Ann started Dollhouses For Kids Battling Cancer in late 2006. Her
daughter was interning at a hospital in New Jersey on the pediatric cancer ward,
and she suggested that the kids might like playing with a dollhouse while
having their chemo. Ann and her daughter
donated the first house and the kids
loved it so Ann decided to keep going. She
built dollhouses and her daughter gave them to the doctors to give as gifts
from them to the kids as they started or finished their chemo.
Since then, Ann has been donating 90% of the
houses to kids with cancer and the rest to fund raisers benefiting children with
serious health issues. Many other organizations have asked for help so Ann
has built a few dollhouses that have special meaning, such as for Juvenile
Diabetes (her daughter has been a type 1 diabetic for 10 years so it is a cause
dear to her), and Autism (her granddaughter is severely autistic). She may have donated outside of the kids with
cancer but all her dollhouses are still for kids with serious health problems.
Ann gets some very generous help from many people and places. Penelope, who owns The Magical Dollhouse
Company, has a page on her website for
people to donate dollhouses at a discounted price. Greenleaf Dollhouses pays for the shipping of
those houses to Ann so the customer does not get charged for that. HBS/Miniatures.com has recently set up to help
Ann by allowing people to buy gift certificates on their website. HBS holds them until Ann needs something,
then she orders and it is paid by those gift certificates. If there are no donations, Ann personally
buys the houses, furniture etc. Her mom died in 2008 and she loved DFKBC, so the little bit of money her mom was able to
leave to Ann is mainly for the kids and their houses.
In Ann's words, "I love doing this and hope I never have to stop. I just finished the 207th dollhouse and am
starting on the next. All the houses are
donated to children through Pediatric Oncology Wards, Ronald McDonald House,
Bereavement Centers, fund raisers and at Christmas to the "Suffern
PBA/DARE Annual Holiday Toy Drive"
WOW! 207 dollhouses, all built by Ann and given by her to a good cause.
Please consider donating to Ann's awesome project.
Do you have some unwanted/stored/handmade miniatures you can send to
Ann? Contact her first by email or
via her Facebook page, and make sure those items are suitable for young
children. She can use everything...furniture, carpeting,
flooring, wallpaper, paint, animals, dolls, plants, accessories, etc.
About 15 years ago, Angela of Angela Michelle Dolls made a simple toothpick worry doll and decided
to see what else she could come up with...an "addiction as it turns out",
For Angela, making dolls is a gratifying process. "To see something take shape in your
hands and develop into a beautiful (I hope!) doll with a spectacular costume is
enough to keep me going on to the next one, and pushing the limits. Can I
do a stand-up collar? How about wings?"
can make dolls out of all sorts of things - clay, cloth and porcelain are the
usual materials but Angela uses toothpicks. Look closely at her dolls. Imagine
the head stripped down to a single toothpick. Under the dress are two spindly
little toothpicks. Each arm is two pieces of toothpick, attached to look bent
at the elbow. Everything added to the toothpick skeleton: the head, the body
structure, the gown, the hair, the flowers, is all embroidery floss, or thread.
Dolls measure about 2.5 inches (7 cm) tall and can take anywhere from 6 to 15
hours or more to make, depending on the design. Every doll is an original
design (OOAK), and comes with a glass dome and wood base for safe display.
After several years of making her 2.5 inch Toothpick Dolls, she
decided to see if she could go any smaller, and she did. As Angela
says, "Yes, I'm nuts; yes, I love it!" Her
one inch Penny People was the result. These tiny characters are made
entirely of thread, save for a thin wire in the arms. They make their
home either on top of a penny or in a shadow box custom built to fit a frame
she has selected. Her shadow boxes
are also original designs.
Tracy Topps has been building Minis On The Edge Of Fantasy & Reality for
over 15 years. She
loves building dollhouses, and has built many of them in the past years .She then sells them because, "My thrill
comes from building something new and making them different."
