I am the most unlikely of doll makers. I was born after 14 boys. My first doll I cut up and threw it in the bushes. I wanted a pack of GI Joe men. I played varsity football in high school. After 1 game my father made me quit. He said his only daughter wasn’t going to be tackled by boys.
My poor Mother made me wear curls and all I wanted to do was play in my jeans and flannel shirt and put on my black skates. I had to take cooking lessons and sewing classes, baton lessons, accordion lessons. And all I wanted to do was qualify for the Olympics.
It wasn’t until I married a GI and lived far from home that I walked into a quilt shop. My husband was constantly away from home. I bought a sewing machine at the PX in Germany. I went home and taught myself to sew. I guess some of those high school lessons stayed with me. I could thread the machine.
But my inspiration was always my memories of family. My Grandmother, my Aunts who always doted on me. All of the little antiques they gave me, always brought me back home. I didn’t start making dolls until I was station at Ford Ord . Elinor Peace Baily came to our quilt guild meeting and spoke of dolls. I took the class and that was all it took. I’ve been making dolls ever since. Every state every place I went I sought out quilting and dolls. The Country Loft in La Mesa became my favorite place. Jo Ann Mullaly became my muse for doll inspiration. She was so generous and taught me a lot.
I’ve had the most extraordinary opportunities through the military, all over the world. I have done craft shows all over Germany, traveling in my 69 Camaro on the autobahn with the dolls in my old suitcases. Teaching young army wife’s, sewing for soldiers, raising money for military family’s has become a passion, through my dolls.
My husband retired, the boys grown, my store closed, I’m finding time again on my hands and I’m sewing with a renewed passion.
I’m finding doll making a joy now that I have unpacked 30 years of flea marketing from France and Holland, Germany and 13 states, I love using it all. It’s what is inspiring me now. 35 years of memories. My store was called wimsies after my name. I became vintage after rushing past 50.
I love vintage fabrics...I always have.
I love the colors--the patterns--the textures. I love to find them, feel them, talk about them and collect them. I sew so I can be close to the fabrics and so I can continue to buy more. A wonderfully delicious cycle! I really enjoy designing the items I make, but primarily I love the fabrics. I create clothing and accessories combining vintage fabrics, buttons and treasures. I love what I do, but mostly I love the fabrics.