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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Happy Birthday Peggy Sue

Our Sasha family wanted to join in the birthday party for Peggy Sue, their Schoenhut doll friend who visited for the day during August for some Country girls and Indian fun in the garden.  The weather today was too damp and dull for outdoor party games, so they had party tea and cakes indoors then a game of dominoes.

You can see Peggy Sue's birthday party celebrations at:

Party Preparations

Birthday party time

Opening presents

Baby Leo, Laura, Reuben, Miranda, Nicholas James,
Florence and baby Mabel start their party tea in honour of Peggy Sue
Cheers Peggy Sue - have a lovely birthday
Florence wins the dominoes game

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Chat 'n Snap 2014 - part 3

This is the final collection of my photos from the Chat 'n Snap last week.  For part 1 see, for part 2 see

These were the wonderful dolls from Janet's 'Studio doll project'.
Sasha Studio Doll Project dolls
Gorgeous eyes on this doll from the Sasha Studio Doll Project
I remember seeing this beautiful, haunting doll at the 2012 Festival
More of the Studio Doll project dolls
Dee had challenged people to bring their course dolls to keep her course doll company.  17 came for the day.
Some of the 17 course dolls which made their way to the Chat 'n Snap
Gorgeous course dolls
Some course dolls and Dawn's Studio doll in her tube
Diane had challenged the Chat 'n Snap to rival the number of toddlers who had attended the 2014 Sasha Festival, and collect for charity.  This little lad was supervising the collection.
The Toddler table
The Toddlers looked like they were preparing for Halloween
Lots of toddlers seem to like little Sailing boats
More of the toddlers (I believe there were 47?)
Looking like butter wouldn't melt...
There were tables laid out for Sasha and Gregor dolls of all descriptions to meet and greet each other.
Some of the Sasha & Gregor dolls and babies with that wonderful restored pram
Baby Leo and Baby Mabel sitting with some other babies
More of the amazing variety of Sasha and Gregor dolls, all different
I didn't take a photo of the table where there were 3 horses and more Sasha's.  We didn't think to bring my daughter's lovely white horse.  Maybe next year...

Friday, 31 October 2014

A Sasha Halloween

We don't 'do' Halloween in our family, though 5 years ago I did make some outfits for the Gotz dolls which they wore for an indoor picnic.  Today we've had a busy day away in London seeing the poppies around the Tower of London (breathtaking, especially with glorious blue skies and unseasonal warmth) and this evening my younger girl was tired and a bit sulky that we weren't taking her trick or treating (even though she knows we never do).  So I dug out the outfits and suggested she create a little scene for me to photograph.  It includes some of the items which Anne from Germany sent me last year in the Autumn pinafore swap.

Laura the pumpkin, Nicholas James the wizard,
Florence the witch, Reuben the ghost and baby Mabel as a baby ghost
So to everyone who celebrates Halloween, this is my daughter's greeting to you.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Chat 'n Snap 2014 - part 2

For Part 1 of the Chat 'n Snap 2014 see

These are the photos I took of the amazing fairground which Dee and Paul had created for the Chat 'n Snap.
Hattie supervises the babies and clown in the Tea Cup ride
Sian (from Spain) has her hand read by Mystic Meggie
Sian looks a little unsure about having her fortune told
Sian is a lovely repainted and rewigged Kids 'n Cats doll who received her makeover by Sharon in Spain who had travelled to England specially for the CnS. You can read about how Sharon made Sian look so different from the KnC Grace doll she was originally on Sharon's blog at 
Laura comes to meet her friend Hattie in the Tea Cup ride
Hattie tells Laura that it isn't really safe to wear ice skates on a fairground ride!
I think Hattie is quite right!  I wonder if Laura was hoping that there would be an ice rink at the fairground as well.
Paul's amazing carousel for Sasha
with one of Theresa's clowns alongside it
The carousel had some fair organ music playing on a recording (in the background).
Hook the Duck and Coconut Shy
(my photo of the Hoopla stall, using DollMum's quoits, was blurred)
Dee looks at her amazing fairground set for Sasha
as some boys enjoy refreshments
The various stalls are easy to pack away and reuse (just like in a real fairground), I later saw Paul carefully dismantling the Carousel which took more effort.  This reminded me of watching the Gallopers being pulled down at the end of the Great Dorset Steam fair and moved to St Giles Fair in Oxford in the same night: it is hard, heavy work especially if the horses are made of real wood rather than the more modern fibreglass versions.  The horses are usually carried on the shoulders with their heads looking down the person's back as the person holds the front hooves, fortunately Paul didn't have to do that with the Sasha Carousel.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Chat 'n Snap 2014 - part 1

In preparation for the Chat 'n Snap my younger daughter helped me box up the planes and boats, she also decided on outfits and dressed our Sasha family (7 dolls) and we decided to take my Kids 'n Cats doll Jakob as well, because we knew that there would be a few others at Dee's Chat 'n Snap.

