Happy Mother’s Day and thank you to all the mamas, grandmas, aunts, and friends who’ve bought a WLL doll for a child they love! 💗
All I wanted for Mother’s Day were some photos with my baby. The older he gets the more rare it seems that we capture moments together. Yesterday my husband and son were kind enough to oblige. These iPhone photos may be a bit grainy and out of focus but they are so very precious to me
It took me seven years to become a mother, a journey which broke and rebuilt my heart many times over. Mother’s Day during those years was a day of immense grief and pain. And even now I can feel the ghost of that pain, remember the moments of gut wrenching despair. My heart aches for anyone that has gone through that or is currently walking that road. I see you, I love you.
Six years of motherhood has taught me some hard, deep truths. It’s not the fairytale society tries to make us believe. It’s raw. It’s heartbreaking. It’s character building. It’s pure exhaustion. It’s immense joy. It’s bittersweet. It’s anxious. It’s magic.
As a transracial adoptive mom raising a son of color in a racist world, I feel a strong pressure to raise my son right. To honor his black, indigenous, Mexican heritage. To raise him to know the realities of the world he’ll be living in. So that he can stay safe and grow and thrive and survive. I started WLL to honor my son. To make beautiful dolls of color in the hopes that the world will transfer the love of my dolls to the love of people of color. It’s one of the ways that I want to contribute to making the world a better and safer place for my son. Because that’s what all children deserve - a safe and inclusive world❤️
It's been a crazy few weeks and an even crazier 48hrs with over 1,300 new Instagram followers joining the league! I've been busy adding new items to the shop and changing things up a bit. A new doll has joined the Wildflower Liberty League! Her name is Stella and she has albinism. I've also added a bunch of custom doll options ranging from felt shoes, doll glasses, animal babies, mini wrap babies, 14" dolls, and now even 17" yarn-haired dolls (see the custom cuties below that I made for Elsie Larson's daughter, Nova)! This means you have 13 skin tones, 11 fleece hair shades, and 41 felt colors to choose from and to customize to your heart's content. And to top it all off, you now have the option to purchase a bare doll and put together your own outfit from the shop!
I've also been busy searching for seamstresses to help with the doll making and outfit sewing, and I'm happy to announce that I have found three amazing women that I think will be a wonderful addition to the WLL team. It's so exciting to be finally building a team because now we'll be able to expand the range of dolls and outfits offered while maintaining our high quality standards. I have so many ideas for the coming months and it's exciting to finally have the help to make them come to life!
I also want to say hello and thank you again to all the new followers and customers who found WLL through Elsie's post! I'm so happy you're here and I appreciate all your kind messages and comments about WLL and the message of inclusivity. Take a look around the WLL shop and feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
And last but not least, in honor of the coming Mother's Day weekend, you can get 20% off all orders with the code "loveyourmother" till Sunday at midnight!
Making teeny-tiny doll outfits is supremely satisfying to me. I think it fulfills the side of me that is a boy mom and won't ever have a daughter to dress. Which is also why I love having Wildflower Liberty League as an outlet to express my repressed girly side. Give me all the pink (in moderation), bows, pintucks, and frills!
I recently relocated and reorganized my workspace from our living room to upstairs loft. During the move I rediscovered so many forgotten fabrics, including remnants of old clothing that I had stashed away in the hopes of repurposing. Amongst the pile was this beautiful vintage fair isle sweater my mother in law had given to me years ago. I had always adored the pattern but the fit was no good for me. Five years ago, I even used part of the sweater to make a cozy hot water bottle cover for when I lived in Minnesota and had to survive the long freezing cold winter nights. I still had a large chunk of the sweater leftover and when I stumbled upon it in my workspace move, I started imagining an adorable winter doll outfit.
