Sunday, December 7, 2014

Works in progress

Thanks for stopping by! 
These are the cloth dolls I am currently working on. 

Four cloth dolls that I currently working on.
 Each one has a one of a kind paperclay head. 
They will be finished before Christmas and for sale in my Etsy shop.
 This one is so cute. I made the skirt from a wool sweater
 and appliqued the velvet tree and bird. It is still a work in progress.

Be sure to scroll down to see what is currently for sale in my Etsy Shop.
I have several wonderful wooden dolls!

Thankful to be a dollmaker!

When I started making dolls it was to fill a void in doll collecting. I wanted to make the type of dolls I didn't have growing up as a child in the 1960's. I loved  antique dolls and there was no way I was going to own one except to make it myself.  My mother always said I had champagne taste on a beer budget! What I find on this journey of dollmaking is that what prompted me to make dolls..... is not what is subtaining me nor flowing thru the dolls I am creating! I find I am connecting with people on a spiritual journey as well.

Recently a lovely lady named Becky purchased these 
two wooden dolls from my Etsy shop:

She lost a precious son in a auto accident the same year I lost my dear mother to dementia. Art heals because it was my refuge those 2 years my mom was sick. We all need a touch of beauty in our lives. I know a doll can't replace a precious loved one but they do put a smile on our face and add joy to our heart! Only a doll collector would know this!  Becky's words really uplifted my spirit! Here's what she wrote:

Oh Alice!!!!!!

Your dolls arrived B~~E~~~A~~U~~~T~~~I~~~F~~~U~~~~L  they both are!  Your carving, your needlework,...everything is EXQUISITE!   I am so very, very pleased and am so very happy to have pieces of your work.  It thrills me to be able to behold them.  Thank you so very much for passing them on to me. I shall take very good care of them.

Thank you again, Alice.  EVERYTHING about this transaction was a blessing to me-especially getting to have personal contact with you.  That means the most....the packaging, bags, certificates...well, it all counts, but getting to "know" you a bit is the best.



THANK YOU Becky for your kind words and most of all for being WHO you are! 
The world is a kind place if we let our light shine! 

Current Dolls For SALE in Etsy Shop

Check out the sweetest Hitty size dolls!
 NOW in my Etsy shop
Handcarved Cherrywood

Handcarved Cherrywood

Handcarved Basswood

Handcarved Butternut wood

Handcarved Walnut wood
This doll has been SOLD

Handcarved Bass wood
This doll has been SOLD

Handcarved Basswood
This doll has been SOLD

Thursday, November 20, 2014

ME in local newspaper

I am honored the local newspaper did a front cover story on me. Going to NYC was a great idea! Why waste my talent repairing clothing when I can be pursuing dollmaking. Art is such a great way to praise God. God gave me talents to use for his Glory. I am so blessed to have my faith, health and a creative mind. Whatever years I have left on the planet I am going to use my creative gifts to the best of my ability! Look out world here I come!

Local artist featured in New York City art show

Published 10:38am Wednesday, November 19, 2014
For over a decade, Dowagiac’s Alice Swann was one the city’s go-to tailors, performing alterations, repairs and other essential sewing needs for local customers.
Today, she continues to grind away on the sewing machine, but with a much smaller customer in mind — several inches small, to be exact.
Earlier this month, the tailor turned doll maker’s work was featured in a special art exhibit in New York City. Entitled the “Harlem Aesthetic,” Swann’s assortment of cloth and wooden dolls were on display, shown alongside the works of two other doll artists from Washington D.C. and Baltimore.
“It was fun,” Swann said. “I sold a lot of dolls, and I got to meet a lot of new interesting artists. I think I did really good for a small town girl like myself.”
Growing up in the Grand Old City, Swann left the Midwest shortly after graduating from Dowagiac Union High School to pursue a career in fashion design in California. It was while attending college on the west coast that she first discovered the world of doll making, after listening to a guest lecture from a woman who designed clothing for the ubiquitous Barbie line of dolls. Though she was never a big fan of the mass-produced toys growing up, the design and process that went into creating miniatures fascinated her, Swann recalled thinking at the time.
After moving back to Dowagiac and working in the custom tailor field for 11 years, Swann finally seized the opportunity to begin creating little creations of her own, drawing on her years of experience in design, sewing and crafting.
“[Tailoring] felt more a job to me than artistry,” she said. “When I make my dolls, it doesn’t feel that way. It feels like fun.”
Swann started off by creating dolls from cloth material, similar to the classic Raggedy Ann style dolls popular during the early 20th century. While she still creates these kind of works, she has began to invest more of her time and energy into carving them from blocks of wood, giving them a more defined bodies and faces.
Besides their handmade origin, what separates the works created by doll artists like Swann from the plastic toys found in retail stores is their individuality, the artist said. The Dowagiac resident said her dolls have different faces, hairstyles, and clothing, so every customer can be assured they’re receiving a one-of-a-kid product.
“It’s like how we are as people,” she said. “No two people are alike, so none of my dolls are alike either.”
While still a rather niche field, Swann said that, compared to other forms of art, doll making is perhaps the closest medium someone can use to capture the essence of what it is to be human.
“I’m capturing what’s happening in my life today, and 200 years later someone may see that,” she said.
People interested in learning more about Swann’s work can check her page on or her blog at

Friday, November 14, 2014

Thank YOU Leonora!

Thank you Leonora for purchasing Patience Dearheart.
and opening your home to me and being such a talented artist in your own right. 
Thanks for introducing me to your artists friends:
 Laura Gadson 
and Shimoda
 Leonora wearing one of her felted wraps.

LeoFineWoolen Hat modeled by Tanga Montegut

Patience Dearheart
Who now residences in Montclair, NJ

Great art & doll show in NYC

Thank God the show in NYC was Fabulous! I learned so much and shared a great weekend with other talented artists.
Me at upper center. 
These are the wonderful artists who shared the Harlem Aesthetic weekend at

My cloth and wooden display

OOAK Cloth dolls made of silk.

A cloth and wooden doll the created for the show.
A cotton print was used to make the dresses.

Me and Tanya Montegut one of her cloth dolls. 
I meet Tanya in Detroit at 2014 Detroit Doll Show and we admire each other dolls. 

All dollmakers need a doll collector like Phoebe. 
Phoebe loves dolls. 
Her mom didn't get her any dolls when she was growing
 because of the lack of black dolls so now Phoebe has many dolls to love.
 She purchased not one but three one of a kind cloth doll from me. 
Thanks you Phoebe! God is blessing Phoebe with dolls to love! 

Phoebe admiring her doll! 

Me with Paula Whaley(left) and Francie Haskins...both super talented and soulful doll artists.

All the dolls that didnt sell will be posted on my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014