babies, bookmarks and blueberries

11 December, 2011 ·

I have been making lots of things for Christmas markets lately. I have made so many of these babies but people keep dropping in and seeing my stash and asking if they can have one and I keep giving them away!

I don’t mind a bit because I love people enjoying the small things I create and I like having an excuse to create more. But I will never make a business woman.

The other reason I’m glad to give them away is that lots of nice things seem to be flowing my way too. A week or so ago I was looking in a bookshop for something to help me along with my own writing and I stumbled on The Doll Shop Downstairs, a children’s book by Yona Zeldis McDonough. What a beautiful, beautiful story.

I read it in one sitting and floated for the rest of the afternoon on a cloud of that unique joy and satisfaction that comes with fixing and creating things you love. McDonough captures the feeling between the words somehow. (Also the main character is called Anna – hooray!) When I got home I googled her to see if I could send her a line or two about her beautiful book and within just a couple of hours I received a very kind response. Then on Friday this interesting-looking envelope arrived in the mail.

and inside…

…bookmarks and also a gorgeous signed bookplate! This will be the book lots of my younger friends will receive from me for Christmas this year (some now with bookmarks!) but I would also recommend it to grown up makers-of-things – people like me, who spend happy hours watching things form in their hands and are delighted to read the work of someone who understands the joy of it.

As for the blueberries, I’m afraid it’s generally true that things grow in my garden despite me and not because of me, but nonetheless, look! I grew some blueberries! There are about seven altogether, which is a bumper crop after the three I got last year. I’m quite chuffed.

This blog post was brought to you by the letter B.


  1. Maureen Yummy! Both the book and the berries look delicious. Happy holidays Anna.
    December 11, 2011 at 10:31 pm ·
  2. Emily Ah, that envelope with the bird (an owl?) on it is gorgeous! I have a love of beautiful stationery. Those blueberries look succulent - congratulations! :D
    December 12, 2011 at 12:32 am ·
  3. brigit maybe you had more blue berries but the birds ate them. I have trouble with birds and fruit I grow.The bookmarks are cute and so it the baby!
    December 12, 2011 at 11:44 am ·
  4. anna Thank you Maureen and Emily! Brigit, I actually made a kind of cage out of chicken wire for the blueberry plant for just that reason. It seems rather a lot of trouble for seven blueberries but who knows, perhaps next year I will get ten.
    December 12, 2011 at 1:06 pm ·
  5. Margaret B. Ten blueberries next year! Such great optimism (but I'm hoping for you that you'll get 15... a nice accompaniment to your morning oatmeal!) I've been eying The Doll Shop Downstairs for quite some time (my favorite book catalog carries it) and I will now have to track down a copy. Isn't it the story of the start of Madame Alexander Dolls? My favorite doll as a child was a Madame Alexander. She arrived dressed in clothing traditional to Holland and she had pretty blond braids. My best friend had a Madame Alexander doll with brown hair. We played with them endlessly together and made them lots of clothes... xo P. P.S. How nice to see a brother or sister baby on your blog... the wee one here in my windowsill waves 'hello...'
    December 12, 2011 at 2:53 pm · Reply
  6. Melita The Doll Shop Downstairs looks wonderful -it's on the Christmas list now! Have you seen The Doll People series? It's quite good - lovely illustrations.
    December 12, 2011 at 9:15 pm ·