Now closed, winner contacted!
I am beyond thrilled to introduce you to Jennifer Jarman of Palomita Ragdolls, doll creator extraordinaire. Jennifer shared with LDV readers this fantastic look into her creative world! And that’s not all she is sharing! She is giving away one gorgeous ragdoll to a winning reader! Giveaway details at the bottom of this post. Read on art fans…
Handmade dolls are found in nearly every culture around the world. I have done some traveling myself, and have a collection of cloth/textile handmade folk dolls from other parts of the world. They are often all dressed in clothing made from vintage textiles, often hand-woven, from that culture.I traveled with my husband and daughter in South America for 8 months and collected handmade dolls along the way from various countries and cultures, and they are all wearing amazingly rich, handwoven garments specific to each region. This collection sits in my studio and is a huge inspiration for me. Thinking of these women, hand-sewing these dolls at night, in little one room homes by oil lamp or candlelight, from scraps of fabric that they wove to make clothing for their own families, or from cutting up fabrics and clothing they have gotten from deceased grandparents… Then selling them to help support their families.. I spoke to these women and was honored to buy their amazing dolls.
I have been making dolls since I was a little girl. My mom is so creative and crafty, she used to sell all sorts of handmade things at craft fairs and I was so impressed and amazed by this as a child. She taught me to sew on her beautiful robin’s egg blue vintage Singer sewing machine. (That has always been one of my very favorite colors!) She is a huge inspiration for me. She has three sisters and all of my aunts are very creative, artistic people, and they definitely passed on to me a love and passion for making things. I am inspired by colors and textures, by nature, by my amazingly creative kids, Hazel and Oliver, and my writer husband, Arthur. I am constantly inspired, I have so many ideas in my head, which is wonderful, but it can be a huge distraction sometimes too. I am an RN and I work on an oncology unit in a hospital. It is an emotional and difficult job at times, but I have the honor of being inspired by the incredible strength and grace and raw emotion that people and their families share with me every day.
I also love to paint, acrylics and watercolors with ink. I was hired to illustrate a children’s book a few years ago, very small publisher, it’s called “The Flattest Cat in the World” by Dorothy Walrath Raymer. I have said for years that illustrating would be my dream job! I am spending much of my free time in my studio sewing these days, but I have been feeling the pull to get some images and ideas down on paper again. I have sold cards with prints of my artwork in the past, so this is something that I may incorporate into my etsy shop in the future. Additionally, I enjoy taking photos and have included some antiqued photographs of my dolls on etsy at the request of several customers.
Many of my dolls are inspired by women or girls that I know. I make each doll’s body out of various colors of new, tea-dyed cotton muslin. I want them to be soft and sturdy and able to withstand the love and companionship of a young child. I use a lot of vintage fabrics and embroideries, as well as salvaged, found and recycled textiles to piece together each doll’s hair, hats, clothing and accessories. This makes each doll a one-of-a-kind creation, and this is something that is super important to me artistically. Sometimes a doll is inspired by a textile I have, or an old cashmere sweater I have picked up at an estate sale… I LOVE estate sales… and antique shops… I have several boxes of vintage fabrics, aprons and embroidered doilies and tea towels that I had to do something with:) I get really attached to each doll as I make it, so each one is hard to let go of. During the process of stitching each one I am creating a whole character in my mind, I am imagining what her (or his) name is, what she or he likes to do, where or during what era they might have been a child. I get to know a lot of older folks through my work as a nurse, and am so lucky to get to hear so many fabulous stories from so many different lives. I often wish I was more of a writer. Some of my dolls have been inspired by people/patients I have had the honor of crossing paths with in the hospital.
I see my shop growing over the next few years. I am so in love with what I am doing, so inspired by it, that it can only grow from here. I am fairly new to this entrepreneurial venture, and I spend a lot of time learning everything that I can about the business side of what I want to do. The creative design part of creating my product is tremendous fun, and as I learn more and more about e-commerce and how to make it work for me, the creative design part of growing a business is actually quite fun as well. Etsy has endless resources and support for artists who want to take their creativity in this level. I highly recommend it for anyone who is just starting to toy with the idea of getting their own stuff out there.
Thanks, Jennifer for that look into the creative world of Palomita Ragdolls. Now for the fabulous giveaway! Jennifer is offering one reader the lovely Lulu Lemondrop, quite possibly the cutest doll ever made! (if the winner has a boy who would prefer a boy doll Jennifer will work out deets with you!) Open internationally, ends 06.20! Best of luck.
To enter, visit Palomita Ragdolls and heart the shop or a doll in the shop. Return here to tell us your fave, etsy name, and contact info!
1. Follow Jennifer and her dolls on Pinterest
2. Pin or repin your fave doll! Leave a link.
3. Follow Lemondrop Vintage on twitter
4. Tweet about this giveaway, “I entered a lovely ragdoll giveaway here, http://tinyurl.com/7tkfq3a, with @ldropvintage!” Daily entry if you like!
7. Have your own blog? Add a Lemondrop Vintage button (blog buttons on sidebar left, or use this giveaway one!) Leave your blog url so I can visit and say thanks! Worth two entries! Just copy and paste all of the html code into your blog below.
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