Category Archives: Story Door Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay

Best Friends- Two Little Carved Dolls have an Adventure

In my previous blog post (LINK),

I told the story of how a piece of kindling wood refused to go into the fire,

and became a Spoon Doll named, Dot,

who was able to have a friend, Sybbie- a very small Mermaid, live upstairs.

After the trials and tribulations of being carved and painted and shellac-ed and sanded and all that,

Dot and Sybbie finally got to go on an adventure around the studio.

First of all, after Sybbie was comfortably settled in ‘upstairs’, she and Dot when off to visit a

small, but intrepid Cowgirl:

who was riding a Unicorn!

The Unicorn was very gentle and friendly and suggested that

Dot and Sybbie go visit the Bunny with Wings.

So they did:

They had a lovely visit with the Bunny with Wings,

who asked them if they had been to the Castle on the Hillside yet?

Oooh…. not yet, so off they tootled.

Sybbie and Dot enjoyed touring the Castle on the Hillside.

They found it rather tiring, so decided that they had had enough adventures for one day.

And, they went home and had a lovely cup of tea,

and this time, Sybbie did remember to write her adventures down in her journal-

so I could share them with you.

 

 

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An Inspiring Piece of Firewood

Inspiration pops up in the most unexpected places.

Last week, I was building a fire in our little wood burning stove.

A piece of kindling stopped me in my tracks…

It said: “Don’t burn me! There’s something special about me- wait till you see what’s inside me!”

so, I took it to the studio…. And, Tottie Tomato listened to what the piece of kindling

(from a tree that fell down in our neighborhood)

had to say.

A raggedy, curvy, bent, rough piece of upcycled wood that didn’t want to be burned,

told me a story about a Spoon Doll that was looking for a Best Friend to live upstairs….

So, I cut and carved and chisled and shaped…

Until she was ready to find her best friend.

I walked through the house, looking for the best friend who would live upstairs and have

adventures with ‘Dot’.

This oddly shaped Spoon Doll was telling me that the unusual basket ? or crown? ???

Was the ‘upstairs’ where her friend would live and that they were going to enjoy each other’s company.

Well…. friendship is one of life’s dearest treasures, so I listened when this little emerging Wooden Person

Asked a small mermaid, Siobhan, if she would like to move in ‘upstairs’.

Siobhan was delighted, and agreed to a little bit of carving adjustment so that she would fit her new accommodations:

Here’s Siobhan, all in pieces as she became smaller so she could move into her new shared home.

Dot provided comfort as Siobhan underwent her renovations.

After a lot of carving and sanding and painting and making of new joints,

the newly tiny Siobhan announced that since she is now smaller, that she wants a ‘Smaller Person Name’,

and that she is now to be known as ‘Sybbie’.

It was now time for Dot to receive her arms and to have a coat or two of shellac applied.

Dot objected, thinking that she didn’t like the sound of ‘shellac-ing’, so Tottie Tomato and Sybbie comforted her.

Tottie and Sybbie were getting in the way of progress, so I asked them to please move to the sofa to wait.

I gave them a journal to write in and a book to read, but I don’t think that they did either.

Spoon Doll Dot was very relieved to be completely finished, and needed a few moments to recover from

the whole carving and finishing thing.

Sybbie and Tottie Tomato told her that they had been through it all, too, so they were very sympathetic.

Brave little Sybbie even consented to being re-carved more than once to get to her final happy state!

Tottie Tomato had to go see to something else in the studio, so she left Dot and Sybbie to plan their

first great adventure.

Postcards from their first trip around the studio (their world as they know it so far)

will be posted in the next blog post.   (Here is the link: LINK)

 

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Tottie and the Starspoon Sisters

We are in the throes of a huge winter storm.   We had one in November, but have had almost no snow since and remarkably warm and pleasant weather.

Luckily, we are blessed to be safe and warm, and this morning in the studio, Tottie Tomato had visitors.

She heard a sound at the Story Door, so she went to investigate.

It was the 3 Starspoon Sisters with a delivery of stars to add a little sparkle to a grey and stormy day.

Birch Starspoon was joined by her sisters,

Basswood Starspoon and

Cedar Starspoon.

The Starspoon Sisters and Tottie were all feeling a little chilly from the raging winds outside the studio windows.

So, they all had a cup of tea while I went off to carve more dolly spoons.

