Tuesday, 31 January 2012


I think this page needs a bit of an introduction. My husband likes taking photographs when we are out and about. For some reason he always wants me to be in the picture, somewhere. He thinks that having a person in a landscape photograph gives it 'focus' whatever that means. In my opinion, this has ruined many a good picture! Last year, when we decided to visit the Botanic Gardens (again!), he packed his camera, as usual. I made it quite clear that I was not going to 'model' for him. "What you need is a pretty girl", I said. "Unfortunately we don't have a pretty girl, so you will have to do", he replied. Quick as a flash I said: "We do have a pretty girl. Let's take one of the Sashas!" To my amazement, he actually thought it was a good idea. I felt a bit of a fool posing 'Yasmin' in various locations. I thought people might look at us as if we had lost our marbles. I need not have worried! This is ENGLAND! No one batted an eye!!!

For the purposes of this blog, I cropped the photos to put the focus mainly on Sasha! Yasmin is wearing a gorgeous 'Dirndl Dress' by Ruthsdolls. She calls it 'Bavarian Costume'.

A mass of Scilla on the way to the pond

Where are the ducks today?

In amongst the Alpines

Now is this a Prunus or a Cherry? Whatever it is, it is stunning

Yasmin dancing in the sunshine!
The Winter Garden

The new Cafe, part of the Sainsbury building

A white Daphne in full bloom

The Fountain, with a view over the garden

Monday, 30 January 2012


(An essay just to remind me)

Yasmin's Sashas were kept in the attic, together with their clothes,  lovingly placed in an airy cot, wrapped in cotton sheeting. From time to time I would go and have a look at them: a beautiful blonde Gingham girl and a fair haired Nightshirt baby boy bought for her in 1974/5 as a Christmas present. I knew that one day I would have to give the dolls back to their rightful owner, but before I did that, I wanted to find out more about Sasha dolls. I wanted to know whether you could still buy them and whether you could still get clothes for them. On the off chance that there was information out there, I googled 'Sasha dolls'.
Well, I was soon immersed in a world of Sasha! Sasha (and friends) going for a walk in the mountains; Sasha (and friends) helping with the garden; Sasha playing with her toys; Sasha modelling her latest outfit etc. etc. Oh yes. THE CLOTHES! Sasha boutiques. Sasha shoe shops. Sasha accessories. Ebay!!! The clothes on offer took my breath away. These were dolls' clothes? They were just amazingly beautiful and perfectly crafted miniature children's clothes. And expensive! I could not believe the shoes! Lace ups, T-bar Sandals, Ugg Boots - you name it, your Sasha will look stylish in shoes which match her outfit. People all over the Western World seem to be besotted with these dolls and prepared to spend serious money on them. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE??? Well, I am ashamed to say, I have become one of them! But I needed an ally in my folly. Hanna, my Granddaughter seemed the obvious candidate.
A nice doll came up on Ebay and I asked Peter, my son, what he thought about a Sasha doll for Hanna as a Christmas present. 'How much?' he asked. 'Well, the bidding stands at... but it may go higher.' 'Are you mad, mother? That much for a doll?' Needless to say I did not bid for this particular doll and she went for a very reasonable price, as it turned out.
When another one caught my eye I asked Hanna directly. Unfortunately, she had overheard the shock reaction her father had to the price of the last doll, and Hanna being Hanna decided that this was too expensive a present. Undeterred I then asked Mina. her mother. I wanted the unvarnished truth and her real opinion. There was a lot of debate, but in the end she had to agree that Hanna had been very much taken with Yasmin's Sasha when she came to visit and would probably love one. So I went online and bid for a beautiful dark haired Sasha doll on Ebay... and won! The price I had to pay was twice as high as the last one I had been interested in. MORAL: DON'T DISCUSS THE PRICE OF FISH WITH YOUR SON!
The doll was going to be a surprise Christmas present for Hanna. Under the pretext of looking for clothes for Yasmin's Sasha, I asked her opinion on various outfits available on Ebay. This way, I got a trousseau together for her doll. I filled up a trio of little suitcases, plus a Christmas bag I made for her with the clothes and put the lot under the Christmas tree. Sasha was dressed in a stylish red coat, beret and boots made by Alexissofie and was placed next to the little suitcases.
On Christmas Eve Hanna was charged with getting all the presents from under the tree and giving them out.  She couldn't figure out, why the 3 little suitcases had a label which said 'To Sasha'. She looked very perplexed. So I told her, that these belonged to the Sasha doll under the tree and asked her to have a look at her. That's when she noticed a card Sasha was holding which said: 'I belong to Hanna.' Hanna burst into tears with absolute joy. Although she had seen the doll under the tree, she didn't think it was for her. We were all of us surprised at her reaction. We didn't realize that she would be so delighted to receive a Sasha. She is not really a 'doll' person. But, Sasha has woven a magic spell even over our little scientist. I  bought her a second one shortly after Christmas. This time a lovely blonde. Her two dolls are named Lily and Emma respectively and have a permanent place in Hanna's heart. And what is more, her little sister, Tabatha, LOVES THEM TOO! As to Yasmin, whose Sasha  started it all, well, her 4 year old daughter Iona found her first Sasha doll this year under the Christmas Tree! A Red dress brunette. Apparently, every evening, she is put into her pyjamas and taken to bed. I can see a dynasty of Sasha lovers emerging before my very eyes...


Sashas preparing for Christmas Eve...

It's nearly Xmas Eve. Rebecca, Lissi, Lara, Hanna and Romy are off to get the tree. What a fine collection of coats! Rebecca is wearing a padded jacket by Hagnolly, Lissi and Romy are cosy in their Ruthsdolls Duffle coats. Lara is wearing a knitted coat by Liz and Hanna is showing off her Alexissofie coat. It is OK to be warm, as long as you don't sacrifice style!

