Sunday, 1 January 2017

New Year New Blog!

A New Year and changes!

I have decided to amalgamate just my two main blogs for now 'Sewing for Sasha' and this one 'How Many Dolls' into one.  I will eventually be taking these two blogs 'off line' but will at that stage copy all the old posts from both blogs onto the new one. Whether the other two doll blogs 'Holidays with Henry' and 'Hitty at Rose Cottage' eventually merge with the new blog as well, is yet to be decided.


So please do make sure you update your reading list and 'follow' me using the appropriate buttons over on my new blog which is called 'Rose Cottage Friends'  and can be found by clicking here



I want this new blog to be primarily my story blog so even though I said 'just one blog' I will be putting all my sewing and knitting posts onto my 'Muriel Makes' blog which will also link to my Etsy page.  My Muriel Makes blog can be found by clicking here.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

New Year's Eve Pyjama Party.

There is a New Year's Eve Pyjama Party going on!  You can read about it by clicking here.  (Another reason why I need just one blog!)

Friday, 30 December 2016

Sasha Dolls 2016

So I did manage to reduce the number of Sasha dolls that entered Rose Cottage this year... however we won't talk about the non-Sasha dolls that DID enter the house!

Two boys, Two Course, One Repaint and One baby - so a total of six dolls.


All of which have been introduced with the exception of the baby which I bought at the Sasha Festival this year - seems I never completed blogging about the Sasha Festival - must have run out of steam - so forgot all about her!

Clicking on the names will take you to their introduction posts.

Jasmine, my 'Dream' Course girl

Maddison - my main modelling girl at the moment and the lead singer of the 'Rose Hip Chicks'

Donny - the new boy.

Jessica - the red head Course girl

Edward - relieved to be back in boys clothing!

Baby Meike  - who sadly didn't get a formal introduction as I got her at the Sasha Festival and for one reason or another never quite finished my Festival posts!

So a few more photos of her.


She was mint in her tube, and is very sweet.  


I love her whole outfit.  


Plus her pretty soft features.

Next year things are changing in many ways - or at least that is the plan.  Some, perhaps more than a few, dolls will be looking for homes and leaving for pastures new.  It will probably be a slow process as I don't want to rush into such changes.  I am looking forward though to putting the ideas I have been and am still formulating into practice and seeing the results. I am looking forward to amalgamating my blogs and making things a bit easier and thus more enjoyable to me.

I am really hoping that 2017 is going to be my year of 'Less is More'








Thursday, 29 December 2016

Ideas...

I have been spending the last few days filling pages of A4 paper, with ideas, plans, working on characters and trying to work out a new name for a combined blog which is proving much harder than I thought!  Trying to get something short, catchy and memorable, and also related to what I do and what my blogs are about, is not quite as easy as it sounds!  

I was a little surprised that not many girls were really mentioned in relation to this blog post 'Most Memorable Characters'.  Does this mean I focus more on the boys (which I know I do to some extent) or that my girl characters are less memorable? (not including Peggy Sue of course)  There is at least one girl who I was surprised didn't get a mention.  Although only a few people have commented so far, so perhaps not all have seen the post yet.

In the meantime it seems Henry and Peggy Sue also have some ideas of their own!  They are joined by Rory and the new boy Donny, who has been following Henry round like a lost shadow as he is a little unsure of just where he fits in to the family.


I found my puppet Henry!  Someone had hidden it from me, I feel I haven't seen it for years!  Rory informs Henry,



I am sure they didn't Rory.  Henry reassures him.

Yes they did, I bet it was the twins!  Rory replies.  Anyway have you got Puppet Theatre down on your list?  

Of course he has.  Peggy Sue says.  Look.



It is right here at the top of the list.  Henry tells Rory.


Where?  Rory asks.

Right here, see.  Henry shows him.


Oh okay.  Rory says.

Do you have any other ideas?
 Peggy Sue asks.


The four discuss other ideas.  The boys naturally are hoping that more work will be done on their Tree House this year...


Peggy Sue agrees as she too thinks the tree house is fun.

But you are not allowed to get up to any mischief Peggy Sue.  Henry says remembering the Halloween surprise that Peggy Sue and Alice were roped into by the girls last year.


What about a puppet theatre Henry?  Rory asks.


Peggy Sue puts her hand to her head and says in exasperation, We already have that on the list Rory!


See, right there, top of the list... and she points to it.


Oh yeah... I just wanted to make sure.  Rory says in a small voice.

Donny just stares at Peggy Sue in amazement.


He has never met anyone quite like her before!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Secret Santa Swap Gifts Received - Part Two.

More Secret Santa Reveals:

DollMum and her daughter wrote this to Santa:

Dear Santa,

Edmund would love his very own Christmas motif knitted sweater (Toddler boy, red hair)
Amy would love a Christmas dress (Baby Ginger - red hair)
Daisy would love a Christmas dress (Baby girl with blond hair)
Nina would love a Christmas dress (Baby Little Flower, dark curly hair)
The babies would also appreciate some tights (any colours, patterned or plain)

Any 3 of the above would be great.  If a dress could be smocked (simple smocking) this would be very much appreciated as Rosie loves smocked dresses for the dolls.  I will teach her how to do smocking seeing as she is managing cross stitch very well.

