peg doll swaps :: photo gallery

Below are dolls made by participants 
for a pegdoll-style swap hosted in 2014.

Mer-mama & mertots by Margaret Bloom :: we bloom here

Flower fairies by Lenka (USA) :: Forest Fairy Crafts.

 Mr. & Mrs. Gnome by Maureen (Canada) :: Twig and Toadstool.

A set of weather-pegs, season-pegs, plus a "Princess & the Pea" softie by Aimee (NZ) :: Small Steps Big Noises.


"Pixie-Puffball" garlands by Keri (UK) :: Two Little Flowers and Etsy shop

 Daffodil Girls & Strawberry Girls by Lucy (Wales, UK)

Peter Rabbit (and a vegetable garden created from recycled felt) by Jannell (USA).  Jannell also included in her parcels a copy of Peter Rabbit, plus a mystery book featuring a sleuthing Beatrix Potter by Susan Wittig Albert titled The Tale of Hilltop Farm  :: Artteajannell


 Witches by Karen Traversy (USA) :: Bridgit's Bell Etsy shop

Lobsters and Mermaidens by Cindi (USA) :: I wanted to make something that represents my dear state of Maine, so I chose a mermaid.  I am unsure if she is gaudy or beautiful, sort of like a real mermaid!! And I didn't want her to travel alone so I sent along a Maine lobster with VERY big eyes.

A moose and frogs by Heidi (Canada).

 Little Lions by Megan (USA) :: Giants, Wizards & Dweebs

Pegdolls dressed in elegant fabrics & trims, plus an acorn capped wizard and his disciple by Phoebe (USA)

Strawberry Fairies by Brooke (Canada): The wings are water colored -- salt technique on the front and birchbark from a fallen tree on the back. The fairies are quite busy this time of year helping the strawberries bloom and it looks like there should be a good crop soon.

Butterflies by Casey (USA) :: Sesame Seed Designs

Lilac & strawberry pegdolls, fresh from the garden by Emily (USA).

A matryoshka-style pegdoll & ornament by Sara (USA) :: This Mom Loves.

Pegdoll-style refrigerator magnets by Michelle (USA).

Festival Gnomes by Julie (USA) -- based on the wonderful patterns at Wee Folk Art

Matrioshka-style zippered pouches and brooches by Ronnie (Australia)

A pegdoll-style needle case by Clare (Australia).


Below are photos of peg dolls from the peg doll swap I hosted in 2013:

dolls & photo by Margaret Bloom

My own contribution to the swap... butterflies small & large.

doll & photo by Stephanie: Knitty Gritty Homestead

Stephanie of Knitty Gritty Homestead (Ontario, Canada) created these remarkably tiny luna moths...

doll & photo by Stephanie: Knitty Gritty Homestead

And these monarch butterfly wings Stephanie created are perfect in every detail.

dolls and photo by Anette Grostad

Anette Grostad (California, USA) created a beautiful mama rose & baby rose (don't you love mama's fashionable ruffled collar?)

dolls by Anette Grostad

She also created a pair of delicate snowdrops (I am lucky to have this pair sitting on my mantlepiece...)

dolls by Painting Pixie

The very talented Painting Pixie (Colorado, USA) stitched these exquisite pixies for the swap.  The intricacy of her cherry blossom embroidery is  mind-boggling...

dolls & photo by Marcy: A Simple Life

Here we have Flora & Blossom, created by Marcy of the blog A Simple Life (NY, USA.) Their headgear is bold, stylish and perfect for spring, is it not?

dolls and photo by Kenda

Kenda (MO, USA) stitched up these pretty flower fairies based on patterns from Wee Folk Art.  The colors Kenda chose are so cheerful and her embroidery adds a nice touch.

photo & dolls by Sara: This Mom Loves
Here are soft-toned springtime gnomes embroidered with tulips (and mushrooms) by Sara (WI, USA) of the blog This Mom Loves.

doll & photo by Tanja: Watermellish

Tanja (VIC, Australia) modeled her dolls after the character of Pelle from the book Pelle's New Suit.  She wrote:
I based my peg dolls on a favorite story in our house – Pelle's New Suit by Elsa Beskow. 

