Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

New Dolls: My Life As...Asian Ballerina and Tonner Little MissMatched!

One of the things I love most about shopping at thrift stores is never knowing what you're going to find.   There's such an air of expectancy when you walk through the doors, and I almost always hold my breath as I round the corner to the toy aisle.  Many days there's disappointment, but sometimes you find something that's really wonderful, or at least intriguing.  Today I stumbled across this trio, stuffed together in a clear plastic bag at Goodwill.  And because their sticker had the half-price color of the week, I got them all together for only $3.50.
Do you recognize them?  No?  Well, don't feel bad, because neither did I.  In fact, I saw this bag of dolls two weeks ago and passed them by, because I didn't want to pay $6.99 for dolls of unknown origin.
But when I saw them again today, I decided to take a closer look.  I noticed that they each had "2014 Tonner Doll LLC" imprinted on their back waist.  This piqued my interest, since while I am familiar with the Tonner Doll company, I didn't know that they had made a line of play dolls like this.  And being that they were half price, I decided to take a chance and bring them home.
They stand just a little over 15" tall and have 10 points of articulation.  They have nice quality, rooted hair and darling expressions.  After some research, I found out that Tonner Dolls partnered with the Little MissMatched Company, which creates colorful, quirky clothing for little girls.  These dolls were sold at Toys R Us, FAO Schwartz, and the Tonner website, for somewhere around $30-40.  There were four in the series...I am missing the dark-skinned one. 
Here is a stock photo of the four.  They didn't have names, other than "Uptown Girl", "Artsy Girl", "Rock 'n' Roll Girl", and "Sporty Girl".
As far as I can tell, the redhead is "Uptown Girl", the brunette is "Rock 'n' Roll Girl", and the blonde is "Sporty Girl".  The blonde has some black staining around her upper and lower arms which I will try to remove.  The other two are clean.  Their hair is nice quality, and the shoes are adorable!  They kind of remind me of the short-lived "Hopscotch Hill" dolls put out by American Girl many years ago.  While I think they are very cute, I will most likely be putting them up on Ebay soon to find a new home.  I just can't keep every doll that comes home with me!
This next doll is not from the thrift fact, I even paid FULL PRICE for her (gasp!).  She is, in fact, a doll which I thought I'd never buy...a "My Life As" doll from Walmart.  Now don't get me wrong...I don't have anything against Walmart dolls!  In fact, I think many of these dolls are very pretty.  It's just that I have SO MANY 18" dolls already, I really haven't wanted to add to the hoard collection.  But then I saw this ballerina doll a couple of weeks ago online (I love ballet!) and the Asian face sculpt (I have a weakness for ethnic dolls, especially Asians), and that was it.  I decided I needed to have one!  However, none of my local Walmarts carried her! And you couldn't order her online, either.  When I called Walmart, they told me she was currently unavailable.  So I figured that was that, and went on my merry, albeit slightly disappointed, way.
But lo and behold, what did I spot on the top shelf in the doll aisle at my local Walmart last night, while just making a quick run to pick up a hair brush for my daughter?  This!
I may have let out a little scream in excitement--I can't remember.  There she was, alongside the other two ballerinas in the collection, a Caucasian and an African American version.  Of course, I grabbed the Asian one as fast as I could.  I was so surprised to see them all up on the shelf...they must have just been put out since I hadn't seen them last week when I was there.
I'm not sure her features are as "Asian" as I would have liked, but she's pretty, all the same.
Back of the box which shows the three ballerinas near the top, along with a ballet studio available as a separate purchase.  Our Walmart had this studio!  What a neat accessory for any little girl who loves to play pretend with her dolls.  Unfortunately for me, space is at a premium, so this stayed behind.
Some of the new dolls, pictured along the bottom of the box.
She was not hard to remove from her box--just had to snip a few rubber bands and ties.  However, what the heck is the plastic stuff SEWN into her hair?!?  I know why they did it--to keep her hair in place in the box.  But boy, what a pain in the neck to try and remove it!  There was no way to rip it off without damaging the hair, so I finally grabbed my trusty seam ripper and removed it that way.  Seriously, Walmart.  Please stop with sewing things into the doll's hair!  It's annoying!
After removing those annoying plastic strips (there were two of them), I gently combed out her hair and it fell into soft waves.  Very pretty.
Speaking of combs, I recently picked up this wire doll brush at Target for $5.  I highly recommend getting one.  It has a wooden handle and is just the right size for a child to hold, although it felt very nice in my hand as well.
And for $5, I thought it was a pretty good deal.
Now, back to "Anna", which is what I have decided to name this beauty:
I can't decide if she has a completely different face mold from the other My Life As dolls, or if it just looks that way because of the painting at the outside corners of her eyes.
I love her outfit.  So classic and pretty.  Exactly what I picture when somebody says "ballet outfit".  And it doesn't hurt that it's pink--my favorite color!
Cute leg warmers and ballet slippers
The rosette trim at the waistline is a nice touch.
I was a little worried that these new dolls would have an all-vinyl body, like the boy dolls in this line do, but I'm happy to report that their torsos are still cloth.  Something about a cloth torso just makes them feel more quality and cuddly to me.
One last picture.  I really do like this doll--a lot.  And for $27 and some odd change, I am pleasantly surprised with the quality.  Now that American Girl dolls cost $115 for a basic doll (and $200 for one you design yourself!), I think Walmart dolls are a good alternative for families who can't afford that higher price tag, or who don't want to start out with such an expensive doll for a child who might not take good care of it.  I do think that AG dolls are wonderful, but are they $115 wonderful?  I suppose each one will have to answer that question for themselves.  In the meanwhile, I am glad to have this new, serene face looking back at me from my doll room!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

