Tuesday, March 29, 2016

1920's Doll Restoration

    One day this little doll took a bad blow to the cheek.    Her head was split open, her body, and arms needed to be replaced.  She measured 20", and probably dates from 1920.  She was not an expensive doll, she had no company mark on her, and the material she was made from was rather course.

   Once I repaired her head and face, I used a primer of white acrylic, and then the baby blue.  She has a darling smile, and her hair style is quite distinct.  The style gives her a big girl look, rather then an infant.

   I used a product called "paper clay" to fill  in the damaged cheek and forehead.  It's a clay that dries quickly, and with the ability to sand it down, it is my favorite tool for these little dears that come with parts missing.

   Her smile is so cute with those little teeth!  I dressed her in this outfit first.  I purchased the dress at a "Goodwill" store.  Someone handmade it.  It seemed to work until I found another outfit with a little more color to it.

    I think it was the hat that sold me on this one.  Since taking this photo I have found a matching pink jacket for her as well.  The shoes are a pair I purchased a long time ago, just keeping them for the right little "Cinderella".

   Her she is, not shy about having a closeup photo taken, "Darla", smiles happily for the camera.

        This is the 70th doll I have restored in the last few years.   Happy Tuesday to You!!  

                                              Smile On!        Audrey

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A "Royal" Restoration from 1915

   OK, I am a push over for a sad face.  This big doll, measuring in at 26",  a rare mark on the back of her neck, "Royal"....well, let's just say I couldn't resist a really tough challenge.

    She needed shoulder surgery, and the wig she had was, way past it's glory days.  She was faded from to much sun.  I proceeded, hoping to bring the color back into her cheeks.  Including a new body, using her old body for a pattern.  I found the broken "cry box" inside her back, it was dated 1915.

   Extensive deep cracks, revealed the composition under the first layer, was really a rough texture. I had to proceed cautiously,  patching and sanding her entire head, arms and legs.  Big girl, big job...I loved every minute of it.

   Off with the wig, and I cleaned up someones attempt at taping her back together.  I carried on....the next photo shows how she looked when she arrived.

     She was fully dressed, right down to her undies, and socks, with a pair of old booties.   As is often the case, someone decided she needed a brilliant red nail polish, added to those pudgy baby fingers.

   The old girl needed a complete make-over, new body and new wig.  I was able to find a pretty vintage dress, and baby shoes, along with a sweet little sweater.   The crocheted bunny, bombed her photo!  We decided he was so cute, we would let him stay!  (Happy Easter).

    Here she is, all prettied up and cute as a button!   She came from Minnesota, so I started calling her "Minnie" right from the start.  The name stuck, so she is officially called "Minnie Mae".  Once again, she is a lovely little girl.  

               Happy Easter, my dear family and friends.     Smile On!   Audrey 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

1918 Doll Restoration

    Here is a little doll that I purchased from Iowa back in November.    It measures 19" and has a mark on the back of it's neck that reads L.A.&S'  19@18.

   The body was stuffed with cotton, and there were several fingers missing from it's little hands.   Someone lovingly  put this little gray coat on, with a velvet sash.   I decided to keep the original body, as I really liked her plumpness. I  freshened her up with a fabric spray, so now, she even smells good!

    She cleaned up nicely.   The fingers were so badly broken, I decided it would be best to use the mitten-sleeves to cover up the poor broken digits.
    I purchased the sleeper,  crocheted the sweater-vest and bonnet to add a little more to her overall look.

   It was nice to rediscover her teeth, and dimpled cheeks during restoration.  We decided on the name of "Elza".

   Thank you for stopping in today, Elza and I appreciate your visit!      Smile On!    Audrey


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Two Boy Dolls from 1919-20

       Happy St. Patrick's Day!   I am in a writing mood today.  So, as luck would have it....I have a few "before and after" photos to share with you.

   This little feller' came from Indiana.  And, has since undergone a transformation.  This doll was made from a different type of composition, and I needed the help of my dear husband.  He literally had to use a small dremel tool to sand off the paint surface for me.

   Quintin, turned into a handsome little boy!  I remade his body, and reattached his little hands.  I even painted in a couple of extra bottom teeth.

   Now, he is snuggled down in his green bunting with red trim.  He is 13" tall, dates around 1920, and is not identified with any doll company.  Such a cutie!

   This is an "after" restoration photo.  This little doll came from the state of Washington.  When he arrived he was in rather bad shape.  He had a mark on his neck that read LDC with 1919, under that.

    At 97 years of age, he had been loved.  He was made of a similar composition like Quintin.  But, for some reason it was easier to remove the paint surface.  The body was an elongated shape, and I made him the exact same body that I made for Quintin.  This little doll measures 12", however.

   I did some research, with the help of my granddaughter, and found an African name for him, "Zaki", which means lion.  These two little boys are restored and resting comfortably in the Village Room with the rest of my doll collection.

   It sure is fun to see the results of the restorations, it seems to bring them back to life, with personalities plus!

              Thanks for stopping in today!       Smile On!    Audrey

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Unmarked 1918 Doll

   My cat, Buster, took to this little doll.  The doll arrived from Nevada.  Maybe it was that dry desert air that had Buster so intrigued.

