The Innocent Wife Personalised Peg Doll

 My first peg doll commission of  2018 has certainly been an interesting  one! I love taking on something different, and this was a really special project!

I received an email asking if I could make a peg doll based on the cover artwork of a book, The Innocent Wife, by Amy Lloyd. Amy’s aunt is extremely proud of her niece and wanted a special gift to mark the publication of her first novel.

Amy’s psychological thriller about a British woman who falls for a prisoner on death row won the Daily Mail’s First Novel Competition in 2016, and since being published in just December has already been listed in the Sunday Times Top 10 Bestsellers. She has even been approached by a film company who want to take her novel to the big screen.  So to be asked to create something marking such a momentous occasion for this exciting new author is quite an honour!

When I saw the art work, I could see this would be different to any peg doll I’d made before. As you’ll know I’m usually all about the details – but there weren’t may here to go on. A real mystery with lots of gaps to fill- quite fitting!

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I really enjoyed working with the monochromatic colour scheme. Turquoise is one of my favourite colours.

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 I didn’t have anything to go on for the body. Therefore I “dressed” her in a plain gown with flowing sleeves in order to complement the mysterious atmosphere of the book cover.

The Innocent Wife, literary peg doll, personalised peg dolls

I added the book title and authors’ name to complete the personalised peg doll.The Innocent Wife, literary peg doll, personalised peg dolls

Mr T and I are massive true crime fans, and have binged our way through all the usual television suspects like Making a Murderer, The Keepers and The Confession Tapes. A typical evenings’ viewing usually includes an episode of Criminal Minds and The Forensic files. So it’s no surprise that The Innocent Wife is on my to-read list! Here is Amy reading a short excerpt from her novel to whet your appetite:

If you’d like to find out more about Amy and her book, you can follow her on Twitter.

If I can make a special or unusual commission for you this year, get in touch!

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Boho Wedding Cake Topper: From Across the Miles

I love receiving emails asking me if it would be possible to make a Peg Doll Wedding Cake topper. It is truly lovely to be involved in someones special day in a little way.

So imagine my delight when an email from the other side of the world asked if I could do just that! a  wedding cake topper set of five peg dolls, for a beautiful family in Hong Kong who would be returning to Wales for their beautiful boho Wedding, was required.

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My lovely customer Asher was thrilled with the finished results. In fact, she sent me these pictures of the cake toppers on their gorgeous cake. My goodness it makes my mouth water just looking at that. I am indeed a bit of a buttercream fan!!

peg doll wedding cake topper

Of course, Asher sent me lots and lots of photos to work from giving me a good idea of how they would look on the day. There was a really beautiful boho feel to everything. Dreamy lace dresses and loose, cottage style flowers the order of the day. Her amazing dress was an absolute joy to recreate. The bodice had a contrasting lace pattern to the arms, which was such a fun detail to work on. The satin sash called for my very special pearlescent finish, which is reserved for very special occasions!

boho bride wedding cake topper

The groom was to wear a smart navy suit. This is paired with a lovely shot of colour in the form of his yellow tie! The bouquet is a posy of gorgeous wild flowers, hand tied with lace.

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The three beautiful little bridesmaids played an important part in the cake topper arrangement. Simple, elegant matching dresses, and beautiful rustic bouquets for the eldest two girls. This elegant simplicity is exactly what is key to the boho wedding style.

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They look so pretty together.  Just lovely  – or “hyfred” as we say here in Wales.

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And a moment of quiet admiration for that heavenly cake again!

peg doll wedding cake topper

As always, we welcome enquiries for personalised Peg Doll Wedding Cake toppers. I currently have availability for July 2017 onward. However MY ORDER BOOKS ARE BUSY AND TURN OVER IS AROUND 6 WEEKS. with this in mind, Please enquire in plenty of time to avoid disappointment.

Additionally, for more information see our dedicated Peg Doll Wedding Cake Topper page.

Finally, if you’re a Bride to Be, and haven’t said “yes to the dress,” you must check out the styles from Bridal Fashion Week. Brides.Com have comprehensive coverage of their favourites for 2018. It will be interesting to see what filters through for real world brides. Certainly, there’s a few interesting looks! High-necked styles, pale blue and BLACK are being tipped as gown colours we could be seeing at Weddings near us soon! So I wonder if I’ll have any requests for peg doll wedding cake toppers in black wedding dresses as a result?!  We will see, I’m sure!