Once I solidified the knit doll outfit, it felt like the perfect time for another Wildflower Liberty League instagram fundraiser. Ayita's limited edition outfit includes a fair isle pom hat, fair isle cardigan, scarf with poms, knee socks, and gold boots. As with all doll purchases, 10% of the amount raised in the fundraiser will be donated to the Radical Monarchs.
See you tomorrow morning Friday, January 25th on instagram @wildflowerlibertyleague at 9am mountain standard time.
The fundraiser will end on Saturday, January 26th at 9 pm mst.
P.S. your amazing support is the reason WLL has been able to donate a total of $969.46 to children charities. When you bid on special limited edition dolls or buy a classic doll from our shop you are making a difference. To read more about where we donate and why, click here.
Xavi's room took us waaaay too long to put together, mostly due to exhaustion from our move from Minnesota to Colorado. It wasn't until this past July that we finally fully decorated it and put it together. Up until that point he was living in the toddler equivilant of a dorm room- bare walls, random storage, clothes in piles, plain mattress on the floor, etc. Parent fail.
Once we found the time to tackle his space, I sketched out a few different room layouts and once the layout was chosen, I focused primarily on his gallery wall. Most of the items in the above photo were pieces I had collected while on thrifting adventures the few years before Xavi was born. In the back of my mind, with my constant wish to become a mom, I knew that these pieces would look wonderful in a child's bedroom. And I'm glad that I was right!
Before hanging the gallery wall, I first hung the tassle banner (I had made it for Xavi's first birthday) to act as a border, and then laid out the gallery pieces in various patterns on the floor. I've learned over the years to always lay out your pictures first before making unnecessary nail holes in the wall.
Xavi's rug was the original focal piece for his nursery. I had bought it online a few days after he was born, and after we knew for sure that his adoption was going to go through. Over three years of heavy use later and I'm still in love with it's design and vibrant colors. The vintage swivel rocker in the below photo, I had bought over a year before Xavi was born. I found it while trolling on craigslist. Again in the back of my mind, I knew it would be perfect for a nursery. It set the color scheme for his room- olive, aqua, and royal.
Xavi's iconic tent bed. I basically came up with a design for a bed that I would've loved as a kid. I first designed the ikea hack in January 2015, and still get comments and questions on the original instagram post and occassionally see it pop up in my pinterest feed. Xavi's bed was also featured in Nido magazine's February 2016 issue. It's always fun when other people enjoy your ideas. It wasn't till last winter that he was ready to transition to a big kid bed, but I'm happy to say that he still loves this bed and now likes to close the tent flaps when he sleeps. Even my husband and I like to read and sing to him at bedtime in there. It's so cozy with it's fort/tent feel.
Rug and bear pillow: Beci Orpin for Urban Outfitters (try ebay)
Ikea bed hack: Kura reversible bed found on craigslist but still available at Ikea
Tent for bed: Canvas drop cloths, bought at home depot
Vintage swivel rocker and ottoman: found on craigslist
Vintage accordian wall lamp: ebay
Edison lightbulb: home depot
White cube shelving unit and baskets: Ikea
Billingual books in wire wall baskets: Lil' Libros
Wire wall baskets: Target
Pink pom pillow: Land of Nod
Army green bed blanket: Land of Nod
Fox ears and tail: Opposite of Far
Girl doll and boy bunny: Lilou and Bobby, Wildflower Liberty League
Three little buddies in basket: handmade from Gingermelon patterns
Raccoon in basket: Max Raccoon, Hazel Village
Tall fox on right: Henry the Fox, Walnut Animal Society
Let me know if you have any other questions about the bed hack or items in Xavi's room in the comments section and I'll do my best to answer them!
Photos by Rebecca Caridad, Manzanita for Mother Magazine
A week ago we decided to go on an impromptu road trip in search of fall foliage. We intended to only do a day trip to Steamboat, but once we arrived, we decided to stay the night. Thank goodness, I had packed some dog food and extra clothes and diapers for Xavi. We were ridiculously underdressed for the weather we encountered along the way (Cole was wearing flip flops and Xavi shorts!). It was the strangest road trip where we experienced three seasons in four hours. We left summer in Boulder, found autumn, and then winter along the way! I snapped photos with my iphone (many while Cole was driving) so please excuse the lack of clarity and quality.
