I love dolls. I am not ashamed to say it and I say it again: I love dolls. I grew up with lots of Barbies (No, I didn't cut their hair or pull their legs off, not that I'm not "creative" or simply mean, I just hate to see my toys ruined, I used to save my allowance buying them, why would I want to wreck them?) Carebears, and MyLittlePonies, but now I'm more into limited handmade dolls. They have more unique design and the whole look you won't find on the racks of mega toyshops everywhere.
Of course, as a kid, there's a stiff competition of "Have you had the latest Transformer/Barbie/Ben10/etc toys?" in the playground, and I swear by my pants, it's not easy not to be carried away. Suddenly your own esthetic is determined by your so-called playmates, and not having the latest trendiest toys is automatically getting wipe out of their friend list. Not to mention the daily advertisements intake and cartoon networks alike.
So, if I had the chance to be a kid again today, I'll invest on handmade, down to earth, friendly looking kind of dolls. Heck, even if I were a granny today, I buy one to keep me company. And talk about handmade dolls, meet my new friend beecah! Crafter extraordinaire and *drumroll* excellent doll maker! C'mon look at these lovelies! You don't have to be a kid to fall in love with these beauties aren't you? Interested? Read more to find out about beecah!
When was the first time you interested in making dolls?
I only started making dolls last year, before that I was sewing anything else I could get my hands on, especially quilts and bags, making toys and dolls seemed to be a natural progression. Ever since I was a little kid, I have always been making, drawing, inventing, rearranging… always using my hands and my imagination.
What inspires you the most?
Everything and anything, but I really love children’s illustrations, especially Golden Books from the 1950s and 60s… I love the style of illustration!
Got a personal favorite and least favorite among your creations?
I seem to fall in love with each of the toys as I’m finishing them off, I’m quite fussy, so if I don’t like them, I generally pull them apart and change whatever it is that I don’t like about them, and if they can’t be salvaged, I cut them up and reuse the fabric. I really hate looking at ugly creations!
Two of my favourites are Ginger, a 7-eyed monster that I made at the beginning of the year, and Wendy, a squishy, red t-shirt material girl that I just gave away as part of The Toy Society project.
I love Ginger because she’s one of the first dolls that I really let my imagination run wild with, she has tiger stripped legs, and I think she’s a bit of a cutie for a monster. I love Wendy because she’s so simple, cuddly and loveable looking, and she was made in an excited flurry of imagination late at night.
If you're not making dolls, what would you do now?
I have no idea. I am trained as a photographer, but I seem to have lost my passion there…
Did you play with dolls as a child? What doll was it?
Yes! I was obsessed… my favourites were my Baby Alive, which I got for my 5th birthday, and a porcelain doll named Sanya that I still have at my parents house.
Do you have a doll that you carry along from childhood days?
I gave up most of my dolls when I was 11, in a bid to be a little more grown up! But I gave them to a little girl in my street and she loved them just as much as I did, so I don’t regret doing that. I still have a very special old teddy-bear named Jessica—who was my Mum’s, and who hangs out in the craft room with me.
What is your current dream doll?
Anything by Hillary at Wee Wonderfuls… her dolls are amazing!
Anything by Louise Bagnall, I love her style so much!
Anything by Allison Berry, she has a simple, funky style that makes me so jealous!
Do you suffer from occasional artist's block? Any tips for conquering it?
Sometimes. But I just try to go with the flow, and not force anything. Sometimes just sitting down and drawing gives me a bunch of new ideas, and the internet is great for inspiration, I spend hours on Flickr looking at other people’s amazing creations and styles! It fills me with positivity about my own ideas.
Thank you beecah!! All the best wishes for you and your little guys/girls!
Can't get enough of beecah? Visit her blog BlinkingFlights!