My miracle baby, 16 inch Bru Jne 6 doll

Archive for June, 2011

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

I started working on this doll in early March. It was an order from a Japanese doll collector.
The order was to use a Bru Jne 6 mold to recreate an antique Bru wearing a beautiful ecru dress with intricate design.
I was very excited but at the same time I was facing a challenge to recreate a certain “look” with this mold.
Then the earthquake and tsunami disaster hit Japan.
 After I confirmed the safety of my family and friends in Japan, I became very worried if my customer in Japan was okay.
Fortunately, I was able to communicate with her and found that she was safe. But her area was also affected by earthquakes and was suffering from after shocks every day, forcing the people to live inconvenient lives .
I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea for us to continue working on this doll at a time when everyone in Japan was suffering.
I was also in shock for a few days. There was no way I could work on dolls.
It was a struggle for my customer to make a decision too. But she wanted me to finish making this doll because that would give her hope during a chaotic time and it would give her something to look forward to hoping Japan would be back to normal by the time the doll was completed.
I am not able to concentrate on painting a doll head if I am under stress. It causes too much pain in my neck and shoulders and I know I won’t be able to paint well.
I was very emotional for a few weeks after the earthquakes. Being tearful all the time, I was not able to concentrate or do anything.
But I couldn’t just be crying and depressed forever. I had to find ways to get out of this horrible situation. I decided to work on things I could do to help the people in Japan.
That would be making dolls!
The Bru Jne 6 mold I have is very tricky to work on from the beginning. If I don’t make eye cut and paint lips right, it comes out * awful * .
Even in normal circumstances I still have to make a few heads to come up with one satisfactory head. Working on this mold when I am an emotional “mess” was not easy.
So I don’t know what I did right to make everything work out, but she came out nearly ” perfect” when I set her eyes.
If there is a ” Doll making God” out there, he must have worked a miracle on me.
 Some of you may have noticed that her dress does not have any lace like my other doll dresses.
I love this kind of tailored simple and elegant dress. Instead of using lace or other decorations, it requires many fabric manipulation techniques which you often see on antique dresses from the 19th century.
Lots of piping and pleating and ruffling etc … all these manipulation techniques have to be done by hand stitching.
In other words, it requires many, many hours of sewing.
We have an old tradition in Japan of making one thousand paper cranes to wish someone’s recovery when they are ill or to give a soldier who is leaving for battle a piece of fabric with one thousand needle stitches wishing his safe return. I don’t know if I made one thousand stitches on this dress but I did put in lots of hope and love while I was making it.
She turned out much more beautiful than I had hoped for.
I am very proud that she is going to Japan to make someone happy.
After all, we love dolls because they make us ” happy” and give us “comfort”. This is universal no matter how old you are or where you live….
震災直後は、日本の家族と友達の安否を確認するのが精一杯でしたが、一息着いたところで ”そういえば、オーダーをくださったお客様は大丈夫だろうか?”と、とても心配になりました。

Stop taking new orders

Archive for May, 2011

 Friday, May 6th, 2011
I have posted on my FAQ section that waiting period of custom order doll is 6 months to one year.
Due to recent increase of requests, my custom order is currently booked for 2 years, up to summer of 2013.
I appreciate that many people are interested in my doll but I am afraid I have to stop taking new orders for a while.
My current life style between nursing work and doll making is becoming bit more than I can handle.
Also I am not comfortable making promise for more than two years ahead.
I apologize to people who are thinking about placing orders in future.
I may resume taking custom orders someday but I am not sure at this time.
I will post it on my blog when I decide to take orders again.
I will continue posting my new dolls on my website till I finish my current orders. I can take some of head only orders when I have time but I can not take dress only orders or body only orders.
Please feel free to email for any questions or concerns.
I try my best to respond ASAP.
Thank you,

Brevete head on Bebe Modele body

Archive for March, 2011



Monday, March 28th, 2011

I received these photos from my customer and I would like to share with everyone to show her rare body.

The doll head is a Bebe Brevete that I made and it is attached to an antique Babe Modele body.

The earliest face of Bebe Modele used a Bebe Brevete head and that’s what the owner was looking for .
This rare wooden body has an elaborate articulation and you can pose it almost like a real human body which a Chevrot body or kid body cannot.
Antique Modele body was offered in several different sizes and this particular body is 12 inches tall, a perfect fit for a reproduction Brevete head.
The finished doll size is approx. 17 inches.
I am very excited to see my doll head on such a rare antique body. This is such an honor!

I do get many requests to make a doll head to fit on an antique body.

As long as I have the correct size head mold to fit on the body, I can make the doll head per request.

