Schoenhut

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Let Me Call You…Sassenach

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Perhaps it’s the time of the year. You know, “Spring! When a young doll’s fancy turns to love!” 

There was just something in the air when that firm knock sounded at the door. When we opened it, there was a rather tall Schoenhut boy standing there. He wasn’t anything super special to look at, but from the moment he arrived there was an extra skip in Dot and Betty’s step. 

“And he gets more and more handsome the better you get to know him!” the usually shy Betty whispered to me one day, blushing.

Thus begins the description for O.L.D. (Once-Loved Doll) No. 105, Jamie, inspired by the “Outlander” series on STARZ which themselves are based on a series of books by Diana Gabaldon. You can see Jamie’s adoption page HERE. Jamie is my sixth Schoenhut doll. I tell you, they’re addicting.

Poor me. I had to study every nuance of actor Sam Heughan’s clothing. Oh, how I suffer!

Sas·se·nach
[sasuh-nuhkh, -nak]
NOUN [OFTEN DISPARAGING.]

1. a term used by the Gaelic inhabitants of the British Isles to refer to the English inhabitants. (Jamie says it like an endearment, once he gets to know Claire.)

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK whoever it was out there who made this suggestion. I should write these things down, but I know full well I will absolutely lose the scrap of paper! So mea culpa and thank you! Drop me a line! UPDATE: It was Cecilia and her sister Wanda of OHIO. Thank you!

BEFORE.

When our Jamie arrived, he was in pretty good shape. He needed his eyebrows redone, and his wig was just too short for the flowing locks of the character. Luckily, I had an old, tattered wig of nearly the same shade of human hair. I took both wigs apart, and alternated the wefts onto a new skull cap.

Basket-hilt sword and dirk made from a triple layer of popsicle sticks with wires running from inside the blade to the handle for extra sturdiness.

I had previously done two Claire dolls from the “Outlander” series HERE and HERE, but it would never had occurred to me to do a doll based on Jamie. And quite honestly, I still might not have had I not found the beautiful wool/cotton plaid I used for his kilt at a thrift store. It was my absolute favorite find of the day!

I’m now practically an expert on all things Scot. Like how to put on a kilt, for example. Turns out, it’s kinda complicated. It’s hard to imagine these tough Scottish guys laying on the ground to get dressed, but by golly they do! And they hand pleat their kilts each time, too.

This is the guy I learned from. He’s a true Scot, and a charmer! Also, he flashes his bum at the end. Woohoo! Turns out, Scot’s don’t wear anything under their kilts. I bet you knew that.

I didn’t want whoever adopts Jamie to have to go through this, so I sewed in a hidden waistband and added a series of snaps. It took me over a day to figure out, but now you too can put Jamie’s kilt on with no fuss!

Of course, you wouldn’t have to mess with it at all if Jamie never changed his clothes. Luckily, he does! I was happy to see Jamie wearing his jacket, vest and shirt with a pair of pants. I also find it downright impossible to send a doll out without a hat. But what to give him? Does Jamie even wear a hat? YES HE DOES.

He wears a tricorn hat. The brim on mine is made from leather. That with the boots and the belts and the sporran, and this was a leather-heavy fellow.

You know I love a patriotic doll. Seeing this Scotsman in his new hat made me want to give him an American flag for special occasions. “Well, he DOES go to America…” helpful Julie, who has watched all the episodes so far told me. Score! DONE.

The dolls and I are going to miss him. He has conquered our hearts! But now he must venture out to conquer MORE. Yours, perhaps…?

Our sweet Georgy Girl Scout was adopted by…Beth N. of Nipomo, California. A new friend! Welcome, Beth, and thank you!

And with that, I leave you! There’s a change in the air. Spring is almost here! And you’re my favorite.

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NOSEGATE.

Susanna’s current page with her new nose. My mother gave me a new camera that I hid for safekeeping. I have GOT to find it. These photos are awful, but you get the idea.

O.L.D. (Once-Loved Doll) No. 83 is named Susanna. You can see her adoption page HERE.

To touch up, or not to touch up? That is hardly ever the question, especially when it comes to composition dolls. Of course I’m going to do something!

Schoenhuts, however, are an entirely different animal. Older, rarer, and more expensive, Schoenhut dolls attract a whole different breed of those who love them and are drawn to them.

I had one last Schoenhut, and this girl was more worn than the previous two I’d had in the past. Namely, the paint on her nose was gone, showing the wood beneath. I had joined a Schoenhut group on Facebook when I’d received my first doll of that type so that I could learn more about them. Who better to ask what should be done to this girl than those who adopt them in droves?

The consensus was that I should leave her alone. Some even sweetly provided photos of Schoenhuts with far worse wear. I secretly breathed a sigh of relief. Good! Because that would give me more time to focus on the clothes, which is my favorite thing to do.

So I got to work. I cut up an old mohair sweater of mine and sewed it into a doll-size sweater, embroidering it with flowers in vintage wool yarn. I made a coat and a hat and two dresses. Sewed little leather shoes with glass buttons, and two pairs of socks. After days of toil, she was ready. I took my pictures in dubious light, and finally put her up for adoption.

An hour into her offering, my phone rang.

“Now, don’t be mad,” a squeaky voice said.

“Whyever would I get mad?” I said in my musical lilt, recognizing my sister The Mayor on the other end of the line.

“That NOSE. You have GOT to do something about THAT NOSE!” I could practically see her jumping up and down and waving her tiny fists as she spoke.

GRRRR!!!

Susanna’s sailor dress is made from bonafide old ticking. I had to work around the worn spots.

No! My mind rebelled. The pictures are done! She already has a bid! And watchers! And she’s only just begun!

Still, my sister had given me a niggle of doubt. But she doesn’t even like dolls! I shouted back at that niggle. Hmmm…Better to ask for a third opinion from someone who actually does like dolls. I called my friend Brenda. She looked at Susanna’s link.

“I think your sister is right.”

HMPF.

“….you should touch up that nose. And the eyebrows. And the eyes. And the eyeliner. And the lips….”

I huffily took down Susanna’s adoption page, and got back to work. It wasn’t all bad. It gave me a chance to do other things I’d wanted to do but ran out of time for. I added a reversible belt to her brown dress, and turned the vintage half slip I’d found for her into a full slip, complete with tea-dye and a ribbon accent. When she was completed, I took a second round of pictures, not quite as good this time, but at least her nose and the rest of her face was DONE.

It’s a tricky thing, this touch up of these old dolls. Their skin is not all one color. There’s patina! I actually had to layer several different colors to make her nose repair unnoticeable, and I was as subtle with the rest of her features as I could be. I didn’t want to make her look like new, and I didn’t want to idealize her features. I wanted her new mother not to know that anything had been done – if she hadn’t been told first.

And THAT is the story of NOSEGATE.

Our darling Jefferson was adopted by…Cecilia S. of Foster, Ohio. Another new person! Thank you, Cecilia! And yes, that song was on my mind all morning as I packed little Jefferson for his trip. I HOPE you know which song I mean. Surely, it can’t be THAT old…

And with that, I leave you! Hunker down, Iowa! The ice storm’s a-coming! You’re my favorite.

P.S. If anyone gets the title image joke with the “Know when to Stop” written in it, I shall be tickled pink. Go, Packers!