Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Here is Sasha out for a stroll with her vintage baby pram. These delightful prams are in perfect scale for a Sasha doll -- which is both delightful and unusual. They do not show up very often but if you keep a sharp eye out you might find one on eBay. They are a perfect accessory for your Sasha.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


When I first began collecting Sasha dolls in the early 1970s I created a life-size paper model that was easy to roll up and carry with me when I went shopping for doll furniture, accessories, and even fabrics. It was a lot easier than taking an actual doll.
Later I also created a Sasha ruler so that I could measure things and determine if they were in scale.
I have recreated that life-size paper model and ruler for all my Sasha friends. I have also created two sheets of "everyday objects" in scale for your Sasha dolls. These items are in adult size -- not doll size. They are intended to show just how large the adult items would appear to Sasha if she was a human child.
If you would like copies of these four sheets just send an e-mail with the word MODEL in the subject line to


Monday, December 29, 2008


Once again Sasha has two choices - one less than Goldilocks - to find the right size chair to sit in.
Generally, a human adult chair seat measures (seat to floor) the same distance as an adult leg from just behind the knee down to the heel. The would be about 17 or 18 inches. If Sasha could bend her knees and sit in a child size chair the measurement from behind the knee to the heel would be about 4 or 5 inches.
Lots of beautiful chairs have been created for American Girl size dolls as well as many for the larger size Asian BJDs who are often 28 to 30 inches tall and would be about the size of a Sasha scale adult.

To be continued...

Sunday, December 28, 2008


It is often difficult to calculate the true "scale" of any doll. Most toy companies cheat the true scale and use what the industry calls doll scale. If the doll is an adult size, like Barbie or Tyler Wentworth, it is much easier to establish true scale because the real world is based on adult sizes.
When the doll is a child, like Sasha, then finding true scale becomes much more difficult because the child basically lives in an adult size world. So, a Sasha doll has two different scales available -- child size and adult size. Furniture and accessories can come from both worlds. Remember that adult world scale is based on a male figure 6 feet tall. A female would be based on a figure 5 feet 6 inches tall.
Here are two images to help see the two scales or relationships. First we see a doll family created by Helen Kish who sculpts realistic dolls very close to normal human proportions. The adult doll is 28 inches tall and her brunette daughter is 16 inches tall -- about half the size of the adult. The second image is by Tom Tierney who creates many historical family paperdoll books for Dover. Once again we see the child is about half the height of an adult male.
So this means that Sasha probably lives in a world of 28 inch female adults. If you can determine what the size (scale) of furniture and accessories is, then you can determine if it is in scale for a Sasha.
A good example of real scale vs doll scale is the American Girl doll line. Mattel has used doll scale for most of the furniture and accessories. That means it is under scale for the 18 inch American Girl doll but very close to being real scale for a 16 inch Sasha doll.
If you enjoy creating environments for your Sashas then I suggest that you start clipping photographs that show adult figures in a setting. Then you can imagine how your Sasha would fit into the scene - the Sasha will be about half the height of the adult.

To be continued...

Saturday, December 27, 2008


One of the later Gotz production dolls that caught my eye is "Michel" the boy scout. He has a delightful outfit and accessories and is quite a handsome lad. As I have mentioned before, my favorite Sashas are those from the early 70s when I originally created my first family of dolls. But, every now and then I adopt one of their later cousins.
Michel, like all boy scouts, follows the scout motto of "Be Prepared" and is ready to play with friends, and dispense love and charm.

Friday, December 26, 2008


It is hard to resist the innocence of very young children who believe in Santa Claus. That innocence is best captured in the original version of "Miracle on 34th Street" starring the very young Natalie Wood.
Personally I hang on to as much of that child-like innocence as possible by collecting dolls and Teddy Bears as well as working with children in hospitals. Whenever the real adult world gets too harsh I just retreat to that safer space inhabited by dolls and bears.
Christmas is still magical for most children and while many of us long for the good old days, we remember from our own childhood, there is still magic and there is still Santa for the very young.
For many years I used to call the young daughter of my friends in England and do my best HO HO HO for her each Christmas eve. She is grown up now and I rather miss her giggle and her childlike wonder at getting a call from Santa.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Sleigh bells ring, are you listening.
In the lane, snow is glistening.
A beautiful sight,
We're happy tonight.
Walking in a winter wonderland.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Remember all those kittens who lost their mittens? Karen wants mittens for her Sasha and Gregor dolls so I created a very simple pattern to make them in felt. I made them in yellow so that the seams would show. However, light colors just make them look larger than they look in person. I suggest darker colors.
The pattern has a folded over top edge so that the glove looks finished. The fabric then folds in half and gets one simple outline seam. I double stitched the seam with very close parallel sewing lines. Tight stitches - 15 on my Singer. Then you can very safely cut away the excess fabric creating a 1/16 inch seam allowance. Pattern works for both hands but you need to move the glove around on each hand until it looks natural.
Since the basic pattern is flat you can easily embellish it with embroidery or add a trim at the top. A pom pom on the back of the glove might be fun as well.