But please inquire for the head size and type of mold I have first before you purchase this expensive antique body.
Certain doll heads only come in limited sizes and may not match the size of the antique body.
This doll is a successful case of perfect fitting.*************************************************************************************************


14 inch Bru Jne 4 with an antique kid body

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011



My newest cabinet size Bru Jne 4 is very special.
She has an antique Bru kid body. I made the head, shoulder plate, arms and dress to make a complete doll.
While most of my Bru Jne dolls have Chevrot style bodies with composition legs, this kid body has very chunky leather legs which you often see on early antique Bru Jne dolls made by Leon Casimir Bru.
The Chevrot style body has a very narrow waist—-perfect to fit a dress intended for the narrow waist. It would be very difficult to fit this kind of dress with a kid body since the kid body does not have a narrow waist.

 I always thought drop-waist Bru style dresses look perfect on this kind of chunky leather body, so I made this one by using aqua-blue antique silk velvet.

I often use heavy, embroidered antique lace to lay over a skirt or for a collar. This time I carefully chose light weight antique cotton lace for her dress because of the size of the doll.
She is a petite 14 inches tall: heavy cotton would be too much and overpower the velvet fabric.
I wanted the velvet fabric to stand out more than the lace, so I had to find light weight lace for a better balance. Still, the lace has delicate patterns so that it doesn’t look too simple or too cheap.
I also pleated the lace I used in the collar to give it more detail. Choosing the right lace and fabric takes a great deal of time when I make dresses.
Sometimes I spend more time picking lace and fabric than l spend sewing: I believe spending time planning makes a huge difference in the final appearance.

 The Bru Jne 4 mold has an adorable child-like facial expression compared to larger sized Bru molds. This kid body with chunky legs makes her a very cute and adorable little girl.

If you like cabinet-size dolls, she would be hard to resist.
Although I usually like larger dolls, I can’t keep my eyes off of this little girl. She is just so adorable!
In order to show the relative size of each doll, I’ve provided photos showing the 30 inch Bru Jne 14 holding the 14 inch Bru.
I hope people can see how petite she is even though she has the detail of larger dolls.



ある小説家が言っていましたが、”一週間で仕上げた作品はそれだけの内容でしかなく、読む人にもそれは伝わってしまう。” これはまさにドールメイキングにも当てはまるなと思いました。

New doll 19 inch Bru Jne 11, again?


Archive for January, 2011

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

 Many people may have wondered why I am posting the same doll I made in 2008 again.

Well, I often get requests to make a copy of the doll on my website and this doll I just posted is one of the most popular models.

I have made quite a few sisters of her since I made the first model in June 2008.

I don’t usually post the same doll on a website catalog, but this doll is not an exact copy of the Bru I made in 2008.

So I thought it might be a good idea to post her to show the differences.
How different?
Her dress is a steel blue color instead of dark green, but the biggest difference is in her eyes.
If you compare their photos side by side, you can tell this new Bru has different eyes.
Her eyes have blue spiral thread like enamel eyes you see in early French dolls, and her eye cut is smaller than the Bru I made in 2008.
I used size 16 mm eyes for 2008 model Bru, but the new Bru has size 14 mm eyes, one size smaller.
That means her irises are also smaller. This smaller and narrower eye shape creates that piercing look of Bru, which I love.
All of my 19″ Bru Jne dolls are made from the same mold, but I change the size and shape of the eye cut depending on the kind of look I want to create.
If I want a sweet and innocent look, I would make the eye cut larger and use eyes with larger irises.
On the other hand, I also love the look of antique Bru with piercing eyes. So if I want to create that look, I need to apply eyes with smaller irises and make a narrower eye cut.
I love Bru Jne dolls because they come with so many different facial expressions.
Some have a sweet and innocent look, some of them have noble expressions like a princess or even have an attitude like a diva….
But I always have special feelings toward a Bru Jne with dark hair, blue dress and piercing blue eyes, This new Bru I just created has everything that I love about Bru.
Now you know why I posted the same doll again.



Happy Holidays!

Archive for December, 2010


Sunday, December 26th, 2010

It has been another wonderful doll year and it’s already gone!
I thank all beautiful people I met this year and people who has been a great friends all this time, and of course, every doll fans around the world visited my website.
I wish everyone a happy healthy prosper new year!

