I’m excited to feature a guest blogger today… “Cindy Rice Designs”

Last year I happened to stumble across a website that featured the tiniest little hand knit dresses. I was immediately mesmerized by these itty bitty creations and spent a long time combing over this woman’s website, amazed at what I was seeing. I’ve been hooked on looking at her things ever since and hope you will be too. Let me introduce you to a fellow blogger, and subscriber to my blog, Cindy Rice of Cindy Rice Designs. She is a fabulous knitter and seamstress and truly is a perfectionist at what she does. I asked her a while back if she would like to answer some questions from me and then I’d feature her on my blog. She said she’d be happy to, and we have finally gotten it all coordinated and today is the time to showcase Cindy’s work. I hope you enjoy and appreciate just how dainty and delicate these little confections are. She regularly makes comments here on my blog, so if you have any questions, you can address them to her and she should be able to answer them. It was a picture similar to this one that made my jaw drop open. I shared the pictures with my sister who was visiting and she couldn’t believe them either. Cindy was very modest in the pictures she sent to me, so I went to her website and found a few more to add. You just can’t get enough of these sweet little dresses!

Blog cindy Rice 3 dresses in her palm

How long have you been knitting? Did you teach yourself to knit or did someone show you how?
I taught myself to knit about 30 years ago from a learn to knit booklet. I wanted to learn because I saw a sweater pattern that I fell in love with and dearly wanted to make it. If I only knew what I didn’t know I would never have tried to knit that sweater, but it got me interested enough in knitting to want to learn how. After that frustrating experience I put knitting aside for about 10 years when I picked it up again to knit my baby daughter a blanket.

I’m sure you must have a favorite all time outfit that you’ve created.
My favorites “of the moment” are my knit dresses for the Little Darlings. I love knit dresses with embroidery.

Blog Cindy Rice Gina in Dress 2

Which dolls to you knit/sew for?
This is an ever changing list. Right now I make things regularly for the Little Darlings, Patience, Pukipuki, Amelia Thimble, Kaye Wiggs “illies” and Kaye’s shorter MSD dolls (Talyssa and Mei Mei).

blog cindy rice talyssa

Do you have a favorite color/kind of yarn?
I am partial to natural fibers: wool, silk, bamboo, cotton, etc. As for color, I am finding the lighter colors are better for showing off embroidery. Although the deeper colors work too. I love pink, which is probably no surprise! If you look at my photos you’ll see pink, pink, and pink!

Blog cindy Rice 5 tiny dresses on hangers

When did you start your blog and begin selling your doll clothes?
I started my blog at the very end of 2012, so I guess it was a 2013 resolution that I actually stuck to. I started selling Kelly doll clothes in 2003 (or about that time). Selling doll clothes for me definitely started out slowly. For years and years I tried out different things with dolls.
I finally feel like I’m in the right place where ideas are flowing and things are being made regularly.

blog cindy rice millie in purple redo

Do you have some pictures of some of your tiniest knitted dresses? I was so intrigued the first time I saw your fingers holding up those little dresses on tiny hangers.
It’s so funny how those photos happened. Amelia Thimble was having a tantrum and didn’t want to stand up straight so I found a hanger from a belt (later on I remembered the tiny hangers I use now) and held the dress up in front of the camera. I find that accidents make new ideas. Do you? Please see attached photos. For more, I have all of them on Flickr.

blog cindy Rice yellow dress on hanger

Do you only sell your creations on your website or do you ever sell on Ebay or Etsy?
I started out selling on Ebay, but haven’t used it in a while. I much prefer the way I do things now. I am able to chat with my customers this way and I very much enjoy getting to know them a bit. It is so much more personal and rewarding. I remember the most worrisome part when I went from Ebay to my personal website was wondering if anyone would find me. I was able to let some of my customers know where I would be, and by using Pinterest, Facebook, Flickr, my photos got around the web and I stopped worrying about being “found.” It all worked out.

I know you love talking about gardens and roses and flowers of all sorts. Do you spend time outdoors in “your” flower garden?

Ha! I USED to spend lots of time outdoors in my flower garden. That was before dolls. I am quite addicted to creating things for my dolls. So much so that it is hard to tear me away from my studio. Flower gardens take a lot of time with weeding and such. I enjoy other people’s gardens though. Those are the best!

When did you realize you could make money by selling your little creations? Did you start out selling at craft fairs or selling to your friends?
My husband found Ebay in the late 1990s and that is how I found out about how Ebay could connect doll collectors no matter where they lived. I knew no one nearby who shared a passion for dolls, unless they were in grade school.

Do you create something almost every day?
Yes, most definitely. I don’t complete an outfit every day, but I always have a few different outfits in the works on any given day. If I will be in the car or waiting somewhere, I have my knitting to work on. I am the type of person who needs to always be busy. I have discovered that having my camera with me eases my need to keep creatively busy.

blog cindy rice with izzy

How do you decide which dolls to knit and sew for?
Definitely where there is demand. Even if I love a doll, I don’t enjoy making things for her unless there is a “want” for those things. Although I have a couple of dolls that I don’t sell things for (and they wear an outfit or two that I’ve made) I don’t enjoy collecting my own work at all. When I finish something, it is finished and I am on to the next thing. The photos of my work are all that I need to remember what I’ve created.

blog cindy rice millie in cream with red roses

Do you have a “dream” doll that you’d love to own and create little outfits for?
No, not specifically. I have to fall in love with her face, and if they have a beautifully sculpted body it is even better. I never seem to tire of Dianna Effner’s Little Darling dolls. Not only do they have the sweetest faces which seem to be endlessly unique, they have the cutest shoulders, arms, and legs. I love them even though they have limited posing possibilities.

