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. 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.

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!

Rhetta has another doll.

When Rhetta arrived to pick up her doll and Jackie's, she had a bag with her old doll from childhood. She said the legs came off when she took it from the shelf... She thinks it is a Toni but I don't. I think it is an early unmarked Mary Hoyer.

 After washing the fading showed up so eye lashes which were half on and off were removed too.
light coat of paint, blush , lips renewed and new lashes, and brows. The body is ready to put back together and her clothes are soaking.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Terri Lee

You can read about this doll here:
and the current owners of the business:
Youtube Video about the Terri Lee Doll
the official Website of Terri Lee Dolls today

Her face grew on me.  I bought this off ebay with the understanding she was reproduction and had a cracked neck. Okay with me...but when I got her it was more then the neck. Seems the new reproductions had problems with the seams not holding. Poor glue job. So she got a GOOD glue job.
This is how she looked when I got her and the stages to her fixed self.
 She looks kind of "short" with no neck at all

 the legs were cracked too and I took them apart as well and reglued them. I didn't want to have to do it all over again.
she is marked 719 of 2000
today 12/30/2105 My #3 daughter brought me another Goodwill find.  ANOTHER TERRI LEE!.
This one I think is meant to be an AA version but I think she looks more like she is mixed. So after cleaning she got her eye color changed then dressed in an AG outfit I had made. She was made in 2006.

Rhetta's doll

I have done sewing for Rhetta for a couple years now. She was once my mother's customer. 
She brought to me HER mother's doll.  The doll was made from what I can see, sometime between 1905 and 1912 possibly by Butler Brothers. It can be male or female, and has a composition head with painted on features.  The short arms are compo as well but of a different sort then the head. The body is a cheap cheese cloth type fabric and has exposed wire joints on the arms and the legs. I will slip cover the body and restore the compo where chipped and maybe do minor touch ups on the paint. The dress is one of Rhetta's will be restored.

 head removed and first cleaning.
the body is filled with excelsior (wood shavings that look like straw). I am guessing cedar as there is no bug damage and cedar deters them. 
half of the body is slip covered so far.
Updated. Done and Done.

Jackie's doll

I will not be sorry to see 2015 go. It has been a very trying year for me.  But to end this year and start of the new year I have some dolls to work on to take my mind off what was not so good.
The first I call Jackie's doll. She belongs to a widow lady and it was her doll when she was a little girl. The doll has seen much wear.  The closest I can come to identifying her is an EffanBee Sugar Baby. The face for sure, but she does not have Sugar baby on her neck only the Effanbee name. She was made in the 1930s.
Composition head, arms and legs with a cloth body. The cotton has dry rotted with age and the head was hanging on by a few threads.  The legs are attached by casing and the arms have the enclosed wire to make them movable. I will attempt to make a new body covering so the head can be re-attached, the crotch mended where it is split and make her cleaner looking. She has some crazing in the compo and some chips...the chips will be filled and the crazing minimized and then sealed to protect. The paint touched up where needed and the clothes restored.

 After cleaning the head it looks so much better. She had some kind of blue on her cheeks. I will try to give her lashes again and restore her blush.
the clothes have been washed and soaked  to remove the yellowing and stains...they have since had holes repaired, and elastic restored where needed. Only thing left is to press them and hang till needed.
Well it is 02/12/2016 and I am done with Jackie's doll. She ended up with a repaint so the head would match her limbs. It had faded badly. She got new lashes and her hair sprayed on and a new body made from the pattern of the old and all the old stuffing put back in.  Nasty dusty stuff but it didn't stink. I sewed hand crocheted lace on the dress jacket to replace the stuff that had dry rotted.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Time Flies

I have not posted for a while due to being sick. I was diagnosed in June with Epstein Barr virus which is the beauty that causes Mono. Well it never got that far but it sure tried. This stuff hangs around 12 to 14 months!.  I can't wait for it to be GONE.  So my dolly fun has been few and scarce. Been working on the house when I could with my hubby who did so between two heart attacks. Gotta love that man, he keeps on even when it hurts. 
My daughter brought me this Bitty Baby she got at Goodwill for a whole $1.99.  I think she is one of those oriental ones. The skin tone and eyes are just right for that.

torn leg, eye off center and dirty ...and so so pale

Not a hard job , just took a little time to scrub all the yuk and repaint. Now to figure out what I can do to reduce the tackiness on the hair. I used spray Mod Podge Matt and it left it a bit tacky.