Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Doll Show Treasures and Other Goodies

I was able to attend a doll show this past weekend and found many wonderful things!  Unfortunately, the contents of my wallet didn't match the desires of my heart, so I didn't buy much.  But I did walk away with a few things that I'm very happy about.  Like this crocheted dress for a sweet, little all-bisque, antique doll that's been standing naked in my display cabinet for the past year:
She has no markings, but was most likely made by Kestner.  She stands just 4 1/2" tall.  I was going to make her a dress once, but I hate sewing things that tiny.  So when I found this lovely, handmade, crocheted dress by a talented vendor at the show, I had to have it.  And it was only $7.00!  What a deal.
There are even tiny buttons that close the bodice back.
This little guy is one I'd never seen before.  He is made by the White Balloon co.  He has a soft, stuffed body, and vinyl limbs and head.  He stands 13 1/2" tall, and I think he looks like the perfect little brother for the AG's.
I love his face!
When we visited the AG store last month, my daughter decided that she wanted to receive Rebecca for her uncoming birthday.  So I've been deciding how I'm going to make that happen.  I wasn't opposed to buying one new, but by the time you add on the cost of state sales tax and maybe shipping, it made the finished product more than I wanted to spend for a five year old!  So I was more than excited when I happened to spy this beauty in the corner of a vendor's booth:
She didn't come in her original outfit (I think she may be wearing a Samantha dress), but she was in perfect condition otherwise.  And at only half the cost of what she would have cost brand new, I snapped her up!
Look at her lovely curls.
After the doll show, I decided to stop at Target on my way home and browse the toy aisle.  I had been hearing lots of good reviews about the doll outfits for the Our Generation line, so that's where I headed first.
I'm not one to ever buy outfits for my dolls, because I always figure that I can make something much nicer for much cheaper.  But I fell in love with this outfit and had to bring it home:
It's a four piece outfit called "Shall Oui Go?"  It consists of a red, knit beret, yellow knit mittens, black cloth boots with red fur trim, and a fully lined coat.  The coat closes with Velcro and a waist tie.  I was really impressed with how well it is made.
The hat is super adorable.  I want one in my size!
Here you can see that boots close in the back with Velcro.
Not the best picture for showing the detail, but these boots are made from a soft, velveteen-like material.
My only complaint would be with the mittens...while I think they are cute, they are much too short.  I would have liked to see them made at least 3/4" longer so that there wouldn't be a gap between the mittens and the sleeve.  But the mittens are connected to each other with a long, black cord that runs up each sleeve and around your dolls neck, so they can't be lost!  A nice touch.  I believe I paid around $16 for this.
And last, but not least, I found these cuties.  Have you heard of Mooshkas?
I had seen the larger, all cloth versions for many months, but never had any interest in them.  However, when I spied these tiny (3 1/2") tall cuties, I couldn't resist!  What is it about tiny things? They are adorable!  I'm not sure what they are made of (maybe some type of resin?) but they kind of feel like wood.  They are jointed at their hips and shoulders.
Each Mooshka doll comes with a little companion.  How cute is this teeny pink owl?!?
I chose this Mooshka because I wanted her itty bitty white swan!
Here is the last one I got, still in the box.  All three were meant for my daughter's upcoming birthday, but she happened to discover them before I could really hide them. (Stinker!)  So the first two were opened before I could stop her.  This last one I will tuck away.  I think there are around six dolls in this series, each with a different name and little pet.  They can't stand on their own because of their pointed feet, but I don't care.  The wings are removable on the fairy dolls, but the skirts are not.  I like these so much better than the mini Lalaloopsies, which my daughter also owns.  While the Lalas are cute, I think the Mooshkas are sweeter.  Their colors are more muted and I think they are painted in such a way to evoke the simplicity of a cloth doll.
Who says that the toy aisles are just for kids?!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New Arrival of the Very Best Kind!