Secret Santa Mary R did very well at fulfilling this wish!


The packages...

Inside there was a green dress, a red dress with white snowmen and a red, gold and green dress (smocked), all three had matching underwear.  In the package for us was three pairs of baby tights: green, red and white, perfect for matching their dresses (worn underneath the knickers).




DollMum has blogged about her Christmas Day and you can find it by clicking 'here'.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Next up with have the wonderful gifts JoAnn received from Secret Santa Rochelle.

JoAnn wrote in her letter:

Dear Santa,

this is the first time we have sent a letter to you and hope that you get it in time.
the boys want boots or shoes or something like that cuz they have cold feet and the babies want blankies.  
my sisters and I would love anything pretty and maybe a new doll or two? 

Thank you so much Santa, we will have some cookies and milk waiting for you!!

lots of love from the 'S' kids

These are the fabulous gifts they received:


Much excitement as they look at the gifts.


They start to unwrap




Ooh!


Blanket


Wool boots


Goodies for 'Mum'


The kids with all their wonderful gifts.


Letter from Santa's workshop.


JoAnn writes:

A big thank you for letting us take part in Secret Santa!  And a big thank you to our Secret Santa Rochelle! We all loved the gifts she sent.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was Rochelle's Secret Santa.

She wrote:

Dear Santa,
I have many boys, girls and babies and all are feeling neglected this year.  They have lots of things, but I still don't have enough Christmas clothes to go around.  So nice christmas wear is what is requested for my brood.

This is what she received:


The parcels before they were sent.


Receiving the package.


Deciding which to ope first.


Opening them.


All the gifts



Wearing them.

Rochelle writes:

I took a lot of pictures of my little ones opening all their wonderful gifts.  Honey (the baby), Spike (my spike haired boy) and Sasha (my first and the one to keep the name for herself) loved their new clothes and toys,  Thank you.




I tried to cover all bases, making a Christmas themed outfit for a girl, a boy and a baby - the first Christmas outfit I have ever made for a baby!


Baby Barney Bam Bam got to model it before it was packaged up...he was promised one for himself...did I make one?  Um...no!  So I am not in his good books, although I didn't say WHICH Christmas he would get one!

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Most Memorable Characters.

I am sure most people are far too busy with post-Christmas activities, but I thought I would ask anyway:

Not counting Henry, who are your most memorable Sasha & Gregor characters/personalities that have appeared on my blog over the last few years?  This could be interesting as I have my own ideas and it will fun to know what other peoples thoughts are.

I would love to know who brings a smile to your face, makes you laugh, or whatever.

Please either leave a comment - it really is quite easy! ;-) or if you prefer send me a quick email at

lorraine(@)takaro.co.uk (removing the brackets)

Thank you!  

Secret Santa Swap Gifts Received - Part One.

What a wonderful Secret Santa Swap we had this year - lots of thought and effort went into the swap gifts and all the 'children' were delighted with their gifts.

Secret Santa Marijke sent some fabulous gifts to Mary


Mary writes to Santa:

My kids could use long sleeve shirts, toys, baby dolls, book bags, robes.  (Early Trendon boys and girls and babies!)

Santa Marijke did well as Mary received:

A beautiful robe A nice stocking A beautiful satchel A cute mouse And chocolate for me!!!! So happy!!! Oh








~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sonya wrote:

Dear Secret Santa
My Sasha and Gregor boys and girls loved watching "The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe " recently. So Gail (red haired 68 Sasha) would like an outfit just like Lucy's wartime traditional clothing ( dress, cardi, wooden socks etc)
or 
if the secret Santa would prefer to do an outfit for boys then Gregor would like an outfit like Edmunds war time off to the country outfit (shorts, sweater vest, shirt, woolly socks).
 My dolls know that I am not good at sewing so a Secret Santa who enjoys sewing would be a delight. 
Thank you 
Sonya

Some lovely gifts were received from Secret Santa Ursula




Sonya writes:


Ursula spoilt me with amazingly crafted outfit and gifts that transformed my Gail into Lucy from The Lion The With and the Wardrobe! Gail adores her elephant, I do too, they are my favourite animal! I loved the woven Christmas decorations and balls for the Sasha tree along with beautiful craft paper for me to make some unique decorations. Feeling very loved.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jackie wrote to Santa:

Dear Santa. I would love something for my 16" Sasha doll. We love most anything that is modern and maybe a little funky!  Thanks!   Jackie

She received these fabulous outfits from Secret Santa JoAnn


Jackie says: 

I asked for something funky and modern for my Sasha dolls, and this is my lovely swap from JoAnn!  Love the Starship Enterprise T-shirt and shorts, and the perfectly modern dress with balloon sleeves, lacey tights, fancy undies, headband, and pretty pink sparkly hat, as well as a wine cork ornament for the tree.  Thanks JoAnn!  Sasha hugs, Jackie
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Marijke received some wonderful gifts from her Secret Santa Jackie.

