Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Feature Shop: Handmaiden Canada

Reading these questionnaires each week makes me want to meet everyone in person. This week, I'd like to book a plane ticket to Canada to have a cup of tea or coffee with Rebecca of Handmaiden Canada. Read on to learn more about this mom of nine, her wonderful Waldorf dolls, and her lifetime of crafting. - Cori of Peace, Baby! Batiks

What is your name?

Where are you located?
A little place in Ontario, Canada, called Barry's Bay.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I live with my husband and nine children in the "back woods" of Canada. I grew up in the country, and I love it. I love that I can sit out on my back porch in the early morning and hear silence. I love that I can walk down the road to a sparkling, clean lake to swim. I love the drama of the seasons. I love that I can see and feel God in His creation that surrounds me.

Waldorf Doll, Luvkin, Jade, 15 in

What type of merchandise will shoppers find in your shop? 
Handmade Waldorf dolls and doll clothing, handknit and felted purses, upcycled wool purses, girly dresses.

How/why did you get started?
My father and mother both instilled in me a deep love for all things handmade. My dad was a luthier (built handmade guitars) until I was about eight years old, and my mom was the type of mom who would make her own granola, hand-smock each one of us dresses for Easter, always had a knitting project on the go, and wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty in the garden. She had me sewing my first outfit when I was six years old. I'll never forget it...many seams sewn and then ripped out....and then sewn again. Did I mention she had the patience of a saint!? :)

Creativity was always encouraged. It was a very "organic" process. We had trunks of fabric scraps, yarn and craft supplies always at our disposal and we were encouraged to just try stuff. My mother would teach us the skills necessary, and then give us free reign to design and create. And of course she loved every single project even more than the last! A woman can always use another pot holder, right?!

How long have you been crafting?
I remember learning how to embroider when I was really young, probably about 3 or 4. My mom gave me a little piece of gingham in an embroidery hoop and taught me how to do crosstitch.

What is your favorite thing to make?
Waldorf dolls!! I love how each one is completely's like his or her look and personality gently unfolds as he/she is created.

Waldorf Doll, Luvkin, Fiona, 15 in

Why is it important to you to use recycled or upcycled materials?
Recycling, or "upcycling" as some now call it, was and is just a part of life in a big family. Things are passed and re-purposed. We often shop second hand. There is something so ultimately satisfying in taking someone else's "junk" and making it into something funky and useable.

Waldorf Doll Bed -- Rustic Twig Furniture

What makes your dolls unique?
They are one-of-a kind and they are made from all natural materials. The skin and clothing are made from cotton fabrics, they are stuffed with 100% wool for stuffing, and they have hair made from handspun, hand-dyed yarns of natural fibers. They are handmade with love and attention to detail...something that your child could pass on to the next generation.

What inspires you to create?

What is one thing you need to have with you while you craft?
A cup of coffee/tea and MUSIC. :)

How do you balance mothering and running a small business? 
It's tricky, because I don't have huge chunks of time available to me, but I just do a little bit at a time...whenever I get the chance...while helping the kids with homework, riding in the car, waiting in the dentist's office, while watching a movie. You'd be surprised how all those little bits of time add up! ;)

What is your favorite thing to browse Etsy for?
Yarn and fabric. :)

When you're not crafting, what are you doing?
Spending time with my hubby, mothering, enjoying the beauty of nature.

Waldorf Doll Dress, 15 inch, Folk Art Flowers

Where can we find you?

What is your favorite shop (not yours) on Etsy currently?
I absolutely LOVE the shop applenamos


  1. Love Love Love your dolls! Super cute. Nice to meet you, Rebecca
    ~ Rebecca OliveSmiles

  2. Thanks, Cori, for the did a beautiful job!! :)

  3. Thanks, Rebecca! Nice to meet you, too. :)