Looking at these pictures fills me with envy – I can just feel the sun on my skin! Heather and Lucy have settled into life in Antigua they found a pad and are enjoying their time. Heather is busy, busy , busy working at establishing the children’s village for Project Somos. Please read here […]
Monthly Archives: February 2009
This is a little series that I’m writing about the dolls. This post, ‘but I really think its for me’, was the first post I did in the series. Stay tuned for ‘how to do boys with dolls – from my perspective’ . This is usually muttered by husbands when their wives are talking about […]
Thank you for outlining this- my husband is always asked about the price of his paintings and sculpture, too, and I don’t think people who aren’t artists realize the time it takes to make things.
I loved reading about how you make your amazingly amazing beauties – thanks for the peak into your process!
How cute is your grandma?!?! =)
catherine, you forgot to mention how beautiful they are! and how lovingly they are made you can’t put a price on beauty or love!
it is pretty weird, but this afternoon while sipping tea, i wrote down all the little things that I do to make one doll from “scratch”…and there’s some time difference but not that much…it takes me 15-16 hours to make one…more if it’s a big one (i struggle with the leg seam and shoulders more than with the little ones). And then I come, and I read your blog and what do I find…same list, different dolls. I did my list because I am having a hard time picturing exactly how long it takes me, and also because I need to “set priorities”…ok…this is way too long a comment. I LOVED the photo of your Nonna!
Thanks for walking us through the process! I’ve made a couple of dolls myself and I definitely understand why they cost so much! Lots of time, love and beautiful materials….
Your nonna is adorable (:
I don’t even know how much a Bamboletta costs! But whatever the price is, it makes sense when you read how much time everything costs. I love the pictures in this post!
The cost is irrelevant. When you see the joy it brings a child, for what then costs small change every day. I love seeing the process. I also love Nonna knitting away.
I’ve drooled over your website/dolls for a while now and I finally decided to post a note. This one made me smile! I was at the park last week putting on the embroidery for a little kitty I was making for a swap and a woman came up and began chatting with me. She asked how much it cost to make a doll/cat like the one I was making….offering up $3 or $4 as her guess! Hmmm….. (wool stuffing, suit wool body, wool felt, designer quilting fabrics, the tears that my daughter sheds each time I give away something)!!!!! She was sweet so I wasn’t flippant but there was little educating that took place that day!
Your dolls are so, so, beautiful. As my skills increase, I’d be thrilled if mine were 1/2 as beautiful.
This is amazing behind the scenes story. I have even more greater appreciation for locally made products and small businesses. Thank-you!
I have educated quiet a few people that way already as well. Afterwards they understand and respect that it is a labour of love. You never get the “real” price that each doll would have to cost if you would add a reasonable hourly fee for your work to it.
Have a wonderful day! :0)
Seconding Naomi’s emotion, beyond all of the work that goes into the dolls, they are works of art! So YOU as the ARTIST are selling one of a kind works of art that also happen to be dolls.
Are you sure you charge enough? 🙂
Anyone who’s ever done any crafting and tried to sell it knows that it’s expensive and time-consuming. I never even broke even. I am sometimes surprised by what items cost, but never in a, “Oh, that’s unreasonable” sort of way. It just drives home to me the effort and materials that go into these little treasures. I’m with everyone else, your dolls are beautiful and worth even more than you charge.
This also drives home how everything has become a commodity. We are more concerned with price than with where things come from and what their true cost is. I would far rather support a business like yours than buy yet another cheap toy from a big box store.
Oh I love that! “It costs HOW much?!”
Just imagine if you actually factored in an hourly wage! You can’t put a price on quality handmade.
Handmade doll treasured for a lifetime…. priceless. Truly. Anyone who scoffs at the price of any handmade treasure can just drive themselves over to Target and pick up any from a great variety of cheap imitations. We all do it all the time. I love that picture of Nana knitting those bitty sweaters, that is absolutely darling. And the very idea of supporting the types of quality companies that you support….. it’s all part of the great deal. I love seeing the pieces and the process…. getting so excited!
