Monday, December 19, 2011

Jingle All the Way

Every one in my house wants to be dressed for Christmas. Belle looks lovely in her Mrs. Clause outfit. Snoopy, Snoopy, Woodstock, and Sally are festive as well.

Mandy put on her winter hat and coat so she can play in the nonexistent snow, but she couldn't get her boots on. Obviously my fingers were much more dexterous as a child or Mandy grew. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Send in The Clowns (Again)

The summer between 10th and 11th grade (1987) I worked at Camp Happyland, first as a Jr. Counselor, and then as a Lifeguard. It was exciting to live away from home and to have a substantial paycheck. (Much more substantial than my previous job as a kitchen assistant for the local homeless shelter.)

One of our few camper free days was also the first Payday and trip to the local shopping mall day. I was determined to buy an awesome doll with my own cash. I wanted a Sasha, or an Effenbee John Wayne. My hopes were dashed. Sasha's were no longer produced, and John Wayne was right out. After morosely wandering and watching Beverly Hills Cop 2 with other staff, I entered the Hallmark and saw this sweet clown. I turned my smile upside down and purchased it.

This is "Taffy", a Precious Moments Doll produced by the Jonathan & David Corporation of the Philippines in 1985 (one of the first 10 dolls produced by the company - according to their website). The clown is 16 inches tall with a cloth body and a vinyl head and limbs.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Raggedy Ann Update

The first thing I did with my new Raggedy Ann was wash her clothing. I hand washed with Woolite, being careful to keep the snaps, zipper, and purple ribbons out of the water. I remember from my childhood that the ribbons bleed. (Boy, do they bleed!)

I let the outfit dry flat and then ironed the pieces.

Then, I inspected each piece.

The underwear is discolored - red/pink bleeding at the shoulders, and brown/yellow ageing on the legs and cuffs. The elastic is intact but not tight, and the ribbon is missing.

The dress is in pretty good shape, except: one of the ribbons has been cut short, the collar is stained pink/red, and there is a small whole in one of the sleeves.

The apron is fine, but could use some spot cleaning.

Next up? Washing the doll.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My First Doll Luncheon

I attended my first Doll Luncheon yesterday at the Crowne Plaza in Timonium, MD: Lady Baltimore Doll Study Club's Halloween Luncheon and Costume Party "Bewitched by Dolls".

It was originally scheduled for October 29th, but was rescheduled due to the freak snowstorm.

The tables were beautifully and whimsically decorated for Halloween.

Each table had a Fancy Nancy lovingly dressed  as a witch by the members of the club.
The one at our table was a gypsy/fortune teller.

The Program (program lite, as the presenter put it) was a slide show on how dolls celebrate Halloween, including some scary and gross dolls found on Ebay

After lunch the games began, starting with the costume parade.

In this photo is a Modern Witch (me) and a Movie Star on her way to the Oscars.

Raggedy Ann, Witch, Charlie Chaplin, ...

Halloween Pirate (Chesapeake Doll Club)

Some of my table mates.

These are some smart and talented ladies. As a team, we won the "The Price is Right" game.

The Loot!

The small ghost was my costume contest prize for Sexiest Costume.
The cat box is the souvenir doll for the luncheon. Isn't it beautiful? Do you see what is hiding in the Jack-O-Lantern?

The prize for the "The Price is Right" game.

The rest of the loot.

The Madame Alexander Wicked Witch of the West, the pail, and the 2 small pumpkins were the small centerpiece prize. The book was the "Left-Right" game prize, the rest were table favors.

I had a wonderful time and cannot wait to attend another event. Maybe next time I'll win a Helper Prize.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

At the Zoo

I had the opportunity to visit the San Diego Zoo this week. I have to admit that one of my favorite parts of the day was visiting with the Giant Pandas.

Now what to buy as a souvenir in order to commemorate the trip?

Choices were difficult. Sooooo many pandas to choose from.

Even huge pandas.

Eventually I decided on this one.

It is about 13 inches long and very soft and petable.

Yeah! Pandas!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Since Halloween is Monday, I thought I would share with you some of my Halloween dolls.

Below: a tiny bear dressed as a ghost, hiding in a pumpkin and a vampire smiley-face doll.

A nifty retro black cat doll I picked up a couple of years ago at Joannes or Michaels.

Dracula by Universal Studios. A friend gave him to me in high school, based on her knowledge of my fascination with vampires.

I hope you have a fun and enjoyable Halloween.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Look what arrived in the mail

When I saw this Raggedy Ann Dress Me Doll on Ebay, I knew that I had to buy her for my Christmas present to myself. This is the same doll that I had as a child, until one day I found her to be gone when I came home from school. My mom had decided to get rid of her and another doll (an orange clown) because of their state of disrepair.

This was rather traumatic. Raggedy Ann was my favorite doll. I slept with her every night. My room was decorated in Raggedy Ann everything.

And now, I have her again (in better shape than my original was when I lost her.)

Now I get to start cleaning her up. Hopefully I can figure out how to get rid of the nasty stain on her hand. Hopefully I will post photos of her looking a lot better soon.

Monday, October 17, 2011

My First Non-Barbie

Before I received Malibu Barbie and Ken for my 4th birthday, I had a non-Barbie 11 1/2 inch fashion doll. I had named her Melissa

As you can see, I loved and played with her until she fell apart. Her left arm disappeared in the late 70s, but I couldn't bear to part with her.

At one point she even had eyelashes. I can remember running my fingers over them. Those too are long gone.

The most interesting thing about her, in my opinion, is that her arms are of a soft vinyl/rubber material, while her body is hard, hollow plastic/vinyl and her legs do not bend.

