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New Shop Opening Soon!

I’ve been showing pictures here and there of our new wee retail shop that we are opening up – it’s been a month of putting up shelving, painting and general puttering around. Now we are pretty much ready to go, so, without further ado, our official opening date will be DECEMBER 1st!

We will be open from 11 – 4:30 Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 11- 5 Saturday and Sunday and closed Monday and Tuesday. It get’s dark quick where we are, so these are our ‘winter’ hours.

Our shop is located at 1721 Cowichan Bay Road – Unit G. Now, for local folks, that is underneath where the old Udder Guys Ice Cream shop used to be, and sort of across where Spinning Ninny is. We are not on the main road there, but sort of tucked around at the back – facing the boats!

Hope to see you there!
Christina

Charleen - November 28, 2012 - 7:53 am

What a special spot!!!! You have inspired me with our Bambo organization in this house…..Where did you find the clothes rack?

My mind is curious as to what the quote is on the wall 😉

Thank you for sharing as always <3

Susan - November 28, 2012 - 8:06 am

I would so love to come up this weekend to support your new venture. It looks like a lovely location and facing the water seems to be the ideal view if you ask me. xoox Susan

Sara Marinara - November 28, 2012 - 8:31 am

I always wanted to go to the Pacific Northwest. Bamboletta land here I come!

Linda JT, Helena and Finn - November 28, 2012 - 9:10 am

Eeeeeeep!!! Need to get my Vancouver Island weekend vacay all planned out. I’m giddy with glee, I tell ya.

Kinda - November 28, 2012 - 11:23 am

Wow! This is so exciting for you, Christina, and all the Bambo folks. My Island family has moved to the Kootenays, so sadly my trips to the area will be few and far between. Wish I could be there to see it! xo

admin - November 28, 2012 - 8:54 pm

Thank you for all of your support! We hope to see and meet all of you 🙂

Charleen, the racks were custom built for us and the quote is by Kathe Kruse. I don’t know it off by heart, but if C sees this post, maybe she can relay it to you 🙂

And ‘Hi’ Susan!!!!

xo
Brooke

Janet Ya Ya Westelle - November 28, 2012 - 9:06 pm

Oh…I am SO happy to hear you quoted Kathe Kruse…
She is who I felt Christina’s start reminded me most of!…I must try and travel to meet you all too. I would love the view of the boats…More boy dolls are needed and doll sized toy boats would be wonderful and little bears and horses on wheels…and polo horses on riding sticks…and child sized bambo tea sets…get busy ladies…quilts and doll furniture…oh so many ways to grow!!! I need a coffe mug…I love colorful ones…Congrats! <3

Linzy N - November 29, 2012 - 8:23 am

My aunt and I took a walk around trying to find it… no luck. We will try again after it opens. I stop in the bay often for family meals.

admin - November 30, 2012 - 9:12 am

Linzy, I have a feeling we will be easier to find once our sandwich is out 🙂

Staff Pick!!! » Bamboletta Blog - November 30, 2012 - 10:07 am

[…] Staff Pick time again!! We have been very busy this past week (even more than usual) getting our new shop ready for it’s opening tomorrow…SO EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!!! So I was a little behind on […]

Gidget Fenwick - December 1, 2012 - 2:38 am

Love it….so wish I could visit some day!!

Julie - December 3, 2012 - 7:47 am

Your shop looks darling. Now, to move closer…

christine blanek - December 3, 2012 - 2:56 pm

Hoping we can make a trip one day and see this amazing shop in person!
Congratulations!

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Staying Connected

I know, I know I keep gripping about how much Facebook as changed for the worse. It pains me to get emails from customers saying that the don’t ‘see’ us anymore and miss certain things ,like our photo contest, because we don’t show up in Facebook feed anymore. See, Facebook has changed things for businesses. Before when I posted something on Bamboletta, everyone would see it and now, unless I pay PER post – the chance of someone seeing what I’ve posted are nil unless you change your settings to allow posts from me in your feed or you come and visit us. Anyhow, enough about that! Lol!

I’m bringing back my newsletter. This way , if you like, I can email you of contests and giveaways and all around shop news! I won’t go crazy with it – once a week max – but this way we can stay in touch a bit more. I’m also on Instagram quite a bit, it reminds me of old Facebook. You can follow me from an Instagram app or there are Instagram profile pages now. Fancy!

To sign up for my newsletter simply go to my website and put in your email address on the bottom right hand side there.

Thanks everyone!!
Christina

PS That picture is of ‘Wandering Winter’ – it’s a paper doll that was colored in by my friend’s daughter Winter. The doll is travelling around from address to address and we have to take pictures of her and send them to the real Winter. I love this idea so much that we are organizing some sort of wandering Bamboletta (but are trying to think up a different name) that we can organize amongst participating customers. Anyhow, we hope to have info about this next week. So exciting!

 

Christin Taylor - November 23, 2012 - 7:33 pm

That would be an awesome idea to have 1 bamboletta doll to go from person to petson and visit many different places and take pictures of all those places and ER could all send souvenirs back with the dolls. That would be so cool!!!! I would live to be a stop along her way!

Christin Taylor - November 23, 2012 - 7:34 pm

That ER was suppose to be a we (my phone changed it on its own)

Maegan Davies - November 23, 2012 - 7:38 pm

I love the wandering dolly idea!

Sue Brayton - November 23, 2012 - 7:54 pm

We have lots of winter in North Dakota!

Skye C - November 23, 2012 - 8:26 pm

Okay, I adore the wandering Winter idea! That is so precious! I made a special list for Bamboletta and a couple of other pages I wanted to make sure I saw. So I can see when there are updates and just click the list. 🙂 Facebook is annoying!

Annette - November 23, 2012 - 8:37 pm

I think you should call it the Hobo-Bambo. ☺ Just out lookin’ for a place to stay the night.

Barbara H. - November 23, 2012 - 9:56 pm

Just signed up for the newsletter! And I’ve got you guys pinned on my list on facebook so that I don’t miss too much of your stuff that way, but will love having the newsletter as a back up!
And the gypsy doll idea sounds fantabulous, Willow would get a kick out of that! We are participating in a “Flat Stanley” project right now and Willow is going to send one of her own along with the one we are supposed to re-mail as a hijacker of sorts… that way she will get postcards too from all of the fab stops. 🙂

Laurie - November 24, 2012 - 8:53 am

Lovely idea Christina! I can only imagine that the wandering Bambo will bring as much cheer to everyone whose life it touches as did Stella the Bambo gnome when she traveled her adventures. I was so honored to have her. And she brought a level of activity to our home that was fun and vibrant…

Bon voyage Bambo!! See the world and share your love.

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‘Available Products’ = Another Step

I’ve been waiting for this for a few years now. What, may you ask? Available Products! Chances are now when you go to the shop you will see some dolls there waiting for homes. I love seeing dolls there, just waiting for someone to stumble upon there and pick one up. The past few years have been amazing but sometimes has felt like a bit of a frenzy and it still is a bit on upload times but it has calmed down. We are now making over 80 dolls a week as opposed to about half that last year and I think supply has met demand a bit. We are still focusing in on making lots of Little Buddies (our 10″ dolls). So, why else am I excited about with this  ‘Available Products’ development? Well, it’s allowing me a bit of room to take another step.

Back at the start of Bamboletta I sold my dolls at Farmer’s Markets and at craft fairs – these are my ‘roots’. I would watch with delight as kids would come to my booth and scan the dolls and choose their perfect friend (as a side note it was usually much different than what the mother wanted!). It’s like a total ‘moment’ when they found her or him. This what really gave me the motivation to make more and to grow Bamboletta. I felt honoured to be able to be part of that little one’s childhood (in a very small way – but still!). The past few years I’ve felt that too with my online community, the pictures and emails and amazing gifts and acts of kindness have really bonded me to all of you and I’ve been inspired to grow and make Bamboletta what it is today. My online sales have come first and I never had any dolls ‘extra’ to do the markets or the fairs that I used to do. But, now with ‘Available Products’,  I have the room to do so. So, as of December 1st, I am fufilling a dream and opening up a wee store – 10”x10” (which funnily enough was always my Farmer’s Market stall size!). This store will be in Cowichan Bay, tucked away and facing the boats. We’ve been plugging away at it, painting and making the trip to Ikea and getting it all ready .. I feel like I’m a kid playing store!  I don’t think I’d be doing this sort of thing if I lived in Vancouver or even Victoria but where we are is very rural so I’m not worried about stocking issues. Eep! So excited! We hope to have open for December 1st and I’ll make sure to post on here when it’s all ready to go.

