Thursday, 5 November 2015

Down 2 Earth

You may remember, back in April this year, I rescued and 'made under' some Bratz / fashion dolls. I didn't do the most amazing job! However it was fun and I loved doing it. I managed to trade some knitted jumpers, for shoes, with another person making under dolls which was great.

One of my make-under efforts

Still on my 'to do' list however, was to make outfits other than knitted jumpers for my dolls... I was never going to get around to it! So I ended up approaching the lovely Sam from Down2Earth Dolls who agreed to a trade, and made me some sweet outfits for my little ladies.

Sam's dolls are amazing. The time and personalities she gives to each doll are breathtaking. Especially their eyes. Of course I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share Sam's Handmade Adventure;

How and when did Down2Earth Dolls come about?

I saw a segment on The Feed (SBS) in April featuring Sonia Singh and her Tree Change Dolls and I just loved them! I really wanted to have a go giving dolls make-unders. It wasn't as easy as it first appeared, but I found a lovely facebook group (Rescued Dolls) where women around the world share their tips and tricks for every aspect of doll rescue and my own style grew from there!

A not so beautiful Before and much better After shot!

Have you always been crafty?

I have always loved being crafty! I remember my sister and I making our whole family Christmas presents from when we were 5 or 6.

Down2Earth Dolls your day job? 

Down2Earth Dolls is a hobby business. Before having my son nearly 3 years ago I was an Electron Microscopist and Cell Biologist at Monash University. I got my PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology when I was 26 and I absolutely loved my job but trying to juggle kids and a science career wasn't for me. I left Monash just before Louis was born to become a stay-at-home Mum and it is brilliant! It can be a challenge to fit in doll make-unders around the kids but it is a lot of fun and nice to have a creative outlet that provides a small income (mostly squandered on more fabric!).

Where do you find your inspiration?

I love faces so I'm always on the look-out for beautiful eyes in instagram images and unusual kid's faces in the shopping center. I'm also slightly addicted to vintage fabrics (well, all fabrics, really) and draw a lot of inspiration for the overall look of my dolls from fabrics I've collected.

Who is your favourite doll?
I have had a few special dolls but Callie is my favourite so far! She just has a lovely face and beautiful brown-blonde hair.

I love this doll too, she looks so friendly

Where do you work from?

I share our home office with my husband! I have my own desk and gorgeous vintage wingback chair (highly impractical but I insist) and swap around my drawing supplies for doing faces with my polymer clay for doing shoes and my 1952 Singer sewing machine for sewing outfits. It's nothing fancy but at least I don't have to pack everything away all the time. My husband is getting used to being stared at by shelves of dolls!

What do you love most about what you do?

I love creating new unique personalities from mass produced toys- it's such a joyous thing to be able to create something with your hands that makes other people happy. I also love the fact that I am doing a tiny bit to keep usable items out of landfill.

These beautiful dolls are making me want to try again!

Do you have any other crafty outlets?

I'm always trying something new! I did jewelary making for a while, applique had a bit of a run a year or two ago and now my sister and I are playing around with making some felt ball and flower garlands! Oh, and I'm just dying to try my hand at weaving but I know my husband won't be amused if more yarn makes it's way into our house!

What's next for Down 2 Earth Dolls?

Well, I'm super duper excited because Down2Earth Dolls has been accepted for a stall at this years Etsy Made Local Markets on Nov 28th at Brisbane City Hall! It's going to be amazing with all the local Etsy talent selling their awesome wares under one roof, just in time for Christmas! I'm going to be crazily sewing dresses, sculpting shoes and painting little faces for the next few weeks!

Have you been putting your skills towards making under dolls? They'd make a terrific eco-friendly Christmas gift!

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