Doll Making Workshop – Toronto – February 2013

Waldorf Doll-Making Workshop


I am very excited to announce a doll-making workshop at my studio. I will be teaching a small group of maximum 8 people.

Description: Spend twi days learning to make a wonderful Waldorf inspired doll. Using a doll body pre-sewn by Monika from a traditional Waldorf Doll pattern, you will create a doll that will be its own character. Dress patterns will be part of your hand-out, so that you might sew lovely outfits for your dolls at home.

You can choose the hair, skin tone, eye and lip colour.

Skills required: basic hand-sewing knowledge. Optional: basic crochet (there are wig alternatives that involve sewing instead of crochet).

Cost: $200 (Incl. HST)/person (max 8 people) (14+ hours instruction time)
(Includes all materials for doll: pre-sewn body and head cover skin, pattern for doll body, wool stuffing, dress patterns, thread matching skin colours, choice of doll hair, long or mohair).

Please bring your own sewing scissors, measuring tape, pins, a note-pad and pen.

There is also a 3-day workshop option where you will learn to sew the body and sew an outfit, including shoes.

For the 3-Day option (spread over 2 additional Friday evenings) please add:
Friday February 8th from 6:30pm – 9:30pm, and Friday February 22. from 6:00pm – 10:00 pm

Please bring your own sewing machine (must be able to do zig-zag stitch), fabric scissors, notebook, pencil, measuring tape, pins
Skills required: ability to thread a needle and sew basic stitches, optional: basic crochet stitches, knitting skills and using sewing machine.

Cost: $240 (incl HST) (7hrs/day, total 21+ hours instruction time)

(Includes all materials for doll – body and head cover skin, pattern for doll body, dress patterns, wool stuffing, thread matching skin colours, choice of doll hair, long or mohair) you will be asked to bring fabric for clothes.

Dates: Saturday February 9 and Sunday February 10th. 10:00am – 6:00pm (for the 2-day option)

For the 3-Day option (spread over 2 additional Friday evenings) please add:
Friday February 8th from 6:30pm – 9:30pm, and Friday February 22. from 6:00pm – 10:00 pm

To sign up, please e-mail me with your contact information and choice of 2 or 3-day option:

If you would love to participate, but these dates just don't work for you, please send me a note so that you can be notified of future workshops. If weekends are never an option for you, please let me know as well – I can host a workshop anytime if we have enough students – in and out of Toronto.

One-Day Studio Sale With Undine Jewellery

This is the last public event before the end of the year. 

If you haven't had a chance to come see me, perhaps this Sunday will work for you. 

Rima and I would love to see you!



See you on Sunday! This will also be another chance for you to enter the contest to win "Mimi".

I know that my dolls are not attainable for everybody that visits and gives me such lovely words for my work – I wanted to give something back.

Here is quick image of "Mimi". 


The contest will close on December 16. 2012, the day of my last show this year.


Olive Sparrow Children looking for their forever families

All through the fall I have quietly and not so quietly been working on a variety of Olive Sparrow Children to be offered at the fairs I was booked for and have talked about on this here blog.

Quite a number of dolls have found their forever homes. Some of them being finished the night before a fair and never even having had their picture taken. This is sad of course, however, such is the life of a doll maker.

I love selling my dolls in person, chatting to the person who is deciding who to take into their family – hearing from them about the special child that will be playing with the doll, sharing stories about the creation of the doll, discussing all manner of imaginative play – seeing a connection made. However, I always attempt to also make some dolls to be sold online – to let some of my children fly far, far into the world, to have adventures far away from here (or maybe not – but to be found by families that might not have known about the fairs, the Olive Sparrow or even waldorf inspired dolls.

So the time came last week that all the rowdy, mischievous dolls still here with me came for a sitting-pretty photo session to my studio. Most of them were absolutely amazing in how still they sat so that even under low light conditions (we took the pictures late in the day), we had perfect pictures. Some of them though, were just too full of beans to sit still enough, so I will have to take a few more select pictures tomorrow.

I have decided to let you know now, that all some of the dolls are now listed in the Olive Sparrow Etsy shop here.

Sometime tomorrow, as I have time, I will add the listings for the other dolls. 

Here is a little sneak peak at the 3 outstanding dolls.


Baby Bee 20 cm / almost 8"



Lizzy – 38 cm / 15"


Elsie 48 cm / 19"


If you have any questions about the dolls, please e-mail me.

A Quick Review

The past 10 days have been a flurry of activities and lugging of the portable Olive Sparrow shop. I also got to meet with so many of you that have come and visited me at the fairs. 

Here is a bit of a recap to share with you.

