Artist interview with Dorthe of Den Lille Lade

It's with great pleasure that I'm sharing with you today an interview I recently had with my dear blog friend and wonderful mixed media artist / doll maker Dorthe Hansen of Den Lille Lade!

Dorthe makes the most beautiful mixed media collages, art books and fabric rolls. Mostly in a nature or shabby vintage theme. But many of us know her as a doll maker. And her dolls have such friendly faces, they immediately take you in. Dorthe uses old laces, hand dyed fabrics, papers, driftwood and other things she finds in nature. And with these items she makes unique, one of a kind pieces of art.

Since she regularly participates in the Simply Neutral parties here on AppleApricot, I thought it would be wonderful if we get to know her a little better, and asked if she would like to do an interview. Luckily for us she said yes! So here it is!


Wen: Hello dear friend, it is so wonderful to have an interview with you, thank you so much for your willingness to share your story with us!

In case anyone doesn’t know you yet, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Dorthe: First dear Wendy, thank you so much for doing this interview with me. I feel very honoured and will try to tell a little about my creative life. I`m a Danish woman, living on a tiny island Bornholm with my husband. I have a wonderful daughter, and two grandkids living far away, in Copenhagen, so the little time I spend, with them is precious, to me.

I have always loved sewing, and have lived from sewing dolls and other things for 19 years, having had my shop on my home address. Now it is closed and I`m a pensioner :) with time to sew and create, whenever, and what I want.

Wen: When I started blogging in 2012, you were one of the first artists upon whose blog I stumbled. And I’m so happy that I did this quite early! Because not only did I start blogging in 2012, but also crafting. And you were a great inspiration to me from the start. I learned so many things by just looking closely to your work.

Dorthe: Thank you for your loving words, Wendy, I`m so happy to be able, inspiring, and I can honestly say, you have inspired me so many times, too.

Thank you sweetie!

What made you become a doll maker / artist and who were your early inspiration and how has this influenced your work?

My very early inspiration was an American man called James Cramer. He made simple style dolls and santas, and I still love what he did. He influenced my work, in the way, that he made me start creating myself, trying to find my own style.

And later I “met” so many American women creating dolls of all kind, whom also inspired me, through the years. But the last many years I turned my interest into the mixed media world, and there also found lovely friends, -one I will always keep in my heart, is JoAnna Pierotti, whom both was a dear friend, and also inspired me very much ! RIP, to Joanna.

JoAnna made such gorgeous and inspiring art. I think many of us are influenced by her work. (By the way, for anyone who is not familiar with Joanna's work, please see HERE. You might know her work from Pinterest. She had a blog called Moss Hill Studios. Rest in peace, JoAnna...)

Dorthe, how would you describe your art and your art style?

I think I can do that in very few words, Wen,- Shabby, romantic, and always with a touch of nature. Also the dolls were romantic, fairies, and angels, cloth dolls.

Some of my most favourite art pieces that you created, are the ones where you are inspired by nature. The use of found objects, driftwood, feathers. This has really inspired me to do the same.

Nature has a big place in my creations, that is right, it also gives of its ridges of all kinds, and I can`t  take a walk, without bending to collect all kind of materials: leaves, dried berries, cones, feathers ,driftwood, and much more. They are all saved, to get a place in a creation, later.

What kind of art work do you most enjoy making?

Now a day`s my favourite play is with both papers, and fabrics. Creating collages, cards, tags, all kinds of things, where I can mix, all my finds, with papers and laces, old photos and ephemera.

Can you tell us a bit about your process of creating?

I don`t really have an idea, when starting, but chose stamps and other materials, at first, and only after that, I decide what the “big picture “ should be, and start creating. I get very inspired when having the materials in my hands, adding,-and taking away, till my eyes are satisfied !!

Do you have a favourite material you love working with?

I am almost sure I never did anything without using old laces, or other old pieces of cloth, somewhere  in my creation. -I also collect beautiful old scraps, and ribbons, whenever I see  them, and they are always a part of whatever I do.

Are there materials you’d like to experiment with? Or creative styles you’d like to try?

I would like to experiment more with eco dying! The results some people get from gathering leaves, and flowers,- rolling them up in cotton and after dye them in a hot, boiling bath, fascinates me, a lot. I have tried a few times, but never really studied the best procedure, and I believe one need to know exactly how to do it, to get a beautiful result !!  

One of my favourite art pieces made by you, is a fabric and lace roll attached to a piece of driftwood, with bird images, which you made for Liz of LuluLiz in LalaLand.

Thank you so much Wendy, I remember it well !! And I am not finished with creating snippet rolls, they are lovely little works, and can be done, while in the evening watching a bit of TV. Again I collect  some different materials, and transferred images, and play, till I find the result lovely.

Photo taken by Liz of Lululiz in Lalaland

Is there a piece of art you made that you are particular fond of? Why is this one so special to you?

I actually don`t know, if there is a particular piece I could mention, but the dolls, the big ones, are always special to me. They grow and come alive through my fingers, and thoughts, while sewing. They are always very different, in appearance,- and even if trying I would never be able to sculpt two faces looking alike. That`s what makes doll making a bit like giving birth, every time finishing another one. 