And MORE Etsy Stuff!

Okay, I promise that this will be the last post about my Etsy listings for a bit...I don't want you to expect that that's all I'm going to blog about!  But I have listed a few more items, and guess what?  I've actually sold four of them now!  I'm so excited.  It's really validating and humbling to think that others are willing to spend their hard-earned money on something I made.  I did a major happy dance when I discovered that I had made my first sale on this little item:
A sweet dress for my Wellie Wisher, Emerson.  (I call her Emmy)
How cute is this fabric?!?  Vintage puppies frolicking across a pink background--this just makes me all kinds of happy!
This dress also came with coordinating pantalettes.
This set is still available:
Willa is my model this time.  I called this set "Summer Quackers" because of the adorable duck print.
See what I mean?  Cute!  I used a contrast, yellow fabric on the hem band and upper bodice.
It also has coordinating pantalettes.
This dress reminds me of cotton candy...something about those delicious pinks and blue, I think.  It has a double layer skirt with a pink ruffle underneath for added fullness.  I also made a matching hair clip.
The bodice has extra detail with silk ribbon flowers sewn across the pink, contrast band.  This is another dress that has sold!
This one is still available and one of my favorites!  Something about a drop-waist dress on a little girl just makes my heart melt.  Funny, when I first started sewing it, I didn't think I was going to like it...I mean, the background is a greyish-black color and the trailing rose bouquets are a little larger scale then I usually like for doll clothes...but once I added the underskirt with the coordinating, pink ruffle and the pink waist band with the ribbon bow--well, I just fell in love!  The colors just pop and the whole look is so sweet.  I honestly won't be sad if it doesn't sell because it looks so great on my Caroline doll.  There is also a matching hair clip.
I've also sold this dress for the Disney Animators from my previous post:
And this one:
Whew!  I guess it's time to get back to my sewing machine and crank out some more doll clothes!  I recently drafted the cutest pair of "shortalls" for the Disney Animator dolls, along with a knit t-shirt to wear underneath, so I think this will be the next thing I list.  I will also create it in a size to fit the 14" dolls like the Wellie Wishers and Hearts 4 Hearts girls.
I currently have four, Bitty Baby size dresses in various stages of completion on my sewing table--I should really finish them first so that I can sell the Bittys on Ebay.  As I look around my sewing/doll room, I realize that there are SO MANY dolls for which I want to create clothing, and so little hours in the day!  Do any of you feel that way, too? 
Oh, and I almost forgot, this past weekend I got to attend another doll show, and I came home with some neat treasures, one of which is a doll (well, duh!)  She is the cutest, little, German, celluloid head on a composition body, probably made in the first decade of the 1900's.  She's about the size of a Bleuette.  I will try to show her and my other treasures tomorrow, as it is getting quite late now and I need to head off to bed.  Have a great evening!
p.s.  I suppose I should mention again that my seller name on Etsy is DotsydoodleDollies, just in case you want to check it out!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

More Stuff in My Etsy Shop!

