IP Flips are Here! Gwendolynn, Rosie, and Macy


Welcome to the first ever post where you can actually purchase a doll right here – on my website!  At the bottom of the post you’ll see 3 Inviting Play dolls available for purchase by clicking their Buy Now Buttons.  To jump straight to buy one of these dolls, click on their names:



I designed this flexible weighted small doll in late December and made the first one for a Dollectable giveaway upload on January 1st (missed it??  tune in next year for the biggest handmade doll giveaway on the planet).


I decided to make a few more with a very special purpose in mind; to finally sell my work on my own platform – my website.  Until now I’ve had to rely on third party platforms like Etsy or IndieCart to sell my work.  Now I am attempting to sell my work directly from the Inviting Play website via Paypal.  So here they are.  The IP Flips!

IP Flips are small 12″ dolls with weighted bodies and poseable limbs and necks.

20160221_110211The limbs are both sewn and string jointed for strength and flexibility and all and all these dolls have a lot of movement and pep – hence the name, IP Flips.


These particular flips have plump bodies and lovely natural mohair locks for hair.  They have a soft cotton onesie sort of t-shirt sewn on their torsos that acts as their underwear and cannot be removed.  They wear IP flippy striped cotton long socks and they each have a dress and handknitted gnome hat.

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The first IP Flip is Gwendolynn. She has tan skin, brown eyes, and dark brown almost black curls. She has a dress from a gorgeous Japanese print in double gauze cotton.  I call it a Monet dress.  And she has striped cotton socks and a handknit wool hat.

Her price is $350 plus shipping (international is $50 and domestic shipping is $20). I refund shipping overages exceeding $1.


Purchase Gwendolynn Here


12″ IP Flip Gwendolynn Natural Fiber Art Doll $350 plus exact shipping.


The second IP Flip is Rosie.  She has natural blonde locks for hair given to her by a gorgeous angora mohair goat and blue eyes.  She has a navy blue linen dress, cotton striped socks and a hand knit hat.

Her price is $350 plus $20 shipping.  I charge exact shipping and I refund overages exceeding $1


Purchase Rosie Here


12″ IP Flip Rosie Natural Fiber Art Doll $350 plus exact shipping.



The third IP Flip is Macy.  She has natural Black locks with a silvery sheen for hair given to her by a gorgeous angora mohair goat and black eyes.  She has a lovely cotton print dress, cotton striped socks and a hand knit hat.

Her price is $350 plus $20 shipping.  I charge exact shipping and I refund overages exceeding $1


Purchase Macy Here


12″ IP Flip Macy Natural Fiber Art Doll $350 plus exact shipping.



Magdi, Little boy in the world


Magdi.  A small boy – still a gentle soul – more dreamy sweet animal than boy of the world – but soon:  very very soon he will be out in the world.

meanwhile Ip room 5
catch him just waking up! http://flipagram.com/f/bSZs7hPX3O

by himself.  He’ll have to fend for himself, make decisions for himself, interact by himself.

inviting play magdi sitting on a house

he’ll have to learn the difference between recess and gym and he’ll experience his first understanding of just how long a day can be.

inviting play peaking hand on tree

his gentle dreams will give way to the conventions of school, kid culture, and society.

inviting play sitting on a house profile
but for just a moment longer he is little.  He sits lost in his imagination.
He stands with purpose and plans for his next adventure.

inviting play magdi hand in pocket

Magdi stands at 15.5″ tall.  He is stuffed with wool and buried deep inside him he has a muscular skeletal system that allows him to hold his limbs and neck in poses.

meanwhile Ip room 6

He is very firm and feels heavy and solid.  He has light tan skin, deep black eyes, soft black shaggy mussy hair  made from mohair fabric and tiny ears.
He wears:
striped cotton boxer shorts style undies that can double as play shorts,
a long sleeved soft cotton palest blue t-shirt,
owl pants made from Japanese cotton with a linen pocket,
cotton socks,
a crocheted hat in shades of denim blue wool,
a wool sweater with cables hand knit by Deborah of Mini Me Woolies * (I normally make everything my dolls are dressed in but I couldn’t resist buying this snuggly sweater from Deborah to use for one of my dolls),
and hand dyed 2-tone blue leather shoes that close with an elastic loop over a leather button.

