Previous month:
August 2009
Next month:
October 2009

September 2009

Our Trip to Massachusetts in Pictures :)


The hotel


The city

Elsita and natalie at fair

Natalie and I at the craft fair the day before the wedding


Family walk


Papa Bill and princess Natalie

D and n

Ready to go?


The amazing wedding location


People are arriving


Inside the house. Beautiful patterns everywhere


I fell in love with this wall paper


Photo of myself taken by my sister in law Marguerita

Naty and diego

Prince and princess closing a deal: Diego won't run away


Prince brakes the deal


The birds are really in love


Almost ready to start the ceremony


A rare moment of calm

Billy and diego

Bill trying to convince Diego not to run away


Natalie taking a break


Miro and his orange juice

Elsita nn

Natalie and myself. Natalie is holding the important rings 


My girl was so happy


Miro was happy too


The men of the Horberg family. Diego is the leader :)


Grandpa Jay and Aunt Marguerita

Natalie rings

Natalie delivers the rings, she did such a great job. Diego was amazing, he stayed seated (on my laps) during the whole ceremony. No running away :)


At the table


Yummy treats were served


Miro and Aunt Marguerite


After the beautiful and moving ceremony

Elsita and billy

They're already husband and wife

And now we're back home my friend. It was such a wonderful trip. So many special memories to treasure!  I am sure that one day in the future we will see these pictures and our hearts will beat a little faster.

I hope that this week is going great for you so far.


Elsita :)

(More about my dress here :)

Flying Away :)

We're so excited!

By the time you read this post we will be up in the air flying far away for Bill's cousin's wedding. I'm sure that it's going to be great. The best part is that Natalie and Diego are going to be have a special role in the ceremony. Natalie  thinks that Diego is going to run away with the rings, she is so worry about that. But we told her that there will be enough people around to stop him :o 

I will share pictures of the event at my return. You're going to love Diego's suit, he's going to look like a miniature gentleman. Miro will look like a real man, I can't believe that he's almost 18! And Natalie's is going to look like a princess. I will be wearing a blue vintage dress that I am in love with and Bill will be wearing a penguin inspired suit (I'm kidding!)

I will be back with the report as soon as I have a chance!

Elsita :)

My Trip to Tennessee (the end :)

Dear friend,

I would need to write about 100 posts to tell you all the details about my trip to Tennessee. About each one of the special people that I met over there, about all the things that I learned from the artists that generously shared their secrets and techniques on doll making, about my lecture...but 100 posts would take lots of time :)


That's why I will try to say the most important things in this single post:

1. Dear Nancy, thanks a lot for having dinner with me the first night and for sharing a little bit about yourself with me. I wish you all the best regarding your work as a teacher. I am sure that your students will keep bringing lots of joy into your life (Nancy works with children like Diego:) And don't forget to carve a sacred little place in your life for doing your creative work, you deserve it!

Mary Ellen

2. Dear Mary Ellen, (she is in the picture above during a demonstration) thanks a lot for the slice cutters! I can't wait to use them in my paper creations. They're my favorite toys right now. I enjoyed talking with you so much that day during lunch and hearing about your brother. We have had pretty similar lives. I loved seeing how you do your carving work. Your dolls are so unique. All my best wishes!

Pamela copy

3. Dear Pamela, thanks a million for being so brave. Seeing you face your health battle everyday was truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing your beautiful dolls with me that night. Your spirit and positivism are with me over here. I am sooo happy that you liked my paper dolls! Please take care and I can't wait to see your new work and your new blog one day :)


4. Dear sweet lady that was making a fiber rabbit the night of my lecture. Thank you so very much for the rock in the shape of a heart. I keep it in my studio with my collection of super special objects. I am so sorry that I didn't get to ask your name! Everything was so fast! But you're in my heart and your good energy is still with me.

Nancy Gage

5. Dear Nancy Gage, I am so sorry that you were not feeling well the night of my lecture. I missed you and I wondered if you were OK. I want to thank you so much for coming to me to say hi the first night when I arrived. It was the perfect way to start my NIADA experience. About your comment: absolutely, I will try to put together a capsule version of my lecture here in this blog as soon as I have a chance. Please take care and see you around here!