Cwtch ♥ Mawr

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Meet the Peg Doll Maker – Part II

Welcome to Part 2 of my Meet the Peg Doll Maker series, helping you to get to know us a little more. It’s based on the prompts provided by Joanne Hawker for the month long Instagram challenge March Meet The Maker. For more information, see my last post.

day 7: How it’s made

peg doll gifts UK

These pictures are almost 2 years old. My work has improved since then but they still give a good insight into how I make my dolls. Most people presume they are just painted like the majority of peg dolls you see. However mine are a bit different. My lines are etched into the wood using pyrography. Then I colour them using artists pencils. This enhances the lovely wood grain rather than covering it up. It’s a lot of work and a long process (I’ll show you a bit more later in the month). Nevertheless it’s one that I relish and think is worth it 💕

Day 8: Where.

peg dolls made in wales

peg dolls made in wales

I work from our lovely little Victorian semi on the side of a little Pine-covered Mountain in the Welsh Valleys. The meaning of “Gwynfa” is paradise or heavenly in Welsh. So we knew this was exactly the place our hearts and minds need to be as soon as we saw it. Every day my breath is taken away by the beautiful views of the mountains from our lovely home 💕🏡

Day 9: Work in Progress

peg doll in progress

This is a very special little spoon peg doll on my desk right now. She is a special make for the lovely Sharon at Daisy Lions, who makes the most beautiful textile art featuring her wonderful little liberty fabric birds. The spoon peg doll has been pyrographed and is now being coloured.

Day 10: Recommend a Maker

peg doll silver charms

Yikey Mikey! Instagram is so jam-packed with amazing talent how can I pick just one? I mentioned some of my faves last week when I did my Stories video of my little studio, but one super lovely maker who didn’t come into that bracket then was @onelittlehut . Emily is a super talented silver smith and truly lovely to boot. She creates her jewellery in the most swoon-worthy shepherds hut that I’m a tad jealous of 😍 So if you don’t like pretty shiny things (say whaaaat?!) her feed is worth checking out for her interior design!

 I am still flawed by the amazing detail she packed into my beautiful bracelet that my husband had commissioned a few Christmases ago – the teeny tiny peg dolls are just like the first ever ones I made of Mr T and I – how she managed that I have no idea. I would have gone blind/loopy/all of the afore mentioned working so much detail on such a teeny weeny scale. Her customer service is also exceptional. Thank you Emily for rocking IG with your lovely work 💪🌹🌻🌸💕

Day 11: Post/Mail.

A post shared by Natalie (@pinkelephantcrafts) on

Our local post office has been closed all week for a refurb. So I have to drive over to the next village and today theirs was closed too 🙈 I wonder if they’ll be fitting a tv in the new PO, because whenever I go down I seem to be tearing the Post Mistress away from her daily dose of Loose Women in her lounge. Anyway, I eventually found one open this week and was able to get my parcels off to their forever homes.😂✉ 💕

Day 12: Brand

pink elephant crafts peg dolls logo

pink elephant crafts peg dolls logo Silly little story for you today! When we first thought about a logo, I scribbled my idea on a scrap of paper and clever Mr T brought it to digital life for me. I wanted it to encompass the various skills I brought to our products at the time, including embroidered and appliqued hoop art, illustrated cards and chalkboards.

Over time we have became focussed on the peg dolls and have considered rebranding to “Pink Elephant Pegs” to reflect this, but it would be a bit of a headache with all our packaging/cards/stall banners/website/domain and emails all needing changing 😪 We did however try changing the logo about 18months ago to represent our current work.  We settled on replacing the tools with little polkadot pegdolls. We launched it on Facebook and it got lots of 👍 until someone commented that they looked like…erm…willy warmers!!!🙈🙈 Needless to say I immediately reverted to the old one and haven’t really looked back since! I’ve managed to find it deep in our dropbox so have added a pic of it for your amusement 😂💕xxx

And that little giggle rounds up Part II of Meet the Peg Doll Maker. We hope you are enjoying finding our more about us! The next installment will be here soon.

Cwtch ♥ Mawr

peg doll family

Meet the Peg Doll Maker – Part I

Welcome to Part I of my Meet the Peg Doll Maker series, helping you to get to know us a little more. It’s based on the prompts provided by Joanne Hawker for the month long Instagram challenge March Meet The Maker. It is designed to help small business owners and creatives to tell the story behind their brand.

 Each day of the month has a different prompt, which participants can interpret freely. Over the series of posts I am sharing the images I chose for each daily prompt, along with the caption I wrote for each one on Instagram. Hopefully you will learn a little more about myself, the peg doll families and cake toppers that I lovingly create, and about what goes on behind the scenes in our studio!

Day 1: you

peg doll artist Natalie Thomas

This is me, Natalie. I’m not usually fortunate enough to be sipping on cocktails! However this was my 35th birthday in the Lake District over the weekend. I’m not at all ready to be a grown up yet though! I live on the side of a mountain in the Welsh Valleys with my lovely hubby. His presence keeps me (an introverted, tea-drinking creative gal who wants a quiet, uncomplicated life; likes staying in and her own company) just about on the right side of the “Crazy Cat Lady” line.  We have 3 cats; Dexter, Cookie and our kitten Pearl, who really are the apples of my eye. Pearl is completely deaf and I am teaching her sign language, thus validating the almost crazy cat lady status 😹. Really looking forward to finding out more about my favourite makers and meeting lots of new inspirational and talented lovelies too.