inviting play dangling feet

I made Magdi, a sweet and small and innocent boy, in honor of my own such boy, Ellis, who turns 6 tomorrow.  Together Ellis and Magdi represent all the sweet little boys who have to start a new bigger kid phase in life – their mom and me time must come to an end – their quiet playing on the carpet time will be more limited.  Sending Magdi out into the world is like sending out a little prayer hoping that as they go out into the world, they hold on to some of their dreamy, childish adventures!


inviting play magdi peaking

Magdi is not designed or intended for young children.  Please play with him if you are 8 and up.

Magdi will be for sale in the shared Dollectable shop on Tuesday September, 1, 2015.


His listing will be comment style – which means if you’d like to purchase him you enter to have your name drawn.  If more than one person enters, than the software automatically picks the buyer.  Payment is due immediately.

meanwhile back in the IP room 2

Please note: NO ANGELS /  ONE ENTRY PER HOUSEHOLD.  I’m leaving his drawing style listing up for many hours (4pm – 11pm Eastern) in hopes that if you’d like to enter to take him home, you will be awake during daylight hours for at least some portion of the drawing window.  As such, there will be no need for angels and you may only enter 1 time per household. Thank you!



Ashlynn girl at home in the woods


I made Ashlynn during the heat of the summer.  Actually, I was making several little beings and Ashlynn spoke the loudest and said: “me, first!  I promise I’ll be easy”.  And, easy she was.  inviting play ashlynn wm

After she was in one piece, stuffed with her muscular skeletal system…, she came with me to my family’s cabin in the north woods.  She is not the first doll to come along but her temperament fits right in with the ones who do.

inviting play ashlynn 7

There in the cabin she and I set up a cosey sewing nook in front of wonderful windows.  Allowing us to make her clothing while looking at dear and pileated wood peckers and children hunting forest treasures while we worked.

inviting play clothing closeup

Ashlynn did get to go out into the beauty of the forest – but only for a short controlled time.  She made the time count tho and I was able to snap lots of gorgeous photos of her.

inviting play ashlynn - how big is the box

And just like that!  she sized up her box – jumped in and was gone to the other side of the world.  Fare thee well Ashlynn!


JennyB Enigmatic Soul


inviting play weird closeup

Let me in!  Show me who you are?  are you shy?

inviting play sitting with face3

are you just lost in imagination?

inviting play cute stander 2

I can see there is confidence in there.  Be bold!

inviting play closeup hand

you will have to reach out sometimes – be the one to offer your hand first

Inviting Play Jennyb in the morning2

Its ok to sit alone don’t let people tell you it isn’t

inviting play jenny can pose

inviting play standing side

I watch you struggle to process something for which there are not words and I think: “JennyB,  you are enigmatic.”

inviting play linen dress closeup

I started working on JennyB many weeks ago.  At first I was working under the assumption that she would be one thing.  Something, an idea, that was stuck in my head, running thru my idyl thoughts, a memory from school days and I couldn’t get the name or the person out of my head.  Well, and then the weeks pass and the stitches mount and it turns out the hair you thought would be perfect is all wrong.  And SO, she is who she is and nothing more and always hard to define.   And JennyB is she.  Enigmatic.

With JennyB, I am once again experimenting with some mild pose-ability.  Buried deep in her muscular skeleton structure she has armature that allows her arms, legs, and neck to bend and hold their position.  The armature does not extend through her shoulders and hips so she can not hold her arms up or out but she can bend them around something.  The armature is not a 100% natural material.  However, by weight, JennyB is still mostly made of wool and cotton, and she feels just like my other dolls to the touch.  JennyB can stand against a wall and sit on her own.  and she is large (23″ tall) and hug-able.