Reina mia

6. Dear Reina Mia. Thanks a lot for being so great. I loved seeing you and your work in person. I missed taking a proper picture of your outfit for my other blog (The Hidden Seed). You have such a unique style and such a beautiful smile. Let me know when you come to see your Mom over here so you can stop by my studio :)

1 leslie molen

7. Dear Leslie Molen, thank you so very much for your lecture. It was beautiful seeing how you followed your heart to become the successful doll maker that you are today, you are an inspiration. I love your art and I want to say hi to your husband and cat. I didn't get to see them in person but I it was obvious that they have been important partners in your journey :)

Elsita and Gayle

8. Dear Gayle Griffith, you're made out of love. How to forget your sweet smile? Your good energy is all over the place when you're around. (I am sure that you have heard that before from other people) I want to thank you for the night of the gallery  opening. Thank you for taking the pictures with Shelley and I and thank you also for the beautiful words in your e-mails. I cannot wait to see you again in another NIADA event :)


9. Dear Shelley, you will get tired of hearing this again from me but, THANKS A MILLION for the invitation to the NIADA conference. It was a beautiful and important experience. Meeting you and your work in person was a real gift. You have inspired me to take the art of the doll seriously. I have tons of doll ideas chasing me wherever I go and I cannot wait to bring them to life so I can finally get some sleep at night :o Thank you for all your hard work. You deserve some serious rest my friend!

And thank you to all the names that I am missing here. Thank you all for your response to my lecture and for all the hugs and generous words. Lots of love and I am sure that I will see you again in another NIADA event!

Until then!

Elsita :)


And the super special BOOK is ready for purchase HERE! :)



My Trip to Tennessee (Part 2)

T H E   S O U V E N I R ! 

When Shelley invited me to be part of the NIADA conference this year she mentioned that I was going to receive something special: a book that came to life after a long and intense labor of love. When I finally had the book in my hands I knew that I was holding a real treasure. 

The book

And today I wanted to share this treasure with you. There is nothing like this book out there right now. This baby is heavy, it weights about 5 pounds and it's loaded with over 630 beautiful photographs of unique art dolls. 


I scanned some random pages for you. The variety is huge and it goes through all the different materials, from cloth, porcelain, wood... to mixed media. This book is a must for dolls lovers, collectors, artists and anybody interested in art dolls.


On my way back home from Tennessee I was supposed to sleep a little bit in order to have some energy for my opening night but I couldn't do it. Instead, I spent hours browsing through the pages of this book and dreaming about the dolls that I am going to make as soon as I have time.


Very soon this book is going to be available to everyone (I will keep you updated on this) . If you ever dreamed about making your own dolls, if you already make dolls or if you're just curious about the art doll world, this book is going to be a great source of inspiration for you and it will visually help you understand all the possibilities of this medium.

I want send a giant THANK YOU to Shelley Thornton and Chris Chomick for working so hard in this book. Most of the photographs were taken by Shelley, they're amazing. And the design is so clean and beautiful. GREAT JOB GIRLS! 

Have a happy Monday my friend and I will be back with more!

Elsita :)

My Trip to Tennessee (Part 1)

Dear friend,

There is so much that I want to share with you about my trip to Tennessee. I'm going to write a few posts about it so that way I don't leave anything out. Now, starting from the beginning the question should be: why did I go to Tennessee in the first place?  


Well, because I met the wonderful Shelley Thornton on the internet and as the President of NIADA at the time, she invited me to be the keynote speaker at the NIADA conference this year. I said yes because I just knew from the bottom of my heart that I needed to take some distance from my super duper busy life and because I knew that this was going to be a very special and important experience to me. And I couldn't be more right :)

Elsita and Shelley copy1

Shelley in the center, her doll and I at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts

Shelley is an amazing artist with a solid career, she has been a doll maker and illustrator for many years. You have to see her work in person to believe how unique it is. Like the doll in the picture above for instance. Can you believe that she's made all out of cloth with embroidered face? 

Shelley and I organized the whole trip via e-mail and suddenly, there I was hugging her in person. I felt as if I have known her for so many years. The internet can make magic sometimes. Now I consider Shelley a dear friend and I can't wait to see her again.

The Location


The NIADA conference takes place in a different location each year. This time it was the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in the middle of nature. Such a beautiful and quiet place, I loved it. Above you can see a picture of the building where I stayed.


Margie and I were supposed to share a room but unfortunately she couldn't make it to the conference because of important family reasons. I missed you so much my friend! (I wanted to tell you that I still stayed in the room with the 2 twin beds. My lucky suitcase slept on your bed everyday :)


So, the second question should be: But what's exactly NIADA?

NIADA: The National Institute of American Doll Artists is a worldwide organization of doll artists, supportive patrons and friends whose purpose is to promote the art of the original handmade doll. Isn't that a unique organization?

Helen doll

NIADA was founded in 1963 by someone that I am absolutely sure it was a very special person and her name was Helen Bullard. Above you can see a doll made by her. The body was made out of carved wood. For some reason I think that I already met Helen Bullard in another life, her name sounds really familiar to me :) 


Above you see the place where we ate everyday. The atmosphere was great and I got to meet someone different each day during breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everyone was really friendly and easy to talk with. I also have the best memories about the food (yummy :) Specially the deserts, they all looked and tasted like home made.

