Handmade Christmas

Janie Kathryn had some very interesting and seemingly difficult requests this Christmas. From Santa, she requested "a purple polka-dotted baby doll, a nightgown, and Barbie furniture" to fill the dollhouse that Daddy and I were supposed to create for her. 2011 proved to be a very creative Christmas, but I can only take credit for the project designs. I had help with the execution. The nightgown and Barbie furniture were easy enough. Though 90% of the Barbie furniture was vintage, purchased on eBay. Modern Barbie furnishings belong in a doll-brothel, not a dollhouse! The custom dollhouse and baby doll specifications required clever thought and precise execution.

I thought the best route to take for a purple polka-dotted baby doll was to search for just the right rag doll, which I found on Etsy. I fell in love with the dolls at Mon Petit Amour and reached out to the shop owner, Vanessa. She turned out to be an absolutely delightful person and was eager to assist Santa with the special request. I shipped all of the materials to Vanessa, who worked hard to complete the request in time for it to be shipped back to Santa. Keep in mind it had to be packed into the sleigh before Santa left on Christmas Eve!  After all of this was set in motion, Janie Kathryn began to further specify that the doll should have WHITE polka-dots. I don't know if it was Santa himself or one of his elves, but someone hand-painted every dot on that doll. Janie Kathryn named her Sally. Sally is a treasured gift in the Skeen house. I can't thank Vanessa and Santa enough!

The Barbie House couldn't be outsourced to Santa or Etsy elves... at least not within my budget. We already had a house-shaped bookcase that I purchased unfinished and decorated for Janie Kathryn, years ago. So, I made a plan for Jorma, bought some wood, and put him to work.

Jorma did a wonderful job! It's was exactly what I wanted. Um, what Janie Kathryn wanted. Besides creative control, you're probably wondering about my part with these handmade holiday happies. Why decorating of course! I finally put to good use all of those quarts of paint samples I refused to purge.  The end result was a beautiful, albeit colossal, dollhouse!

...and one day, when the Barbie phase has come and gone, this beauty of a dollhouse can go back to being a bookcase. Perhaps, in someone's classroom.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Miki for this sweet story! I'm so glad your daughter enjoyed her Christmas!