About

I want you to enjoy your doll collection every day.  If your life is anything like mine, you find yourself stretched a thousand ways to Friday (and back again).  Relaxing and enjoying your hobbies often gets pushed way down the list of priorities behind, work, kids, school, and a million other commitments.

 

My goal for this site is to invite you to play again, to dust off your dolls (or your daughter’s dolls), your camera, your sewing machine, or your knitting needles and spend some time reconnecting with the creative.  Take a few minutes a day, or an hour on a Saturday afternoon, remembering what you love and connecting with the dolls and hobbies that bring you joy.  You’re worth it!  And it’s way cheaper then therapy.

 

Play Line Doll Collector Hi there!  I’m Stephanie, and I have loved toys and dolls all of my life.  As I child, I collected Star Wars figures and Cabbage Patch Kids.  As a young adult, I joined the Ty Beanie Baby craze and amassed a huge collection, which my children still enjoy throwing at each other to this day. In my mid 20’s, I asked my new husband for a Lee Middleton baby doll for Christmas. Yes, he thought it was weird. Yes, I got it anyway.

 

After my four children were born, at a rapid and insane rate of one-every-other-year starting in 1999, most of my waking hours were spent  keeping them fed and relatively clean.  With no time for grown up toys, I almost forgot that I was a doll enthusiast!

 

Then in December of 2011, my mother-in-law,  a retired elementary school teacher well acquainted with the quality and educational value of American Girl dolls, sent my daughter a doll for Christmas.   An avid seamstress anxious to outfit my daughter’s new doll, I decided to order a “fit model” for myself from eBay.  I was 12 when American Girl debuted in 1986,  “too old” for play dolls by then, so prior to that fateful Christmas, I had never experienced an AG doll first hand.  When I opened the box from eBay that contained a well-loved Samantha doll, it took about 2 minutes flat to realize I’d stumbled onto my next great toy obsession.

 

Both my collection and my daughter’s collection have grown rapidly since then and, in addition to American Girl, I’ve discovered a whole world of play line dolls to collect and enjoy.  Play dolls in my collection include: American Girl,  Maplelea, Kidz ‘n Cats, Gotz Little Sisters,  Paola Reina, Corolle Les Cheries,  Liv, Monster High, My Salon Doll, and Hearts for Hearts.  To name a few. 😉

 

I’d love to share my projects and passion for dolls with you!  Please sign up for the Many Small Friends email newsletter.    I’ll send you updates about the site and neat stuff like free patterns and fun doll projects.  I won’t junk up your inbox nor will I share your email with anyone else.

 



9 comments

  1. Nonna says:

    Sounds like we walked a similar path! I enjoy the 18 inch scale much more than tiny doll sewing and crafts. And I too was 12 in 1986 missing the original fad (my mother would not have spent that much on a doll anyway but I had beautiful hand made dolls from my grandmother when I was younger).

  2. Kathy says:

    I’m so happy to find this blog through Karen — and the encouragement to indulge my love of dolls. I raised five children, the youngest being my only daughter, and she was a tomboy who has never cared for doll. I just thought it was over until in retirement I decided I could do anything I want. I started with a well-loved “Kit.” I now have Molly and also a “Favorite Friends” doll — added to my collection from a ’50’s childhood. Thank you so much for your posts.

    • Steph says:

      Yay! I’m glad you found me too (and thank you Karen!). I think there is something very empowering about letting ourselves love what we love, even without a “reason”. 🙂 Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

  3. Darlene says:

    I am glad I found your blog as I have become very addicted to making AG size clothes. My niece got an McKenna for her birthday 2 years ago so I made her a box of clothes as my gift. I have not stopped making them. I love making new patterns and especially shoes. I raised 5 boys so I had no time for dolls, now I have a small collection. Thank you for the transfer info very neat!

    • Steph says:

      Took me four tries to get “one of each”. 😀 If #4 had been a boy, I would have given up the pursuit. I’m pretty sure my girl will outgrow dolls long before her mother!

  4. Lisa Miller says:

    Hi Steph!
    I enjoy reading your blog! I NEVER knew AG had sales!

    When my daughter was little, my aunt bought her grand daughters each a complete Kirsten set. The company accidentally sent her 3 sets. I am usually very honest! But, she didn’t return this set and gave it to my daughter for Christmas. Awesome! I couldn’t have afforded that set. My daughter, now an English professor, always loved reading and gobbled up all the AG historical books. The next year, I bought her Felicity and made period clothes.

    Jump ahead 20 more years. I couldn’t wait until my granddaughter was old enough! Bought her a doll like her last Christmas. Time stood still as I made her outfit after outfit. My granddaughter was thrilled with each one! This Christmas, my son adopted two new granddaughters! I had an excuse to buy two more! They love them! Made all three of my granddaughters frozen outfits for themselves and their dolls.

    My hubby is indulging me too! I bought myself one this year. I would have rather paid $68! I have started to add Ag clothes to my Thimbledoodle shop on etsy. So, my doll was a “business investment”! twenty year old Felicity is also one of my models. I probably won’t get much per hour of work on the clothes… but it is my dream job.

    I can’t wait to make your backpack, apron and shrug pattens. You said it was ok to use your patterns to make them to sell? If and when I do, do you want me to add your blog site as credit? I am a Liberty Jane partner and add them as credit when I use their patterns.
    Thank you! Lisa

    • Steph says:

      Lisa! I love your story. Love love love! I spend more time then I will ever admit publicly (heh) following AG sales. Can I call myself an AG shopping ninja? Maybe I just did. 😀 I have tried to decide whether to post sale info on the blog or on the Facebook page, but am not sure how interested people are? Many times the best stuff goes FAST and since my readership is still small-ish, I’m not sure by the time people read the blog or Facebook page, if the info is still relevant. Anyway, I think if the site continues to grow and more folks sign up on the Facebook page [ https://www.facebook.com/ManySmallFriends ], I will start posting more “insider” sale stuff.

      That aside, I’m so glad you bought yourself a doll! I bought myself one twelve. 😀 You can absolutely sell stuff made with my patterns, I’d be thrilled if you did! Design credit would also be much appreciated since obviously pattern sales fund my ability to spend time.. making more patterns!

      Anyway, thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment today with your story. I’m so happy to “meet” other collectors and dolly enthusiasts!

  5. Ellen says:

    woe is me!!! 1st I’m dragged to pintrest and now I have found more doll lovers!!! Talk about life long love of dolls..it’s long ladies. So glad to have found this site and more addicted friends. Love the blog and am looking at trying both sized shrugs. I have 7 AG dolls…started with a fitting model too and mom couldn’t quit. Just recently was led to the Paola Reina dolls and have Carol…Les Cheries Camille is on her way home as I type….so many dolls, so much fabric….anyone got time to pass to me?

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