I did it!  I added more items to my Etsy shop today.  I'm proud of myself for getting it done so quickly, too, especially since I had other things "come up" today that needed my attention.  First, I sold 22, 18" dolls to the same person on Ebay.  Yes, I said 22.  These were dolls I had picked up at thrift stores here and there and planned on dressing to resell.  Well, I finally came to the realization that I'd rather just sell the clothing, so I put the nude dolls up in lots and sold them that way.  I'm so glad to be clearing out and making room!  But 22 dolls needed a rather large box, and by large, I mean HUGE.  Lucky for me, I remembered that my husband had just bought a new Coleman Cooler, and that box fit the dolls perfectly, with no room to spare.  It took me the better part of an hour to get them all securely wrapped and packed, and print out a shipping label.  After that, I had to start hemming a bridesmaid dress for my daughter who is in a wedding this weekend.  Three layers of chiffon and other synthetic fabric...UGGHHH!  I hate sewing with that stuff!  It gives me nightmares.  Give me cottons and other natural fibers any day.  3 1/2 frustrating hours later,  I finally got it done.  Half my day was now gone, although I did feel accomplished.  Now, I could finally work on listing more Etsy items!
Sweet little Mulan, a Disney Animator doll, modeling a dress I designed myself.  I just love the big pockets at the side panels of the skirt.   The purple fabric has darling, lavender bunnies hopping across it.  So cute.
Rapunzel looking demure in a sweet sundress with a scalloped hem band.  Another design of my own.
Jasmine looking dainty in blue and white.
Belle modeling a dress made from fabric that's been in my stash for years--it's a 1930's print depicting "Little Boy Blue".
And I didn't forget the 18" crowd:
I think I might have shared this sweet Gotz doll before...I actually had her for sale on Ebay, but she never sold.  After sitting in my sewing room for a while, I've grown to really like her, so I think I'll let her stick around for awhile!  She's wearing a dress made with Simplicity 8314.  Of course, I tweaked it a bit (left it sleeveless, added rick rack to the hem, and lined the entire dress instead of using neck and armhole facings), and it's become one of my favorite patterns.  It goes together quickly and easily.
All of the A-line dresses come with matching, reversible, knotted headbands.
So, in case you're keeping track, that now makes NINE items for sale in my Etsy account!  I hope to add a little more every week so I can build up a good inventory.  I have more things I want to sew for the Wellie Wishers, but I also want to try my hand at sewing for the 13" dolls, like Dianna Effner's Little Darling dolls.  No, I do not have one of these dolls...yet!  They are so beautiful and on my wish list.  But they aren't cheap, and it takes up to 3 years of being on a waiting list after you've placed your order before receiving one! (They are hand-painted by skilled artists)  I do, however, have a 13" Faith & Friends doll which has almost the exact same measurements as a Little Darling, so I think I can use her as a model.  We'll see.  I don't know if I've ever showed her to you before, so maybe that'll be my next blog post.
I'd also like to create outfits for the 18-19" slim bodied Gotz dolls, as well as Sasha, and maybe some vintage outfits for antique dolls.  So many possibilities.  I do know I won't run out of fabric any time soon!
Here's a link to my Etsy page, just in case you want to visit:
Have a great evening!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

DotsydoodleDollies Is Now on ETSY!

I did it!  Finally.  At the urging of friends and complete strangers, I've finally opened an ETSY account.  Now, before you get too excited, there's only ONE item listed so far.  Yeah, I know, pretty lame.  But after spending the morning taking a kid to the dentist and squeezing in some quick grocery shopping, I thought I'd just open up an Etsy store "real quick".  HA!  It took me the better part of the  afternoon to figure everything out, my computer wouldn't load my pictures, and then we lost internet service while I was adding important information on my account which caused me to have to start ALL OVER.  I almost quit.  Oh, and I did I mention that we are in the middle of a heat wave and our house only stays cool downstairs (my work area is upstairs), so add sweating to my frustration and I was not a happy camper.  But you'll be happy to know that I persevered!  My shop, DotsydoodleDollies is now open for business.  With one item.  But hey, it's a start!
Here is my American Girl Wellie Wisher "Willa", modeling the item of discussion.
I created this pattern on my own.  Aren't those pockets just the sweetest?
I had been hoarding the lace trim in my stash for a long time.  It's 100% cotton and two-tone.  So pretty.
When my 8 year old saw this dress, she said that she wanted me to make her one just like it, only in HER size.  I think that's a compliment.
Hearts 4 Hearts dolls can wear it, too.  This is Shola.  She is made to represent a little girl from Afghanistan.  Hearts 4 Hearts dolls were just recently introduced again after being off the market for awhile.  I'm glad.  They're really such pretty dolls, and their price point of around $40 makes them more affordable than the Wellie Wishers (which cost $60)
So there you go.  I'm kind of proud of that one item.  But rest assured that I will be listing more.  I've got some darling outfits for the Disney Animator Toddler dolls, as well as for the American Girls.  I have plans to have clothing available for many different dolls, so check out my shop if you're interested.  Meanwhile, it would sure be nice if nobody needed me to cook, or do laundry, or clean the house (and let's not even talk about how I've had sick kids for the past couple of days so I've played nursemaid as well, cleaning vomit bowls and administering cool washcloths to fevered foreheads)...just think how much sewing and listing I could get done!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Recent Dolly Treasures from Local Shows