In my doll play, she usually was the teenage daughter of Barbie and dated the Luke Skywalker doll. (Barbie was married to my Shaun Cassidy doll since Ken was no longer around due to a brother induced accidental beheading.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Doll House Dolls

Yesterdays Miss Carroll's Doll Study Club meeting was about doll house dolls. I spent the evening learning about the history of doll house dolls and admiring the examples that were on display.

So, in honor of the meeting, I present my doll house dolls. 

Once upon a time there was a girl doll, but I finally threw her away when her head refused to stay on. (I know, I know, a hasty and unwise decision.) They were made by the German company Caco and I received them around 1978. Since they were a family of five, just like mine, I decided they were my family. It made naming the figures very easy.

On Christmas Eve, my younger brother, Billy, and I, slept in our sleeping bags under the Christmas tree. Billy was determined to see Santa. I was hoping that we would fall asleep so that Santa would actually come. At one point I heard noise and saw a shadow in the stairwell to the basement. I panicked, closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep. I guess I eventually fell asleep. In the morning, not only did I get to tell everyone that I saw Santa's shadow, but I also got a doll house.

Billy also received dolls that Christmas (O.K., let's call them Action Figures.)

Here he is in his Spider-Man sleeping bag, holding his new Automated Spider-Man and surrounded by Star Wars figure packets.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Circus Clown

In 1974, I went to the circus with my father, my brother, and his Indian guides tribe. It was amazing. To a 3 year old child, the circus is full of wonder and magic. My dad let me pick out a souvenir and I picked out this clown. 

He was attached by a rubber band to a dowel, so that he bounced up and down when the stick was carried. His has jointed arms and legs that sway back and forth. The stick and elastic are long gone, but the clown itself is in great shape.

His right hand is no longer firmly attached to its arm, though a little hot glue or putty in the arm would take care of that.

As I grew older, I started to collect clowns and clown dolls. At one point in my teens I even had clown bedding! At this point, except for a few favorites, I no longer collect clowns. I have found my doll interest turning to dolls from the 60s and 70s, especially ones that I can dress.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Crying Doll

This is an adorable Horsman doll I found on Ebay about a year, or so, ago. She is about 15 inches long, made of hard, hallow vinyl, and has a mechanism so that after she drinks water she can cry real tears, as well as wet. She is marked 1974 and is a real cutie. 

She seems to be wearing her original outfit and is in fantastic shape. I would love to find out her name. (She looks a little like Buttercup, but is not her.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Genius Baby, continued

As I stated in my last post, large baby dolls are convenient since they are able to wear actual baby clothes. The hard part in outfitting Genius baby comes with finding period appropriate wear. The Summer started out well, I found two adorable outfits at Kohls that could have been made in the 1960s.

In this first outfit, Genius Baby is all dolled up for Independence day in a cute red, white, and blue sundress with appliqued strawberry pockets.

For August, Genius Baby is wearing a madras play suit and matching hat while she plays with her toy ducks at the beach.

Suitable autumn duds have been a little harder to find. Hopefully I will find some soon, the weather is already changing.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Genius Baby

In June (July?) I went to the Frizellburg Antique Store and found this beauty. She is a 1960 Madame Alexander Genius Baby. She is 22 inches tall, all vinyl, has jointed limbs, and a strung head. She was a crier, but she no longer works. 

This was my first visit to Frizellburg, and I was impressed with the range of stock, I will definitely be visiting again.

The wonderful thing about this size doll is that she can wear 0-3 month baby clothes. It makes hunting for era appropriate clothing a lot easier.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Horsman Lullaby Doll

I have always been a doll owner and lover. Here is a picture of me with my dolls on my first Christmas. I haven't identified the doll on the left yet, but the doll on the right, hiding behind the Fisher Price chime ball, is a 12 inch Horsman Lullaby Baby. I carried her around throughout my toddler years until she lost her pull string and she started going bald. I was also fascinated by the holes on her torso to let the sound out, it looked so foreign. (bodies should not be full of holes.)

I eventually sold her and my Eegee Softina in a yard sale when I was a teenager. Who knew that 20+ years later I would come upon and buy a working, good as new version of her? She is even wearing the original pajamas. 

 She is marked 1968, though I have seen the same model marked as 1964, and I received it in 1971. Wasn't it nice when the same doll was sold in stores for years? Nowadays, if you don't buy a doll when it first comes out, it is soon out of production and off the shelves.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Super Teen Skipper, Scott, and Starr

Just because I did not receive any dolls as birthday presents doesn't mean I didn't buy myself any pressies. Over the last few months I have been purchasing some long coveted dolls from Ebay.

In 1980, I wanted these three dolls soooooooo much. For my 9th birthday I received  Super Teen Skipper and her boyfriend, Scott paper dolls, but not the actual dolls. The paper dolls were wonderful and had so many outfits. Starr was marketed as the ultimate teen doll. Instead of being a Barbie friend, Starr had her own line of friends, clothes, and even a car. She was fashionable and in tune with the feel of 1980. when I look at her, it's like looking at a doll version of P.J. Soles from Rock 'N' Roll High School.

Here are my three birthday purchases in their boxes.

I decided to unbox and set them up on Tuesday, a couple of days before my birthday. I had no idea that they would be all shook up less than an hour later by one of the few earthquakes that have hit our area. Luckily, nothing fell over.

So at last, 31 years in the making, Skipper and Scott get to go on their first date.

Now, they are eternally 13 years old (or there about) so an ideal first date location in 1980 would be the local McDonald's.

Looks like Starr has a part time job working the counter, and yes, that hunky customer she is helping is Shawn Cassidy (my original 1970s doll, ripped shirt and all).

After the date, Skipper shows off some of her skateboard moves while Scott gazes on adoringly.