Continuing my posts about some of my favourite artists and crafts people, I really must mention my friend Sasha who makes the most amazing and colourful toys.
Over the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to collect quite a few of her kitty and bunny toys, in fact one of our sofas is full of them.
Sasha makes all of these by hand using materials and fabrics, notions and trimmings that she has sourced from over a lifetime of foraging at flea markets and brocantes, carbooty-ing and antique shop rummaging (indeed she is often referred to by me as Queen of the Carboots).
The big cat in the above picture is called Pandora and she is one of my favourites.
This is Tabitha, she was my first Sasha doll so holds a special place in my heart, she is wearing some lovely hand knitted pieces which are “vintagey”, a specially made skirt from some of the nicest Sanderson’s fabric ever, and around her neck is a jaunty little scarf a-la Isadora Duncan.
She’s made from a beautiful vintage fake fur fabric which I’m guessing was originally for swanky teddy bears and the like. And her face is carefully embroidered with vintage silks and sewing threads. She’s not a very smiley kitty, personally I like her rather sad expression, I like to think of it as thoughtful.
And this velvety beauty is called Mildred. She’s long and willowy like a super-model. And is wearing the most fabulous and incredibly delicate vintage dress, along with a sensible hand knitted cardigan.
I love how Sasha dresses her dolls, and I’d be more than happy to wear some of these creations myself…in fact if I had a dress like Mildred’s I’d wear it all the time…
This “fabulous vintage” dressed bunny is one of my other favourites, I love her antiquey embroidered ears and that fur coat….so classy with the silk rose on her lapel. She’s also wearing a beautiful crocheted top and a patchwork skirt and is holding a tiny genuine 1950s hand sewn felt toy. She makes me think of Miss Hannigan from Annie for some reason…
As well as making toys, Sasha also makes the most brightly decorated Christmas decorations you are likely to see, her Christmas trees are some of my favourite pieces.
A couple of years ago she made these lovely Jingle Bell decorations from vintage tablecloths which had been heavily hand embroidered and further embellished with vintage trimmings.
She also makes beautiful puffy cloud mobiles which are festooned with brightly coloured ribbons which would look wonderfully cheery in a child’s bedroom or nursery.
Sasha’s toys are incredibly unique with a wonderful vintage aesthetic. Each toy is carefully sewn, embroidered and then dressed, often in authentically vintage doll clothes, so no two are ever going to look the same. Each one is a true individual.
The above little kitties each came in their own highly embellished Christmas Stockings with crochet and vintage pearl beading sewn on them . Less is more is not a phrase in Sasha’s world.
She also waves her magic wand of colour over old toy beds, transforming them into the sort of items you would have loved to find under a Christmas tree when you were small… and to be honest, some of us ladies of a certain age would still very much clap their hands with older girl glee to come downstairs and find one of them. You can see some on this pinterest board.
And even Bernard is a fan, here he is with one of her earlier creations, we like to say she is Bernard’s girlfriend.
Sasha doesn’t sell on-line so if you want to buy some of her amazing work then you will need to pop down to Norwich Arts Centre this weekend for the Clutter City Christmas weekend fair, where you’ll find her Saturday and Sunday with the most brightest and colourful stall, which will be filled to the brim with fantastic, handmade toys, baskets of black velvet kitties, buntings and decorations.
These really are wonderful pieces and would be sure to delight children and grown up ladies this Christmas.
And yesterday’s Christmas Stocking giveaway is still open , it closes 7pm UK time on Sunday 15th December.