   The doll is an unmarked one, measuring about 19" tall.  The "ma-ma" box inside didn't work, and when I removed it, it had the date 1918 on it.  The wig was an obvious add on at some point in the dolls journey.  I didn't think it looked right, so I removed it.  Turned out to be a vintage doll wig made with human hair.

   The little darling is quite a handsome boy.  I restored the head and arms.  Keeping the old body with the soft legs, I was able to mend his little original shoes and put those back on.

    This little doll had a complete transformation, and is in good condition once again.  The romper is one I bought at an antique store, fits him perfectly.  Reginald, is a happy little sort, and prefers to be called Reggie.

    Thank you for stopping in today.  I am enjoying this adventure of restoring dolls very much, and I appreciate your interest in their stories.

                        Smile on!      Audrey

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Guitars, Diddly-Bows, and Dulcimers

    The Music Man has been busy this winter.  My husband Ed, has made several musical instruments I would like to share with you.

   A cigar box guitar is a brand new adventure for Ed.  Our son gave him a book on how to make these, and a cigar box for Christmas.  This is one of the first ones he attempted.  It has a bright sweet sound, with 3 strings.

   The metal grommets open up the sound box, and add a nice splash of bling to the surface.  It measures about 34" long, from the tail to the top of the fret board. The fret board is made from oak.  He has made several more since completing this one, all with different cigar boxes and fret boards.

  This is a pair of Diddly-Bows, he made.  This is an ol'time instrument, with just one string.  He has used the contemporary energy cans, and added a little bling with the tack heads adding a nice sparkle.

    Ed likes to use the cans as inspiration for the colors he uses on the rest of the instrument.  A unique sound can be attempted depending on your musical ability, and a little background in string instruments helps with this one string wonder!

   Of course he still makes dulcimers.  These two are his latest creations.  They are three sting, which I find easier to play, (I'm learning!)  The strum hollow is a nice addition to these, and the red paduke (an African wood) makes a very beautiful fret board.  The red wood is also used on the sides.  The top and back are maple.  He tunes these to DAD, and they always make such a lovely sound.

   Do I hear him heading to his shop?   I marvel at his ability to create such fun instruments, and I can't wait to see the next one!

                Hope your Saturday is filled with a song!      Smile On!     Audrey

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Effenbee 12" Girl Doll

    This little 12" doll is an Effenbee doll.   She was probably made in about 1920.  The company that produced this doll was owned by Fleischaker & Baum.  I like how they took their two names and came up with the acronym of Effenbee.

    After restoring her head (sorry no before picture), I made her a body sock, to cover her grungy body.  I didn't want to replace it with a new one, as I liked the shape she had acquired over the years.

   After a few days of resting and waiting  patiently, she finally had a new outfit fitted and ready to wear.

    A slimming crocheted teal blue dress trimmed in dark brown, suited her just fine.  Her white leggings covered up her legs nicely, too.

    Oh!  Look!   New shoes!!  What girl doesn't appreciate a new pair of matching shoes?  Ahhh, she is ready for dancing across the world.

    " Effie Anne Bea", wants to "Thank You" for stopping in today!   She hopes you can find sometime today to do a little"happy dance", where ever you are.

                                               Smile On!!       Audrey


Monday, March 7, 2016

1924 E.I. Horsman 10" Baby Boy

    This little boy,  dated 1924 and made by E.I. Horsman, is feeling good after his restoration.  At 92, he still looks a little rough around the edges. However, his "Before" photo is really scary!

    Life had dealt this little guy some bad cards.  He obviously was left somewhere cold and damp.
His little tin eyes were so far gone, I couldn't salvage them, and needed to do some cosmetic surgery to give him new eyes.

    After a little rest, relaxation and restoration, his sweet little 10" self came through looking pretty comfortable, as you will see by the next photo.

   Chester has a warm little bunting to snuggle down into when he feels a chill.  The little colorful pj's and matching hat, made from a pair of socks, really keep him toasty, now.

    I hope you are warm and comfy today!       Smile On!    Audrey

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Another E.I. Horsman Doll

    Sometimes these old dolls arrive looking way beyond hope.  It sure looked that way when this little gal arrived from Michigan.  She measured 21" and "E.I.H. ADC"  imprinted on the back of her neck.  At one time she had a wig to cover that odd flat shape on the top of her head.

   She looked rough from the top of her head down to her toes.   Once I looked her over, and decided what needed to be done the work commenced.

    Someone took the time to put a sweet old vintage dress on her.  Luckily, I was able to restore the dress for her with a good soak and mend, it was nearly as good as new.

    This little gal turned out quite pretty.  I made the hair with paper clay, and painted it.  She still has that odd  shaped head, so I added the bonnet that came with another doll.  Perfect fit.

  Sitting pretty, she decided she wanted to be called "Hope".  She looks like a little angel, don't you think?
I am not sure how old she is, anywhere between 1900-1940.  The research can be interesting, too.

    Thanks for stopping in today!          "Hope Springs Eternal"       Smile On!     Audrey