I love reading all of the beautiful comments everyone writes! I am one of the six that works for this dynamo! In amongst these 15 hours are: driving kids to school, rushing at the end of the day to pick them up, screaming ‘in delight’ baby Jasper who has the most dexterious sp? fingers of any 1 1/2 year old I know, so sweet Ben wanting his momma and his home all to himself, deliveries while babies are ‘trying’ to nap, post office runs, taking care of husband John, answering the phone, cooking (she’s Italian after all!), cleaning, being an incredible friend, wonderful daughter and great sister…oh yes and most appreciative grand daughter. Plus! Designing new dolls, deciphering custom orders, making every moment count, always learning about the ‘business’, spirituality, a very aware and concerned global citizen. Her days start early and end very, very late and she is always, always, always pleasant, patient and a joy to work for. I love you Christina! Julie xoxoxoxo
I’ve looked into making dolls, and know how the costs add up, I trained as a jeweller where suprisingly the material costs are low, and people dont fuss about price so much, too bad I dont really enjoy it! Your dolls are so beautiful.
its great to hear you talk about this Christina! soooo many people don’t get the prices of handmade, but in actual fact *most* of the time things are under priced. your dolls are totally reasonable $ wise.
They are worth every penny…I usually don’t tell my husband about how much things like this cost. 😉
I’m a beginning dollmaker for fun and for my children.
me and my freinds started to meet and study making waldorf doll.
It’s taking lots of hours and money…
every doll is getting alot of attention. Its a one of a kind doll and you can’t replace it with any industrial doll.
kids notice the difference. mine are waiting tracing the dollmaking… they know to Evaluate it.
It look like you have a nice working-place there and it’s wonderful know that you keep crafts alive.
just amazing!!! totally worth the price. they are beautiful and each so special. i know people think the money is a lot…..but when you spell it all out it seems like not nearly enough. i know this first hand. keep up the great work!!!! this is such a beautiful family business!!!!
I completely enjoyed this post. The love you put into your dolls really shows in the final product.
I’m looking forward to the post you are going to write about boys and dolls.
And they are worth every penny………. I have always been in love with your dolls. So I saved up at Christmas to get one for my little girl, and to tell you the truth I want to save up again to get one for ME!
Keep doing what your doing Mama. You are loved by all…
lots to say on this matter…but how the heck do you stuff a doll in 15 mins? it takes me 1-2 hours depending on how intent i am to stuff. it becomes a meditation.
oh and i went to buy some wool yesterday (not nearly as much as in your photo above – wow!) and it has gone up ridiculously in price. it has nearly doubled per pound since i first started stuffing dolls but you are right there is no going back. i sometimes get wool from organic sheep in the Okanagan but only when i make a trip out there.
As for the side comments at craft fairs etc…i think this is notorious of Vancouverites. i’ve done shows all across Canada and i have to say BC is the worst for it.?? i think there are a lot of crafty folk here and so often people are out to get ideas rather than to buy (unless it’s a steal of a deal). maybe i’m wrong – there certainly are some amazing and supportive folk too but i always did better in other provinces.
i’m so happy that you are selling most of your dolls first hand now. you deserve every penny and they are so worth it. actually i think they are worth so much more for all the love that goes into them.
These dolls are totally worth the money. I look around at how much plastic crap we have from Target, WalMart, etc and the baby hardly plays with it. Most were given to us and while she has a few favorites, like the sorting barn she mostly likes playing with simple balls, her handmade toys, and anything grown up she can find. (Like my computer mouse, a pen, nail clippers, etc. You leave it out, she’s got radar to find it.)
I look at all the wasted money on stuff that won’t mean a darn thing and am almost sick about it. Her handmade items on the other hand will probably be treasured as she grows. That’s what I’m hoping anyway.
I make handmade bunnies and the thrill of hearing how much a toy you made is loved makes it all worth it. Time to start sleeping less with Easter on the way though. After two weeks of a sick kiddo (vaccine reaction and then teething) I’ve been “bad” and been going to bed at a decent time when everyone’s asleep. That is normally my time to sew, so I am behind, but at least not falling asleep at the wheel on the road.
Your dolls are amazing. I only wish I made enough to give one to every 3 year old little girl (and boy with open minded parents) I know. 🙂
At some point during today I realized that I hadn’t put anything together for Benjamin’s class for Valentines day. It isn’t as easy as hitting the local drugstore and buying some ‘Cars’ cards when your son attends a Waldorf school – although he would LOVE that, as I’m pretty sure a few of his […]
The Mancold bit is hilarious! Good laugh out of that one!
You have made me laugh quite a few times this week…
Nice mancold – so true…and funny…. =)
Oooooh, new dolls…am I drooling???? I soo want to get a little bamboletta man for my little man. My oldest girl was counting her special dolls and saying I have three and G just has one – I think he needs another one….don’t you think so, too, Mom?
You can’t argue with that sound logic, can you? My four year old totally knows what she is talking about…
those valentines are so very sweet – good work mama and ben!