I observed that the majority of the NIADA members at this conference were women but there was also a small group of wonderful men. The artists were all amazing regardless of the gender. They have really taken the art of handmade dolls to a very high level. But there were also the students, that in my opinion were artists as well, many of them will be official members of NIADA one day. So, when we say NIADA, we're talking about a tight community of unique creative people. And the word unique is really perfect here because each artist in the NIADA group has developed a unique style. You can identify each one of them just by looking at their dolls.


Do you see how much green there is in the picture above? I still feel like I am right there....sigh..... :) You can also see a few of us walking from the dormitories to the conference room. Now that I'm back home I feel so lucky that I got to be part of the NIADA gathering this year. I will never forget this unique experience.

But I still have a lot more to share with you about this trip, let's meet here next week for more :)

Have a great Friday my friend and a wonderful weekend!

Elsita :)

The Art Show Opening :)

Dear friend:

Here I have put together a  little report about the show opening night for you. My second report (as soon as I have a chance) will be about the trip to Tennessee. So here we go:


The opening night was absolutely wonderful. I was tired since I had just arrived at the gallery from my long trip from Tennessee, but my body didn't really know it until next day. It is amazing all the energy that you get from spending time with special people. 


Here you can see myself with Carlos Estevez. Don't we look like brother and sister? Carlitos is such an amazing human being. I am so honored to be in this show with him. We had time to talk about everything: family, our careers, Cuba, Miami... 


Here on the right you see the handsome Darrel Couturier talking with a sweet visitor. Darrel is the gallery owner but he is really my personal friend. Darrel is from France and he speaks so many languages. We met a long time ago through his connection with Cuba and we have kept our friendship alive through the years.


In this surreal picture I am about to hug one of the most special gifts of the night and her name is Maiz, my dear friend. Maiz came with her husband and their three small children. Isn't that great? In this picture she is holding the tinniest member of her team, his name is Julio. Julio is only  2 months old and he's the most adorable and alert baby that I have ever met. I had a long "conversation" with him and you won't believe how he responded back to all my words. I adore little Julio :)


Most of the pictures that you see here (the ones that look really great) were taken by my friend Maiz. Maiz is a professional Photographer with a solid career. She traveled around the world doing the most amazing things with her camera and right now she is focussing on raising her children. 


And this is another dear friend, her name is Ellen. Ellen is amazing. She is adored by hundreds of people over here and I am not exaggerating at all. She has the biggest heart ever, plus she's so smart and real and down to earth. Having her as a friend is a real treat. Ellen is married to Albert Berger who is one of Bill's closest friends from childhood. Albert is also a film producer, he produced Election, Little Miss Sunshine and many other great movies.


This photo taken by Maiz captures my favorite part of the night and that was: hugging time! I love to hug so much. Hugging brings so much human energy into your life. With each hug you brake that invisible wall between you and the person in front of you and you feel really connected. 


The other thing that I loved about the opening was the great conversations. It was hard to stop talking. Since I am normally so busy and socially invisible because of my intense family life, the opening night was my best opportunity to catch up and share everything with old and new friends.

Alisa and Ellen

Here you see two more special girls: my super dear friend Alisa on the left and the amazing Ellen on the right. All I can say about both of them is that I don't really know how I can be so lucky to know these girls. Alisa and Ellen are both one of a kind women. They both came without husbands and children and we were kind of joking about that and celebrating it at the same time :o


I think that Carlos's pieces and my pieces looked great together. They were really in sync. The way they were displayed all over the gallery was perfect.


Here I have to stop for a second and send a huge THANK YOU to each one of the friends that met me through this blog first and then decided to come to the show to meet my work and myself in person. Those were the best hugs of the night I have to say. I wish that I had pictures of all of you! A special mention to Sally, who came with her husband, but never found the opportunity to say hi to me directly because I was talking and talking all the time. You were in my mind Sally, next time you need to send me your picture so I can print it out and find you in the crowd :) Deal?


I also want to send a big virtual hug to Saskia. She couldn't find the gallery after driving for about 30 minutes. I am soooo extremely sorry. It can be a little confusing sometimes because La Brea is such a loooong street and then there is the north and the south part of it. I think that you ended up on the south and the gallery is on the north part. But hopefully you will be able to see the show later, it's going to be on for about a month :)

Sandra Elsita

Here I am with my dear friend Sandra, she is sooo much fun!!! In this photo we're having a fashion competition. And the winner iiiiis: non of us! But her daughter who is the most beautiful girl ever, I wish that I could show you her picture. Sandra is married to Topper, another friend of Bill from University.


