Aprilart Dolls ® 495 Emery St. E. London,Ontario N6C2E9
I was born and raised in London, Ontario where I reside with my husband of 48 years Rob and our Bearded Collie Bentley. We have a son, a daughter and three beautiful granddaughters.
After highschool, I trained as a hairstylist and worked in salons until my chldren came along. At that time, I set up shop at home where I currently still do some long time customers, now good friends.
I have always had a penchant for dollmaking from a very early age. As young girls, my sister, Linda and I made our own dolls. We spent hours making our own cut-out dolls, featuring whole families and all their furniture made from paper and their houses make from cardboard boxes. Then we went to the three dimensional element and made our beautiful sock dolls.
This was before I received my first Barbie. She was a clone actually, named Mitzi. I bought a Mitzi on ebay a few years ago. She was just as beautiful as I remembered! Later came the Barbies and years of fantasy and fashion.
When I had a daughter, I worked very hard to instill a love of dolls in her. She played for hours on end with her Barbies, Strawberry Shortcakes and Cabbage Patch Kids which was good for me because I enjoyed just looking at them and sometimes cleaning them up, doing their hair, etc. I never made her any clothing for them as I didn't know how to sew at that time.
I seemed to always be into creating something, from macrame' in the 70's to wreaths and bowers in the 80's and thanks to my new neighbour I made ceramics in the early 90's. The curious thing is I never made these things with intent to keep them. Since I was an "at home" mom, I was always looking for ways to make some income without going to work outside the home. I always sold what I made, and lucky for me, people bought my products!
Around 1995 that same neighbour, Janis Boisclair, introduced me to sculpting with polymer clay. I started to make my own character sculpts along with Janis and soon we were exhibiting our work at various doll shows in Southern Ontario. But I still had that love for pretty dolls, big and small, that could be redressed. While attending a doll show in London I saw some porcelain fairies and asked an exhibitor named Joanne Wilson, a porcelain artist and instructor, if she would make me one. She said no, but I could come and make my own at her place. So I went to her class and was just going to make a fairy. I ended up making 10 and by the time I was done, I was hooked! I loved working with porcelain, it's texture is so soft and smooth, not coarse like ceramics and I couldn't get over the wonderful way the china paints blended. I asked my friend's mother (Fran Constant) to make my doll clothes and I was back in business selling at doll shows again!
As time went on I started painting the eyes on most of them, mainly to save money at first, but for some reason I seemed to have a knack in painting great looking eyes and now constantly endeavour to create depth and personality in all my dolls through the eyes by learning new ideas and techniques. Over the last 7 or 8 years I have also learned to sew my own doll clothes. It still amazes me considering I couldn't figure my way through a pattern and now I make my own!
When I look back I realize all the creative mediums I have dabbled in, including hairstyling, have helped to hone my skills and become the artist I am today. I regularily feature my smaller dolls on ebay where they and countless small doll outfits sell worldwide as fast as they are listed. Check out my page "Adoptions around the World" to view some of them.
Occasionally I have been hired for custom look alikes or custom clothing. My page "Commissions" will show you examples. You can contact me if you have a request for a likeness of your child or grandchild. His/her own clothes can be cut down to fit the doll on request.
You may also enjoy checking out my page "Currently up for Adoption" to view my dolls that are now for sale. I am a very good packer and ship around the world. I accept VISA, Master Card, AMEX, Paypal, International Money Orders, and Email Transfers for Canadian Customers. Remember, all my doll are completely created by me in a non smoking studio or my non smoking home.
My first attempt at doll making was when I was about 7 or 8 years old...she was a cowgirl made from a sock with tinfoil hoop earrings and a gold satin outfit with fringe skirt and vest, and cardboard brimmed hat. Don't forget the black nylons! Amazing that my mother saved her.
To read my contributed article in Dolls Magazine about my friend and mentor Joanne Wilson and her generous donations to LHSC please click here...
my friend Kathy and myself at MDCC 2023 in Indianapolis
The doll community is truly shaken by the loss of one of the most gifted and notable doll artists of our time, Dianna Effner. May she rest in peace and may her family find comfort from their love and memories of her.
All of us are thankful for her legacy of beautiful sculpts and soulful dolls that have and will bring us joy for years to come.
If you would like to read my tribute to Dianna please click here:
To read a lovely article on Dianna please click here:
Above:LDFG People’s Choice award winner Claire
Below: “introducing April, my first LD # 5”
Here we are in 2024 and already hoping for an early spring🌷
I am looking forward to a very exciting year! We have already had the introduction to the new Lil dreamer number two and on February 9th we debuted Little Darling #5. These new dolls are so fun to paint as well As the other Lil darlings. What else is exciting? This year Modern Doll Convention is in August and is taking place in New Orleans. I will be there as part of the guild and hopefully I will meet some of you.
You can check out my interview with Dolls Magazine From 2023 MDCC
I hope you are enjoy browsing through my site and perhaps finding a doll you would like to own.
I am painting Studio Little Darling vinyl dolls, Bonekas and any dolls sculpted by the amazing Dianna Effner. I am also still making amazing porcelain dolls using only her molds.
if you have any questions or would like to order a custom doll please feel free to emal me at
Meet the Doll Dreamers Guild!