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Sunday 24 December 2023

Trudi wishes Happy Christmas

Trudi, my beautiful C1 Sasha Studio doll, wishes everyone a Happy Christmas.

She is wearing a new dress I have knitted for her in off white 2 ply Jamieson & Smith wool (from the Shetland Islands), the pattern was designed for a First Love baby doll (I knitted it about 40 years ago) however I've made the bodice and skirt longer, plus I made the sleeves with slightly more room than skin tight. I finished the dress on Christmas Eve while watching Nine Lessons and Carols from Kings College Cambridge on TV, with my family.

Trudi admires the Christmas tree

Side view of Trudi in her new knitted dress

Trudi captivated by Christmas

New sandals to go with her new dress as she admires the tree

My Schildthorn bauble in the tree from our only trip to Switzerland in 2008

Trudi in her new dress and sandals for Christmas

Trudi looks wonderful in off white

Thursday 30 November 2023

130 years since Sasha Morgenthaler was born

The Sasha doll groups on Facebook are celebrating 130 years since artist and doll maker Sasha Morgenthaler was born on 30 November 1893 in Switzerland, by sharing photos of our Sasha dolls with each other.

I have photographed a group of our Sasha dolls to celebrate the artistry of Sasha's dolls. There is a nod to her inspiration for the dolls in the form of Trendon Elliott wearing his evacuee outfit which I made for the recent Chat 'n Snap display, as Sasha was greatly moved by the World War II refugees who arrived in Switzerland and subsequently designed the various Sasha doll faces to be quite serious, they are not dolls with cheesy grins!

Her first Sasha dolls were the larger Studio dolls (20 inches tall), it was only later in the 1960s to early 1990s that her doll designs were recreated as 16 inch tall vinyl children and the 12 inch babies and 13 inch toddlers by Gotz and Trendon for commercial production. Our group is mostly Trendon (not the early Gotz as we don't have any of them) and our two later production Gotz toddlers, plus of course my only studio doll Trudi (1965).

Happy 130th Birthday Sasha Morgenthaler

Left to right: Toddler (Claudius) Edmund, (Caleb) Reuben, Studio girl Trudi on her chair, (White dress) Laura, (Marina) Florence, Toddler (Iona) Louisa, Trendon Elliott. Early Trendon babies left to right: Ebony, Davy with his pipe cleaner curled hair and waif Mabel (my first Sasha). They are wearing a variety of outfits by various people.

We won baby Ebony at the most recent Chat 'n Snap in the raffle. My elder daughter named her Ebony and said we should get her a little white kitten called Ivory, but I haven't found one yet.

Thank you to Sasha Morgenthaler for creating these beautiful dolls which have inspired so many of us to design and make beautiful clothes for them.

Saturday 28 October 2023

Chat n Snap 2023

A poignant theme of 1940s Evacuees was Dee's choice for the Chat 'n Snap this year. This was very topical in the light of wars happening around the world currently and fitting considering that Sasha Morgenthaler had been moved by the sight of refugee children arriving in Switzerland during World War II which subsequently influenced the Sasha doll face designs. 

Dee and her husband Paul created an incredible backdrop for a fictional St Ippolyts railway station (the nearest railway stations are Stevenage and Hitchin, there never was a branch line to the village of St Ippolyts) with young evacuees arriving in the countryside from bomb damaged London. More and more Sasha children arrived wearing 1940s clothes, carrying their gas mask boxes (and in some cases actual miniature gas masks made by their owners!), suitcases, teddy bears and parcels. Our blond boy Trendon Elliott joined the bewildered throng of evacuees. I brought along the Evacuees room box (1/12th scale) which my elder daughter and I had created when my younger daughter was born. I placed it at the end of the display, near our doll.

I gave my daughter the camera to photograph the scene as I knew she would do a better job than me and she did! I think she enjoyed getting some individual photos of some of the dolls and their accessories, the details achieved were incredible.

