Doll Types (Part Two)

I did a Doll Type Blog post about a year or so ago but, since then, we have added in a few more doll types. We’ve been asked what the difference is between them all so I thought I’d explain.

Classic Doll

This was the first style of doll I made over 10 years ago! This body type is based on traditional German dollmaking patterns (which is what the Waldorf Dolls are based on). The body is sewn with cotton for it’s ‘skin’ (which comes in all the way from the Netherlands – specially milled for dollmaking) and then the doll is stuffed with wool. It’s luscious hair is made with wool, mohair and alpaca yarns and can be styled in many different ways (here’s our YouTube channel for hair styling ideas) The doll is stuffed quite firmly and the limbs don’t ‘bend’ at first, over time the arms and legs loosen up so the doll can eventually sit but she’ll always be ‘hug ready’!  She stands 15 inches tall and is good for 3 and up but this age range is debatable. Some wee kids LOVE the big dolls, the heft of it can be very comforting. These dolls take us about 10 – 12 hours to make. They come with underpants, a super cute outfit and shoes.  They cost $240 – $260 (depending on extra’s in hair or outfit).

Little Buddy

So, this is a teenier version of the Classic Doll measuring about 10″ tall.  Made with all natural materials and all that good stuff. This is a traditional Waldorf style doll with the body shape – arms outstretched for lots of hugs. This doll seems to be good for little ones, ages 1.5 – 2 ish, or for kids that love little things! These dolls take us about 6 hours to do from start to finish. They come with a simple outfit and underpants but no shoes. They cost $130.

Sitting Friend

This doll was created for children (and their moms) that wanted a softer, more bendable doll. They measure 15″ tall (and fit the Classic Doll clothing). We developed this pattern to have movable limbs, it’s perfect for tea parties.  These dolls also have very cute feet (unlike our Classic and Little Buddy dolls who have the rounded foot). This doll would be good for ages 3 and up, but, again, it’s a personal preference for the child. Like the other dolls, the skin is made with that fantastic cotton ‘skin’ and stuffed with wool. Did you know that wool is absolutely amazing for children? It’s naturally antibacterial, warms to the touch and absorbs scent so the doll smells like ‘home’.  These dolls take us between 10 – 12 hours to create. They come with underpants, a super cute outfit and shoes. They cost $240 – $260 depending on the outfit and hair.

Cuddle Doll

This doll was inspired by our seamstress Nicki’s childhood doll Pippi. We loved Pippi because of her size and her long-ish floppy legs. So, we made a Bamboletta version.  She’s a bit like a small version of our Sitting Doll but there are some differences. She stands 13″ tall, is ‘thinner’ then our regular dolls and has longer legs with feet! She is made with the same materials as all the other dolls. I think ages 2 and up would be good ,but, again, totally subjective. This doll takes about 7 – 8 hours to make. She comes with an outfit (2 piece), underpants and crocheted or felt shoes. They cost $155.

Folk Dolls

Ah, the Folk Dolls. These are my personal favorite. We wanted a taller doll and I sort of made this doll to be like an homage to dolls of my past. More traditional in the clothing, hand knit sweaters and dimpled ankles, knees and elbows. The arms on these are differnent as they hang down as opposed to outstretched like the rest of the dolls. Their limbs are very moveable and they are so nice to pick up. These dolls are 18″ tall . The more I am around them the more I think they are like an adult’s doll. Not that little ones can’t play with them, but these seem to have something about them that makes me think this. They are made with the same goodness and care as our other dolls and take about 12 hours to make. Ages 3 and up. $295.

Piccolina Dolls

These sweet wee dolls measure 9″ tall and are a condensed version of the Cuddle Doll. Currently these dolls are only available in our store or at markets. We only make a few of them at a time so it’s easier for us to sell them this way. Wool and natural materials, of course. $95

Baby Dolls

You can’t help but sigh a little when you pick up one of these dolls. They are SO sweet, from the curve of their little backside to the sweet little cap of hair – love through and through. Made with all natural materials these dolls are very slightly weighted with Rose Quartz pebbles. I chose this because of the calming properties this stone is said to have. The dolls have a little cap of hair, a diaper, sleeper, hat and sweet little swaddling blanket to cuddle with. Ages 1.5 and up.