It's the story of a little boy, Pelle, whose clothing is becoming too small. He finds a solution to this problem by shearing his lamb and trading his labor (weeding gardens, feeding animals, running errands) to have his grandmothers card and spin the fleece. He dyes it blue himself, and again trades his labor to have his mother weave the yarn into cloth. Then the tailor sews him a new suit. The book ends with Pelle wearing his new blue suit and thanking the lamb for it.  

I painted the Pelle and made a simple lamb from a pipe-cleaner and carded wool.

photo & dolls by Dee: Triskele Threads

Dee (VIC, Australia) of Triskele Threads created these sweet autumn folk.  I love the leaves and acorns embroidered on their gowns, and the distinct reminder that, as we in the Northern Hemisphere are turning towards Spring, our friends in the Southern Hemisphere are in the thick of Autumn.

Here is more autumnal beauty from my darling friend Clare (ACT, Australia.)  Clare calls these wonderful little folk "beechlings," and about them she wrote:

Heath, Myrtle, Fagus and Tanglefoot are the common names given to two Tasmanian deciduous Gondwana cool temperate rainforest species that grow as either a shrub (in poor conditions) or tree (in sheltered, nutrient rich and warmer valleys) of Nothofagus cunninghamii and Nothofagus gunnii. As the weather becomes cooler, like all deciduous plants the leaves change colour as the plant begins its Winter domancy.

The leaves are dark green to olive green becoming tan, tangerine, rust, orange coloured as the temperatures drop. They are slightly transparent when the sun filters through almost like living tissue paper. The leaves don't always fall in winter leaving an extremely colourful spash of orange across grey/green/olivine/white lichen encrusted boulders high on the exposed slopes in mountainous Tasmania (and some parts of Victoria).

photo and dolls by Kelly: Happy Whimsical Hearts

I grinned wildly when saw these peg dolls by Kelly (ACT, Australia.) Kelly's dolls are patterned after the characters Snugglepot and Cuddlepie from a book her mother read to her when she was "a little tacker."

illustration from Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs

Here is an illustration of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie (after which Kelly styled her dolls.) Are you grinning now, too?

photo and dolls by Karen: Bridgit's Bell

Karen (New Hampshire, USA) of Bridgit's Bell created this royal family of peg dolls.  The details on these dolls are meticulous.

photo and dolls by Karen: Bridgit's Bell

I especially love how Karen used tiny punches to create the designs on their wee royal cloaks.

photo & dolls by Lacey: Life as a Schoolhouse

Lacey (NC, USA) of Life as a Schoolhouse has very cleverly used colored string to decorate the bodies of her peg folk.

photo & dolls by Jen: SEWNnatural

Here is a work-in-progress photo of matrioshka style peg dolls by Jen (Ontario, Canada) of SEWNnatural. I love their traditional red headscarves (and am always a sucker for gold embroidery...)

photo & doll by Melissa: Wild Faerie Caps

Melissa (FL, USA) of Wild Faerie Caps created this wee mousie peg child...

photo & doll by Melissa: Wild Faerie Caps

And also a golden version of a peg child critter -- this one seems rather leonine to me...

photo & dolls by Amanda: By Hook and Thread

For a swashbuckling, romantic tale (and close-up photos of these sweet dolls) you can visit Amanda (Nova Scotia, Canada) at her blog By Hook and Thread.

photo & dolls by Amanda: By Hook and Thread

Amanda also created this porcine trio -- you can read her hilarious version of the traditional piggy-tale here.

photo & dolls by Kat: The Awakened Heart

Kat (VIC, Australia) was inspired by the work of Mama Westwind when she created these love-bunnies.  Do you see the pocket that Kat has added to the back of the cape to hold a jelly bean egg?  Brilliant!

photo & dolls by Megan: Giants, Wizards & Dweebs

Last but not least are these snail folk by Megan (CA, USA) of Giants, Wizards & Dweebs.  When I first saw this photo I did a happy dance to the tune of an idiotic little song which went something like this -- oh my, oh my, oh, love, love, love!  These peg dolls make me think of my toddler who has recently learned about snails and slugs.  When he finds one, he gives it a gentle poke, which causes it to retract it's antennae.  Then he waits patiently for it to put out the antennae again, and gives another little poke.  Did I already mention how much I love these peg dolls?  (I guess I did.)