Then maybe, just maybe, in the summer I can get back to doing a few Farmer’s Markets back in Vancouver and in Whistler .. who knows?

xo
Christina

Cassandra - November 20, 2012 - 11:40 am

Very cool news to read and how exciting for you! YAY to be able to take this step.

Sharon Perry - November 20, 2012 - 1:43 pm

Your dolls are so adorable. Thank you for a chance to win one!

Renee - November 20, 2012 - 2:41 pm

Super excited for you! Can’t wait for our next trip to Victoria in hopes we can make a stop in to have a look 🙂

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Help Us Decorate!

As many of you know we are opening up a little shop. I spent the day there today with my dad putting up shelving and assembling some Ikea bits and pieces. It felt like playing store, sort of a dream come true for me as I used to play store all the time when I was a kid. So fun!

I do have a wee bit of an issue though that I thought you could help me out with. See my walls? So boring! What we need are some cute child and doll pictures and I’m hoping you gals can help me out with it. So, I’m running a bit of a photo contest. I am looking for 12 pics of your children with their Bamboletta’s.  Photos chosen will be put up in our shop and the ‘winners’ will be sent a cute doll outfit!

Please send your picture to bambolettapics@gmail.com. The gals and I will chose the pics on the 22nd and email the recipients then 🙂

Thanks so much everyone. It will be so nice to have pictures of your sweet little ones around the shop! It’s the perfect addition.

Christina

PS We hope to have the shop open for December 1st! More details to follow!

Cassandra - November 12, 2012 - 10:53 am

Very cool! <3

rickiann - November 12, 2012 - 1:31 pm

Love it !

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Bamboletta Cleaning Tips! By Alicia Verdier

A while back I asked our long time customer and friend Alicia to write this post. Alicia is quite the stain removal wizz and our ‘go to’ gal when we get frantic emails from customers about something happening to their doll! Thank you so much Alicia for this! xo

I cannot count the number of times I’ve gotten a frantic message saying something like My daughter put lipgloss all over her doll’s face! or My toddler colored all over our doll with a pen, what do I do?  Every time, I try to calmly walk the worried mama through the steps necessary to clean up their doll and most of the time, the stains are totally gone by the time we complete the cleaning process.

I think the term handmade makes a lot of people worry that the dolls are fragile and easy to damage, but what I have learned over the years is that they are a lot sturdier than they appear.  These beautiful creations are meant to be played with and they will survive a lot of love and play.

I am hoping that this blog entry will serve as a go-to guide for dolly cleaning.  I will try to come up with every possible scenario and lay out the steps necessary to remove the stains or damage, but I am certain I cannot conceive of everything a child might think to do.

LIPGLOSS AND CHAPSTICK
The most common stain I hear about is lipgloss or chapstick.  Children seem to want to make sure dolly’s lips are nice and soft.  Most lipglosses and chapsticks are petroleum, wax, or oil based, so their stains are cleaned in the same manner.

First you want to wet the stained area with some lukewarm water.  Next, using a q-tip or clean cotton cloth, add a dab of dish soap like Dawn.  Something without dye in it might make you feel safer about the process.  Use the q-tip to work the soap in with the grain of the fabric.  If the stain seems stubborn or is quite colorful, you can use something a bit stiffer to work the soap in, like your fingernail.  Always work with the grain of the fabric, you don’t want to cause unnecessary stretching or pilling.

After you’ve worked the soap in, add more water to the stain and blot up the excess with a clean cotton cloth or dye-free paper towel.  If you feel like the spot could use another round of soap, repeat those steps.  If it looks as if the stain is gone, then it’s time to dry the doll.

DRYING
Drying is best achieved in a warm sunny spot.  The sun helps further remove stains and odors and is the safest method of drying a doll stuffed with wool.  Lay the doll with the stain facing up and leave her there for a few hours, depending on how big the spot was.  If you were cleaning anywhere near the cheeks, you will need to reapply blush using the blusher scrap that she came with.

MARKERS AND CRAYONS
The next most common stain I hear about is drawing on the dolls.  I’ve had messages about ink pens, permanent markers, markers, crayons….you name it.  The only marker I know of that has a truly permanent stain is a dry erase marker.  This is because of the make up of dry erase, it’s a particulate rather than an ink, so the little bits of powder embed themselves in the fabric and cannot be removed.  It’s a lot like activated charcoal that gets used in hospitals.  Anyone who has worked in an ER can attest to the fact that activated charcoal causes permanent stains.  Even permanent marker isn’t truly permanent.

WATER SOLUBLE INK
To remove marker drawings from your doll, first you need to figure out if the ink is water soluble or not.  Using a q-tip, add a small amount of water to the stain and see if any rubs off on the q-tip.  If it does, it is most likely water soluble.  If it doesn’t, move on to the next section.

For water soluble inks, you first want to remove as much of the dye as possible.  Adding small amounts of water and immediately blotting them up with a clean dye-free paper towel is my favorite way of reducing the chances of bleeding.  Bleeding is not an irreversible issue, but if you can keep the stain from spreading, you have a lot less work to do.

After you have blotted up as much of the ink as possible, you can use a clean q-tip to add small amounts of dish soap.  Dawn dye-free works well for this.  Again, work with the grain of the fabric.  After the soap has been worked in, add more water and blot with a clean paper towel.  Repeat these steps until the stain is no longer visible.

See the above section on Drying.

NON-WATER SOLUBLE INK
When the ink on your doll doesn’t budge with water, it’s time to try a few other tactics.  Rubbing alcohol works wonders on ballpoint inks.  Apply it with a clean q-tip and blot it up with a dye-free paper towel.  Repeat those steps until as much of the stain as possible is removed.  Then refer back to the soap and water cleaning steps to get rid of any left over residue.

For crayon marks on a doll, I have found that Carbona Dirt Devils Ink and Crayon Stain Remover works wonders.  You can usually order it online, but it’s hard to find in stores.  It’s easy to use and I haven’t had any bad experiences with it.  Dish soap and water also works really well.  If you use the Carbona, apply it liberally to the stain and let it sit for about 15 minutes.  Rinse it out with some dish soap and repeat as necessary.  If you don’t have access to Carbona products, wet the stain and apply some dye-free dish soap, working with the grain of the fabric.  Usually, crayon marks come off with one or two tries with soap.  Rinse out the soap and blot off the excess water.

For permanent markers like Sharpie, you can try the Carbona mentioned above or you can use the soap and water method.  I have had reasonably good luck taking permanent marker out of these dolls with soap and water.  The skin is pretty resilient and seems to respond well to the basics of cleaning.  I should mention however that I have only experimented with one brand of permanent marker and different colors will be harder to remove than others.

When you have sufficiently removed the spots, you can move on to drying your doll.  Frequently, any residual stain left will fade with drying, especially if you use a sunny spot.

See the above section on Drying.

ODORS
While I truly love the dolls’ ability to retain the comforting smells of home, they also can get a bit funky if they are exposed to too many yucky smells.  I was sent two dolls that had survived a house fire and getting the smokey smell out of them was no picnic, but it was possible.  Wool absorbs odors and hangs on to them pretty fiercely.

To remove strong odors from your doll you will need to fully wash her body.  This involves filling a basin or sink with warm water with a touch of detergent in in and submerging the doll’s body.  Squish the doll a little to help the water penetrate fully.  Hold the doll over the water and squeeze out as much water as you can without wringing any parts of her.  Then submerge her again and squeeze the excess out again.  You can repeat this as many times as you’d like, depending on the severity of the odor.  After you have removed as much water as you can by hand, roll the doll up in a towel and place it on the floor.  Then you can step on the body to remove even more water.  I know it sounds scary, but I promise that your child has probably sat on or stood on their doll, she will be fine.  After this step, you can set the doll in the sun to completely dry.

See the above section on Drying.

If the odor seems to be in her hair, you will need to carefully wash the doll’s hair.  You should use clean, cold water with a minimal amount of soap or detergent.  These dolls have natural fiber hair and soap can be harmful to the oils in the wool.  Lay the doll flat so that her hair dangles down into the water.  Do not agitate the hair, but rather squeeze it gently, moving with the direction of the yarn.  Do not add soap directly to the hair, just let the slightly soapy water do its job.  After you have squeezed her hair under water a few times, drain the soapy water and use clean water to rinse the hair.  Use a towel to absorb as much of the remaining water as possible before you set the doll out to dry.

See the above section on Drying.

VOMIT
This happens.  A lot.  A poor sick kiddo snuggles their doll for comfort in the night and then ends up throwing up on her.  The clean up for vomit usually requires a full body and hair wash.  If there is only a little vomit on the doll, spot washing would probably work.

Use a washcloth to remove any chunky bits from the doll’s skin or hair.  Then after you’ve rinsed out the washcloth, add a bit of soap to it and working with the grain of the fabric, remove as much of the vomit as possible.  Add some clean water to the spots and blot it up with a clean cloth or towel.

If the doll needs a full submerging bath, fill a basin or sink with warm water and a touch of detergent in it and submerge the doll’s body.  Squish the doll a little to help the water penetrate fully.  Hold the doll over the water and squeeze out as much water as you can without wringing any parts of her.  Then submerge her again and squeeze the excess out again.  You can repeat this as many times as you’d like, depending on the severity of the odor.  After you have removed as much water as you can by hand, roll the doll up in a towel and place it on the floor.  Then you can step on the body to remove even more water.  I know it sounds scary, but I promise that your child has probably sat on or stood on their doll, she will be fine.  After this step, you can set the doll in the sun to completely dry.

If the vomit seems to be in her hair, you will need to carefully wash the doll’s hair.  You should use clean, cold water with a minimal amount of soap or detergent.  These dolls have natural fiber hair and soap can be harmful to the oils in the wool.  Lay the doll flat so that her hair dangles down into the water.  Do not agitate the hair, but rather squeeze it gently, moving with the direction of the yarn.  Do not add soap directly to the hair, just let the slightly soapy water do its job.  After you have squeezed her hair under water a few times, drain the soapy water and use clean water to rinse the hair.  Use a towel to absorb as much of the remaining water as possible before you set the doll out to dry.

See the above section on Drying.

BLOOD
Blood is actually a pretty easy fix.  Hydrogen peroxide eats away proteins without damaging fabric.  Apply some hydrogen peroxide with a clean q-tip, working with the grain of the fabric.  Let it foam up and then rinse it off with cool water.  Repeat as many times as necessary until the stain is gone.

URINE
Ok, it happens.  Sometimes a little one has an accident in bed and their favorite dolly gets hit.  Luckily, urine is very easy to remove.  Simply wet the area that was hit with warm water and add a touch of dish soap or detergent.  Work the soap in with the grain of the fabric and rinse it out.  Blot the excess water off with a clean towel and let the doll dry in the sun.  If the entire doll was soiled, you will need to do a submersion bath.

This involves filling a basin or sink with warm water with a touch of detergent in in and submerging the doll’s body.  Squish the doll a little to help the water penetrate fully.  Hold the doll over the water and squeeze out as much water as you can without wringing any parts of her.  Then submerge her again and squeeze the excess out again.  You can repeat this as many times as you’d like, depending on the severity of the odor.  After you have removed as much water as you can by hand, roll the doll up in a towel and place it on the floor.  Then you can step on the body to remove even more water.  I know it sounds scary, but I promise that your child has probably sat on or stood on their doll, she will be fine.  After this step, you can set the doll in the sun to completely dry.

