Thursday, July 5, 2018

Making another Vestal and other new dolls.

Here is Vestal's picture. She is the second doll like Vestal I have made. She is not an exact replica of the first doll, but rarely do they look just alike. She has Vestal's head mold and shares features with her, but this doll has her own look and personality. She will have the same outfit that the first Vestal had. I have made several other dolls too and will show them to you. All of these dolls are fair size and some have the special Izannah bare feet and others the standard boots. If you have made dolls from molds then you know that when the dolls come out of the cloth mold, they do certain things that make them different. they warp, they develop air bubbles, the mold changes do to cleaning or sanding between making doll heads, so when you get a doll, either antique or new, these are the reasons your doll is unique. It is hand made and subject to many problems and also the painters hand on any given day. A few brush strokes make a huge difference in how the doll will look. I have learned no amount of experience will ever make me be able to duplicate exactly an original doll, not antique or new, so each doll becomes what she and you ultimately create together. The clothes are a little different. Color and fabric choices do make a big difference in your dolls final look. Hope you enjoy seeing these dolls in the making.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

working on the house

For about two and 1/2 years we have been re-doing our house. We had a gas fireplace soot up the house and we had to clean out the house and re- paint all the rooms, so we decided to re model too. along with this, my mother decided to live with us after her husband died, so we had to expand her room to include a bathroom, so that has taken alot of time and money. We are down to the kitchen and are repairing the floor now and will be laying a new heavy vinyl floor. I made a few pictures of our progress in the kitchen. It might be hard to tell what is going on, but you can see a little of what we have done so far. You might say, well why has it taken you so long to just finish the inside of the house, because we still have the outside to go, but building on a new bathroom, doing all the work yourself and all the work on the entire house yourself, and trying to look after mama and my husband who have medical issues, plus tending to her house, ( just takes time ). We added a new walk in bath tub in the big bathroom, and as you will see in the pictures, mama has a single person step in jet tub. It is the cutest thing. She also got her own washer and dryer. We tried to make her room a grand retreat as she spends alot of time in her room here at her house and she will want to do that at my house too, I am sure. The kitchen is pretty big, but it will shrink down when everything is added, such as cabinets, table and a hutch. I wanted to go more modern through out the house, but it hasn't worked out that way. The kitchen is the only room that will be more modern looking and I will post pictures of all the rooms when we get ready to move back over. I am not a horder, but after doll collecting for 30 years, and now making dolls, I have alot of dolls and supplies. Could I down size, probably, atleast some, but when I think I want to do that, I ask myself if I want to part with some of the dolls, or if it is the smart thing to try to sell off dolls, as I might not get a good price for them, and as for as making the dolls, I love to do it and it is a happy place for me to retreat to, after doing all the other chores. Being a Libra, making a decision is extra hard.Here are a few remodel pictures.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Primitive Izannah Doll

Today I am showing my new Primitive Izannah Doll that I made. This mold was made about two years ago, but for some reason it didn't turn out right, but I tried again and I didn't have any problems and the head was in good proportion. It is funny that it takes a long time sometimes to think of and make a special project. I was making this doll and I thought to myself, why not make a limited edition doll. I was able to buy a piece of antique fabric which was over 7 yards long to make the identical dresses for each doll. I figure I can make at least 10 to 12 dolls with that much to work with, so my doll would be limited to 10 or 12. If I make the patterns to fit this doll, which I call my model, it won't be as hard to make so many. I hope to make the special bare feet on these dolls, as well as the stitching around the top of the head and around the neck where the head would be sewn on. We will see how this turns out. Along with the primitive doll, I have been making a few other dolls too. Margeurite, who I named after the wife of the Scarlet Pimpernel, a good show I like, is very pretty and a large doll. She has ringlets on the sides of her head and around her neck. I must pick something super pretty for her to wear. Another doll I am making is Sylvester, a boy who I named after Sylvester Stallone, I like him too. I think Sylvester would like to have a black calico suit with a fine white shirt and bow tie. We will see about that too. All in all I have 6 large dolls to make, plus my limited edition ( 10 to 12 ) plus 4 tiny Iz dolls to finish, and this is not counting the sheet rock sanding and painting the kitchen that I have to do as well. I better eat alot of  turnip greens tonight for supper to strengthen me up, HaHa  I hope every one is well and busy with their special projects a