Here is Billy wearing his Australian hat. So cool :)




Isn't this a great picture? I love it! And of course, it was taken by my friend Maiz :)


Here we have one of the most remarkable women that I know. Helen Reid and her husband Saul Brown are prestigious personalities over here. They are Therapists by profession but both of them have been very involved with programs for children with developmental issues for years. We first got Diego's diagnosis from Helen and her husband and they have been following our little man's progress since then. How lucky we are!






After the opening we went to one of our favorite restaurants for a delicious Italian dinner: Pane e Vino is the name of the restaurant. What a great way to end the night. Now that I have the pictures and the memories from Saturday nigh I can see how lucky I am. I really want to thank every single person for coming to the opening, you made of this event something really special. Double thank you for those of you that drove from far way. I really appreciated it.

And lots of love to you too, my dear internet friend that are far away reading this post. On Saturday night you were definitely in my heart. 

Thank you for visiting me today have a wonderful day!

Elsita :)

(Margie, I missed you at the opening and also in Tennessee!)

See You Next Week!

Dear Friend,

Today and tomorrow I will be super busy getting ready for a special treat: on Wednesday, I'll be flying to Tennessee all by myself, no kiddies, no hubby, just me and myself :) Everything at home will be fine because Bill is coming back from Australia tomorrow (YAY!) and my Mom will help with the kids until I'm back :)

Desenredar las Manos (small)

I will be the keynote speaker at the National Institute of American Doll Artists Conference that will take place at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Natalie thinks that, as a key-note speaker, all I have to do it hold a key while I speak but the truth is that I will be doing a powerpoint presentation or lecture about my life and work. 

Desenredar las Manos(detalle cabeza)

I am so excited about this trip. The last time that I did a lecture it was in the beautiful city of San Francisco (San Francisco State University), before Diego was born. I can't wait to meet all the wonderful creative people at the conference. And on the other hand I will terribly miss my dear friend who won't be able to join me in this adventure that we had dreamed about for months.

Desenredar las Manos(detalle mano)

So, I am going to need tons of energy because I will be coming back on Saturday, Sept. 12, which is the same day of my art show opening. When I get home on Saturday, I will only have time to take a shower, put on something nice and go straight to the gallery. Yay!!

I will be back here as soon as I have a chance next week, so I can share everything with you about all these exciting days ahead of me. If you're coming to my show on Saturday and get to take some photos please send a couple of them to me :) I don't know if I will be able to use my camera at all. And don't hesitate to let me know that you're there please, I can't wait to meet you in person. If I already met you I can't wait to see you again. And if you can't make it, I will miss you :)

Wish me good luck with everything!

And see you next week!

Elsita :)


@ The Hidden Seed today: Interview with Lisa, a full time Apparel Designer for Anthropologie :)

The Artist that Lost His Magic Paint Brush. by Natalie.

Dear friend:

To read this short story better: 

1. Click on any picture once. 

2. They will come out smaller on the left side

3. Then you click again on any of them to get the full size. 

I highly recommend this story because it contains an important message that every artist should know :) Enjoy! 


This story was created and illustrated by Natalie. She asked me to write the text in the inner pages. I wrote down the words exactly as she asked me to do it. Natalie's books are precious treasures that I carefully collect. They make me the happiest person/Mom/Artist/Art Collector in the world :)

Happy Friday! And I hope that you have a great weekend too.

Elsita & Natalie 

(@The Hidden Seed today: Mushroom Skirt and an announcement:)

Diego's New Sound Therapy

My number one "project" in these days is Diego's new sound therapy called Somonas.

Diego music therapy copy

Our goal is for Diego to do this therapy twice a day, for 30 minutes each time. I am also wearing my own headphones, which are very basic, but Diego's are these fancy ones that eliminate the sounds from the environment.

What a wonderful thing to do with your little one. Sometimes we go for long walks (people think that we're crazy, wearing huge headphones) Some curious citizens stop us on the street to find out what we're listening to... We need a sign for our walks, something like this: DO NOT DISTURB PLEASE, MUSIC THERAPY IN PROGRESS :)

But the most important thing is that since Diego started this new therapy a few weeks ago, his language has developed in such a way. It is hard to believe it. He already had lots of words but they didn't come out in a coherent way. Now his sentences are a lot longer and more sophisticated. 

The therapy lasts 8 weeks. This is week #4

Music is such a wonderful mystery. 

Have a super nice day!

Elsita :)


@ The Hidden Seed today: Green Skirt