Friday, September 21, 2012

Ceddie Has a New Sister

I had been keeping an eye out for a sister for Ceddie, even though I knew I could never find anyone as adorable as Ced. Day before yesterday, though, I noticed a new doll sitting on the shelf in the Girls Toys section who was unusually pretty. She was all vinyl and on the back of her head was 2000 Unimax. I had never heard of Unimax. I thought about her all day. I told myself she was just a vinyl doll, nothing special. But she was awfully pretty. At one point she disappeared and I thought "Good, someone bought her," but a little later I found her dumped upside down into a rolling cart across the store. I took her back to the Toys section and put her underneath the stuffed animals where no one would find her.

She is wearing a dress that was obviously not made for her, but it looks very
nice on her. It has matching bloomers.
Now I had to decide if I should try to buy her that day or wait until Friday when the Good Supervisor was working. The supervisor that day was a new one who is trying very hard to follow all the rules, and one of the rules is that employees have to wait 2 days after a product is put out to buy it. I just knew someone would find and buy my dolly so I decided to give it a try. The NS (New Supervisor) balked at letting me buy anything, because we aren't supposed to buy things during our shift. But the Former Supervisor told her that evening shift people were allowed to buy on their breaks, because they couldn't very well buy things after the store closed. So she said okay and luckily never even thought to check the date, which is coded and requires some thought to decipher.

Ceddie seems to like his sister. She is obviously older than he is so he's still the baby.

"Look, we both fit in this basket with our teddies!"
I think I am going to name her Alexandra but it's not definite yet.

After much Googling, I have determined that she is an Anne Geddes Daffodil Baby or Bee Baby. I am glad she wasn't wearing either outfit or I might have dismissed her out of hand when I saw her. She has very nice glass eyes.

With her bent knees and arms, her body has Ceddie's "frog" look.
Meanwhile, I have not neglected (very much) Sunny. We found two raincoats for our girls at one of the thrift stores.

"Sunny, what are raincoats for?" "I don't know, Mendoza, but Auntie
gave me this wonderful apron."
It's not likely they will ever need them, but it never hurts to be prepared. We are going to set up a scene in Auntie Berman's shed where they can have their own furniture and toys.

You know how I wasn't going to get any more bears? Well, what would you do if you were in the Goodwill Bargain Bin and Auntie Berman spotted a Paddington? And the very next week at Salvation Army you found another Paddington? I think we know what you would do.

The first is an older Eden Paddington from 1975, still with his original tag (but missing his hat). The second is also Eden brand but from 1983. (Paddington put on a little weight between 1975 and 1983.) We have lots of felt and can make them new hats. The second Paddington's hat is torn and has autographs written on it.

The older one is unable to stand on his own.
And then I saw a couple of other bears that needed rescuing.

The right-hand bear was obviously much loved.
Now I must get ready for work, because who knows what (or who) is waiting for me there!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

American Girl Fever

A while back I got Barbie Fever, after thinking it could never happen to me. Now I have American Girl Fever, again after never thinking it could happen to me. It just goes to show: Never say never!

It started a few weeks ago when I found a Josefina American Girl doll at work, complete with her clothing (except for her shoes). I knew Auntie Berman liked her and had the Mini American Girl version of her. So I called her and asked if I should get her and of course the upshot was that I should. I think I got her for $1.50. Auntie Berman named her Mendoza, after the heroine of books by Kage Baker. I keep accidentally calling her Mendez.

But I like going barefoot.
The next day we had to go out thrifting and at a small shop, sitting on the bottom shelf of a bookcase, was a Kirsten doll! Auntie Berman used to have a Kirsten and I quickly talked her into getting her (for $1.00). Her legs were a bit floppy and her hair had been cut. I kept looking at her and thinking how pretty she was and decided that I, too, wanted an American Girl. So then we had to go to several more stores but couldn't find any AG dolls. The next day Auntie Berman went on an expedition of her own to try and find one, but with no luck.