Stay warm and be safe, be well and be kind ❤

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I forgot to Mention that a few years ago I carved a new Tottie Tomato doll for my blog

Oh my goodness, how can I have forgotten to mention that the original Tottie Tomato doll that I made oh so many years ago had to retire because she wore out?

She’s living happily with friends in comfort and ease in my studio-

When it became clear that she was in tough shape, I set to work carving a new incarnation of Tottie Tomato. (See my About page for the story of how Tottie Tomato originated).

Original Tottie supervised my carving of New Tottie.

And the painting, and the finishing, and the jointing, then the crochet and tatting of Little Tottie’s new dress.

The smaller incarnation of Tottie Tomato is fine and fiesty and

Retired Tottie approves completely.

Tottie still goes off to the Story door-

and enjoys picnics there with friends –

She watches carefully while I create more friends for her….

and loves getting to know them…

Tottie Tomato is pleased that I have finally- FINALLY- given her a PROPER introduction and she sends you her hugs and love ❤

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Wooden and Woven Dolls for Christmas

Recently, I had a lovely conversation with my darlin’ grandson.

He said to me: ‘Nanma, I LOVE your dolls.  Will you make me one for Christmas?’

I was thrilled that he is pleased with my work and that he wanted me to make him a doll for Christmas.

What an awesome 7 year old he is!

I asked him if he wanted a wooden one or a woven one, and I was convinced that he said, ‘Wooden’….

So, I stayed up very, very late one night, and got up early, to carve him a wooden doll:

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I used a birch branch from our son’s neighbour’s tree.  It’s been drying for a year and a half and is lovely to carve.

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Tottie Tomato cheered me on as I carved.

She comforted the new doll, because she knows that the knives, chisels and sandpaper are very uncomfortable, and that paint brushes tickle….

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After he was done, and I had knitted his sweater and jeans, Tottie Tomato and New Boy went to hang a few ornaments on the tree in the village.

Something was feeling not quite right….

I thought: I have to check and see if Grandson actually said that he wanted a wooden doll…..

So, I asked him which dolls he loved?

Wooden or the woven art dolls?

We were out at a concert of his Grampa’s music, so I sketched the shape of the 6th Sense art dolls in the air.

YES! he said, firmly!

THOSE are the ones I love!

Oh oh….

I asked him to draw in the air and show me what shape he had in mind.

Yup….. Woven Women 6th Sense art dolls, and NOT 6 inch tall wooden dolls….

oops.

He specified that he wanted it soft to cuddle and that it had to wear black shoes.

I asked him to draw exactly what he wanted…..

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He held his hands up in the air and showed me the size.

So…………………………

I have been weaving up a storm…………….  well, a doll, along with a few other things……

I used the tapestry weaving technique to weave the body front, and plain weave for the back.

I did a clasped warp technique for the arms and legs to make the color changes work for the arms and legs.

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I hope that he approves of how I interpreted his design!

I hadn’t thought of making him a doll for Christmas, so I am incredibly grateful that he asked.

And, because I didn’t get the brief right first time around, our little sweetheart gets TWO dolls, not one!

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For now, they are chilling out by the Village Christmas tree, enjoying themselves in knitted armchairs that I designed for Findlay and Flora Bear.

The pattern for the chairs is in my etsy shop:

LINK

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I can’t bear to wrap them until the last moment, so I will have a chance to enjoy them, too!

Merry Christmas, Happy Channukah, Happy Solstice, Happy Yule, Happy EVERYTHING to you and yours!

Love and blessings all round.

May 2017 bring Peace, Wisdom and Compassion!

 

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Wooden Doll Pauline meets a London Goose

Yesterday, Miranda,  Siobhan, Coco and Thallie were wondering about their friend Pauline, who has moved to London with her Human…..

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They were thrilled when Pauline’s  Person kindly  sent photos of Pauline’s outing in one of the parks in London.

Pauline began with a little exploring:

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and then ambled off to the pond, where she caught the eye of a Canada Goose:

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Hmmm… Small Person, do you have food?

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Are you potentially a meal?

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Neither.   You are a disappointment to me.

All Pauline photographs are copyright Kennie Wittebrood and are used with her permission.

 

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Story Door Dolls- Coco loves music

Tiny Coco loves music:

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She was so excited to go to see Jim and Michael playing last week:

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She enjoyed telling Miranda, Siobhan, Thallie and Pupster all about it:

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Miranda and Coco chatted about how much they love music:

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While Siobhan told Thallie about her adventures at the Symphony:

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They all agreed that they enjoy getting out to a good concert.

