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Thursday, 30 December 2021

Advent and Christmas 2021

On 1 December a few of the doll family started opening their tiny Advent Calendar which was sent to them by my elder daughter who lives in York. I didn't succeed in photographing the opening of the calendar every day as there were a multitude of other things happening during December this year. The windows on this little card are absolutely tiny and I enlisted the help of my younger daughter to open them.

What is in the golden envelope?

An Advent Calendar for the dolls!

To all the doll family,
Have an exciting Advent
and wonderful Christmas!
Enjoy opening this German calendar bought in York.

Close up of the Sasha doll sized Advent Calendar

The next time I managed to photograph them was on 18 December when they set up their Christmas tree.

Admiring the Christmas tree and doing their Advent calendar

With the pandemic still causing huge disruption, and a bout of tonsillitis (I tested regularly with negative every time and the symptoms were not the same as Covid19) in mid December, I wasn't at all sure we would be able to have the Christmas we had planned, however on 23 December, with negative lateral flow test results all round and me a lot better, we were able to make the journey north to York to visit our elder daughter. I took eight of the little Kruseling dolls with me but in the event, though two of them were carried around in my camera bag on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, they didn't make a public appearance at all.

I got my much dreamed of Christmas gift, which was to be able to attend the Nine Lessons & Carols on Christmas Eve in York Minster with our elder daughter singing in the choir and (in my case at least), three Christmas services on Christmas Day in the Minster (Matins, Eucharist and Evensong). We all enjoyed the services and the music so much. The Minster staff handled all the covid19 safety precautions very well. 

The York Minster Advent Wreath on Christmas Eve,
with the newly restored pipe organ

The York Minster Advent Wreath on Christmas Day
(the central candle is lit)

The York Minster Nativity scene

My elder daughter's Christmas tree which my younger daughter helped her decorate on Christmas Eve using all the Advent 2020 decorations we made for her including the knitted chorister for 15 December and the angel doll I made for 24 December.

A belated Merry Christmas to all my doll and craft friends.

Monday, 18 October 2021

Chat n Snap 2021

There was no Chat 'n Snap in 2020 because of the pandemic and the 2021 event was held with some precautions in place: fewer attendees allowed, doors and windows of the hall all wide open, no theme display or additional doll displays, lateral flow tests beforehand and mask wearing by some people. Despite all that, it was a very enjoyable day, so lovely to see familiar faces again and meet some new Sasha people.

This was my first Chat 'n Snap without my younger daughter, she wanted to come but had musical and volunteering commitments so instead I kept her updated with a few photos via WhatsApp. Jocelyn gave me a lift (thank you Jocelyn) and we had a good catch up on the journey there and back. When we arrived we found the sales tables were in their final stages of being set up.

Sasha sales tables being set up

The only child at the Chat 'n Snap (until her big brother arrived in time for the raffle). Permission was given for me to take and post her anonymous photo on my blog by her grandparents.

Looking at some of the Sasha goodies on sale, before sales opened

Petrana's wonderful Sasha shoe shop

On Linda's stall I spotted a long sought after item...

I had a very useful discussion with Chris about her milliput method for restoring chewed limbs of a baby waif I had just purchased.

More sales tables (Lee's, Judiths Dollydoodles and in the distance Theresa's stall)

Theresa's sales table (I watched the Doucet pram being bought by a delighted person)

When the sales opened, I went to Linda's stall and bought this sofa which I had spotted earlier, then a sleepsuit for the baby waif from Dollydoodles. I also bought four pairs of toddler size shoes from Petrana, a doll magazine from Linda, a lovely lilac outfit consisting of a floral skirt, tights, cardigan and hat from Dawn (which she said was something she made for the 2012 Sasha Festival) and 3 t-shirts for toddlers from Ginny (Passion for Sasha). Oh, and a wonderful piece of rainbow themed knitwear (a hoodie with wooden toggle buttons) which Linda had only finished making the night before, it became a gift for my daughter (she was delighted put it on Nicholas James over his Sasha festival dungarees when I got home).

My new baby waif in her Dollydoodles sleepsuit with Roxane on the sofa. 

On the stage instead of the theme display was the raffle. There were 3 main prizes including this baby layette and two dolls, though the first two people to win actually went for Catherine French's wonderful fine knitwear (a sweater and a beret).

Raffle prizes

Raffle prizes including the Gregor who was the final prize

Raffle prizes including the Sasha who was the final prize

Later, after eating lunch and chatting to Sasha friends, I met new Sasha collectors while admiring the six Sasha Studio dolls Diane brought to show people, including the toddler my daughter and I first met in 2017 when she still belonged to Dorisanne in the USA.

Diane had brought six of her Studio dolls to show a couple of people new to Sasha collecting the wonderful variations in the different Sasha Studio dolls. 

One of the Sasha Studio dolls

Diane's lovely Sasha Studio dolls

I had brought Melanie, Nicholas James, Trendon Elliott and Laura in their Sasha 'Read a Rainbow' Festival outfits (all in one bag) and they all gathered around the new sofa.

Sofa so comfortable!

Dee, one of her daughters and Dawn did the raffle draw, which lasted quite some time as there were so many prizes, though there were sometimes bumper moments when people were asked to grab 4 or 5 items in a countdown!

Raffle time!

None of my own tickets were drawn however I was gifted 3 raffle tickets from Jocelyn and Susan (thank you both) so was lucky enough to win some Suzanna Lewis knitting patterns, a pretty white and blue ditsy floral dress and some miniature colouring pencils.

Thank you Dee and helpers for another very enjoyable Chat 'n Snap.