Sometimes I don't blog for awhile because I don't think I have anything of interest to share.  And then I go to an antique show, like I did this past weekend, and realize that I never showed you things I brought home from the antique show before that one!  Oh, well.  Better late than never, I suppose.  Anyway, doesn't this group make you happy?
I've had the buggy in my collection for several years and showed it to you before, so it isn't new.  But it was the perfect height to go along with my new SHIRLEY TEMPLE doll I just bought this past weekend!  I also found the pink bunny and the little Kathe Kruse doll at the same show.  The mini bears in the buggy and the stuffed kitten are from previous shows.
Shirley Temple--she's been a favorite of my mine ever since I was a little girl and watched all of her old, black and white movies which I recall playing on Saturday afternoons.  As I grew older and realized there were dolls made in her likeness, I wanted one SO BAD.  I had the cutest, 11" composition Shirley in my collection for several years, but finally sold it a while back, thinking I needed to clear out some dolls to make room for new ones.  MISAKE!  I've missed her ever since.  I really don't know what I was thinking.  So when I stumbled across this 13" composition cutie at the antique show this past weekend, I immediately knew she had to come home with me.  She is in really good condition, with minimal crazing.  Her eyes are clear and bright with no missing lashes.  She has a full, soft, mohair wig with those famous curls.  Her former owner made her a reproduction dress and undies which are very nicely done.  Her stringing has come a little loose, so she can't stand unaided.  But I just happen to have a good friend (hi, Donna!) who will help me restring her.  She just makes me so happy!
Her mohair wig is in beautiful shape.  Many times, these dolls have crushed and matted wigs from being in storage, so I am very pleased that this isn't the case with this doll.
Her outfit is adorable, and a copy of the original.  Shirley Temple outfits are usually tagged, so when I didn't find a tag on this one, I knew it had been handmade.  I will be replacing the synthetic, pink bows with silk ribbon ones, just to make the dress more authentic.
Here are the little friends that Shirley wanted to push in the buggy.  Forgive me if I have shown them to you before, but I don't think I have.  They are both newer, artist made bears, sewn from mohair.  They are jointed at their hips, shoulders, and neck.  The cream-colored bear is 5 1/2", and the pink one stands just 3 1/4"!
They make perfect props for smaller dolls.
How cute is he?  Even though it's pink, I still think of it as a "he".  Maybe it's the expression?  There's no tag, so I don't know who made him.  But he's a mid-century toy for certain.  So cute.  He will be a perfect decoration in an Easter basket next spring.  He's about 15" to the tip of his ears.
Don't you just love that expression?  The vendor where I bought this rabbit had another, smaller one.  I almost bought it, too, but decided one was enough.  Now I wish I had brought it home as well.  It was white and made in Japan.  I'm finding that I've become a sucker for vintage, stuffed animals.
I couldn't believe my good fortune when I found this 10 1/2" Kathe Kruse baby!  He's a limited edition, probably made for a doll convention.  According to his wooden hang-tag, his name is "Paul" and he is number 52 out of 75 made back in 2003.  His body is a very, firmly stuffed cotton, and his head is a hard material (new composition, resin?) which is softly hand-painted like the originals.  I love him.  My German grandfather's name was Paul, so this seems like he was meant to become a part of my doll family!  I have looked and looked on the internet for another like him, but have found nothing yet.  He was part of such a small production, that I may never see another like him again.
His stuffed friend is this sweet, well-loved kitty I picked up at a local antique store a few months back.  I just couldn't leave it behind!  Anything miniature tugs at my heart strings.  Throw in the fact that it's a vintage, stuffed animal, and you don't have to twist my arm!
So, those are some of my recent treasures.  I'm sure there are more I haven't told you about!