Thursday, September 15, 2016

Monica doll made by Mrs. Hansi Share of Monica Doll Studio of Hollywood, CA

known for being the ONLY composition doll made with ROOTED human hair. 
I ordered this girl on Etsy.  When I saw her she had both legs and all her fingers and her bottom part was not so broken. Well something happened from there to here. She arrived missing the bottom on one leg and some fingers and her bottom area missing a big piece.  
I contacted the seller and she so nicely gave me a complete refund. This girl is too rare to toss and consign to a box somewhere as a curiosity. So I started to work on her. She had tape holding the body together. Missing three fingers on one hand and a tip on the other, part of the right leg hole and nearly all of the left. The left leg from lower thigh all the way to her foot. GONE.  My first step was to find out who she was. The company was in business 1941-1952 and the model with a 5 piece composition body was made from 1941-1948, in sizes 11" -24". This particular lovely doll is 17" tall. The human hair was rooted into a damp cement type of substance used to mold the heads. The body was standard composition. Strung together making her jointed at hips, shoulders and head. Her hair was too much like straw... dead human hair. She had lain with a weight on her for a time in dampness. When I started chipping away at her paint I found black mold beneath...dead black mold but still there. 

 the weight upon her when damp had caused the body to warp and the half leg to split at the seams. I glued the seams and bound the part tightly to dry overnight.  As long as she never gets microwaved she will be okay. I used two straws taped together and then covered with aluminum foil. Used an air dried clay to rebuild the leg. It is not perfect as I am not a sculptor. But I gave it the old school try. I rebuilt the lower parts too that had the leg THAT was fun.

Much sanding , carving, rebuilding later, she got painted, sealed and waxed.
 Once all those fun things were done, she was strung together. I need a bigger stiffer cord then what I used. But it was all I had. She she does not stand really tight right now. I had the curly red wig in my stash and to me it is perfect for her.
 had to mak her modest you know. The fabric is an all cotton 1930s reproduction print and the style was in my head. I have watched enough old moves to know they wore them very modest and tailored.  It is a style I really like.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


These dolls grow on you.  They are China imports and have become popular with adult collectors. Don't know if I will have have more then this one.  She arrived from China looking like this.
She is a blank slate to have fun with. I did a lot of looking online at the ones done by others and I can sure dream!.  Her head fits the American Girl sized wigs and her feet fit Barbie doll size shoes.  So that gives you an idea of the different sizes you have to deal with.
So I did some painting on her face, experimented with wigs , made her some clothes and just played with her.

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.