Sunday, August 16, 2015

Continuing on with some Izannah Dolls

Making one of these Izannah Dolls from beginning to end is really an amazing thing. I guess any doll you make is, because of what you think you are making and expecting it to be,  and the doll you actually bring to a conclusion. It never fails to surprise me how different the dolls turn out from start to finish, or how my mind changes during the process. According to how the doll is looking there are times to change from white to black, or vise versa, or even from a boy to a girl, or the other way around. The dolls always rule and you seem to loose control and just finish what is evident the doll should turn out to be. Here are two I am working on at the moment. After having finished a huge garage sale, which took up a big part of this last week, not to mention all the times we spent hauling  things over to the place of the sale in the last months, I have some of my time back from that job. Painting is really a wonderful place for me to be, it soothes my spirit and gives me a rest, taking away every thing around me and taking up my total concentration, time flies by and  ( Wha La ) a painted doll head appears in my hand. It does sound silly, but for those of us who paint a lot, they know what I mean. These dolls here are finished in the painting but for one super important feature ( those darn side curls ) I have to go back and fill the curls in with dark hair. Ever Since I have been trying to make these curls and painted hair they have been sort of a block to me. Sometimes I can do good right off the bat, and then I have to slave over them to get a good curl. I will get the curls before its over. The happy prospect of picking out fabric for clothes will be next. I never used to enjoy having to make the clothes, but in the last year, my interest in making dresses, bonnets and such has grown. I don't think I am alone in the curl making, but suspect most people have the same trouble as me, so I might do a post showing some of the ways the curls can be made, as there are several ways to do it, including the way Izannah Walker made them, or atleast members of her family did. Included in this post is a picture of  my new bear I got at Ruby Lane's last sale. His name is Aloysius, he is a old reproduction  bear made in England. Out of room again, see you soon.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Civil War Soldiers

  Civil War Soldier Dolls have been something I have wanted to make for awhile. So much study in the way of books, movies and classes at schools prompt people to make things that have a connection to this war. I have seen several cute sets of soldiers on the computer,  and I have looked at the old photographs of real soldiers that fought in the war, both Union and Confederate, and the uniforms range from grand to completely worn out jacket and pants. There is a Confederate   Union Cemetery very near our house and we go there to walk the dogs. About 1100 or so men are listed as having died there. A big hospital was there when the war was going on, but all traces of it are gone now. These dolls are a gift for my brother-in-law who has never let on he has any interest in the Civil War at all, but I thought he would enjoy the dolls, as they are cute, and they are soldiers. Most little boys, and I am sure, lots of big boys like reading and looking at objects that have to do with wars.  Making the uniforms was, as usual a learning experience,  as I learned how to make a real belt and a cap. I promised my husband I would make him a set of soldiers too, but not any time soon as these little men were a ton of work. If my bother-in-law likes them, then it has been well worth all the time spent. My mama contributed 2 gold dollars to each soldier to put in his bag.  One more thing about the Civil War is the ladies dresses which I never have been really interested in except for one,  which is Scarlett Ohara's Mourning Dress and Accessories. Looking at dolls that have this dress I finally bought one, a beautiful black dress with complete veil, gloves, shoes, and umbrella, and of course I had to get a Scarlett to model it. Now its time to move .  on to other dolls who are waiting their turn. 

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

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.

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.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

New Works in Progress

A long time ago, I wondered how to increase my chances of reaching potential people who might want an Izannah doll from me, but now I realize that I cannot make but so many, atleast at one time, so, with the help of my husband and my mother, we are quietly working and making the best dolls we can, and let them find homes for themselves. When I first started learning how to make these dolls, I was excited and certainly enjoyed the making, and more than that the connecting and sharing of ideas and techniques about these dolls. Finding new friends, seeing what others are doing and accomplishing is a daily treat for me. You see here some of the new works in progress. Some of the dolls are finished in their painting, some not. I think I will be going deeper into making these dolls in the future, trying to cull down to making a true reproduction of individual Izannah dolls, which should be fun and definitely a challenge, but I won't let go of the individual original ( usually happy accidents ) dolls that I manage to make because they are charming in their original faces and personalities. One of the dolls pictured here is a copy of a antique Izannah doll. She has darker hair and is a larger size, ( see if you can guess which one she is ). I am naming her Izannah, after the original maker of these antique dolls and because she gave all of us so much to enjoy both in having one of her dolls, or, all the pleasure of trying to make some like hers. Also pictured are a few of the primitive rag dolls with stitched faces. I just want to show some of the dresses they have. They are not completely finished either. Their fate is uncertain as they are not  ( In Vogue ) right now, but we love, and enjoy them. Their time will come to be wanted. In the future, we are planning to make some painting videos ( if we can learn to use the movie camera, and navigate the blog site to put a video on. Keep your fingers crossed whisper repeatedly ( Please help poor Martha to smarten up so she can enjoy us painting along with her). and some other fun stuff too.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New Izannah Dolls and Primitive Rag Dolls

Here are a few pictures of some of the new Izannah Dolls and Primitive Rag Dolls we are making. During the last few months, we have been busy making quite a few new dolls, 6 new Izannah dolls in different sizes and 6 primitive rag dolls with the seed teeth, As usual atleast one of the Izannah dolls will have to go back to the drawing board for more work, but the 6 primitive dolls are getting their clothes. I had an old cutter quilt and we cut it up to make bonnets and now, a dress or two. I haven't had as much time to work on the dolls, as we are trying to clean out some buildings at mama's house for a sale in October, also she has several antique cars and they have to be worked on to get ready to sell later this year, but every available  minute I pop back to my work table to concentrate on the dolls. I have enjoyed making the primitive rag dolls the most because they are fun and I guess I just love these type of dolls. Hope you enjoy seeing these and if you have an old quilt that isn't good enough for a bed cover, consider that you can make dolls goodies with it. The bonnets are really pretty, and if you don't mind the task of separating the quilt top from the batting layer, you can make really pretty quilt top dresses. The Izannah's are about middle way through their painting and will change. It is interesting to see the changes and I will show you the difference antiquing makes in my next post.