We have much to be grateful for this year. One of those things is the rains. If you have been following my blog for the past 3 years, you know that I can get a bit obsessed with rain or lack thereof. Scarlet Elfcup's very first creation, Rainbaby...they were called "Rainbabies in Hibernation"...was inspired by the lack of rain in California, the dire state of our drought here.

This year, I'm happy to report that we had a proper winter with lots and lots of rain for our trees and plants and people and plenty of snow in the mountains. We had so much snow that alas the gushing falls of Yosemite National Park still pour from the monoliths as of today. Typically, in a drought-ridden year, the waterfalls cease by July and August. We also had so much snow that the highest road, which passes through the northern section of the park, Tioga Pass, reported a 177% snow pack this year...the highest since 1995...over 20 years ago. Snow pack was so heavy that the Tioga Pass did not reopen until a mere three weeks ago at the end of June. The last time this road reopened so late in the season was 1998...nearly 20 years ago. Enjoy a glimpse of this amazing place in February of this year.

I know for those who live in Scandinavia or other parts of the world where snow and rain come easily this may seem like small game. But, for us, here in Northern California, it is a gift from the heavens that we must be ever so grateful for because we don't know when we shall have another season like this.

With this came a Spring like no other that we've had here. Trees and flowers came to bloom in the most amazing spectacle. The colors, sights and smell in our garden were a sight for us to behold. Our hydrangeas, which in past years struggled to stay alive, bloomed with a great burst of the healthiest, largest blossoms we've ever seen. Our lavender bushes produced the largest, most healthy stalks of purple aroma...a feast for the eyes and most intoxicating smell to inhale through our entire front garden.

As such, I knew this year, I would have to harvest the lavender and make them into something that will stay with us longer. But, I knew I would need help. So, with a bit of bee whispering and the recruitment of three little helpers, we harvested a wagon-load of beautiful purple stalks of lavender for drying.

Amongst my diligent and hardworking garden crew was my 6-year old sweetheart, my 4-year dear little boy, and a wee one-foot tall baby girl by the name of Pae, short for Paeonia. Now, don't get this girl wrong...tiny as she is, she's herculean underneath.

Pae loves nothing more than flowers and a garden to tend to. Of my three helpers, this one did the bulk of the pruning, hauling and giggling all throughout. She loves to get her little hands dirty with soil and lavender juice. After all, who wouldn't get crazy giddy with the sight of a lavender bed to sprawl out on?

One thing about Pae you need to much as it thrills her to tend to all the different sights and smells of the garden, there is only one flower that holds a special place above all in this little girl's heart...the Peony...from whence her name, Paeonia, came. Much like her blossoming counter-part, Paeonia has the beauty, fragrance, hardiness and longevity of the Peony. She was created for a baby girl whose photo I have seen only once. Yet, when I looked at this baby at first sight, I thought she looked much like a scrumptious, round and beautiful Peony.

Paeonia is created from Scarlet Elfcup's newest pattern. She stands 13" (33 cm) tall. She is made with all natural materials. Her construction is made simple and without much frill for the very young and imaginative. Her doll skin and her striped body suit are both made with 100% cotton jersey imported from the Netherlands.  She is stuffed with bio-wool made in the USA.  Her seams are sewn twice for reinforcement. She has embroidered facial features. Her nose and cheeks are blushed with red beeswax. Paeonia's dark bob is inspired by her mama's dark hair and Asian descent, made of 100% merino wool cut from an old pre-washed, clean, repurposed sweater and meticulously styled with many carefully placed stitches all around her head. She is a sitting doll.

Paeonia comes wearing a simple 100% cotton romper lined with a delicate pink fabric and tied with a lace ribbon at the shoulders. Her hat is hand knit with a scrumptiously soft yarn made of baby alpaca and merino wool. Pae's shoes are hand knit with a wool, alpaca and viscose blended yarn by Rowan. element of splendid beauty, fragrance, hardiness and longevity inspired by and custom created for one small baby girl made of the same elements.

Paeonia is recommended for ages 3+ and is not meant for those who still mouth their toys.