nd most importantly enjoying them.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Here is Bloomette. This large pressed cloth head doll is finally finished. She caused me quite alot of trouble along the way, but we have come to terms with one another. I always try to find a piece of cloth that really suits each doll. This cranberry antique calico fabric has been laid aside for probably a year or more,  as I have been busy spending what little money I have on buying as much antique fabric as I can, and now it has been made into a fine dress for Bloomette. It took all that I had to make the outfit. I did make her a lace slip as well as a cotton one to fill out her skirt. These type slips are not what a doll of that era would wear, but, I like the frills, so she got it anyway. The bonnet was almost changed to a simple more appropriate one, but I spent forever making it and just couldn't change it, even if it is a little over the top ( fancy wise ). Besides finishing this doll I have been trying to dye fabric again. I always look out for the ( poison ) green overdyed calico fabric. It is super hard to find and super expensive too. Usually you can get little pieces, but not enough to make a large outfit, so I have been trying to dye a very old farm dress that was a faded green into a over dyed poison green color. The over dyed green calico got to be that special color by first dyeing the fabric a indigo blue, and then over dyeing it with a special yellow, I can't spell that color right now, but it is a color I think you would have to buy special. Eventually I will get the colors and try this. My attempts have been a big failure as the color I got is ugly and not worthy of a dress, even though it is an antique dress. I will attempt to dye it one more time a brighter green and use it to make tiny doll dresses. I have also learned another valuable lesson on buying antique clothes. When you see an old dress or piece of fabric try to see if it has lots of age stains, because you will not be able to get them out of the fabric. To my dismay, I learned this the hard way and have wasted money and time. You can get out a few stains, and even not get out a few stains, which would be acceptable, but if the fabric is very bad, then don't invest in it, better to pay more money and get a good piece that you can use all of it. Aren't you glad I share all my mistakes, so you don't have to go through my trouble. Happy Doll making to all.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Looking at the past work

This blog post is mainly to share how I now have two of my old dolls I made many years ago. About two months ago,  a fellow doll club member and friend died suddenly. She was so friendly, generous and kind. She loved dolls and had a huge number of them of all kinds. She left instructions that on her death each member of the doll club could have a few of her dolls. This past week the members went to her house and we selected a few dolls each that we liked and I took the two dolls she had that I made, along with a few other of her dolls. The larger doll with the somber face and hardly any color was a doll I sold to my friend at the doll show in Meridian, Ms. 5 years ago, and the second small doll I made for the same lady a year later. I had forgotten exactly what they looked like, so it was a surprise to me to look back and see what I had made. I never expected anything like this

to happen, but I know that life takes sharp turns suddenly and we can never be prepared for the good or the bad. I appreciated my friends thoughtfulness and generous nature, but feel so sad she is gone. Seeing the dolls now that I made pretty early, just learning how to make them, and being a beginner at sewing, I feel pretty good about them. I always tried to make everything good, neat, and painted the best I was able.  I used to say that when I finished a painting for sell, it might not be a good painting, but it was painted good. It is the same now with the dolls. I also see that I have lost some of the freshness and primitiveness that I used to have. That might be because I have learned how to make a better dress and possibly have learned how to make the heads shapes better, but what ever the reason,  I see some of what I love about the cloth dolls is missing in the newer ones. Each of us evolves in what ever we do. I have changed in style many times and probably will roll around again to the more primitive in painting and doll making. I hope you enjoy a look back at the older dolls and seeing the new ones too. Marion underwent a face lift recently and was rewarded with a new beautiful dress of antique blue calico. I want to put her picture here too, so that she can show off her new dress.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Finished Dolls

Here are two finished dolls I have spent quite alot of time on. I made a large  Ella Smith ( Alabama Baby Doll )  and a Izannah Walker Style Cloth doll.  Both of these dolls have cloth heads and bodies. The alabama doll has a cloth head with a pressed mold face made from my antique doll's face and the Izannah doll has a pressed cloth head also made in a mold. The very early black Alabama dolls are hard to find and buy,  also super expensive, so I have made some here and there, this is the largest one I have made so far. Due to paint issues and not having much time to work on the dolls, I don't have many dolls to show today, but I have made atleast three other Izannah dolls that have to sit up for atleast a month for drying and then clothes making, so hopefully in a month or so, I will have some more dolls. Going into the spring and summer, I thought I would try my hand at making a Philadelphia doll, as I now have one to make a mold of, and I would like to make some little black dolls,made in the way of the Izannahs, but just little simple black babies. Another project to do is to make molds of my large Izannah dolls that are about 29 inches tall. I had molds, but I re worked them and now have to make new molds. I am looking forward to seeing other dolls people are making and continuing enjoying my doll making days.