DAY 2: Favourite to make

Peg doll family of five

I’ve really had to think long and hard about this. I really love EVERY set I’m commissioned to make. So much love, time, and effort goes into each doll I make that I become attached to each one. I almost posted some Wedding Cake toppers as it’s always such a huge honour to be asked to make something which is such a focal point of someone’s special day. It’s also an extremely nervous process – particularly between sending them from my little studio to their new recipient! Will the dolls be what the customer envisaged and hoped for? Have I got the details just right? So it’s very stressful but so rewarding when I get lovely email feedback!

However, after a bit of reflection, I realised that my favourite sets to make are in fact the ones that involve lots of colour and pattern. It’s such a satisfying and therapeutic process to translate them to my little wooden dolls. So I picked this picture as an example of my favourite sort of work to undertake- bright, colourful and patterned! 😍💕 Does colour or pattern play a big part in your work?

Day 3: Workspace

peg doll artists studio, wales, uk

Here’s my little studio. We haven’t lived here long so we haven’t decorated in here (brown carpet anyone?) but I love my room anyway. My desk is under the window so gets lots of natural light. The deep windowsill is perfect for our 3 moggies to curl up on while I’m working. It looks over our little terraced garden and up to the pine trees on the mountain we live on. I love watching them sway hypnotically in the wind. Of course this is rather fortunate because we get a lot of wet and windy weather in the Welsh valleys!

The room is home to all my special little trinkets and treasures from my dearest family and friends, and favourite makers, so it’s an ecclectic but inspirational environment for me. It’s also got a bank of built-in storage which is crammed with my years of arts and crafts materials. It’s the main reason I bagged this room as my studio when we bought the house! If I’m feeling brave enough to reveal my scratchy little Welsh accent, I might show you around on Stories later! 🙈 Do you have anything special to you in your studio? Looking forward to seeing everyone elses creative spaces today

Day 4: Tools

peg doll artists tools

Here are my essential tools for making my peg doll families and wedding cake toppers. I usually work in my studio. Of course this is a necessity when I’m burning the dolls. Sometimes though, in the evenings, I like to pop my pencils and drawling tools in to a basket and work curled on the sofa up next to Mr T. There’s usually a cat or two on my lap too!

Day 6: Raw Materials

peg doll families and couples

Here are my little wooden peg dolls before I work my pyrography and pencil magic on them. I keep an easy to grab “working stock” handy in pretty glass jars on my pretty turquoise Raskog trolly next to my desk. The rest of my raw stock is in a big box. I keep track of how many I’ve got with little chalk labels on each jar – high tec baby! 😂 💕 Do you have any clever ways to keep track of your raw materials?

 Stay tuned for Part II of my Meet the Peg Doll Maker Series for the next 6 snippets into our little business.

Cwtch ♥ Mawr

peg doll family

Peg Dolls at Christmas – Craft Fayre Season!

We kicked off our Christmas Season here at Peg Dolls HQ last night with Dwr-Y-Felin Christmas Fayre in Neath.  

Like last year, it was a superbly organised festive evening, full of stalls from some of the most talented local makers and craftspeople. With over 40 hand picked stalls, this year was even better. It certainly felt an honour to be there with our peg dolls!

peg dolls for sale

Things have been turning particularly festive here in the Welsh Valleys this week, when we woke early last Sunday to a light dusting of the white stuff! It certainly finally made creating Santa’s and elves feel “right” anyway! It’s hard to deny Christmas is on its way when it’s cold and frosty!

So it’s fitting that for this year, as well as traditional red and green, our peg dolls took on a frosty twist in their colour schemes. Inspired by retro Christmas cards and images pinned on our Christmas Mood Board Pinterest Board, I chose cool aqua tones with pops of coral.

christmas santa peg dolls couple

Lots of people commented on the attention to detail on the peg dolls and were in disbelief that they are handmade!

Yes – I REALLY do draw out, then woodburn, then colour (yes colour, NOT paint! Sometimes I wish I did paint them as I’m sure it would be quicker, but I love the unique tactile finish my dolls have which would be lost to paint) each and every single doll myself, by hand. There is absolutely no mass-production or mechanical intervention. Each one takes hours of work. They truly are labours of love. When you hold one of my peg dolls, you have a little piece of my heart in your hands.

peg dolls elves

christmas peg dolls

We also have brand New Christmas Countdown Characters too – if you haven’t spotted them on our Instagram or Facebook accounts you need to pop over and take a peep! These very special peg dolls are perfect for starting a brand new family tradition for advent. I’ll post them here soon I promise – you know I love to tease! Instagram and Facebook really are the best way to keep up to date with our newest peg doll creations.

Our 2nd Fayre is next week In the beautiful Maesteg Town Hall, and coincides with the annual Santa parade, Tree Switch on and fireworks display. It’s always a lovely, free and festive afternoon. Pop along and say hello!

peg dolls wales christmas maesteg

Cwtch ♥ Mawr

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