Roots & Wings Studio

Jen Staples

Encouraging imagination. Inviting play.

Almost ready...

These adorable wee bunnies are so close to being ready! They just needs their wee arms (and a proper photo shoot) and they will be ready to hop off to their new homes!

A New Baby...

This little girl has been patiently waiting for my attention. Now that the wee foxes aren’t making a mess everywhere underfoot, she has been able to soak up a few hours of TLC. She is waiting for her hair to be done 😃. I thought I would give you a quick peek at her, since she is just so sweet.

This little peanut will be in process alongside another project for spring 😃 Stay tuned, I have a few more exciting things coming (think bunnies!).

Thank you for reading

Lots of Love,

There once were six wee fox kits...

They are finally ready to emerge from the den! Six little fox kits, or pups, are ready to be loved and squeezed (did you know that fox babies can be called kits or pups?). I adore them. I really enjoyed creating these little loves; I poured my heart into them. If you choose to adopt one of these kits into your home, be forewarned that they are as quick-witted as they are sweet. It is totally up to you whether you choose to let them charm you into giving them what they want or not, just know I warned you. By the way, it’s not just cats that like yarn balls. I have a wad of yarn that you would shake your head at….Im not sure I'll ever get it untangled. They totally talked me out of the scarves and gloves that I wanted to make for them. No gloves! And no to those autumn colored scarves that I was dreaming of. Once one wanted a white scarf, they all wanted a white scarf. Oh well. It reminds me of the white chest and belly of the red fox, so maybe it is better this way.

This was a project that I worked on reeeeallly slowly; in fact I started back in October, doing little bits here and there when I could sneak away from my kids. I dream of the day I will have a little separate studio space that I can get whole uninterrupted days to work with lots of chai tea to sip. Sounds lovely, right? Maybe then it won’t take me 4 months to finish a project amidst the beautiful chaos of life.

Right in the middle of trying to finish up these sweet kits, another girl poked her head out and told me she was more than ready for my attention as well. I’m sure she will be pleased that I will no longer have the distraction of six energetic foxes underfoot. I didn’t tell her that one will be staying here to play, indefinitely. He was just to sweet and and adorable to let go. Four of these wee woolly babes are available for purchase in my Etsy shop here.

Each baby is about 10" tall, and comes with a pair of black socks as well as a natural colored scarf knitted by me. Their limbs are firmly stuffed with clean, carded wool and their belly is stuffed a little less firm - for hugging and squeezing. Their heads are made of wool and cotton interlock fabric in the traditional Waldorf style, with cheeks blushed with beeswax crayon. Their bodies are crafted from a repurposed shirt (that I purchased because I loved the pattern and saw fox dolls instead of a garment!), and their socks are upcycled from a sweater. Every seam is sewn twice with attention and care, including the hand stitched seams.

Though these dolls are crafted with great care and are durable for play, they are not recommended for young children due to the small buttons.

I really want to share all the pictures with you, but I will spare you...this time! Choosing is so hard.😉 I only took 130 of them. You can see more photos in their listings. Find them in my shop here: RootsWingsStudio

*** Edit 2/12/18: All of the sweet fox pups have been adopted and are on their way to their forever homes 😃 ***

Thank you for reading,

Fantastic Fall Foxes

I’m slowly working on a batch of super adorable foxes in celebration of autumn, my favorite season! I am planning to adorn them in various autumn colored scarves.

I just love the changing leaves and the sunny days with crisp breezes…and all things cranberry orange.

Anyway, here is this cute little one in progress. There is still some sewing and knitting to do. Stay tuned for the rest of the bunch, which will be available in my etsy shop when they are finished.

Thanks for reading!
Love, Jen

Let's go back in time a bit...

So in the busyness of summer, this little guy didn’t get the attention he deserves. I didn’t write a post about him when he was done; I was just so excited to get him off to his new home with a super excited little boy that I did a photo shoot and sent him on his way.

I mentioned in the last post about him here that I was going to let his new caretaker name him, and so he is called “Baby Ari"

As requested, he has a spunky colorful tie dyed jumper and some matching knitted booties! There have been some additions to his outfit since he went home, including a cape ;)

He loves to roll around free in the grass whenever he gets a chance, especially in the sun warmed clover. He is so mellow and content to just observe his surroundings; the way the leaves move in the wind, the honey bees drinking nectar from the blossom, the birds flying high in the sky above his head…so quietly he watches. I wish I had a picture to share of the next time I saw Ari; lovingly tied on with a colorful scarf and being carried by his sweet boy, who absolutely would not have Ari untied from his back. I am just so happy that he has a home where he is loved and played with, and so grateful for the smiles and joy he brings. Dolls are so wonderful for children.

Thank you for reading 😃

Lots of Love,


Willow is the name she picked. For a while I thought she was going to leave for her forever home without a name, but on the day she was to leave she finally told me.

It’s a fitting name for her for several reasons...her love of the outdoors; and her long, slender, yet strong limbs. She reaches for the sky, just as the tree will stretch towards the warmth of the sun, and still remain grounded with roots deep in the ground.

Good luck pulling her inside, because she is a free-spirited child with ideas of her own. She can often be found climbing to the top of the tallest object nearby, rolling around in the soft grass and smelling the flowers, or playing hide and seek.

She believes that she can be invisible, especially when in the nude! If she does decide to wear clothes, they must be bright and have flowers, of course!