So, there they all are! I hope this has been helpful to you. One thing I do recommend for people with small children is that they tie the long hair back or braid it until the child is ready to play ‘hairdresser’. It’s made with natural materials and some shedding is to be expected but this will stop as the yarns age a bit and will ‘felt up’ a little. It’s kind of like natural hair when it’s freshly washed and is all fluffy, it takes a bit of time for your hair to calm down. Natural dolls have a feel of their own and will age with your child and hopefully will be passed along to their child! I feel VERY strongly about using natural materials hence the price point (as well as the labour put in between all of us sewing mama’s!). If you are interested in learning more about the philosophy and use of natural materials, I wrote a blog post here about it.

Thank you so much!
Christina

Geneva - January 8, 2015 - 6:32 pm

Beautiful. Love these dolls!

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Workshop September 13th

We are holding another Piccolina workshop at the studio on September 13th. We had one a few months back and had such a great time, it was amazing to see our participants bring their dolls to life! We will work on assembling a doll, so this isn’t a workshop where you will be learning how to make a head or stuff, all that is done for you. Here we will be sewing the doll together, putting on the hair and then sewing on the face. I’m really hoping to some how take this workshop on the road somehow .. I’m going to try to figure out a Vancouver date by the end of the year.

So, the details, it’s on Saturday the 13th from 10-5. We will provide lunch and snacks and tea (of course!). The workshop includes all your materials and when you finish your doll you get to choose an outfit for her. Myself, Brandi and Shauna will be there with helping hands, so please don’t worry if you don’t have any sewing skills, you will be just fine!

We only have a few spots left and you can register HERE. Hope to see you there!

xo
Christina

Amy - August 22, 2014 - 12:06 pm

Boo! Too bad I live over 2000 miles away. I would love to go to a workshop like this. It looks great! I hope everyone who attends the September 13th one has a great time!

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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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a little man, and his little friend.

We are very honoured to introduce to you our guest blogger Laura, mother of sweet Amos, a boy you would find impossible not to fall in love with. Laura and her beautiful family are local on the Island with us, as well as new friends of ours! We were first brought together through a photo she posted on Instagram a couple months ago (oh, how we love the power of social media) and her blog ‘Little Feet in my House’ and story touched us so much we had to learn more. She wrote a gorgeous entry about her son and his special bond with his Little Buddy friend…

Thank you Laura, from the bottom of our hearts. We’re blessed to start to get to know you and your family and to have you open our eyes up to the world of your darling son Amos.

<3

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A few years ago, our lives were turned upside down and inside out with the birth of our special little guy. Amos Abraham was born one quiet, spring night. His peaceful and serendipitous arrival into this world gave nothing away of the turmoil we had felt the previous weeks. We knew he was a boy. We had just learned he had an extra copy of the 21st chromosome, otherwise known as Down syndrome. We knew he also needed surgery to correct his bowel, or he would not survive. We knew we weren’t allowed to bring him home for weeks.

We knew a lot of painful, heavy and difficult things.

What we didn’t know was how fiercely we would love him, and how powerfully his presence in our lives would change us.