Here it is! A fine specimen! Our work is done! Let the others do the docorations!

I think we did very well! Now where are our presents!

The girls are all wearing clothes by Jadzia. The baby's dress is by Alexissofie and Raffay's sweater was made by either Dee or Michelle (I must learn to tell these two apart!!!)

Sunday, 29 January 2012


(or where Gillian leads, I follow!)

I had often drooled over the lovely Sashas on Shelley's website. There was a sweet Sasha Velvet which I coveted. I don't know why the thought didn't occur to me, that I could actually buy her! And anyway, I didn't really NEED any more Sashas! Then Gillian sent me a picture of her latest Sasha (OMG - I bought another one) which she had found on Shelley's site. A light went on in my head - and then panic gripped me! I immediately logged on to SASHA DOLLS UK hoping that Sasha Velvet was still for sale. Well, it was inevitable really! I named her Lissi, after my favourite younger cousin.

Lissi wearing a ballet cardigan from Sashadollsclothes . Pleated skirt by Alexissofie

Then, by good fortune a Goetz Angela appeared on Ebay at not too exorbitant a price. I needed to find out what was so special about the Goetz redheads, so I bought her. Hmm. Is it me, or do the Goetz dolls have a slightly cross expression? A bit of discontentment showing? Anyway, I called her Lara. She might grow on me!

Lara in the inevitable Gillian Nash sweater. Trousers by Stomar

Lara in a gorgeous outfit by Jadzia (Skibniewska). Hat by Dee (Annislynne). Boots from All About Dolls

Having realized that I had no resistance, I allowed myself to be captivated by this beauty. Honeyblonde, slightly haughty Phoebe

Phoeby in a pleated skirt by Jadzia. Jacket by Linda Holmes.

Taking my lead from Gillian once again, I developed  this desire to also possess a Sasha with short hair. I saw a waif on ebay. She looked in perfect condition, apart from the fact that a child (probably) had taken the scissors to her hair. She is, indeed, a lovely doll, but her hair was a mess. I called her Molly.

Molly in an outfit by Jadzia. Hair restyled into a sweet Bob by Zoe, Gillian's clever daughter. I think it really suits her. So cute!

Browsing through the Sasha listings on Ebay I came across a lovely, wide-faced Sasha from the States. Looking closely, I thought there was a strong resemblance between her and Iona. And yet, there was a difference in the face structure. Iona seems to be wide-faced around the mouth, which makes her look a little pouty. This one seemed to be wider in the face from the forehead down. In any case, I was hooked. She was to be Iona's twin. Name: Natasha

Natasha wearing an outfit  by Jadzia. Pinafore an blouse.

I really hanker after a Trendon blonde, Gillian confessed. Don't we all! As it happened, there was a beauty on Ebay! Shame to let her be bought by someone else. I named her Rebecca!

Rebecca wearing an outfit by Jestsew. Tights by Wendy

So, this is it for now! Apart from the babies of course! There is a lot of talk about redheads at the moment on various blogs. I wonder how long I can hold out before I succumb to the lure of another redheaded beauty. We'll see

Well that might depend on who your friends are. Gillian, who became a very good friend through our common love of Sasha dolls, and my admiration for her knitting, began to start almost every email by saying: "OMG - I bought another one!" and sending along a picture of a gorgeous new Sasha to prove it! Well, I suddenly felt that a great need to own JUST one more Sasha myself. I had run out of grandchildren, but hey, I do have a sort of adopted 'son' (belonging to a good friend of mine) who just recently had a little boy. Would be unfair not to add him to my list of grandchildren!

Introducing Teddy

Teddy wearing a sweater by Gillian, jeans, alas made by myself, boots from mimiwoo

Then Gillian went on and on about her lovely Goetz redheads. Particularly Angela. Don't really care for red hair very much, but I started to look for redheads on ebay and that's when Zoe joined the group. She is a Trendon. And I love her.

Zoe wearing a sweater made by Gillian

Then panic set in! What if Yasmin, my daughter, demanded her own Sasha back? I clearly needed another blonde girl. I found a stunner on ebay. She has a very sophisticated look about her. I named her Imogen.

 Imogen wearing a sweater by Gillian and trousers borrowed from Raffay, made by Alexissofie

Definitely do not need any more Sashas! My collection is complete.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Introducing the Sasha Family


It all started with Yasmin's Sasha. I bought the doll for her, when she was 5 or so. My absolute favourite Sasha of all, despite the teethmarks on the legs made by Strummer, our dog!  Can't part with her, so she still lives with me. Her name is, of course, 'Yasmin'! In this photo she is wearing a sweater and hat knitted by Gillian. Love the colours! The pink jeans are by Ruth Hartley and the sneakers from Mimiwoo


Of course, one Sasha is never enough, so I decided to add a few Sashas to keep Yasmin company. The idea was to have a Sasha to represent each one of my grandchildren. So the next Sasha I bought I named after Hanna, my beautiful, wonderful first granddaughter! She is the daughter of Peter, my son.


Here she is, wearing a jacket knitted by Linda and a pleated skirt by Alexissofie. The resemblance between Hanna the doll and Hanna the child is quite striking. Hanna, of course, has  two Sashas of her own (present from grandma). I was hoping that she would become a devotee and a collector, but I think the two she owns are all she desires! Like all of us who own Sashas, she is fascinated by the clothes and shoes and is developing her own style in dressing her two Sashas. When buying clothes for 'Lily' and 'Emma'  I always new that I couldn't go wrong with pink, but now that she is 10, pink is no longer de rigeur! In fact, she now prefers to choose the clothes herself! Grandma, clearly, has 'no taste' when it comes to dressing Sashas!

Hanna and the Sashas having fun in the garden in Cambridge