Madame Alexander

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The Mayor Takes A Holiday

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You can see her damaged neck in this picture. Poor thing! Bless her heart, she was determined to go…

“You are the best helper ever!” I exclaimed. And Georgette was. She truly was! Turning her head this way and that so that I could finish the work on her shoulder plate and around her neck. “Oh, no!” I cried. “What’s wrong?” a worried Georgette asked. “I’m sorry, Georgette. Today’s not your day. You’re going to need a lot more repair.” I showed her the large chunk of compo that had just come off the center of her neck. “There’s no way the milliput will dry in time…”

“But I have to go today! You promised!” Georgette insisted.

She is absolutely right. And I’m a chick of my word…

Last week The Mayor, aka my sister Julie, took some time off and we finally did what we’ve been trying to do for a long time: we had a movie date! Except in this case the “movie” was two episodes of the latest season of Downton Abbey.

Downton Abbey HAT1I ignored the fact that it was already Tuesday and I hadn’t yet figured out what type of clothing I was going to make for my next O.L.D. The afternoons when Julie and I are both free are few and far between!

O.L.D. No. 00031 is a Madame Alexander “Special Girl” and her name is Georgette.

So there Julie and I lay in the specially made nest that Julie created for us in her movie room. Pillows and fur blankets with buffalo chicken wraps and Good & Plenty’s a-plenty. And we watched. And I was inspired.

Inspired by the hat of a so far minor character. It was swoopy! It was one-sided! And it had a tassel hanging from that one side, dangling ever so fetchingly! I designed Georgette’s entire outfit based on that hat. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThank you, Downton Abbey! Once again, you’ve come through for me.

Granted, I didn’t get it identical, I only got it similar. Did I mention there were Good & Plenty’s? And gummi peach rings? Oh. Well, there WERE. I got Georgette’s hat the way I remembered it amidst the feasting.

Downton 1920s coatI lay in bed at night thinking of these things. How can I get the swoop I want and what materials to use. I knew I wanted to use chipboard for the brim. But it has a grain, and with the direction of the grain and the length required, I would need more than one sheet. How to make it seamless without a crease? Hmm…TWO layers. Wait! That would be too stiff! All right, a staggered layer then…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHer coat was based on a coat that I’d also seen that seemed the right era. And on one of Mary’s coats that I found in my research, I finally figured out a way to do a buttonhole with little risk: A placket!

Georgette also represents the first in what I am calling “The Ann Series.” Remember how I used the last of my “Handmade by Ruth” tags? Well, I found those other tags I bought at the same time that say, “Specially Hand Made by Ann.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI realize of course that my name isn’t Ann. But these are nifty vintage tags and I was having tag withdrawal and Julie’s middle name is Ann! So, HAH! A connection! Plus, I’m noting it on the tag so that when any of the Ann series appears on “The Antique’s Roadshow” of 2172 or thereabouts, the appraiser will know it’s genuine. There are six “Ann” tags in all…

In the meantime, I still have a little more work to do on Georgette’s shoulder plate. And the next O.L.D. is just a twinkle in my eye. Here’s a hint: there shall be singing.

Rosemary and her baby and her baby’s baby were adopted by…Michelle E. of Colorado! The latest streak continues! Thank you, Michelle. You’re a mysterious angel…

With that, I leave you! Happy Wednesday, this is Ann saying you’re my favorite!

 

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Victims Three

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“One, two, three – WHA – ?!”

Now if you’re smart, and I think you are, you will notice there are four little maids in the picture. Ultimately, I will be dressing them all, but I’ll just do two – or three – at a time. Plus, I like “The Mikado” and was originally going to use three, but this last little girl snuck in at the last minute.

The reason I chose these four is because they’re each excellent examples of things I want to show during my first live broadcast this morning at noon eastern on Ustream. Yes! The thrill is undeniable!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe first girl is Effanbee’s Anne Shirley or Little Lady. Both dolls were from the same mold. Anne was named for the character in “Anne of Green Gables” and was made to resemble the young actress who played Anne in the movie series – and who I believe changed her name to Anne Shirley.

What makes this doll distinctive is that she has individual fingers rather than the usual cupped hands of most composition dolls. The problem with that is the fingers would frequently snapped off, as with this Anne. Either that or she really, really wants World Peace. I’m going to rebuild her fingers.

It won’t be the first time! I once had an Anne with her middle and ring fingers missing. I wrote in her description, “We think she’s trying to say, ‘I love you.’” Comedy GOLD!

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She also needs her lips touched up.

The second girl is the one who snuck in, bald head and all. I love wig searches! I have a several shoe boxes full and it’s always fun to try different wigs on and see what would look best. She is no one special, just one of many of the unidentifiable dolls made by one of many doll manufacturers.

And on that note, we come to the third and largest. I believe she’s a “Special” doll by Madame Alexander. That’s her name! Her worst problem is terrible cracking and lifting on her shoulderplate, but I chose her because I’ve had another “Special” come through. See what difference a different wig and a slightly different paint job makes?

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You will not believe the difference when she’s clean.

The fourth girl is exceptionally filthy. She is a Princess Elizabeth type. Back then, doll companies were swapping doll molds like little boys used to swap marbles!

If anyone out there has dirty composition dolls, I can show you an easy cleaning method using a common household item you may already have on hand, but that at the very least you can readily find. She also needs re-stringing, as her joints are a little loose. Good times.

So these are the victims! First the refurbishing, then the fabric choices and dress designs for each including coats, hats and shoes, and then I’ll be listing them on ebay so they can finally find good homes where they will be loved and enjoyed again! I’ll note their progress as I go here as well as on my show. Make-up! Wardrobe! Clapper! ACTION.

Fingers crossed that they turn out well. With a little magic and elbow grease, they will!