Saturday, March 28, 2015

Stumps, Rags and Pinkeeps in the making

Hi. I thought I would post some pictures of projects in the making. Stump dolls are so popular and I just love them, so I am making some. Apparently a stump can have no legs, short legs, no arms. or short arms. I have seen them made all ways. I chose to make my stumps with no legs and short arms. the stump dolls do usually have form fitting clothes, mostly a wrap around type dress and apron and probably time worn. These stumps will have a purpose to double as pin keep dolls, so they earn their keep. I also am making some new painted head rag dolls,  two white for a special project and a black painted head pinkeep doll. What motivates us to make certain dolls over others is a mystery, just like loving chocolate ice cream over Chunky Monkey, or sherbert.  What ever moves us to make things that draw our attention and drives us to spend endless hours to copy or make things like them is also a mystery, but thank goodness there is something that does. The world would be so much poorer if people didn't strive to create beautiful useful things. Here are some pictures. I am not bashful to show dolls in the beginning when they don't look their best and they are generous to let us visit them in the very beginnings of their dolly lives.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Black Antique Izannah Walker Doll and Reworking a bonnet

I am killing two birds with one stone.  What a horrible way to say you are doing two things at once, but that is what I am doing. I wanted to show a friend this beautiful black Izannah doll that Richard Wright owned. It is the only picture of a antique black Izannah doll that I know of. It is the only one I have ever seen. People talk about rare things, but a antique black Izannah Walker doll is really rare. I have always been taken by this doll. She is just a beauty and hard to duplicate, but I have tried anyway. I still attempt to copy her, as a matter of fact I am working on one right now. Her hair was once black I am sure, but time has faded it to a reddish brown color. In my many attempts to make a doll like this, I did make some really pretty black dolls that I am proud of, and hope to make many more.  I also wanted to share with you all the re making of a bonnet. When I first made this bonnet, I thought it was pretty, but it didn't do my doll any favors. It was to big and hid her face to much. It did not have any flair or any striking features that would draw your attention. The Izannah dolls wore plainer clothes I guess, but I have seen some with very fine clothes. Anyway, I took the hat apart, shortened it from front to back and side to side, then I made a new band to gather across the back as well as a long band to gather across the top of the head. We recently bought a serger, or should I say, my mother bought a serger, and what a wonderful tool it is. I was able to put a 3 roll hem on the band for the top of the hat and what a difference it made. Now the bonnet is quite pretty I think and suits my doll very well, enhancing her face, instead of hiding it. It is going to be fun to see what else we can do to the clothes to make them prettier.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

New dolls being finished

I have taken some pictures of three dolls I am just about done with.  A large Izannah Walker Style Cloth Doll, a second slightly smaller Izannah Walker Style Cloth Doll and a painted head rag doll.  Omie is wearing a checked dress and bonnet of vintage cotton organdy with a lace collar which is removable. she is not wearing her under ware here because it isn't finished yet, Her bodice is fully lined and I still have to draw up the sleeves and add lace. She is a big,  sweet,

 light weight girl, and to me the dress and bonnet are just so pretty. I wish I had a ton of this fabric. My second girl is Izannah, and she is wearing a dress and bonnet made of a reproduction Civil War fabric called ink well. It is as near to the antique's dress material as I could get. She is more brooding with her dark eyes. I still would like to make her a second dress of a fine light weight white or light color  with out a bonnet, and I might do that. Her dress has a lace collar, but it is sewed on and she wears an apron of a white calico with lace edges, Her dress bodice is also fully lined,  I have made the decision to line all the tops of the clothes from now on as it is nicer and less work in the end. Last but not least is this fat painted head  rag doll. She has a few issues, one of her hands is slightly smaller than the other and her head is not completely straight, but she is pretty and will make a child a great playmate and companion. Winter has taken it's toll on us all, as far as doll making and work in general, but still progress is being made and lots of dolls are in the works, as well as new ideas and plans for this coming year. I have not given up on my video's. Keep safe, warm,  and working on those wonderful special hand made toys and dolls, as I sure do love to see what you all are making. Love, Martha

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hope's Dolly

                 Today I finished with this old fashioned painted head rag doll for a friend.  I started out not knowing how to paint the face, I never know how to paint the faces, but the doll cooperated with me and made my job easy. She was mild and meek and there was no argument about the eyes, the nose, the shape of the head, or the set of the mouth.  I gave her a small smile and then was careful not to take it away from her. In doll making, no matter if you stitch the face, or paint it, how to get the face is always a challenge, except in a few circumstances when things fall into place and everything is as you wanted it, like this doll for me. I hope my friend will enjoy her, enjoy making her clothes, enjoy passing by her around the house and stopping every once in a while to touch those soft big fingers, and always enjoy her little smile.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Angellis Revisited