If you want this pattern just send an e-mail with the word MITTENS in the subject line to


Monday, December 22, 2008


The twins are at it again. These fellows do everything possible to be as different from each as they can be.
My friend Erica in New Zealand has knitted two distinctly different sweaters for them. The white one is made from hand-spun local wool and is one of her favorite designs. The striped sweater is a prototype based on the popular striped mohair sweaters of the 1970s.
The boys love their sweaters and are delighted to be wearing them in time for the holidays.

Thank you, Erica, for these terrific holiday gifts.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


This beautiful "London" Sasha is wearing her new bright red duffle coat to go shopping at Hamley's -- London's famous toy store. She has found a delightful stuffed fawn and a Paddington Bear for her younger sister and brother.
Yesterday we watched two of my favorite Christmas films - both set in England. First, the Dickens classic "A Christmas Carol" and then the more contemporary story told in "Love Actually." Both are filled with the spirit of Christmas.
The British have an interesting way of adopting characters from other countries and making them their own. Sasha was born in Switzerland but was reborn in England. The Teddy Bear was born in America, but the most famous Teddy Bear books, Paddington and Winnie the Pooh, were created in England.

Happy Christmas to our Sasha friends around the globe.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Where babies are concerned, happiness is a Teddy bear and a warm "woobie"
This Sasha baby has both. His woobie is actually a little quilted pot holder I found at a craft fair. When I photograph dolls I like to add one or two props that help to tell a little story in the imagination of the viewer. Children have been photographed with dolls and Teddy bears since Victorian times. Most little ones have a favorite toy or "woobie" and they are usually more comfortable with them close by.
The Urban dictionary defines "woobie" as "Something very precious and snuggly, like a bunny wunny or baby bankie."

Thursday, December 18, 2008


About the same time that I discovered my first Sasha doll I also discovered a charming little book by Joan Walsh Anglund titled "A Friend is Someone Who Likes You" that has now become a classic.
Friends come to us in many ways but with the advent of the Internet we have all discovered a new world of unseen friends who are often spread out around the globe.
This week one of my Gregors received a gift from Christine in Canada - a beautiful hand-knit sweater and socks. The quality and detail are amazing. Gregor especially likes the different color buttons. He just happens to be one of those little chaps who loves socks so the green and yellow stripe socks were a huge hit with him.
Now, having been surprised by a new and unexpected act of friendship, he is off to give this charming stuffed Gingerbread snowman to one of his favorite girls. Will there be mistletoe in his future?

Thank you, Christine, for your beautiful gift of friendship.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Sasha and Gregor are getting ready to join the carolers for an evening of songs and Christmas cheer. We wish everyone a happy holiday season.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Sasha is playing Santa by sending Christmas cards and packing up a few boxed items with her helper, Rudolph the Bear.
This 8.5 x 11 printable sheet includes a Santa card, a Penguin card, a Snowman card, and a Santa Bear gift box. Easy to print out on paper like Staples Photo Supreme double-sided matte paper.
If you would like a set of cards and a Santa Bear gift box to print and cut-n-assemble just send an e-mail with the word SANTA in the subject line to -

Saturday, December 13, 2008


The other day I received two DVDs from Marie Morgan that she produced for Sasha festivals in the UK. The first one is titled "English Sashas - the Early Years 1965 - 75" and the second one is titled "The Studio Dolls of Sasha Morgenthaler" Both of these DVDs are amazing and filled with stunning images of our favorite dolls.
The English Sashas features an interview with Brenda Walton who was associated with Trendon from the beginning. It also contains a short film showing the factory workers creating a doll for a little girl. As a collector I was spellbound watching the various stages of a doll's creation.
During the interview with Brenda we learn that Sasha kept one of the very first brunette Gregor dolls on her workbench beside her. In the second DVD we see Sasha at work in her studio and there is the Gregor watching her.
The Studio Dolls DVD has a long interview with Sasha but the translation left me wishing I spoke Sasha's language as the narrator's voice is distracting. Nevertheless, the film not only shows Sasha at work and displaying her dolls, but gives us a tour of beautiful images of her rare studio dolls.
I have only seen two actual studio dolls and had the honor of photographing them for DOLLS magazine. They are amazing in person and even more like-like than in photographs.
These two DVDs are a joy to watch and a treasure trove of images and information for a collector.
They are both a tribute to Sasha and her dolls and a gift of love to the entire Sasha community.
This is Marie's website

