Von challenges: Kukalka bei #MarchMeetTheMaker

Jetzt ist sie vorbei, die #marchmeetthemaker Challenge auf Instagram.
Und ja, ich habe jeden Tag im März ein Foto und Text zu der vorgegebenen Frage gepostet.
Es hat Spass gemacht und ich war das ein oder andere mal angeregt selbst mal nachzudenken und mich mit neuen Dingen wie der Hyperlapse App oder Boomerang zu beschäftigen. :)

Wer es verpasst hat, oder es auf Insta zu unübersichtlich findet, der findet in diesem Blogpost die Zusammenfassung meiner Antworten…:


Day 1: You

Hello Kukalka

Hier ein Foto von mir, Nat (mit Puppe “Sima” auf dem Arm). ;>


Day 2: Favourite to make

“So #marchmeetthemaker asks for “favorite to make” today- so obviously it has to be dolls for me.
I can’t even say I love doing the big ones or the flashy or small simple ones…
I do love making all of them equally. It’s the variety and endless possibilities they bring…”


Day 3:Worspace


“Welcome to my workspace on Day 3 of #marchmeetthemaker: fortunately I have my little studio under the roof with enough space for the dolls and my stuff & though I do work from home, if the doors closed I am at work truly…
I am pretty organized too: on the left table space is my sewing corner, in the middle -under the window- I create and hand sew the dolls, while on the right table half, I draw ideas and do paperwork.”


Day 4: Tools

tools dollmaker

“Day 4 of #marchmeetthemaker prompts for “tools”.
Dollmakers tools: So honestly this is only a small amount of constantly needed and ever-changing tools.
Some are quite obvious like air erasable pen, needles, thread, cutter, scissors, hemostads, iron, and different wool stuffing sticks, etc, – some are custom made like the wooden rod for making doll hair lengths -and some not on this pic like my sewing machine, overlock, hemostats, etc.
Please feel free to ask if you’d like to know more about one or the other tool though..”


Day 5: Boomerang

Day 5 #marchmeetthemaker is Boomerang: stuffing doll limbs can be an exhaustive activity…


Day 6: Raw Materials

Day 6 of #marchmeetthemaker: raw materials.
I stuff my dolls with German sheep’s wool and use organic (gots) doll skin fabric.
I to this day never fail to be amazed about how from such simple materials a doll with sometimes such a big personality can come to life…


Day 7: How it’s made

Nat Kukalka Dolls

Day 7 of #marchmeetthemaker – “How it’s made”: although there are many seams on the doll’s body that can be sewn with the machine, there are still plenty Stitches that have to be done by hand. It is truly a “handmade” toy- Starting from rolling the wool for the head, stuffing the limbs, and attaching the head to the body by hand stitching (to even being able to repair the doll by hand if needed)… So many steps involved in the making of a doll done by two hands loving their busy tasks…


Day 8: Where

Map Kukalka handmade dolls from germany

So day 8 of #marchmeetthemaker prompts for “where”!?
My little doll studio and I are based in the western half of Germany, near the border with the Netherlands…


Day 9: Work in progress

rosaminze wip

“Work in Progress” is day 9 of #marchmeetthemaker:
needle felting a doll’s head takes patience and skill- this one is still in the very early stage of emerging a physiognomy from wool with the help of some felting needles… Also, my restless mind has plenty of different Wip’s on my table- luckily the dolls are patient and sit there waiting to be stitched up and dressed.. phew.


Day 10: Recommend a maker

#marchmeetthemaker challenge. There are so many wonderful and talented fellow doll artists -too many to list them all here. Some do not even have instagram. So I have chosen 9 I love and follow: @poppenliefde @barbaraspuppenwelt @mariasnaturetoys @notesfrombjorkasa @puppenherz_ @megan_monpetitfrere @pflanzenfaerberin @jimjamdolls @figandme
…I do follow and like to recommend even more amazing dollmakers, check who I also follow in my profile!) #sharethelove


Day 11: Post/Mail

Day 11 “post/mail” on #marchmeetthemaker challenge:
some bits and pieces I use packing up the dolls for their journey into a new home and adventure- always a bittersweet moment to us.