I have posted about this doll before, but after quite a lot of labor on her I decided to take some more pictures, possibly to put her on ebay. The pictures show up everything beautiful,

 and everything you did wrong too. This little dress has been a pill,  it shouldn't have been, but I don't seem to be able to stop making stupid mistakes and then having to spend tons of time to fix them. I would have loved to make her a dress out of antique fabric, because I do have some, but because I might not get enough money for her, I was afraid to use the scarce material up. I wonder sometimes about my reasoning, whether or not it is sound and makes good sense, about the dolls. This outfit is very pretty though and does have very old rick rack on the collar, arms,  around the skirt, and on the bonnet too. I also made another small doll, and her dress is made out of antique fabric. I notice I need to do some more eye work. Pictures tell me the truth that I can't see myself. The smaller dolls are harder to paint and you don't see flaws as much until you blow them up bigger. While making doll clothes I have learned something else, which is the older you try to go, the more hand sewing it seems to take. Antique fabric in itself is fascinating. and it is truly pretty. Well, off to work on another doll, hopefully to make her some great mistake free clothes.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

New Doll named Izannah

I made a bunch of dolls, or started them awhile back about 3 months ago. Some have worked out pretty good and some failed,  this particular doll I named Izannah, because to me she is more like a Izannah Walker doll than a lot of the other dolls. I have noticed that some of the antique dolls had darker colors than others, the hair in particular was very dark and the eyes too. I saw a picture of a wonderful Izannah doll in a magazine and so set out to copy her, there are differences, but this doll does resemble the antique to a good degree. I don't have any clothes made for her yet, but borrowed the under ware from a different doll to make pictures. I do like this under ware a lot, even though it is not proper for a doll like this, but I used artist privilege to do what I wanted. I am going to make the dress as close to the antique's as possible and then will take some more pictures. I hope everyone is doing good and has lots of doll making plans for this year. We are busy doing the necessary things, but move ahead slowly with our doll making. This year I hope to do some different things, make some dolls I haven't tried  before, but the work to make a authentic Izannah antique reproduction doll will of course continue, but the good thing about this is, it applies to other types of antique dolls too, so I will atleast have that experience on my side to help me. I do like this girl so much and have  4 more heads like her to finish. It will be fun to see how close these other heads will be to this doll. Happy doll making to you all and I hope you enjoyed seeing this dolly.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Hi to every one and  happy new year. I finished Angellis and a few other things so I will post a few pictures. We are still forging ahead with our doll making, but it is slow. Angellis is about 23 or 24 inches tall and one of several I started several months ago. This coming year I hope to make some different kind of dolls and continue with the Izannah's too. I, along with probably quite a few people bought some of the composition kits of the Izannah dolls. They are nice, but very tiny. I mainly wanted them for study, but after a time I will go ahead and make them into dolls. They are very good copies of the original dolls, but it would have been good to have them in a larger size. I am glad to get them in any case, as they will help my cause to create more Izannah like dolls. Also,

 I put up a picture or two of a certain rag doll I made and a couple of the smaller dolls. It should be a great new year and I am looking forward to sharing and enjoying every ones doll making pictures.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


We are back from the mountains. Last week mama, my brother, my husband and me went to Pigeon Forge, Tenn. It was a good week, but we are having to give it a few days rest to get back to normal, after eating, and walking around the sites all the days we were there. Pigeon Forge is a childs delight, but for older folks it is way to commercial for me. We did go to the Hatfields and Mocoys Christmas Dinner show, which was really cute. Lots of antique shops, but nothing of real interest for me there. I did happen to go to a certain store called I R cheap. I wasn't going to go in, but I saw in the window, a prim doll, and did go in. In there were true prims. I saw a cute Santa and some Civil war soldiers, so cute. I wanted to buy the Santa and the soldiers, but I knew my husband and my mama would have had something to say about it, so I took a few pictures to remind me of their cuteness and waited until I got home and wrote a lady who makes the patterns for those dolls and she put one on her etsy site for me, so now I am happy again and will make a few of these, mainly for myself and my brother in law. I did make lots of pictures of my trip, but the pictures aren't ready to get downloaded just yet, but when they are, I'll put them on. Since getting back home, I have been working on one of the large Izannah dolls to get her finished, no particular reason, except I just wanted to see her all dressed up. I was rewarded to see her decked out in her pretty yellow Civil war reproduction fabric dress and matching bonnet. I still have to do a touch up on her feet, but am proud of how she looks. She has a great big fat chest, plump ears, and is pretty much a chunky doll, nice size to hold though. Out of room again. I did put in a few more in progress, unfinished

 doll pictures.