Friday, 14 June 2013

Happy 2 years!!!

Today two years ago, I started my own little business. That time it was called Lena Design and at first I tried myself in some crocheting and a bit of jewellery making but it didn't really satisfy me enough.

This is a crochet pouch I made for my cousin and below is a granny square blanket I made for Lucy.

But I yet had to find my real vocation. This happened luckily really soon, after I started.

I wanted to make a present for my friend's little girl. She was getting a little baby sister at the time and I wanted her to get something special, too. So I searched and searched for the perfect present ad finally came across the Clothkits dolls. I ordered one and started to make it. They are pretty simple as everything is printed onto one piece of fabric and you just cut out. I quite enjoyed making it and loved to have that finished doll afterwards. I think in that moment my love for doll making was born.

But obviously I couldn't and didn't want to sell dolls like this. I knew they needed to be more individual and so I searched again for the right pattern. I fell in love instantly with the fox pattern of 'Bit of Whimsy Dolls'.

This fox is the first doll/softie I ever sold. Many followed and I loved making more. 

I don't mind that it is sometimes tough. The CE marking was my lowest point I think, but I worked myself through that and got to the other side. That was a very proud moment in my doll making career. 
There are always ups and downs in business and it will never be an easy ride. I think as long as you make yourself aware of that it won't get to you as much when you have a down time in your business. I watched my husband grow a flower business from scratch. It was tough the first four or five years and then it started to get easier. He goes through a lot of downs but also many ups. Watching him, helping him and listening to his advice and stories, made me more confident in my own business. It made me less naive as I realised that no business takes of over night and that it is hard work all the time. 

I love being able to stay at home, while working as well. It is only a small business but I have big plans for the future. If they will work out or not, we will see. If you follow my journey, you will get to see it, too. But I will certainly never give up.

I value and appreciate each and every customer and am eternally grateful that you make it possible for me to follow my dream and do what I love.

P.S: Due to the time and effort the ce marking takes, I no longer make that fox.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The Super Kids are here

So, I made two more crazy haired dolls :) These two are super heros, with capes and masks.

Stripy Sandor is a super boy, who dresses in stripes, stripes and did I mention...stripes? Even his hair is stripy!

Sandor is Hungarian and means "Helper and Defender of Mankind". I thought that was a very suitable name, especially as I wanted one to start with the letter "s", like stripy. At first I was thinking of Stripy Sam, but there was just no meaning behind that name.

Stripy Sandor's Super outfit in blue with lime green stripes. The back is the same stripy fabric as his top.

Where there is a super boy, there also has to be a super girl. I think with the super hero theme, girls are often left out. But I think girls enjoy hero play just as much as boys. Even my oldest daughter Lucy, who is very girly and loves her princesses and fairies, has begged me for a super girl for a long time now. If I only had the time to make them all the dolls in the world.

Anyway, when I was thinking up my two super dolls, I knew I wanted to make one for boys and one for girls. I have made a girl doll with stripy hair before, so it had to be dots this time. Originally her name was gonna be "Spotty Sue" and that name was floating around in my head for a long time, but today, when editing the pictures, it struck me that it makes her sound like some wallflower with a spotty face haha. But of course they are polka dots, so her name was changed to Dotty instead of Spotty, which meant I needed a new name beginning with the letter "d". So, after a bit of research, I settled on Devon, which means "Defender", again a very suitable name for a super girl. 

Dotty Devon wears all things polka dot and again, her hair sports the same theme. In fact, it has 26 individually sewn on raspberry pink polka dots. That took quite some time. I love the colours of her outfit. I always liked the combination of pink and green. She looks very cheerful and happy to me.

Dotty devon's super outfit, in lime green with a large pink polka dot on the cape and a machine stitched on flash.

I enjoyed making these two a lot, though they did tale quite some time with all the detail of the hair and the outfits. Also, with this kind of hair, the head gets so thick, that it is rather difficult to turn the dolls and took me up to 30 minutes each but I think it was well worth it.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Summer, sun and sandals

We had two sunny days in a row! This is very rare for Northern Ireland, so with three girls in the house, of course we had to treat ourselves to new sandals. Yay! And we all wore them proudly today.

I have my doll project put on hold for a few weeks, while I will tackle two very large orders, which combined are five dolls alone, plus a few extra bits and bobs. I am not complaining though, as it will be good money for our holidays at the end of July. A much needed trip home to visit my family in Germany. Hopefully with lots of sun, lots of family, lots of laughter and banter and lots of love. i am really looking forward to this trip and Lucy has been talking a lot about it as well. She is now getting to that age, where she is really understanding that there are two different countries, with different languages and different cultures and it is great to see how her love for germany grows and grows and how she appreciates being different.