Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas and a New Baby!

Almost one year ago, I came across this completely, adorable, baby doll on the internet. 
 I think I was browsing Pinterest (dangerous place!) when I saw her.  I was so taken with her face that I had to find out where I could get one.  I showed her to my youngest who fell in love with her, too.  The original plan was that I was going to purchase her for Sophie's 7th birthday back in March.  But for whatever reason, it never happened.  Sophie has not stopped talking about this doll since then, so I figured that was a pretty good indication she would make a wonderful Christmas gift!
Getting a first glimpse as she opened the package...
Baby Mei from Paradise Galleries!
After an outfit change.  Doesn't she have the most adorable face?  Baby Mei is about 20" tall and wears newborn/size 3 mos clothing.  Her limbs and head are vinyl, and her soft, stuffed body has pellets in her bottom for a nice, weighted feel.  These are the only photos I was able to snap today before it got dark.  I hope to get more tomorrow so I can really show how darling she is!  It is safe to say that this was Sophie's favorite gift.
And here's most of our crew on Christmas Eve.  We were only missing our eldest and his wife, both of whom had to work.  The picture is a little soft and out of focus, but it is the only one I got of us all amidst the chaos, so it'll have to do.  My eldest daughter is due to have our second grandchild at the end of January, and my second son and his wife are having our third grandbaby sometime in July.  Next year's Christmas photo will have even more people!  Christmas and family--two of my favorite things.
Hope you are having a Merry Christmas, too! 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Gotz Elizabeth Cady Stanton 18" Doll

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!  We've had some decent snowfall (several inches--good for our area!) and ice.  Today I decided to venture out in the freezing temperature and show you a doll I've had in my collection for a bit. 
Meet Elizabeth Cady Stanton:
Elizabeth is an 18" doll made by the Gotz Doll company in honor of the American suffragette she's named after.  Only 5000 of these dolls were made, and mine is #4298, which is signed in pen on the front of her cloth torso, along with the date of 2001.  She is jointed like an American Girl doll, and has the loveliest, ash blonde wig full of wavy curls.
The real Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born in 1815.  I couldn't find any photos of her as a child, but then I realized that there probably aren't any, since photos didn't become commonly available until many years later.  So this doll is an artist's interpretation of what she may have looked like.
I did find this photo:
Elizabeth with two of her young sons
And this one:
With her baby daughter, Harriet
Elizabeth herself came from a family of 11 children, five of whom did not survive childhood.  She married at age 25 and went on to have seven children of her own.  A little know fact about Elizabeth Stanton is that she wrote many of the speeches for Susan B. Anthony!
This is a photo I pulled from the internet of a doll just like mine, shown in her "meet outfit", because I was too lazy to redress my doll to show you how she was originally dressed:
I read somewhere that this outfit is supposed to represent the school uniform she wore while being formally educated at a girl's academy.  It is a nicely made dress, apron, bloomer, socks and shoes.  It has snap closures.  I kept her in it for awhile just because it's her original outfit, but once I decided to change her, oh my!  That's when I really fell in love with her!  She is really cute.  I mean REALLY.  Some of the photos I've seen of her just don't do her justice.  She's one of those dolls that looks so much better in person, I think.
Don't you love the lamp post?  One of my lucky thrift store finds.
Her hair is gorgeous.
I made the velveteen coat and bonnet many years ago.  It's a little longer in length than I currently make, so I'm thinking of shortening it a bit.  But in the meanwhile, it kept Elizabeth nice and warm out in the snow!
We didn't stay outside too long since the temperatures were dropping down into the 20's.   Back inside, she wanted to check out the dolls' Christmas tree.
I made this dress and smocked and embroidered the pinafore many years ago.  It also is a bit long for my current tastes, so I will probably be shortening this as well.
Elizabeth has curly tendrils at the sides of her temples that fall into her face, so I have pinned them back to show off her pretty face a bit better.
I really love this doll.  If you are interested in adding one to your collection, check Ebay.  There are several listed right now, two in the $50 price range.  But I've seen them sell for even lower than that. I lucked out and got mine at a doll show for $30.  If you're looking for a nice quality doll that has a unique face mold from all the other 18" dolls on the market, then check out Elizabeth Cady Stanton!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

My First Old Dollhouse--a KEYSTONE!

