Sunshine! by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

I hope the sun is shining wherever you are!

We are having a few glorious days here in London, but I have been diligent and knuckled down to completing the wig, face-painting and a few details on my 'Little Snow Prince'. He is now completed and ready for his new owner. I have taken lots of photographs and added many of them to his gallery page, including some with his sister 'Snegurotchka'.

I'm currently creating an outfit for a Sasha doll based on the theme of 'red carpet'. It is taking me in a different direction to my own Nini doll style and fashion, but is a fun project. Next week I will begin my next Nini Doll, the 26th, and she will be a young country girl. I can't wait to get started!

Wishing you all the very best and thank you for your interest and support,

Jonny X

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A Happy (Rainy) Easter! by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

It has been a wet, but happy Easter here in England, I hope you are all well and not-so-wet wherever you are!

Long train rides and relaxing time tucked away from the rain have been conducive to creating some new sketches in my Nini sketch book. I have added photographs of some of them to my sketch gallery page. Much of the time I have no solid idea of what or who I am going to draw until someone starts to appear on the page. They come from somewhere in mind's eye, my subconscious, and I'm always very interested to see who might make their presence known! Once again I am considering having some sketches printed to offer for sale as greetings cards. I'll aim to do this in the next few months.

My latest doll, Little Snow Prince, inches closer to completion. His mittens were knitted yesterday, between sketches, and now I just have his wig to add. I'm hoping that he is make his debut in the next few days. Please do not hesitate to contact me at johayes1@aol.com if you would like to be amongst the first to be offered a new doll. 

I'm not certain just yet who my next doll is going to be. I'm thinking of a young country girl, who looks after a sickly lamb as they sit out of the April showers by the glowing fire. I have fond memories of a family story about such a situation, the girl being my grandmother.

Thank you as always for your interest in my work. Without you it wouldn't be the same!

Best wishes,

Jonny x

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Snowflake Maiden and Snow Prince Nini Dolls by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

I am delighted to say that my flame-haired Snegurochka, 'Snowflake Maiden' found a new home straightaway. She was such a pleasure to create and was well received. I have added new photos to her gallery page.

Following a very busy few days of sewing Snegurochka's younger brother, the Snow Prince, is now also nearing completion. I have just some mittens to knit, some leather boots to make, a wig to fashion and his face painting to complete, plus all the button and fasteners. I'm anticipating that he should be ready for his debut in a week or so, once I've had time to focus on the finishing details.

If you would like to join the mailing list and be amongst the first to hear about the completion and offer for sale of a new Nini Doll please do not hesitate to contact me at johayes1@aol.com. I would love to hear from you and add you to the ever-growing list.

I hope you are looking forward to a spring / Easter break as much as I am.

With best wishes,

Jonny

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Nini Snowflake Maiden and her brother - new dolls by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

I hope you are all well!

A quick update to say that I have been very busy working on my two dolls the 'Snowflake Maiden' and her brother the 'Snow Prince'. I hope to have the flame-haired girl completed in the next few weeks, having spent a lot of enjoyable time knitting hats, mittens, tubular scarves, socks and jumpers! I'm currently adding finishing touches to her blouse and pinafore and then will move on to her coat, boots, underwear and wig. They are both based on drawings I made from a gorgeous photograph of two very special Russian children, taken in the 1970s. I'm loving creating 1970's-inspired patterns, complete with large collars I remember so well!

I've added some new photographs to the gallery and hope you enjoy the progress of these two new dolls. I will send out an email offering them for sale to everyone on the Nini Doll mailing list. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to be added to the list and be amongst the first to be offered a newly completed Nini Doll.

With very best wishes and thanks for your interest as always in my work.

Jonny

A very happy 2018 to one and all! by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

I'd like to wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year. I'm hoping and aiming for some exciting developments with my doll-making this year and will be sure to keep you posted!

I've added a couple of new sketches to my sketch gallery page, including 'The Boy Who Jumped', the first sketch for a book idea that is finally coming to fruition.

My next few dolls are in production and I'll be adding progress photographs to the website and other media pages very soon.

Best wishes to you all!

Jonny X

Debut Day for Nini Doll xxiii 'School's Out' by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

It's a chilly day here in London, but it's the start of a long-awaited few days off work for me and I'm enjoying that crisp wintery air and flush to my cheeks!