She specializes in building custom dollhouse creations for her customers. Tell
her the dollhouse kit design you want, and she will build you a creation direct
from her imagination. She prefers to
work with Greenleaf & Corona Dollhouse Kits.
Tracy's favorite type dollhouses to build are cottages, castle themes, and
Tudor style. She likes to mix realism
with fantasy. Her work has been featured in
several magazines Worldwide and she is dedicated to giving you beautiful One Of
A Kind (OOAK) and custom creations.
will soon be coming out with a new line of her hand made resin pieces which you
may want to add to your own scenes. They will be cast from her own original so
they will be unique and not found elsewhere.
Grimdeva!She is an eclectic mixed media
artist, miniaturist, and cat wrangler.Grim
(as many of us fondly call her), hand makes fine fantasy and spooky 1:12 scale dollhouse
miniatures, and gets most of her inspiration from both the dark and light
aspects of Nature.
Each of Grim's pieces are
one of a kind (OOAK), and crafted in assemblage style. She uses recycled bits
from jewelry, toys, hardware, and various found objects, in addition to several
types of clay including sculpy, paper, and epoxy.
When painting her miniature creations, she applies several layers with
crackling, glazes, inks, dry brushing, and gilding. She works in specific themes: Egyptian
Revival, Spooky Witch, Gothic Vampire, Woodland Fairy, Steampunk, and Cryptozoology.
She likes the odd, the curious, the
Grim received her first
dollhouse when she was 2 years old. Her grandfather built a sturdy wooden Swiss
Chalet, which she still has. As many
girls do, she set aside her toys when she became a teenager. Many years later, she rediscovered that
chaletalong with a large box of
furniture .While renovating that
dollhouse, Grim discovered that she was very good at making miniatures and
loved it. A friend suggested that she sell her miniatures online, and she soon opened her Etsy shop, Cauldron Craft
In addition to being a Miniaturist, Grim is a working Witch and a rootworker. She is as busy making full size wands and
potions as she is crafting the tiny ones! In her words, "I have more ideas
than I have time. These tiny worlds will
always have a special place in my heart and imagination- really, mini making is
my therapy. Lately, I’ve been making miniatures
and buying artisan pieces for my own GrimHaunt Mansion, a 1:12 scale glow in
the dark spooky dollhouse. So much fun!"
will soon be moving all of her handmade miniatures to a new Etsy shop called
Grim Haunt Miniatures, and will be keeping Cauldron Craft Oddities exclusively for real-life jewelry, ritual
goods, and fashions.Be sure to visit:
Pam Gracia is a self
taught character-maker and pattern designer and very proud of it.Come travel with me through Pam's wonderful
world of "Soft in the Head", a place where her original characters are
all pieces of her personality and "warped" humor, and a smile is
contagious. Each of the art dolls which
come to life in her workroom have a spark of what she cherishes most... life
Pam's whimsical and primitive
characters are usually of the four-legged variety.She is well-known for her singing and dancing
mice, and sour-faced frogs and cats.When
working with cloth, Pam finds that it is easier to bring human characteristics
to an animal than it is to bring animal characteristics to a person.
The 104-year-old country store, nestled in the middle of the Blue Ridge
Mountains of Virginia, where Pam and her husband live along with three very old
cats, inspires her creativity. Once her primitive characters spring to life,
they feel right at home among all the (as she says) hanging, sitting and
standing clutter from the past, some of which she incorporates into her characters
whether it is old vintage rusty nails, pins, fabric or even a rusty lantern. Her art dolls are always 'animated', i.e., doing
something like reading, laughing, and yes, even dancing!
In Pam's words, " I love to see the smiles and joy one of my humble
characters creates when it is held or seen by the unsuspecting shopper."
teaches classes and has pioneered some new methods in the “prim” design world
with her characters. “Soft in the Head” does two shows a year: Ghoultide
Gatherings (a Halloween Art Show) in October in Northville, Michigan,… and a
Christmas show in November in Fairfax, Virginia.
“the happenings” of Soft in the Head by reading Pam's blog: