Barons Court Theatre, London UK

Francesca, Sowmya, Carolina, Laura, Jagoda, Emily, Lauren, Lucy, Leo and two other people , a boy and a girl I forgot to ask the names, made dolls at the last scratch night. We made 13 dolls in total. One of them is missing, I hope we will recover it soon.

Actually only two makers finished their dolls and meditate. I’ve already finished all the others, they were almost finished so it was an easy task.

‘I just forgot to add a heart to my doll, it was very sturdy but had no feelings – and I thought that was a nice metaphor for how we humans can be sometimes. Fortunately Regina helped me to fix the doll. I loved the whole experience.’

I’m really grateful for everybody who made dolls and for Leo and Sharon who always receive the project with such care and love, thank you! 

Scratch night at Barons Court Theatre, London UK

Emma and Leo made one doll each. Leo was glad making another doll, I think it’s his 4th. We made seven in total.

‘I really loved creating the doll. Very special to connect to my theatrical dreams and heartbeat through the doll making in a theatre. Feels very fizzy.’

I am very grateful for the invitation and for another brilliant evening together.

D&D over the last ten years

63 + 77 + 39 + 20 + 34 + 16 + 18 + 33 = 300

That’s the number of dolls we made only in big D&Ds from 2014 to 2020 and 2024.

Actually we made some in 2013 but I didn’t register the number. There is a photo of them lying down on the floor and I said ‘without dreams and a heart we can’t stand up.’

Those are pics of some of them in each year.

They are teens now and we have been looking at childhood photos, so many happy memories.

Some pics and comments by doll makers at Slung Low Leeds

‘There is always room for a little more dreams.’

‘I enjoyed filling my doll with dreams sitting down and having uncomplicated honest conversations with people. I wish my doll well. It was a lovely experience to sit down with.’

‘A firm figure, so stuffed

that the red thread snaps at the hip.

My skirt button pops off

as I sit to make the final snip.’

‘A very relaxing and fulfilling experience. Making my doll at d&d made my day because was something out of the ordinary. I extremely enjoyed my day with dreams and a heart. The doll I made had only a couple of breaks that were easy to fix and made my doll is unique.’

‘I am very happy to bring you one doll closer to 3000. Thank you for a peaceful hour and lovely conversation.’

‘My doll today embodies my dreams for my daughter who is having a difficult time at the moment. My heart to her heart, my dreams to her dreams. Thank you x.’

‘A beautiful mindful moment of focus and reflection. Creating something bigger than the sum of its parts.’

‘That was so darn relaxing.’

‘Putting dreams into my feet and hands, brain and heart. Allowing me to roam free and keep running and exploring for ideas I long for a better world. A dream land.’

‘It was magical! To be focused, to be creative, to be quiet, to have a heart, to be absorbed, to be, to just be…Thank you!’

‘So many dreams packed into a small body. A heart obscured by dreamstuff. Return to the pulse.’

‘There is a lot of space inside us for a lot of dreams. Our hearts connect to the pulse of the universe around us. It’s easy to get a little saggy at the seams but tender energies can reaps, renew and strengthen us. This is what I ‘learnt’ today with my dreams and a heart doll.

Ps I also learned that ‘learnt’ can be spelt ‘ learned’ – and ‘spelt’ can be spelled ‘ spelled’ or ‘spelt’. Lol .’

‘My second doll has silky skin, firm yet yielding arms, a defined waist, a distinct left thumb, a big right toe, several stitches under the left arm, a squiggle under the right shoulder blade, neat white stitching up the left inner thigh, a heart that beats with wings of

butterflies and the buzz of bees.’

‘A lovely contemplative experience with interesting thoughts and conversations. I’ve put a little part of me out into the world.’

‘It was a beautiful experience. Namaste.’

‘Thank you little doll for carrying these dreams with you. I know they are in a special place with you. I am grateful for the small part I have had in your making.’

‘I loved the relaxing feeling of slowly making the doll. This has really made my day.’

Thank you so much for your help and for the lovely time we spent together, love you all.

