Chavi – a little burst of life



Chavi is a hebrew word for life.  and at a time when I was allowing myself to wallow in the appreciation for the life of a Prince; a genius who created the music that was the backdrop to my coming of age years… she popped up and came to life.


Also, I love names that end in ‘i’.


When I began on Chavi, it was rainy.  And dismal.  and cold.  and so she has long layers and a snuggly wool top.  But on the morning of her sale…


It was a sun burn your knees kind of day.

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Wearing purple of course!

Chavi sold at Dollectable on May day, 2016 and now I’m getting her ready to fly away home.  She has a sunny disposition and today she is full of antics


Nice pocket!  what do I use it for?

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never mind.

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Is this my nice soft box?


I’m cartwheeling in now!

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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.



Memories of Harold Hubert


Its hard to know exactly what to write about this duo;

inviting play holding hands 8

this pair separated by a generation and connected by love, eyes, memories, and scraps of fabric.


heater and dad2

inviting play standing suspenders

He so strong and steady



Heather's dad 5


inviting play close up of dad

his love was accessible

heathers's dad 5How I remember you

inviting play shorts face on

inviting play heather and dad17

Hold me close


inviting play shorts with fish and fishing pole

Tell me your stories

inviting play dad with hand outstretchex


your arms calling us to you – well perhaps you were motioning the dog to come for your secret ice-cream rendezvous –  but your arms were open to us anyhow


inviting play his shoe

now I try to walk in your footsteps


heather red boots2

and me….

inviting play heather's undies

of course with the rainbow pants

inviting play heather standing

just a little girl….Made strong by your being

inviting play heather and dad15

You gave me your heart

inviting play suspenders 4

now I have my memories and your heart

inviting play dad

In memory of Harold Hubert



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:

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.




A Fair Hair Pair; Silka and Saully


They go home tomorrow this pair.

inviting play whispers

Silly and sweet too

Inviting Play Sauly and Silka

His undies make me smile

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And how sugary sweet she looks in her best dress

inviting play Silka in her best

I wonder what they’ll do in their next life

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Where will they go?

inviting play boots and knees

What will they play?

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inviting play sually

Fare thee well Silka and Saully

Inviting Play Sauly and Silka



Merry Amité the search begins (part 4!)


It felt so good to run away from Lady Davenport.  I kind of wanted to just keep running and running and running. I would just keep imagining that I was back home in the grasses.

inviting play merry in the shade

Running and running with no cares.  However, we were getting hungry and our hunger brought us back to reality.  We needed food and we needed to find our parents – or at least figure out how to contact them. We had a little money so we decided to find the train depot.

invitintg play alone in the street2

Right outside the station, as I was scanning headlines on newspapers.  I saw something I really can not speak about.  All I had to do was point it out to Thekla and Noortje.  My world came crashing down.  It was something unspeakably awful that the newspapers were showing.  And it seemed we were right in the center of it.  Our train ride idea vanished and we were running again.

inviting play side view satchel

running running running.  later the running was walking.  Sometimes we’d walk alone and sometimes in pairs and sometimes all together.  we had to be very careful as the authorities had been alerted and were on the watch for us.  We needed to hide in plain sight.

inviting play alone on a bench

Noortje and Thekla were very worried about me – it seems I stopped talking.  I let them make all the plans.  I withdrew to my imagination.

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We ate what we could.

oh those apples would be so nice
oh those apples would be so nice


It was beginning to be cold.
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Eventually, we realized our goal was to find permanent homes and families.  We all took turns questing alone. I enjoyed my time alone.  I really did ok for myself.  I know I’m too trusting, too naive.  But, people like me and they want to help me.  Thekla and Noortje were much more proactive about their wanderings.  They looked at maps.  They planned.  They adventured in an organized way.  They had fun together.  They found temporary homes in Europe with dollmakers and … I found one too – back home.  I managed to fall under the gaze of the right wealthy family at a playground, and they helped me find my doll maker.

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Once in my home I began to open up a bit about the tragic death of my parents.  I wrote and received lots of postcards to and from Thekla and Noortje.  It seems they share my strong desire to find a new permanent home.

inviting play writing letters 5

In just 1 day, tomorrow, on Friday. September 26, 2014. At 8:30pm EASTERN and 7:30pm Central time – I will begin looking for my new home.   Here is the link to my auction: I have so many questions about what will happen and who will love me.  I know for certain that wherever I go, I will keep a very strong connection with my friends Thekla and Noortje.  We were born as soul sisters in separate lands but lived some significant days together.

