Handmade from all natural materials wooden and felted toys and waldorf dolls, beautiful in their simplicity. Jacq creates toys to invoke the creativity of children. Bringing play back to basics for over stimulated little ones. Grab a cuppa and spend 5 minutes with Jacq as we find out about her creativity. Can you tell us a bit about who are you and what do you do? My name is Jacqueline, I’m a stay at home mumma to 3 teenagers. I have always loved to ‘make’ right from when I was a little girl. I’ve been making dolls for 7 years. How did you get started making children’s toys? It was really a series of events that let me to begin. I was working in an early childhood setting and also had younger children of my own. So I was really immersed in the lives of children and what they loved and treasured. I also loved making. So I made a few little knitted animals for my nature loving daughter and then some as gifts…..and off we went! Why do you do what you do? What makes it meaningful for you? I just really love making them! I love that they each have their own personality and it seems to have nothing to do with me. They just happen like magic and then they wait for the right child who sees them and falls in love. I get a crazy amount of joy seeing the child and the doll down the track and hearing how they are great friends. I feel as though I make a comfort, a confidant, a secret keeper that makes a real difference in a child’s life. The doll making is also a great fit for me because it allows me to use many of the different skills I have learnt in my life so far and gives me reasons to learn new ones. What is your process for making your toys? The basics of the doll are always the same, but the fun part is choosing hair colours, skin colours, hair styles, outfits and accessories. Sometimes I make dolls for the clothes and sometimes I make clothes for the dolls. There is never a set way I go about it, I just go with the flow of ideas. What’s your workspace like? It would be nice to say I have a beautiful studio in the garden. But that would never work for me! I have all my sewing equipment in our dining room. It’s not ideal when it comes to eating because I tend to be messy but it means I can do bits and pieces while hanging out with the kids and my husband (and it’s also nice and close to the coffee machine). What do you do to keep yourself motivated to keep creating? It has been an important life lesson for me that I really need to create to be happy and cooking dinner doesn’t count! More along the lines of if I have an idea or a need to knit or sew etc, to just go with it. Otherwise it kind of sits inside me driving me mad. So, I if I feel like knitting I knit a dolls cardigan, if I feel like a date with the sewing machine, I sew the clothes. Jaxfancy = Jacq makes what she fancies! In what other ways do you express your creativity? I love baking bread, I love growing our own vegies (I try anyway!). I love trying the old ways of doing things. What gets your creative juices flowing? Going to my favourite op shop. I use a mixture of new and old fabrics for the dolls clothing. I often visit and search through the fabric box looking for lovely old fabrics that weren’t needed any more. The vintage fabrics are timeless, they seem to have character and love that todays fabrics don’t. What’s the last thing you made? A sweet pair of little red corduroy overalls. What’s one non-tech thing you can’t live without and why? My husband. He is always right behind me, encouraging me, smiling sweetly at yet another tiny dress/doll hairstyle/knitted socks/ball of wool I show him, eating dinner surrounded by scissors and pins and scraps of fabric, saying ‘Do you want to go to Spotlight?’ and making me coffee! In all seriousness, it’s great to have a live in support person who’s always on your team. For that pat on the back when things go right or a little lift when you’ve made a silly mistake or your over locker has been possessed by a gremlin and frustration is high. What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received? You only live today once, don’t waste it! What is a skill you’d love to learn? I cannot just pick one! Fancy embroidery, darning, cheesemaking. Where can we find you? Our online shop is on Etsy and we are also on Facebook, just search for Jaxfancy. We sometimes do local markets, connect with me online to be kept up to date of where we might be. Such a talented lady! I think I’d like to see some of Jacqs fancy embroidery if she gets to it. Thanks to Jacq for stopping by and chatting to us.