It is no secret that blue and grey are the colors I gravitate toward and always want to use for my dolls.  So JennyB has comfortable cotton jeans and a blue cotton t-shirt and a snuggly warm wool vest in really yummy Madelinetosh yarn that I crocheted with a raised diamond stitch. (Its red wooden buttons made JennyB very happy! ) Of course she has cotton undies and socks.  Her dress is an organic Japanese linen that I just love and her boots are leather, lined with linen, and fastened with  etched metal buttons.

JennyB will be auctioned in the Dollectable shop on Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 7pm Eastern and 6pm here in Minnesota.  Her auction is SHORT – just 15 minutes.  The link for her auction is here:  http://hyenacart.com/dollectable/st/6830/13240/JennyB-an-enigmatic-Inviting-Play-girl-23-tall



IP Fix


I have been working on some custom dolls and a large ready to go doll for a long time. I’m not sure why, but I’m really taking my time on these dolls.  My guess is, I’m working slowly because I want to get them right and I’m afraid I won’t.   Fear and self confidence is a daily battle for me.  Anyway, I was hoping to have all the customs done and JennyB for Dollectable on February 1st, 2015.  But I knew I couldn’t make it and didn’t want to rush.  I was sad to miss Dollectable and wishing I could snap my fingers and have a doll to offer.  In the past, when I’ve tried to make a little doll quickly – it ends up being a miniature big doll – that is, I end up making a tiny fully dressable doll that takes almost as long as  big dressable doll.  I was stewing about this, when out of the blue – I had this very clear vision:  IP FIX!


i happened to be driving my children to piano lessons at the time.  I couldn’t get there fast enough.  Piano lessons is a very calming experience for me – my children are  busy learning notes and rhythms and I’m busy, in my own world, in a sunny window crocheting or… madly getting the IP Fix down on paper before the vision of it dematerializes and is vanquished.

inviting play designs2

IP Fix is a small doll that doesn’t need clothes.  It has a real wool head with a real wig full of luscious curls.  Its body is soft and flexible and is double walled with the outer wall being loose and the inner wall containing glass weighting media and wool.  Its curved legs and arms are made of the usual doll skin stuffed firmly with wool and attached securely.  I choose a soft organic fabric for the body and a beautiful color mohair lock for its hair.  IP Fix!

ip fIX splits 2

My plan is to make more – to make many – whenever I need to have a doll on my table – but I don’t always follow through on my plans; sometimes they get replaced by new compulsions.  It is the nature of doll making.



Goodbye 2014…Hellooooo Now!


It is funny. Doll making doesn’t really need to have a seasonality, doesn’t need to be marked in years, but I strongly feel a yearly pattern to my doll making.  Every January feels like a fresh start, a time to look forward, set goals, like an empty slate ready to mark exciting new beginnings.  But this post is a look back upon last year’s seasons.  Spring always brings optimism and new breezy fabrics,

Jax and her baby doll - a doll set from spring of 2014
Jax and her baby doll – a doll set from spring of 2014

Summer feels like a time to get things done and finish orders, but it rarely is, as its too tied up in variable kids’ activities and schedules of snacks and sunshine.

Solana Summer Child  created Summer of 2014
Solana Summer Child created Summer of 2014


oh and I can’t forget summer doll Francis!

Francis a doll made in the summer of 2014.  I loved her and her striped dress and her soft natural mohair locks
Francis a doll made in the summer of 2014. I loved her and her striped dress and her soft natural mohair locks

By fall, the pressure is really on! It marks the start of the busy season.  Fall is crazy for me as the leader of a family packed with fall birthdays, the start of schools, and as a doll maker, the start of the busy season and the holiday rush.

Anne, a doll made as a wishlist custom, completed in late summer 2014 with fancy victorian undergarments and alpaca hair
Anne, a doll made as a wishlist custom, completed in late summer 2014 with fancy Victorian undergarments and alpaca hair


Also, fall brings this craving for some of the yummiest textures of doll making, the layered wools, and knits and hats.