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The surgeon nicknamed our precious baby Famous Amos. His hospital stay, while feeling like decades at the time, was short when compared to many others. He came home. We fell head over heels in love. He grew, I grew, his daddy grew, his siblings grew. Our hearts were bigger and better, because of our Famous Amos.I became connected with the beautiful world of other families raising children with special needs. One of these moms is a lovely lady in California with one of the most beautiful little boys I had ever seen. I fell in love with her family, partly because they were so beautiful, but also partly because I recognized that bigger and better heart that was now familiar to me. Their 3rd child was a beautiful little boy with Down syndrome, and his presence in their lives lead them to adoption, and they brought home a second little child with Down syndrome. A precious little girl. Each of these little children they had nuzzled into their hearts were so incredibly beautiful, and the love that this mother had for each of them, and her two older boys, and her husband–well, it was such a thing of beauty, I was so honored to join the ranks of parents like her.
Through her, my eyes were open to the broader world around me that I didn’t know existed previously. These were the beginning stages of where my eyes and my heart and my husband’s were opened wide and gasping to the drastic and overwhelming need for adoptive families for children with special needs all over the world. These children need their lives saved. Literally. And this family had worked and prayed and gloriously brought home their baby daughter. This beautiful mama, a few beaches south of my own loves her two little children with designer genes so richly, and so warmly, she commissioned an artist to create two handmade Waldorf style dolls each in the likeness of her beautiful littlest littles. The dolls were beautiful, and I wondered if my snuggly little lovely guy would enjoy laying hands on such an incredible creation.
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Fast-forward a few years later and we find ourselves living on a little slice of paradise on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Not long after, I realize we are on the same island that is home to the incredible little world of Bamboletta Dolls. As we were settling into life with our burstingattheseams family of four (at the time) children, us as the mom and a dad and busy with buying a business (couple o’ local skateboard and snowboard shops), and my pregnant belly about to burst with our newest babe, little did I know that a mere hour’s drive away was the enchanting little studio, the creators, the heart and the team of amazing folks that make up the magic known as Bamboletta.
Bamboletta means baby doll, and Amos loves to do the sweet, cradling, rock-a-baby sign in American Sign Language for baby, and he has an affinity for these dolls. They’re soft to touch, but firm to squeeze and lug around, they smell like home and have sweet little faces, their facial features can be poked and prodded while Amos can pretend feed, to help drink, to place in the highchair, to point and learn yes, those are eyes!, to snuggle into bed, to dress and undress, or to have a little friend accompany him to appointments, or to be in the car, or to help with potty training.
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Amos struggles with transitions, and as of yet, at just past 4 years old, has not spoken his first word. He came close when he was a littler Bub, but then his tiny, barely sprouting vocabulary vanished. He gets frustrated, angry, bored and is so darn stubborn. He can be like a tornado.
Amos is awaiting a secondary diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.
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When we first learned of it, there was a familiar crushing pain in my chest–only for a moment–and then the moment passed. I was reaffirmed that he is still my beautiful son, I am still his warrior mama, and any way that I can help enhance his environment, and take joy in him, and find pleasure in the tools and therapies we surround ourselves with, I am going to seize the opportunity and be blessed through his curiosity, and his learning – on his own developmental path.
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Just as he is, Amos brings me joy–so much joy–to watch him hold hands with his dolly friend. I get tears in my eyes when he helps his little dolly walk across the floor, his head bowed in serious concentration. It brings me immense pride to watch him take his little cup of water, and put the straw to his doll’s mouth just like we do for him, and just like his therapists have done for the last four years. It makes my heart swell with such joyful pride to see him flip his little dolly in the air, just like daddy does to him. I literally weep, unabashedly, when he graces his dolly with such tenderness, just like we do to him. 
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To hear his squeals, and to see his eyes light up and his face get so bright and excited when he gets to play in his little pretend world, the world that not everyone is privy too, and not everyone understands–but when I see him connect with this little dolly, (tears now)–and I grow to know more of the love and care that went into making this doll, and all the other dolls that pour out of this little studio in Cobble Hill –…
…the dolls may seem expensive. But when you consider how many hours of handmade stitching and stuffing and the cost of natural materials that go into each one, and the fact that these are heirloom toys, a doll that can be passed on to my children’s children, enjoyed, loved, played with and valued for generations–not just a toy that will end up in a landfill a few months down the road…
I know that to some, it’s just a doll. It’s just a toy. But when you have a little child that struggles to communicate, a little child that you love so fiercely, more fiercely than you knew was possible, when you have a little child that the world sees as different, or the world might see as not as worthy, or that in other parts of the world a child like my beautiful little son is given away, or abandoned, a child that needs a little more help to learn…a little child who sometimes locks himself away inside his own head……when you see your child connect with this little pretend baby friend, and hug him tight to his chest and breathe sighs of contentment and gratitude? Well, it is such an incredible gift. An immeasurable, beautiful, and wonderful gift. This is my little man Amos, and this is his little friend.
and I’m crying.
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Amos has strabismus, which means he has one good eye, and one eye turning inward, so he has prescription eyeglasses. But with all of his sensory sensitivities and his teeny tiny little bridge of his nose, his glasses press up against his beautiful, long luscious eyelashes and squish down his eyelids so he removes the glasses in a flash. And when he decides to look at something without his glasses, like his doll’s face, he puts it up so close to his own little face–to study the features, to learn them and know them–and then his little pointer finger comes out to touch each thing that he’s looking at so closely and studying the details of so very intimately–this is how Amos looks at his doll. He peers right into its eyes, full of unconditional love. It is the same way he looked at me as a little tiny newborn infant. Gazing up into my eyes, into my very soul, saying I love you so much, mama.
looking closely, searching for dolly

looking closely, searching for dolly’s bare feet.

There’s something so incredibly loving and nurturing about watching this in any child, but in particular observing this in a very special little child. Seeing our Famous Amos connect with something, anything in this way–is just such a pouring of sweet salve onto a mama’s spirit, and it is one I am so incredibly grateful for. Christina and her team at the Bamboletta studio bless families and children young and old over and over and over with these beautifully handmade, heartfelt little creations.