I LOVE dollhouses.  My father made one for me when I was child, and then another one when I was teenager and had more specific tastes.  The second one was quite large--four floors with a total of 11 rooms (I think).  It was Victorian, with a mansard style roof that opened to reveal the attic.  I worked for hours on that dollhouse, decorating and making furniture.  Unfortunately, I lost it in a house fire we had several years ago.  I know there are pictures of it somewhere...I will try to find one and post it later.  All this to say, I have loved dollhouses and miniatures ever since I was a little girl.  I have a huge, Rubbermaid box full of furnishings I've collected for my "someday" dollhouse.   I have notebooks full of sketches for a house I'd like to build one day.  But a few days ago, as I was perusing an antique mall for the perfect Christmas gift for my secret pal from my doll club, this caught my eye:
It's a Keystone of Boston dollhouse from the 1940's!  My heart did a little pitter-pat as I got close enough to inspect it.  As you can see in the photo, a good chunk of the lithograph is missing from the front, right corner.  No problem, because I can easily replicate that with paints.  The chimney is missing.  Again, not really an issue since I'll just make another one.
One of the sides.  Both sides are identical, so I'm only showing you one.  This is Keystone's "Colonial" style house.
The graphics inside are nearly perfect!  It is missing a couple of stairs from the spiral staircase, and one metal shutter from the upper left room. 
Can you believe that I walked out of that antique mall without buying it?  And then I spent a very fretful night at home, tossing and turning and wondering if it might still be there the next day?  Why I didn't buy it right on the spot when I first found it is beyond me.  I guess I may have been worried about where to put it.  And since it's a slightly smaller scale than the standard 1:12 furniture I already own, what would I furnish it with?  It needs 1:16 scale furniture, or 3/4 scale to be exact.  But by the next morning, I knew I had to have it.  I drove back to the antique mall, worried that it would already be gone.  In fact, it had been moved and I couldn't find it right away!  I was so disappointed.  But then, with great relief, I finally spotted it.  It was MINE!
So now it's home, sitting on my bedroom floor, waiting for me to find it a better display area.  And guess what?  I already have some antique dollhouse dolls that are the perfect size for it, and some furniture for each room, courtesy of a good doll friend in my club who had extra and was willing to sell it to me!  The wooden furniture is by Strombecker, the perfect era to fit into this house.
I will be back soon with more pictures, I promise.  I can hardly wait to start furnishing this darling, 40's era style house!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Our Generation "It Seams Perfect" set and a New Gotz Girl!

