Friday, October 31, 2008

Pretty Little Posies

The Etsy community is filled with talented artists and crafters selling beautiful and unique pretend play items that help preserve the magic of childhood. This post is part of my weekly writing series, "Imagination at Play". Stay tuned for more every Friday!

There was a time not that many years ago when little girls played with dolls made lovingly by their mothers and grandmothers. While many were made from leftover flour sack cloth or fabric scraps, others were sweet little things fashioned out of wooden clothespins. Dressed up in handmade finery with sweet hand-painted faces, their diminutive size made them perfect for slipping inside tiny purses or pockets.

Pocket-sized dolls are still popular among little girls today. The best place to find sweet little dolls for your little one is Etsy shop little pink posies. Inside, you'll meet shop owner Leigh Houston's posy girls, sweet little hand painted wooden dolls that are sure to delight the little girl in your life.

Leigh's posy girls got their start about a year ago when she found herself frustrated by the lead-based paint recalls of toys and with the fact that the toys she couldn't find toys that are unique and special. Everything sold in stores is mass-produced, so it was very hard to find a toy just for her child because there were a million others made to be exactly the same as the one on the shelf.

"As a mom, I had these issues in the back of my mind when I was watching my son playing with a vintage Little People set passed down from my husband (a houseboat set from back in the dark ages when the figures were made of wood)," she said. "That's when I had that 'a-ha' moment and thought about making my own handmade wooden dolls. Drawing on images that I had admired of vintage clothespin dolls, I came up with the design for my little posy girls."

Starting her own line of dolls was a natural move for Leigh, having a lifetime of crafting experience to draw upon. "I've been crafting since I can remember," she explained. "I remember being very young and needlepointing with plastic canvases and yarn, drawing, rug hooking, painting... you name it. This is all courtesy of my mom, who crafts anything and everything with an incredible amount of love and skill. With everything I make in my shop, I am self-taught."

Leigh obviously inherited her mother's ability to pour love and skill into everything she makes. Each posy girl is lovingly painted using non-toxic paints and given her own unique personality. And there's something for everyone in her shop. From posy girl playsets with a matching personalized purse to custom posy play sets (Leigh will even make little boys dolls) to ready made sets, you're sure to find something to please your little girl.

Every one of Leigh's posy girls are sure to inspire creative imaginary play. But for Leigh, creating a special toy for a child is just as important as the toy itself. "I also want to teach kids that there are special toys out there – toys made especially for them – and nobody else in the world will have ones just like theirs. My personal goal is to make endearing toys that are special enough that they are remembered into adulthood or even passed onto future generations."

I know I'll be spending quite a bit of time in little pink posies when my daughter is old enough to play with her own set of posy girls. I hope you will to! 


  1. I love that shop! Too bad all I have are grown up boys! :)

  2. Oh how cute! Inspires the imagination!