Slung Low, Leeds UK

We met at Slung Low Leeds in our first long weekend D&D after pandemic. It was brilliant! 

In previous big D&Ds we made 267 dolls. I called a session asking for help making 33 dolls so we could reach 300, 10% of the community of almost 3000 so far. 

Frank, Elspeth, Ruby, Keith, Joanne, Amy, Pat, Caitlin, Zoe, Saskia, Nina, Cora, Tenar, Jack, Lloyds, Ruby, Ess, Ali, Antony, Leannah, Amy, Tim, Jocelyn, Debbie were inspired to help. There were also three more people I forgot to write down the names. Some of the makers made two or three dolls.

We worked non stop during the weekend and I am so happy to say we made it. Actually we made one more on Monday so the total is 34 dolls. I’ll organise all comments in the next post. 

I missed a lot to be together a whole weekend making dolls in a big D&D. Last time was four years ago. I am so happy it happened again this year. The dolls have come to the event since they were born. First time there were only seven of them. They feel at home, they love it. 

Thank you SO much for all the makers who helped us to achieve our target, to Beatrice who painted the wall including the dolls in abundance, to Mat from Slung Low and a huge thank you to Lee, Phelim and all Improbable team who once more did an amazing generous job holding the space for everybody. I love you all so much. Thank you! 

Vila Industrial, Campinas SP Brazil

Rita, Cidinha, Ivani, Suzelei, Maria Conceição, Regina, Heloísa, Célia, Fátima, Nanci, Felipe, Osmarina, Maria Cristina, Maria Aparecida, Lourdes Paula, Mirian, Carmen, Tânia, Dalva, Lilian, Jacy, Esmeralda, Nilza e Vanderlane. We spent an afternoon making dolls. We made 24 in total. 

There were people from several places who had the chance to meet each other and exchange experiences. Some generously brought pillows to help the project and also food to share at the end of the workshop. After we finish making our dolls I mixed all of them up and asked the makers to find their own doll. Despite the fact they are all very similar it was a simple task. After spending such a long time making the doll it becomes unforgettable. We ended up our session placing all the dolls standing up together and we reproduced their space composition with our own bodies. We were 25 hearts beating together for a better world!

‘I was happy to share this moment, to meet different people. The mentor is a super polite, kind person with strong energy, she allowed us to be relaxed in our dreams that I even actually slept. I sang a song ‘…you didn’t want to dream the dream I dreamt…’ I had a wonderful afternoon.’ 

‘I arrived here as one person and left here as another. I leave this unique experience very invigorated due to the exchange of energy in the group and the meditation that transports us to another source of pleasure and good living. An incredible idea! I loved it!’ 

‘It was the first time I participated in something so innovative. I hope that the doll I made received all my love and a lot of positive energy. Thank you for the invitation. The moment of socialization was very good.’ 

‘Playful activity in which there was a lot of pleasant interaction with friends.’

‘I felt integrated with the group and I believe that these dolls will bring joy and integration wherever they are made. They can provide peace and union of people and the end of wars.’ 

‘This experience was a feeling of belonging to the whole of which we are part. We are all connected by the energies that circulate on the planet.’ 

‘I had a very good feeling as if my heart was beating in the doll. I felt a lot of peace, an incomparable feeling like I hadn’t felt before, it was a great feeling. It was a privilege to be here.’ 

‘The experience brings a lot of peace and tranquility, it is a type of cleansing of the soul.’ 

‘It was a new experience. I don’t like doing manual work. I always liked to renew the house – painting walls, doors, windows, railings. For the first time I managed to do work like this, a dream doll. Thanks for the opportunity.’ 

‘It was a pleasant moment with the group. I assembled the doll and passed joy and energy to its heart. I enjoyed helping people to assemble their dolls.’ 

‘For the first time I filled a rag doll called a dream doll. I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it, but I did it easily. I felt happier and fulfilled, it was a wonderful sensation. I realised I am capable of doing anything, I just need to want it and put it into practice.’