Lindilin, a doll made in November of 2014, a very sweet doll with lots of soft cotton and wool layers
Lindilin, a doll made in November of 2014, a very sweet doll with lots of soft cotton and wool layers

And then, the holidays are soon happening, and with them a lot of anxiety for the doll maker, the pressure to successfully close out another year of dolls, the pressure to try to get to as many custom order requests as possible, the pressure to list additional extra ready-to-go dolls as this is the time when demand really hits a frenzy.  And this year?

Havala, a little poseable doll I made in December of 2014
Havala, a little pose-able doll I made in December of 2014

well, I chose not to succumb to the pressure too much.  I only made about 26 dolls in 2014.  Just over 2 per month.  I didn’t do inhuman amounts of doll work in December.  And that is probably a good thing.

Rubrae a  little gift doll made in November of 2014
Rubrae a little gift doll made in November of 2014


And now it is time to say goodbye to the very last doll of 2014.  This is Juliette of the Cold Moon – the wolf moon – made in the dark quiet of late December, bridging into January.

Juliette of the Cold Moon
Juliette of the Cold Moon

She turned out to be one of my favorite dolls of 2014.  She is very tiny; a very slender 12″.  But, I’m very proud of her proportions.

inviting play juliette 1

To me, her proportions are perfect for her long face and narrow head.  Often, when I’m critiquing my own work, it is the proportions of which I find myself most critical.  Another thing I love about Juliette is her innocent childlike approach to the world.  She is not too self aware.  She is just a child.  A child in a cold, dark house, but one full of wool socks, and burning fires, and glistening snow outside.  She doesn’t know true cold because she is lucky to have her family providing her the warmth.  The other seasons will come for her but right now she is living in the magic in the moment of the cold and dark.


As I look back at 2014 there are a few other dolls that standout as turning points.  Merry was a huge accomplishment for me.  And I almost didn’t make her!  I felt pressure at the time to work on some wishlist custom projects and future ready-to-go dolls, and it really took a big push from two of my colleagues who encouraged me and believed in me to join the collaboration of which Merry was part and really let her shine.

Merry made in September 2014, was part of a 3 doll maker collaboration
Merry made in September 2014, was part of a 3 doll maker collaboration

She was the first doll of a new very large size and I felt proud of each part of her.  Usually, there is some piece of each doll that I feel unsure about.  Is her hair too thin?  Is she stuffed too firm?  Will people understand her expression?, Are her clothes singular and special enough?  But Merry seemed to make herself.  I’m not sure if it was her story and fate that helped her along or if it was just the coincidence of being the right doll, at the right time – but There was Merry.

inviting play merry standing 2

Another doll I’ll always think of as being very special was a custom doll I made named Eowyn.  She had two very different roles, that of fearless warier, and that of fine medieval lady.  Her silk fighting costume and elegant silk dress were both memorable and very different from my past designs.

inviting play paradox
Eowyn, a brave warrier, and a lovely lady


And, there were many many more of course. If you want a look at all of them – the class of 2014 is on Pinterest here:  http://www.pinterest.com/invitingplay/inviting-play-2014-dolls/

I love them all and I can’t wait to start meeting the class of 2015.  There really should be another post about 2015 Inviting Play plans.  We shall see.  Thank you for supporting me, loving my work, and pushing me to get better, and allowing me to be me.




Merry Amite – Broader Horizons (or part 2)


inviting play book5

My mom was a highly connected, thoughtful, intellectual and always had invitations and opportunities of one kind or another.  Institutions, associations, organizations, and busy people asked her to join in projects, committees, boards and foundations. One day she came home with the exciting news that she was asked to go on a very big, long term adventure and we were to go too. She was asked to help start-up a big new company in a far away city in a very unknown part of the world.  And I was essentially asked to start a new life.