I just love your valentines!!! They are great! We made origami bears holding hearts saying “your beary nice”. A bit silly, but it works.
I think my kids need bean bags now!
We have play silks (that I dyed myself…with kool aid. I’m no fiber artist.) but no play stand as of yet.
Oh yeah, PS my son is 4 and we have never done Valentines at school yet. Last year at the Montessori place they didn’t do them, and this year I think it was over looked for cultural reasons. I want to send Valentines to school one day!
You are so creative! Those beanbags are cool, and that Jasmine is beautiful. Thanks for sharing your talents.
Thank You and Thanks again, you’ve just made my day. It’s so heard to find quality articles these days on the net. Maybe i’m not looking where i should or people just don’t care anymore about what they post, i don’t know…anyway thx bro!
Good post. I just found this Origami-inspired Twitter icon at Digg, which you can use on your blog if it is running WordPress.
I really love this shoe. Like really love them. A few years ago I think I may have laughed at these shoes. But now, the boiled wool upper, cork footbed and roomy toebox make me swoon! They look so cozy. I work in our basement on very hard floors, very hard, cold floors and […]
Oh Christina, I gave up years ago trying to be fashionable, I love love comfort. I am a birkenstock girl and I actually think they are fashion divine so when I saw that pic above I thought “mmmm yep looks good”.
I’ve got shoes like that as well. 🙂 Wear them all the time! And since I work from home anyway, I don’t care what anyone thinks. My feet love them, and so do I. So go get them! There’s no excuse really. 🙂
Ha! Have you seen Simple Shoes Shuf’s? They are the perfect canvas to needle felt. 😉 Ask me how I know? 🙂 I’ll tell you how you got here…lol…two children…cold floors, no time to lace or buckle a third pair of shoes. Necessity! lol….Slide on shoes and comfy jeans or khakis…life it good. So good!
HEY Christina, I just got a pair and I’m in love with them. They are light and warm and I feel like a new person. Love reggie
i think those shoes are on sale at cardino’s… just my shopping tip!
The shoes are cute! We are huge Birkenstock lovers here, and those look very similar.
I’ll check out the link to listen, I always like your music choices so this one should be good too!
Those shoes would go well with your hemp pants with the orcas and tie-dyed shirt…
ahahahaha…your sister is funny! not necessarily the most fashion forward shoes i’ve seen…but then again…who cares? comfyness and toasty toes it’s the ticket.
We are still prtty new to your website-we travel ALOT-and love your doll blog-we would love one of your dolls at the doll give away. We have bears that travel all over with us-one is visiting China right now-so we understand how to care for travelers alike! Thanks for a fun new website!
Doll Contest Comment:
Hi Christina, Just wanted to get entered in your win a doll contest this March 2008. I would love to have another of your beautiful creations in my home.
Ann in Florida
Hey there! I have a huge favor to ask of you all. I’m starting a Bamboletta Love Flickr page ( online photo gallery) of your little ones with their Bamboletta’s and to showcase your amazing handiwork in making things for your doll. I have a lot of photos on file but can’t go through and […]
I see our girl down there in the left corner!!!!! E screamed in excitement to see Polly on there! I’ll send pics of them both soon!
Yea! I cant wait to see all the wonderful things these girls get from talented moms and all the adventures they have.
I’ve had a couple come through – they look great!! Thanks everyone 🙂
Oh…I’ll be sending!! 🙂 Woo Hoo!!
(And…is it wrong for a grown woman to be jealous of the beautiful child in the above photo? I want to snuggle down with that many dolls! lol)
Will send pics when my little one turns 3 in June and I can give her one of the 2 I have put away. Thankfully I had another baby girl in December, so she can have the other one in a few years. I’m the one whose Bambolettas took months to arrive (in Australia).
You are welcome to use any of the ones I uploaded to your Bamboletta fan site on FB. I need to take the opportunity to take more pictures of all our kids and dolls and create some memories, because they grow up all too fast.
So fun! I just tagged the dolls as bamboletta on my flickr page
couldn’t find your flickr group though…let me know if I can do anything else:)
the boys love the dolls!
just wondering how to access the flickr site.. i searched bamboletta and bamboletta love but can’t seem to find it.. maybe a link to the site could be posted.
What a great idea, to support creative enterprise and fair trade.
I think Lucita will fit right in once she gets some native garb like those neon pom pom hats…
Those other dolls do look suspicious. I’m sure that Lucita will win them over in no time. 🙂
I just love seeing that Lucy made new friends so quickly.