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Thursday, 29 December 2016

Christmas welcome to Emily and Annie

Since 2013 (see 2014 and 2013) I've set up a little Christmas scene with my adorable 8 inch tall Heather Maciak porcelain dolls Jenny and Lexie.  This year they were thrilled to welcome two new Heather Maciak dolls to their fireplace.

Emily, Jenny, Annie and Lexie celebrating Christmas by the fireplace and tree
Jenny and Lexie with some new Christmas decorations my younger daughter gave and received
The United Federation of Doll Clubs holds an annual convention in the USA.  Each year they have a nominated doll artist design the souvenir doll.  In 2015 Heather announced on the Jenny and Lexie Yahoo group that she had been invited to design the 2016 UFDC souvenir doll and could we help her choose the hair colour, style and eye colouring for the doll.  We had fun sharing our thoughts on this and Heather used our views during the design process in which she decided to design a friend for the souvenir doll as well.  She also told us about the job of dressing over 1,000 vinyl dolls 8.5 inch high with the help of a couple of friends.  This included tying lots of miniature bows on boot laces and pinafores.  So although she did not reveal what the doll would look like as this could not happen until the convention, we had some idea of the process and sheer hard work which goes into creating a souvenir doll for such a big event.

When I met Heather in November 2015 during my visit to Vancouver, she told me how at first she had been a little sceptical about using vinyl compared with her usual porcelain dolls, however by that stage she was feeling happier about the dolls and how they had turned out.  They have the advantage of being not so easy to break as Jenny and Lexie.  The friend for the souvenir doll was designed with a different hair and eye combination and this was a limited edition of 200 for sale at the UFDC event in July 2016.  The friend doll of 200 plus the 900 souvenir dolls meant 1,100 dolls to dress as well as dressing the 900 little peg dolls which go with Emily! Heather also described to me her contribution to the journal which would come out with the doll.  It made me wish for both dolls though I knew I would not be able to attend the convention.

After the convention some of the 2016 souvenir dolls appeared on ebay and less frequently the friend doll. I was able to buy Emily and her little peg doll, the hard cover journal and the tote bag and kept my eyes peeled for Annie, the rarer friend, who arrived in November.  I am delighted with them both, the quality of production is very good and they each have their own distinct personality.  They are marginally taller than Jenny and Lexie but fit in with them very well.

Emily - 8.5" Heather Maciak vinyl doll
Annie - 8.5" Heather Maciak vinyl doll
The UFDC 2016 journal is fabulous.  Not only does it have a whole section on Heather Maciak dolls along with the patterns for the clothes for Emily and Annie, designed by Susan Sirkis, it also has lots of full colour pages about many other dolls which featured at the UFDC.  The theme for the UFDC in 2016 was 'Kindred Spirits' which is why Emily really did need to have a friend and kindred spirit doll (and of course needed her own little doll companion: the little peg doll designed by Heather and Susan and dressed by Heather).  The friend, Annie, models all the outfits in the journal but her face is turned away from the camera in the shots so she would not be revealed until the sales tables at the UFDC.

Emily's peg doll, dressed by Heather Maciak
Heather's website now features Emily and Annie.  Emily has bobbed red hair, pale blue eyes and a slightly cheeky smile while Annie has very dark brown/black hair in braids, pale green eyes and is a little more serious than her friend. They wear dresses which would have delighted Anne of Green Gables (beautifully made by Boneka) and of course have the little heart image on their chests which is a characteristic of Heather's dolls - they truly are dolls to love.

The beautiful hand stitched embroidery on their pinafores
I'm knitting a plain miniature sweater in pale blue for Emily and will follow this up with one in pale green for Annie.  I also plan to make up some of the patterns from the souvenir journal - my younger daughter is determined they will have the capes, however these will be projects for 2017. Their clothes can fit Jenny and Lexie which is a big bonus and they also can borrow from my three Patsi (Heidi Plusczok) dolls.
Emily, her peg doll and Annie - 8.5" Heather Maciak dolls
Emily and Annie with the Christmas tree
Heather's introduction page in the journal refers to the Jenny and Lexie Yahoo group and how the friendly collectors who belong to the group have given the dolls a life beyond the display cabinet. My Emily and Annie need some practical play clothes for adventures so that will be another project for 2017 as their original dresses will be kept for best.


Serenata said...

How wonderful you were able to get these two girls DM I am so pleased for you as I know how special they are. I still hope to add at least one to my collection one day, but I fear that is getting less and less likely now. But I can at least enjoy admiring yours and their wonderful knitwear you make!

Dee said...

I have always loved your Jenny and Lexie dolls and loved seeing them at the Chat n Snap , where you said you hoped to get the second of the vinyl dolls.
I'm so pleased to see you have her and it's nice to see them all grouped together enjoying Christmas.

Heather Maciak Originals said...

Anna, what a beautiful job you've done of introducing Emily and Annie into your group, and blogging about them! I enjoyed reading it so much, and loved the pictures. Happy New Year to you and your family. Let me know if you ever have plans for a return trip to Vancouver :-) Heather xoxo

miniaturista said...

Feliz 2017
Un abrazo

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna, a very happy new year to you. Looking forward to seeing you later in the year. Loved the article about the (more affordable) Heather Maciak dolls, such beautiful faces. Lovely addition to your collection.
You always seem to know so much about dolls and I wonder if you have a favourite magazine you subscribe to?

DollMum said...

Hi Laura, it will be good to see you at the Sasha Celebration. In answer to your question no particular doll magazine now, I used to take the International Dollshouse News (when it existed) and some more recent dollshouse magazines, but general doll knowledge I've gradually acquired via online searches or doll books (I have a few).

Sharon said...

What little sweeties Dollmum! They fit in really well with your two existing girls, I know you must be delighted to have been able to add them to your doll family.
They look great in their Christmas setting too.
Happy New Year to you!

Angelo's Papa said...

The new dolls are lovely and the Christmas setting beautiful.

Kendal said...

Reading this post, even I (who only loves and collects the Sasha Dolls!) couldn't fail to get caught up in your excitement of adding these two latest little dolls, Emily and Annie, to your existing family of Jennie and Lexie.
What a delightful Christmas scene you and your youngest daughter have created!