March, 2019

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Yours, Mine, and “OURS.”

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“WAIT! Don’t tell me…”

The little girl stood there gazing up at me with her piercing blue eyes, patiently waiting.

“My Pet!” I crowed. I’m always proud when I can identify a doll that’s not necessarily composition. 

“OUR Pet,” said Dot the smart aleck, peering at the back of our new arrivals head. I should never have taught her where to look for markings.

Here’s her “before” picture. She came with a brown acrylic wig.

I would soon learn that this little girl was a doll of few words. No matter. Her cheeks gave away how very excited she was at the prospect of being loved again… 

Thus begins the description for O.L.D. (Once-Loved Doll) No. 119, Gretchen, our very first “Our Pet” doll. You can see her adoption page HERE.

Just because she’s the “first” doesn’t mean there are a wqhole bunch of other “Our Pet” dolls waiting in the wings. She may very well be the one and only! They were made by the Armand Marseille company usually associated with bisque head dolls. This doll’s head appears to almost be a fired clay that’s been painted, as close as I can tell by looking inside her head.

I had no particular theme for her in mind; I just want to make her as cute as possible. She is such an adorable size at just over 14″, so perfect to hold. If I could keep her, I would. But alas, there’s always another doll clamoring for attention so I must prepare her, love her, and send her on her way. First I started with her few minor repairs.


Her forehead was pitted and devoid of paint, and if you look closely, you’ll see some chips around her eyes. I did a little light minimizing touch up. Her sleep eyes are made of glass. She’s actually marked “Our Pet”.

Granted, the blonde mohair wig I chose for her is a little scraggly. All my wigs are! I have three bins of scraggly wigs, all patiently waiting their turn to be pieced together so they can once more sit atop a future beloved doll’s head and therefore be loved once again themselves! Same with all my fabrics. “Pick ME this time!” “Me!” “ME!” It’s amazing I get anything done with all those voices clamoring around me…

Speaking of voices, “ONE DRESS!” my wee sister cried. But, honestly! We’re straddling winter and spring here, what’s a girl to do? I soothed her by telling her I would use the same pattern for both dresses. Then I added a sweater and two aprons…I cannot be stopped!

That’s Susanna on the left. She of “Nosegate” fame.

It’s no secret I enjoy a sweater with flowers embroidered on it. I know three stitches, and by golly I use them. This sweater was made from the stash of beautiful old wool sweaters that were thrift store finds that Julie had given me awhile ago. I love using sweaters to make sweaters!

Look at that pretty brooch! Thanks to whoever gave it to me. It was in a shoe box full of costume jewelry…

The pointy hat and mittens are made from red cotton velvet. The mittens are attached to each other with middy braid. For the hat ties, I braided red cotton string and made pompoms.

I had flashbacks the whole time I was working on the coat. I don’t know how, but I rarely make coats using the same fabric I’ve used before, at least without mixing and matching. The fabric for Gretchen’s coat is the same fabric I used for Holly’s coat when I was rushing and I singed it. Don’t think I didn’t pay close attention this time!

The shoes are based on some originals I’d seen. You know what I need? Good scallop cutting scissors. I didn’t have any, so bless my heart I cut them as evenly as I could. They’re leather and the ties are braided embroidery floss.

I found an already made slip that with some added lace was the perfect length to peek out from both her dresses. Pointy hats, flowered sweaters, and lace peeking out from the bottom of a dress. Does it get any better?

So there you have her, a wee little girl with high rosy cheeks and messy hair, counting the days to her new adventures.

You know who’s not counting the days? Sally Joy! She was adopted by Gwen R. of Medford, Texas. I think this is O.L.D. number five for Gwen. Thank you, Gwen! And your sweet husband too.

And with that, I leave you on this first day of spring! No matter the season, YOU are my favorite.

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Grandma’s Got A Brand New BAG

You can see why I thought perhaps she was a grandma when I could only see the top of her head.
S.J.’s hair got noticeably lighter after washing.

The girl standing at the door was rather large. Even so, it was impossible to see her face beneath the pile of clothes she was carrying in her arms. Was she a girl? Or a little old lady? The hair peeking out from the top of the pile was decidedly gray…

Thus begins the description for O.L.D. No. 118, Sally Joy. We call her S.J. You can see her adoption page HERE.

This is only the second time I’ve had this particular doll model walk through my door. HERE’S the first. Her name was Felicity. She’s the one I gave the first legolectomy to. Luckily for me, S.J.’s legs were just fine.

One would think with all the clothes she arrived with I wouldn’t need to make her a thing! That I could simply clean her, do a few needed repairs to her composition, and send her on her way. AU CONTRAIRE!

First of all, S.J. arrived just as the hasn’t-happened-in-20-years Polar Vortex was ending, where temperatures were well below zero for both highs and lows, and the “feels like” temps were -50 degrees! All of S.J.’s clothes appeared to be more suited to summer.

The dress on the right is a little large, but I didn’t show it on her adoption page so I’m showing it here. Not shown is a beautiful, crisp white on white embroidered slip that’s much older than S.J. It too is too big, but it’s coming with her too!
Bless her heart, S.J. doesn’t have much in the way of hips (I’ll share mine!) so I made the top with a bit of a flare.

One of my inspiration images.

To go with her summery clothes, I made some white leather sandals and the floppy hat with the large white flower. They go with everything.

Perhaps I was longing for a little summer myself; the first thing I made for her was a 1920’s style bathing suit. I also made a simple “wrap” – basically, a square piece of cloth, selvage to selvage and hemmed on either side, that she could use as a towel or simply to lay upon the beach. The fabric came from an old cardboard suitcase that was filled with 1930’s fabric that I found in the house I bought behind me. One of my FAVORITE FINDS EVER.

Thanks, Jule!

Then I set about making her more wintry outfit. A kind fellow Rolfian we shall call Jule H. – not to be confused with me wee own sister – had been cleaning out her fabric supply and gifted me with a bag of fabric! I LOVE fresh meat! I also love fresh fabric…When S.J.’s wig became so noticeably lighter, I thought that the pretty cream checked fabric contained within that bag would make her sort of glow.

That’s a lot of stuff. Believe it or not, I still need to make some undies.

I then made her a very heavy, very 20’s style coat, a coordinating wool cloche-style hat, and a pair of brown leather shoes. And of course, a carpet bag to carry everything in so she could more easily make her way to her new home.

She comes with a LOT of stuff. At 23″ give or take, she’s a rather large girl. But like all large girls, she can sit with several smaller dolls on her lap so barely takes up any space at all when it comes right down to it. And she is oh so very kind.

Wee little Pendleton, my very first composition doll ever, went to…the lovely Linda L. of Portola Valley, California! California happens to be where I was living when I adopted her in the first place. Pendleton has gone full circle. Thank you, Linda!

And with that, I leave you! I think we’re on our last single digit weather day. Spring is in the air! And YOU are my favorite.