‘In the meditation I transferred good energy of love, health and joy for the doll and for whoever picks it up.’ 

‘A different afternoon bringing friends together and making a doll where we leave a little bit of ourselves to travel the world. I am grateful for the opportunity.’ 

‘ Beneficial meeting for us individually, for the group and for all living beings on our planet.’ 

‘ I’m happy to have organised the doll’s workshop and sew them. How many dreams fit into these little dolls! What a joy to see them standing and supporting each other just as we do in life. It was wonderful to see people helping each other in their difficulties. It’s very gratifying to know that my doll will brighten someone’s life. Thank you Regina for awakening so much emotion and energy this afternoon here in the city I chose to live in. Congratulations on the project. Now there are representatives from Campinas.’ 

‘Making the doll was a good feeling of calm and relaxation.’

‘The experience of making dream dolls with friends was very enjoyable.’

‘It was a moment of relaxation. Through this doll, my joy will arrive in someone’s hands, it has a little bit of me, my affection and satisfaction in making it.’

‘I am grateful for the opportunity to experience this unique moment, an extraordinary peace.’

‘I felt very far away, like I was flying, relaxed and free. Within each one of us has something special – to be happy. I loved the experience, it’s a work worth living, thank you!’

‘Lots of interaction between people and lots of help between each other.’

Thank you so much for all makers for the precious time we spent together, your generosity and joy during the entire session. Thank you for makers who donated their pillows and a special thank you to Jacy who sewed all dolls we worked with, donated dreams, open her space and brought all of us together. A huge thank you to you all! 

Alto da Lapa, Sao Paulo Brazil

Cecília, Claudemira, Sebastiana, Sônia, Lígia, Will, Vera e Claudia came to make dolls. We made nine dolls in total. Claudemira helped sew the legs of some of them.

We played with our dolls making different compositions in the space. They supported each other to stay on their own feet. Vera made beautiful of photos of them. After that we meditated together feeling our pulse and breath. 

‘Thanks for allowing us to see what the poet foretold: we are such stuff as dreams are made on.’

‘A rich experience, we think and send positive energy to others.’

‘It was a beautiful experience, being so in the present, concentrated in the puppet in my hand but at the smae time being in the future, hand by hand with the person who will play with it. Being present to build the future.’

‘Immersive and rewarding experience.’

‘Bless you!’

I am really grateful to Cecilia who generously received us in her house. Besides sharing her space she baked delicious cakes for us. Thank you so much for all makers for an adorable time we spent together, thank you!

Perdizes, São Paulo Brazil

In January Claudia, Alice, Lili e Sandra came to make dolls in Perdizes, São Paulo Brazil. We made five dolls in total.

We had a joyful time talking about the project and sharing our life experiences. We finished the session meditating and after that we put the dolls standing together, they couldn’t stand up alone.

We talked about the colours of the dolls that are the colour of our bones. They reminded me that in the Eutony technique we work our skin and bones. Such a beautiful coincidence with a technique I hold dear to my heart. It is a practice based on sensory awareness developed by Gerda Alexander.

‘Feet must be full of dreams’ 

‘It was a magical moment, giving life and filling that little one with dreams… Filling it seemed easy but no… I’m glad we were together, in a circle, as if we were by the fire… Telling stories, laughing, singing. .. A circle of women sharing their pearls… A spontaneous and fleeting moment… Giving pulse to the dream… The thought came: fly, fly little bird! Get out of my hand and go to the world! And how beautiful it is to put all of them together standing up! Dreams the color of bones and skin, they could only stand up because they were together… What a beautiful inspiration.’

‘Filling a rag doll with dreams and putting a heart in it is a way of reminding us that we are made of dreams, that we have a heart that beats, that together we stand supporting each other and that we can have a voice in the world, on the five continents that will receive these dolls. It was a unique and very special experience. Thank you Regina for the opportunity to be part of this dream.’

I am very grateful for everybody who helped making dolls, for Claudia who brought a pillow full of dreams and a huge thank you to Sandrinha for inviting the project and sharing her space with us.