My birthday was approaching and Auntie Berman, after realizing the futility of finding an AG at such short notice (and possibly realizing how daunting it would be to adopt two girls at once), made the sacrifice and decided to give me the Kirsten doll. When she first got the Kirsten, she had immediately sent off to ebay for a lovely pink dress with pinafore for her. Then, under the pretext of going to see a neighbor who was moving, she took the doll and went to her hairdresser, who trimmed dolly's hair, put it up in rollers, and fastened a lovely flowered barrette in her hair where the hair-chopping could not be fixed. And the hairdresser didn't charge her a thing, since it was such a fun project.

Look at my hair!
While I was at work, Auntie Berman came over and put the dolly on the shelf with my other dolls (not easy, she said--there was hardly room). Then she waited. I came home and went into my room a couple of times but simply did not see her. Auntie Berman had to suffer all evening, waiting for me to find her. At last, when I went to bed around midnight, I saw her! I was overwhelmed with her cuteness but it was so late I didn't call Auntie Berman. When I woke up in the morning I was again delighted, but I didn't know for sure if she was mine. I thought maybe Auntie Berman had just set her there to remind me that we were going to restring her legs. Auntie Berman said indignantly that she would never be so mean.

Best friends

Now I had to think of a name. Of course it had to be Scandinavian, since AG Kirsten is Swedish. When we were in junior high, we had a Norwegian PE teacher named Miss Skaarstad. She was called Sonny by her peers. A little googling revealed that her first name is actually Søgnhild, so that is what I named my dolly and we are calling her Sunny (because I like that better than Sonny). However, we still don't know exactly how to pronounce Søgnhild and if I ever have to yell at her, I won't quite know what to say.

(In case you are wondering what ever happened to Sunshine, the relentlessly cheerful doll, well, she had a leg operation that was not a success and she has gone to that great Dollhouse in the Sky.)

Now for the operation. I found instructions here. We assembled the parts and began. First we untied her neck strings and removed her head.

Then I pulled out all her stuffing. There was a lot.

We did not want to totally remove all her parts and use new elastic, so we decided to put the brass inserts over the ferules that were already there and then crimp them. They were very hard to crimp. I had to wait until HLP came home and have him do it. I wanted to tighten up her arms, too, so I used zip ties (an idea we got from another website) as inserts on her arm elastic. Then I restuffed her and tied her neck back on.

In the Recovery Room
Unfortunately I didn't tie her neck tie tightly enough and as I was picking her up to show Auntie Berman, her head fell off, which was a bit unnerving. Auntie Berman retied it for me.

Able to sit up and take nourishment
Mendoza and I can have a tea party!
I forgot to mention Auntie Berman's doll Delilah. She is a Fancy Nancy doll I found several months ago at my store. She had her original outfit on too.

Delilah in her butterfly dress and polka dot pants
Now we are all exhausted, but happy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I Don't Collect Bears, Really

I borrowed that title from Lizzie because it seemed so appropriate.

My first bear was BooBoo. I got him for Valentine's Day when I was four. He was pink but I knew he was a boy because he had a blue ribbon around his neck. Unfortunately, there are no pictures of BooBoo.

One day, our grandmother and mother decided to go shopping in the Big City and for some reason didn't want to take us, so they bribed us by promising us each a present if we stayed home. (Our grandfather was left in charge of us--his method of babysitting was to leave us alone as long as we didn't yell or fight. Possibly Big Sis was there too, but she kept as far away from us as possible. Fortunately we were fairly well-behaved children.) I said I wanted overalls for BooBoo.  You didn't see many dressed bears back in those days and I have no idea where I got the idea.

When they returned, my mom said she hadn't been able to find overalls so she got BooBoo a dress! A pink dress, I might add. I was disappointed but I put his dress on him and he wore it manfully for the rest of his life.

We had lots and lots of stuffed animals through the years. (I remember thinking, when Auntie Berman stopped sleeping with all of hers, that I would never stop sleeping with mine. Eventually I did!) I never singled out bears as my favorite stuffed animals, though.

Then about 6 or 7 years ago, Auntie Berman and I were at Salvation Army Thrift Shop when I saw Bertie. I was quite taken with him and got him (for 50 cents) and carried him around with me all day. And somehow, I've been adopting bears ever since.

Bertie and the Russian bear.
When my nephew went to Russia, he brought me back a Panda bear. It is to his credit that he was not the least bit embarrassed to carry a giant bear around the airports.