Miranda sighed, and said that she hasn’t been anywhere interesting lately.

They all gazed at the tiny vintage postcards a friend in England sent them last year:

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And wondered how  Great Traveler Pauline is enjoying herself in London…..

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Wooden dolls are grateful for Vintage Hankies

Last week, my daughter and I opened the very old small suitcase that I use to store my vintage hankie collection.

We were looking for the perfect hankie to make a dress for the little wooden doll that I had carved for her.

Miranda, the Mermaid that I carved last year, has been feeling the sudden onset of cold weather.

I overheard her complaining about the cold to Bessie Gnome, Coco, Thallie and the dogs about the cold.

As a Mermaid, Miranda doesn’t mind cold water, but the dry cold that she is experiencing feels very uncomfortable.

Luckily, there was a silk hankie with elegant lace that suits Miranda perfectly as a shawl:

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She’s thrilled!

As Miranda was posing for the photo, perched on the edge of the suitcase, I noticed that there was a very sweet hankie that looked perfect for Lettie Bunny:

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Lettie is now a cozy bunny, and tickled pink about it.

She feels that she can face winter in the Wall Doll House without a shiver.

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Lettie spotted a tiny elegant silk hankie that she was sure would make Peggetty very happy.

She’s right!

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Peggetty, Lettie and Miranda are all very content with their new  wraps, and are so grateful that a friend blessed us with her mother and grandmother’s hankies!

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A Very Tiny Doll Celebrates Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from very snowy and cold Western Canada.

Last night, we were heading out to our son and daughter-in-law’s home to join with many family and friends in celebrating Thanksgiving.

There were sounds of protest from the Wall Doll House in my studio.

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The smallest (less than an inch tall) wooden Story Door Doll, who used to be known as ‘Itty’, until she declared her name is actually, ‘Thallie’ was sitting in her armchair.

She’s thrilled that she finally has a new dress, and declared that it was important to her to go out to dinner to show it off.

I  protested that I don’t like taking her out of the house, for fear of loosing her.

She ‘pshawed’ me, and reminded me that I am perfectly capable of loosing MUCH larger things than her INSIDE the house.

Oh. Right…

She hopped into the Thumbelina traveling tin:

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But I was planning on taking along the ~very last~ bit of weaving for the big tapestry that I am weaving, and not Thumbelina.

So, Thallie hopped into my seashell necklace, along with her friend, Inch Faery Bear, who is the same petite size as her.  This makes them the best of friends, as they enjoy hanging out with someone who understands the world in miniature.

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And, off we went.

After the toasts were ‘clink clinked’, Thallie was convinced that there were Similar Sized People as her and Inch Faery Bear hiding in the corks…. so we shall have to see.

The corks came home in my pocket, so it will be interesting to see if there are little people in them or, as my daughter suggested, little faery mushrooms…. who knows?

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After the corks were filed in my pocket, I put Thallie back into the Seashell necklace….

and…. palm to forehead….

did not take even one more photo of the whole evening.

Oh my…..

Which I wish I had, as a beloved member of the family is on her way to London, England.

She’s moving there, so it’s going to be quite some time before we are all around the same dinner table.

We wish her the greatest of joy in her big adventure!

Pauline is accompanying her in her travels, and posed for a very Canadian moment before dealing with airports etc:

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Pauline’s Human took a moment from enjoying her last ‘Timmie’ time to share a pic of this special moment.

(Only Canadians will understand this reference, I think?)

Anyhow, all the little wooden folk who live in the studio join my in wishing you a joyous Thanksgiving, even if you live somewhere else in the world.  There is so much to say thank you for….

Thank you~~ ❤

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Little wooden doll heads to London

I am so excited… One of the little wooden Story Door Dolls that I carved has been adopted and is on her way to England.

Pauline is ready for adventure in London!

Pauline is ready for adventure in London!

Before she left, she posed for a slightly ‘Alice in Wonderland’ photo under a mushroom that popped up on the lawn.

Pauline looks forward to exploring Nature in the parks of London.

Pauline looks forward to exploring Nature in the parks of London.

We wish the greatest joy to Pauline and her Human.

May they have splendid adventures and happy, happy times in London.

Hmmmm…   I think we may have to go visit them someday…..

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