She writes:

Dear Santa,
My goodness, the past year has passed awfully quickly! Our Sasha family has grown to 13, with 6 girls, 5 boys, and 2 babies. As our Mum can sew and knit, we have already got lots of useful stuff, but some of us are better outfitted than others. The newest members of our family include Lars-Erik, a Trendon Sasha Dark Denims, and Ariana, a Trendon Sasha Dark Hair (falling, I fear!) Pink Dress, whose wardrobes are limited to what they came in, plus summer shorts for both and a T-shirt for only one.

At this point, none of us have pajamas or nighties, except for Pippa, who has real baby sleepers from last year’s Santa Swap, so nightwear for all of us is high on our list. Aside from knitted berets and caps, none of us have real, felt berets. Only Sasha has a backpack right now to carry her treasures in. Bastiaan would love to have a fisherman’s vest with lots of pockets, to go with his net and creel. Lars-Erik wants his own teddy bear; he is quite young and still enjoys stuffed toys. The girls would probably wish for cloth dollies. Does Santa bring slingshots? Mum says he doesn’t give those because they are quite dangerous in the wrong hands. None of us boys have wrong hands, I promise. And only Sasha and Pippa have sun hats.  And only Bastiaan has a hoodie with a zip. We need coats, too, except for Sasha and Gregor.
That’s a lot of wishes! But we want to give Santa all of our good ideas, and then Santa can choose from them.

Mum loves dark chocolate and marzipan. She’d be happy with anything that might make us happy.

SIncerely,

Sasha, Gregor, and their little sister Pippa; Cora, Caleb and their little sister Mimmi; Ffion Pintucks, Willow Kiltie, Rowan and her twin Rufus, Lars-Erik, Ariana and Bastiaan

Well Secret Santa Jackie certainly did VERY well at fulfilling this request! 

The boys got: a fur-trimmed winter jacket, pajamas, Christmas stocking, mitten ornaments, pink teddy bear (the girls will likely claim that!), 2 tiny toy cars, a pair of lavender sneakers (again, for the girls probably), a pair of khaki cargo pants, a maroon, waffle-knit zipped hoodie, a red long-sleeve T-shirt, a khaki backpack, a Santa gown and Santa hat with real fur trim, a tree ornament doll, a carpenter’s apron complete with tool logo, a fishing pole complete with fish, and the most incredible fishing vest I’ve ever seen!





Bastiaan, Lars-Erik, Gregor, Caleb and Rufus


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~#

Ursula wrote to Santa:

Dear Santa,

My babies have written a wish list, since they are sorely neglected and very seldom get anything new.
Mikey is a boy and Baby is a girl, so it doesn't matter if Santa finds girl or boy stuff for them.

Well Secret Santa Doll Mum certainly did an amazing and very imaginative job at fulfilling this wish list!  Ursula has written the following story with the pictures.


They had promised to be good until Christmas. Santa has been pleased with them, so a lovely play mat with hanging toys, a set of soft felt building blocks, and a wonderful story book are waiting under the Christmas tree. And an assortment of pretty buttons for Mum, so she can make those dungarees at last...


The babies approach their new play mat carefully. Is this all ours?





They are thrilled! They roll all over the floor, and over each other for joy! 





They try out their beautiful felt blocks, with letters on them - and they arrange themselves to the word "DANKE", which is German for Thank you! A miracle - the babies can't read or write...


They make such a noise that Marie comes looking. "What’s this all about?"




The babies look at Marie. Mikey says: "Read book to us? PLEEEASE!"

We have some very very happy babies this year at NeverUschi's, and they have learned that it pays to be good until Christmas. We all thank our Secret Santa Doll Mum so much for those great presents. And it's so good the babies will never grow out of them...
Thank you again for organizing Lorraine! It was such fun. I hope all the others had fun too, and are as happy with their Secret Santa gifts as we are.

Kindest regards, Ursula

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Henry wrote to Santa:


Dear Santa,

We have been pretty quiet this year, although I have still got up to my adventures.  I sadly have hardly any hair now, or at least great bald patches, so Mum is hoping to get me some wigs soon. 

We don’t mind what we have for Christmas and just love surprises.  As you know we have quite a big family, so you could either give us something for someone in particular, or something that will suit anyone.  Your choice – hope this doesn’t make it difficult.

With love,
Henry

Henry and Peggy Sue received some packages from their Secret Santa Sonya:


Ooh, look how exiting  - these presents have our name on!


What did you get Henry?


A hat, dungarees and a jumper.  Henry tells her.

I got a dress!  Says Peggy Sue


Peggy Sue couldn't wait to try it on it was so prettyl.


Oh dear, it is a bit big for me. She says.


My outfit fits great!  Henry tells her.


Plus I have a hat!

Peggy Sue came up with a perfect solution though...


She gave the dress to Chrissy to try on. 

See it is a perfect fit!  Peggy Sue tells her.


Chrissy is especially pleased to get a new dress for Christmas.  She is so used to just modelling clothes and doesn't often get something of her very own.


It fits and suits her perfectly and is a lovely dress to keep her warm this winter.

Thank you Sonya for your wonderful gifts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part Two to follow when I get the rest of the photos : -)