Now the story takes a tragic turn. I had several large bears and really no room for them. At the time I was driving a Volkswagen Vanagon, which I loved dearly. It's the only car I've ever bonded with. I put all my big bears in the van, where they rode around happily for months. Then Husband-Like Person decided to change the fuel filter in the gas tank. It was growing dark and he had a Halogen work light. (Can you guess what this is leading up to?) Suddenly he came running in the door yelling "Call the fire department!"

My bears were in there.
Some gasoline had leaked out and run into the light. HLP barely got out from under the van in time. He and Tom-next-door struggled to move Tom's propane tank out of danger. The fire trucks arrived but they couldn't put the fire out, because Volkswagens have magnesium engines (or something) and they just had to let it burn and make sure nothing else caught on fire. The ambulance arrived and took HLP to have his burned hand looked after. Meanwhile, the dogs and I huddled by the back fence, hoping for the best. We couldn't get out the front gate and there was a 5 1/2 foot fence around the rest of the yard. A neighbor across the street took this picture on his cell phone. He actually had a video but I've lost that somewhere along the way.

Eventually the fire died down and things went back to as normal as possible. Our very kind landlord only charged us for the cost of the boards to rebuild the fence, since his maintenance guys did the work. A friend towed the remains of the Vanagon to Pick & Pull, who agreed to take it off our hands for free (they didn't really want it, for some reason).  And I mourned the loss of my bears.

Ever since then, I just can't resist cute bears when I see them and they need rescuing. At one time I had over 50 bears!

Bears, bears, everywhere bears!
And more bears!
While looking through my bear pictures I realized I had culled them about a year ago.

But somehow, the number kept creeping up. So I made Auntie Berman help me cull the herd once more. Of course we couldn't say out loud "That one's not really very cute," but we just nodded or shook our heads as I held up each one. We finally got them down to a manageable number: 20. (That number may be slightly higher now.) We gave the unwanted bears to a church lady who helps at a food pantry/soup kitchen place. She was going to give them out to the children.

The overhead bears
The underneath bears
Madison is the ballerina bear on the left. She is the only one who has a name. I have attempted to name bears for years but I always forget who is named what, except for Madison. I don't go out of my way to dress the bears. Some of them come with clothes and sometimes I just try something on that I already have. I did make Madison's skirt out of pink netting.

Madison in winter, wearing a sweater that her auntie made.

All the bears are having a picnic.
The bear next to Lulu is one of my favorites--he looks so happy and growly.
He's not as threatening as he looks. He said something when his paw was squeezed but I removed
his voice box. It wasn't working well and he's happier without it.

I will end with a picture of Ceddie, because I can.

Lulu and Gordy got safari hats. Ceddie got a circus wagon.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Darling Ceddie

I didn't pay a lot of attention to the odd doll in the Collectibles area at first. Then hanging on the Housewares wall I found a little composition jointed doll in a bag for $1.99. I thought about her all day and  decided to get her, but when I went to find her, she was gone! So I decided someone had found her and loved her and taken her. Meanwhile I saw the odd doll and figured he had come in with her, because he had what I thought was a composition head, although I later found out it is bisque.

The next day I looked on the wall again and there was the little girl doll! I'm not sure where she had been hiding. I quickly grabbed her and took her up to the supervisor to await my next break so I could buy her. Meanwhile, I again noticed the odd doll. He had such a cute face but oh, that weird stuffed body.

I don't really like baby dolls and I don't like soft bodies, but there was something about his face. Finally I looked at the back of his neck and saw ©1923 by Grace S.  and what looked like Bu----. So I went home and googled it and found out he's a Bye-Lo Baby (it turned out to say Grace S. Putnam) and below that it says Made in Germany. From the time he came in until I bought him, it was two weeks and in all that time, nobody wanted him! You can read about Bye-Lo Babies here. This one doesn't have sleep eyes, but I think his eyes are much nicer than sleep eyes. He is missing three fingers but that seems to be pretty common for his type.