She did give me a bit of trouble, but I’m going to chalk that up to her strong will and desire to have more of my attention. My summer was a bit of a whirlwind, and she gave me quite a challenge in the middle of it. We persevered through and came out stronger with a fresh perspective :)

I am always so excited to see who emerges from the bits of wool I start with. When it is time to add the fabric and the face, that’s when the magic happens. Suddenly this doll has a personality and a story.

Willow is now happily watching the sunsets from her new home with her new family that loves her. I’m am grateful for the gift of another creation from my hands; this work that feeds my soul.

Thank you for reading!

Lots of love,

Dolls are not just for girls!

I know this really wonderful little boy who is going to be so excited to snuggle this new doll, and I can hardly wait to give it to him! I am also so very thrilled that I am making a doll for a little boy, because dolls are not just for girls. Yes! Boys should have dolls too! Have you ever felt your heart melt when you see a loving father adoring and nurturing his baby? His toddler? Even his grown children? Boys grow up (too fast) and some choose to become fathers. My husband had a baby doll when he was little; my son has a doll; and I think it’s beautiful.

Dolls are such a great way for children, girls and boys alike, to play and imitate what mom and dad do; to nuture, imagine, create. Dolls are an open ended toy, and they are very therapeutic for little ones. A child’s work is to play, and a doll is an invaluable tool.

I have watched this happy boy nurture and rock this unfinished baby doll wrapped in a scarf as if it were already complete. Then trusting me to take good care of his baby, he willingly gave it back to me to finish with that smile on his face I so adore.

I'm going to leave it up to sweet Galileo to name his new lovey, I know he'll pick a great name. I have really enjoyed making this custom doll. We still have a bit of work to go. How exciting to see it start to come together!

The smile on a child’s face when I hand them their new doll is what makes this work so worth it. Thanks for reading 😃

Love, Jen

My Shop has Moved!

Hello all! Hope you are well on this lovely day. I just wanted to let you all know that my shop has moved over here: RootsWingsStudio. You can now find my wool lovies in my new store. The other store platform just wasn’t working out for me, so I switched to Etsy.

Have a wonderful day!

Who will they become?

In the last post I shared about how I make the doll heads. When I start a new doll I often wonder: “Who will they become?" As the pieces start to come together I get a feel for how to shape the eyes, type and color of hair, what clothes to make, what colors to use…I usually don’t know ahead of time unless it has been specifically requested. It’s a really fun creative process for me.

Who will they become? You saw these two in the last post when they were still in their bare wool form.

One of these lovies is a custom doll for a dear friend 😃 The other will be looking for her forever home within the next month. I’m pretty excited to see what unfolds! Thanks for reading.


Curious about what my dolls look like underneath and how I make them look like that? Wonder no more….

People often ask me how I make my dolls, and the answer depends on how detailed they are.
The next question I often get asked is what is the going rate to buy a doll like this. We’ll get to that in a minute.

It all starts with wool, rolled firmly into a ball sightly larger than I want the finished head. It must be firm, so the head retains shape.

Then the ball of wool is inserted into cotton gauze, similar to a sock ( in fact the first time I did this it was a sock, I didn’t have all the fancy supplies) and it gets tied firmly around the neck and then down the “muff" or “spine,"which is essential to a sturdy head.

Next the head gets tied at the eye line and chin line with string and sewed in place at the sides to give the face a form (sorry I missed taking a pic of that...). Depending on the look I am going for, I may stop here, like Adeline here, a more traditional and simple Waldorf style doll (standard round face). Or I may add a cute little nose. If I want to make an art doll, with more detailed features, this is where the fun begins…and the hours.

When I make an art doll, the facial features are created using needle felting. If you are not familiar with this technique, it’s actually really cool. Wool is a bit sticky, as in it sticks to itself, and it likes to felt (ever accidentally wash and dry your favorite wool sweater? Or hat, as in my case? Better save that one for your kid’s dolls now!). Needle felting is achieved using special felting needles that have little barbs on them, causing the wool to felt down to itself. So essentially, I repeatedly add wool where I want it and poke away with the needles until I get the shape and hardness that I want. It takes many hours of attention and love to do. When it is finished it is really firm…think softball. It takes more wool and time than you think! For this reason, art dolls take much longer than simpler Waldorf inspired dolls.

Once I am happy with the head/face I have created, I then add the skin colored fabric, which is pulled very tight to show all of the facial features. With a standard round face doll, eyes and mouth are added with embroidery thread (or sometimes just eyes). The same goes for the art dolls, except the thread used on the face is placed specifically to enhance the wool features I added underneath, so it takes a bit more planning and care; where you sculpt with the thread really changes the way the face looks. It’s really an awesome process to see the face emerge. After this the cheeks are blushed with a beeswax crayon, and maybe I add freckles.

So that’s how the doll heads are created. As you can guess, the process has many steps and takes hours to do.

These are two faces ready for skin fabric, one a bit simpler, the other more detailed. It may be hard to imagine what it will look like at this point, but it will be pretty cute I promise :) I can see it.

As for the price, it really depends on several variables-size of the doll, materials used, how detailed, outfits and accessories, etc. When I first discovered Waldorf dolls and Natural Fiber Art Dolls, I fell in love. I wanted to make a doll for my daughter, so I started researching and set to work. I discovered it takes lots of time, love, attention, and skill to make a cloth doll in this way. These dolls are also made with high quality natural materials, no synthetics, and it takes a pound to a pound and a half of wool to stuff one doll of average size! Then add in clothes, hair, etc. It takes me weeks to make an art doll start to finish (part time hours, with homeschooling and all.)

I really, really love doing this. I never imagined I would call myself a doll maker. I appreciate you so much for being here and reading along on my journey. Thank you.