Sunday, April 16, 2017

A visit with an antique Ella smith Doll and other things.

Hi. Today I am putting up pictures of my antique Ella Smith Doll or  Alabama Baby Doll, which is so amazing.  This doll is 27 inches tall and such a beauty. I just could not pass her by, she has loads of charm and her hair painting is, to me.  a wonder and a inspiration for hair painting on my other dolls. I have seen lots of pictures of alabama babies and I have another antique one, but the hair painting and the face isn't anything alike. This girl is enormous. So big she is actually hard to carry, and her legs are super fat. I forgot to take a picture of her original dress, but I will do that next time, as I have to make some absolutely necessary repairs, as her arms are about to fall off. Her dress is pretty, but super fragile and I hope to repair it. I have also finished two of the three painted head rag dolls for two of my friends. It took me  a long time to make these dolls, partly because I was doing two and I wanted to take extra time and try not to make mistakes. On the subjects of making mistakes, I have to say, no matter how careful you are and paying attention, mistakes will occur. On these two, if I made a mistake and was able to fix it, I went back and did things over, that is why  I was long in making them. Another reason, I took a long time as I was trying to age the Indigo homespun fabric. Let me tell you what I have found out about trying to age fabric, atleast the blues. REMEMBER THIS PEOPLE. If you want old looking fabric, buy it old,  as blues don't like to be subjected to lemon juice, tiny amounts of bleach water, washing repeately or being strung out in the sun for days on end. Should I go on as to what to try, such as I have heard people running over their fabric with the car or scrubbing it on a rocky bank, or actually putting holes in it. HaHa  I learned blue fabrics will most always go purple, not a lighter blue, if you try to lighten them. Back to the dolls. I love these two girls and learned much from working on them. I was lucky to be given an antique doll quilt to dismantle to make the bonnets. I think these are my best ones so far. Such a joy to work with the old fabrics. Next, long ago I made two rabbits on stands. My mama made a dress for one to give to my sister. I think she did good.  Lastly, I made a decision to buy shoes for the time being instead of making them, as I need to take a shoe making class. It is worth the expense to to this, and forget about ever trying to make socks. I, at this point in my doll making, refuse to even try to make a pair of socks. HaHa Well, my time is over. Good Bye.


  1. Martha, please come to my house! Be prepared to stay a couple of weeks so we will have time to finish a course in oil painting! :~) Wow, wouldn't that be fun (for me, for sure!)! Your painted head rag dolls are just incredibly beautiful! I have zoomed in and looked closely at the hair painting on your wonderfully big Ella Smith doll. I have also noted the depth of the head from front to back. And, of course, I love, love the rabbit and her wonderful red dress with the big bow that your mother made! But, best of all, I love reading your thoughts on making dolls...always right on!

  2. I don't blame you. The only way I'll make socks is with knit fabric, because I am not a knitter. The new girl is beautiful! So fine to have a study doll and be able to enjoy seeing the details first hand. You know how I feel about the rag dolls!

  3. Martha, the Alabama dolls are lovely. I know you are so happy and proud to have them. The painting is beautiful, I can only imagine how big they are. I'm sure they have been helpful in observing the painting on them. The rag dolls are adorable, and the homespun in perfect for them. I rarely age anything, I am so afraid to mess it up! Adorable bunny, your mother did a beautiful job. Hope you had a nice Easter.