If the odor seems to be in her hair, you will need to carefully wash the doll’s hair.  You should use clean, cold water with a minimal amount of soap or detergent.  These dolls have natural fiber hair and soap can be harmful to the oils in the wool.  Lay the doll flat so that her hair dangles down into the water.  Do not agitate the hair, but rather squeeze it gently, moving with the direction of the yarn.  Do not add soap directly to the hair, just let the slightly soapy water do its job.  After you have squeezed her hair under water a few times, drain the soapy water and use clean water to rinse the hair.  Use a towel to absorb as much of the remaining water as possible before you set the doll out to dry.

See the above section on Drying.

OTHER
All of these cleaning tips can also be used for basic spot cleaning when the doll gets a little dirt on her face or hands.  Mild soap or detergent, warm water, work with the grain, rinse and blot, and dry in the sun.  We have dolls that are four or five years old and I routinely spot clean them without any problems.

Now sometimes a stain just doesn’t want to come completely out.  When I run into this problem, I do try other methods.  I have safely used Whink Rust Remover, Goo Gone and Armorall Tire Cleaner on stains without damaging the fabric.  These are last resorts in my opinion and should not be taken lightly as they are not intended for use on fabric.

Caitlin Rooney - November 4, 2012 - 8:59 pm

This is totally fascinating! I have always wondered why dry erase was more permanent on fabric then permanent markers!

Any tips for cleaning marker off of wood? LOL!

Lindsey C. - November 9, 2012 - 12:14 pm

I am going to bookmark this – great resource!

[…] See original article: Bamboletta Cleaning Tips! By Alicia Verdier » Bamboletta Blog […]

anna - January 21, 2014 - 6:09 pm

I could really use some help. We had cousins over, and they took one of my daughter’s dolls up in the treehouse. My girl didn’t know (she is only 3 and is not allowed up there without a grownup), and the cousins left the doll outside.

It poured for about 3 days, and then the humidity set in (we live in FL), and still we did not know where Lucy was.

My husband took her for a walk yesterday, and they found Lucy, covered with mold. Is there any hope?

admin - January 24, 2014 - 1:56 pm

Hi Anna,

I’m sorry but we don’t have any solutions for mold 🙁 Once mold has gotten into something, I’m not entirely sure it can be taken out again.

I’m really sorry it happened and that I don’t have a solution for you 🙁

Warmly,

Brooke

Michelle - February 18, 2014 - 3:53 am

My boys both love their Waldorf dolls and have been fighting a losing battle with pink-eye for the past month. I’m wondering if the dolls could have the germs on them. If so, what should I do? Can I put the dry dolls in the dryer for 30 minutes to kill the germs?

ulla - August 13, 2014 - 5:01 am

Some great tips here! I wrote a blog post about it a while back. I usually use the product Woolite or dye-free shampoo on my dolls. But for harsher stains I will try the dish washing soap from now on. For the folks who were worried about germs: I think the sun is the cure. Sunlight kills the germs pretty quickly and greatly enhances the smell of your doll. Good Luck to everyone who comes here for help!

Cassidie - December 20, 2014 - 7:54 pm

Hi, is there any special instructions for washing doll clothes? My daughter got blood on her baby doll’s little sleeper,can I wash it with normal clothes? Thanks!

Michelle - July 30, 2015 - 1:33 pm

We have lice in the house and sleep with the dolls. Can they be put in a pillowcase and put into the dryer to kill any potential guests?

Nichole Castillo - September 28, 2015 - 6:37 am

Fantastic article! I have lipgloss stains everywhere. It is a disaster. I am not sure how it is possible to have stains on my pillow when I remove my make up every night. Thank you for sharing your post! Greets!

Sarah Wolfe - September 28, 2015 - 6:41 am

Fantastic article! I have lipgloss stains everywhere. It is a disaster. I am not sure how it is possible to have stains on my pillow when I remove my make up every night. Thank you for sharing your post! Greets!

Rebekah - June 22, 2017 - 12:28 am

This is such a wonderful resource! Have you had any experience/luck with fruit, fruit juice, or fruit dyes? We have freeze dried blueberry on our nubbin. It came out of the swaddle easily, but is not budging on the face. Thanks!

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