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I love to play around in Photoshop. Living in New York City doesn't really allow me to take Sasha out and photograph on "location" so I create location photos in Photoshop.
Gregor in Central Park is made from two photos. The trick to making a created photo look real is in the lighting. Make sure both images have the same light source. If you look closely you can see the light is hitting the buildings and Gregor from the same side.
Sasha in the Garden is really three images. The background is one photo, the foreground is another, and Sasha is "sandwiched" between them.
It takes a lot of time to make really good photo montages that appear real. These are just what I call "quickies" and not really as good as they could be if I wanted to spend more time.
And they are fun to do.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about boys and their dolls -- little boys, not grown up boys like me. My wife, Julie, was the daughter of a flame-haired, green-eyed Irish Mother and a dark-eyed full-blood Cherokee Father. Julie had beautiful red hair, bright green eyes, and dark skin with high cheekbones. She was a very successful model in her younger days. Our daughter, Alexandra, looks just like her. I wanted her named Alexandra because her nickname was supposed to be Sasha. But, she is called Alex by everyone.
When our son, Adam, was born it was as if every single drop of Irish DNA and my German-Swedish DNA had been filtered out and his Grandfather's Cherokee DNA had triumphed. Swimming in the gene pool can often produce interesting results.
People would innocently ask if Adam was adopted because he certainly did not look like either of us.
It was Adam's dark complexion, black hair, and deep chocolate eyes that I saw in my first Gregor playing in the window of "dollsandreams" so long ago.
Eventually, Adam wanted a Gregor of his own and named him WOLF. To this day I have no idea why. They were constant companions and from time to time Adam acquired a few companions (from my toy collection) to keep WOLF company. There was a 1930 velvet elephant with one broken tusk and a felt Alpine teddybear missing an eye. A tiny red wooden horse and a strange rag doll rabbit completed the group. WOLF's favorite toy was a tiny camera that had a button you could push to view images of places around the world.
Adam and Alex were home-schooled so they didn't have to put up with anyone's foolishness about their "different" appearance or their doll companions. They shared an interest in all types of toys -- both had trucks and dolls and wooden building blocks to play with. They shared time but not their toys which they were extremely possessive of.
When our family became bi-coastal, Adam always brought WOLF and his gaggle of misbegotten toys with him. They live with him still and are on loan for this photo. Adam still has a trunk full of outfits and "stuff" that WOLF has worn and played with over the years.
I don't know if Adam saw himself in WOLF or not. I do know that WOLF was his first real friend and confidant. They shared hundreds of adventures together before his sister was born.
As an only child I had many similar companions growing up. Well, I still have them now at 76 because I'm still in the process of growing up. I think toys help us to express aspects of ourselves as children that we cannot share with the adults around us. Children are smaller than adults and I think a doll becomes someone safe, and smaller, to confide in. I know that WOLF is the guardian of many secrets long forgotten by Adam.
That is his job, and he does it very well.

Monday, December 8, 2008


The basic rod and garter system can work out of doors as well as indoors. However, if you want to use it indoors you have to create a wooden base with a drilled hole to accept and hold the rod. This takes a bit of skill and the right tools.
Here is a quick and easy alternative that everyone can make. First, if you don't have the right elastic to make the garter you can used heavy felt. The problem with felt is that it stretches out over time and frequent use.
In the photos above I have made an indoor version. I used a white wire clothes hanger that I cut apart and reshaped to have a support rod and a triangle base. In the photos the base appears free standing, but in order for it to actually work you need to tape it down securely to a flat surface. You can then cover it with cloth or cardboard with just the rod exposed. I prefer to use a plain gray metal hanger because it tends to blend into any background if, by chance, it should show in the photo. The white one was for this demonstration only.
This is a quick and easy way to support your Sasha for a photo and allows for more interesting poses.
If you would like more information and instructions for creating this system just send an e-mail to

Sunday, December 7, 2008


The original version of this simple little dress was created in a bright green windowpane print edged in white. Later, I created a reversible version in a variety of different fabrics. The third version is cut out of felt and paired with a sweater. This is an easy pattern to work with and the closure in front can either resolve in a simple tied version or by using a decorative slip buckle.
The fun of this design is in what each designer adds to it. I have done it in dozens of fabrics and trims as well as by adding various pockets.
If you would like a copy of this pattern just send an e-mail with the word APRON in the subject line to -

Saturday, December 6, 2008


While Sasha dolls can assume many interesting and lifelike poses on their own, there are poses they cannot hold without assistance.
In the photos above Sasha seems to be moving and in action. The doll is not on strings or wires but simply supported by an elastic "garter" and a metal rod. I created this posing system for my fashion dolls, but it works for Sasha as well.
One thing about this system is that it works very well out of doors. You can push the support rod down into the ground to help Sasha pose on uneven surfaces.
If you are interested in creating one of these systems just drop me an e-mail or if you prefer to buy one from me just write.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Most people photograph their dolls using natural light either out of doors or near a window inside. This is what photographers call "single source" lighting and while it gives sharp detail it also creates dark shadows on the "far side of the moon" -- the side away from the source.
Photographers and film makers all use bounce lighting to fill in the dark areas of a photo. The basic technique simply uses a white board that reflects (bounces) the light to the side of the subject away from the light source.
In the two photos above you can see that the photo on the left has a deep shadowed right side which distorts the shape of the doll's face and creates flaws like the wrong color shoe snap. The photo on the right used the same light source but has a white board placed 12 inches away from the doll. Now the lighting is completely balanced and the doll's face looks even as well as both shoe snaps being the same color.
The closer you place the white board the more bounce light you will have. There is an estimated reflect-bounce ratio. A matte finish white board will give you about 40% reflected light. A glossy white board will give you about 50% reflected light. A silver foil board will give you about 75% reflected light and a mirror will give you 100% reflected light.
Now you can photograph Sasha in all her reflected glory.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


This Quick-and-Easy pattern for a Gregor vest can either be completely sewn or cut out of felt and only need two small seams sewn. It is especially good for plaids and prints that might be difficult to match. The blue plaid vest shows how the plaid matches front, sides, and back. This vest was made short in front for another project. The red vest is made from heavy felt and the front is the typical length.
This pattern allows you to create a Gregor vest quickly and easily in either the lined fabric version or the felt version.
One trick I use to speed things along, and get a perfect result, is to use lightweight iron-on interfacing. It not only keeps the fabric from "moving" but it is a perfect surface to trace the pattern. The pattern is made with only the sewing or cutting line. After you sew the vest and lining together you just cut away the seam allowance.
If you would like a free copy of this pattern just send an e-mail to

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


In 1973 when I adopted my first Sasha family there were not many outfits available to dress them in. Thankfully, Yvonne at "dollsandreams" imported outfits from Europe and bought doll fashions from local sewers and knitters. Looking back it was amazing how those local "designers" totally captured the spirit of Sasha dolls.
The two outfits in the photo above were created in the early 70s by one of Yvonne's local sewers. They seem to capture some of the essence we often see in Sasha's studio dolls that depict local children in everyday outfits.
We are so fortunate today to be able to see many of the studio dolls created by Sasha as well as those created by Trendon and Gotz. And we still have wonderful designers creating new and original fashions for our dolls.
The world has changed a lot since 1973 but Sasha dolls still inspire us with love and creativity.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Here is a quick and easy way to take care of Sasha's hair. If your doll's hair is clean then just follow these easy steps. If her hair is not clean you will need to shampoo it first. (click on photos to enlarge)
Begin with dry hair. The doll in the top pictures has messy fringe (bangs) and box-flattened hair in the back.
Middle row of photos - use a light spray mist of water on the fringe and the top of the head. Gently brush the fringe down on the doll's forehead and brush the top of the hair until it is smooth. Do not wet the back of the hair or brush it.
Put a woman's hair net over the top of Sasha's head and let her hands hold it down. With the net over her head you can gently comb the fringe into place. Then cover the head with a sock. Let the hair dry.
Next, remove the sock and hair net and dip the back of the hair into very hot (not boiling) water. Shake out the water and finger comb the hair until the original curl returns.
In the bottom photos you can see the results. Sasha's fringe lays on her forehead and the original factory curl has returned to the back of her hair.