My Bru doll at Moscow doll show

Archive for November, 2010


( Photo by Happy Dolls )
Tuesday, November 9th, 2010
Niigata Japan, where I grew up, is not far away from Eastern Russia. Niigarta faces the sea of Japan and opened up a port to Vladivostok in late 80’s and became a sister city in 1991.
I remember seeing Russian people frequently in the city since then.
The Russian ballet team performed ” The Nut Cracker” many winter seasons in Niigata, and I never forgot how beautifully and elegantly they danced.
I always had great admiration for the Russian culture. When I visited Russia this summer I instantly fell in love.It was natural.
My 16″ Bru Jne 6 in a red costume was exhibited as part of The 6th Annual International Artist Doll Exhibition in Moscow on October 7th to 10th. I hope you can feel how excited I was!
This Moscow artist doll exhibition mainly displays modern artist dolls, but they had a special booth for antique dolls this year because it is the 300th anniversary of Tsarskoye Selo (Royal Village).
The dolls displayed at Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo traveled to Moscow for this show along with other French antique dolls and they were displayed very tastefully.
My doll is not an antique but by generous consideration of owner of the doll, Natalia Kurochkina, who also organized this antique doll section at the show, my Bru was displayed with other wonderful antique French dolls.
( please refer photo above)
Antique doll collecting is still new in today’s Russia and there aren’t very many dolls available inside the country so this was rare a opportunity to introduce and educate doll collectors about antique dolls.
Natalia is a pioneer of antique doll collecting and one of a few experts in Russia.
There wasn’t enough information available when Natalia was getting started collecting antique dolls, so she researched English books and website by herself to gain her knowledge.
She eventually opened her antique doll collecting web magazine ” Happy Dolls”
so that she can share her knowledge with other doll fans.What a wonderful idea!
She introduced my doll on her website, comparing it with an antique Bru that was the inspiration to make this doll.
My goal of doll making is not making ” forgery”or “exact copy”.I try to duplicate looks of them as much as I can with my own interpretation.
If someone sees the same kind of artistic value as an antique doll in my doll, that would be a great honor.
I appreciate Natalia and Russian doll fans so much for finding such value in my dolls.
You can view some articles about this doll exhibition from these links.

 I also posted the link of these sites on my website front page.

If you do not have Google automatic translation on your pc you can download Google tool bar for free to get this service. Google

You can also use Yahoo Babelfish translation service to translate entire page. babelfish





 もしコンピューターにグーグル自動翻訳機能がついてない方は、グーグルツールバーの無料ダウンロードをすると、自動翻訳の機能がついています。GoogleほかにもYahoo Babelfishのサイトから翻訳することもできます。babelfish






My newest creation 16″ Bru Jne 6

Archive for October, 2010


Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

I have made few 16 inch Bru Jne dolls lately but I never had chance to post fully dressed Bru Jne 6 till now.
This time I had a great opportunity to recreate this wonderful Bru inspired by antique Bru Jne. I am sure many of you recognized her gorgeous red dress.
I also painted her face differently from how I usually do in order to capture look of ” antique Bru” .
How different? Her eye cut and eye lashes are not very even. Also her mouth is painted differently, sort of wider than I usually paint.
I did not make “fine tuning” when I painted her head.
It took me for few days to get use to her face because I could not see her as a ”pretty doll” at first.
Amazing part of human brain is, she became prettier as I dressed her up. By the time I finished making her dress she completely grew on me and I fell in love with her!
I wish I could keep her bit longer to enjoy but I am much happier once I found out she made new home safely and new owner just loves her!
Getting such feedback from customer is my happiest moment as an artist.

I copied design from antique Bru doll to make this special dress. People often ask me where I get patterns to make these dresses.

Well, I don’t really have patterns.What I have is few basic patterns and I make adjustment by changing shapes of certain parts or add something.

Copying dress form pictures is not easy especially figuring out how they are constructed.
It took me good two days to figure out how front panel of the dress is put together. You can’t get three dimensional information from pictures so the rest is up to my imagination.
I really appreciate my kindergarten teacher who taught us ” origami” skill. It became very useful in this age to be able to understand how dresses are constructed. LOL

Antique velvet is a wonderful fabric to work with. Especially for hat making. It creates right shape of wrinkles and volume without much effort or trick.

Again I was having problem figuring out how the bonnet was constructed but I was saved by the fabric. It created the shape I wanted with few stitches.It would be very difficult to do this with brand new fabric.

Please visit my website to see full view of this doll.Hope everyone enjoys seeing her !!









New creation 16 inch Bru Jne 11

Archive for October, 2010



Saturday, October 30th, 2010


 This new doll I posted is my first model of this particular mold.

