A busy time! by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

I hope you are all well!

Many thanks as always for checking in on the latest Nini Doll news. It has been a very busy time for me over the last few months which has involved making some significant decisions that will hopefully mean more dedicated time for my Nini Doll making in the future. This post may read as a little more personal than some so forgive me for indulging myself!

Behind the scenes I have been preparing for a move away from London, at first without fully realising it. I have lived in London for 25 years now and it has been a incredible place to live with so many opportunities and wonderful friends. I think the combination of my age and a series of events in the last few years have slowly but surely brought me to a point where I am ready to set up house elsewhere, but hopefully still within easy distance. In recent months I’ve invested many days and hours working on my flat and the communal areas and gardens because I enjoy it, but also as I have fully come to realise, because I am preparing to leave it behind. I’ve juggled this with a job that has become full-time again and also with my Nini Doll making wherever I can fit it in. My Nini making has had to take a step back in the last few months, but with the hope that I will eventually have a lot more time to invest in it. Doll making has fully presented itself as something that makes me tick and draws upon all of my creative interests. I have to listen to that tick and act upon it.

My flat is now ready and about to go on the market and I’m looking to have more time in the evenings and at weekend to invest in my passion. My ‘Little Sunshine’ doll is almost ready and I hope to reveal her soon.

Thank you for all of your continued interest and support. I appreciate every little bit.

With very best wishes,

Jonny

Little Sunshine! by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

What a hot summer we are having and what an eventful year it has been. I am currently in the process of down-scaling certain areas of my life in order to up-scale my Nini production. The time I have available to explore my own creativity has been restricted of late and I plan to turn that around again as soon as possible!

Im pleased that my latest doll, 'Little Sunshine', is taking shape. I have uploaded a few photos of the work in progress, showing her summer dress almost complete and the golden yellow socks in production. I'm making her a little shorter than some of my previous dolls as I very much wanted her to have a younger girl's proportions. She's a sweet natured girl, perhaps a little nervous in unfamiliar company and situations, but will grow to be bold and confident I'm sure! I am using fabrics kindly donated by a dear friend that belonged to her parents in the late 1960s / early 1970s. They are such sunny colours and I just had to draw and create a doll around the fabrics.

I hope to complete Little Sunshine in the next few weeks so please keep checking in for updates on her and other future dolls.

Best wishes to you all,

Jonny

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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