I am thrilled to say that I've been given an opportunity to review a full set of magnetic wooden paper dolls by Amaria's Paper Work! Before I get into details, let's get to know Amaria a bit better.
Please introduce yourself and your shop.
Welcome to my shop, which has two main sections- Wooden paper dolls, and magnetic Bible stories. I am a primary school teacher (currently on family leave) and mother of two pre-school children, who test out all my products before I list them. (Not the actual ones for sale, of course- we try to keep them away from sticky fingers!) My husband, who teaches technology and design, is a great help and support.
How did you decide on your shop name? What does it mean?
I’m absolutely hopeless with what is normally called “paperwork”, the kind that involves scissors, glue and scraps of paper being much more my style! So “Amaria’s Paper Work” it became. (The “s” is a slip of the keyboard that I can’t change!)
How did your business get its start?
I remember making paper dolls with my mother as a child - drawing them on stiff card, and then tracing them to make all sorts of clothes. As a mother myself now, and as a Christian, I often lament the lack of wholesome, non-commercial stuff available for children. So when my sister recently got out some paper dolls I'd made for my niece some time ago, and suggested there might be a market for them, I started thinking... A friend told me about Etsy...and here I am!
What is your personal favorite item in your shop?
I enjoy making each item, and the latest is usually my favourite!
What is your favorite crafty activity? Are there any particular crafts you'd love to learn?
I have always loved dabbling with paint, paper, scissors, glue, clay… anything fiddly and messy! Digital photography is a more recent interest, even it doesn’t make a mess. I am not a fabric and yarn person!
What is your greatest accomplishment thus far?
Looking back I can think of many things I’ve been privileged to do, but I don’t view them as accomplishments- rather as opportunities God has given me to serve Him! I think the greatest of these is motherhood. I am in awe daily of the great responsibility of this task, and thankful for the joy my children bring me in so many ways!
Amaria sent me a complete "family" of her wonderful dolls. There are six children in all. Elise is the oldest, at almost ten; Ben is second, at seven years old; then comes Mandy, at nearly five; next is Tommy, at age three; and finally, the twins, Sam and Sally, who are just one year old. Amaria includes not only the ages of the dolls, but also little mini-biographies, detailing their favorite activities, colors, animals, etc. This is a great way to add depth to these characters, and I think it would be fun for children to learn more about the dolls they're playing with.
Each doll comes in its own zip-close plastic bag with a paper insert that includes a picture of the doll and its clothing, the web address for the Amaria's Paper Work Etsy shop, the names and pictures of the other dolls in the family, and the mini-biography I mentioned. I love that this info is all in one place and is included right in the bag with each doll, as it really helps to keep things organized.
The design of each doll is printed on matte photo paper, based on Amaria's original hand-painted artwork. The designs are realistic-style cartoons that remind me of those found in advertisements from the 1950s. Cute! They are all magnetic on the front, for easily attaching and removing their outfits, and also on the back, for attaching to the fridge or other such surfaces. I am using the twins as fridge magnets as we speak!
I have been truly impressed at how well these dolls are made. They are constructed of 1/8 inch craft wood with a magnetic strip sandwiched between the layers, then coated with several layers of varnish to protect them from sticky little fingers. They're really solidly constructed, and it's clear that they will be able to withstand years of play! A toddler could bang them together, a rambunctious little boy could get a little too rough, or a doting young girl could carry them everywhere she goes, and these dolls would be just fine. The same goes for their clothing; it is made of thick paper that has been completely laminated, so it will be waterproof and very resistant to tearing, bending, marks, and dirt.
There are a few very minor imperfections with my set of dolls. For example, the clothing occasionally doesn't quite match up perfectly with the outline of the dolls, leaving a tiny portion of the doll exposed where the clothing would normally go, or covering a small amount that it shouldn't. However, such flaws do not at all impact play - and in fact, if anything, I think they actually add to the handmade charm of these dolls!
Here, her dress is a little too high up on the right side and a little too far down on the left. No matter how I tried, I couldn't get it to lay quite right. Just a minor imperfection!
Each doll comes with the "summer basics" collection, which features three different outfits: a casual everyday outfit (shorts and a t-shirt), a more formal outfit for special occasions, and a pair of light summertime pajamas. Each child includes two pairs of shoes, both casual and formal. Underneath their clothing, they also have painted-on swimsuits, which not only helps to keep them family-friendly, but also functions almost as a bonus fourth outfit!
