Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Dolly Doctor is IN...or, How I Bring Home Orphan Dolls and Give Them a New Lease on Life!

I just can't do it.  No matter how hard I try, I just can't leave a poor, old dolly behind at the thrift store that looks like they'll probably end up getting thrown away.  I mean, how sad is that?  We have a Goodwill in our area that always has bunches of vintage of dolls on it's shelves...most look like they've seen way better days.  Here is a grouping of the most recent little orphans that jumped in my cart over the past several weeks and "begged" me to take them home:

They're not all vintage, but they definitely all need some TLC.

American Characters and Madame Alexanders

Chatty Cathy and more precious babies

BFC Ink doll and Disney Animators

I love Madame Alexander babies.  Their faces are so precious and their bodies so huggable...especially the big ones!  Here we have two, brunette Pussycats, and a blonde Puddin'.  Little one in the front is about 18" and has all of her original clothing.  She is in good shape, so there's not much to do except wash her clothes and clean her up.  22" Pussycat on the left is naked, so she will need an entirely new outfit.  She's fairly clean but needs her hair styled.  20" Blonde Puddin' needs cleaning, her hair styled, and a new outfit, since what she is wearing is not original or well-fitting.

Mattel Chatty Cathy--needs cleaning, hair washed and styled, and a new outfit.  She is completely unmarked, which means she is one of the very first Chatty's that were produced.  Her vinyl face is also super-soft--another hallmark trait of these early dolls.  She has her pull string, but no longer talks.  There are people who repair the voice boxes on these dolls, though, so I'm hoping that when I sell her, she goes to someone who can have her repaired!

More vintage babies.  Both are about 12".  Initially, I bought these two just for their clothing, thinking I'd strip them down, keep the clothes and re-donate the dolls.  However, once I got them home, I discovered the one on the right is a Vogue Dream baby, made about the same time as one of my other favorite dolls, Vogue's Baby Dear.  She has the same style cloth body and bent baby limbs.  Her outfit is beautiful and all original.  Just needs to be cleaned!  She will be staying in my collection, as I have already fallen in love with her.  Dolly on the left is another Madame Alexander baby, all vinyl.  I think her clothes are original, but I'm not sure.  They seem a little large for her, but maybe that's because all of the elastic has worn out?  She even still has her little pacifier.  Again, she and her clothes just need to be gently cleaned.

BFC Inc., Kaitlin
I used to find BFC Inc dolls all the time at the thrift stores, but not so much recently.  Just when I was wondering if I'd ever see one again, there she was!  Her poor little legs were just dangling over the shelf where she'd been thrown along with all of the other toys.  There is quite a collector base for these dolls, and I've never had a problem selling them.  This is one of the earlier dolls, as she does not have the extra joints in her elbows, wrists and ankles like the dolls that came after her.   BFC Inc. dolls have very pretty faces.

Disney Animators
These dolls are just so sweet.  I love their expressions!  Belle looks playful, Merida looks mischievous, and Cinderella looks demure.  Disney has done a great job with capturing the personality of each princess as a toddler.  These dolls stand about 16" tall and each has her original dress (but missing shoes).  They are fairly clean, but...their HAIR!  Oh, my goodness, I must be a glutton for punishment.  It takes me a good 1-2 hours to fix the hair on each one of these dolls.  So much time is spent washing, conditioning, combing, flat ironing and styling so it can look presentable again.  But it's totally worth it!  I usually "play hair" while I watch an episode (or two or three!) of a favorite tv show.

And last but not least, we have these American Character "Toodles" dolls.  The 22" toddler isn't in too bad of shape...she needs a good cleaning.  Her dress and bloomers are replacements, but they are well made, so I will do some minor repair work and let her keep them.  20" Toodles baby on the other hand...oh, my...where do I even begin?  She is filthy.  Her eyes (along with the Toodles toddler) have some kind of mildew film on them.  Her hair is matted.  Her left leg is pushed too far into her body so it sits at a weird angle.  And then there's the matter of the huge gash that runs across the front of her torso.

I can't determine if it was done on purpose or she suffered some unfortunate mishap?

