Monday, April 25, 2011

New Hair - Update

UPDATE! Her name is Michaela.

We went to Walmart and to our delight, they had Liv wigs, sold separately, for $5.99. Auntie Berman kindly bought the Liv dolly a long blonde wig. We were all thrilled with the results.

Now if I could just think of the right name for her.

She will need a bigger hat, now. This one's a little too small now. I took the tiny rubber bands out of her hair.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

In Your Easter Bonnet

The Liv doll came from the Bargain Bin, I think, several months ago. She caught my eye because I had never seen a doll quite like her. I found out she's a Liv doll (I think she's Sophie because she has blue eyes and the other blonde one has green eyes). She originally came with two wigs, which of course weren't with her when I got her. I am hoping Auntie Berman at the Bunch O'Hair Salon can glue hair to her head, since I doubt if I'd want to change wigs on her. Until she gets hair I can't give her a name. She's actually quite cute with just the short molded hair but I held several different bunches of hair on her head and like her better that way.
I had grandiose ideas of making everyone new Easter outfits, but like the old woman in the shoe, I have so many children I don't know what to do. So only the Liv doll got an outfit and that was because of the dress we found at Goodwill Bargain Bin.

I thought it was a skirt when I got it and realized later it's a dress. It actually looks like a nightgown and I didn't think it was attractive. So I revamped it by using the neckline for the waist and sewing from the waist to the hem, bypassing the armholes. Then it turned out the waist was a tiny bit too small, so I had to reposition the velcro (there wasn't time for her to go on a diet). By the time I got done, I realized I probably could have made her a whole new skirt in the time it took me to redo this one.

The Easter Bonnet

Ready for the Easter Parade
Her top is a just a sock with armholes cut in it that I had made for Chardonnay. Surprisingly it fits both of them. Her hat was another Goodwill find and I trimmed it with a boa that was from a bear's dress. Now if only she had shoes.

This is a skirt I made her from a blouse Mrs. Smith gave me to use for doll clothes. I made a dress for Chardonnay out of it too.

Here she is dressed in a pair of jeans and a dolman top, both handy items of clothing that we had picked up because you never know who will need clothes.

She is probably the closest thing I'll ever get to a ball-jointed doll, unless they start turning up in thrift stores.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Lulu was not a result of Dolly Fever. One of our dumpster-diving friends found her in the Harley-Davidson trash and brought her to me. I think she was somebody's Motorcycle Mama who was cast aside in favor of a Barbie doll.

Lulu has a cloth body with head, arms, and legs covered in papier mache, apparently home made. The skin on her arms and legs looks like she has leprosy. Her dress is handmade and I had to cut a few stitches to get it off her. Underneath, she is wearing a lovely little slip with Xs embroidered on it.  (They are pink and are too faint to see in the picture.) Underneath that, which I couldn't remove without cutting it off her, is an undershirt and underpants.

I found a nice black velvet dress that fit her, and she wore it all winter.

Gordy, Lulu, and Lorraine
Lulu and Gordy have become very good friends. Gordy is also a dumpster refugee. Lorraine doesn't really understand this concept, since she has always been a wanted doll, but she tries to be sympathetic.

Auntie Berman has promised to try redoing Lulu's hair with Delta Texture Magic. She might also be able to smooth out the boots and arms and legs.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011


In 2008 I saw a picture of Effanbee's 18" Gloria Ann and fell in love. I thought (and think) she's the most beautiful doll in the world. This was the worst case of Dolly Fever I ever had. I wanted her. Desperately. My dear, sweet sisters chipped in and bought her for me for Christmas after some tense moments on eBay. I named her Lorraine.

Lorraine wearing a My Twinn dress

Here is an email from Auntie Berman from December 8, 2008:

The first time I saw Lorraine,
She had just stepped off the train,
She gazed about in vain,
Poor Lorraine.

 Lorraine sighed and tapped her right foot impatiently. She had been in transit for days now and was hungry and tired. Most of all, she wanted to get this stupid plastic bag off her face. Honestly, did no one think of anyone but himself or herself anymore? If only they knew who she really was, they would never treat her like this!

Once she was “delivered” and could breathe properly, she would have a nice ham sandwich, a quick smoke and lounge about in her robe. She hoped there would be a robe, she did like to relax in comfortable but attractive clothing. And dresses. She wanted dresses and lots of them. With shoes to match. Nice underwear. At least one coat and a cape. A fur would be nice. Hats. Perhaps some gloves…

Lorraine sighed again. WHERE IS MY MOMMY?

Oh, here she comes…
Now this may make Lorraine sound like a spoiled brat, but she really isn't. She is her mommy's little sweetheart.

I made a few clothes for her.

Summer Dress
Spring hoodie coat
I really need to make her many more clothes, because she deserves them. She also needs shoes, but her feet are larger than most 18" dolls.  If we get to the Doll & Teddy Bear Show this weekend, I will get her some.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Last Doll (so I thought)

In 1966 when I was 12, I got my Last Doll for Christmas. I don't know what kind she was but she was a little girl doll with long blonde hair and three lovely outfits. (I've looked through the online Sears  and Penney's Wishbooks from 1966 and couldn't find her, so I think she was from Montgomery Wards.) I named her Elisabeth. I remember showing her to a friend, who asked "Did you want her?" Now I could have said "Oh, I don't know what my parents were thinking" but instead I replied, bravely and defiantly, "Yes, I asked for her." The friend gave me an odd look and the subject was changed. After all, we were in junior high and it was time to put away childish things.

Wendy in her summer dress

For the next 20 years I was pretty much doll-less except for my baby doll I'd had since I was four, and dutifully took wherever I moved. But I'm not fond of baby dolls and mostly she stayed in closets. Fast forward to the mid-80s. Big Sis and Auntie Berman became enamored with Cabbage Patch Kids and gave me one for Christmas. I liked her but was hardly enamored. A few years later they got me an American Girl doll. It was the Felicity doll (because we both had red hair) with Samatha's clothes (because I love Edwardian styles). Although I loved her clothes, I thought she was kind of, um, homely and I never had any desire to make clothes for her.

Wendy in her school uniform

Then came the early 00s and I went to work at Hancock Fabrics. They had just started selling Daisy Kingdom dolls and I was surprised when the manager said "Oh, let's dress one!" and started ripping open packages. I was surprised because I didn't know it was okay to like dolls when you were a grown-up. I didn't count my sisters, because I just thought they were weird for liking dolls (in fact, when my mother was on her deathbed in 1984, she and I had a few discussions about their dolly weirdness). I thought the dolls were really cute but expensive, even with my employee discount. When the Daisy Kingdom campaign came to an end, the manager asked me if I wanted to buy the display model for $10 (she knew I really liked those dolls) and I got both the doll and her dress for that price.

I named her Wendy and made several outfits for her.

Wendy in her Christmas Dress

Wendy in an everyday dress

I had a slight case of Dolly Fever when I saw the Living Dead Dolls (more on that in a later post), but I really had it bad when I saw a picture of Effanbee's Gloria Ann!