a dress-up doll...besides, the doll she wants at 2 is not likely to be the doll she'd design at 4 or 5...and she only gets one EVER. but, we all know i'm a giant sucker for big brown eyes and strawberry-blond ringlets...SO

here's *Sophie* the snuggle doll. she has a super soft cotton velour body, so the clothes don't frustrate my baby, but she still has *big girl*'s just tied up in short little pony tails that are easily repairable if need be. Clara chose the grassy green color of her suit, and i tried to mimic Clara's features for the rest of the doll.

i'm pretty sure *Sophie* is named for the daughter of i recently painted a custom set of dolls for LuLu's girls, and Clara has been fascinated by the name *Sophie* ever since!

we're pretty excited about these snuggle dolls around here, so Connor and Zoe will be making their debut at Imogen's Garden at Etsy very soon!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jackson!

i've got 4 kids, but my #2 is the one who shocks me each year. somehow, i can never get a grip on how much he's much time has passed from one birthday to the next.

today is Jack's 7th birthday (really? seriously? 7?). he's an orange nut, and it is so difficult to find orange things! i looked to Etsy and hit the jackpot...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

River is here!

here she is ladies and gents! this little girl is SO beautiful to me!! i altered the pattern that gave Eva funny arms...and i think i've got it right this time.

River is about 15" tall with golden skin and jet black eyes. her hair is so fun...made of three types of wool for a fun and funky look...her highlights match her dress and bring out the golden tones in her skin.

she's ready for a new home! hop on over to the Garden at Etsy and pick her up!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Meet "Eva"

FINALLY she's finished! i had such a marvelous time creating this doll. she was a real challenge, but i think she's totally worth it. since she's been so well received, i've decided to make this type of Waldorf-inspired natural doll for my shop.

this lovely girl is named "Eva". Helen was my brain trust on this one. Eva was my great-grandmother's name, and it is a derivative of "Eve". we thought it most appropriate as she is the first doll of this type and took 7 days to create.

Eva is entirely made by hand of all natural materials. she has cotton skin, cotton thread, and wonderfully soft wool stuffing. her hair is made of three types of wool yarn (i'm fairly certain the shiny stuff isn't *natural*, but the effect is worth it).

Helen says she'll call the doll "Evie" that was the name my great-grandmother most often went by...if you were familiar enough to call her by her first name. Evie Whitten was always just *Mamaw* to me!

"River" is already in progress...i'll be sure to let you know when she's ready to go to her new home!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


in an effort to *take care of myself*, i have abandoned all custom orders for a while. my life had gotten too complicated, and so, nothing was being done well or on time. i found myself frustrated and feeling incompetent.

this new found *freedom* has been so liberating already. i've got tons of projects and ideas that i want to explore, and now i have the time to do them. Helen has already commented that *we don't have to rush today, huh, Mommy?* boy, is that a wake up call...when i found myself rushing their little childhoods and postponing sweet, handmade *just because* gifts for them...

well, it's time. time to step back and care for creative spirit, my health, my children...

but that means PLAYTIME!!

i've learned a few new tricks, and i'm happy to be able to share some of them with you. some of these things will end up in my Etsy or Artfire shops, some will be sent to nieces and nephews, and some will set up residence here with my children...which is why i began this venture in the first place.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Modern Day Partridge Family

so, James got *Rock Band* for his birthday...

here are my little musicians hard at work.

the scary part is they're good at it. even wee Clara can drum pretty darned well...

and they take it so very seriously.

watch out "American Idol". i've got your next set of contestants right here...

(the sweet little feet in the bottom corner belong to Jack...Helen was *sitting this one out, Mom*)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Last Sneak Peek!

okay...last time i'm gonna show you before she's done (name suggestions, anyone?)

i *fixed* her eyes, partially stitched down her hair, and attached her upper body to the rest.

next time you see her, she'll be done!! whoo-hoo!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

the Next Step

here she is in two pieces (her eyes are still weird).

i think her arms are too long and skinny, but i'm trying to reserve judgement until she's finished and dressed.

Trying Something New (again)

i get bored easily. my husband says it's because i'm too smart. (he's very sweet)

i am attempting my first Waldorf doll. i hear they are a real challenge to make. i'm so excited, i can hardly stand it.

the head wasn't nearly as difficult as i thought, though the eyes are a little weird. i found a kind soul to help me figure out how to fix them.

but here she is in progress...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Valentine's Day for Helen

my girl Helen has fallen in love with little wooden dolls. she takes them everywhere, talks to them incessantly, and loves, loves, loves them. recently Clara has also become enraptured by these little beauties. Helen is not so wild about sharing these treasures.

so, as any overly doting mother would do, i headed over to our favorite wooden doll shop on Etsy. imagine my *horror* when i realized the shop is only carrying sewing patterns now!

i've gotten a jump start on Valentines' Day for my little lovies and have begun painting them myself. i was very nervous about it(didn't want *wonky* dolls), but i think these are pretty darned cute!'s a peek at what my girls will be be getting from me this Valentine's Day...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

CPSIA Celebrity Basket Trio

yesterday i was given the opportunity to submit items to be reviewed for inclusion into celebrity gift baskets. exciting! these baskets will be filled with handmade items from tiny businesses like mine. each basket will include a letter explaining that the items inside will no longer be available once the CPSIA takes effect on February 10, 2009. it is hoped that the women gifted will take up the cause and speak on behalf of small businesses!

i spent the day yesterday (and most of the night!) drafting a new pattern specifically for this event. "Nat" had been rolling around in my brain for quite sometime, and this prompted me to get him/her done!!

these are the dolls i submitted for review. i'll show you pictures of "original Nat" light failed (danged winter light!), and i had to photograph these first. poor Nat got left in the dark...literally!

tell me what you think!!