Although I pleaded and begged to go along on the early reconnaissance trip that would set up our permanent stay,  my parents decided against it because it would be too dangerous before everything was figured out and at the very least they needed to have a house rented before I could join them.  Instead, I would be going to stay in the care of a lovely woman called Lady Davenport. And so, my parents arranged for  Lady Davenport to take care of me for a few months until they could have everything ready in our new home, in our new place in our new life.  Then, they would return to collect me.  Don’t worry, they promised, they would mail many letters and make many phone calls.  I would expand my horizons.  I would leave the hollows of my childhood. 

Finally the day came.  My parents left, and as they were boarding their flight, I was meeting Lady Davenport.  Just hours after that I also met two other girls, Thekla and Noortje.  Thekla ‘s and Noortje’s parents were following the same business opportunity as mine and it seemed they were sent on the same horizon expanding adventure as  me.  We were all left  in the care of Lady Davenport.

inviting play coat selection

I was very relieved to get to know Thekla and Noortje.  Each day I felt a sense of gratitude that I had them.  Somehow, it lessened or at least dulled the pain I felt with my parents leaving.  I would come to depend on them enormously as we all came to understand that Lady Davenport was not the nice trustworthy caretaker my parents promised she’d be……

To be continued.

To read whats going on with Thelka:  http://vergissmeinnichtkuss.blogspot.com/

To read what’s going on with Noortje:  http://www.liefmonster.com/


Solana Child of Summer


Solana appeared right after the summer solstice and it was clear in every way that she is a child of summer.

inviting play solana with shoes

I made this ex-small size doll again because of a customer request on my wishlist – and I had so much fun making that one – I knew I had to make one for July Dollectable (which is today if it is July 1st when you are reading this).

inviting play solana standing

I wonder what Solana feels with the warm sun infiltrating her body through her skin.

inviting play solana close up

no worries about sun screen or dehydration – just that good bright sun warming her wool. I’m a little envious.

inviting play solana picks a flower 2

you know those long summer evenings… its still light out – you are supposed to sleep but you aren’t sleepy at all?
inviting play saying hi

not at all?

inviting play trying to sleep

Solana’s hair is made from mohair fabric (teddy bear fabric). I love using it because it is soft, natural and totally safe and tested for use on toys. It is a bit unruly however. Solana doesn’t care. she loves feeling it beneath her hands. She often rubs and caresses it at night when she is trying to fall asleep.

inviting play touching hair

All she wants to do is swing endless hours on the rope swing

inviting play swinging 1

– high through the trees – just like the birds.

inviting play swinging 3 best

Summer child is freedom

inviting play swinging

inviting play solana loves flowers

Solana Summer Child
Solana Summer Child

inviting play shoes close up

Solana will be for sale on a first come first serve basis here: http://hyenacart.com/dollectable/st/6830/39025/Solana-Summer-Child-9-Inviting-Play July 1st, 2014 7pm eastern (6 pm central).

Thank you for your support of handmade dolls and doll artists!


Renni Pip for the Dollectable Pippi Handmade Doll Exhibition


inviting play Renni Pip on a fence

Some girls are adventurous

inviting play renni pip closeup

Some girls are unusual

inviting play renni pip on her house

Some girls have tremendous strength


inviting play renni pip sitting

Renni Pip is all of those and more.

inviting play Renni Pip with a bit of dandelion pollen on her shoes

You make me laugh little Renni – pollen on your shoes. inviting play Renni pip head shot

Renni Pip will be available June 1st, 2014 in the Dollectable Hyenacart shop.  She will be for sale comment style.  She is 14″ tall and made from my size small pattern which is a thin doll.   So, she is a small doll with big spirit.  She comes with dotted cotton undies, mismatched socks, leather shoes with vintage glass button closures, and a dress and maybe a surprise or two… who knows?

