December, 2018

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Fearlessly Facing the NEW YEAR

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We mortals sometimes have a hard time not judging a book by its cover. I have learned that this is most unfair when it comes to those whose features are painted on, especially when done against their will.

“I am NOT afraid!” Nicholas protested when I told him my thoughts. “I am BRAVE. Can you help?”

Hoo. This was going to be a tall order. But if Nicholas could be brave with eyebrows like that, then so could I. “Why, YES I CAN…”

Thus begins the description for O.L.D. 114, Nicholas the Toy Soldier. You can see his adoption page HERE.

His mustache and rosy cheeks string on like an old fashioned fake beard – with elastic.

Refilling and repainting Nicholas’ face was daunting. The top layer of paint is very thick – too thick to be filled in with mere paint, and a lot more “skin” flaked off with cleaning. Including one of Nick’s “fraidy cat” brows. The other I had to remove with the tip of a pin. I used epoxy, sandpaper, paint and prayers..

Nick is a 15″ Schoenhut doll. Their wigs are originall nailed onto their heads, as was Nick’s. I didn’t want to remove it for washing, so I spritzed it with Windex and blotted it dry.

He was now ready to MARCH! And march he did. His outfit is trimmed with gold braid of various kinds sent to me by the lovely Janey J. of Oakland, California, along with his red plume. The visor and strap on his hat is made from black patent leather.

For his “civilian” outfit when he’s not marching, I channeled Christopher Robin from A.A. Milne’s “Winnie-the-Pooh” books, because he often wore boots and shorts.

Nick is the last doll of 2018 and adoption ends this Sunday. Then his new adventures with a brand new (to him) human BEGIN.

As do all of ours! Speaking of new adventures, I have a feeling 2019 is going to be our year. To begin with, I’m slowly updating “The O.L.D. Registry.” You can see the little link way above at the top of this page on the right. So far I’m up to O.L.D. No. 60 with the help of my brother Dennis. Little by little I’ll get to No. 115 and add each lost doll as their new journey begins. There are a few tweaks to be made to the first 20, but there you’ll see which doll was number what, who adopted her, and what her adoption fee ended up being. Always interesting to see, I think! What would I change with these dolls of the past? NOTHING. I do my best with each and every one.

By the way, WordPress has changed its format and I’m still trying to figure things out. Hope this looks normal, we’ll see!

Cherry and Wills were adopted by Gwen R. of Bedford, Texas. This is magical number 4 for her! THANK YOU, Gwen.

And with that, I leave you! HAPPY NEW YEAR, the best is yet to come, and you’re my favorite.

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STRICTLY NO ELEPHANTS!

You never know how a doll’s going to arrive at my doorstep. This particular girl came by way of a friend I haven’t met yet, who wrote to ask me if I could find a good home for her doll if she sent her to me. Of course I said yes! 

Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time this has happened. Usually, however, there’s a lengthy bit of time before a doll gets chosen. But when I found my inspiration, and I looked at her little face so full of surprise and wonder, I knew she was the one, and her time was NOW.

Thus begins the description for Cherry and her sidekick Wills. You can see their adoption page HERE.

How cute is this?

It’s not like I have weeks and weeks to look for inspirations. Sometimes my sister Julie and I will yak on the phone and send each other Pinterest images. A few weeks ago we were doing just that; looking at vintage winter images of children. I don’t know who found the one I ended up using, but I instantly fell in love and Cherry was perfect for the job.

You can save it to a file then zoom to make it whatever size you want and trace it directly from your screen. You probably knew that, but just in case…

My next task was to find a pattern for an elephant. Namely because if I couldn’t make an elephant toy, then all was lost and I’d have to move on. The problem is I wanted the elephant to look vintage, and modern patterns just don’t quite do it.

I found the one below. How perfect is that? It came from a pack of cigarettes manufactured in England. Long ago they used to insert collectible cards with pretty images and useful information.

 

 

The elephant was part of the “Household Tips” series of 50, including instructions on how to make a jolly bedspread, a gingerbread castle, a simple weather-vane, how to properly fold a coat (what a gyp!) and more. Now, of course I don’t recommend smoking, but I love these little cards!

Cherry has embroidered Cherries on her scarf.

I modified the elephant just a little bit, slightly changing the shape of the ears to more match the illustration, making the trunk a little longer, and adding pads to the bottom of his feet so he could ride his contraption.

Wills the Elephant is firmly stuffed with sawdust and there are supporting sticks that are attached to the wheel base that go up into his legs. I didn’t have any gray wool, but I looked and nearly half of Steiff’s stuffed elephants were brown, so…Precedent! I worked as hard as I could to make him look as vintage as possible. After I got him together I regretted not dyeing the wool with tea and considered brushing some on him…but didn’t want to risk it.

Look at that! You can even make your own N, S, E & W letters!

I’d like to thank sweet Nancy B. of Millbrae, California, that friend that I haven’t met yet. She also sent some other treasures, doll shoes bits of clothing and accessories, wigs…An early, wonderful Christmas! THANK YOU, Nancy! Your timing was perfect and Cherry was meant to be.

Doris the Doughnut Dolly was adopted by Barbara E. of Diamondhead, Mississippi. This is her second Hazel Twigg! She also has No. 49, Andrea. So nice to see you again, Barbara!

And with that, I leave you! It’s my favorite time of year and know what? You’re my favorite.