Sunday, December 20, 2015

Three Little Sisters from Iowa

   The three little sisters are all done, now.

    They are all happy to be finished.  Sitting proudly in the basket, Precious, Edweena, and Jazz, want to wish you a happy holiday season.

   Little Miss Precious looked very pale, but her exterior surface was in good shape, and only needed a light sanding before I painted her.

   With two little teeth in the bottom of her mouth and a sparkle in her brown eyes, we decided on what her wardrobe would be like.

Precious decided on a traditional gingham print, that matched her bonnet that I crocheted for her.

     So, after a long journey from Iowa, the little sisters all tattered and overly loved through the years, are now ready to begin their new lives here in the 21st century.   

Before restoration.


Hope you have a little sparkle in your eyes today!

Happy Holidays!

Smile On!


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Rescued 1917 E. I. Horsman Doll

    The little sister in the middle was the next one to "put on a happy face."   She's an E. I. Horsman doll.  The noise box that she had, and no longer worked, was dated 1917.

   The expression on her face, said it all...."help me!"    She had once been an absolute charmer.  The Horsman company was a successful company in making dolls with a special quality.  I was looking forward to bringing her back to her "new" self.

   She was a compo doll , with a soft body, and stuffed with cotton.  Horsman also gave her a nice set of soft legs with adequate feet.  Sometimes the feet on old dolls are just a turned up elf like shape, and too small to match the rest of the proportions.   She was perfect!

  I did the usual removal of the painted surface, careful not to disturb the wood compo under .  I did the head and her arms.  It's a little like scaling a fish, the surface flicks and flies everywhere.  I would like to know what that paint surface is made of, but I haven't come across any information on what it is composed of.

   I kept her body intact, except for the removal of the noise box, which can and had left rust stains on the body fabric.  Then I primed her head and arms with white paint. Followed by one coat of  soft baby blue, in acrylic.  I let that dry completely for 24 hours or more.  Then it takes two layers of flesh color to make her look more human and less "smurf", letting that dry completely between each coat.

   When all of that is done, I bring out the little brushes and start to paint her facial features and her hair.  I use acrylic paint.  She waits for several more days, and then I spray a clear coat of sealer on her, using three layers to make sure she is well covered.

    Her clothes came together when I found this little pink sweater at an antique shop, along with those little vinyl shoes.  I crocheted the skirt, and made the little black stockings out of a black sock of mine!

      I discovered that adorable double chin, and soulful expression she has, after much work and patience.

     I hope you find this blog helpful if you ever decide to do some doll rescuing yourself.  I find it a very satisfying process.  I named her Edweena, after the doll companies founders name, Edward I. Horsman.
    She's 13" tall, and quite happy to take her place amidst my growing collection of restored dolls.

    The third little sister, is nearly done.  She is having some difficulties deciding what she wants to wear, so far I am calling her, "Little Miss Indecisive".

  Think Happy Thoughts and Smile On!         Audrey

Friday, December 4, 2015

Early 1900's Composition Doll

    Thank Goodness It's Friday!!!     This old girl needs a long weekend, in an industrial type of spa!!
I know just the place....Studio 2137!

   She arrived with two of her sisters, and I asked them to pick a number, she won.  She is the one on the far right.  The process started with a new body type. I cut the body from muslin fabric, and re-stuffed her with the original cotton.   She really wanted a slimmer profile, so I took that under consideration.

   She is one cool little girlie!!  We decided on the name "Jazz".  Because she is all guessed it...Jazz!.
   He leggings are a stocking top.  Her tank top is another stocking.  I crocheted her the hat, shoes, and her little shoulder wrap.

                                                     Jazz is 13" tall.  She came from Iowa.

    Hope your weekend is fun-filled and relaxing!!!       Smile On!       Audrey

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Refrigerator Art Extravaganza Returns!

    Way back in November of 2013, I wrote a blog about some refrigerator art I was doing at that
time.  Well, the stash of discarded magnetized calendars called me back. I cut out these leaf shapes and started arranging them all over the frig.

   This is a close up of the cut out leaf shapes I made.  The beauty of these little bits of magnetized outdated cut-outs, they are easily removed and placed in different ways.  The possibilities are endless.

   That big white surface takes on a whole different "artzee" look.   I enjoy seeing the shapes swirl around on the surface, instead of my grocery list, coupons, appointment cards, and other boring stuff like that.

    Looks like a living plant, kinda' don't you think?  I am glad I rescued these calendars from the landfill!!  

                               Smile On!!         :^)   Audrey

Monday, November 23, 2015

24" Composition Doll From 1930?

    I couldn't resist this smiling baby.  Tattered clothes, obviously original, but completely worn out, only added to my need to help fix him up.   On closer inspection his true condition came to light,

    From his head to his toes, the condition was pretty grim.  Once the clothing was removed there was even more bad news.

    His right arm was badly dislocated, and would need the help of the in-house surgeon, Dr. Ed.   The shoulder was mended and the restoration continued.

    James William was completely restored.   From his head down to his toes, all 24" of him.  I bought new pajamas to keep him toasty warm.  His bib is a crocheted antique-find.

    James William is a composition doll, with excelsior stuffing.  I restored his composition, but was able to leave his original body intact.  He could date from  around 1930, is my guess from his condition, and type of material he was made out of.

  His middle name is William, because my daughter thinks he looks like one of my brothers, when he was a youngster.  I agreed, and added the William.   James William is affectionately called "Jimmy".

