Category Archives: Crafty Goodness

My Inspiration

 

Beautiful image by Erin Wallis Photography.

I was asked recently by a friend as to why I started making the dolls and why I didn’t make those cute monster dolls or stuffed animals. Surely, I could make those too – she suggested as a way to expand my product line. But, I make dolls, it’s what I do. I love the idea of pouring my heart into one thing.

When I first started reading about ‘Waldorf Dolls’ (this is the philosophy upon which the dolls are based on) I was drawn in by thoughts of a simple expression on the doll, so that it can be used in open ended play – happy or sad or somewhere in between. And by the use of all natural materials because a child’s energy ‘flows’ better with something natural. I loved these concepts, they just made so much sense to me. Thing was, I wasn’t too keen on what was available at the time. I knew that the little girls in my life would want something a little brighter, happier and fun. So, I took my love of color, fabrics, and yarns (yum!) and created a doll. Then another. And another.

As I started making more dolls, I took them to a Waldorf school very excited about sharing what I did.  While the parents and most teachers embraced what I did and loved the more modern direction I was taking the dolls. There was one teacher who was very unkind to me – my dolls were ‘too happy’ and ‘too colorful’ and I shouldn’t sell them at the school. It was brutal – it’s like that lady was a vacuum that sucked up all the positivity from the day. One part of me could have shrunk away and never make dolls again or start making  them in the uber traditional way – taking her words to heart. The other part, the one that I listened too, just knew that this was what I was meant to do. You see, back then, Etsy didn’t even exist – and when it did it was only myself and a very few ladies making Waldorf Dolls on there. No one had seen what I was doing. I knew that I could take the heart and concepts of this beautiful philosophy around dolls and bring it to today’s little girls. And not ones that are going to the Waldorf schools, necessarily. I knew I could bring them to my friends, my family, my community – a wider base of people.

The concepts that first inspired and drew me in still hold steady in my work. They are the anchor in all that I do, my foundation. The simple faces that can convey so much and be what the child’s imagination needs. The hair made with so much thought. Our hair can be styled and played with (something I know I LOVED as a child – here’s our YouTube channel with different hair styling videos). I really remember as a child getting lost in textures remembering this is why I love combining different types of yarns to create it – we even go as far as hand dying most of our yarns to get all the shades we want. The simple bodies made much like a child’s – not a thin, unrealistic proportion. My dolls keep kid’s little – I can’t get started on how sick I feel when I see what is available to young girls today (another blog post). Clothing that can be taken on and off with velcro – easy. Every single thing we do is thought out using those basic tenants of the Waldorf philosophy but always with the question ‘what would the child love?’. Even while choosing fabrics I have this question near and dear to my heart.

I make companions, secret keepers, a child’s little ally for that short period of time of their life. My doll was SO important to me growing up – the security and comfort I took in having her around is something I feel even to this day. I know I’ve said this again and again, but remembering that makes me feel so incredibly honored to be making dolls for your little ones today.

Much love,
Christina

Nicole Downs - May 2, 2015 - 7:42 am

Thanks Christina. We love your heart and your dolls. You are a gift.

Kim Giovannini - May 2, 2015 - 7:48 am

Personal reflection leads to growth and prosperity. It’s something we learn as we experience life. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blogs. They are inspirational and remind us all to remember to treasure our Littles so they may treasure their Littles one day. <3 So lovely!

Sharyl Henry - May 2, 2015 - 8:03 am

Christina, Yes, exactly what Nicole Downs said -“We love your heart and your dolls. You are a gift.” The sweet and dear Bambolettas are perfectly wonderful and magical — unique and special more than words can express. Your heartful and loving vision brings them to life and sends enchanted blessings out into the world. Thank goodness that you did not listen to whoever it was at the Waldorf school that said those ridiculously judgmental and hurtful comments to you. Lots of love to you.

Ida - May 2, 2015 - 3:26 pm

Thank you for sharing your special gift with us! Your dolls are special, like none other. You are a unique artist that is giving us something so special. Love, love, love your dolls!!

willowsprite - June 10, 2015 - 10:34 pm

Lovely blog post. Thank you for pressing on with your beautiful work! How can anything be to happy or colourful? Ridiculous. I’ve just discovered Waldorf style dolls, now that I have a daughter and have been looking for dolls that are made of natural materials. I love how yours are natural and handmade – but also have beautiful colourful hair you don’t see anywhere else. And the cute outfits! Love!

willowsprite - June 10, 2015 - 10:35 pm

Lovely blog post. Thank you for pressing on with your beautiful work! How can anything be to happy or colourful? Ridiculous. I’ve just discovered Waldorf style dolls, now that I have a daughter I have been looking for dolls that are made of natural materials. I love how yours are natural and handmade – but also have beautiful colourful hair you don’t see anywhere else. And the cute outfits! Love!

willowsprite - June 10, 2015 - 10:39 pm

Lovely blog post. Thank you for pressing on with your beautiful work! How can anything be to happy or colourful? Ridiculous. I’ve just discovered Waldorf style dolls, now that I have a daughter I have been looking for dolls that are made of natural materials. I love how yours are natural and handmade – but also have beautiful colourful hair you don’t see anywhere else. And the cute outfits! Love!