Friday, 15 October 2021

Sasha Festival 2021 outfits and welcome Roxane

 A few weeks after the Sasha Festival in the USA which we couldn't attend, we received our souvenir outfits in the post from Gabi Bolland. The souvenirs also included two Bolland doll stands, the festival craft kits (the rainbow tutus and underwear) and the white sneakers/trainers for decorating with felt tip pens, which we haven't done yet. I've made up one tutu, and my younger daughter hasn't made up her tutu yet, so these are not included in our photos.

Nicholas James, Melanie, Laura and Trendon Elliott in their 'Sasha Reads a Rainbow' outfits

I completed my last module of my post graduate degree in September after 2.5 years of studying, so treated myself to a new doll. She is my first Sylvia Natterer doll (a Minouche which is the Natterer toddler) and is made by Petitcollin of France.

"Hello, I'm Louisa, this is Edmund. What is your name?" asked Louisa as the new girl arrived.

"Hello, my name is Roxane"

"Here Roxane, have a teddy bear" said Edmund

"Oh, lovely teddy" exclaimed Roxane

"Thank you for the teddy, Edmund and Louisa" said Roxane

Louisa, Edmund and Roxane posed with their toys before going off to play.

The Natterer toddler is fractionally taller than the Sasha toddlers however her feet are narrower. I bought 2 other pairs of shoes for her so will make her some outfits of her own to match her other shoes.

Saturday, 17 July 2021

Sasha reads a Rainbow - missing the 2021 Sasha Festival

When we attended the 2017 Sasha Festival in Washington DC and visited Dorisanne Osborn afterwards we vowed to make it back to the USA for the 2020 Festival in Pittsburgh. But the global pandemic meant this wasn't to be - the 2020 festival was postponed to 2021 in the same location, but due to the continued high virus case rate in the UK (plague island), it is not possible for us to travel (and my younger daughter has not yet been vaccinated). So this year, as the Sasha Festival commences, none of the UK based regulars or occasional attendees were able to make the trip to the USA.

My younger daughter and I had booked our places last year and retained our bookings for 2021 just in case. She really wanted to be at this one because the chosen theme is 'Sasha reads a rainbow'. So despite not being able to be in Pittsburgh with some of our Sasha friends, we decided to do our version of the theme for our at home 'Dress a Sasha'. We chose one of the two 'Dress a Sasha' themes: Sasha and Gregor read (the other was Neighbourhood helpers) and found as many rainbow flavoured items as we could to go in our little scene. 

We decided Florence, Edmund and Nina were reading before bedtime, so they were dressed cosily in their sleepwear, though young Edmund decided it was too warm to wear his fleecy dressing gown (it is English summer time, not Christmas), and sprawled on the mat in his rainbow coloured cars pyjamas which my younger daughter made for him in 2015.

Sasha and Gregor read a rainbow - our at home 'Dress a Sasha'

Nina 'reads' "Little Miss Sunshine"
(something I called my younger daughter when she was a baby)

Florence became engrossed in "Little Women"
as she had enjoyed visiting Louisa May Alcott's home in 2017 with Laura

"Little Women" book on Laura's lap

Edmund was fascinated by the diagrams in the book
Edmund and the spinning top book

Rainbows, clouds and beads, including a tiny elephant bead

Rainbow guitar waiting to be played

We love rainbows, books, street organs and Sasha!

These photos were all taken by my younger daughter, she is a keen amateur photographer. She bought her own DSLR Nikon camera 2 years ago and for Christmas 2020 was given some lighting gear: an LED light unit and rechargeable batteries, umbrella and tripod for the umbrella. The new kit meant it was easier to control the lighting for the scene without using an instant flash (which I always try to avoid with doll photography because of reflection if their vinyl is shiny from playwear).

We are watching the Sasha Festival from afar, thanks to those attending who are sharing their photos and blog posts on social media. We hope everyone has a wonderful time and keeps well despite the pandemic.

Saturday, 2 January 2021

Bouncing in

When Chloe and Max were visiting York in September 2020, they came across a little shop in The Shambles which had a delightful window display containing all sorts of interesting things. They spotted miniature dogs in the window, the Fox terrier in particular appealed to them. However at the time the coffee and antique shop was closed (it was early evening on a Sunday) so it wasn't possible to find out more. My daughter went back another day to see if the dogs were still there and they were. Sadly, since then with the second lockdown in November, the shop has closed permanently.

My photo of the 3 miniature dogs in the shop window.

My daughter's photo of the café & antique shop when it was open

My daughter's photo of the dogs in the window

On Christmas day, among many other lovely gifts under the tree (from a box of gifts my elder daughter posted to us), there was a small package for me to open and the little fox terrier bounced out of the wrappings. My friend Janet has a full sized live dog just like this miniature doggy, his name is Bouncer, so I decided to call the miniature dog Bouncer after Janet's pet.

Bouncer was interested in the ball

Bouncer jumped up towards Chloe

Chloe bent down to stroke Bouncer as Max tried to calm him down

Chloe and Max stroked the excited Bouncer 

Bouncer leapt into Chloe's arms

Chloe gave the wriggling Bouncer a cuddle before putting him down in Max's lap

Bouncer calmed down a little with Max sitting quietly on the floor

Chloe gave Bouncer his ball

Bouncer started chasing his ball

Bouncer and his ball

Later, Bouncer met baby Theo who loves dogs (his favourite Dollydoodles sleepsuit has Snoopy and Woodstock on it). Theo is the Sasha Baby Woolly which my younger daughter won in the 2017 Sasha Celebration Weekend raffle.

baby Theo and a bouncing Bouncer

A slightly calmer Bouncer with baby Theo

I have no idea who made the miniature Bouncer (there is no maker label) and sadly the shop in York has now closed permanently. Even his little ears are posable, he is a dog with real character.