        Thanks for stopping in today!   Jimmy and I want to wish you a safe and "Happy Thanksgiving!"

                                                          Smile On!!!       Audrey

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Reliable Canadian 1940's Male Doll

      This male doll is a Reliable, made in Canada.  He dates from the early 1940's.  He was dressed in a uniform in his early days.  Unfortunately that identifying clothing was long gone by the time he reached my door.

    He has that classic look of the 1940's.  Handsome man, in his early days.  His body was the right size for his head, the arms and legs were made too short.  The poor guy couldn't even bend his knees.  And to top it all off, his left hand was gone.

    A causality of war games, he needed extensive consideration in how to make him healthy and handsome once again.

    Jon-Paul rests comfortably in a chair.  His arms and legs were extended, giving him proper proportions.
    He enjoyed gaining several inches, and now stands at 19".    His missing hand was replaced with a hook, in consideration of the era he came from.  I added a little gray to his temples, giving him a look of a retired military man.

    Jon-Paul loves the comfy slippers I crocheted for him.  Now the dear man can bend his new knees, and sit with his feet crossed.  Once in awhile, I can hear him humming the Canadian National Anthem.

    Jon-Paul's shirt is made from a sock.  His dress pants were cut and made from a soft fabric that took a nice crease when I ironed them.  His socks match his shirt, and the scarf is crocheted.

   Captain Jon-Paul, retired pilot RAF, wishes you a view of the clouds today!

                                                 Smile On!               Audrey


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Grumpy Composition Doll

    Once upon a time, there was a grumpy little fellow who arrived at my doorstep.  Grumpy was not comfortable with how he was dressed, or how his legs and arms did not fit properly.

   The little raggedy red dress was obviously meant for a girl doll.  The bit of lace at his wrist did not add any confidence to his nature.    His right hand had gone missing long ago, eaten by a dragon!

    Grumpy sat in his red dress, and bemoaned his predicament.   What was this poor little boy to do?
           The Jolly Dolly Doctor to the Rescue!!!!

      A " new-old"  body was taken into consideration.  Finding the size and proportions appropriate, the restoration began.

   His head, and fate in my hand, we proceeded to sand, and repaint his little head.   Grumpy was beginning to feel like a new boy already!

    Grumpy is very pleased with his new life.  The pajamas were made from a pair of socks, I bought especially for him.   His hair and eyes are a lovely shade of brown.

    Grumpy is now called, George.   He has a princely look about him.  He looks quite like my oldest grandson, Dawson.    George Dawson the First.  

     He lives happily ever after in the "Village Room"  with all his little doll friends.   No more Grumpy, truly a  happy little fellow, now!!    As long as the dragon keeps it's distance!

                  Smile On!!        Audrey

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Two Composition Dolls Restored

   Here is a couple of cuties that arrived from the state of New York.  Her name is Margee,  (with an extra "e", cuz' she likes it that way.)   That is Ben sitting next to her.  They are composition dolls, with hands and legs of the same material.  Both of them have new bodies that I made using the pattern from the old ones.   They are each, 24" tall.

   This is their " before" photo.  Margee is in the middle, and Ben is on the right.   The little gal on the left hasn't been restored, yet.

                                                           Sweet Little Kids!

               I hope your Saturday is a cozy one.       Smile On!        Audrey                                      

Friday, October 30, 2015

Old Composition Doll Disaster

     This old girl, came in a package with several other dolls.  An Ohio native, she had seen better days, and was truly a causality of a child's love.

    This "one armed wonder" really had me "stumped," (pun intended).     On closer inspection, there didn't seem to be any way to bring her back from this bad state!

    She just wouldn't give up.  She sat waiting and hoping, I would come up with some way to help her.  It seemed the only way to bring her out of this situation was to reconsider, and take a completely different approach to her.

    After chipping away all of the old "plastic" coating, the composition was in worse shape then I feared.
At this point I decided to bring out the paper sculpture.  She encouraged me to "embellish", and give her a completely new look, a new life, a new personality!

    She became a "Changeling".   Becoming a magical being, she decided on the name of, Willowynn.  Her life story is one she has rewritten, and claims she hails from a far away hill in Scotland.

      Willowynn  does a happy little dance whenever she hears a gig!   The sound of  bagpipes really makes this little girl kick up her heels!!

     There are more adventures aplenty in the studio.  More dolls to help, more stories to discover.  I recently came across a doll with a voice box inside that no longer worked, dated 1917.  

        Happy Halloween!   Be Careful Out There....Ghouls and Ghosts Rule!  

                                                        Smile On!     Audrey

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ghost Girl Found!

    The mystery of little Ghost Girl, has come to light!  I found her in the photo files, and discovered her "before" and "during the process" photos.

    She had a very soiled body, and patches at the arms.  Someone had attempted to keep her together, thankfully.   I decided to give her a new cloth body, and she actually grew about 6".

   The composition she was made of, was quite rough and brittle.  I would date her from around the early 1900's.   There were some deep cracks and areas that needed to be repaired.  I used the paper sculpture to fill in, and sanded those areas.  Her face was in good shape, except for the dark area on her forehead.

    Here are the "after photos".

    During the restoration I started calling her, my Honey Girl.  The name seems to suit her.  She is one little sweet doll.  Measuring a full 26", she proudly sits with her brand new outfit, and "real" girl shoes!

        I hope you are having a "honey" of a day!!       Smile On!     Audrey