Cindy Rice Gina dress

Cindy Rice

Thanks SO much Cindy! It was fun for us to get to know you better. Now, if you’d like to see more of Cindy’s work, here is the link to her website.
Her website is very easy to navigate so I hope you’ll look around and see what I mean about these tiny little delicacies she creates!

Cindy Rice Designs

One quick note from me… Ten Ping’s outfit shown at the right side bar ends this evening on Ebay. A link to the listing can be found HERE.

CIMG9040

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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Comments

  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Oh, my goodness, Cindy, what adorable little dresses! I am in awe of them! I had no idea anyone could ever do something so petite, sweet and delicate! Thank you so much, Jeanne, for highlighting Cindy’s work!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Linda,
      I just knew everyone would love Cindy’s work. Aren’t they just the sweetest little dresses?
      Blessings, Jeanne

    • Thanks so much, Linda. At first, they do seem too tiny to work on, but I got used to working that small. Now it seems almost easier working tiny than working big with so much space to fill in.

  2. Thank you Jeanne for sharing Cindy’s interview and her beautifully knitted dresses. What exquisite work. Her photos are so artistic too. Cindy, if you should read this, you and Jeanne are so talented.
    Boy, those Little Darlings are just too cute, especially in Jeanne’s dresses and Cindy’s dresses. The little dollies have perfect faces and are so sweet looking. Got to get one!!!
    Have a wonderful day Jeanne, Cindy and all your readers!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Paula,
      Yes, you need to be saving up for a Little Darling or at least get your name on one of the artist’s lists. They are just adorable dolls….and you already know a couple of “suppliers” of sweet dresses!
      Thanks Paula,
      Blessings, Jeanne

    • Thank you, Paula. I agree that Jeanne is so very talented with writing as well as creating little outfits, don’t you think? You really must get a Little Darling. Not only are their faces beautiful, but their bodies are so elegantly sculpted too.

  3. Hi Cindy,
    I’ve seen your comments on Jeanne’s blog, but I had no idea you knitted rather than sewed. Those little dresses are just adorable with the beautiful Brazilian embroidery on them. I enjoy doing filet crochet so I know all those tiny stitches take a long time.
    You and Jeanne are both so very talented.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thanks so much Laura,
      Isn’t it fun to find new people doing fun and pretty things? Yes, Cindy does amazing embroidery…her bullions are excellent!
      Blessings, Jeanne

    • Hi Laura, I crochet too, but, my favorite thing to do is to knit, I think. Although, I really enjoy putting together an entire ensemble so it usually involves sewing, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery. It is fun to get it all to work together. Thanks for your sweet comments.

  4. Kathie Welsh says:

    That was a nice treat! I don’t let myself open Jeanne’s email until I go through all the boring or necessary emails. It’s my private treat to myself…so this was a double treat!
    I’m yarn challenged so not only are Cindy’s dresses wonderful I have the most admiration for them!
    Thank you Jeanne for sharing Cindy’s art work!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Awww, How sweet of you to save me for last Kathie! Gives new meaning to Matthew 20:16: “So the last will be first and the first last!” I don’t mind being last at all!!
      Thanks so much!
      I know just enough about crocheting to make a small doll cap and enough about knitting to fill a thimble! ( I know what the needles look like and I’m familiar with yarn!)
      It was fun to share Cindy’s talent with you all.
      blessings, Jeanne

      • Hi Kathie, Thanks so much. Jeanne’s blog is my treat each day too, although I usually read her daily post even before the dogs get fed. Luckily they don’t complain. 🙂

  5. Truly enjoyed this interview. I knit and marvel at the embroidery on Cindy’s creations.. For some reason I guessed Cindy learned to crochet first and then knitting.

    On a yahoogroup I read about a new doll I must have, made by Xenis. It is a jointed wood doll. I always liked Schoenhutts but never bought one. The best price I found was to help fund their Kickstart campaign. After I read about them yesterday I felt I had doll fever. Maybe by Nov. a Sophie will be mine. About as long a wait as for a LD with some artists. Marlene of Xenis asked me to spread the word so here I am taking up space on your blog.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Jan,
      I just knew everyone would love seeing Cindy’s tiny little creations. They are so adorable.

      I hadn’t heard of the Xenis dolls, so, of course, I had to check them out. So you like Sophie, huh? She is a cutie with all those freckles across her nose. I know how it is when you get “dolly fever” so I hope you “have it a long time!” :o)
      Blessings, Jeanne

      • At times, I’ve recovered from dolly fever but I have it bad again and that’s not good. Yes, I like Sophie best. I think she will be a great addition to,my small collection.
        I was in the hospital once and my husband brought in a doll I had recently bought through the Collector’s United newspaper. I looked at the doll and asked husband to return the doll and thought how shallow it was for me to just need more and more, or rather want more and more. The doll had a not disclosed nose rub.

        I do love posable dolls. Dottig who posted about her doll said she holds poses well. Aren’t the Xenis dolls interesting? I read as much about them as I could and the maple they buy and the process the wood goes through. I was very frightened by the movie Pinocchio so he doesn’t interest me, but the little girls do.

  6. Hi Jan, I think that crocheting is in my blood. My grandmothers on both sides, and one great grandmother that I know of crocheted doilies and booties. My great grandmother did a little knitting too, but mostly crochet.
    I had not heard of Xenis doll either, so I looked her up. Sophie is cute. I think dolly fever is good. It keeps us young, no?
    Thank you for your sweet comments on my work.

  7. maaryann says:

    Love Cindy rice designs , would like to do it on bjd. Advise on books to purchase,what do you use to keep embroidery from sinking into the knits.?
    Maryann

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