When we got the hall, even though it wasn't officially opening time yet, the place was buzzing with conversations about dolls.  People were busily setting up their stalls and discussing the many course dolls, the Studio Doll project dolls, the table load of toddlers and crowds of other Sasha and Gregor dolls who had travelled from far and wide to a village hall in Hertfordshire for the day.

It didn't take us long to set up our Toys & Games for Sasha & Gregor table as we didn't have many items to sell.  It gave us a chance to look around at what everyone else was selling and have some conversations too.  We met friends we had only ever known online (such as Sharon from Spain).  Sales were not permitted until 12 noon and no one was allowed to reserve anything in advance, so when Dee announced that sales were open there was a mad dash to the sales tables as people swooped on the items they had spied earlier.  My girl tried to get a coat and hat set from Vintage Sasha but the crowd around the table was too much for a small girl and she stood back while all the coats and hats disappeared within 30 seconds!  She did however manage to buy a gorgeous pale blue dress with pink flower decoration from Sarah and hopefully we'll get a Vintage Sasha coat and hat set soon.  Miranda changed into the dress straight away and soon had a parasol (which my girl found on Jane W's stall).

It was fascinating watching (from a stall holder's perspective) what people were going for in the sales - most people were purchasing outfits and shoes for their dolls, though wigs were popular too. Even for seasoned sellers it was hard to predict what people would want, Lisa H had made up lots of winter boots but people wanted sandals!  There were more stalls and more stock to choose from than last year, I think only Vintage Sasha sold out.

On my toys and games stall I sold two aeroplanes, a boat, two glove puppets, one skipping rope and one hobby horse.  My girl knew that I was giving her money from our stall and when she saw that sales were slow she didn't ask for more cash though I did give her some more.  She was lucky enough to receive gifts from 3 people during the day which was really kind: a panda hat from Gayle, a guitar (I think from Chris M) and some money to spend from Kendal - she purchased a mini slinky and had great fun with it that day and the next. I went around the sales tables and bought some items as well (which will feature in future posts) - I had come with cash to spend.

During the afternoon Dee drew the two raffles.  We'd bought several tickets for each but didn't win anything. We also admired the amazing fairground which Dee and her husband Paul had created on the stage (for another post) and had several more conversations with various people.  My girl was thrilled when Dawn L allowed her to hold her toddler and a baby, Dawn had curled the toddler's hair and she was delightful.  My girl decided she had to start saving up for a toddler, so saved her last £10 of spending money towards this goal (it has now been banked and she has a cash book to keep a running check on her toddler fund).

To help her toddler fund I have listed all unsold items from the Chat 'n Snap on the playthings page.

The day was over all too quickly.  I'd like to thank Dee and all her helpers for a great Sasha Chat 'n Snap, it was lovely to meet so many Sasha enthusiasts again and admire the dolls.

DollMum's Glove puppets, sailing boats, spitfires and hobby horses
Florence, Reuben, Miranda and Nicholas James with the Garden Games
(with Clemence the bear)
The model boats before the sales started
The model spitfire aeroplanes on sale
close up of 3 of the planes
close up of the other 2 planes, the one my elder daughter painted is on the right
Jakob holds the DollMum contact cards 
Miranda in her beautiful new Vintage Sasha dress with a parasol 
Raffle 1
 Raffle 2
The baby from Raffle 2
Dawn's gorgeous toddler holding
Clemence the bear who had sneaked into our bag
to see the Sasha's at the CnS

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Planes and boats for Chat n Snap

I have been very busy with my day job and with a big voluntary project this year, so time for making things has been severely restricted.  However when Dee of Sasha Village sent out invitations for her Chat 'n Snap I booked a sales table.  I like a deadline and this gave me a target date to produce a few toys for Sasha/Gregor.  Dee had put enticing colour wheels of items that others would be selling on the day on her blog this week in the run up to the event and I was finally ready to send her a couple of (poor quality) photos the night before the CnS which she has added to her blog in a post called Planes and Boats.