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I’m so incredibly thankful to have found not just a toy, but a friend. A friend that my little guy will play with, even if it is only for moments at a time, a friend that my little guy will interact with in a way that so closely matches my interactions with him, or daddy’s interactions with him. And to see him be so sweet, and tender, and gentle with this little toy–his little friend, well that’s just a gift that’s too sweet for words.

Thank you, Bamboletta. Thank you for all you do.

there it is, eye contact with his dolly.

there it is, eye contact with his dolly.

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Amos and mama, summer 2014.

Amos and mama, summer 2014.

Bamboletta, you bless us. You bless us so.
Thank you.

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To learn more about orphans with special needs waiting for adoption, check out these wonderful organizations.
Reece’s Rainbow
National Down Syndrome Adoption Network
and waiting children, in our own province.
Adopt a Waiting Child, British Columbia.

There is always more we can do, more we can give, and more we can pray for. Perhaps you are feeling called to give more of yourself, your time, your heart, or opening your family to one or more of these waiting children. (thank you).

To connect with me, you can follow me here:
blog: http://www.lauraluyt.com
instagram: http://instagram.com/lauraluyt#
twitter: https://twitter.com/lauraluyt 

kat - June 25, 2014 - 3:29 pm

I defy anyone to read this and not tear up. Amos has the ‘designer genes’ like some of my absololute favorite people ever.
This is so incredibly well written. Bless you Amos and Mama.

Shelly Gudmunsen - June 25, 2014 - 5:51 pm

Tears. Thank you for sharing a snapshot of your incredible son and the love Bamboletta has brought to his childhood journey. You are clearly an incredible mama <3

Christine - June 25, 2014 - 5:53 pm

What a beautiful entry. This touched me to my soul and now I’m crying! Thank you for sharing ❤

jai - June 25, 2014 - 6:03 pm

Beautiful.

laura - June 25, 2014 - 6:45 pm

Thank you. <3

Cheryl - June 26, 2014 - 3:37 am

Thank you so much for sharing, I am so crying. Give Amos a extra hug from me. 🙂

Barbara H - June 26, 2014 - 10:48 am

This is an absolutely beautiful story and as someone else that has seen firsthand the magic that is a Bamboletta paired up with a child, I know so very much what a magical connection that is. Thank you for sharing Amos a bit with us, I feel better to have “met” him. What a lucky family you are that his soul found you and you found him. <3

Lynn - June 26, 2014 - 6:19 pm

Such an amazing, touching, beautiful post. Thanks for sharing Laura. Tears…streaming…there is no greater love than the love for a child. Just beautiful.

Marie M - June 27, 2014 - 9:45 am

Ok. I have tears in my eyes. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this amazing life & journey.

Jennifer Varanini Sanchez - June 27, 2014 - 12:25 pm

TEARS streaming down my face….beautiful beautiful words….beautiful wonderful love.

Judy - June 28, 2014 - 9:27 am

First, I will now try to get a Bamboletta for my 17 yr. old son that has down syndrome and who still loves to sleep with a ‘stuffy’ of some sort.
Secondly, and VERY importantly. My son Gavin has glasses and we encountered the very same problem with his glasses. We were referred to ROBERTS AND BROWNN optometrist in Vancouver (right around the corner from Children’s hospital) and although I didn’t think it could make that much of a difference, it was like night and day. The glasses are fit amazingly to children with Down Syndrome. It really did make a huge difference to his behaviour and personality too as he was able to see clearly! I also will NEVER go anywhere else. We travel from Vancouver Island yearly to have them made and they are so accommodating sending them via post. Lovely story, thanks 🙂

MAY - July 1, 2014 - 7:43 am

Thank you for sharing this beautiful story and I am so touched.
I love all the pictures, they are so sincere and full with love. Tears.

Scarlett Reverie - July 1, 2014 - 7:37 pm

What a beautiful story! Brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. Hugs to little Amos. God bless all of you!

Lisa - July 4, 2014 - 12:17 pm

at my desk in tears – God Bless sweet Amos… his sweet family and the sweeties at Bamboletta… that pic of him snuggling his doll makes me so warm and fuzzy! Thanks for reminding me about the good in this world. Hugs to all!

Stephanie Gilbert - August 10, 2014 - 1:26 pm

Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. We adopted our Winnie with Down syndrome from China last year. She is 6 years old, and we found her on Reece’s Rainbow. She is such a GIFT to us each and every single day, and she loves her bambo baby dolls just like sweet Amos does. Bamboletta is such a sweet and genuine company…thanks again for spreading the word on how to adopt a child with Ds.

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