I still remember my doll I had as a child. A cabbage patch doll with long yarn hair. I can still remember what it felt like to run my fingers through it. I remember her little fingers and toes…and belly button! Memories of what we played with as kids are powerful. You’re helping create them.

Reyanna - July 22, 2015 - 12:52 pm

This post brought tears to my eyes! … just picturing you at that Waldorf school and them crushing your spirit. :-( I’m so glad you persevered!! I am now just starting to collect your dolls. I’ve gotten them on FB, but still… I LOVE THEM!!! I know I will be buying new as well. They are so amazing. Thank you for creating such beautiful dolls! :)

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Busy Hands

We had some pictures taken last fall by the lovely Devon Gillott. Hands at work, always busy at the Bamboletta studio.

I hope everyone is keeping well. I’m shifting some stuff at the studio so that I will have more time to blog and I am really looking forward to it. I miss writing and chatting on here. It crazy how fast time goes by!

Talk soon!
Christina

Courtney Scaggs - August 15, 2014 - 9:04 am

Will you sweet ladies ever put out clothes patterns? Thanks xoxo

admin - August 15, 2014 - 9:24 am

We are working on it :)

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Knitting Directory

This is my Nonna, she is my original doll sweater knitter. Her knitting slowed down for a while but she is back in action, something which she is really happy about.

We get the most lovely emails from people telling us about how our dolls have inspired them to pick up the needles and knit for their dolls or dust off the sewing machine and start making some outfits. Being a bit of a spark for someone’s creativity makes me  incredibly happy and honored.  I believe we need creativity in our lives, as much as air and food and water. To me, creativity connects us into something – that timeless bliss – be it when you sew, or knit, or give your fridge a really good clean (I did this today – so satisfying!). Creativity is such a loaded word – people often connect it with something artsy – but I really think it’s anytime you are in the ‘zone’.

Any ways, enough of my musings. I recently found out about this whole wide world of knitters for doll stuff – it’s amazing! I did a post asking people on Facebook for their patterns and knit goodies so that I could comply a directory of sorts. We get asked from customers where they can find patterns so this is an easy place to point them.

Some of these are free, others are paid for. I’ll tell you another thing that makes me happy – that there are people out there creating income for themselves by selling stuff for our dolls. Bamboletta is  like a flower or something that sends off thousands of seeds and ,to me, blooms with creativity.
*If you knit and have patterns available/knitted goodies for sale please email me at christina@bamboletta.com and I will add you in!*

First off, Brandy Fortune’s book!

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Michelle Chang

Shannon Talbott

Crabapples Boutique

Deborah Minner

Linsay Cocker

DalaiMama

H H Crafts

Alicia Wilson

Mini Me Woolies

Lori Campbell

Muriela

Karyn Gragg

Brandy Fortune

Winterludes

Korin Bourdo

Joanna Johnson

Georgie Hallam

Fig and Me

Tansy Dolls

Avi and Tavi

Ninny Noodle Noo

Luletti

Tafferty Designs

Laura Van Roo

BlackberryFaerie

EvelynClark

TurtlekeeperDesigns

Flora and Finn

Clara’s Little Boutique

So, this should keep you busy for a while! Next Directory I’ll create is a Doll Clothing pattern one.

Happy Knitting Everyone!
xo,
Christina

[…] that is extra sweet. We noticed that there are many patterns available for our larger dolls (see Knitting Directory) but nothing for the smaller, Cuddle Dolls. I asked Julia to make a pattern up and write it out so […]

Clara's Little Boutique - September 30, 2014 - 4:59 pm

Hello

We Knit and Crochet Doll Sweaters and are interested in being listed on your site.
Our outfits fit Bamboletta Dolls as well as other types of dolls.

We fell in love with the Bamboletta Dolls, they are so darling and reminded us of our childhood and all our friends who had the dolls wanted clothes – so we just started sewing and knitting, them and we then established our ETSY shop and have had it for over a year and just love making the clothes.

We believe this is a wonderful Marketing Tool, great Customer Service and a way to give those who purchase dolls another avenue for outfits. And of course keeps everyone buying the lovely dolls!

We appreciate this opportunity. Please contact us if you have any questions

Thank you

Chrissy and Jeannette

http://www.etsy.com/shop/claraslittleboutique

Melinda - April 17, 2015 - 1:10 pm

Can I just say that I love that your Nonna knits Portuguese style? A friend’s grandmother was going to teach me that way of tensioning and ended up passing away before I could learn…made me think of dear Vovo!

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