Trendon Elliott and his teddy bear joined the growing crowd of evacuees at the station

St Ippolyts station welcomes evacuees

Evacuees with their suitcases, favourite toys and the amazing red gas mask

Evacuees amongst the fresh produces and luggage trolley

Mostly girl evacuees in this photo

Warmly dressed evacuee Gregors and Sashas

Mostly boy evacuees in this photo

Sasha evacuee in her stylish coat, hat and handbag

Even her suitcase and boots matched her outfit colours

Trendon Elliott in his Argyll sweater and peak cap at St Ippolyts station

Dee announcing that the sales tables were now open

No philtrum Sasha evacuee

No philtrum Gregor evacuee (I understand he forgot to pack spare underwear)

Sasha evacuee at St Ippolyts station

This evacuee reminded us of Lucy from Narnia

Sasha evacuee with a friendly kitten

Evacuee kitten?

I think that kitten likes this evacuee, maybe she smuggled her kitten to the country on the train

Gregor evacuee

Very tidily dressed evacuee Gregors and Sasha

Gotz Gregor evacuee

Trendon Gregor evacuee

We had brought some other dolls to the Chat 'n Snap to go in the general doll display. For the first time my newly restored Sasha studio doll Trudi attended an English Sasha event, sitting comfortably on her chaise longue sofa with her quilt spread on it and a vintage book about the countryside to read. Alongside her a couple of want-to-be-Sasha course dolls sat down to chat (I don't recall who they belonged to). At the foot of her sofa, our toddlers Louisa and Edmund stood patiently alongside Miranda. Nearby was Laura and Nicholas James with Heilan Coo. 

Trudi (centre) with the two copy Sasha dolls and our toddlers

Trudi, Louisa, Edmund and Miranda

Trudi relaxing on her chaise longue and quilt

Miranda at the left, other visiting dolls, Laura and Nicholas James with Heilan Coo

There were plenty of other visiting dolls, including Dawn's recently refurbished wobbler.

Dawn's wobbler

Re-rooted babies playing together

Two Sasha girls

Molly and Heather according to their name tags

Some of the visiting Sasha and Gregor dolls

All the visiting Sasha's near the St Ippolyts sign

Four friends under the window 

A mixed group of friends

Sashas, toddlers and baby

Gregors in classic shorts and shirts, Sashas in smocked dresses

Colourful outfits and hair for this group of Gregors and Sashas

There were several sales tables and we prowled around looking first before making a few choices (my daughter was a sensible influence in helping prevent purchase of more dresses as our Sasha girls have more clothes than we do!)

General view of the sales tables with the St Ippolyts station of evacuees in the background

There was an adoption area too - for people to put dolls they wanted to sell (with the price) and for others to choose then find the owner to pay.

Adoption corner

There was a giant raffle, with 5 dolls (the draws for these took place at intervals throughout the raffle) and lots of other prizes - the raffle is always epic in length and towards the end if a ticket was drawn, the winner was asked to take 2 or 3 items to clear the table of prizes a bit quicker! We won an early brunette baby girl with 2 additional outfits, plus several other prizes.

Raffle prizes

More raffle prizes

Yet more raffle prizes

Raffle prizes including 4 of the 5 dolls

Raffle prizes including the wardrobe

The five raffle dolls (we won the brunette baby)

During the day we had lots of conversations with other Sasha enthusiasts, including some who were new to collecting Sasha dolls as well as plenty of familiar friends.

At the end of the raffle there was a special presentation to Dee and Paul to thank them for organising the Chat 'n Snap events from 2013 onwards (only a break in 2020). Dee had previously said this was the last one, there will not be one in 2024 because the Sasha Festival is taking place in England that year, however she said there might be a Chat 'n Snap in 2025 because she had an idea for a theme...

Tricia thanks Dee and Paul while Vanessa and Janet prepare to present them with gifts

Dee with her flowers

When we were tidying away at the end, I brought our evacuee to the rest of our dolls who were displayed beneath the St Ippolyts sign and took a group photo of them.

Trendon Elliott the evacuee in front of a sign for Norwich the Cathedral route

Our Sasha and Gregor family (with Heilan Coo) who attended the Chat 'n Snap 2023 in St Ippolyts

Thank you to Dee, Paul and all your helpers for a superb day (apparently over £1010.86 raised for charity at this event), we had a very good time and it was lovely to catch up with the Sasha community again.