Poor little thing!  I just couldn't leave her behind at the thrift store, looking like that!  Nobody would adopt her, and then she'd be thrown away.  She actually came with her original sunsuit, which is just the cutest thing!  It will need to be mended and washed before she can wear it again, though.  I forgot to put it in the picture, but you'll see it when I get her all fixed up.  And then you can be amazed!  As for her gash, I searched and searched on the internet for what kind of glue I should use, and I finally determined that "Shoe Goo" made by "GOOP" would be my best option.  It bonds vinyl, stays flexible, and is waterproof.  So that is what I'll be trying first.   I will let you know how it goes!

So these are my projects for the next couple of weeks.  Among a million others!  I have been super-busy listing bunches of dolls on Ebay lately, and making lots of outfits for the dollies who are naked.  They can't make their world-wide debut on the internet in their birthday suit, can they?!? 
Most of the dolls in this post will head over to Ebay once I make them pretty again.  Except for Vogue Dream Baby.  She's small enough that I can squeeze her into my doll cradle with my other favorite babies!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Gotz Classic Kidz VRONI --finally!

Oh, my, it's been awhile.  What can I say?  I really have no excuses!  Just laziness and procrastination, I suppose.  But here I am again, ready to share more dolly love!

Gotz Classic Kidz VRONI!

I have been wanting this doll ever since she first came out several years ago.  But I also wanted Louisa, another Classic Kidz that came out at the same time.  Since I could only afford one, I ordered Louisa.  And I loved her.  But I could never forget about this one, Vroni.  I made up my mind recently to add her to my collection.  The only problem being, she is no longer in production and very hard to find.  Of course.  Everybody loved her and nobody wants to sell her!  So I resigned myself to the fact that I would just have to be grateful for Louisa.  When she did become available on the secondary market, she was always way out of my price range.  Until recently.

I found out through one of the Gotz Facebook groups I'm on that a doll shop in Australia still had her available for purchase!  I immediately contacted them, only to be disappointed that she was still WAY out of my price range.  Oh, well.  We can't get everything we want, can we?  Or can we?

A few days after the disappointing realization that she was out there but I couldn't afford her, I received another message from the Australian doll shop.  They just happened to have a VRONI still in stock that had an eye defect--her right eye is placed a little off center.  Because of this, she was being offered at HALF PRICE!  I didn't have to think twice before saying I'd purchase her.  I knew I could fix her eye once she arrived.  I was getting one of my dream dolls!

And after about two weeks from the date of purchase, she finally arrived!  I love her.

Waiting to be let out of the confines of her box. 

Took a few minutes to undo all of the twisty ties on the back

Free from her box!

The difference between the Gotz Classic Kidz and the Gotz Happy Kidz is the detail in their costuming.  Vroni wears a very detailed dirndl, blouse, and undergarments.

Her dress hits about 1" above the floor

Here she is with my Gotz Louisa

They look as if they're sharing a secret.  Perhaps Louisa is just happy to have another sister!

A Gotz booklet was included in her box

As we were having a bit of nice weather this afternoon (no rain!), I took Vroni outside to smell the daffodils.  She found a little lamb amongst the flowers.

Such a sweet little lamb...Vroni tried to pick him up

She finally got him onto her lap!  (Lamb is a little "Fur Real" animal I bought several years ago around Easter time to put in my daughter's Easter basket.  He is battery operated and "baas" and wiggles when you stroke his back.  He is just the cutest little thing!)

Vroni thinks she'll be happy here, although it is much cooler here in the states than the country she came from!

Such a pretty girl, even with her "lazy eye". 

I am so happy to finally have added this beautiful doll to my collection.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

New Etsy Listings for American Girl and 14" Dolls, plus a Gotz Pottery Barn Doll!

I've actually sold more than half my stock on Etsy since I opened my shop, so I decided it was high time I added some more!  I've found that the sweet, feminine, dresses have sold the best for me, so that is more of what I made in the past couple of days.  First up, this sweet dress with puffed sleeves which I created for the 18" crowd:
I sized it to fit my Pleasant Company Samantha, so it will also fit the thinner American Girls of today.

I had fun with the self-fabric ruffle detail at the bodice, and also along the hem band.

Matching hair band

Closes with ultra-thin Velcro under decorative, vintage buttons.

Another version of the puffed-sleeve dress:

I wasn't sure how much I really loved this fabric when I first bought it, but once I put it together with the apricot colored contrast, it quickly became a favorite!  The colors are calm yet bright, and the print classic, yet whimsical.


