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.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Alabama Indestructible Dolls

After a long and hard time making four of these Alabama babies, also known as Alabama Indestructible Dolls, or Ella Smith Dolls, I am finally finished with them. Two white with matching outfits and two black with matching outfits. The other two, my first two are in an older post. I will have to work on the first black baby just a touch to bring her up to what I think is a better version of an antique black doll. I have said many times, the black dolls are harder to paint and still show details, but this last black doll shows up very well. There are lots of antique Ella Smith white dolls to be had, some are I would say prettier than others, but the old black ones are hard to come by, and I imagine much more expensive, that is why I wanted to make them in the first place. I have a white antique Alabama Baby, and have recently refurbished her some. I did only what must be done to save her. Her right ear was missing and her arms were in danger of falling off, and her right hand also in danger of separating from her arm. I did put new leg covers on the upper legs too, as they were very weak, but did nothing to the feet. I  had to re glue some deep cracks in her face and apply just a touch of paint, but absolutely as little as possible. Soon, when I have had an opportunity to make her some clothes, I will post her pictures. These dolls are for friends in Mississippi who love all sorts of dolls, and have huge collections. Now that I have got my feet wet, so to speak, I feel that I can go on to make some really nice pretty accurate copies of the Alabama babies. they are really sweet and a good size. I do want to try to make the tiny Alabama baby I saw on ebay, and will tackle this eventually.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Making Primitive Rag Dolls

In the last month I have turned away from my Izannah's somewhat, to make some primitive rag dolls, a lot of this is because they are easy to make and mama can work on them too. She is enjoying time with her sister and going to Florida for a few days, and so am I. We will go to Pensacola, Fla to see my brother and then on to pick up mama in Apalatchacola, Fla. These rag dolls are a little different. We have been experimenting with color, different noses, and putting in seed teeth. They look just a little scary at first, but they grow on you pretty quick. I think when I get the whites of the eyes put in and some fine dresses and bonnets on they will be cute. The summer is moving along pretty fast, but the doll work is going good. Lots of big Izannah's to come out in the next few months. We are making 27 of the tiny 8 inch dolls,

 this will take up lots of time, and be interesting to see the difference in so many little faces.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Izannah Walker Reproduction Doll with Blue Reproduction Stripe Civil War blue Fabric

    Finally I am finished with this little about 18 to 19 inch doll. She gave me a lot of trouble while I was making her, I'm not sure what the real problem was, except my perception of depth from right to left must be  a big part of what happened, and I think as we get older, and probably to some degree always was a little off, becomes worse. On a plain white surface it is hard to judge if everything is pretty even. On this doll, I was way off, to far off to just leave her alone and call it ( quaint charm ). She is quite beautiful now. We had a test of wills and while I say I won, she definitely won, getting her pretty face for her dolly life. This doll is not perfect, nor would I want her to be. She has some scratches on her shoulders, that I didn't plan, but in time that would happen anyway. She has a lot of distressing that was put there on purpose and I am well pleased with this. The fabric her dress and hat are make of, I got at Silent Stitches, it is Civil War Blue stripes reproduction calico, and I made her bonnet with the quilted osnaburg  from Jo Anns Fabrics, it is really nice. Not much else to say except I am grateful to be done and not in danger of disgarding this doll as has happened in the past when fixing problems seemed to big to overcome at times. Moving on now to primitive rag dolls with my mama helping me. She is having fun making stitched faces and quite proficient at grunging. Mama stitched this dolls unders, and is a quick study at making dolls. I hope everybody has a chance to work some with their parents on things, it is very rewarding and certainly times I will always remember.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Working on the 4th of July

  Hi and Happy 4th of July to everyone. I hope your day is going great. I have spent my day relaxing over my doll work. Lots of people read, or do various hobbies, but making the dolls is very enjoyable and calming for me, so it is natural that given the opportunity, I would choose to spend my day this way, however, tonight I will get rewarded with a good supper on the grill. Here are a few pictures of dolls in the works that are close to being finished, some finished and some with still along way to go. I took a picture of my 2nd pair of Alabama babies, even though they are far from finished, because you can see a lot of form and detail. The black one is hard to visualize finished, but I think she will be super cute. I have already made their matching outfits to the 1st pair that I made. The rag doll is finished and drying. I have picked out some pieces of pretty homespun and nice fabric for unders for her, which will be made into a beautiful dress by a sweet friend. The Izannah doll is my Trouble doll, which I  have corrected.  I had to carve her eye down and build up her right cheek and then re stockinet. Now she has a new paint job. I think she is pretty and will be outfitted in Civil War reproduction blue calico which I bought from Silent Stitches.  She will have black boots with red scalloped tops. Work is going along steadily and peacefully. To all those folks headed to the UFDC Convention, I hope you will have great success and super fun, and a little rest from all your hard work getting ready to go. I will certainly be thinking of you all and hoping to hear some of the outcome of the convention.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Doll Problems

Making dolls entails a lot no matter what kind of doll you are making, and some are much more trouble than others. Here are three dolls I am trying to finish, but each of these dolls has had a serious problem of one kind or another. I don't think experience saves you from making these mistakes, because I certainly know what to do, so why am I always plagued by crazy things like the right side of the heads always are fuller than the left side, or the shoulders are almost always uneven, or the right eye is always fuller and turned slightly outward than the left one. Sometimes these things don't present a big problem, but I believe it is the way my eyes are focusing on the unpainted white heads. It is hard to see, if you have one side a little fuller than the other, however,  even on a cloth molded head, you can make slight corrections. The third doll here is the worst problem. You would think I could tell she had almost no chin. HaHa.  Poor thing, this will cause me to let her dry, sand her down to within a inch of her life, and add a chin, then put on a new stockinet, and begin the painting over again. All this occurs even if you have a whole cloth head right in front of you. They do come out wonky, but making a few corrections should suffice. There is only one solution to all this, and that is to just be patient and go back and fix things, but this cost a lot of time. The trials of the doll maker are many, and not being able to see mistakes closer up front doesn't help. As for these three, I am whipping them into shape, and I believe getting them close to what I need. On Izannah's molded heads, I can see why she could not fix the problems, and if they are not to severe, I try not to fix them either, but a doll has to have a chin. thanks for letting me vent my doll troubles and here is hoping you are sailing along in your

hobbies what ever they may be and having fun. I still will have fun putting a chin on my poor girl.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Two dolls in stage two of painting.

These Izannah dolls are being made for friends. I have already painted the first coat of basic features and let dry. I then went back and distressed these dolls and then painted them with antiquing liquid, and then wiped off. At this point you can do two things, first is to immediately re-paint on top of your antiquing stain, or you can wait and let dry and come back later, but I have found it is better to go ahead and paint on top of the stain, that way, you can make corrections right then and get a better idea of how your doll will look in the end. Now, you ask, well,  is this the end. No. There is still a lot to be done, inspite that I have said this method is 3 stages. I have yet to paint the dolls for the third time, then there will be the Tweek out. Tweeking just means you are putting finishing touches to your doll. There are tiny details to adjust, and the smallest changes will make a difference to how this doll will look for her life. They are starting to bloom out for us and soon we will have two new little people to dress up. I think this part of the doll making is my favorite. The second doll in this post is rough in appearance, but this will change, both will be smoother with additional paint I will put on, so bare in mind these are in progress and not a finished doll.