Merry, Thekla, and Noortje.  The Amité soul sisters
Merry, Thekla, and Noortje. The Amité soul sisters


To read part 4 of Thekla’s story:

To read part 4 of Noortje’s story:


Harriet the birthday sister


Harriet’s little brother is having a birthday.

inviting play Harriet

Harriet’s mama made her a new dress for the occasion

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Birthday parties are not mama’s strong suit.

inviting play harriet back of hair

Tension is a little high.

inviting play harriet hands crossed

The house is busy with lists and chores.

inviting play harriet lounging

Harriet is bored. Mama said “go be bored up in your room Harriet”.

inviting play harriet undies
Harriet watches for the guests

inviting play harriet window

“oooh, I think they’re coming”

inviting play harriet shoes

Harriet’s mama will finish her new school outfit after the birthay.

Harriet is 19″ tall and will come with a lovely light cotton dress in blue flowers (blue is her favorite color) that closes in the back with a snap and a button. She has navy blue mary jane style shoes which close with a vintage German glass button and she wears cotton undies (of course). Harriet will also come with a casual outfit consisting of blue pants and a cozy top.

Harriet’s hair is made from domestic angora mohair locks which I purchased raw from a small goat keeper here in the United States. I first organized them and wefted them and then I washed them several times and dyed them and finally made them into a wig for Harriet. They are very soft and warm and natural and represent hours and hours of loving handwork. Harriet is made for the adult collector or older child (9 and up). Her hair can’t be brushed but each lock can be combed gently over a finger and spritzed and scrunched to restore curl. Some shedding will naturally occur but Harriet’s hair abounds with curls.

Harriet will be for sale on September 1, 2014 in the Dollectable shop. Please message me for more information Thank you very much for your support of my handwork.


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.
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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 :


Jerrel and his Inside Day

I didn't know it was going to snow.  I thought it was spring
I didn’t know it was going to snow. I thought it was spring

Jerrel woke up today, looked out his window. crestfallen. “Snow? I thought it is Soring!”

I guess I'll just cozy up in bed for a while longer.
I guess I’ll just cozy up in bed for a while longer.

“I’m not going outside. I’m going to stay inside all day.”

I'm going to stay inside all day
I’m going to stay inside all day

“My Chick and I will Play”

My chick and I will play
My chick and I will play

“I wonder if I can train him to do things on command?”

I wonder if I can train him to do things on command
I wonder if I can train him to do things on command
"Chick!  Stay"
“Chick! Stay”

“I don’t want to go outside but maybe I’ll build a snowman in here”

Do you want to build a snowman?.....hmmmmmm hmhmmm hmmm mmm hmm hmm hmm ?
Do you want to build a snowman?…..hmmmmmm hmhmmm hmmm mmm hmm hmm hmm ?

Nappy time
Nappy time
just sitting on the rock of the day
just sitting on the rock of the day
Jerrel's pants are reversible.  His mom made them. and one side has a rooster pocket.  the best part!
Jerrel’s pants are reversible. His mom made them. and one side has a vintage embroidered rooster on the pocket. The Rooster is the best part!
Reversible pants
Reversible pants

Jerrel, being the kind of kid who helps feed the chickens, kind of just required leather shoes. These have button closures in the back.

Jerrel, being the kind of kid who loves to feed the chickens in the yard - just required leather shoes.
Jerrel, being the kind of kid who loves to feed the chickens in the yard – just required leather shoes.

Maybe the snow will melt tomorrow and the shoes can go out to play.
Jerrel will be available tomorrow at the Dollectable shop on Hyena Cart. He will be uploaded on April 5th, 2014 at 7pm est or 6pm Central time. Please let me know if you have any questions. Oh, he is just 13″ and made from my “small” pattern.


A boy with adventure in his past and good things in his future


Update on Peder: Peder found a loving home and set off a day or so ago. He didn’t seem quite finished to me, so I closed my eyes and realized he did in fact need a goose.

He did in fact need a goose
He did in fact need a goose

I just LOVE LOVE LOVE making these free form birds with just a ball of yarn and a crochet hook and a handful of wool.

free form goose from a bit of yarn and wool
free form goose from a bit of yarn and wool

I don’t use a pattern – I just use my heart and follow where I think a wing should be and a beak. I add jasper bead eyes to the ones not being made for small children. The goose is similar to my spring chicks and Eastern Blue birds You can see my spring chicks here: Spring Chicks

Peder also needed a little wool sweater for his photo shoot and travels. Hopefully, the sweater and goose will comfort him and warm him on his journey.

inviting play peder and goose

Peder a 20 inch boy
Peder a 20 inch boy

Peder has been spending a lot of time lately thinking.

Inviting Play peder 5


inviting play peder 12


inviting play peder 11

what is it to be a boy who could fly on the backs of giant birds but chooses not to.

inviting play peder 3

what does it say if one chooses a life of quiet affection over life a fame and dare devilish antics.

Inviting Play peder 7

Peder is a 20″ boy who has pale skin, blue eyes, and sparse red mohair fabric hair.

inviting play peder 13

He is in limbo, wondering about the next chapter in his life.

inviting play peder 2