Day 12: Brand image

Day 12, #marchmeetthemaker is “brand image”: I have hand-drawn my brand image. From when it was a girl with doll&flag in the very beginning to today’s logo.
Always a part was the bow and my main color. Also, the typical doll hands should be present along with my ci colors…


Day 13: Photography


Today is day 13 of the #marchmeetthemaker challenge: “photography” – this is the setup I have up permanently in a corner of my doll studio.
Although I prefer to shoot pics of the dolls outside in natural lighting, especially in winter this setup is helpful. I am not the best photographer and am always learning new things here, but I enjoy doing my own photography and do like the control it gives me over my dolls’ images. Sometimes I prefer this neutral background so nothing will distract from the doll allowing it to speak for itself…


Day 14: Creative friends

Today’s #marchmeetthemaker prompt is “creative friends”: it took me some time how to address this but I decided against recommending one and rather post this rant:
I love creative people and I love how creativity can be contagious. So it is always good to support each other and stay connected. As for the “handmade dolls scene,” it is like with all creative artists – we are lonesome losing ourselves in our own world and art, also we are wild and free.;) So some may get along better than others ..but above all is the respect for each other’s work and the passion for the same craft… we therefore should support each other more selfless in the spirit of friendship.
Also, I am a great believer in Karma so all things you do should be with pure and good intentions.


Day 15: Work clothes

So since today’s #marchmeetthemaker prompt is “work clothes” I already laid out my comfy sweater shirt and jeans…only to come back to sneaky Sima trying on my clothes …sheesh, those nosy dolls! Actually, I was about to tell how I like to get ready and dressed in the mornings all set to conquer the day- even though I work from my doll studio at home. Also, the wool and threads tend to get everywhere so I like to have regular clothes on when working…


Day 16: Time to relax

Day 16 of #marchmeetthemaker is “time to relax”: I love spending time relaxing in the garden, sitting in the sun with a cup of coffee in my favorite mug, and just watching my little ones play.


Day 17: Feedback

Day 17 on #marchmeetthemaker asks for “feedback”: although sometimes it is hard to let go of a doll on which I spend so many hours and lovemaking, I do love to hear back from my customers about how the doll was welcomed. Also, I do imagine all the cool adventures this doll now will go on with her new friend which helps with the parting part…;)


Day 18: Hyperlapse

Day 18 #marchmeetthemaker is “Hyperlapse”: here is me needle felting a little doll head. Adding wool and compressing it with a felting needle until a little face starts showing. I love this possibility in dollmaking and often am amazed at what personality all of a sudden starts showing from mere strips of wool. Of course, I had to speed up the process immensely here and note that the face is not nearly finished after this as this is only the beginning- more fine felting is needed here. And yes, many hours may go by working this way on a doll’s face…


Day 19: Helper

Today’s #marchmeetthemaker #instachallenge asks for a “helper”: that has to be my family. My husband always supports my ideas – he’s also talented at woodworking & therefore building my custom dollmaking tools. Then my boys always “helping” me out the 4-year-old by testing my prototype dolls (if they survived this boy, they are good to go) and the little one keeping me cheerful company in the studio (only distracting me every other minute from my work…)


Day 20: Sketchbook


Day 20 #marchmeetthemaker is “sketchbook”: I already wrote an extended post on the importance of sketching for a dollmaker in my blog… but I’ll repeat it here:
I love to draw and it helps me sort all the ideas in my head. This is why I have several sketchbooks around.
Nevertheless, I am always doodling on something nearby like pieces of paper or napkins  – I like to draw the idea for a doll and wardrobe down but I also like to capture glimpses of feelings and ideas I get for later reference. So yeah, I think I could not live a day without sketching something…


Day 21: Inspiration

It’s day 21 of #marchmeetthemaker and the subject today is “inspiration”:
As a dollmaker I find inspiration in almost everything I come across in my daily life. To name a few; it got to be books – the ones from my childhood along with the ones my kids read now.
Also my kids are a huge inspiration: watching their everyday play, seeing them interact with others, watching them in the park or playground, and being out and about in nature is always idea-sparking. I also try to gather ideas and inspiration on my #pinterest boards. And as mentioned yesterday I always have to scribble down ideas and sometimes this way inspiration strikes, too…

Day 22: Close Up


Today’s #marchmeetthemaker is “close up”: there are so many details of dolls I love that deserve a close-up. I am a neat freak when it comes to seams.
Also, I can get lost in all the cute details like dimples and buttons… But I gotta admit I do love freckles. Also since I started making dolls I am kinda obsessed with doll hands. I love my dolls having big hands so they have a full grip on the adventures they are about to go on. Also, these big doll hands are perfect for Kids to hold on.