Update: Well – the surprise is over, over the weekend, she got a one -of -a-kind grass green sweater with some sweet little blue patches and a snuggly soft merino wool hat.

inviting play rennis sweater


Jax and Her Baby



I first met the real Jax before I had kids. She was a neighbor kid. Her real name was Jacqueline, but no one called her that. She was just a kid with curls – nothing really out of the ordinary. She liked my dog and would ask for a dog treat to feed her. Once, I caught her eating the dog treat.
She could play with great joy
She could play with great joy

She was appealing because she would play with great joy and vivacity without any awareness that I was watching; envious of her ability to suspend reality.
inviting play jax taking care of her baby
I always wanted another little girl I could name Jacqueline and call Jax.
inviting play straight on closeup
So this girl is a Jax.
So, this girl is Jax
So, this girl is Jax

She lives inside her head a lot, lost in imagination. She plays with baby dolls.
inviting play jax with baby hugging
Her favorite is a little handmade baby-doll fashioned from scraps in a sort of primitive style. The baby doll’s name is pink baby. So called because of her pink cheeks.
inviting play baby and jaxe's hand
She doesn’t just play with her really. She pretends Pink baby is real.
inviting play jax with baby 3
She takes care of her and asks for help with the swaddling.
inviting play cuddling with baby
Jax is 14″ but is made from my size small pattern. My size small pattern results in dolls ranging in size from 12 – 14″.
inviting play baby in the pocket 3
So Jax is a little wisp of a thing. She comes with crocheted shoes from soft grey alpaca yarn, cotton undies with pink trim, muted spring green cotton trousers with little dots.
just the slip side
A cotton slip dress with little embroidered details and ruffles, and a tunic with a large pocket.
inviting play pocket close up
She’ll also come with her Pink Baby wrapped in a swaddler. Jax has mohair locks that I purchased directly from a goat keeper here in the United States. Then, I wefted, washed and crocheted the locks into a wig. This is a first for me and I was expecting it to be painstakingly difficult – but it wasn’t really. It was time consuming – but not difficult. I’m excited for this new path in my journey – making my own wefts. I really like the idea that they are locks from a small farmer not too far from home.

I want to thank Monika Aebischer who is a doll maker and fiber artist. The dolls she makes are The Olive Sparrow dolls. You can read about the Olive Sparrow here: Monika held my hand and helped me with sourcing these locks and some others that are in my future. She is like an encyclopedia of fibers and an awesome doll maker.
inviting play from the back
They are lovely and soft and curly but they are fragile. Most of the commercial wefts I’ve used shed and these are no different – little wispies will shed but I think her wig will hold up to gentle adult or very gentle older child play. The locks can be tamed by carefully taking them one by one on your finger and gently combing or brushing. The shouldn’t be roughly combed or brushed. Then they can be spritzed and scrunch. I prefer the wild child look for Jax but they can be tamed a little if that becomes desirable. Jax has tan cotton skin made by Laib Yala, brown eyes, and is stuffed with wool.
inviting play just the slip and baby
She sits very well unassisted but needs help to stand.
inviting play jax with baby again
inviting play peas porridge hot
Like all my dolls, Jax is not perfect. I don’t make perfect dolls – but I hope to make up for what they are missing in factory like perfection, by packing them with one-of-a-kindness, handmade loveliness and good feelings. I don’t intentionally try to make my dolls imperfect, but I do try to focus on each doll as an individual and bring out of each a unique personality. Jax has a wee wrinkle under her cheek at her neckline that doesn’t impact her soundness or playability and can only be seen when her head is tipped backward. She is beautiful in my eyes the way she is but if perfection is what appeals to you most – she may not be for you.
Though each of my dolls and their clothing, is double and triple stitched and can be manipulated into many positions and engage in lots of play, they are not appropriate for young children. This doll in particular, because of her delicate hair and small things like buttons and hook and eyes and snaps, Jax is not a play thing for a young child. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend her for children under 8. She would make a wonderful companion for an older child or adult. I hope there is someone out there who feels Invited to Play by Jax and will welcome her into their home.
Jax will be for sale at 2-hour auction on May 1st, 2014 from 6 – 8pm Est in the Dollectable Hyena-Cart shop; which is 5-7pm here in Minnesota and very very late at night in Europe. And sadly, I have no idea what time it will be in Australia – but I will consult my wall of clocks and report back. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Then link to Jax’s auction is here :