In case you're wondering how I know he's a boy, well, everybody who's seen him thinks he looks like a boy. Even the supervisor who rang him up for me and told me he was really ugly said he looked like a boy. I was not offended by her remark because I know she speaks from pure ignorance. She has two boys of her own (human) and probably thinks they are really cute.

When I got him home, Auntie Berman was thrilled with him too. She found a dress for him and we later found a second dress for him.

I just had to name him Cedric. I would make him a velvet Little Lord Fauntleroy suit but since he's only supposed to be three days old, his dress is all he needs.

This shows his delightful smile.
I call this one "Home at last."

Most of the time Lulu and Gordy babysit him.

Gordy's on the far left but he kind of blends in.
Now as for little Phoebe, or Feeebs as we call her, Auntie Berman again came through for her. The three Es in her name started out as an accident but then we thought it was a way to make her feel special. Not that she knows how to spell. Since her dress fits her so well, I don't feel any urge to make her more clothes.

Shortly after I got her, I found Firefly at Goodwill. She was unopened in her package which said World Friends, Native American Doll, Fibre Craft. On the back of her head is Loretta Daum Byrne 1988. She is 8 inches tall. There was a 13" doll also, but not nearly as cute. I looked up Loretta and she is some sort of Native American (I think) dollmaker. There was a larger version of her, but she wasn't nearly as cute so I didn't get her too. I later found out they are supposed to be mother/daughter dolls to dress.

I was going to name her Morning Star until I put this little sun suit on her, which has fireflies on it.

Now I hope I am back in the swing of things and will blog on a regular basis. Thank you, Lizzie for asking about me. You have definitely inspired me.

Now one last picture of Ceddie.

Mother's darling boy

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A New Camera!

After much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth over the demise of my FujiFilm FinePix camera, which abruptly stopped working, I saw a Kodak EasyShare at work. Eagerly I purchased it (it was half price--only $15), rushed home, tried it, and discovered it Didn't Work. There was a newer model of the EasyShare and I thought I would return the bad one and get it. Meanwhile, I was looking for a foot pedal and controller for a Riccar sewing machine that my HLP had found. Mrs. Smith, who does home health care, wanted to go to Savers too, so she and her dementia lady and I all went to my store on a shopping expedition. Little did I realize what I would find.

The Riccar--from the 1970s, I think, made in Japan
I exchanged the bad camera for the new one, got the foot pedal, and then found, buried beneath the stuffed animals in a bin, a hard plastic dolly!

Her wig was coming loose and at first I thought I didn't really want her because she has teeth and she looks much younger than my other dolls of that era. She was with the toys and should have been in the Collectibles section, so I thought I would take her with me as we traveled through the store and put her in her rightful place. Of course by the time I got there, I wanted her. She was marked $9.99 and I got 30% off. When we got home I had to sneak her inside and hope HLP didn't notice her.

Penny and Joanie helped me hide her.
Then I had to find her different clothes, because I'm sure she was tired of the same outfit she'd had for who knows how long.

This dress fit her quite well.
She is a Baby Barry doll and since my last name is Barry, it was obviously preordained! Here she is at the Doll Reference site (4th one down): Baby Barry

This is a little fuzzy but it shows her teeth.
I don't know if I will get her a new wig or try to comb out her hair. Maybe I just need to glue some of it down.

Then there's another new doll I haven't mentioned yet. I got her a few weeks ago. Again, I saw her at work and knew immediately she was an MGA doll. They have a distinctive Look about them.

She had no clothes when I got her
She is 18 inches tall. I thought she would make a good big sister for Veronica. She is an MGA Best Friends Club doll.

"And I'm going to get a pony or a bike!" Veronica tells her new sister.
That same day I found a composition doll in our Collectibles section. I have three similar dolls and had no intention of getting another one. She looked just like Mamie only she was wearing a Marie Antoinette dress.

She is a Dream World doll, 11 inches tall with stapled-on clothes. Dream World

Mamie and Elnora and Glinda were happy to see her.

The four compo girls, with Peggy and Sydney in the background.
I'm not even going to say I'll never get any more dolls again. There are just too many wonderful ones out there.

A windowful of dolls
If windowful is not a real word, it should be! The ghost lamp on the left is from the Salvation Army. I simply couldn't resist it.