Day 23: Recent make


It’s already day 23 of #marchmeetthemaker and the prompt today is “recent make”:
this is the most recent custom doll I made. A quirky 45 cm redhead with green eyes and freckles.

Day 24: Milestone

happy birthday blog

Day 24 #marchmeetthemaker is “Milestone”: this is a photo from July 2015 – the first anniversary and my first year after having founded my label and blog rosaminze.de in 2014 – so much has happened since then and I’d have to say it’s been a rollercoaster – but I have learned so much along the way.
Never would I want to miss out on all the wonderful and enriching encounters I have had ever since I started my dollmaking journey. And I still have so many milestones professionally but also personally… always learning new things about running a business, learning new skills, and balancing creativity and passion with my everyday life as a mom of two.
I hope to continue reaching new milestones every day – and acknowledging not only the big ones but being grateful for the small ones as well.


Day 25: Packaging

#marchmeetthemaker Day 25: “packaging”. The packaging is so unique as is each doll.
I like to wrap them up like presents to a dear friend when sending off a doll in a new home. Also, I like to include some handwritten sentences and often a special drawing of some kind. I guess since I love getting special mail and putting in some effort, I like it to be a nice experience for others too.


Day 26: Why I do this


My belated answer to #marchmeetthemaker day 26:”Why I do this” is the answer to most questions in life: for love. It’s that simple.
And it should be. The love I have for dolls, a love I want to share, seeing the love the child has for a beloved doll as a companion and friend, the love for what I do, and being able to bring more love into a sometimes dark place the world can be. Just sharing the love by simply doing what I love and I can not help it. Also, the urge to create and share is inevitable within.


Day 27: Goals

On today’s #marchmeetthemaker it’s all about “goals”: there are many little ones I do hope to achieve along the way on this adventure I chose to follow called dollmaking… but above all is one big goal with two simple words “be happy”! Having been in some pretty dark places in my life I sadly do know the downside of life and how hard it can be to pull yourself out and up again… so I promised myself I would never be trapped in this gloomy dark state of mind again- one way to do so is my happy place called dollmaking ????. Being a child at heart, always believing in the power of good and that light will win over darkness in the end has helped a lot. And I do surround myself with constant reminders to simply “be happy” with what and where you are right now.


Day 28: Organised

Day 28 of #marchmeetthemaker is “organized”: I l.o.v.e. making lists, so it’s obvious I love organizing and planning.
I have used my @websterspages planner for the second year now. However this year I have filled in the calendar pages by @ellaonthego. I like to color code and time block so this is quite handy. Also, I use my computer and iPhone for various reminders and to schedule my dollmaking work hours along with the kids’ appointments, too.
Oh, and I like making lists on my iPhone on the go. For example one with cute dolls names when I am out and about and don’t have pen and paper on me.
Because my planner sits pretty stationary on my worktable and is not with me all the time, I, unfortunately, tend to scribble notes on little papers all over the place.
Nevertheless, I like to think I have a system working pretty well for my needs and am quite organized that way… ;)


Day 29: Can’t live without

Day 29 of#marchmeetthemaker is “can’t live without”: this one is a tough one for me…there are far too many “things” I’d like to name like my iPhone or camera or the internet or coffee …or my family or our cats or …well you get the point. So I thought at the end of the day it comes down to one thing I can’t live without …and it’s quite simple: LOVE ❣️


Day 30: Top tip


Today’s day 30 of #Marchmeetthemaker and the prompt is “top tip”:
I would say for a dollmaker it would be “always stay a child at heart”❤️…
but thinking about it …this also can be applied to life in general.


Day 31: Customers


Today is already the last day of #Marchmeetthemaker and it’s been amazing!
I hope you enjoyed the little behind-the-scenes of my #smallbusiness as well and have learned a bit more about my dolls and me.
Now on to the last prompt, which is “customers”: So this one goes out to you…, my wonderful customers❣️
I could not be more grateful for you all! Thank you for always supporting me and for all the nice and encouraging words…it does mean the world.
An artist soul always struggling with self-doubts I would be nothing without my customers and supporters (also I would probably drown in dolls by now), who do share the love for handmade dolls. I do treasure every kind word they share.
Danke! You keep me going and believing in myself and that dreams may come true…

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