Saturday, August 27, 2016

Reborning or giving personality to a purchased doll.

My only granddaughter wanted a specific brand of baby doll because her best friend has one. Well I searched and them buggers are EXPENSIVE!!!. Lee Middleton dolls.  Well to find what I wanted I searched Evil Bay till I found one I liked. I was going by the pictures and it said GREAT condition. she is 22.5 inches and weighted to simulate the weight of a real baby and to help her sit upright.


Well I got her and she was not so great.  Stunk like cigarettes which thankfully was mainly in the clothes and wig.  She had rub marks and paint splatters and a purple mark on her forehead.
But I decided to keep her. This baby has personality. Lee Middleton has passed away but Reva Shick issued dolls from her molds... Very pretty but pricey dolls. You can go to Newborn Nursery Dolls at Madame Alexander and find baby dolls with Lee Middleton molds...not bad prices for these quality dolls.



She was also VERY dusty 
So I got to work . The clothes are going to be soaked in oxy to whiten and deodorize. Then starched and pressed and added to the box.  We (her mom and I) plan on diaper bag with goodies and some clothes and diapers.  




I had the pacifier and it fit with some wedging, the outfit I had bought new and never used and I am going to do some work on it to make it fit better. It is a 0/3mos size.  She got a pedicure and manicure, wet mouth with  tiny little tooth eruptions, and enhanced her brows. Now to find my blush and add some more of that. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Rhetta's little bitty.

This little composition doll is SMALL!.  she is less then 6" I think. I have not measure here. Do not know who made her or when, but chances are it is 1930s.  Arms are the only jointed thing on her. Rhetta had a little dress in the bag. Not sure but I doubt it was the original dress for her, but it is now. I should have taken a photo before I did the oxy soak on it.  Came out very nicely after two full days of soaking.  





Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Rhetta's dolls

Rhetta is a return customer. She was once my mom's upholstery customer. But I guess I am her go to doll person.  These are the latest two she has brought to me and they are ready to go home now.

World War II era Italian character doll.
 the biggest thing was dirt, but her clothes would not take washing so I didn't try. I used a barely damp cloth to wipe down her clothes and face



 Her arms are in bad shape. The fabric dry rotted and perhaps rodent damage.
 this "boat" is a rattan basket and what she was  brought home from Italy in.
 the "hat" she had was not salvageable. So this is a more modern version but suits the look
 She was given a bow of vintage grossgrain ribbon to match her skirt
Her arms were sewn then painted over. The paint served to keep the stuffing from escaping and stiffened the whole surface of the arms so that they cannot degrade further. Pretty roses added to her bodice and in her basket of goodies and pretty blue bow to set it all off and a lining for her basket to cover the original piece of sheep's wool that lined it.


this Next doll is one of those character dolls about 10" tall that has a solid body/head with strung arms and came with mohair for her wig. This particular one was a nurse
 dirt and some dry rot and dampness damage. Poor thing



 Everything was removed and her body cleaned. The arms needed new rubber to hold them on. Then she was redressed from the bottom up. A slip of netting and some "unders" , the skirt was shortened one inch to remove some of the damage and all was pressed after washing and soaking. Then glued back on. Originally it was stapled on and that left rust marks and tore some of the fabric from pulling.
 Her cape was pressed lightly and due to fading was a purple instead of its original navy color. Ribbon tie applied to top of it, a little cross of rhinestones was put on the bodice, "wig" was made from left over hair extensions and a tiny little nurses cap was made to complete the look.



Monday, May 16, 2016

Mary Ellen's Doll

Compostion toddler doll needing a complete restore. Someone had previously did a restore. They used EXCELLENT materials but their artistic skills left something to be desired. I found dried up mud in both the legs. You can tell it is a toddler style because the legs are straight for standing. Change the legs to the bent and you have a baby type. This head was used by different companies for various dolls. NO markings.Previous work may have removed the letters. Current guess is Arranbee's Sugar Baby or Horsman Gold Medal baby. 1930's to very early 1940s .


I was hoping I would not have to strip it all down. But as I could put a straight pin under the paint it would flake off too easily. That means the adhesion is breaking down. So I am going back to bare compo and will build up from that. I can do the repairs before I start a new paint job. Fingers had been repaired on one hand and the pointer finger was TOO wide and did not look natural. I am not the greatest sculpture but I did get the base smaller and closer to matching the others.
So she is in her very rough stages.



Attempting to paint in humid weather is the pits. Give me a dry air winter house anyday. I let the paint "cure for over 72 hours and when I strung her together, the paint "tore" in places where the joints go together... so I am patching and going to try a hair dryer on her to harden her paint.



Monday, February 22, 2016

Ugly doll

I was on Etsy looking at old dolls. This one said Vintage 1940s, but no way. I bought it cause it was so ugly and I knew I could make it pretty.  It is a ceramic doll. I judge maybe 1980s. It is made from a mold that was taken from an old composition doll. The person who made it did well on the body and construction but the painting left alot to be desired.





She is about the size of a Bitty Baby.  So clothes will be next.
Ta da!