"The destiny of nations lies far more in the hands of women, the mothers, than in the possessors of power, or those of innovators who for the most part do not understand themselves. We must cultivate women, who are the educators of the human race, else the new generation cannot accomplish its task."

~ Friedrich Froebel

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Big Announcement!




Big news for Olabelhe! I am starting a new little venture and I couldn't be more excited! 

The story of how Olivia & Bella came to be is so sweet, I thought it should be shared. This past Summer had a bit of a rocky beginning with me finding myself in unfamiliar territory after recovering from a pretty serious spine injury. After weeks of recovery I found myself needing a creative outlet to take my mind off things and I turned back to my love of sewing. Just for fun, I decided to start making some miniature versions of my classic Olabelhe designs for dolls and the love affair with these tiny little creations began. For several years now I have received countless requests for coordinating doll patterns for 18” dolls, like American Girl and other similar dolls to match my designs. So that your daughters and grand-daughters, or even you, if you are a doll collector, could dress your dolls in my style. After a lot of thought, and sleepless nights, I decided to start a new little division of Olabelhe where I will be offering one-of-a-kind couture clothing for dolls. 

Now, it’s time for you to meet Olivia, my new little spokesmodel. I decided that I wanted to have a very beautiful Waldorf doll created for me by a doll artist to be my model. After a lot of research, I found an amazing doll artist in Australia named Reena Morris who owns “Bumbabeena”. Reena and I worked together and while she was creating Olivia to my specifications in Australia, I was here creating a mini wardrobe for her 3 year old daughter. After a few weeks of lots of sewing it was time for packages to be shipped around the world and for the wait to begin. For days I patiently, okay I admit it, I wasn’t very patient, and then Olivia finally arrived and I was speechless with the amazing gift I received. Olivia became our new adopted little girl and everyone at my house was completely enchanted by her. Then I went a little nutty and I have to admit I’ve become a bit of a “crazy doll lady”! Which is just so funny because as a child I never paid much attention to dolls, but rather I loved my plushies and the same is true with my daughter Abby. 



Olivia has been designed to be the same size as the popular 18” dolls like AG and others. However, her hands and feet are a bit larger but that does not affect the sizing of the doll clothing that I am creating. Each outfit is created one at a time, by hand and a lot of love, to create a totally unique piece. I will only be creating one-of-a-kind outfits and none will be reproduced. Many of my designs are miniature versions of my classic Olabelhe designs while others are based upon new inspirations. So, you ask . . if this is Olivia, where is Bella? Well, because Reena and I had such a wonderful experience working together we have decided to do it again and soon we will be starting a new collaboration and she will be creating a new doll for me and a best friend for Olivia. So, expect to meet Bella sometime this autumn. We can’t wait for her to arrive!

For several weeks now I have been preparing for my new little venture. My studio is alive again and I have a huge collection of tiny clothing just waiting to be shared. Because my schedule is quite hectic with homeschooling my four children my plan is to offer a few new outfits each week. Currently, I will only be offering completed outfits that I have lovingly created here in my studio. However if time allows, I may add a limited collection of sewing patterns for dolls in the future. I cannot tell you how much fun this has all been and how excited I am about this new little business of mine. And the great news is that my new little model will not grow up on me, she will forever stay a little girl and not outgrow her clothes faster than I can make them! 

We hope you love what we’ve put together for you!

Dawn & Olivia



Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Last Two Dresses Are Ready!




The final two dresses are being added to the box today and getting ready to head off on their big adventure to Australia. I cannot tell you how much fun I had creating this mini wardrobe for a very special little girl. Her mom can't wait for the warmer weather to arrive and for her to be able to wear all her new things. The "Annikka" that is shown in the top photo is a size larger so that she can wear it next season. I have a bit of a confession. I wasn't sure what it was going to feel like sewing for someone I don't know. Almost everything I have sewn over the past several years has been for Abby and Olabelhe, but this is the first time I have actually created specifically for someone else and much to my surprise I truly loved it. Once I saw a photo of my little client my heart was filled and my imagination went wild and I was up again at all hours sewing like a crazy woman and now it's over and I am honestly sad. When Abby went through her ginormous growth spurt and shot up like a weed, I knew the days of twirly skirts and puffed sleeves were ending and to be honest I talked myself out of my love of sewing and designing. I focused my attentions in other places which, was also a good thing although my kids might disagree because all of a sudden they had a lot more school work to do than before.

However, now the wheels are turning again and I have a few new ideas as to how I might be able continue to design and sewing, and keep up with all the kids school stuff and maybe even get in a few hours of sleep here and there...maybe.

Dawn

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Very Special Package Is Getting Ready To Head Off To Australia









Oh boy have I been busy in the sewing room over the past few days! I am busy putting together a custom order that is going to be heading off to Australia in just a few days and I have been having so much fun. My little client is a size 2 so these are all itty-bitty and so sweet. I have a few more dresses to add  to the box but everything else is ready to go. But I have to tell you a great story. The mom sent me a photo of her daughter as a baby in the sweetest little knot dress and in her email to me she told me how very much she loved that little dress and how sad she was when it didn't fit her daughter anymore. Well, you know me. I love a challenge. I studied the picture and I even had one of the exact fabrics in the original and many other prints which were very similar. So, I decided to surprise her with a re-creation of the original but in a bigger size so that she could enjoy it again, btw it's the green one in the pictures! Needless to say when she saw the pictures she was overwhelmed with emotion and in her words she was "speechless". I was so happy to do it for her knowing that it would most likely make her really happy and it did!

I can't tell you how good it feels to be sewing again. It's been too long since I had endless hours in my sewing room with the sound of my machine humming and piles of fabrics set out for me to dream about. I will be quite sad when this order is filled and I have no little one to sew for anymore. I told my husband that it almost made me want to have another one. . . . ALMOST!

Dawn

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Little Stitches




This summer has proven to be an interesting one, and not at all the way I had planned it or had hoped for.  I had so many grand plans for so many things and very few of them have actually happened. It all began at the end of April when I developed this crazy insane headache that just wouldn't go away. For weeks I suffered with it and I spent far too many hours in dr.'s offices trying to find out the reason for it and after lots of "fun" tests they couldn't find a thing. I just kept hearing "you are the picture of health" I thought???? "Okay then, why do I feel like I have an axe in my head?" The headache was joined by several other interesting symptoms and finally on Memorial Day weekend I couldn't take it any longer and found myself in the hospital for several days. . . most of which, I will add that I don't remember because they had me on some pretty intense drugs which rendered me unconscious for days. In the end they found nothing and sent me home with a plethora of drugs which btw I refused to take because they scared me to death. Finally, I diagnosed myself and started seeing my new best friend, my chiropractor!  Apparently, I zigged when I should have zagged without realizing it and completely threw my spine out of whack and that what's was causing the unbearable headache and the other symptoms as well. Needless to say it's been a very long couple of months and finally I am beginning to feel better. I cannot tell you how wonderful it feels to be almost pain free and human again, although, I will say that this entire experience has really taken it's toll on me and I am afraid it's going to be quite a while before I am completely back to myself. Blah, blah, blah...anyway the entire point of this post was to share some recent sewing I have done. I finally got back into my studio and decided to play around with a few ideas. This time my model is much smaller, but guaranteed not to grow up on me. I went up into Abby's bedroom and grabbed one of the Waldorf dolls I made for her a few years ago and had fun designing some new duds for her in full Olabelhe style. Little dresses, petticoats, pinafores and pantaloons and of course we can't forget the hat! I can't tell you how much fun I am having, and it feels so good to be making pretty things again.

Dawn

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fourth Of July Pattern Sale!!!!


Happy Fourth of July!

In honor of the holiday I decided to celebrate by having a sale for you! It's BOGO of your choice of patterns. Either PDF or Printed Patterns. However, please note that there is a limited supply of printed patterns left and I will not be reprinting these any longer due to the high costs of printing and wanting to give you the lowest prices possible. You can check the availability on my website and I will do my best to keep track of patterns as they sell out. So, how does it work??? Simply purchase as many patterns as you like, there is no limit! and then email me with the titles of the ones you would like as your gift/gifts and I will either email or "snail"mail them to you. Please title your email BOGO so I will be sure to get to your email quickly!

You can email me at Dawn@Olabelhe.com with any requests or questions!

Have a fun and safe Holiday weekend!

Dawn



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Lots More Additions Added To Abby's Attic!

You just have to go take a peek at all the cute new things I have added to Abby's Attic Shop! There are even things in there that Abby never got to wear, such a pity because they are so sweet. She went through a huge growth spurt and it seemed like overnight she jumped 2 sizes! Now, believe it or not she doesn't have a single mama-made thing in her closet that fits her and she is not happy about it. I need to work on that. She has been requesting a maxi-dress and some "pretty summer tops and skirts". With her being so tall now we are extremely limited as to where we can shop and the "one" place that is very popular with the t'weens and teens that you all know what I am talking about, she simply hates. However, we did find a few basics in there that she did agree to, but it's not much. So, I need to dust off the sewing machine and get cracking to make my girl some things that she'll love. However, that means I need to clean out more goodies from her overflowing closet and make room for new pretties. So, pop over there and see all the treasures I have added and let me know if anything sparks your interest.





and so many more!!!!!!

Please email me if you have any questions . . .

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

New Additions in Abby's Attic


I've been doing a little dusting and cleaning in Abby's Attic. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what Abby's Attic is, I will explain. I have been attempting to find new homes for a lot of the samples I have made over the years and I opened a little shop on my website to share them with you. Please keep in mind that these are samples. Each is one of a kind and has only been worn once for photos. I cannot reproduce any of these in different sizes as I no longer have the fabrics or the time to do so. So pop over to see what new things I have added to the shop and see if there is anything your little girl might like to add to her closet this season.


Here are just a few of the new items to choose from.....Happy Shopping!

Please feel free to email me with any questions you might have.

Dawn@Olabelhe.com

Dawn





    





Wednesday, April 9, 2014

World Travelers . . Well, Kind Of!

 Korean Lotus Lanters (which really light up)

 A Spirit House from Thailand

 My Travel Journal of all my ideas and notes - the kids each have their own travel journal to hold all the treasures they have made during their visit.

 Homemade Passports - complete with stamps from each country that we visit!

A Japanese Fan - Made by Abby.

 Chinese Lanterns - created by my kiddos

 Origami paper dolls - so much fun  to make!

 Or collection of game pieces from games kids play around the world. 
This has been an absolute blast to learn about.

Koi Kites hanging from our classroom ceiling

Hello Dear Friends!

Sorry I've been so quiet here on my blog. I feel as though I have neglected it and been away for too long. The winds of change have taken me to such an amazing place and I couldn't be more excited. After making the decision to stop sewing and designing patterns in order to devote myself completely to home schooling my kids, I found myself on an exciting new adventure. Up until then I had been relying on different curriculums for each subject matter at varying grade levels, and to be completely honest I wasn't completely thrilled with most of them. I found myself supplementing all the time in order to fill in the gaps and tailoring it for our needs. I'm sure many of you who homeschool feel the same way. Plus, with homeschooling growing in popularity there are so many more options to choose from and to be honest it can be a bit overwhelming at times. One of the aspects of learning that I have always wanted to instill in my kids is that learning can and should be fun! I hate the thought of children dreading the mention of "school time" with lots of grumbles and groans. Therefore, I have always tried my best to turn it around and make it a much more positive experience with lessons that make an impression and create memories for my kids.

So, I decided to try my hand at writing my own homeschool curriculum. Imagine that . . . I guess I'm just not happy unless I am creating something. The kids had been itching to have a better Geography experience and because it's one of my personal favorites I started there. I wanted it to be largely project based, but also one that touched on all the senses. I also wanted it to have a world view so that my kids could open their minds to different ideas about often over looked topics. Each week we visit a new country and immerse ourselves in that particular culture. Not only are we studying the geography of that country but we are learning about the people, animals, nature, art, music, cuisine, etc.etc. The kids are loving it, and I have to admit. . . so am I! I have spent more hours than I can even begin to count during the wee hours of the day doing endless research on each country trying to uncover fun and interesting items that I know that my kids will just eat up. Our journey began in Asia and as you can see from the photos our classroom is filled with projects and these are just a few that we have made. While the kids are working on projects I take that time to read folktales to them from that country or we listen to ethnic music to create an atmosphere. At the end of each week we have a family celebration and the kids and I prepare a feast from that country. I think this is their favorite part. But then again my kids are total foodies and are very anxious and excited to try new things. A few weeks ago we made Japanese Udon (which is a type of noodle soup) and my kids insisted on eating it traditionally with chop sticks. It was so much fun and they honestly did a great job. I was totally impressed. I can't even begin to share all the details with you because it is quite intense but all the while being lots of fun. I have shown my curriculum to a few friends of mine who happen to be home schooling parents as well as teachers and they have 100% encouraged me to publish this so that others can enjoy it as well.

Wow! I never imagined that I would be writing curriculum for home schoolers. What is that old saying? "When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window". Right now, that's exactly where I am being led. So, while I may not be creating pretty little dresses anymore my focus is still on creating for children, just in a much different way. Not only am I working on this Geography curriculum I am also writing a study guide for American History for my two oldest. Life is never dull around here and I wouldn't change a thing.

Perhaps, Olabelhe may soon have a new division of Homeschool Curriculum. We'll just have to see where life takes me.

Dawn

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