Miniature sailing boats (photo taken in poor light on an ipad) 
Miniature Spitfire aeroplanes (photo taken in poor light on an ipad)
I have designed and made some miniature toy sailing boats and Spitfire aeroplanes.  I made them from wood offcuts in our workshop, so got to use my favourite machine tool (the pillar drill - for mast holes) again, as well as a razer saw, chisel, rotating sanding machine, table top vibrating jigsaw, sanding block and hammer.  10 boats and 5 planes are the result.

The boats were made first, the planes I only started with a week to go (eek) and were much more fiddly, with more processes than the boats.  They were also more complex to paint and 2 nights before the event my elder daughter, who is very artistic, helpfully painted one of the planes its camouflage colours while I painted the others (she asked to paint one) and did a great job.  The propellers on the planes rotate (carved matchsticks fitted with pins). My husband is an aeroplane enthusiast and he was impressed with the planes, so I am really pleased as his praise for creative work is hard won (his motto is "it's got to be right").

We also made some felt glove puppets for Sasha/Gregor (both daughters helped a bit), however I'll write about them in another post.  I will also take better photos of the planes and boats as these are really grainy.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

August outings for Laura

Laura had two outings during the first half of August - I didn't have time to blog about them at the time, so am catching up now.

The first outing was to London to see/listen to two BBC proms in one day - in the afternoon we were lucky enough to attend the War Horse Prom with the wonderful horse puppets designed and made by the Handspring Puppet Co. of Cape Town.  It was filmed and will be broadcast on BBC TV in November and is a must watch.  Between proms we went to Giraffe for dinner, then enjoyed the Mozart Requiem prom.

Reading the tube map on the train 
Laura with the War Horse Prom programme
Awaiting the start of the War Horse prom
Keeping occupied in Giraffe, waiting for food (we didn't have to wait long)
Laura with her new Giraffe
Laura in her doll bag outside the
Royal Albert Hall ahead of the Mozart Requiem prom
Watching the orchestra get ready just before the Mozart Requiem prom
The second outing was to Lincoln Steam Rally to see some fairground organs.  We also enjoyed the model display - people have such amazing collections, some assembled over many years, others painstakingly built by the owner for enjoyment.

An 87 key Gavioli organ over 100 years old with beautiful
bell ringer figures and a 1970s monkey collecting for charity
An 89 key organ (built in 1992), with a new figure
replacing the 3 wooden originals
(which were Scottish - a bandmaster, a seated figure
and two bell ringers all wearing kilts)
Laura is curious and goes to see this fair organ
Laura meets the new bandmaster who is not carved of wood,
but is a fibreglass copy of a wooden figure
Laura and the new bandmaster
For a video of the organ with its original figures see
Some figures for sale in front of another old organ.
The two small figures are modern.
Laura has a ride on the Gallopers in the fair on Rosie the horse
The organ on the gallopers which was steam driven
(this is why some people here mistakenly called
fairground organs 'steam organ's -
true steam organs are calliopes with
steam blown through the pipes)
Laura took this photo of Henry the horse especially for her friend Henry
A very old bell ringer on a vintage Fair organ (another Gavioli built in Paris)
A gorgeous Ruth organ (built in Waldkirch)
which we last saw at the Waldkirch festival in June
(it made the journey all the way from England)
An amazing layout of a miniature circus, it extended over a very large table
 A model showman's caravan in the model area
I think the Showman's wagon was about 1/12th scale, the detail inside was lovely
Inside the miniature showman's wagon
Laura met a friendly bear and they had a good chat
(he was automated and moved his head by radio control)
At one of the model area was this amazing road
layout for radio controlled vehicles
A large Meccano train
This brilliant little moving dinner table
complete with candles on the table was making its way around the rally
It is specially built for 4 OAPS to enjoy their dinner on the move
This organ has a bandmaster I've always considered has a rakish look in his eye -
I wonder if it has anything to do with the bevy of beauties around him
Laura really enjoyed these outings which happened in the first 2 weeks of August (before her friend Henry came to ride horses with her).