In the faraway land of Once Upon A Time, they all lived happily ever after.

Moon Munkie has been living up to her pseudonym. Sleepless nights when she just wants to be close to Mama Munkie. And stories. She wants me to tell stories. At 3.30am, I don’t want to put on the light and find a book to read.  Lying in the dark, with my eyes closed and my Moon Munkie cuddling close I begin, “Once upon a time in a faraway land there was a princess;  there was a castle; there was a wicked queen;  there were three bears, three little pigs and a big bad wolf; there were two small children; there was a little Munkie who didn’t want to go to sleep.”

It’s awoken my inner Anderson. I want to help Moon Munkie make her own stories. So I’ve been creating the cast of “Once Upon a Time”. And here they are in the  shade of the carrot bed. So far we have the King and Queen of Once Upon a Time, 2 princes and 4 princesses. Given Moon Munkie’s fascination with the Frog Prince story, I also made a frog and a lily pond. We found a little yellow pom-pom (or “ponpon” as Munkie calls them) to be the golden ball. She told the story to Daddy Munkie after tea, using the new dolls. Then we set to making a tower for the princess from building blocks, but got distracted because Munkie thought they each needed a throne. The frog had to have one too. A green one.

If you want to make peg dolls of your own, I can recommend Lil Blue Boo and her wonderful tutorial. I didn’t follow it very closely because I wanted more than princesses, but I was grateful for help with the hairstyles. And the King of Once Upon a Time looks suspiciously like Burt Reynolds, does he not

I’m just going to go and make 20 eiderdowns and 20 mattresses so we can play the Princess and the Pea tomorrow. I’ll probably scale it down to just 5 of each. And after that I’m thinking maybe Snow White and then Cinderella. Dwarves and Fairy Godmothers could be quite good fun to make. I hope that after some time Moon Munkie will start to inter-mix the characters from different stories to make her own. I hope they all live Happily Ever After!

Strumpet Barbie

A friend bought Moon Munkie a Barbie-esque dolly back from her holidays. I feel ambiguous about these toys. On the one hand pretty dollies are a mainstay of childhood. They encourage imaginative play; life skills like hair brushing, face washing and getting dressed; they assist with development of fine motor skills as tiny fingers learn to dress and undress, do up and undo; and generally they make little ones happy. One the other hand, they seem to promote a type of beauty that is unachievable for most women; reinforce an unhealthy focus on appearance, hair, clothes and weight; and I feel that they encourage a materialistic and consumer-orientated approach to life too.

So here’s my dilemma. As a kid I wanted a Sindy so badly. I asked for one for months. My Mum eventually capitulated. I was so excited as I opened my Christmas present, knowing there would be a dolly in it for me.
And there was. A freckled Sindy with long chestnut hair. And a trench coat… A long, toad-green, trench coat.

Here’s a cracking photo of me, having just opened it, before I got my “polite face” on, holding the dolly with an expression that clearly says, “What the Dickens is that? ” Of course, in my 4 year old naivety, I hadn’t specified that I wanted a dolly with a pretty dress, it just seemed obvious.

[Edit: Having re read this, I’m concerned that I sound like I’m whingeing. Really, I’m not. With hindsight my Mum probably had similar ambivalence towards the pointy-plastic-breasted ones as I have now. My life was not ruined. I am not emotionally scarred! I learned to sew in order to make new clothes for her. It’s just a funny story.]

That’s part one of the dilemma. I wanted one, so badly that I don’t want to say no out of hand. Part two is that Moon Munkie fell instantly in love with what I’ve come to call Strumpet Barbie. Of course she did. She’s a dolly with blonde hair to her knees and a “pretty” [read: slutty] gold and red dress. With gold metallic decoration. What’s not to love when you’re 2 and a half?
Anyway, I’ve decided not to make too much of a fuss for now.  Trollop Barbie can stay, although I’ve made her a new princess dress which is altogether more demure and  pleasing. I got a lovely and very easy tutorial from Miss B Couture. Given that I think she’s writing in her second language, this tutorial was easy to follow and easy to adjust to a slightly different doll. Also, I wanted it to be a long dress right to the floor.

It was a quick make, just a couple of hours. The top fabric was sheer and hard to work with. I was toying with making Moon Munkie the same costume. But I don’t  know if I physically could. I’m not good with slippy fabrics.

And that should be the end of the story. But after I’d taken the photos for this post, I presented Princess Barbie to Moon Munkie, full of motherly pride and creative joy at having made something so lovely for her. She gave me a look reminiscent of trench coats and said, “I want red one.”


Streetwalker Barbie is back.

Lucy Doll

Introducing the newest addition to our family – Lucy. She’s my Moon Munkie’s friend. Bit of a tomboy, she likes climbing trees, catching worms and collecting pebbles.

Lucy is made for durability from machine stitched,unbleached muslin, with appliqued felt hair.  She is 2 ft tall (61cm). Her dress is red felt and can be removed. The ribbons in her hair are also red felt and removable. Lucy’s features are hand-embroidered giving her a personal touch and making her safe for little children to play with. She’s stuffed with polyester fluff making her washable too.

Lucy’s friends and relations will be available to buy from at the beginning of September along with a range of other Whimsical Makery. I’ll be taking custom orders for dolls, monkeys, wedding favours, and children’s clothes. Alongside this there will be a range of my handmade items ready-made and waiting.  All at competitive prices, beautifully packaged and shipped with a gift card if so requested. Why not pop over there now to check out my new logo, banner and sign up for your free Etsy account? So me of the most amazing hand made items are available from more than 170,000 international sellers. Perfect for Christmas shopping! (What?? Did she just use the C word in August?? Surely not!! Take her outside and break her fingers now before she types any more nonsense!)

A thank you: To Valerie of GraphicsWorld 

I cannot tell you how awesome this woman is. She created a whole range of logos and business stationery for Moon Munkie at a ridiculously low cost considering the hours of work she put in for me. She is a powerhouse of enthusiamsm and talent. If you need anything designing (logo, business cards, stickers, stationery, invitations, photo-manipulation, cartoons, caricatures etc., etc.) then I recommend you give her a go. Plus she’s an amazing artist and pro face-painter too. And a jolly nice person to work with. Her website is here and her shop is here. Thanks, Valerie.