What I was most drawn to are her doll's eyes. I have never really liked 3D eyes on cloth dolls because, well, usually they look creepy in my opinion. I think that is why they work so well with Jamie's dolls, because they are not trying to be realistic. I also love her use of different colored fabrics. She has made dolls in a rainbow of colors including green, blue, red, purple and more. The green ones tend to be some of my favorites. Check out her Flickr page for more photos.
They are just fantastic and I hope you think so too. Jamie was kind enough to sit down and write a bit about herself so I can share with you. She mostly sells her dolls on her Facebook page which you can find here.
1. When did you begin making cloth dolls?
I started making dolls in the late 80's. Pattern dolls and playing with rag dolls. I then turned to bears and animals and started back seriously in 2009 when I lost my job do to downsizing.
I did the bear and animals for several years until a friend talked me in to trying a soft sculpture doll. I started by drawing a round head..sewing it out of knit (after I finally got my machine to accept knit material) and practiced making a nose. I never once looked at how to do it as I feared I wouldn't be able to do it then. I can talk myself out of things if it looks difficult so I try how I think it should be. I played and played until I'm at this point now...almost a year later. Dolls are a passion of mine and I have collected them all my life...I'm in love with them!!
2. Have you always made cloth dolls or have you made other types of dolls?
Mostly cloth..I work with fur as well..which is crazy messy. The dolls are simple and fun! I can take them anywhere with me.
3. How did you learn to sew and make dolls?
I taught myself, but as I say this I have taken classes to teach me to sew. I have sewn all my life. I have to create..if it's not by machine I'm sewing by hand or crocheting. I have to have something in my hands all the time. I look at something and then start messing until I create something out of it. My mother is incredibly creative and my older sister encouraged us to sew all the time. I grew up in a very artistic family. It was a big part of my life to create and design.
4. Do you have any advice for new doll makers?
Never give up! Think of the project done instead of the process you have to go through to make it. It's overwhelming, and you can talk yourself right out of doing something if it seems daunting. Always think of the end project! Never be discouraged when it looks nothing like what you wanted..some of my best disasters have went on to be fabulous creations. I rarely get something like I envisioned...but I'm getting better all the time. Practice..and patience...and have a Peter Pan mentality. I tend to turn on cartoons when I work...there is joy in cartoons. My heart is joyful and happy watching cartoons..Disney movies...anything that is colorful and joyful!
5. Does anyone help you in the creation of your dolls?
My life love Jackson. He leaves me alone and lets me do my thing..never complains of the mess in the living room. It's hard to live with a creative person..forgotten dishes and dinners half done while an idea hits me...but he just goes with the flow.
6. Is making dolls just a hobby for you or a serious business?
It's a serious business. I live and eat from dolls. When you have to be creative to live it's a hard road at times. There is no time for sickness or being fed up with work..it's work and work alone most weeks. I do love it...what other job can you do while watching cartoons and sitting in your pj's?
I'm a huge fan of all types of dolls. I keep a low profile as much as I can in other artists forums. I do collect Jan Shackelford dolls as well as have a passion for antique and vintage Asian (Chinese) dolls. I love vintage African American dolls as well. Vintage stuffed animals and old doll furniture...suitcases and primitive furniture. I love metal toys and old pull toys.
8. Where do you sell your dolls? Where can people buy them?
I sell from my Facebook page usually. I just make them and say they're available. I offer layaway and holds for my good customers, so they know they can contact me. I love interactive views from collectors. I don't copy what others do, and get a tad irritated when requested of such, but I love creative ideas from folks. A girl once said she had a old Halloween wig, a Frankenstein wig, and sent it to me. That was an opening to a fab new bunch of great dolls with fab wigs! I customize and let people decide how they want the doll to be..and if I do something and they don't like it, they are not obligated to the doll. I don't want someone unhappy with a doll and forced to pay. I take naked pics of each doll so everyone can join in on the fun of the creation. Playing dolls..even via the computer..is still fun!
9. Do you collect dolls yourself?
Oh heavens do I have dolls. If I like it and can afford it..I collect it. I like the damaged dolls that no one wants. Perfection is imperfection in my eyes.
10. Who are your favorite doll artists?
Yikes I love them all. I'm a huge fan of baby types or very gothic monster types. The lost soul thing really gets to me. Rag dolls mostly. I had Raggedy Anne growing up and it was one of my favorites.
11. What inspires you? How do you come up with ideas/designs?
Tim Burton is a huge inspiration. He takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary. I find I want to walk in the world he creates. I appreciate beauty..but love old musty rooms full of inspiring objects. Cracked paint...faded materials...ripped lace...that's what makes me tick.
12. Anything else you want to share about your dolls?
They were all designed and created by me. I borrowed a pattern from the net to learn to make a 3D head..but changed it because I like BIG CHEEKS! Even if I was forced to return to a 9 to 5 job I can't express what creating has brought to me in the past few years. I have met the most wonderful supportive people and made life long friends. It's a incredible community full of wonderful people. I'm grateful to be included in such a creative world.
Thanks for reading and getting to know my pal Jamie. If you are a doll or soft toy maker and would like to be included in one of my blog features please email me at email@example.com.