My twenty-third doll has been completed for a few days now, but I wanted to wait until I could focus properly on introducing her. This little girl has an innocence and sometimes a shyness that I've so enjoyed having around. It has taken a few days to come to a point where I can let her go.

'School's Out' was inspired by the kind suggestion of a generous-spirited follower of my doll making. Photographs of 1950's African-American girls skipping their way home from school in the Harlem district sparked my imagination and my Nini is the outcome of this germ of an idea. She's a conscientious girl who also loves to chatter and play with her friends. She's a little shy with new people and is slowly having to learn a few street-wise ways, but her eyes and expression are still filled with innocence.

If you would like to join the mailing list and have the first opportunity to buy one of my dolls, please do not hesitate to contact me via my email johayes1@aol.com or via the Nini Doll Facebook page. 

There is something a little special about this girl and I am sure she will find the perfect home.

With very best wishes and thank you for your kind interest,

Jonny

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In Search of a New Home by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

On this beautiful golden autumn morning in London I am sitting with my latest Nini doll 'The Acrobat's Assistant'. The soft early morning sunshine is catching his eyes and the warm yellow antique silk of his jacket. He is looking for a new home, but in the meantime is assisting me with the creation of my next doll, the 1950's Harlem girl 'School's Out'.

If you're not already on my Nini Doll mailing list and would like to be amongst the first to be offered the opportunity to buy a newly completed Nini, please do not hesitate to send me an email to johayes1@aol.com. I'd be delighted to hear from you. My dolls are available on lay-away if required and I'm very happy to discuss payment options and offers.

I have uploaded many new photographs to the gallery pages. I hope that you enjoy them.

I hope you are all well and I send my thanks and best wishes to you.

Jonny x

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'Acrobat's Assistant' is almost complete! by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

Life has a funny way of throwing up unexpected surprises, doesn't it? My time has had to be diverted a little of late from Nini, more than I'd like, but needs must. Thankfully I'm now back on track and my 'Acrobat's Assistant' Chinese boy is in the very final stages. His costume has brought along various challenges, particularly with the fragility of the antique silk, but I've been determined to use it as it is exquisite!

I've added many photographs to his gallery page and am aiming to make his hat and wig later today / next week. I can't wait for him to make his debut and I hope you like him.

My next Nini Doll is already in production and fabrics have been selected for her outfit. She's a 1950s girl from downtown New York who makes the very best of her life, enjoys her school and will be dressed as if she is just on her way home from the end of term.

Thank you all so very much for checking in in my doll making. I'm fighting hard to keep my Nini creativity on track and fulfilling my dreams.

Best wishes,

Jonny x

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'Seaside Breeze' makes her debut! by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

I'm delighted to say that today is the day for my latest Nini to make her debut. An email will be sent out to all those who have kindly asked to be on the mailing list and they will have the first opportunity to buy her. Please do not hesitate to contact me at johayes1@aol.com to find out more.

I've uploaded lots of pictures of the completed girl as well as some new ones of my Chinese boy 'The Acrobat's Assistant'. He'll be finished in the next week or so and will also be offered first to those on the mailing list.

Many thanks for all your generous interest and support. I can't tell you how much it means to me.

Best wishes,

Jonny x

A busy summer with Nini by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

I hope this finds you well.

I'm busily working away on several Nini Dolls at the moment, allowing myself to think about one doll, the fabrics, the designs, the character,  as I work on another. 'The Acrobat's Assistant' has been a while in coming, but he is now moving along a-pace. "Seaside Breeze' is similarly arriving to near completion, and I am pleased with how their costumes and personalities are taking shape. A little further in the background, and soon to be coming to the fore is 'School's Out', a 1950's girl from the New York Bronx...

I'm also pleased to announce that I am planning a slightly smaller doll, that I look to make alongside my 20" Nini Dolls. As you may know, the original Nini was inspired by my niece and the first of my dolls was given to her as a Christmas present. My slightly smaller doll will be inspired by my nephew. As with Nini the head sculpt will be versatile enough to use for both boy and girl character dolls. The new doll will have the name 'Doudou', the name that my two year old nephew calls out to me. I have investigated the word 'doudou' which in French means a beloved soft toy, and also 'sweetheart' or 'darling'. The words fits beautifully.

I look forward to unveiling 'Doudou' in the coming months. They will play alongside Nini and be a whole new part of my doll making adventure.

With very best wishes,

Jonny