Friday and Saturday (Nov. 16 and 17) I had a large booth at the Arts and Crafts Fair of the Toronto Waldorf School in Richmond Hill. On the way there, the front wheels of our beloved, yet ancient mini-van started smoking. Taking frequent breaks to let them cool down, I was determined to make it to the fair – which I did – just. I was so lucky to have my wonderful felting buddy Jan helped me with the set-up. Car-car (don't you name your car?) stayed there overnight, while Manon of Shoe Babou gave me a ride downtown and back the next day.

Here a quick look of the booth:


This was my third year at the show and I feel blessed to have seen many of my repeat clients again. I also got to chat with many new clients. 

On the Sunday after the show I took Huxley to see "the Man in red on his sled", and a visit to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum). Since we didn't score even one candy cane, we treated ourselves to cake in their eatery that always makes me think of Switzerland (it's something about the layout, the colours and general feel). This time of the year is a challenge to my mothering role – my soul is torn between my duties on all fronts – as a mother, a creator of Olive Sparrow goods, a gardner, a housewife, an artist, the maker of all the baked cookies with gift clients with, taking care of me. Yet despite the challenges, I love the flurry of activities and even giggle at the state of the insides of our car – packed to the roof with show booth items.

Monday to Thursday this past week was spend sewing like a mad-woman at home and getting some painting done at the studio. I was able to finish up 3 more Olive Sparrow Children (they had still needed faces, hair and clothes) and sew shoes for all the larger dolls that didn't find their forever families at the TWS show. 

On Friday just before 2 pm I got on the road to Guelph (about 100 km's east of Toronto). I was able to visit my pregnant friend Catherine and her family there for half an hour before heading to the Trillium Waldorf School for the Cranberry market.

It was so relaxing to set up there, as I had given myself ample time so I didn't need to stress and do my usual heart-pounding, adrenaline pumping spiel of racing to be ready for opening time. There was a piano in my vendor room and a group of children played piano and the recorder for me. As a thank you, I let them have a rock fight. You read right. This year I am selling wet-felted rocks, originally intended to be used for nature tables, play scapes and decoration. Through interaction with the kids I realized they had a hoot trowing "rocks" at each other in play. What fun – and there are still some bags of the rocks left for my next fairs. The children commented on how interesting it felt to hold these textile stones in their hands. 

The booth set-up is different at each fair I attend – In Guelph, I had rented two tables, which is really what is needed to justly present all my goods. Luckily Catherine (not my pregnant friend, but a super-sweet and wonderful co-ordinator of the fair) was able to get me that much space.


Here some close-ups of each table:



Because I had some extra time before opening, here a few (pardon me for the blurriness) doll close-ups:


Alice 38 cm – available


Elsie – 38 cm – available

The Cranberry fair closed at 11pm. At 11:40 pm, my goodies where packed up and I drove back home to Toronto. After getting into bed at 1:15 am, I rose again at 4:30 am and was on the road at 5 am to arrive in Kingston (about 250 km's west of Toronto) by 8:30 am for set-up at the Mullberry Waldorf school for their Winterfair. (I did have a 15 minute nap at one of the rest-stops and arrived full of energy in perfect timing to walk my stuff up to the 3rd floor of a lovely old and large school house. The building reminded me strongly of my own primary school in Switzerland – must have had something to do with the size of the class rooms and the spacing of the stair steps.

Even though my attendance was confirmed only a week ago, I was still able to rent two table spaces. Lois and Patricia that coordinated the fair were absolutely lovely to work with. 


All the people I met at the school were strangers to me, yet I was made to feel completely at home and welcome by everyone that came to look and/or purchase my goodies.


As promised in my earlier post, I wanted to show you the 20 cm Olive Sparrow Child that I will be giving away in a contest I am holding at all my shows this season. I know that my dolls are not attainable for everybody that visits and gives me such lovely words for my work – I wanted to give something back.

Here is quick image of "Mimi". 


The contest will close on December 16. 2012, the day of my last show this year.

If you would like to put your name into the draw for a chance to win her,  visit me at one of the shows I will be doing over the next two weeks and fill out a ballot:

November 30 (Friday 6 pm – 9 pm ) – Westdale Children's School – Hamilton 

December 2 (Sunday 10 am – 4 pm) – Waldorf Academy (formerly Allan Howard Waldorf School) – Toronto

December 8 (Saturday 11 am – 3 pm) – London Waldorf School – London

December 16 (Sunday noon – 5 pm) – Rima and Friends – Wise Daughters Craft Market – Toronto (Junction)

Off to bed for me – I am planning on sewing more doll clothes and hopefully finish a couple more dolls until Friday.


Little Olive Sparrow Children

At a Mayfair last year a little girl about 2 years old came by and insisted on holding one of my little dollies. She didn't want to let it go. 

This was my inspiration of producing a number of small (20 and 25 cm) dolls for little hands. 

These dolls feature very simple clothes, no small details and are perfect for smaller hands. They do have little hats which can be put aside until the child is a bit older. 

To meet the little dollies, come visit me tomorrow and Saturday at TWS in Richmond Hill.