The next morning we woke up early (thanks to our new puppy, Greta) and went for a gorgeously foggy hike on a Steamboat ski slope.
I have a little corner in our living room where I do my sewing, planning, and creating. I was recently asked to do a interview for Mother and my friend Rebecca came over to snap some photos for the article.
It's a simple space with an antique table, ikea chair, and a pegboard with shelves and baskets on the wall, but it suits my needs perfectly. While it can get a bit chaotic being in our living room, it works for me as a stay-at-home mama as I get to stay in the mix of things and keep an eye on my three year old and two dogs.
Welcome to my very first blog post on Wildflower Liberty League. Those who've known me for some time, know that blogging has been a part of my life, on and off, for about ten years. I started with an infertility blog, switched to fashion blogging, then to interior design, and finally to now. I took a bit of a blogging hiatus (ahem three years) when I became a mom, but I'm happy to be back at it this time around for my nonprofit, Wildflower Liberty League.
Now, for those who don't know me- Hi, I'm Maria Confer, stay-at-home mama to my incredible three year old son, Xavier, and wife to my amazing husband of 13 years, Cole. We also have a one year old, black lab mix, Willa, who keeps our lives extra crazy and snuggly. In 2013, we were blessed with our son through open, domestic, transracial adoption. Cole and I knew since the time we met (waaaaay back in 1999) that we wanted children and hoped to someday adopt. Little did we know the path we'd have to walk to make that dream a reality. Adoption is a life defining/altering experience to go through and I'm happy to say that we made it through changed (for the better) and mostly unscathed.
Which brings me to why I've created, Wildflower Liberty League. If you've read the "About" page blip, you know the gist. Since becoming a transracial adoptive mama, I've had my eyes opened to some pretty big things- the struggles and joys of motherhood, how to remove all sorts of stains from clothing, and most importantly, systemic racial inequality. I'm ashamed to admit that my white privilege kept me comfortably ignorant for a majority of my life. Enter my incredible son, Xavi and the opening of my eyes. As a transracial adoptive mama, I knew it was my job to learn and to educate myself as best as I could about what it means to be a person of color in our world. To do better and be better for my son. To bring diversity into his life and teach him about his amazing Afro-Latino Mexican heritage. It's a steep learning curve and one I'll be working on for the rest of my life, but that's my job as his mom and as a citizen of this world. To learn, grow, adapt, and change for the better.
One way I hope to do better is through my nonprofit, Wildflower Liberty League. There is still a sad lack of diversity in dolls and toys. Walk through any major store and you'll see what I mean. Looking for dolls for Xavi, I struggled to find not only dolls of color but also the style of dolls that I like- classic, huggable, simplistic, quality, rag dolls for young children. I made my first dolls as Christmas presents for Xavi in 2014. Since then, the idea of creating more has been brewing in my head. This past winter, I finally decided to take the leap to start making dolls and to make my company a nonprofit.
And finally to the good news...I'm happy to announce there will be a shop launch next week. The dolls will be made to order with only two of each available for purchase at a time. First dibs will be given to those who've subscribed to the newsletter. Since I'm a one woman show, I want to be able to make dolls and ship them in a realistic time frame. Once I've completed the dolls ordered, more will be listed in the shop.
Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns. Before you go, enjoy a slideshow from a recent photoshoot of my family by my insanely talented friend (and fellow transracial adoptive mama), Rebecca Caridad of Manzanita.
I'm Maria Confer. Transracial adoptive mama and founder of Wildflower Liberty League dolls.
Check out my tumblr
Sidebar photo by:
Rebecca Caridad, Manzanita