In a quaint house sitting on nearly an acre of fruit trees, wisteria, and numerous other flowers and plants, in a town called West Covina, California, lives a woman dedicated to fulfilling her mother's dearest dream. She is Joyce Kasnetsis, a woman in her 70's who busily fills her days with family, teaching ballet, and making beautiful dolls. When you first meet Joyce, you are struck by her ease and hospitality. She reminds you of the sweet, prim and proper ladies of a generation past. In her ballet classes, she insists on respect, ladylike behavior, and positive attitudes. The many students she has taught throughout the last 45+ years, will tell you that she is a strict taskmaster, but they will also tell you how much they love her.
As Joyce invites you into her home, you are instantly entranced by the décor. Joyce and her husband, Kaz, live in a constant world of Christmas fantasy. Every year for years and years, Joyce would elaborately decorate her house with beautiful Christmas decorations from all over the world. This was done for the huge Christmas party she gave each year for her friends and family. One year, she decided she liked the feeling of Christmas so much that she would just leave the decorations up all year round. Now, all who enter her sweet home are at once mesmerized by all there is to look at in every nook and corner of the house. Soon you are at ease, and she has begun the wonderful story of her mother and the little dolls.
About 50 years ago, Joyce and her mother, Edith Welin, created the Wee Lynn ™ dolls. This had been an ambition of Edith's for as long as Joyce can remember. Edith wanted to create a line of dolls similar to the dolls she played with as a child. She had written a book called Sally and the Mouse, so Sally was to be the first doll made. Having no marketable skills in doll-making, she and Joyce took doll-making classes together and soon it was evident that both women were extremely talented in this area. Unfortunately, life has a way of putting things off and due to many other obligations and health issues, Edith never finished her dolls. Edith has since passed away, and it has taken Joyce many years to return to the little dolls, but now they are here. First Sally was completed because she's the center character in "Sally and the Mouse". She was followed by 15 other little dolls, with two or three more still in the making. Soon the first Wee Lynn boys will be available.
As you follow Joyce through the steps of making each individual doll, you see not only the time, energy, and skill put into each doll, but the love she has for them. With no one to help her, this sweet lady sits in her work shop sculpting, rubbing, firing, buffing, painting, stringing, and then making the perfect outfit for each doll. Each doll can take a total of more than 20 hours, stretched out over several days, to make. The outfits alone can take several hours. But, Joyce doesn't mind the time it takes. The only part of the process she finds difficult is when she must say good-bye and send off one of her sweet creations lovingly to it's new home. Joyce was recently honored with a three page article in the April 1999 issue of Doll World Magazine. Click on the link below to see the fascinating home and workshop where the Wee Lynn™ dolls are created. See Joyce in her studio working on her little dolls.