A couple of months ago, I received this very, special gift from one of my sewing students:
Can you believe it?  It's the ever-desirable, always elusive "It Seams Perfect" sewing set from Our Generation!  I have drooled over this on the internet and haunted all my local Targets, but had resigned myself that acquiring a set of my own was not to be.  And then, out of nowhere, my wonderful, little sewing student happened upon it one day and wanted to get it for me.  How awesome is that?!?
Back of the box
Close up of once I figured out how to remove the outer part of the box, but before tackling that horrible, molded plastic...
Okay, so this photo has nothing at all to do with unboxing my new sewing set, other than the fact that while I was struggling with all that horrible plastic, my 10 year old decided to visit my sewing room with our favorite chicken.  Yes, we have a favorite, and yes, sometimes they come into the house.  And in case you're wondering, her name is Stella.
Okay, on to the "It Seams Perfect" set...
There's a real, actual pattern to make an 18" doll sundress!  How cute is that?  There's also a roll of fabric included, but I probably won't use it.  On second thought, my 7 year old is really bugging to learn how to sew, so maybe I'll start her out with this pattern.  It looks simple enough.
Here are all of the darling, little accessories.  There's a real, 18" tape measure just like the life-sized ones, a wooden ruler (maybe it's plastic, but it feels like wood), two wood spools with thread, a marking pencil, a plastic thimble, 4 buttons, a buttonhole marker, scissors that actually open and close, a wristband pincushion, and a delightful, round box with a lid to hold it all.  Some of the accessories are really well made, like the scissors, ruler, tape measure, spools, and box.  A couple leave a little to be desired, like the wristband pincushion (it's molded plastic and doesn't actually fit on the doll's wrist) and the plastic thimble which doesn't have much detail.  It would have been really cool if the scissors actually cut, but all in all, I think these accessories are so cute.
I think it was smart thinking on OG's part to make a box to contain all the items.  Plus, how adorable is that antique sewing machine graphic on the lid?!
Rebecca was our resident seamstress today.  Here we see how she can sit on the little chair, surrounded by everything she needs to create something special.  The extension on the sewing table folds out, and the sewing machine sits down in a recessed area.  I didn't take a close-up photo of the sewing machine, but the presser foot actually lifts up and down, as does the needle!  With all of this attention to detail, I'm wondering why OG didn't include a foot pedal?!?  Oh well, I guess we will have to use our imaginations on this one.
I slipped a little dress over the dress adorable!
All set to sew.
Love the scissors!
Just as Rebecca was getting ready to thread a bobbin, in walked a complete stranger.  "Oh!  Hello...who are you?"
"I'm new here.  My new mama rescued me from the Goodwill where I was just tossed up on a shelf with all kinds of scary toys.  Some were loud and made all sorts of noise, and some were broken.  I'm so glad she brought me here!"
"I don't have any clothes.  Do you think you could make me something to wear?  My favorite color is pink."
"Well, it just so happens that our mama likes pink, too!  Here are some bolts of fabric.  Pick one, and I'll make you a dress."
"But before we get started, I'll need to take your measurements."
"It would be helpful if you could hand me things while I sew.  Then I'll have this dress done in no time!"
"Let me button the back for you..."
Cuteness overload!
Admiring the vintage angel at the top of the tree.
I couldn't believe my good fortune when I found this beautiful, little girl at the Goodwill.  Nice dolls are getting harder and harder to find, probably because most of what's available in stores is cheap and low quality.  All I seem to happen across anymore are the Disney toddlers and 18" OGs.  This little darling is a 16" Gotz.  I don't know her name.  Unfortunately, Gotz dolls are hard to find in the USA--not many stores carry them.  Which is really a shame, since they are such excellent quality play things.  I know that Pottery Barn carries a line of Gotz dolls, but beyond that, I'm not sure where you would go to buy this little cutie here in the states.  European shops sell them, and I've ordered several Gotz dolls from
This doll is all vinyl.  She can stand on her own and hold many poses.  Her rooted hair is thick and a beautiful quality.  She has stationary, blue eyes and just the sweetest expression.  I'm so glad I decided to stop in at that Goodwill on that particular day.  And yes, I think she looks adorable in pink!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Still Here...and Still Sewing!

I have so many things I want to post about...but for some reason, life has just gotten so busy lately!  I've added new dolls to my collection, found awesome thrift store deals, and started sewing for the dolls again after a bit of a break.  I just listed the above two outfits on Ebay this evening, and figured that while I was still sitting at my computer, I may as well blog about them, too.
For the first time in like ever, I purchased some cute Christmas fabric with the express purpose of turning it into holiday themed clothing for the dolls.
Here is Rebecca, modeling the first ensemble.
Her cardigan is upcycled from an adult sweater.  I created my own pattern and after a couple of trial and errors, I think I got the fit just right!  It closes in front with a snap under a pretty silk flower.
I thought this fabric was so adorable with it's snowy, winter-wonderland scene and Santa flying in his sled across the sky.  I love the blue/red/white combination.  The fabric has a shimmery glitter that's hard to capture in the photos, but is so elegant in person.
Isn't that lamp post just the cutest?  Even though it leans a little, I knew it had to come home with me when I found it at the Goodwill the other day.  What a perfect prop for the dolls!
The dress closes in back with snaps under decorative buttons.
I also made a coordinating hair bow to compliment the outfit.
Marie Grace's outfit
Her cardigan is also upcycled from a woman's sweater.  It is a silk/cotton blend and feels so soft.
The gingerbread fabric was actually part of a border print.  I carefully cut out the strip and stitched it to the red dot fabric.
I added a narrow, white band of trim between the hem band and the gingerbread house fabric.  Kind of like piping, but easier.
I got brave and removed Marie Grace's tiny side braids for the first time.  GASP!  Her hair is no longer in it's original set.   I'm kind of a rebel like that.
Looking so cute together!  I listed both of these outfits on Ebay tonight (seller name dotsydoodle).  The auction ends on Sunday evening.  This is the first time in a long time that I've listed doll clothes to sell on Ebay.  So we'll see how that goes.  I really do love how these outfits came out, so I won't be horribly disappointed if they don't sell.  However, it would be nice if they do since I'd like to get back into sewing and selling again for dolls.
I can't believe it's almost December.  Seriously?  Where has the past year gone?!