Category Archives: woodwork

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.


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:


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.


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?


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:


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~~ ❤


Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Story Door Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay, wooden dolls, woodwork

Vintage hankies become dresses for wooden dolls

I love vintage hankies and decided to use them to make dresses for some of the wooden dolls that I carve.

I needed to take a break last week, and my Story Door Dolls were beckoning me.

So, I used some of the vintage hankies that I have collected over the years to make them new dresses.


Lucky Pauline ended up with the most beautifully embroidered hanky.

I can’t bear to cut the hankies, so I do some crazy folding to make the hanky work as the skirt.


This is Tennie in her new hanky dress…. even though it’s not as glamorous as Pauline’s, she’s still very happy with it.

By folding and hand stitching the delicate old linen, cotton and silk hankies, the hankies remain intact.

This is a kind of archival use of the hankies, which preserves them, but uses them, instead of them languishing in a box.


I hand carve the dolls, which I call my ‘Story Door Dolls’.

They are all around 6 inches tall, and I use local woods for most of them.

They were inspired by Hitty dolls.


This little charmer was carved from Arbutus wood that was trimmed many years ago from the tree in my sisters in laws house in Victoria.  I won’t be carving anymore Arbutus dolls as that wood is like iron!  wow…. and ow….

And, yes, I do sell them…..

But not Pauline


Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Story Door Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay, wooden dolls, woodwork

My grandson designs a truck

Last June, our grandson and I made a wooden doll together.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

We had fun doing it, but he didn’t express an interest in doing any more woodworking, so I haven’t brought it up.

BUT…. on Thursday, when we picked him up at Kindergarden, he was dancing with delight because it had ~finally~ been his turn for show and tell and he could hardly wait to show me what he had shared.

He proudly pulled his wooden doll out of his backpack and beamed at me. He was so happy!

Well, I did the ‘granny-swoon’- being washed over with gratitude at my darling boy’s choice of what was ~really~ precious to him.  Melt, melt, melt.

I asked him if he was interested in making more dolls and he said: ‘Of course!’.

I got a piece of wood and asked him if he was more interested in making a doll or a truck and he voted for truck.

He drew the truck and I cut it out on the band saw and sanded it for him.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

We didn’t have time for paint, so he worked with markers and will use paint at home with his Mamma.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Sigh.  I LOVE these precious times. ❤


Filed under personal stuff, woodwork

Two hand carved crochet hooks

On the weekend, a friend of mine in North Carolina posted photos of a collection of crochet hooks that I carved several years ago.

She has been nudging me to start carving crochet hooks again, and seeing the photo of all those hooks inspired me.

So, I picked up my carving tools and have been carving non-stop.

Tadah!  Here are the first 2 hooks that I have carved in absolutely yonks!

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The little girl, carved from birch,  is just a touch under 6 inches tall (which is appropriate, as she’s inspired by Hitty dolls).  The hook is about a size “N’ 10mm

The Rabbit is carved from a mystery hardwood that was in our woodworking shop (and was hard as nails to carve)

and is not quite 8 1/2 inches tall. The hook is about a size “N’ 10mm.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

They are both for sale.  Each is $95.00 + shipping – if you are interested, please drop me a note! 🙂

Thanks for the inspiration, Maitri! 🙂


Filed under crochet, wooden dolls, woodwork

Another Mermaid

I’ve always loved mermaids…. so when a little block of wood called out, ‘Mermaid in here!’, of course, I had to get carving!

And, here’s who was in that wee block of wood….  tiny Siobhan:

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Clever little Siobhan can tiptoe on her fins!

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Miranda is very pleased to have another Mermaid in the studio.

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Siobhan is very content, too!


Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Story Door Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay, wooden dolls, woodwork

Itty Bitty Hitty’s great adventure- 2

Itty Bitty Hitty vanished through the Story Door  on a magical small Tall Ship,

leaving Coco and the other Story Door Dolls to worry and fret.  See LINK

She amazed Coco by coming home safe and sound, with a new friend, Lettie.

Lettie Bunny apparently rescued Itty on her great adventure!

Coco and Lettie sat down to listen to Itty’s story.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

As soon as the Story Door shut behind Itty and the tiny Tall Ship,  they whirled away through clouds and fog.

Itty was sure that the fog went on forever, and when she had finally given up hope,

Itty heard a rumbling roar!

The fog cleared, and there was a huge fiery Dragon!

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Itty was terrified!

Luckily, a mighty Wizard strode out of the mists and sent the Dragon packing:

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The Wizard tossed a small fireball that sent the Tiny Tall Ship soaring to a peaceful

garden in front of a very appealing door:

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Itty knocked and knocked on the door, but no one answered.

Sadly, Itty sailed on until she came to another lovely garden,

where a beautiful Lady of the Earth was sleeping.

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Itty whispered to her, hoping to wake her up just a little, without really disturbing her.

She leaned over the Lady of the Green Places and whispered again….

still, no answer…

Itty leaned sooooooooooo far out of the rigging of the Tiny Tall Ship that she tumbled

out and down,



until she landed

upside down, with a serious thump….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

She thought about things for a moment and decided that a bucket might be a

better place to be than a Tiny Tall Ship that didn’t pay much attention to where

she wanted to be…..

‘Um?’, she mumbled.

There was no response.


A bee bumbled by to investigate.


‘Um and Hello to you, too, Little One!’, a soft, not-about- to-eat-or-sail-unexpectedly-away voice came close to the bucket.

‘And,  what, might I ask, are you doing in my bucket, Little One?’

‘Standing on my head’.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

‘Ah, yes…. well, let’s set that to rights…. my name is Lettice Bunny, but you can call me, Lettie’.

And, then, Itty burst into tears…..

‘I want to go home!’

‘Which is where?’

‘In the studio where the Story Door is!’

‘Well, that’s easily done! I was born in the studio by the Story Door!’


‘Yes, Little One, perhaps you were busy while all the carving was happening, come on now, just close your eyes….

The Story Door is just a small wish away…..’.

And! Then! Lettie and Itty were right there at the Story Door, and couldn’t be happier about it!

The funny thing about Itty’s great adventure was that it all seemed to happen at the Muttart Conservatory….

and Jim and I were right there!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

You would think we would have noticed a tiny flying ship with wee Itty Bitty Hitty on it, wouldn’t you?




Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Story Door Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay, Tottie Tomato Loves, woodwork

Itty Bitty Hitty and the Tall Ship

Miranda Mermaid was cold, so was very pleased to receive a new shawl woven just for her.

Her friends were all so busy admiring it….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

that they didn’t notice that Itty Bitty Hitty had climbed up

onto the tall ship that had lead Miranda to the Story Door.

Coco saw that it was starting to move away through the Story Door….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Even though she shouted at Itty to jump, JUMP! off the tall ship….

it slipped away and the Story Door quietly, but oh so quickly,


The Story Door dolls raced off to find Tottie Tomato to see if she could help.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Coco was so sad that she just laid down on the ground and cried and cried.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Tottie Tomato cuddled Coco and promised that she would go  find Itty and bring her home again.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Coco sniffed sadly and sat down to wait….

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and wait…..


Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Story Door Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay, Tottie Tomato Loves, wooden dolls, woodwork

Miranda Mermaid joins the Story Door Dolls

Itty Bitty Hitty  was playing on the Story Door today.

She has discovered that the Lion’s Head door knocker is perfect for practicing acrobatics.

If she asks the Lion nicely, he is quite accommodating and will hold the ring ‘just so’.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

She heard a strange sound behind the story door, so she scampered back to the Wall Doll House, and asked Coco and Bessie if they would come investigate with her.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Itty Bitty Hitty scrambled back up the door to the Lion’s head, to see if she could hear the odd sound again.

She was surprised when the Story Door creaked on it’s hinges and then, it opened, and a lovely lady appeared….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Not just ~any~ lady!


Bessie and Coco were so excited that they raced back to the Wall Doll House to see if anyone else would like to meet the beautiful mermaid.


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Coco and Itty Bitty Hitty introduced themselves, and so did Miranda.


copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Hitty Tennie and Bessie Gnome brought some comfie couches from the Wall Doll House, as they were sure that there would be stories told at the Story Door.

Sure enough, just as everyone settled in to hear Miranda’s story, a little ship floated through the Story Door.

Miranda told her new friends that she had been frolicking in the waves.

Suddenly a the tiny ship sailed past her and zoomed towards something that looked like the opening to a cave.

It wasn’t a cave…. it was the ‘other side’ of the Story Door!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Everyone ‘oooohed’ and ‘ahhhed’ at Miranda’s adventure…..

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Tottie Tomato popped by to meet Miranda and see the magical little sailing ship.

Tottie, Coco and Bessie were so enchanted by Miranda’s stories that they didn’t notice that….

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Itty Bitty Hitty had climbed up into the rigging of the tiny ship….

Only Kitty saw, but no one paid attention to her ‘miaows’.

Hopefully, Itty Bitty Hitty will get down off the mast before the tiny sailing ship sails away through the Story Door…..


Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Story Door Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay, Tottie Tomato Loves, wooden dolls, woodwork

A truly tiny wooden doll

I couldn’t resist.

I just had to see how small a doll I could carve …

So….I cut very small doll parts from another birch tree twig.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

And, I carved a doll that is not much bigger than a quarter.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Here’s a comparison of dolly sizes – ‘Bitty’ is right above the ‘yr’ in copyright.

She really is ‘Itty Bitty’.

She was fun, but rather challenging to carve. (of course LOL).

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Bitty, Coco and Joy had a lovely tea party in front of the Story Door.

They had a lovely time, and were pleased that the missing teacups have re-appeared, but wondered where the cat and dogs were.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I wove a chair seat for Bitty, which is  less than an inch square.

It makes her feel much more comfortable and she’s very please with it.

Coco, Bitty and Joy have heard the sounds of more carving in the studio, and are excited to see who is going to join them at the Story Door.




Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Story Door Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay, weaving & handwoven, wooden dolls, woodwork

Carving and weaving for the Birch Tree Sisters

Lately, I have had a very magical time, carving small, and even smaller, (much smaller) dolls and weaving for them.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

It all began just over a week ago, when one of our son’s neighbors gave us some lovely Birch wood.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I knew that there were dolls inside the Birch wood that were just longing to get out!

So, I took some of the Birch branches to the bandsaw:

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And, cut out the rough shapes for the 6 inch tall dolls, and then I started carving:

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I showed how I wove dresses for  ‘Hope’ and ‘Joy’ in my previous post: LINK.

They could hear that there was a little sister calling to them from inside one of the branches on their family tree:

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copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

After a day or so of carving:

Tiny ‘Coco’ happily emerged from her branch.

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Then, I got out my 2 inch square vintage Weave It loom to weave her a dress.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

She’s about 3 1/2 inches tall.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Coco Birchtree is very happy to have her picture taken at the Story Door and to join her sisters and the other

Story Door Dolls in my studio.

I’m looking forward to seeing what she and her sisters discover about life around the Story Door!


Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Story Door Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay, weaving & handwoven, wooden dolls, woodwork