The dolls you make are so full of character. How do you make them come to life? Do they have their own stories?

Yes, they always have a story of their own, depending on which kind of doll I wish to create. I love becoming inspired from fairy tales, and lovely drawings, of princesses, mermaids, angels, musicians  a.s.o. I collect materials, from my stashes, -I do like to use special fabrics, and for many years I bought samples from a Danish woman whom sold expensive fabrics, to well known fashion designers in Denmark. Every time she had a new collection, I could buy the old one, also laces, buttons, ribbons, and so much more, so my doll dresses were always made from very fashionable materials.

The many tiny adds, maybe of a story, in her hand, a hat, the wonderful materials, always together with the face, made the doll almost live. The 3-d faces really adds to that feeling, I think.

It is wonderful to hear you talk about your dolls and how you make them. If you will ever do a workshop on making dolls, then I will certainly join!

What really struck me from the beginning, is the generosity in the online creative world. I have met so many sweet and helpful creative bloggers, like yourself, who always have a friendly word to share, or who are there when you need help.

What have you gained by joining the online creative community? In what way has it enriched your life?

Oh Wendy, that could be another new story. I would never have believed, to receive all the support, the sweetness, the help, which have been showed me, from the land of blogs, and also after joining Facebook. I meet so many wonderful people, like you. Some have become close friends, with whom I can empty my heart, gain strength and celebrate, too. It has become a very important part of my life, which I never wish to loose.

Also we are each others cheerleaders, inspirations, and uplifting, “sisters”. I always do my best to “pay back” all the kindness, helpful advises, smiles, and even love, I have received from so many places in the world, and I treasure all these dear friends so very much.

Thank you dear, I feel really blessed to connect with you. You truly are an inspiration to me and a sweet friend!

Is there something else you would like us to know about you or your work that we have not covered?

I think we have been around, of course there would be other things to tell, but I believe this interview have become very long, LOL - Thank you for reading my thoughts, and stories from life, I am thankful, to have been chosen, to be here.

You're so very welcome, and thank you so much for sharing with us your story and thoughts, dear friend!


And to you, dear readers and friends, I hope you enjoyed this interview with Dorthe. It is my plan to have more interviews with wonderful artists like Dorthe. So, stay tuned :)

xx Wen

Photos taken by Dorthe of Den Lille Lade and Liz of Lululiz in Lalaland. Used with permission for this interview.

Where Bloggers Create party 2016 info

Hello dear friends,

Just a short notice to let you know there will be a Where Bloggers Create party this year after all! Karen has decided to go for it again this year and just recently announced that the party will be on

July 15th 2016

So, this is in less then a month!

I am not sure whether I will be able to participate. But I thought you my friends might be interested in this wonderful annual party, because I know some of you have been participating in earlier editions.

For information, click HERE.

Sunny day to you!
xx Wen

Simply Neutrals #26

A little later today than planned, but here is....

Simply Neutrals number 26!!

shabby white mixed media collage by AppleApricot

For this week I'm choosing a golden oldie from my archives.
It is one of my earliest collages.

shabby white mixed media collage by AppleApricot (detail)

Such a sweet little girl, don't you think?

I'm still busy with cleaning up my pinterest boards, so I can't share the link to this vintage photo yet. But I did notice that the link to the corresponding blog is not working anymore. I hope I can share the photo of the girl later with you.

Features of last party

Links are provided with the photos.

First feature is a stunning collage by Dorthe of Den Lille Lade.
I loved the little tumbnail photo she added to the party link up, but when I opened the link and saw this...

fabric and lace collage by Dorthe of Den Lille Lade

Oh my!! So gorgeous!!
Sweet friend, you have once again made me speechless.

And here is the mentioned beautiful detail...

mixed media heart by Dorthe of Den Lille Lade

Next feature is some gorgeous work by Nancy of Sugar Lump Studios.
Dear Nancy, you made it really hard for me to choose which of the gorgeous items to share today! The blog post was just overflowing with gorgeousness :)

shabby white cards by Nancy of Sugar Lump Studios

I ended up choosing these gorgeous cards and notebooks.
But if you haven't seen the rest of her post yet, then be sure to visit it now, HERE.

shabby white journals by Nancy of Sugar Lump Studios


Then there is another gorgeous feature, by Karen of Roosterhead Designs.

lace bag by Karen of Roosterhead Designs

She made this gorgeous bag with pleats and frays, yummy!

Here is a close up of some of the beautiful details...

lace bag by Karen of Roosterhead Designs (detail)

Gorgeous work, sweetie!

And I know these three sweet ladies already have this "I'm featured" button,
but there you go, here it is:

On to this week's party!!



Next party will start on the 9th of August.

What neutral coloured beauty did you find or make or buy or receive?

Post anything in neutral colours,
be it cream, white, grey, beige, silver and/or brown.

A creation you made or received, home decoration, a statue or architecture, or anything out there that you were allowed to take a photo of.

Card for Kirsty

Shabby vintage card by AppleApricot

Kirsty of Handmade Little Things had her birthday recently. And lucky me, a few days after her birthday she visited our country, so I could give her the presents and card in person!