This fabric just looked so retro and cheery to me!

More ruffle trim at the hem

I loved this Mickey/Minnie Mouse fabric the first time I saw it!  I've also made a camera bag and camera strap from it.  So Disney.

I also created a couple of dresses for 14" dolls, like Wellie Wishers and Hearts 4 Hearts:
I'm just now realizing that I don't think I mentioned that I recently bought another Wellie...this is Kendall!  After reviewing Willa and Emerson last year, I really didn't think I'd buy another.  But then I happened to be at Toys R Us one evening after having a bad day, and there was Kendall, smiling back at me with her toothy little grin from inside her box!  Before I knew it, she was in my shopping cart.  Seriously.  It happened that quickly!  It did take me several days before I decided to unbox her, just because I kept thinking that I should probably return her, that I shouldn't have bought her on impulse.  But I finally succumbed to her cuteness, and now she is my favorite out of all the Wellies.  She makes a pretty cute model, too!

I wish I would have bought more of this fabric when I found it on the flat fold table for a good price.  White, silhouetted horses on a lavender background?  Yes, please!

And here is Rahel, my newest Hearts 4 Hearts Girl, modeling the same dress.   Funny story...I bought Rahel on the same evening that I bought Kendall (I can't even remember now why I was having a bad day and what caused me to impulse buy TWO new dolls!), but I decided to return her a couple of days later.  Then, a few days after that  I couldn't stop thinking about her) I returned to Target and bought her again!  I don't regret it, either.  She is absolutely adorable.  Her hair is springy and soft.  I think she is every bit as wonderful as Wellie Wisher Kendall, and she only costs 2/3 the price.

Hearts 4 Hearts Girls are a bit slimmer than Wellie Wishers, so everything that fits a Wellie will also fit the Hearts girls.  I do find it most convenient when different dolls can share clothing, don't you?
I named this dress "Elephants on Parade".  Such a cute, whimsical print.

Here you can kind of see how I made the dolly head bands:  it's simply a strip of fabric (9"x 1 3/4"), folded in half lengthwise (right sides together and sewn down the long edge), and then turned right side out.  Iron with the seam going down the center of one side of the strip.  Fold each end of the strip around a child's elastic ponytail holder and stitch in place.  Add an embellishment (like a bow) if you wish.  Voila!  A cute head band that stretches easily around your doll's head.  I think the 18" doll head bands are cut a bit longer, like 11".  I got this idea from somewhere on the internet, so I can't take credit for it.  I have also made these head bands with just a piece of regular elastic joining the fabric strip, too.
I also added this pretty girl to my Etsy shop, because I made her a cute dress and head band as well:
She is a Gotz doll, made for Pottery Barn.  I believe her original name was Megan.  She has the most beautiful, coppery red hair and gray eyes.

My daughter-in-law has hair like this!

Gotz Pottery Barn dolls are quite a bit slimmer than a lot of the other, popular, 18" dolls on the market, so I made her this cute dress and head band.  I also gave her a pair of shoes which I got for 60% off at JoAnn's.  I recently discovered that JoAnn's has an aisle for doll crafting supplies which is different than their regular aisle for 18" dolls which has clothing and shoes.  I just happened to stumble across it one day over in towards the wedding/floral department, while I was looking for something else.  Not sure why they don't keep all their doll things in the same aisle, but I thought I'd let you all know, just in case you didn't know about it, either!  This particular section has doll shoes, umbrellas, glasses, and some other accessories I can't remember.  There are also blank, cloth doll bodies and craft hair, so I suppose this section is for making your own dolls.  Still, the shoes fit the 18" dolls, so I really think JoAnn's should keep them in the other doll aisle as well.  Had I not been searching for something else, I would have never known that JoAnn's carried these items!
Tomorrow, I am heading up an hour and a half north to visit my son and daughter-in-law at their new home.  While there, we will go visit Hobby Lobby!  This is the closest one to my home, so I only go there once a year or so.  I will make a point to visit their doll aisle too, just to see if they have any good deals on doll shoes and other accessories.  I'm also excited to check out their Christmas decorations (yes, it is quickly becoming THAT time of year!), and fabric department.  I will take my camera and make sure to get pictures.  For those of you who have a Hobby Lobby in your town, lucky you!
And just in case you're interested, here's a link to my Etsy store: