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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Simple Summer swap and a question

In the Simple Summer swap I gave Lorraine the following for her Sasha family (she has blogged about it):

A dashiki with hat and summer shorts made using traditional, genuine Shweshwe fabric from Cape Town, South Africa (made by Da Gama fabrics  A dashiki is a colourful top from West Africa – see  It normally isn’t made with shweshwe, which is a South African fabric.  For the history of shweshwe see  This set is my own design based on African designs.  It could be worn by a girl or a boy.

A soft toy frog for Rory.  It was left over from a bag of mini soft toys I used for party bag contents about 5 years ago and has been lurking in a drawer ever since.  I'm sure Rory will not keep it in a drawer!

A prototype Garden Games set of my own make and design, inspired by Sasha’s love of creating original playthings for children.  I really enjoyed constructing the set which includes a rope ladder, garden quoits and two skipping ropes (one for Sasha/Gregor and one for Sasha toddler).  Lorraine has given me some friendly feedback (the rope ladder is a hit, the garden quoits work though could be improved a little and the skipping rope handles are okay though I plan to improve them).  I made the box myself from odd bits of card, but if I were to make a few more sets I think I'd get some ready made boxes to use and put the label on top. I'm also considering another garden game, though need to experiment and source some materials before revealing my idea.

Finding Sasha size accessories in the UK is really hard, there are a lot more toys and props available to North American collectors as the market is so much larger.  There are many things for Sasha I'd love to buy from the USA, but the shipping costs are prohibitive (if sellers will post internationally) so I've stopped buying anything from the USA though I still like to look.  The Garden Games set was my response to this frustrated desire to find some useful fun props for our doll family.  I have the skills and tools for some woodwork and like using the pillar drill to drill holes which I needed to do for the garden quoits frame and the rope ladder.  Finding the time in my busy life is always a problem, so I'm never going to be doing big productions of anything I make (I prefer making limited editions or 'one of a kind').  My question to those who collect Sasha dolls and others of a similar size is: would a Garden Games set be something to include in a doll accessory collection - would you want such a thing?

Nicholas James was very happy to model the outfit and test out the games before they were posted to Henry and friends.
NJ and the rope ladder
NJ climbs the rope ladder
NJ hangs off the rope ladder - how did he keep the hat on!
NJ models the dashiki outfit
 with the skipping rope and Rory's frog for company
NJ admires the roses (Young Lycidas) while showing the back of the dashiki outfit
NJ loves the red hot poker flowers
The prototype Garden Games set
The Garden Quoits (which have instructions in the box)
Garden Games all packed in the box


French Nanny said...

I think you could probably make a twisted cord and use for the quoits. It would look authentic and could be stiffened with a PVA solution...


Serenata said...

Well as you know I think they are great and yes you SHOULD make these :-) My Sasha children are really enjoying them and I have heard that they are playing with them at this moment, while Henry and I are in the USA. :-)

Sharon said...

I think these props you've made are great and I'm sure they'll prove very popular with the Sasha kids and their 'parents'! Doll props of any size are very difficult to get here too, I search high and low and rarely find anything in the shops. And then to order stuff on line just gets too expensive with the postage...and customs fees if from outside the EU.
I love the blue and white outfit on your Caleb too, it really does suit him with his dark colouring.
Big hugs
Sharon x