He's here!
Declan Alexander
After 18 hours of back labor...
...breathing through contractions
...and thinking it couldn't be done... son and daughter-in-law blessed us with our very first grandchild.  And he is perfection.
All 8 lbs, 5 oz. of him.
There's something so surreal about watching your child become a parent.
We are in love.
Congratulations, Tyler and Karissa.  You are going to be wonderful parents.  Thank you for letting me be a part of Declan's birthday.  It is a memory I shall never forget.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Do You Want to Build a Snowman???

I so often marvel at the beautiful photos of dolls on other people's blogs, that I finally decided to take some of my own.
American Girl Nicki, Kirsten, and mini Bitty Baby
I love everything about Nicki--her blue eyes, freckles, and light, brown, curly hair.
I bought Kirsten second-hand from a doll show several years ago.  She is pre-Mattel with the Pleasant Co. stamp on the back of her neck.  Her hair is looking a bit dry--I think she may be due for a trip to the "beauty salon" soon!
In 2005, American Girl offered a 9" baby doll in a cradle named "Baby Polly" as part of Felicity's collection.  I thought she was adorable, but I didn't want to pay the $48 price tag.  AG also offered an identical baby doll dressed in a pink sleeper, which came in stroller.  She was not named, and sold as an accessory for the American Girl of Today.  She cost a bit less at $42, so I purchased her instead.  I wish now that I would have spent the extra $6 and bought Baby Polly, because her wooden cradle was so sweet.  Oh, well.  Live and learn.  I call this baby "Mini Bitty", because her construction is just like that of the Bitty Baby dolls.
Kirsten holds the finishing touch for the snowman--a carrot for his nose!
One of my favorite things about Nicki--her beautiful hair!
I made both Nicki and Kirsten's coats many years ago and can no longer remember the patterns I used.  Nicki's fully lined, capelet-coat and bonnet are made from a super soft, plush corduroy, and the pattern came from a library book (I remember that much!).    Kirsten's hooded coat was made from a thrifted wool skirt, and the pattern may have been one that I drafted myself.  Mini Bitty's sleigh is a Christmas decoration I found once at Goodwill.
Our weather is warming and the snow will soon be a distant memory.  I'm glad I took these pictures to remind me of a beautiful, February snowfall!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Gotz Doll Restoration

Remember this little waif?
I found her at Goodwill last month and snatched her up immediately.  I love these Gotz dolls.  I'm not sure what her name was originally--some are called "Sarah" and others are "Hannah"--but they have such sweet faces.
While her body was in great condition, her hair, unfortunately, was not.
This is what it looked like after soaking in fabric softener for a couple of days and then getting towel dried.
Here you can see the hair that has been combed and treated with the hair straightener (on the left), and the rest of the hair that is still a snarly mess.
This is what a section of hair looks like after I comb it out, but before I straighten it.
And here is that same strand of hair, after I've run the straightener over it several times.  See how nice and smooth it makes it?
Hair completely combed out and straightened.
I just barely trimmed off a bit of the ragged edges.  Here you can see how many layers her hair had.
I decided to set her hair on rollers to get some of the curl back that she originally had.
And...voila!  Here she is all gussied up in her new dress with her once again, pretty hair.
This looks like a dress and a pinafore, but it's really all one piece.  I love the colors.
Bodice closes in back with snaps under decorative buttons.
Isn't she adorable?  I'm always amazed at how different these little orphans look after a trip to the "beauty parlor", and getting something pretty to wear.
And yes, I tried this dress on my new Gotz Classic Kidz Louisa, and it fit her perfectly as well.
We have been snowed in for the past couple of days, and tonight we are getting hit with freezing rain on top of the snow.  I can't say that I am unhappy about that; on the contrary, I have rather liked being holed up inside, puttering around inside my sewing room and "playing dolls".  The kids, of course, have enjoyed everything associated with the snow, especially sledding.  They have yet to build a snowman--I'm hoping that happens tomorrow before it all melts away.  I love snowmen.
Tonight I will work on the finishing touches of a pretty, little coat I started for an American Girl doll a couple of years ago, but never finished.  I will sit in front of the cozy woodstove while I sew on buttons, and think about what my next project will be.  It's a good day!