Photos of peg dolls from around the world, made for the peg doll exchange I hosted in February 2011:

White coral bells
Upon a slender stalk,
Lilies of the valley
Deck my garden walk.
Oh, don’t you wish
That you could
hear them ring.
That will happen only
when the fairies sing.

I learned this song when I was a little girl… it runs through my head every time my eyes land on these little lily-of-the-valley fairies. They were my own contribution to the swap.

* * *
"And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest."
-Percy Bysshe Shelley

These sweet flower fairies, created by Maureen (Ontario, Canada) of Twig and Toadstool,are slumbering beneath the earth, waiting for spring to come so they can show their pretty faces to the sun.  Maureen says that they were inspired by her own longing for spring to come...

* * *
Little gnomes all around,
Hiding where they can't be found.
Look inside and you will see
A little gnome, made by me!

Gnomes made by my own Little Mr. B. of webloomhere for the children's swap (he even wrote the poem, too!)

* * *
These Spring flower-fairies were made by Rhonda Wildman (Georgia, USA)) of the blog Joy Grows. She  wrote:

These dolls were inspired by 2 poems.   Both of these verses are from A Journey Through Time in Verse and Rhyme, a book of poems collected by Heather Thomas.  I have used the 1st poem, A Spring Song often with my flower fairies, but I also was captured by The Magic Piper!
A Spring Song
- Anonymous

 See the yellow catkins cover
All the slender willows over;
And on the mossy banks so green
Starlike primroses are seen;
And their clustering leaves below
White and purple violets grow.
Hark, the little lambs are bleating
And the cawing rooks are meeting
In the elms, a noisy crowd;
And all birds are singing loud.
There, the first white butterfly
In the sun goes flitting by.
The Magic Piper   
-  E.L. Marsh

 There piped a piper in the wood
Strange music – soft and sweet –
And all the little wild things
Came hurrying to his feet.
They sat around him on the grass,
Enchanted, unafraid,
And listened, as with shining eyes
Sweet melodies he made.
The wood grew green, and flowers sprang up,
The birds began to sing;
For the music it was magic,
And the piper’s name was – Spring!

* * *
These gnomes were created by Traci (Wisconsin, USA.)  She read in The Complete Book of Gnomes that gnomes like to play dress-up.  Her daughters wanted her to make princess, prince & clown gnomes, however her nephews came up with the idea of pirate gnomes. And here they are... pirate gnomes!  What you cannot see in this photo is how cleverly the skull & crossbones are stitched on the hat (nor can you see the elegant beading on the coat-tails of these gnomes!)  You can find Traci's etsy shop here...

* * *
The Song of the Bluebell Fairy
My hundred thousand bells of blue,
   The splendour of the Spring,
They carpet all the woods anew
With royalty of sapphire hue;
The Primrose is the Queen,  ‘t is true,
   But surely I am King!
          Ah yes,The peerless Woodland King!

Loud, loud the thrushes sing their song;
   The bluebell woods are wide;
My stems are tall and straight and strong;
From ugly streets the children throng,
They gather armfuls, great and long,
   Then home they troop in pride –
             Ah yes, With laughter and with pride!
-Cicely Mary Barker
Cheryl (Somerset, UK) of Time to Craft created these little bluebell flower children (she also created the tiny ladybirds which her family has nicknamed Lily Puddle Two-Spot.)  She used wool roving to wet felt the fairy hats & alpaca wool to knit the shawls.

For her inspiration she wrote: Every year our family goes on a bluebell walk. There is an old disused railway track at the end of our garden. We can walk along it to reach an area of ancient woodland. In late spring, the slopes are covered in bluebells. It has a hazy appearance. The walk always feels magical. One year, we spotted that the badgers had used the bluebells as part of their bedding. It was pushed out of entrance to their hole, ready for fresh bedding. How sweet for their cubs to sleep on a bluebell lined  bed.  Each year, as the current landowner fells the trees, the bluebell slopes become smaller. I hope these plucky little flowers survive.
* * *

 Woods and forest...


 And fire...

Kaya (the Netherlands) of the blog Kriebevel said, "I made my dolls inspired by natural elements."

* * *
And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
and each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Morgan (California, USA) wrote: Here are the little peg people I sent out.  My inspiration was my 2 year old daughter...every morning when she wakes up, she runs outside to see if her strawberry plant is blooming!  I made these to hold her off another month or so until strawberry season is in full bloom! 
* * *
I was deeply moved by the beautiful letter Kady (California, USA) sent with her gnomes:

Six years ago Autism touched my life.  My nephew was 2 when he was dignosed.  I have spent the last 3 years working in a classroom with children living with Autism.  Each one of them have touched my life in a way I can't describe.  1 in 110 children are diganosed with ASD.  There are 1.5 million people living with ASD  in the US.  No race, ethinic group or socioeconomic group is immune from ADS.  Please look at this Autistic Gnomes and remember to look beyond the Autism and see the amazing child.  These Gnomes are Dylan, Sarah, Jaime, Jana, McCray, Brandon, Gap, Maria, Tanner, Tiffany, Ricki, Joel, Blayne and Elaine who I love for the special people they are. Please Love my Gnomes like I do.

* * *

Angie (Maine, USA) of the blog Wonderfully Crazy said about her dolls: The inspiration for my dolls started with The Story of the Root Children by Sibylle von Olfers.  However, as my dolls progressed they sort of took on a life of their own and became spring maidens.  Helpers to mother nature in the spring to bring green grass and colorful flowers... 

 Angie's daughter created these colorful forest gnomes & sprites -- her inspiration came from The Sun Egg by Elsa Beskow.
* * *

Caroline (California, USA) wrote: Apples are extremely important to our family – they have been a staple part of our diet for generations. My father has always (and still does) eat an apple daily. And they are so versatile in the kitchen! The Apfelkuchen recipe on the other side is one that my German Omi, our family matriarch, passed down to us.

This little apple sprite came to our family on the heels of the apple trees that we planted in our front yard.... first a Honeycrisp apple tree that we mistakenly planted all by its little lonesome, unaware that the Honeycrisp needs a pollinator, and is possibly just on the edge of being a viable tree for our area. So to keep it company, we planted a slightly less fussy tree, a Fuji apple.  The sprite moved in because it sensed we need some magical intervention for the next few years in caring for our little fledgling trees. I thought perhaps that its little friends could come and share their magic with you.
Place 5 medium apples, peeled and sliced, in a medium pot with ¼ cup of water, and 2 Tbsp sugar. Bring to a boil, then take it off the burner and put it in a colander to drain.

Mix together:
¾ cup butter (190 gm)
1/3 cup sugar (110 gm)
1-2 eggs
2½ cup flour (300 gm)
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp vanilla extract

Roll out dough and pat it into the bottom of a greased 8” round or square pan, reserving approximately 1/3 of the dough to put on top of the apples. Arrange apples on top of the dough, and sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon over it. Add chopped nuts (walnuts), if desired. Roll out remaining dough and put patches of it on top of apples. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-40 mins.

* * *
Andie (Wisconsin, USA) included the following in the note with her dolls:
“The very word "geisha" means artist, and to be a geisha is to be judged as a moving work of art.” – Mameha, Memoirs of a Geisha

 I chose to make my peg dolls into Japanese geishas because, to me, these women, with their jet black hair, intricate kimonos, and skillfully applied makeup, are some of the most beautiful creatures on earth. A few years ago I read the book “Memoirs of a Geisha,” and ever since, I’ve been intrigued by the art, intelligence, and complexity showcased by these women. I highly recommend reading this book if you haven’t already!

These five geisha sisters live in an okiya: they are Yuki, Aiko, Koto, Nami, and Emiko. I had so much fun making these dolls.  I hope you enjoy them!

* * *
 Jennifer (British Columbia, Canada) wrote: Weeks ago I decided to paint these Japanese girls.  Turned out to be very timely.  I had a cute story to go along with them, but just didn't feel right using it in light of the tragedy there.  Instead I decided to just give them all names.  From left to right we have Maki whose name means "true hope", Shinobu "endurance", Mitsuko "child of light", Yasuko "child of peace" and Saki "blossom of hope."

* * *

These wonderful dolls and beautiful story are by Melissa (Wild Faerie Caps), FL, USA:

The Wolf Kin live in the far, dark reaches of Faerie where the nights
are cold and the days short, but brilliant. Dwelling deep in caves,
the Kin keep watch over the four-legged creatures of our world. They
welcome fox kits into the world and play tag with the wolf pups. On
very special occasions, the Kin will visit the homes of humans to
bless and care for their beloved pets. Tiny toadstools are a delicacy
to these wee folk. During soft twilight hours they gather baskets full
of beautiful fungi and bring them back to their moss-lined homes. The
young Kin study painting and the ways of the beasts while the older
Kin spend their hours in quiet contemplation and meditative work.
Squirrels and magpies often visit to exchange gifts of berries and
shiny trinkets. In return, the Kin gather their soft moss to line the
dens and nests of their friends.
* * *

Melissa's son "Elf" (of Wild Faerie Caps) created these dolls for his swap group.  About the flower fairies he said: The flower fairies live inside of flowers and help plants grow. They also help animals. They are usually found in roses and other sweet smelling flowers. They usually wear flower petals.

The robot peg-doll, which landed in our mailbox addressed to my own Little Mr. B., was inspired by the Ricky Ricotta books by Dav Pilkey.  Perfect for Little Mr. B.  who thinks anything written by Mr. Pilkey is just grand (I think Mr. Pilkey is just grand, too, and delightfully crass!)
* * *

Nicole (Indiana, USA) of One Hook Wonder said she was crossing her fingers that the noses of her clowns wouldn't fall off in transit. 

* * *

 Nicole's daughter (One Hook Wonder) created these 5 peg-folk...

While her son created these. Here is the story he wrote for "Houfexis" - the one on the right:  I walk on acorns, and I eat them up with my feet.  I wear glitter on my head.  I wonder why my pants are all lumpy.  I wonder why I haven't cut a path through my woods so I can get to my acorns.  I wonder why I never put on my blue hat.

* * *

 In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines,
lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.
They left the house, at half past nine...
the smallest one was Madeline.
These dolls were made by Miriam (Washington State, USA) of Stitch Crafty MamaAbout her inspiration, she says:  Stories of spunky, creatively independent and spirited girls like Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking (L√•ngstrump!) and Beverly Cleary's Ramona have always captivated me. I love a girl who breaks a mold! For this project, my inspiration comes from another feisty girl, Madeline from the children's book series of the same name by Ludwig Bemelmans.

* * *
Angela (Michigan, USA) wrote: These wee dolls are garden fairies.  They each have an adventuresome spark in their heart.  They wanted to travel and see the world!  So off they were sent to lands unknown ;) to brighten someones day.

* * *

 The sun is now shining,
Thy sky blue and clear,
The birds are all calling,
And so Spring is here.
The children are ready,
And up, up they go ~
All the beauty they've made
They are longing to show.

~Sybille von Olfers, The Story of the Root Children

These little sweeties were made by Rae (North Carolina, USA) of the blog Morning Sun Rae. They have daffodil dresses to don for their spring emergence and a variety of little nut caps. Their little flower dresses fasten on right over their root bodies.  Brilliant!
* * *
These dolls were created by the daughter of Rae (North Carolina, USA) of the blog Morning Sun Rae.  She made a poppy fairy, an oak fairy and a water fairy.  A note was included with each fairy containing the little verse:  The tree grows over the poppy and over the water.

* * *
 K. (USA) wrote: My inspiration for the dolls came from my Hinamatsuri dolls. The Prince & Princess dolls in the photo are mine, given to me by my parents when I was born. They were displayed on my first Hinamatsuri (March 3rd). My parents sent my dolls to the US when my daughter was born.  My daughter and I take out the dolls every year. When I thought about the peg doll swap, I wanted to make ladies for each of you in celebration of being a 'girl.'

The flower for the Hinamatsuri is a peach flower. I needle-felted a peach flower, petals, and a butterfly for the Spring.  To learn more about Hinamatsuri you can have a look here.

These dolls were created by K.'s daughter.  The doll dressed in red is named Nicole.  She is named after Nicolas the bunny from the book I am a Bunny by Ole Risom. About Nicole, she says: She likes to chase butterflies and the butterflies chase her. She likes to watch the frogs hopping around in the lake. She likes to watch the animals get ready for Winter. She likes to play in the snow, and her clothes are red.

The doll on the right is named Lady Spring: She comes out in Spring. She plays with us. She makes food for herself. She makes air for us because she is a flower fairy. She likes kids and nice people. She has other lady Spring friends.

* * *

 Julie (North Carolina, USA) of the blog This Cosy Life Created these flower fairies and sent the following story:

Flower fairies love flowers so much that some of them find their way into our gardens.  In fact, the more flowers you plant, the more likely it is that the fairies will find you, especially if you plant flowers they can sit or sleep in.  Their favorite is the tulip because in the spring, when their babies are born, they can lay them down inside the petals and rock them to sleep.
-- Lisa Lunge-Larson (The Hidden Folk)

* * *
Pine Cone and Pepper Pot are friends. Their house lies underneath the roots
of an old pine tree, deep in the forest on Farmer John’s land. They wear earthy
green jackets and pants, and both have red boots with pointy, curling-up toes.
They also have red caps that sparkle on top ~ especially when they are excited or have good ideas!

Here are Pinecone & Pepperpot, gnome characters from the book series about Tiptoes Lightly (she's the wee fairy dressed in blue, hiding under the mushroom in the background of the this photo.)  Don't you love the curly beards (and shoes) on these fellows?  Pinecone, Pepperpot & Tiptoes Lightly were made by Shannon (Queensland, Australia) of the blog Rhythm & Rhyme.

 These beautiful geishas were created by Shannon's 9 year old daughter. The folded paper cranes in the background of this photo put me in mind of the story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes...

* * *

....."the butterfly maidens watch 
over the chrysalids as they play
 and tell them about the plants
 and pretty, brightly-coloured flowers. 
How wonderful they smell!"....

Sybille von Olfers - The Story of the Butterfly Children

Natalie of the blog Little Gnomes Home created these breathtakingly beautiful butterflies and chrysalids...

* * *
 Michelle (CO, USA) made these lovely butterflies (can you see how she embroidered flowers on their little dresses?)  With her butterflies she sent the following poem:
A Butterfly Lights Beside Us
A butterfly lights beside us, like a sunbeam...
and for a brief moment its glory
and beauty belong to our world...
but then it flies on again, and although
we wish it could have stayed,
we are so thankful to have seen it at all.
Author Unknown

* * *

Alison (Australia) of Rumpelfeltskin sent the following note with her beautiful (and aromatic) gnomes:

I grew up on a farm with my grandparents in the beautiful Yarramalong Valley.  My grandfather filled our front garden with the prettiest flowers he could find for my grandmother to sit and admire from our front porch.

Whenever I smell lavender it takes me straight back to the happiest memories of my childhood. The lavender in this gnome is from a farm in the very same valley.

* * *
 Amanda (OK, USA) of the blog Rustic Remnants created these gnomes (and supplied them with a tasty mushroom treat!)

* * *
And Kate (Australia) of the blog Too Many Things in my Head created gnomes of variegated felt (which has me longing to learn to create variegated felt for my own use!)  Kate's gnomes were sent with the following poem:

  I wished to see the fairies,
I searched the garden through.
I looked inside the flower cups
And in the wee buds, too.
I looked beneath the toadstools,
And in the tufts of grass,
Then I sat and waited...
And watched the fairies pass.