It is 16 inch Bru Jne 11. Yes, Bru Jne 11. Seeley mold company made Bru Jne 11 mold in several sizes. I have 24 inch and 19 inch and this 16 inch head mold.
Bru Jne 11 is perhaps the most beautiful and popular Bru mold and many doll artists prefer to use this mold.
24 inch size mold was taken from original antique Bru Jne 11 and it is exact copy of antique Bru . 19 inch mold was taken from this 24 inch mold not from antique so facial features are not quite crisp like 24 inch mold. 16 inch mold is copy’s copy’s copy ( are you still with me?), impression is taken from 19 inch head mold and it only has hint of looks original Bru Jne 11. 16 inch mold’s eye shapes are not the same as original doll any more and head shape seem bit warped. Therefore it was not easy to make it look like Bru Jne 11. I made three trial heads to come up with this face.
Adjusting eye cut and changing eye sizes finally gave her “Bru like face”. I just hope I remember how to make eye cut with this mold next time.
Working with new mold takes lots of pracitice.I have to find out ideal size and shape of eye cut by making one head at a time.
The process of making one head is very time consuming and I can’t tell if the head has the right look till I apply glass eyes.
When I find out the head does not have the looks I want, it is very disappointing.All the hard work I put in to make this one head practically goes down in the drain.But without going through this process I won’t be able to find out how to adjust eye cut or choose correct paint with next head so it’s not really a waste of the time.We doll artist just have be very patients. LOL


Many people may also noticed this doll seem different from my other Bru dolls.
Because of her dress! This wonderful dress was made by German doll dress designer Annette Knuppel.
Her dresses are very popular on eBay and many dealers buy them for their antique dolls.
She also uses antique materials to make her dresses so they look like antique, and she embellishes each dress like magic!
Manipulating fabrics correctly and adding decoration in right balance make huge difference in total appearance.
It looks easy to do but takes lot of practice and have to have special talent. I learned hard way to find out about these things and I am still learning.
It is always nice to see other artist’s work and learn something new.
Annette has web shop on Ruby-Lane and she also sells many antiques.
To visit Annette shop click here.

Back from wonderful vacation



Archive for July, 2010





Tuesday, July 6th, 2010


I just came back form my dream vacation in Italy and Russia !
Both countries were as equally as wonderful but I made special memory in Russia by meeting wonderful friends.
Ilmira was one of them. ( She is a doll dress designer and has online doll shop ” Respectfulbear” )
She was kind enough to invite me to her flat and we talked about dolls and dresses endlessly.
You never have enough time when you meet your doll friends. I wish I could stay there much longer.
I personally admire her work very much and getting to know her was a special honor.
Thank you Ilmira!
I also had an opportunity to visit Alexander place at Pushkin Tsaskoye Tselo to see doll exhibition.
Both German and French dolls were displayed at the palace where Romanov princesses stayed in their last years.
I quickly became a little girl again when I stood in the same palace where these princesses once lived.
Also seeing buildings in Moscow and St Petersburg were eye candy to me since I love antique European architectures.
We were very fortunate to have two wonderful guides to show us their beautiful cities.
Now I have better understanding of both culture and history of Russia. Thank you Elena and Sonia.
We would been so lost without you.
In fact we got lost at Moscow metro station since none of my family members can’t read Russian alphabet but we met a kind lady who took us to the right station by taking train with us.
This is juts one of many kind people I met in Russia.
The weather was warm and perfect but people were also very kind.
I am looking forward going back there again!



Pink Princess

Archive for May, 2010


Sunday, May 9th, 2010

 We had very long winter this year and finally getting warm here in Reno.

I feel like I haven’t seen live flowers forever and can’t even remember how warm weather feels like.

Creating this new doll during cold weather gave me so much joy and made my heart warm.
I am happy to share her with everyone at last.
I like to call her ” Pink Princess” because of her sweet expressions and her pink dress!
Her total appearance is just sooo sweet almost like cotton candy or spring flowers. Very cheerful and uplifting.
She makes me happy just gazing at her. I always thought Bru dolls look better with bold color like dark red or royal blue but I admit, she looks great on pink!
Especially this antique pink color. Maybe some people call it Jumeau pink.
This fabric came from antique silk dress probably form 1880’s. It has nice faded pink tone with some wear from it’s age.
I used original pleats from the dress to make the bottom part of the skirt so I can preserve wear at the corner of each pleat.
Some people may not like to have holes and stains on your doll dress but I tend to like them. They tell the history of the fabric and make newly created dress look aged with these characters.

I painted her lips bit smaller per customer request and that also gave her this sweet little girl like expressions.

I use this 19″ Bru Jne 11 mold very often but each of them has different faces.
I can customize facial paintings per request so that each customer can have their favorite looks of the doll.

Today is Mother’s day and I am very happy to share her on this day. We have been very busy ” being mother ” taking care of family first and not having enough time to take care of yourself.

Today is the day to bring back ” little girl” inside of you and pamper yourself. All mothers deserve this day ( more than one day a year I think ) and enjoy being yourself.

I hope this princess will help to make your day a bit brighter and puts smile on your face when you look at her and makes your heart warm.

 Happy Mother’s Day !