Amaria also sells various sets of clothing individually in her Etsy shop, which can be used to dress up the kids for different times and occasions, such as autumn, winter, weekdays, school, sleepovers, etc. It would be so wonderful for a child to have several different sets of clothing for their dolls, especially since many of the pieces can be mixed and matched! For young children or developmentally delayed children, a parent could even use these clothing sets as a learning tool, by asking the children to identify which outfit would be appropriate for the doll to wear to a certain occasion. With the wide variety of doll clothing Amaria offers, a parent could teach a child about lots of different situations! She also plans to introduce more sets as time goes on, so keep your eyes peeled for new additions.
Amaria has big plans for her line of wooden paper dolls! Since I received my set, she has added a similar set of African American dolls - and she also plans to introduce a whole line of multicultural dolls. This would be an excellent way to teach your child about racial and cultural diversity, and a great jumping off point for a conversation about how our differences should be celebrated!
Overall, I have been extremely pleased with my set of wooden paper dolls from Amaria's Paper Work. They're sturdy, well-made, adorable, and a terrific learning tool. I just know that you and the children in your life would love these dolls, too, which is why I'm excited to announce that Amaria has agreed to sponsor a giveaway here on Twee Poppets!
You can buy the complete family of dolls that I received for just $38 at the Amaria's Paper Work Etsy shop. She also offers the individual dolls, a set of African American dolls, magnetic Bible stories, and lots of additional clothing sets.
Amaria has generously offered one winner a choice of ANY TWO dolls from the Amaria's Paper Work Etsy shop! She has even agreed to ship worldwide! Thanks, Amaria!
Please be sure to leave your email address in at least one entry (preferably all entries); I will do my best to find your email address if you're the winner, but if I have no way to contact you, you cannot win! For complete giveaway rules, please see the "Giveaways" section under the "The Fine Print" page. Winning entries WILL be checked to ensure qualification, so please be honest! :)
Mandatory Entry (Must be completed before any other entries will qualify!)
- Visit the AmariasPaperWorks Etsy shop and tell me which two dolls you might choose if you are the winner!
Bonus Entries (Please leave a separate comment for each entry! If it's worth 3 entries, please leave 3 separate comments!)
- 2 Extra Entries: Publicly follow Twee Poppets with Google Friend Connect. (Click the "Follow" button under the "Followers" section at the top of the main page.)
- 2 Extra Entries: Publicly follow Amaria's Reviews and Giveaways with Google Friend Connect.
- 3 Extra Entries: Subscribe to Twee Poppets via email (must be activated to count). (Enter your email address under the "Subscribe Via Email!" section on the left hand side of the main page and click the "Subscribe" button.)
- 1 Extra Entry: Add AmariasPaperWorks as a favorite shop on Etsy.
- 1 Extra Entry: Mark your 3 favorite AmariasPaperWorks listings as favorites on Etsy.
- 1 Extra Entry: Follow @TweePoppets on Twitter. (Include your Twitter ID with your entry.)
- 1 Extra Entry: Tweet about this giveaway (may be done once daily for one entry per tweet). You may use this tweet: Win ANY TWO wooden dolls from the AmariasPaperWorks Etsy shop! Enter to win @TweePoppets: http://tiny.cc/Win2Dolls (Ends 6/29)
- 2 Extra Entries: Become a fan of ("like") Twee Poppets on Facebook. (Click this link or the button under the "Follow on Facebook!" section on the left hand side of the main page.)
- 2 Extra Entries: Grab my button and add it to your blog or website. Let me know where I can find it! (Copy and paste the code that is in the "Grab My Button!" section on the left hand side of the main page.)
- 3 Extra Entries: Blog about Twee Poppets. Leave a link to the blog entry in your comment. Please be sure to mention this giveaway and link back to Twee Poppets (http://tweepoppets.blogspot.com) and the AmariasPaperWorks Etsy shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/amariaspaperworks). Your blog must have at least 10 followers on Google Friend Connect to be eligible. Blogs entries must be at least 50 words long to count; must be a dedicated post (not just part of another post). Please include a link to your blog post in your comment.
- 3 Extra Entries: Pledge to blog about what you won if you are the winner of this giveaway. This is based on the honor system - if you promise to blog if you win, please do. Please be sure to mention this giveaway and link back to Twee Poppets (http://tweepoppets.blogspot.com) and the AmariasPaperWorks Etsy shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/amariaspaperworks). Your blog must have at least 10 followers on Google Friend Connect to be eligible. Blog entries must be at least 50 words long to count; must be a dedicated post (not just part of another post).
- 10 Extra Entries: Make a purchase from the AmariasPaperWorks Etsy shop. Be sure to let Amaria know that Twee Poppets sent you!