Winter Doll Making Workshop



Ancestor dolls

I’m creating a series of ancestor dolls to honour my female ancestors.

I’m using a template from Pamela Hastings, cut on card then collaged and embellished.

Below is my maternal grandmother. She was the youngest of 7 children and worked before her marriage in her father’s painting and decorating business. She had a love of the water and sunbathing. The family used to travel to Sandringham where they had a bathing box. The trip would take a whole day by horse and cart. You can see a picture of the old bathing boxes here.

I’ve given Nana a modest 20’s bathing suit and a hat to match. I always remember her with hat and gloves.

my maternal grandmother Bertha
my maternal grandmother Bertha

circles of feminine wisdom


Paper doll cut outs with personal messages on the back are a great way for women to share their wisdom with one another. I recently had all my guests at a birthday afternoon tea do this for me. For those who were unable to attend, I mailed out a doll for them to complete. When I have them back I will string the dolls together into a circle of Women’s Wisdom as a reminder of the support women provide for me in my life and the wisdom of the feminine. 

I used a template I found on line and scrap booking paper from Aldi to make these dolls.

La Lumina

For the last 5 years I have been taking part in an online Medicine doll course with Barb Kobe of the USA. What a process of growth and transformation ensued as I sought to find ways to “reclaim my power”!  In shamanic societies loss of power is called “soul loss” and regaining these parts is called “soul retrieval”. By bringing lost parts of our selves home we can again embody our fullness and wholeness.

This doll making course enabled me to explore ways in which I’d given power away by conforming to others expectations,  disregarding my intuition, and allowing self judgments and criticism to dictate my self worth  just to name a few.

My final doll, the Inner Healer brings all that I have learned in this journey together. I called her “La Lumina” which means “The Carrier of Light”. She stands as a reminder of the inner wisdom and the gifts that I  have  available to me.

Below is a little of her message:

” I am welcoming your child back to her home, the place of the heart. She is
always a part of the universe, born of the celestial bodies, the moon, sky and
stars. She is part of the lineage of female ancestors-the craftswomen, home
creators and nurturers.

I am here to remind you of your Inner Flame that always burns within you and the spiral of expansion and contraction that creates flow and life itself.

Here in my Medicine bag I hold the gifts of this process”.

I would like to thank Barb for her facilitation of a remarkable journey and to all my doll sisters for their healing presence. It has been such a gift to share and learn in this way.

If you are interested in participating a course or would like a Healing Doll made for yourself, friend or relative please email me on the contact page.

seasons of the heart

With the coming of the warmer months here in the southern hemisphere, I am always filled with a sense of gratitude for the change in seasons. Mother Earth continues to seed, grow, bud, develop, flourish and die. Winter is not a complete annihilation or death. Summer is not endless heat.  And so it is within us as well. We cannot stay forever in the dark, as depression would have us think and feel. Nor can we burn our energy endlessly in extroverted pursuit of summer fun and frivolity. Everything has its season and by trusting in the outer cycles of growth and change we can begin to attune our inner world with them as well. Then we begin to feel more alive, more present and embodied in the natural order of  Gaia.

seasons of the heart

Emergent Spring

As Mother Earth transitions from the dark and contained winter gestation, that glimpse of light that signals the coming of Spring is both powerful and gently feminine. Its beauty is captured in the rise of the moon and the pure white of the blossoms that dance from tight buds.  I created this doll to celebrate the hopeful emergent energy that comes with this change in season, both outer and within our psyche.